Friday, November 22, 2013

The Anabaptists Did Not Get the Trinity From Constantine, and the Ancient Arians Were Bloody Persecutors

In modern times, anti-Trinitarian cults like to claim that the doctrine of the Trinity came from Constantine, and was imposed upon an unwilling Christian world by the power of the Roman Church – State. However, such a claim is simply false, especially for the true churches, the Anabaptist churches that were separated from the Roman State – Church. An examination of ancient historians evidences that the dissenting churches in the trail of truth or trail of blood were Trinitarians, and, indeed, did not have the struggles over the Trinity that the Roman State – Church did. The Novatians and Donatists of the age of Constantine held to a doctrine of the Trinity that was identical to that of the ancient homoousian Catholics. Consequently, historic Baptists can tell anti-Trinitarian cultists that they hold to the Trinity because of Scripture alone, not because of Constantine or because of what eventually became the dominant doctrine in the Roman State – Church.

Furthermore, the ancient anti-Trinitarian Arians were not peace-loving pacifists, members of the Watchtower Society, or people who just helplessly endured persecution, suffering for  the sake of righteousness. On the contrary, whenever they could, they used  the power of the State to persecute, banish, torture, and kill Trinitarians.  The ancient Arians  even devised new tortures that the pagans themselves had never employed against the Christians.  Modern anti-Trinitarian cults should keep these facts in mind if they wish to claim the ancient Arians as their forefathers.

Consider, for example, the following excerpt from the ancient church historian Socrates concerning what the Arians did when they had the Roman Emperor on their side:

Chapter XXXVIII

Cruelty of Macedonius, and Tumults raised by him.


