Tuesday, September 12, 2006

between The Rock and a hard place

Someone says that by faith they are trusting in Jesus alone as their Lord and Savior, so you might think they're saved, right? But then, what if they say a decade later that they don't believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. Specifically, they tell you that they do not believe that Jesus and the Father are one in essence, or nature. Wouldn't you think that this person is deceived about their salvation? What if they denied the trinity a year after saying they got saved? One week? Or is this a doctrine that one must grasp basically at the time of conversion? Let me give you some background which might explain why I'm asking: On the one hand, I am doing evangelism with little kids at my church. Some are as young as seven. On the other hand, I'm doing evangelism with Jehovah's Witnesses (JW's). The JW's will say that they're trusting in Jesus for salvation, and that he is our ransom, but they deny the doctrine of the trinity, calling Jesus a "lesser god." The agenda for my next meeting with the JW's is for each side to explain how we think a person is saved. I do not think it is enough that they trust Jesus to save them; they claim to know the Jesus of the Bible, but I believe their error is critical. I hope this makes sense. Any thoughts?


Margaret Feinberg said...

Wow--a huge issue. The trinity is so big yet sometimes our attempts to explain seem so feeble..the example of the egg, the apple, the stages of water (ice, liquid et).. sometimes it's hard to wrap one's mind around let alone effectively communicate to someone who doesn't even believe in God.

Even So... said...

It is not only what they affirm but what they deny. IOW, if a someone didn't even know about the Trinity they could be saved, but if they do and they deny it, then it is a different matter...

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Even So hit the nail on the head. I think there is a difference between neophyte naiveté and a cultured choice. I guess you have seen the links over at the Moor (top right column) for my thoughts on Modalism? Regards,

Craver Vii said...

My JW friends chose to discuss the ethics of war instead of soteriology. I suppose I could think of that as a good thing, in that it gives me more time to tailor a Gospel presentation for their ears.

If you think of it, please pray that God would reveal His truth. We meet again next Wednesday.

ChosenRebel said...

Is the doctrine of the Trinity necessary for salvation? Yes.
Is belief in the doctrine of the trinity necessary for salvation? No, not in all cases.

Does a 7 year old girl understand the doctrine of the Trinity when whe believes? She would be one extraordinary 7 year old if she did. But we still believe that she can savingly believe in Christ. A person must believe in the divinity of Christ, (Jesus said, "Unless you believe that I AM, you shall surely die in your sins [JOhn 8:21-24])

In light of all the evidence, I would say that the doctrine is essential to the gospel and cannot be willfully denied. But that does not mean that all who believe in Christ savingly are conciously aware of the doctrine.