Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD



Enjoy!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

THE FALLACY & INEPTITUDE OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE DUAL NATURE OF CHRIST - PART 3 OF 3

THE FALLACY & INEPTITUDE OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE DUAL NATURE OF CHRIST PART 3 OF 3:
This final section is taken from Donald R. Snedeker's book: OUR HEAVENLY FATHER HAS NO EQUALS, International Scholars Publications, 1998.
Donald Snedeker throughout this book, quotes many 19th-century ONE-GOD believers in regards to the subject of Biblical Unitarianism as oppose to Trinitarianism. Here are some relevant extracts from the chapter titled
  • The Doctrine of the Double Nature of Christ :-
  • Page 127:

The doctrine of the double nature of Christ creates a distorted view of Jesus. If we try to conceive of a being who is both God and man, we become unhappily bewildered Our notions of what it is to be man are very different from our notions of what it is to be the almighty God The two terms have their own unique characteristics and are so different that they cannot be predicated of the same being:

"Now by the nature of a thing we mean its qualities. To say therefore that Christ possesses both a divine and a human nature, is to say that he possesses both the qualities of God and the qualities of man, that the same mind consequently is both created and uncreated, both finite and infinite, both dependent and independent, both changeable and unchangeable, both mortal and immortal, both susceptible of pain and incapable of it, both able to do all things and not able, both acquainted with all things and not acquainted with them. Here is one of the persons of the Trinity united to the person of the man; here there is a person or mind both finite and infinite. Now, to use the words of another in expressing my own sentiments, if it be not certain that such a doctrine as this is false, there is no certainty on any subject. It is in vain to call it a mystery, it is an absurdity—it is an impossibility. According to my ideas of propriety and duty, by assenting to it I should culpably abuse those faculties of understanding which God has given me to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and error."[1]

The doctrine of the double nature of Christ, like that of the Trinity, is a doctrine of inference. Neither doctrine is declared in any verse, nor can they be expressed in the language of Scripture. Scattered verses are assembled in quasi-syllogistic form, inferences are drawn from newly-created contexts, and it is assumed that the Messiah is both a mortal man and the almighty God.

  • Pages 128-130:

This doctrine makes utter confusion of our understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, and the Bible, the written Word of God. There is simply nothing in Scripture that supports the amazing supposition that he is both God and man. There is nothing anywhere, no analogy, no terminology, no defense of any sort that can be produced to support the idea that anybody could be both God Almighty and a man. The doctrine of the double nature of Christ, like that of the Trinity, turns the Bible into confusion, rendering the clearest verses obscure and clouding what we know to be true about God and man:

"According to those that maintain the doctrine of the two natures in Christ, Christ speaks of himself, and is spoken of by his Apostles, sometimes as a man, sometimes as God, and sometimes as both God and man. He speaks and is spoken of, under these different characters indiscriminately, without any explanation, and without its being anywhere declared that he existed in these different conditions of being. He prays to that being whom he himself was. He declares to be ignorant of what (being God) he knew, and unable to perform what (being God) he could perform. He affirms that he could do nothing of himself, or by his own power, though he was omnipotent. He, being God, prays for the glory which he had with God, and declares another is greater than himself (see John 17; Mark 13. 32; John 5. 30; 14. 28). In one of the passages QUOTED IN PROOF OF HIS DIVINITY, he is called the image of the invisible God; in another of these passages, he, the God over all, blessed for ever, is said to have been anointed by God with the oil of gladness above his fellows; and in a third of them, it is affirmed that he became obedient to death, even the death of the cross (Colossians 1. 15, seqq; Hebrews 1. 8, 9; Philippians 2. 5—8). If my readers are shocked by the combinations which I have brought together, I beg them to do me the justice to believe that my feelings are the same with their own. But these combinations necessarily result from the doctrine which we are considering. Page after page might be filled with inconsistencies as gross and as glaring. The doctrine has turned Scriptures, as far as they relate to this subject into a book of riddles, and, what is worse, of riddles admitting of no solution. I willingly refrain from the use of stronger language which will occur to many of my readers."[2]

"As the very Infinite, his [Jesus'] words can have no sincere meaning,— his suffering must be unreal,— his temptation a dramatic show,— his prayers an insincerity,— his sorrowing affection an assumed disguise,— his example of no application to our mortal state. Analyze your own thought of him, and you will find it resolves itself very much into what I have said. ... Forced and strained beyond this simple truth, the doctrine is one reposing on insufficient evidence, and in the highest degree confounding to our reason. ..."[3]

If Jesus were a man who could not have failed in his mission, there would be no way for us to relate to him. His life would become devoid of meaning because we relate to others based on our experience. Our experience tells us we can fail. If Jesus were God he could not have failed, and therefore could not be somebody with whom we can relate. The doctrine of the double nature of Christ strips us of a true appreciation of the challenges he faced and the manner in which he handled them.

  • Pages 131-133:

If we are to gain anything from Scripture, we must understand words according to their plain meaning. Unless some part of speech requires an unusual interpretation, such as an idiom, we ought to interpret the words according to their normal meanings. But exceptions to this must constantly be made for one to accept Trinitarian doctrines as true. Jesus said such things as My Father is greater than I. [4] The obvious meaning of this must be circumvented in order to sustain the notion that he is co-equal with God. The notion of a double nature in Christ was invented to do exactly this. It makes it possible, even acceptable, to cast our Lord's words in an entirely different sense than they were meant when they were originally spoken.