The bishops of the Arian party began to assume greater assurance from the imperial edicts. In what manner they undertook to convene a Synod, we will explain somewhat later. Let us now briefly mention a few of their previous acts. Acacius and Patrophilus having ejected Maximus, bishop of Jerusalem, installed Cyril in his see. Macedonius subverted the order of things in the cities and provinces adjacent to Constantinople, promoting to ecclesiastical honors his assistants in his intrigues against the churches. He ordained Eleusius bishop of Cyzicus, and Marathonius, bishop of Nicomedia: the latter had before been a deacon under Macedonius himself, and proved very active in founding monasteries both of men and women. But we must now mention in what way Macedonius desolated the churches in the cities and provinces around Constantinople. This man, as I have already said, having seized the bishopric, inflicted innumerable calamities on such as were unwilling to adopt his views. His persecutions were not confined to those who were recognized as members of the catholic church, but extended to the Novatians also, inasmuch as he knew that they maintained the doctrine of the homoousion; they therefore with the others underwent the most intolerable sufferings, but their bishop, Angelius by name, effected his escape by flight. Many persons eminent for their piety were seized and tortured, because they refused to communicate with him: and after the torture, they forcibly constrained the men to be partakers of the holy mysteries, their mouths being forced open with a piece of wood, and then the consecrated elements thrust into them. Those who were so treated regarded this as a punishment far more grievous than all others. Moreover they laid hold of women and children, and compelled them to be initiated [by baptism]; and if any one resisted or otherwise spoke against it, stripes immediately followed, and after the stripes, bonds and imprisonment, and other violent measures. I shall here relate an instance or two whereby the reader may form some idea of the extent of the harshness and cruelty exercised by Macedonius and those who were then in power. They first pressed in a box, and then sawed off, the breasts of such women as were unwilling to communicate with them. The same parts of the persons of other women they burnt partly with iron, and partly with eggs intensely heated in the fire. This mode of torture which was unknown even among the heathen, was invented by those who professed to be Christians. These facts were related to me by the aged Auxanon, the presbyter in the Novatian church of whom I spoke in the first book. He said also that he had himself endured not a few severities from the Arians, prior to his reaching the dignity of presbyter; having been thrown into prison and beaten with many stripes, together with Alexander the Paphlagonian, his companion in the monastic life. He added that he had himself been able to sustain these tortures, but that Alexander died in prison from the effects of their infliction. He is now buried on the right of those sailing into the bay of Constantinople which is called Ceras, close by the rivers, where there is a church of the Novatians named after Alexander. Moreover the Arians, at the instigation of Macedonius, demolished with many other churches in various cities, that of the Novatians at Constantinople near Pelargus. Why I particularly mention this church, will be seen from the extraordinary circumstances connected with it, as testified by the same aged Auxanon. The emperor’s edict and the violence of Macedonius had doomed to destruction the churches of those who maintained the doctrine of consubstantiality; the decree and violence reached this church, and those also who were charged with the execution of the mandate were at hand to carry it into effect. I cannot but admire the zeal displayed by the Novatians on this occasion, as well as the sympathy they experienced from those whom the Arians at that time ejected, but who are now in peaceful possession of their churches. For when the emissaries of their enemies were urgent to accomplish its destruction, an immense multitude of Novatians, aided by numbers of others who held similar sentiments, having assembled around this devoted church, pulled it down, and conveyed the materials of it to another place: this place stands opposite the city, and is called Sycæ, and forms the thirteenth ward of the town of Constantinople. This removal was effected in a very short time, from the extraordinary ardor of the numerous persons engaged in it: one carried tiles, another stones, a third timber; some loading themselves with one thing, and some with another. Even women and children assisted in the work, regarding it as the realization of their best wishes, and esteeming it the greatest honor to be accounted the faithful guardians of things consecrated to God. In this way at that time was the church of the Novatians transported to Sycæ. Long afterwards when Constantius was dead, the emperor Julian ordered its former site to be restored, and permitted them to rebuild it there. The people therefore, as before, having carried back the materials, reared the church in its former position; and from this circumstance, and its great improvement in structure and ornament, they not inappropriately called it Anastasia. The church as we before said was restored afterwards in the reign of Julian. But at that time both the Catholics and the Novatians were alike subjected to persecution: for the former abominated offering their devotions in those churches in which the Arians assembled, but frequented the other three—for this is the number of the churches which the Novatians have in the city—and engaged in divine service with them. Indeed they would have been wholly united, had not the Novatians refused from regard to their ancient precepts. In other respects however, they mutually maintained such a degree of cordiality and affection, as to be ready to lay down their lives for one another: both parties were therefore persecuted indiscriminately, not only at Constantinople, but also in other provinces and cities. At Cyzicus, Eleusius, the bishop of that place, perpetrated the same kind of enormities against the Christians there, as Macedonius had done elsewhere, harassing and putting them to flight in all directions; and [among other things] he completely demolished the church of the Novatians at Cyzicus. But Macedonius consummated his wickedness in the following manner. Hearing that there was a great number of the Novatian sect in the province of Paphlagonia, and especially at Mantinium, and perceiving that such a numerous body could not be driven from their homes by ecclesiastics alone, he caused, by the emperor’s permission, four companies of soldiers to be sent into Paphlagonia, that through dread of the military they might receive the Arian opinion. But those who inhabited Mantinium, animated to desperation by zeal for their religion, armed themselves with long reap-hooks, hatchets, and whatever weapon came to hand, and went forth to meet the troops; on which a conflict ensuing, many indeed of the Paphlagonians were slain, but nearly all the soldiers were destroyed. I learnt these things from a Paphlagonian peasant who said that he was present at the engagement; and many others of that province corroborate this account. Such were the exploits of Macedonius on behalf of Christianity, consisting of murders, battles, incarcerations, and civil wars: proceedings which rendered him odious not only to the objects of his persecution, but even to his own party. He became obnoxious also to the emperor on these accounts, and particularly so from the circumstance I am about to relate. The church where the coffin lay that contained the relics of the emperor Constantine threatened to fall. On this account those that entered, as well as those who were accustomed to remain there for devotional purposes, were in much fear. Macedonius, therefore, wished to remove the emperor’s remains, lest the coffin should be injured by the ruins. The populace getting intelligence of this, endeavored to prevent it, insisting ‘that the emperor’s bones should not be disturbed, as such a disinterment would be equivalent, to their being dug up’: many however affirmed that its removal could not possibly injure the dead body, and thus two parties were formed on this question; such as held the doctrine of consubstantiality joining with those who opposed it on the ground of its impiety. Macedonius, in total disregard of these prejudices, caused the emperor’s remains to be transported to the church where those of the martyr Acacius lay. Whereupon a vast multitude rushed toward that edifice in two hostile divisions, which attacked one another with great fury, and great loss of life was occasioned, so that the churchyard was covered with gore, and the well also which was in it overflowed with blood, which ran into the adjacent portico, and thence even into the very street. When the emperor was informed of this unfortunate occurrence, he was highly incensed against Macedonius, both on account of the slaughter which he had occasioned, and because he had dared to move his father’s body without consulting him. Having therefore left the Cæsar Julian to take care of the western parts, he himself set out for the east. How Macedonius was a short time afterwards deposed, and thus suffered a most inadequate punishment for his infamous crimes, I shall hereafter relate. (Socrates Scholasticus. (1890). The Eccesiastical History, by Socrates Scholasticus A. C. Zenos, Trans.). In P. Schaff & H. Wace (Eds.), A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, Volume II: Socrates, Sozomenus: Church Histories (P. Schaff & H. Wace, Ed.) (65–67).

For more on this subject, check out the course on the doctrine of the Trinity here.



36 comments:

George Calvas said...

TDR wrote:

"...not because of Constantine or because of what eventually became the dominant doctrine in the Roman State – Church."

> I asked this of Kent, but received no response. Are you part of the "state church" which has taken membership as a 501c3 corporate entity of the IRS?

> Do you give out marriage licenses of the state, or do you rather give out biblical covenants of marriage based on the authority of the church?

Most pastors or saints will not answer these questions because it teaches them the hypocritical nature of their churches, easily blaming the whorish church of Rome from their pulpits as a state church (true), but never see in themselves that they are do the same things.

KJB1611 said...

Dear George,

No, I am not part of a state church. There is no state church in the
USA, thanks to (under God) those who fought for religious liberty in
my Baptist heritage. Also, I don't give out the State part of
marriage licenses. You go to city hall to get those, and I don't work
there. I'm not a clerk.

The answers to those questions are rather obvious, but I think you
are trying to make Pastor Brandenburg and I guilty by association of
things we are not guilty of with your questions. Let me comment on
the questions you did not ask.

