Ok, folks. What do you think about this issue? On the one hand, most Christians believe in the concept of the Trinity. There is one God, and He is subdivided into three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are one, but you must follow the *magical* prayer formula to be heard properly. It goes like this: You must pray TO God the Father in the power of God the Holy Spirit, in the Name of God the Son (Jesus). Any other way and you will mess it up completely. The Holy Spirit, I've heard, is SHY and so you're not supposed to pray directly to Him. (Yes, I've heard that preached before! LOL!)
On the other hand, you have folks from the United Pentecostal Church and just about every other monotheistic religion tell you that there is ONLY ONE GOD and messing around with ideas like the Trinity is flat-out idolatry, plain and simple. Only one God. UPC folks would tell you that his name is Jesus. You must pray TO Jesus in the NAME of Jesus by the power of Jesus and with Jesus's Holy Spirit within you. Do it any other way and it won't work. Oh, and the *magical* formula for salvation is found in Acts 2:38. You must be baptized "in the name of Jesus" and *then* speak in tongues or you're going straight to Hell, babe. You don't get away with any weasly, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" stuff because there's power in the Name of Jesus, and no other Name will do. So 99.99% of y'all are going to Hell because the pastor didn't say the magic words when you were being dunked.
I think both sides get a little dogmatic. If a gun were held to my head, and someone demanded I believe in the Trinity... well, whatever. I'll believe in the Trinity today. If a gun were held to my head, and someone demanded that I renounce the Trinity and believe only in Jesus... well, whatever. I believe only in Jesus.
Can you tell I'm a little wishy-washy on this doctrinal issue?
I would certainly agree with most essentials of the faith. You know, Christ born of a virgin, fulfilling prophecy, risen the third day... all the doctrinal essentials. Except on this *one* thing, I'm very muddled. Both sides in the debate seem to have lots of nifty scriptures to back themselves up.
And it can't be both!! I suppose at this rate, whoever is "right" on this issue doesn't matter because I don't believe strongly enough. I'll wind up in Hell if this is an essential faith issue. And I can't summon up STRONG feelings on either side, no matter how much I look at the scriptures and think about it.
Am I damned or what?
Of course, God is the One who has the final word on these things. And in His blog, He's pretty clear that He is a Trinity:
"See, there are three parts of My Personality: The Angry/Vengeful Father, The Loving/Naive Son, and The Confusing/Lazy Holy Spirit. If you don’t know what that last one is, it’s kind of like the black smoke from Lost.
So that was Me up there on the cross. I mean, I was also in Heaven watching, but whatever. I don’t want to confuse your simple human mind."
Edited to add: Julie has posted her own reply to my post at http://acceptancewithjoy.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/trinity-talk-a-reply/