Is Monotheism necessary?

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darinhouston
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Is Monotheism necessary?

Post by darinhouston » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:57 am

This is related to a post I've made in the Mormonism/LDS area.

I first confess and declare my unequivocal montheism -- now, is monotheism strictly necessary for one to be a Christian? We can debate whether JW's are Christians based on their different beliefs about the Trinity. Whatever the bible teaches about the necessity for understanding of the Trinity or even Christ's divinity, can one believe Christ is sent to deliver us (from or part of some God), that He is rightful King of all humanity and the Earth, commit to follow His teachings, and yet believe there are other such Messiah's sent by other God's to other planets?

In other words, wrong though I think the belief is (granting it could be a caricature of their actual beliefs), is there any biblical teaching that would prevent an LDS member who believes what I understand their church to teach be declared righteous by God and receive the Holy Spirit and serve/enter His kingdom and into all eternity ?

This gets to the fundamental question of "what is Christianity," so I thought to post it here.

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Paidion
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Re: Is Monotheism necessary?

Post by Paidion » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:06 pm

This issue is not as simple as it seems.

Trinitarians say they believe in one God. But their one God is a compound God consisting of three persons. Modalists as well Unitarians claim that Trinitarians actually believe in 3 Gods.

Unitarians and Christadelphians believe in one God --- One Divine Individual. But they deny the deity of Christ. They deny even His pre-existence.

Modalists believe in one God --- One Divine Individual, who expresses Himself in three modes: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Some Modalists try to help us understand this by thinking of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as "three masks" which God wears. Some people who think they are Trinitarians, are actually Modalists.

I think Mormons are Tri-theists, that they actually believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Gods.

Jesus believed in one true God, and He didn't include Himself. In His prayer to His Father, He said these words:

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3

Yet, the apostle John said that Jesus (the Logos) was Deity:

In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was Deity. John 1:1

In Greek, the absence of an article before the word which I translated as "Deity" precludes the Modalist interpretation that the Logos was in fact God the Father. The word order precludes the JW interpretation that the Logos was "a god" ( Indeed, they believe the pre-incarnate Jesus to have been Michael the archangel who is a "god" in the sense of a powerful being).

What is meant is that the Logos (having been begotten by the Father before all ages) shared an identical nature with His Father, and expressed His Father perfectly. (He who has seen Me, has seen the Father). Just as dogs beget dogs, and their offspring are canine, just as man begets man, and their offspring are human, so God begets God and His offspring is Divine. (I know that's an oversimplification, but it'll have to do).

The writer to the Hebrews states that Jesus bears the very stamp of the Father's nature. (Hebrews 1:3)

My own understanding is that someone having a mistaken view as to whom Jesus is in relation to His Father, does not determine whether or not the person is a Christian, a disciple of Christ.

As I see it, it is not that Trinitarians, Christadelphians, Modalists, and JWs each believe in a "different God" or a "different Christ". It is that they do not understand the true nature of Christ and His relation to the Father. Yet they all confess that Jesus is, in some sense, the son of God.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 81.

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darinhouston
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Re: Is Monotheism necessary?

Post by darinhouston » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:06 pm

Thanks, Paidion, that's a nice summary of the Trinity discussion, but assuming I even grant that the Trinity is three separate Gods (for the sake of discussion to eliminate the Trinitarian issues), do you need to believe that those three aspects/things/persons are the only thing that can rightly be considered Deity?

Can you believe in other Trinities or other godheads or the like for different peoples/planets/universes ?

I believe LDS believe not only that the Trinity are three Gods, but that the "Father" was once a man on another planet and there are other godheads and that all of the annointed LDS members can or will be their own godheads of their own planet some day.

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Homer
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Re: Is Monotheism necessary?

Post by Homer » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:17 am

But who is the "first great cause? The one before whom there is no other? And if there are multiple gods who each have their own planet (or solar system), who assigns them to their particular responsibillity? It would seem necessary that there is one who is above all others.

When we go beyond scripture, into speculation, it seems there is no end to the questions.
To my mind, either the objective, material universe is eternal or the personal God of the bible is eternal, and before everything that exists.

mikew
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Re: Is Monotheism necessary?

Post by mikew » Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:10 pm

While inasmuch as possible I'll try to put aside the topics of the trinity and the nature of the kingdom, I tend to give importance to the words of Jesus saying "My sheep know My voice."

So whereever the gospel is preached or shared to any degree, the sheep can hear and come to their master. That's why I would say that people from different groups can saved. Sheep (those of Christ's flock) within the bad environments (wrong doctrines) would tend to reject that which is not from God.

karenstricycle
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Post by karenstricycle » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:01 pm

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Last edited by karenstricycle on Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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darinhouston
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Re: Is Monotheism necessary?

Post by darinhouston » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:32 pm

karenstricycle wrote:Yes. I believe monotheism IS necessary. One God The Father.

Polytheism to me is:
one god for this attribute, another god for another attribute, a god over this area, another god over that area, this god for that reason, another god for that reason, or just tourist statues, or as a joke, or over each zodiak sign, or as really cool posters as gaurdians, etc...
(I think the Roman Catholic tends more toward Polytheism in this regard).
I'm not sure RCs would in any fair assessment be considered polytheists, but I do think they practice idolatry. Maybe that's a subtle distinction, but I do think it's an important one.

So, is Jesus also a God?

karenstricycle
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Post by karenstricycle » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:47 pm

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Last edited by karenstricycle on Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mikew
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Re: Is Monotheism necessary?

Post by mikew » Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:09 pm

karenstricycle wrote:I retract my reference to the Roman Catholic. I regreted having brought another group into it by one of another group.

so... is Jesus Christ a God?
Of Jesus himself: "Why calleth me good? There is no one good save God." (Monotheism).
Hi Karen,
I'm waiting to see what God may be doing in attracting you to this site.

And Luke 18:19 is such a fun verse. Lots of people miss the logic here.

Jesus didn't rebuke the ruler for calling Jesus "good." There is a rebuke for the general idea of calling a teacher "good" but since Jesus is God ( coming in flesh) it was actually fitting for the ruler to call Jesus "good."

The problem in this instance, in the man's heart, was he didn't really recognize Jesus. So this ruler was misapplying the attribute of goodness.

So, with respect the general rule given by Jesus to apply "goodness" only to God, there was a violation in the ruler's heart cause this ruler hadn't recognized Jesus as God.

If Jesus was not God, He may have answered the man and said "Don't call Me good. Only one is good and He is God."

MIkew

Theophilus
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Re: Is Monotheism necessary?

Post by Theophilus » Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:28 pm

and yet believe there are other such Messiah's sent by other God's to other planets?
Yahweh says there is no other god before or after him and that he knows of no other. So that eliminates the possibility of other gods sending messiahs to other planets.

Isa 43:10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,
"and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.

Isa 44:6 "This is what the LORD says—
Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.

Isa 44:8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."

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