Yes, I am glad to give less money to the government, which would waste
it and support evil with it, and give more to support the gospel and the
kingdom of God instead, because we can deduct charitable contributions
from our taxes. No, that does not make us a "state church" any more
than the United Way is a "state church" because contributions to it
are deductable, or than both pro-life and pro-abortion advocacy groups
that are charities are both somehow a single "state church," or than
the Boy Scouts are a "state church."

Yes, I am glad that the State recognizes the institution of marriage,
and that a husband and wife have adoptive, visitation, educational,
inheritance, etc. rights in connection with each other and with their
children that random strangers do not have. Yes, the Bible teaches
that the State should recognize marriage--indeed, the State should
punish violations of marriage covenants the way that it was done in
both Israel and in Gentile nations (Job 31:11). No, if the State
decides to get even worse and in various ways makes Biblical marriage
illegal, we will not change our practice, but we will continue to do
exactly what the Bible says about marriage. Yes, I will exercise my
rights as a citizen to stand for marriage in our country, the way the
Apostle Paul exercised his Roman citizenship rights in the book of
Acts. No, none of this is at all the same thing as the whorish church
of Rome, and it is not hypocritical in the least.

KJB1611 said...


In relation to something far more important--George, please do not
claim that you have any association with the Anabaptist groups I
discussed in my post. They were Trinitarians, and since they believed
in the true God, they would have rejected with abhorrance your
modalistic doctrine that Jesus Christ is the Father in the flesh, and
that the Holy Spirit is like the spirit of a dead man. Someone who
holds to those heresies would not have been welcome in the membership of their
assemblies, but would have been removed by church discipline. They
would rather have been put to death than affirm that Jesus is the
Father. They believed Jesus is the eternal Son manifest in the flesh,
not the Father.

I really don't care what you think about tax law and 503(c)
corporations--or even about your Ruckmanism, your presbyterian (and
very un-Anabaptist) form of church government, etc., when you confess:
" We believe that Jesus Christ is God the Father (John 10:30)
manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16)" and confess: "As a ghost is
the spirit of a dead man (Luke 24:37/ Matthew 14:26), we believe that
the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Jesus Christ which He gave up on
Calvary when He died for our sins . . ." These statements are
anti-Trinitarian idolatry. George, please recognize that your
doctrine of God has no connection with that of ancient Anabaptism,
with the line of true churches, and, most importantly, with the
Scriptural doctrine of the Trinity. Repent, and believe in the true
God, true Jesus, and true Holy Spirit. Separate from modalistic false
religion, and unite yourself by baptism upon profession of faith in
the Trinity with a true Baptist church. At that point in time,
perhaps we can give our opinions about tax law. Until that takes
place, there are far more important things to talk about, like
obedience to the greatest of all commandments, loving God, which is
impossible if you believe and confess that the Son is the Father.

Please read this carefully:

http://faithsaves.net/jesus-doctrine-god-examined-jesus-christ-father-son-holy-spirit/

and be willing to listen to the Bible, George. May the true Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit lead you to know Him.

JOHN GARDNER said...

Greetings, I don't agree with a presbytery having authority over more than one local church. However, the pattern in the NT seems to be that every church was ruled, fed, and shepherded by a plurality of elders. The church at Jerusalem had elders (Acts 11:30; 15:22). The church at Ephesus had elders (Acts 20:17). The church at Phillipi had bishops (elders) (Philp. 1:1). Paul instucted Titus to ordain elders in every city of Crete (Titus 1:5). If there was only one church in Phillipi one could assume there was only one church per city on Crete. In fact, Paul ordained elders in every church (Acts 14:23). I would be happy to learn of a church in the NT that was ruled, fed, and shepherded by a sole pastor./elder.
The Anabaptist ladies also covered their heads in the assembly unlike most American Baptists. I would like to read a commentary before 1830 that supports modern Baptists beliefs of not covering. Either Christians almost universally apostasized on that doctrine for 1900 years and have got it right the last 100 or visa versa.
Blessings

George Calvas said...

kjb1611 wrote:

"No, I am not part of a state church"

If you have filed the church as tax exempt under form 1023 and send in forms 990-T, then as a 501c3 you are a creature of the state whether you are ignorant of that truth or not.

http://sharperiron.org/forum/thread-501c3-should-you-or-shouldnt-you

George Calvas said...

kjb1611 wrote:

"Yes, I am glad that the State recognizes the institution of marriage..."

Who cares whether "the State" recognizes marriages? "The State" is now in the process of recognizing sodomite marriages, therefore what are you going to do then?

Since many of you are signing state licenses for marriages, instead of biblical covenantal marriage vows given by the authority of the church, any Christian can go to the state to obtain a divorce without involving the church!

If the church of Jesus Christ gave out covenantal marriage vows, the courts of this state CANNOT give out a "bill of divorcement"! The only way to receive a "bill of divorcement" would be to go to the church where they got married and they must give it to them.

Who taught you these things so that you are dependent upon the state (1 Corinthians 6:1-5)?

KJB1611 said...

Dear John,

Having more than one elder or pastor is great. Bethel Baptist Church where Pastor Brandenburg is has two, and so does Mukwonago Baptist Church where I am a member. I think, however, that a pattern of having one head pastor is established from the angel of the church in Revelation 2 – 3.