"We find no fault with those who are satisfied with this answer, but it does not satisfy us. It does not seem to us the fair interpretation of plain language. For, first, we find no passage in the Bible, and there is none, in which it is taught that our Savior had two natures, one human and one divine; but he is always spoken of as a single being, "the Christ the Son of the Living God." And secondly we think that when he spoke of himself without qualification, using the personal pronouns, I, and myself, and me, he must have used them in their common meaning, and he was certainly, at the time, so understood. If he had intended to have been understood differently, he would have given some indication of it. As he gave none, we take his words in their plain and obvious meaning. Just as you would understand me, if I were to say, 'I do not know such a thing,' without qualifying the words, so do we understand him. We dare not understand him otherwise. For would it be right for me to say, 'I do not know such a thing,' if I really know it? and defend myself by saying, that my body does not know it, but my mind does? or that I know it as a clergyman, but not as a citizen? Such would not be a fair use of language, and if the Scriptures were to be interpreted in such a manner, there is absolutely no doctrine that could not be proved from it. We understand Jesus simply as he spoke, and therefore, while we pray for the time when 'at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess him to be the Lord,' we remember that this must always be done 'to the glory of God the Father.' "[5]

The practices of interpretation that give rise to the doctrine of the double nature of Christ foster the negation of the words of Jesus and render them unintelligible. That Christians would accept a mechanism that allows such blatant disregard for Jesus' own words is shocking. The idea that our Lord delivered distinct precepts to his church, and then following generations would work feverishly to alter his words and make them a mysterious hypothesis, is unconscionable. It is impossible to understand the words of Jesus without a clear idea of who he is, and the doctrine of the double nature prevents us from obtaining this necessary understanding of his identity:

"No words can be more destitute of meaning, so far as they are intended to convey a proposition which the mind is capable of admitting, than such language as we sometimes find used, in which Christ is declared to be at once the Creator of the universe, and a man of sorrows; God omniscient, and a feeble man of imperfect knowledge."[6]

By inventing a theory which makes Jesus to be both God and man, Trinitarians have, perhaps unwittingly, assigned to him a split personality:

"A being of complex constitution like man is not a being of a double nature. The very term double nature, when one professes to use it in a strict, philosophical sense, implies an absurdity. The nature of a being is ALL which constitutes it what it is, and when one speaks of a double nature, it is the same sort of language as if we were to speak of a double individuality."[7]

  • Pages 140-141:

"When Christ declares, without qualification, that there was a certain day and hour of which he knew nothing, we, who are [Biblical] Unitarians, believe him. You, on the contrary, make him prevaricate; and, in one nature, deny what he certainly must have known in the other; and yet these two natures you declare to have been in constant and intimate union. You continually make him contradict himself. This is, in my view, sadly to dishonor him."[8]

One of the effects of a long-standing doctrine is that its terminologies become so entrenched that it no longer seems strange to hear them. The words and phrases that constitute trinitarian theology have been heard so frequently that the most absurd, confusing and meaningless terms and phrases go unchallenged. This is a prime example of the old adage, "If you say something long enough and loud enough, people will believe it."

  • Pages 144-145:

Now, aside from the fact that God could (and did) provide a one-time, permanent substitute of His own choosing to assist man in atoning for sin, just as He did when He instructed Israel to sacrifice a lamb once a year for their sins, the argument that only the human part of Jesus died is a denial that God died for us. So the doctrine of the double nature of Christ not only conflicts with Scripture, it conflicts with other trinitarian dogma:

"A comparable difficulty faces Trinitarians when they assert that only the human part of Jesus died. If Jesus were God, and God is immortal, Jesus could not have died. We wonder how it is possible to maintain that 'Jesus' does not represent the whole person. Nothing in the Bible suggests that Jesus is the name of his human nature only. If Jesus is the whole person and Jesus died, he cannot be immortal Deity. It appears that Trinitarians argue that only Deity is sufficient to provide the necessary atonement. But if the divine nature did not die, how on the Trinitarian theory is the atonement secured?"[9]

  • FOOTNOTES

[1] J.S. Hyndman, Lectures on the Principles of Unitarianism (Alnwick: 1824), pp. 34-5. [2] Andrews Norton, A Statement of Reasons for Not Believing the Doctrines of Trinitarians, (Boston: American Unitarian Association, 10th edition, 1877), pp. 60-1. [3] Joseph Allen, Ten Discourses on Orthodoxy, (Boston: Wm. Crosby and H. P. Nichols, 1849), pp. 87-8. [4] John 14:28. [5] William G. Eliot, Discourses on the Doctrines of Christianity, (Boston: American Unitarian Association, 1877), pp. 50-1. [6] Norton, p. 58. [7] Norton, p. 60. [8] Mary Dana, Letters Addressed to Relatives and Friends, (Boston: James Munroe and Co., 1845), p. 97. [9] Sir Anthony Buzzard and Charles Hunting, The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity's Self-Inflicted Wound (Restoration Fellowship and Atlanta Bible College, 1994), p. 132.

  • CONCLUSION
  • Prayerfully, these three posts show at the very least, sufficient reasons why the so-called "doctrine of the dual nature of Christ" ought to be abandoned;
  • and rather, "the simple humanity" of our Lord Jesus the Messiah ought to be embraced.