The Anti-Trinitarian Teaching Is NOT in Harmony With Inspiration

We’ve had quite the discussion lately in our Adventist Social Media group – Adventists In the Narrow Way, on the Anti-Trinitarian teaching.  My husband has made some very clear and convincing posts there, and I wanted to try to combine them all and put them here for others to read who might be dealing with the same issue. I hope you find them to be a great blessing :).

Exposing the Anti-Trinitarian Teaching ~ Post 1

The Founders Joseph Bates James White Ellen White
A VERY important, but VERY little known, quote… from an Advent Pioneer… concerning the “Trinity.”

As a rule, most (if not all) anti-Trinitarians are certain to tell you, sooner or later: “The Pioneers were anti-Trinitarians.”

I don’t know what all the Pioneers believed on the Trinity, but I do know what two of them believed—Joseph Bates, who the quote I’m going to share is from, and James White, who in his book on Joseph Bates includes the same quote.

But before sharing the quote from Joseph Bates, I want to share a post the latest anti-Trinitarian to be removed from the group has on his Facebook page. In the post he has a picture of Jesus kneeling in prayer, with the words (and I’m going to capitalize the portion I want you to think about):

“Are you there, Dad? IT’S ME, YOU.”

With those words in mind—“It’s Me, You”—I now want to share with you what Joseph Bates says concerning “the trinity doctrine”:

“My parents…embraced some points in their faith which I could not understand. I will name two only: their mode of baptism, and doctrine of the trinity… Respecting the trinity, I concluded that it was an impossibility for me to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty God, the Father, one and the same being. I said to my father, “If you can convince me that we are one in this sense, that you are my father, and I your son; and also that I am your father, and you my son, then I can believe in the trinity.” {The Autobiography of Elder Joseph Bates 204, 205}
I’ll just say three more things:
#1—The “trinity doctrine,” as Joseph Bates (and James White) understood it, was completely different than the “trinity doctrine” that is held by the Christian world today.

(If what Joseph Bates describes as the trinity doctrine was the trinity doctrine that was held today, then I, like Joseph Bates and James White, would be an “anti-trinitarian.)

#2—What that anti-Trinitarian I quoted believes is basically what Joseph Bates (and James White) describe as the “trinity doctrine.”

#3—So… while it has long been claimed that today’s trinitarians have turned away from the beliefs and teachings of the pioneers, it’s actually today’s anti-trinitarians that have turned away from the beliefs and teachings of the pioneers. (Well… at least two of the pioneers.)

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1 Reason I Could NEVER Become an Anti-Trinitarian ~ Post 2

On the thread Tammy started asking something about what will determine our destiny, someone (someone she knew to be an anti-trinitarian) put up the verse:

“This is life eternal, that they might know THEE, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, which thou hast sent.” {John 17:3}

Jesus there says that “knowing God” is the way to have eternal life, so I then shared 1 John 2:3—“This is how we can know that we KNOW HIM, if we keep His commandments.”

(Now comes the part this post is all about.)

The person who had posted John 17:3 then posted back this:

“Al Roesch exactly, but most today do not know Him. Instead they know them.”

In saying they know “them” instead of “Him”—and I’ve encountered this line of reasoning from other anti-Trinitarians—he was stressing that the Father is “the only true God.” (He’s stressing “Him” being singular, as opposed to “them” being plural.)

What he’s clearly saying is: “only” the Father is the “true God;” Jesus ISN’T the “true God.”

Going along with that, at least in my mind, one of two conclusions of necessity follows: If Jesus isn’t the true God, then He must be a false God. Or, He’s no God at all.

But God Himself, in Hebrews 1:8 says—“Unto the Son he saith, they throne O GOD, is forever.”

And, Matthew, quoting Isaiah, tells us—

“They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is GOD with us.” {Matthew 1:23}

So… how are we supposed to understand John 17:3?

I’ll give you two similar types of passages.

Passage #1:
“One came and said unto him, Good Master… And [Jesus] said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.” {Matthew 19:17, 17}

So… using the same strict literal translating method as anti-Trinitarians do with John 17:3—since “there is none good but ONE,” then if the Father is “good,” then the Son isn’t, because only one is good. (Or if the Son is good, then the Father isn’t good, because only one is good.)

Obviously, no true Christian could ever believe that!!!

Passage #2:
“Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.” {Matthew 11:11}

Again… using the same strict literal translating method as anti-Trinitarians do with John 17:3—Jesus was “born of women,” the passage clearly tells us that no one “born of women is greater than John the Baptist,” THEREFORE… Jesus isn’t better than John the Baptist.

Again… no true Christian could ever believe that!!!

So… the simple answer, and one that brings everything together correctly, is that in all three of those passages, including John 17:3, Jesus wasn’t including Himself in what He was saying.

He was calling His Father “the only true God” in the sense of—“the sun god,” and “the moon god,” and any other god the peoples of the world had, weren’t true Gods.

In no way was He saying—“Only My Father is the true God, I’m not.”

And I think it demands to be said: It’s a horrible, horrible perversion of John 17:3 to make it say what the anti-Trinitarians try to make it say.

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Exposing the Dishonesty of the Anti-Trinitarians ~ Post 3

Hi again SueAnn,
I know I said that I would try to address your Daniel 12:1 question in my next post, but I can’t help but want to say a few more things about this T/NT (Trinity vers Non-Trinity issue.
First, and what is extremely important to me: Ellen White—in all the multitudes of her writings—says very, very little about it. 🤔
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(She does clearly say that the Holy Spirit is the “THIRD PERSON OF THE GODHEAD”—not just in the book Evangelism, which anti-trinitarians claim was corrupted by L.E. Froom, but in The Desire of Ages (671).
She also says–“In Christ is life, ORIGINAL, UNBORROWED, UNDERIVED”—(also in the book Desire of Ages (pg.530)—an “uncorrupted” book.)
If His life is “original, unborrowed, underived”–which God’s prophet teaches it is–it means He didn’t get it from someone else, INCLUDING HIS FATHER, which is what almost all (if not all) anti-Trinitarians believe and teach.
Those two points alone convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt that anti-trinitarians are not only in serious error, but in truth (at least most of them) think Ellen White was wrong. (But because they don’t dare say that, they come up with the unfounded theory that her writings have been corrupted.)
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AND ON THE CONTRARY—While saying very, very little concerning this T/NT issue, she writes extensively—and very clearly—about the need to control our “appetites and passions”:
“Of all the lessons to be learned from our Lord’s first great temptation NONE IS MORE IMPORTANT than that bearing upon the control of the appetites and passions… His example declares that OUR ONLY HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE is through bringing the appetites and passions into subjection to the will of God.” {Desire of Ages 122}
From what I can see, this whole T/NT issue has pretty much nothing to do with my practical, everyday need (and desire) to live a truly Christian life.
And on the contrary: Controlling my “appetites and passions” has tons to do with my everyday need (and desire) to live a truly Christian life.
(Many are not only losing the battle for controlling their appetites and passions, but they really don’t even care to fight the battle to control their appetites and passions. That’s why they focus on things that have little to do with their daily behavior—and this anti-Trinitarian belief is one of them.)
I’ll try to address your Daniel 12:1 question next… but I have to admit: having the answers to who Michael is doesn’t concern me near as much as overcoming sin and perfecting a Christian character does.
(To me, this Daniel 12:1 question fits more into the category of the T/NT issue–how I understand it doesn’t really affect my daily Christian life. 🤔🙂)
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