If you can convince Pastor Brandenburg to publish his book on dress which has a chapter on head coverings, that would be great.

By the way, for anyone reading this, marriage is not a church ordinance, nor a State ordinance, but it's something that the two people who marry each other actually accomplish. Everyone else is just a witness. The only church ordinances are baptism and the Lord's Supper.

Joshua said...

"marriage vows given by the authority of the church..."

The church has no such authority.

Marriage wasn't managed nor enforced by the synagogue in ancient Israel. No one had to fetch a Rabbi. No one had to go down to the Temple to get married.

The same continues in the NT. There is nothing in the Bible that states a church must be involved in a marriage, or must issue a license themselves.

It is possible for church members to commit grievous open sin in relation to marriage, and then enters the function of the church, but no one has given the church "authority" over marriage, only over members.

Stephen Hollowood said...

Several points.

1. Even though I'm not sure how it's relevant unless you're arguing that all state churches persecute (I think you're saying that anti-trinitarians have been more likely to do so) , this statement is confusing:

"No, that does not make us a "state church" any more
than the United Way is a "state church" because contributions to it
are deductable"

The United Way is not any sort of a Church. It is a Charitable Organization - a Charitable Organization That, by virtue of the benefit of tax deduction conferred upon it, arguably becomes a State Charitable Organization. Many (including myself) would argue that 501c3 and incorporation makes an organization a creature and beneficiary of the state, regardless of whether it would otherwise be a church. This is not tantamount to considering the United Way a Church.

2. I'm wondering why anabaptist is the correct term here. Does it really make sense save in the context of people who have personally departed from a false religious belief system. Perhaps you have a certain definition of anabaptist, but my limited research into the ones I think are generally covered by the term has not disclosed any who believed in so much as immersion. Considering the almost universal, extremely negative connotations of the term from a belief standpoint in the past 500 years, isn't there a better term to use here when referring to the ancients or is your usage supported in the literature? Another term might even have less of a tendency to push George's buttons.

3. I don't actually find the Apostle Paul asserting "his Roman citizenship rights" for anything except personal self defense - certainly not to "stand up for marriage" or for any preservation or improvement of Roman society through attempts to influence policy. Is "the Bible teaches
that the State should recognize marriage" merely your personal opinion or is there some textual support for this? You may be right about this - I just wish you'd provide the basis.

George Calvas said...

kjb1611 wrote;

"They would rather have been put to death than affirm that Jesus is the Father."

You seem to think you understand what the Anabaptists teach and believe, but you do not.

I do not believe for a second that you would die for what they believed.

George Calvas said...

Joshua wrote:

"marriage vows given by the authority of the church..."

"The church has no such authority"

What in the world are you implying??

Anonymous said...

George,

What would constitute a state church? It seems to me that your definition of such a thing is a church that benefits from not needing to pay taxes? But what really is a state church? A state church is simply a church or religious group that has been officially sanctioned by the state/government and that such government proclaims use of that church. A "state church" is a state religion created by a state for use exclusively by that state.

So how does that magically turn into "if you are exempt from paying your taxes then you are a state church"? Do you pay taxes George? If so, then you must receive a refund for the year? You see in the Bible (Matt 22:17-21) where Jesus said to pay your taxes, to obey the laws of the land. Now, amazingly, in this country there is a law that exempts Not For Profit entities from paying taxes. Taking advantage of a law does not condemn a church since there is no doctrine backing up that wild and ridiculous notion.

BTW, I do care wether or not the state recognizes marriage! I am married and due to that, under the law, I pay less taxes! I must be a state church then because I benefit from a law. Above these things, I care because the states that define marriage correctly as the Bible defines it are doing it the way the Bible says. I rejoice every time God is glorified by His Word being obeyed.

As for your 1Cor. 6:1-5 reference, that goes to show your ignorace in the Word of God. Who was that book written to? The church at Corinth. So, who could Paul possibly be referring to when he wrote "you" and "another" in verse 1? The church at Corinth. So, if a church member has a matter with another church member, take it to the church to judge. If two married couple do so, then I would adventure to say the church would encourage them to work it out instead of divorce. But, just like in the N.T. times, people will do what they want to do. However, if you are wronged by someone in this world who is not saved and not in a local N.T. church, then take it to the courts. You cannot expect them to obey a church. They don't even obey God. But of course, the doctrine of George would probably suggest that would make me a supporter of a state church.

I agree whole heartedly with KJB1611, you need to be converted George.

Paul

George Calvas said...

"I agree whole heartedly with KJB1611, you need to be converted George."

You do not even know me. I would not believe you would have the guts to say that to my face.

I am a born-again child of the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who loved me and gave himself for me. I got saved in September 1980 by repenting of my sins and trusting in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. He gave me access to the Father, by the Holy Ghost of God, through the circumcision not made with hands. For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. I am a son of God because I put my faith and trust believing the gospel of the grace of God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I do not know who you believe you think you are, but this I know for it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.

I have preached Jesus Christ in places NONE of you would dare enter with brethren that would laugh in your faces if they read the comment quoted above.

