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Vic Biorseth, Sunday, July
From the beginning of the Church, the official teaching was that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were one God, in three Divine Persons, and that Jesus Christ, Son of God, was also God. That was actual doctrine, and orthodox teaching. Obviously, not an easy idea to teach to new Christians, especially to highly educated Greeks and philosophers, schooled in worldly logic.
The situation was exacerbated by the rise of Gnosticism, the heresy that claimed to hold "secret knowledge" about God that "the Church doesn't want you to know". Sound familiar?
This was the situation the Church began to rise out of after Emperor Constantine ended the Roman persecution of Christians and began the era known as The Peace of Constantine.
Arius, a Libyan by birth, was a Priest in Alexandria, Egypt. When he began emphasizing the divinity of the Father over that of the Son, based not on Revelation but on worldly logic, that began what would become known as the great Arian Heresy. His popular new ideas and interpretations swept North Africa and the Eastern Church, before the Western Church was even aware of them.
When it all blew up in heated controversy, Constantine called for a Great Council to settle the matter. The First Council of Nicea was that Council, and it adopted St. Athenasius' formal doctrinal formulation, written down as the Athanasian Creed. Thus, the Doctrine was formalized into Dogma. The new Creed was to be held by all Christians under pain of losing salvation.
Thus, the Trinitarian nature of God and the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ, taught from the beginning, was concretized in written words and published to the whole Christian world.
This followed the pattern set in Acts, in which Jesus promised the Apostles the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Acts 15 was the First Council, to settle the matter of circumcision and the old law requirements for non-Jewish Christians. When the matter was settled, the Apostles, in union with Peter, pronounced it after first saying "... For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us ..." (Acts 15:28)
Here is how we described the guidance of the Holy Spirit as it involved Councils of the Bishops in union with the Pope, in the Infallibility page:
The first thing to remember is that the teachings of Jesus Christ to His chosen Apostles were heard, not read. He spoke; He did not write. The Bible didn't exist yet. It would be long after His Ascension into Heaven that they would begin gathering their own letters and writing the four Gospels that would comprise the Bible, as we know it today.
The Apostles had to remember what had been taught, and do it through multiple generations, for everything that was taught was not written down.
An impossible task for mere men; yet nothing is impossible with God.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, and blessed be God forever.
Sarcastic Acronym Hover-Link Footnotes: For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links. (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" it over a link without clicking just to see the simple acronym interpretation. Click any footnote link to see the acronym and a detailed explanation; "hover" the mouse over it just to see the simple interpretation.)SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
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Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and
broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in
thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life:
and few there are that find it! Beware of false prophets, who come to you in
the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Jesus Christ; Matt 7:13-15
The purpose of this grouping of articles is to describe the Christian Trinitarian God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Trinity Pages
These pages describe the true nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as described in Scripture and continuous teaching of the Church. Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and those Protestant sects who deny the Divinity of Jesus are not going to like this.
The Athanasian Creed: Setting the Record Straight on the Blessed Trinity. The adoption of the Athanasian Creed settled the matter, in an explanation of the trinity of the persons of God and the twofold nature of the one divine Person of Jesus Christ.
God The Father: On the First Person of the Holy Trinity, and His Title: Father. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our Father, the One and Only Lord of All That Is.
God The Son: Consubstantial with the Father, wholly man and wholly God. Scripture is clear and repetitive about it: Jesus was both God, and Son of God; both man, and God, at the same time.
God The Holy Spirit: The Third Person of the Holy Trinity, guiding His Church. The Holy Spirit is God active in the world, doing the will of the Father, fulfilling the promises of the Son.
"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights.”--Pope Pius XII
"It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others."--St. Francis of Assisi
Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.—Winston Churchill
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.—Ayn Rand
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