The “Trinity” Controversy

March 18, 2024

Yet again, amongst my spiritual revamp that I began three years ago, I find myself saying and thinking things I NEVER thought, in my wildest dreams, I would ever be saying….. But before I open this very controversial can of worms, I must speak of an incident I experienced on the eve of this spiritual journey.

Four years ago, I was in a very dark place, mentally. My mother had recently passed away. We parted on unstable ground. Family was torn and shredded throughout. I was in a lot of mental and physical pain. I had just had a neck fusion mere weeks after her death. So when I say I was in pain.... I was in pain. 

My soul was aching. 

I was standing in the kitchen alone, leaned up against the counter, with my head down and eye squinted closed hard. I was slowly shaking my head while my mind had, once again, went down a rabbit hole. I was seeking. I didn'nt know WHAT I was seeking at that time, but I was seeking.... I was angry God took my mother away the way He did. I was angry at the treatment I was receiving from family. I was angry at the hypocrisy I was seeing in my family. I was angry at the things I had experienced, went through, came out of, etc that simply did not make sense to anything I thought I knew about life, God, and spirituality.

Out of the dead silence of the kitchen in my empty house, I heard a familiar voice. 

It sounded like it too was also in pain. Not actual pain, but a yearning type feeling to the voice. Like it was trying desperately to get through the fog, the spiritual realm, so I could hear her. 

"Shaunna!" She wasn't screaming. But it sounded despareate. 

"Shaunna!.....[a brief moment of silence], most likely to give me a moment to realize what was happening, what I was actually hearing. 

"I was wrong about so many things!" 

It was the voice of my mother. 

Now, I never hear voices, nor was I under the influence of anything. So hearing this immediately froze me. I began to feel an odd mixture of anger and excitment. Excitment because I was actually hearing my mother. Anger BECAUSE I WAS ACTUALLY HEARING MY MOTHER! 

I was brought up....taught and told that once we die, we cannot come back, we cannot see into this realm, we cannot watch our loved ones, we cannot communicate, etc. My mother had good explanations for why she believed that (ie. the pain of this world wouldnt be something that a person in Heaven should feel because "there is no pain in Heaven"). I was angry because NOTHING was making sense anymore, spiritually. I was so confused. 

Things you need to know so you understand the above: 1) I was devoted to my mother. I loved her more than myself. I obeyed and submitted to her until I was 20 years old (and moved out). There was nothing I wanted more than to make her proud.... 2) I was sheltered growing up. I was treated and expected to be someone, held to a certain standard (just me, no one else). 3) I grew up with Bible study every night, read the Bible several times cover to cover, knew scripture better than most adults. 4) Was gossiped about, judged, abandoned, and condemned during the last few years of my mother's life because of life choices I made (against myself, not them btw). 

Because of all that, THAT was why I was both angry and confused. Now it might make sense to you. 

Months after that occurance, I began to realize something.... my mother WAS wrong about so many things.... Realizing that gave me determination and hope that I can figure this out and find the answers and clarification I was so desperately needing.

Thus, my spiritual revamp was born and started, and blessed by my mother.... 

So here we are....  

Is the Trinity doctrine in the Bible?

That’s a bit of a gray area and depends on what you mean by “biblical.” Does the Bible directly lay out something akin to the Nicene Creed? Nope. Does it spell out the Trinity using fancy terms like homoousios or hypostasis? Not really. So, if you’re looking for that kind of detailed breakdown, then technically speaking, the Trinity doctrine isn’t explicitly biblical. But that doesn’t mean it’s entirely out of bounds.

The Westminster Confession of Faith explains, “The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture” (1.6). The doctrine of the Trinity is not expressly set down in Scripture in the technical sense described above, but it is certainly a “good and necessary consequence” of what is expressly set down in Scripture. So, what does Scripture expressly teach? 1

First off, the Bible is pretty clear that there’s only one God. This isn’t really up for debate among those who take the Bible seriously. You’ll find this idea all over Scripture, like in Deuteronomy 4:35 where it says, “You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.” Basically, the Bible is really strict about there being only one God, and it’s quick to call out any other beliefs as wrong.