We have differences, but both of you brothers need to ask for forgiveness for your foolishness. I am ready to forgive you for your errors in judgment concerning my salvation.

Kent Brandenburg said...

George,

When someone is accused of not being converted, who actually is converted, I would expect one of two reactions. One, it doesn't matter, your conscience is clear. Two, concern -- "wow, you think I might not be saved." Paul commanded to examine yourself, whether you be in the faith. Would you get angry if he said that to you? Like you are? Why are these men questioning your conversion?

George Calvas said...

Brother Kent,

I have no problem with any man questioning my salvation, BUT when they continue to do so after I have already gave them a clear testimony prior to this, I expect A MAN to take my word for it.

If any of you stood in front of me when I preach on the streets, I guarantee that you would come to the conclusion that I also question EVERYONES salvation, including yours.

Since I cannot see anyone here face to face, if I had issue with you being lost, I would question that. But, if I get answers similar to mine, I would be satisfied and would not continue to strive with my brother, making false accusations and causing unnecessary divisions.

I believe that both of them are spiritually weak in the faith, not knowing what the gospel of the grace of God is as it applies to a man getting saved and having eternal life, when he FIRST believed. It is not knowing the essence or having complete understanding of the trinity that gets a man saved or keeps him saved. It is knowing HIM, the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, with NOTHING added. If you do not believe that, than you all are lost and need to get born again.

See how easy that is?

KJB1611 said...

Dear George,

I am glad that you enjoy street preaching. I enjoy street preaching also. However, the Bible never says that enjoying street preaching, or going street preaching, is evidence of conversion. John's first epistle does say that a confession of the true Jesus is one of the marks of a true Christian. Either Jesus is the eternal Son manifest in the flesh, or he is not. If he is the Father manifested in the flesh, which is what you confess, then he is not the eternal Son manifest in the flesh, which is what Trinitarians believe. This is not a question of whether somebody has to have an exhaustive understanding of the Trinity – none of us have an exhaustive understanding of the Trinity. This is a question of who Jesus is, and if Jesus is the Father, that is a radically different god than the God of the Bible.

If we Trinitarians are weak in the faith because we confess that Jesus is the eternal Son in the flesh, not the Father in the flesh, why don't you instruct us by showing us all the verses where Jesus denies that he is the eternal Son and says he is the Father? Why don't you show us all the verses where the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is like the spirit of a dead man? Why do you wish to discuss tax law, Ruckmanism, and all kinds of other things, but when you are challenged about these anti-Trinitarian statements, instead of responding to them, you go after us personally and say that you have preached in places that we would be afraid to go – something that you cannot know anyway? Is this what is expected of the saved person in the Bible?

Kent Brandenburg said...

George,

The gospel is changed, according to scripture, in two ways. One, some distortion of faith, the wrong response to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Two, a distortion of the one and only saving Jesus. John 17 is clear that eternal life is knowing God, both the Father and the Son. 2 and 3 John also show that someone who has not or believes not the doctrine of Christ -- and that was a common false doctrine in those days and still today -- he has not the Father or the Son. 2 Corinthians 11 says that false apostles preached another Christ, so people will preach another Jesus, and, in fact, another spirit. I don't doubt your zeal to street preach. I don't doubt that you are very sincere. The test of conversion in 1 John is also a doctrinal test. There is a practical or a behavioral test -- if you don't obey Him, you don't know Him -- but that is not all there is to it.

The Jesus that saves is the Jesus of the Bible, and we won't be saved by believing other than a biblical Jesus. We're for you here. We want the best for you here. We're not against you here. We don't have the same belief on who Jesus is, so either we're wrong, unbiblical, and, therefore, non-historical, or you're wrong. Either you or us have the wrong doctrine. I go out preaching every week, usually multiple times, and I've never met anyone who has the same belief as you about Jesus. I don't doubt that they are around, but I've never met one. It's not the same as any Christian I've ever met. You can't believe two different doctrines about who Jesus is and both be right. Your position diverges from biblical and historic doctrine. That would bother me -- it doesn't seem to bother you. When Paul had a false belief, he counted it as dung. Should you consider this?

KJB1611 said...

Dear Stephen,

The ancient Novatians would not accept Catholic baptism, and were designated Anabaptists because they would "rebaptize" those that came over to their party from the Catholics. Furthermore, George is part of a group that calls itself "Anabaptist," although it is very un- Anabaptist in its modalism, is Presbyterian polity, etc. and so is not really very Anabaptist at all, but the term is not likely to push his button, I'm guessing. Furthermore, even the Catholics practiced immersion regularly even up to the Reformation Era, and many Anabaptist groups did so as well – to say that they all practiced sprinkling or pouring simply is not the case.

I don't have time to say more now. Thanks for the comment.

George Calvas said...

Kjb1611 wrote:

"If we Trinitarians are weak in the faith because we confess that Jesus is the eternal Son in the flesh, not the Father in the flesh, why don't you instruct us by showing us all the verses where Jesus denies that he is the eternal Son and says he is the Father?"

Let this old man teach you something, for I have showed you that "I and the Father ARE ONE", "God WAS manifest in the flesh (Jesus Christ), and "the hour cometh, yea, is NOW come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me ALONE: and yet I AM not ALONE, because the Father is with me", but ye would not hear. It is your weakness in the scriptures and misunderstanding of the Godhead that gives you a fit.

