Sunday, May 10, 2009

The end of the Trinity

My cousin married a man whose father was a Lutheran pastor. Now, Fred is a professional juggler, comedian, and all-purpose smart ass who has no problem offending people's sensibilities, and at least once in a conversation he can usually trick you into embarrassing yourself. He doesn't really hold to a particular belief, if any, but he attends church regularly for tradition's sake. I'm sure all that doesn't accurately describe my cousin's husband, but it's a start.

Anyway, today I was wearing a sweatshirt with "Trinity" printed across the front. Trinity is the name of the Baptist co-op where I lived for three years in college. Fred tried to make a wise crack about how there was no Trinity and that there was only one "Jehovah God." I said, "Well, I don't think it's true, either." He asked me "You don't believe in the Trinity?"

So there I was, asked the question that separates me from liturgical churches and most statements of faith of other churches by my joker of a cousin. And I said "No, I don't." He called me a Jehovah's Witness and went on being Fred, and I thought, "Huh, that was easy."

I wish I did, sometimes, because things like Celtic spirituality really appeal to me in their mysticism and prayers, but it's very much focused on the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I would probably become Episcopalian if you didn't have to stand up and recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday. I believe there's one God, and it's a disservice to call God "Father." I believe in the virgin birth and the crucifixion and the divine nature of Jesus' life. I can even buy into the idea of Jesus being God in human form, but if that is so, than I cannot call him the Son of God because that implies a separation. But more I believe that Jesus' life purpose wasn't to be God, it was to show people a right way to live, because there's no evidence that I've seen that implies otherwise. The resurrection gets a little wishy-washy with me, and I'm not really sure what I believe about that. I don't believe in the Spirit of God as an entity in itself. I think that God speaks to people, and there's no reason to create a whole other being to describe that.

For me, to say "I believe in the Trinity, even though I don't understand how it works" is to say that I'm willing to suspend belief for the sake of fitting in with other people. I wonder how many people do that, say "I believe in the Trinity, whatever that is." I don't think that dogmas are all that important to faith in God, which is why I wonder why churches put so much emphasis on this abstract theological thing that no one really gets rather than practical life that reflects the way that Jesus lived. I'm cool with believing unitarian.

1 comment:

Anam Cara said...

might I suggest that you read through the following?

I don't know how much you have read or been actually "educated" in the belief of the Trinity, but I know of other resources that might be of help. The one below is short and won't take much time to read.