Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Are you a closet polytheist?

Tonight I get to do one of my very favorite things - teach about the Trinity.  I had jewelry shows the last two nights, so I thought I’d bust out the theology tonight!  The Trinity is the foundational theology of Christianity and yet so few Christians have a grasp on the Trinity.  
I was catechized during the “Rainbow and Sunshine Jesus” era (late 70s-80s) and didn’t have a very strong grasp on doctrine.  Even in grad school there were times I would learn some astounding theological point and I usually exclaimed, “I was raised Catholic why did I have to come to grad school to learn this?  This is important.”  One day I met with the professor of the Trinity class and I was reduced to tears at the awesomeness of the Trinity and the ignorance (I mean in that in the original meaning of the word) most people have of the teaching.  I remember saying, “If people only got the Trinity, then the world would be a much different place.”  
Christians throw around the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit very freely.  Some people pray to the Father, some to the Son, and some to the Holy Spirit.  I’ve met people who tell me I must address my prayers to Jesus and not God.  Really?  Isn’t the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit the same God?
I think a lot of Christians are actually polytheists but they don’t know it.  When I teach kids I ask for three people to stand in front of the class.  I emphasize that each one is a person and then I try to squeeze the three of them together.  Thus far, I have never made three persons into one.  The Persons of the Trinity are not separate gods; we believe in only one God.  

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