============================

"Why don't you show us all the verses where the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is like the spirit of a dead man?"

Men give up the ghost (Genesis 25:8/ 25:17 / 35:29 ) just as Jesus Christ "gave UP the ghost" (Mark 15:37) when HE DIED.

Are you so ignorant of the scriptures?

Therefore,

As a ghost is the spirit of a dead man (Luke 24:37/ Matthew 14:26), we believe that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Jesus Christ which He gave up on Calvary when He died for our sins (John 19:30/ Matthew 27:50/ Mark 15:37/ Luke 23:46), and as the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:2-8) is the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9/ Philippians 1:19). These Three being One God, each exists eternally as God, and as the manifestations of themselves in One as distinguished from the Other. God is a spirit, and that spirit is the Holy Spirit, who was the breath of life (Genesis 2:7) of Jesus Christ, who Himself was the bodily manifestation of God the Father with the Holy Spirit breathing within Him as the very Life of God. Though the Eternal God cannot die, God the Father sent His Son into the world to do just that, yielding up the ghost when He had finished His Father’s work; upon which the Holy Ghost of God became the working manifestation of God the Father in baptizing believers into the very body of God, Jesus Christ the Righteous (1 Corinthians 12:11-14/ Acts 1:5).
=============================

"Either Jesus is the eternal Son manifest in the flesh, or he is not. If he is the Father manifested in the flesh"

I am not interested in mans confessions or what devils of men call themselves, I am interested in what saith the scriptures.

IF you have seen ME you have SEEN the Father, therefore The Bible clearly saying that Jesus Christ is “without controversy… GOD manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16), who then make ye of that GOD than all of the above??? Whatever modalism or trinitarianism there may be in the doctrines of men and devils, this ONE eternal truth stands alone as the others fall, “I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE” (John 10:30). And when TWO say of the ONE, “no man hath seen God” (John 1:18/ 1 John 4:12), it is the SAME as saying “no man hath seen the Father” (John 6:46), and if the Three allow you to SEE GOD (see Job 19:26), it will be Jesus Christ that you are looking at, and if you see Jesus Christ, you will have “seen the Father also” (John 14:9).
================================

"This is a question of who Jesus is, and if Jesus is the Father, that is a radically different god than the God of the Bible."

That is only true in those who put faith in doctrines of men, or who hold partial truths and when REAL King James Bible Believers who stand on every word of God speak with authority, you run to proof of men instead of dealing with the Holy Scriptures.
===============================

George Calvas said...

Kent wrote:

" a distortion of the one and only saving Jesus. John 17 is clear that eternal life is knowing God, both the Father and the Son. 2 and 3 John also show that someone who has not or believes not the doctrine of Christ"

In all those verses, the context has to do with DENYING the Son, or one that does not ACKNOWLEDGE the Son, or one who denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, the SAME denies the Father. I believe all the above and much more.

=================================
" We don't have the same belief on who Jesus is, so either we're wrong, unbiblical, and, therefore, non-historical, or you're wrong"

Wrong. We believe in the same Jesus, but you are troubled when TWO say of the ONE, “no man hath seen God” (John 1:18/ 1 John 4:12), it is the SAME as saying “no man hath seen the Father” (John 6:46), and if the Three allow you to SEE GOD (see Job 19:26), it will be Jesus Christ that you are looking at, and if you see Jesus Christ, you will have “seen the Father also” (John 14:9).
===============================
"I go out preaching every week, usually multiple times, and I've never met anyone who has the same belief as you about Jesus"

I have been on the streets for 15 years and after talking and witnessing to thousands, I have yet ONCE spoken to anyone about these matters! I am too busy speaking to infidels, carnal Christians, those of corrupt minds destitute of the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ. The kind of Christianity that I have been accustomed to in this country that has been turned into hell are those who I preach and speak "that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked".
===============================

"When Paul had a false belief, he counted it as dung."

I do not have a false belief, but rather I have a biblical belief and by the scriptures have emphasized "the whole council of God".
===============================

JOHN GARDNER said...

Thanks for the reply brother.

I seems backwards to me to have the last book of the Bible (c.90AD) establish a church pattern.

I'm sure Bro. Brandenburg's book would be a good read. However, his arguments for not covering would need to be compelling enough to overcome this hurdle he has (rightly IMHO)set up:

"What would you think if what you believed had no biblical basis and no history before the nineteenth century? What would you call yourself? Could you even have such a belief? Who do you think of when I ask such a question? Is it the Mormons? Is it the Jehovah's Witnesses? Is it the Campbellites? Is it Seventh Day Adventists?

You might say that what you believed was a kind of restoration movement, that other people were duped up until that point, but you were able to bring them the true doctrine. You wouldn't be the first. Of course, to do so, you would have to argue for a kind of total apostasy of doctrine or of that particular belief, the one that isn't in the Bible and has no history before the nineteenth century. You would have to have some explanation.

