We do not believe that the Bible teaches the traditional church doctrine of the Trinity. Rather, we believe the Bible teaches there is one, true God, whom Jesus called "Father."
But the institutional church has proclaimed for over 1,600 years that the one God of the Bible is three Persons: Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit. And the church has boldly declared that anyone who does not believe this "doctrine of the Trinity" is not saved and thus not a genuine Christian.
Yet Christians have regarded the Bible as the basis of their theological beliefs, and the Bible does not contain the word "Trinity" nor expressly state that God is three persons. How could the church have gone so wrong about such fundamental issues : who God is and who Jesus is? To answer these two questions, let's take a brief look at that history.
Jesus and the first Christians were Jews. Their Jesus Movement quickly spread into Gentile lands. It soon developed into the religion of Christianity, which consisted almost entirely of Gentiles. Thus, all those church leaders of the second through sixth centuries the institutional church calls "church fathers" were Gentiles. Despite their proclamation of much Christian truth, we believe they erred in some of their theology due to becoming somewhat anti-Semitic and influenced by Greek philosophy.
For example, at the Catholic Church's First Ecumenical Council, known mostly as the Nicene Council and held in AD 325, it produced a creed which declares that Jesus is "very God of very God." This language is strange to us moderns because it was borrowed from Greek philosophy. They meant by it that Jesus was "fully God of fully God," that is, that Jesus is just as much God as the Father is God. (This Nicene Creed is still recited liturgically in churches around the world more than any other church creed, including the Apostles� Creed which doesn't identify Jesus as God.) But Christians who believed the Nicene Creed often were accused of worshiping two gods even though they claimed to worship one God.
What about the Holy Spirit? Many people report that the doctrine of the Trinity was determined at the Nicene Council. On the contrary, the nature of the Holy Spirit was never a focus of discussion among Christians until the late fourth-century. In the AD 370s, "the three Cappadocians" formulated what later became known as "the doctrine of the Trinity." It is that God is one essence subsisting as, not in, three co-equal and co-eternal persons (Gr. hypostases).
At the Second Ecumenical Council "the Council of Constantinople in 381 CE" the Nicene Creed was enlarged by adding the Cappadocians " Trinitarian formulation to it. Called "the Constantinopolitan Creed," surprisingly, it doesn't mention the word "trinity." Nevertheless, all mainline church denominations ever since have subscribed to this traditional doctrine of the Trinity. Thus, we contend that the Protestant Church erred by receiving this teaching without adequately scrutinizes it.
If the doctrine of the Trinity is correct- and the church does indeed declare that it is the most important theological teaching of Christianity�then why did it take over 350 years for Christians to figure it out? This long history of the development of the doctrine of the Trinity makes it suspicious, suggesting that this teaching is of men and not of God.
We allege that the doctrine of the Trinity is confusing, contradictory, irrational, unbiblical, and thus wrong. And we vehemently oppose the assertion, which is still embraced by all mainline church denominations, that anyone who rejects the doctrine of the Trinity, or that Jesus is God, is not saved and therefore not a true Christian. The church has defended its Trinitarianism against these allegations mostly by claiming it is a mystery that humans can't understand. But this foolish admission renders those church fathers who formulated it as not understanding it either! Moreover, this defense can be applied to any false teaching. It is like a person saying something is true merely because he or she thought of it.
So, we think Trinitarianism does not represent the beliefs of the Christians of the first century. Furthermore, we think those Jewish Christians were strict monotheists who had never heard of the notion that their one God consists of three persons. Nor did they believe in the so-called Incarnation
- the preexisting God the Son coming down from heaven to become the man Jesus.
We seek to help restore to the church the true teaching of those early Christians as found in the Bible and stated in our motto, that "Jesus is our Lord and Savior, but only the Father is our God." Nevertheless, we do not think that being a Trinitarian makes a person a non-Christian. People are Christians by believing that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ) of Israel, that he died on the cross for their sins, that he arose from the dead, and they make him Lord of their lives.
Some might allege concerning our anti-Trinitarian position, "that's been tried before, and it didn't work?" Indeed, the Socinians and early Unitarians were anti-Trinitarian, asserting that only the Father is God. But because they lived in an age of extreme religious intolerance, their primary interest was in proclaiming religious freedom and thus religious tolerance. Furthermore, they weren't as sound at explaining the Bible's critical texts regarding this subject as are today's leaders in the One God Movement. Moreover, most Unitarians did not affirm any atoning significance to Jesus' death, which we regard as an essential belief for salvation. And we lament that in succeeding centuries Unitarians became quite liberal, until today they are united with Universalists.
The following are brief presentations of our main arguments against Trinitarianism.