Trinity -- Modalism -- ????

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Crabtownboy, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    In another thread a person made the statement, "He is a Modalist". That was a new word to me. Also others went on to say this was a denial of the trinity. I read their explanations as well as looking up the word. So help me understand the problem.

    The English word Person comes from the Latin word persona and the greek word prósōpa. Both meant the mask an actor held in front of his face to play a part. Actors played more than one character and when they changed from one character to another they changed the mask. The New Testament uses the word persona, thus indicating a mask. Thus, I do not see how saying God showed or manifest himself in three ways, three persona poses a problem with the trinity. I believe everyone on the BB would agree that God is one God. To say that this one God has shown himself using three persona does not, IMHO at this time, indicate a denial of the trinity. Explain the problem to me as you see it. Thanks.

     
  2. Christos doulos

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    My friend. That is the keyword, "manifest" rather than 3 "persons"
     
    #2 Christos doulos, Jan 27, 2012
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  3. mont974x4

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    The reason it is a problem is because the modalist view denies key aspects of Christ. If Christ was not incarnate, that is coming in the flesh, then his death loses all meaning as his blood becomes worthless.

    Read 2 John and see what Scripture tells us about people who deny key aspects of who Christ is.
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    The actor that has three masks, can only wear one mask at a time. That is what this theory teaches. At one time he is wearing the mask of the Father. At another time he is wearing the mask of the Son and at another time he is wearing the mask of the Holy Spirit.

    When he ceases wearing a certain mask, for example the Spirit, the Spirit ceases to exist because that mask has been laid aside.

    God is one being but eternally manifested in three persona's that are co-equal and co-eternal. God does not put on one mask at one time and then another mask at another time.

    Furthermore, these persona's are not simply "masks" but three distinct conscious personalities that fellowship with each other.

    Sebbellianism would teach that one man can be a father, a son and a husband all in one person. However, each is only true to a certain audiance. To his wife he is a husband but not her son or father. To his children he is a father but not their son and husband, etc. God is all three all the time to all His creation.
     
  5. Crabtownboy

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    I appreciate all three answers. So, let us continue the conversation.

    I agree with your comment about an actor can only wear one mask at a time. But I do not see this as a problem concerning God. All analogies break down at some point. This analogy has problems as humans are limited. God is not limited as we are and thus, could God not always be showing the three persona? As God is not limited I do not see how this could be a problem for Him.

    A big problem we humans have is that we are limited to finite language and this makes it very difficult when we discuss the infinite.

    Again, for we humans I agree with you. But I do not see God as being limited in this way.

    I agree, God shows us all three persona now.

    I agree. The masks were distinct personalities within the play also, but the actor, as said before, was limited as he/she was human.

    I have never read about Sebellisnism. However I agree and disagree with your synopsis and I do appreciate what you said.

    To the wife her husband is her husband, but at the same time he is and will always be the father of her children and he will always be the son of his parents. Thus he will always be all three ... actually more if we include such things as friend, neighbor, etc.

    And I totally agree that God is all three all the time.

    I hope all responding realize I am not arguing, but discussing attempting to get a better clearer idea of this concept.

    I want to thank all three of you for calm, rational replies. Thanks.
     
    #5 Crabtownboy, Jan 27, 2012
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  6. mont974x4

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    Modalism makes it impossible for the Son to be separate and stand before the Father as our Priest, Mediator, and Counselor/Advocate.
     
  7. Alive in Christ

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    I am in agreement with everyone else on here regarding dangerous cults and deviant groups.

    Word of Faith
    Jehohves Witness's
    Mormons
    Mary Baker Eddy
    The girl whom the 7th day adventists heed
    ultra liberal protestantism

    ect..etc..etc

    But not the with the UPS. (modalists)

    This group clearly believes in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as being the Godhead. They simply view the Godhead as functioning differently then we do.

    Because of this, I believe that when considering them, grace and tolerance is called for, rather than condemnation.

    I believe some on here are nit-picking regarding how they view the Godhead.

    We say: 1 God...3 persons
    They say: 1 God...3 manifestations.

    To me thats nit-picking.

    :godisgood:
     
    #7 Alive in Christ, Jan 27, 2012
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  8. Crabtownboy

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    That was a primary reason I posted the OP. I had not heard of this belief prior to here on the BB. After doing some research I decided there must be more than I had found for people to make such statements. So far I see no reason to condemn them. It appears to me that those who have posted opposing this belief have centered their argument on ideas that apply to humans, our limitations. But God is unlimited and so these objections which are very true for humans would not be a problem for God.