Do you think it would bug you that you can't find your doctrine taught by orthodox believers since the invention of the printing press, 1440-1800, except for perhaps a few radical unbelievers? I know that for myself, I would have to take a belief very seriously if I didn't have a historic basis for the belief. I recognize that we get our doctrines from Scripture. But if my scriptural doctrine had no history behind it, then I would really want to be sure that it was in Scripture. If there was no history and neither was it in the Bible, I would reject it. What about you?

For a belief to originate that was not in the Bible and had no history, someone would need to become convinced of a total apostasy. So let's ask ourselves. Do you think there was a total apostasy of a particular doctrine especially in the 16th to 18th centuries? Was that a unique time of apostasy or was there something during that time period that took place that resulted in more people reading the Bible and more conversions of sinners than there had been before that period for centuries?

If believers during the 16th to 18th century had a doctrine that they believed, do you think that they could all be fooled? Would the Holy Spirit allow that? Is that something that we see in Scripture, that every believer would be fooled on a particular doctrine for three centuries, so that there was no history of the actual true doctrine? I don't think so. I would have a very hard time believing that.

I know that a lot of new beliefs originated in the nineteenth century. This period is called post-enlightenment. "The Enlightenment" speaks of a period in the eighteenth century Western civilization during which time, for many, reason became the primary source and legitimacy for authority. What do you think of post-enlightenment Christology? What do you think of any doctrine that originated after and out of post enlightenment? Did you know that a lot of cults originated just in that time of unbelief and attack on scriptural authority? I know that I would be very, very careful with anything that arose during that period of time."
~Kent Brandenburg

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2009/02/whose-beliefs-arent-taught-in-scripture.html

Kent Brandenburg said...

John,

Very impressive quote -- I wouldn't want to disagree with him. And I won't. It's going to be hard to deal with head coverings here in the comment section, so we should let it go for now. I'm in agreement with multiple eldership. I agree with Bro Ross that there is one leader, and that's the pattern through the Bible very clearly. We have two pastors. We'll probably have more than that at some point, but I don't call the other pastor my assistant or even an associate. He's just a pastor, 100% a pastor. He's not an apprentice, a page, a squire, but a pastor. However, one guy is still the head pastor by pattern, teaching. And I think the Bible is 100% consistent on this.

Thanks.

Kent Brandenburg said...

George,

A lot has been written on the Trinity at this blog, so I'd just be repeating it. When I'm preaching to people, one aspect I very often deal with is the identity of Jesus Christ. If they're saved through believing in Jesus, they need to know who He is, so I don't leave that out. Peter dealt with Who Jesus was on the Day of Pentecost and then kept preaching Who He was.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Bro Gardner,

The fact that something is recorded in the book of Revelation does not
mean that it was not known and practiced before that time. Also, the
view that headcoverings were merely cultural did not originate after
1800. For example, Calvin said:

Speaking of decorous arrangements which take away confusion in the
church, Calvin says on page 1207 of Institutes Of The Christian
Religion (Westminster Press edition):

There are examples of the first sort in Paul: that profane drinking
bouts should not be mingled with the sacred supper of the Lord (1 Cor.
11:21-22), and that women should not go out in public with uncovered
heads (1 Cor. 11:5).

After addressing matters related to proper order and decorum as
mentioned above, Calvin goes on to say:

But because he [God—RPNA] did not will in outward discipline and
ceremonies what we ought to do (because he foresaw that this depended
upon the state of the times, and he did not deem one form suitable for
all ages), here we must take refuge in those general rules which he
has given, that whatever the necessity if the church will require for
order and decorum should be tested against these (Institutes Of The
Christian Religion, Westminster Press, p. 1208, emphases added).

What is Calvin's conclusion?

Lastly, because he [God] has taught nothing specifically, and because
these things are not necessary to salvation, and for the upbuilding of
the church ought to be variously accommodated to the customs of each
nation and age, it will be fitting (as the advantage of the church
will require) to change and abrogate traditional practices and to
establish new ones (Institutes Of The Christian Religion, Westminster
Press, p. 1208, emphases added).

I don't write this because Calvin is necessarily right, but because it
is clearly wrong to say that everybody thought
headcoverings were required until 1800.

Thomas Ross said...

George, I had asked:

"If we Trinitarians are weak in the faith because we confess that
Jesus is the eternal Son in the flesh, not the Father in the flesh,
why don't you instruct us by showing us all the verses where Jesus
denies that he is the eternal Son and says he is the Father?"

I'm still waiting for the verses where Christ denies He is the eternal
Son and says He is the Person of the Father. You cited John 10:30,
but that verse actually distinguishes Jesus and the Father--they "are"
two--a plural verb. They are also one in that they are one God, one
nature, one essence, one substance. John 10:30 proves classical
Trinitarianism--the Father and Son are two Persons but are one in
essence. John 10:30 refutes the heresy that Jesus is the Father. You
cited 1 Tim 3:16, which says Jesus is God. How does this help
modalism or refute Trinitarianism? Jesus is God, but He is not God
the Father; He is God the Son. Finally, you cited a verse that says
that the Father is with the Son. That also refutes the idea that
Jesus is the Father. When one sees Jesus he sees the Father because
the Father and Son are one in essence and the Son is the express image
of the Father, but since He is the express image, He is not the Person
of the Father. If your own "proof-texts" refute the idea that Jesus
is the Father, why not repent of that heresy immediately and believe
in the true God?