Now, the Bible also makes it clear that the Father is God. This part isn’t really controversial either. Jesus talks about “God the Father” in the Bible, and Paul mentions “God our Father” a bunch of times too. So, yeah, the Bible backs up the idea that the Father is God.2

But here’s where things get interesting. The Bible also says that the Son, meaning Jesus, is God. If the Bible only said there’s one God and the Father is God, it’d be pretty straightforward. You could just think of God in the Old Testament as Yahweh and then in the New Testament as the Father. But it’s not that simple because the Bible specifically says Jesus is God too.

The Bible doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to saying Jesus is God. Take the opening of John’s gospel, for instance. It straight-up says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). So, who’s this “Word”? Well, verse 14 makes it crystal clear: it’s Jesus, the Son, who came down in the flesh and lived among us.

And there’s more. The New Testament authors aren’t shy about pointing out that Jesus is the same dude the Old Testament calls Yahweh. Like in Mark, where it quotes Isaiah saying, “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Mark 1:3). That “Lord” is Yahweh in the original Hebrew, and guess what? In Mark, it’s Jesus John the Baptist is preparing the way for. So, Jesus is basically Yahweh showing up in person.

Now, when you look at what Jesus does and says in the New Testament, it’s clear he’s not just some regular guy. He gets worshiped (Matt. 2:2), he tells people to pray to him (John 14:14), he forgives sins (Matt. 9:1–8), he’s the Creator of everything (John 1:3), and he even controls nature (Matt. 8:23–27). Plus, he’s going to be the big shot judge on Judgment Day (John 5:22). You wouldn’t say or do those things unless you were God.

Moving on to the Holy Spirit, the Bible’s pretty clear there too. Acts 5:3–4 tells us straight up that lying to the Holy Spirit is like lying to God. But it’s not just that passage. Look at Isaiah 6:8–10, where Yahweh speaks, and then Acts 28:25–27, where Paul says it’s the Holy Spirit speaking. Same message, same speaker — showing us that the Holy Spirit is indeed God. And there are more examples like that if you dig into the Bible.

Let’s break this down in simpler terms, with a bit of Scripture to back it up.

So, Scripture doesn’t just say there’s one God and leave it at that. It also makes it clear that this one God isn’t just one person playing different roles. No, it’s more complex than that. The Bible shows us that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all distinct from each other, yet they’re all God.

Check it out: the Father and the Son have their own things going on. The Father sends the Son (John 3:16–17; Gal. 4:4), they love each other (John 3:35; 5:20; 14:31), they even talk to each other (John 11:41–42), and they know each other (Matt. 11:27). Plus, the Son acts as our go-between with the Father (1 John 2:1). All these verses wouldn’t make sense if the Father and the Son were the same person.

Then there’s the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes down on the Son at his baptism (Luke 3:22), acts as another Comforter (John 14:16), and gets sent by the Son (John 15:26; 16:7), while also glorifying the Son (John 16:13–14).

And don’t forget the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Father sends the Holy Spirit (John 14:15; 15:26), and the Holy Spirit is said to plead with the Father (Rom. 8:26–27). These distinctions between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit pop up all over Scripture, but one of the most famous is when Jesus tells his disciples to baptize people “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).

So, here’s the big question: how do we put all this together and still make sense of what the Bible tells us? Well, the early church wrestled with this too. They had to figure out how to stay true to what the Bible said while also explaining it in a way that made sense. And that’s how we got the doctrine of the Trinity. It’s all about understanding and explaining the good and necessary consequences of what the Bible teaches us about God.

So, yeah, the Trinity? Totally biblical.

  1. The Westminster Confession of Faith,,revelations%20of%20the%20Spirit%20or ↩︎
  2.  Paul speaks numerous times of “God our Father” and “God the Father” (e.g., Rom. 1:71 Cor. 1:3; 8:6; 15:242 Cor. 1:2Gal. 1:1, 3Eph. 1:2; 5:20; 6:23Phil. 1:2; 2:11Col. 1:2; 3:171 Thess. 1:12 Thess. 1:1, 2; 2:161 Tim. 1:22 Tim. 1:2Titus 1:4; Philem. 3).  ↩︎

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