    Still looking for enlightenment.
     
  9. Christos doulos

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    My friend. I guess the early church fathers were nitpikers, then.

    So let me get you straight. Modalism has been deemed, not abbhorrent teaching but full blown heresy (violatation of an essential for salvation) by the church for how many centuries? and you come along and say, they were wrong because it's inconsequential?

    My friend. Seriously?!

    John Macarthur was right. Post modernism is in the church. Tolerance has taken the forefront over truth. All the heresies are rearing their ugly heads in the modern church, and rather fight it like we once did. It's now, we shouldn't be nit picky. The end truly is near. We will be like England soon.

    We will tolerate ourselves right out of Christianity :tonofbricks:
     
    #9 Christos doulos, Jan 27, 2012
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  10. Alive in Christ

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    Cristos dulos....

    And for the same amount of centuries the Christian Church sanctioned oppressive slavery.

    Do you advocate that we here in America put all of our african americans back into slavery? Yes, or no?

    And if you say "no", how dare you go against the Churchs teaching for all of these centuries.
     
    #10 Alive in Christ, Jan 27, 2012
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  11. Christos doulos

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    My friend. It's easy to make light of these heresy in this day and age, but having an accurate intepretation of the trinity is what allowed these church fathers to interpret scripture and build doctrine we learn today. That is why they were so adamant in condemning these as heresies.
     
  12. Christos doulos

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    My friend....seriously?! by the way I am black.
     
  13. Alive in Christ

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    Cristos dulos...

    Yes. Seriously.

    Well, your color is irelavent to me, but I'm always happy to meet a new brother. (I am white)

    But regarding the topic, why do you choose to not think about the issue, but rather just say...Oh.."The Church" decided this centuries ago.

    The "church" is NOT inerrant, and never has been. "The Church" has produced the heretical false church or Rome and the equally heretical church of ultra liberalism.

    The standard of truth is Gods scriptures, NOT the teachings of any local church, or the pontifications of the Universal church
     
  14. The Biblicist

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    You are missing the point! Modalism denies the Trinity. Modalism denies that the Father actual exists distinct and separate from the Son. Modalism denies the actual existence of the Holy Spirit as distinct and separate from the Son. Modalism does not believe in the co-existence of three persona but only the existence of ONE who simply presents Himself in a different manner but never presents Himself as three co-existing persona's

    It is the same doctrine as the Arians or Jehovah's Witnesses as neither acknowledges the reality of the other Two as coexisting as God.

    This doctrine in essence is no different than the god of the Moslems.
     
  15. preacher4truth

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    Allow me to ask.

    If one believes only in Jesus Christ ALONE for salvation, while yet at the same time holds to modalism, will said then die and go to hell? Is that what is at stake here?
     
  16. annsni

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    Yes, so just how do we get three masks on one person in this passage in Matthew 3:

    And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
     
  17. annsni

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    What Jesus would they believe in?
     
  18. The Biblicist

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    Jn. 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

    QUESTION: What is eternal life?

    ANSWER: That they might know THEE the only TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ
     
  19. preacher4truth

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    Where is the Holy Spirit?

    Salvation is through the Gospel, not in what one believes about the trinity. You've shown a duality, not trinity.

    What is the Gospel that saves? It is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Period. Not if one passes a test on trinitarianism.

    Do I believe in a triune God, three persons, Father, Son and Spirit? Yes! But salvation is from the Gospel, not in passing a test on trinitarianism.

    Is your test the Gospel or is it belief in trinitarianism? From what you've shown it's the latter, not the former. If it is other, then show that it is.
     
  20. The Biblicist

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    So, you repudiate John 17:3 and deny that "eternal life IS knowing the one and only true God?

    The Holy Spirit and the Eternal Word and Father is the "One true God" while "Jesus Christ" is the incarnation of the Eternal Word. In other words, one must know the Triune God including the Second Person's incarnate identity as the Savior of men.

    If you believed in the Trinity but did not believe in the incarnate Son of God as redeemer you have no basis for salvation.

    On the other hand if you believed in Jesus Christ but denied the One true God there is no basis for your salvation either because salvation is MORE EXTENSIVE than merely the work of the Second Person of the Godhead in His incarnate form.

    Who does Jesus say you must believe in to have eternal life in John 5:24?????
     

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