Is the fact that Jesus' human spirit and soul were separated from His
body at the time of His death really supposed to prove that the
eternal Person of God the Holy Spirit is the spirit of a dead man?
This argument is astonishingly bad. Jesus' human spirit was not the
Divine Person of God the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the eternal
and uncreated God, but Jesus' human spirit came into existence at the
time of the incarnation. Confusing the human spirit of Jesus Christ
with the eternal Divine Person of God the Holy Spirit manifests an
extremely corrupt view of God.

George, I tell you this because I wish to love my neighbor as myself.
If I were you and I believed Jesus is the Father, this is exactly what
I would want someone to tell me. I care about you and want to help
you. Please obey the command to be "swift to hear, and slow to speak,
and slow to wrath" when I tell you this.

George, when you call the truth about the true God "weakness in the
scriptures and misunderstanding of the Godhead . . . so ignorant of
the scriptures . . . mans [sic] confessions or what devils of men call
themselves . . . doctrines of men" beware lest the one true God, the
eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, damn you eternally as a
blasphemer and an idolator. Those only who know the true God have
eternal life, John 17:3.

May God in His great mercy bring you to repentance and the truth about
who He is. Check out:

http://faithsaves.net/jesus-doctrine-god-examined-jesus-christ-father-son-holy-spirit/

and find out the truth.

JOHN GARDNER said...

Hi Bro. Ross,
I did not say "that everybody thought
headcoverings were required until 1800" for which you said I was "clearly wrong".
I did say, "I would like to read a commentary before 1830 that supports modern Baptists beliefs of not covering. Either Christians almost universally apostasized on that doctrine for 1900 years and have got it right the last 100 or visa versa."

You did say " I think, however, that a pattern of having one head pastor is established from the angel of the church in Revelation 2 – 3." Again, patterns are established early on, not at the end. For example, the long pass opened up because they established the run early. If there were a pattern, it could be confirmed or cemented in Rev. but not established. But the pattern is just not there. Can you name one church in the NT that had a head pastor? You don't read the NT on a deserted island with a group of people and end up with one head pastor becasue of Rev. 2-3. Is that the plain reading of the text? There's 60+ more occurences ἄγγελος in Rev. after chap. 3, are any other talking about a church's pastor?
Good Discussion

JOHN GARDNER said...

P.S. If you rightly teach as a universal/eternal truth that women shouldn't teach nor usurp the authority over the men because of Paul's references to creation (1 Tim. 2:12-13), to be consistent you should do the same with 1 Cor. 11:1-16).

Thomas Ross said...

Dear Bro Gardner,

If Calvin, and many others like him, are correct, and wearing a vail was a cultural issue, then not wearing a vail is acceptable, so it isn't a matter of everyone until 1800 requiring a vail. This is a point of historical theology, not an exegetical argument at this point.

I think in Acts you can see, e. g., James as head pastor at Jerusalem. Furthermore, there is no basis for saying that truth that was passed on orally was put down in Scripture for the first time in Revelation. No, the other instances of angelos in Revelation aren't a head pastor, but the other exegetical options in Rev 2-3 aren't very good. Angelos is clearly used in the NT for various human being who are messengers.

Thanks for the comment.

George Calvas said...

Kent wrote:

"If they're saved through believing in Jesus, they need to know who He is, so I don't leave that out."

I have preached many truths to lost people in the open air about the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and God, even aspects about the Holy Ghost work toward a repent sinner, his faith in Christ and how he is born again, and also about having access to the Father through the Son, being made a part of the "family of God", but I have never preached about the essence of the Godhead.

JOHN GARDNER said...

"Calvin and the Baptists were by no means partakers of a common Christian faith." ~Thomas Ross

So, Calvin was wrong on soteriology, ecclesiology, eschatology, baptism (mode and recipient) and the Lord's Supper but he has the headcovering passage nailed?

Again, history nor exegesis is on your side. The invocation of creation (vv. 8-9), of the angels (v. 10), and headship (v.3) really do damage to the cultural argument.

I see James as an apostle.

Blessings.

KJB1611 said...

For the record, I may be wrong on this, but it appears that George is actually a member of a congregation that practices church independence, although he is very closely associated with the hierarchical church polity and the modalism of (http://www.theanabaptistschurch.com/

Anonymous said...

Thomas,

Does Isaiah 9:6, in which the coming Messiah (God the Son) is called the "everlasting Father" play into this discussion at all? That's the only verse I can think of its sort.

Thank you.

KJB1611 said...

Is 9:6 is simply saying that Jesus Christ has a fatherly care for His people (cf. Heb 2:13), not that the Person of the Son is the Person of the Father. See:

http://faithsaves.net/jesus-doctrine-god-examined-jesus-christ-father-son-holy-spirit/

Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Thomas, for your response.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Thomas, for your response.

KJB1611 said...

The web address for the page refuting modalism has changed (shortened) from what I mentioned in previous posts. It is now:

http://faithsaves.net/oneness-pentecostal/

instead of:

http://faithsaves.net/jesus-doctrine-god-examined-jesus-christ-father-son-holy-spirit/

and I hope George reads it and is quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.