Thoughts About Arius
If it is true that the 3 horns that were uprooted in 476 were Arians, doesn’t that mean something to folks who still support Trinity! Doesn’t it mean that if you were present then you could have supported the papacy to uproot them? Isn’t that what is happening in the church with these disfellowshipings and it will intensify as we near the end?!
You can look at the Arian Baptistery in Ravenna, the Capitol of the Arian Ostrogoths, and see they very much believed in the Holy Spirit. Arians do not deny the Spirit; just that it is another god. The uprooting was finished around540 AD, after the papacy was granted supreme authority in 538 AD. Ufilas was a preacher to the Ostrogoths and taught in accordance with the scriptures, hence the Ostrogoths and other Arian tribes being at odds with Catholicism’s trinity doctrine, among other things. Groups that walked in line with Rome were left. The only problem that Arians had is that they believed Jesus was the first created angel but I believe by continued study, they could have reached to truth hence there extermination
By clearly tracing the literal sonship of Christ to heaven, we dismantle the belief that Mary had any divinity to offer our Savior hence she can’t be mother of God as assumed because Christ divinity precedes existence of Mary, that blessed woman among women. Arius, in a letter to Eusebius of Nicomedia, wrote: “But we believe, and have taught, and do teach, that the Son is not un-begotten, nor in any way part of the un-begotten (created); and that He does not derive His subsistence from any matter; but that by His own will and counsel He has subsisted before time, and before ages, as perfect God, only begotten and unchangeable and that before He was begotten, or created, or established, He was not.” I think that Arius’ use of the word “created” was misleading to some and construed to accuse him of things he did not believe and teach. This may be one the reason the papacy destroyed the Arians because of their continued study bout the Son of God. As aforesaid, the Arians had no problem with the Father and His Spirit but the meaning of begotten. Perhaps more clarity would have helped in allowing us to know exactly what was believed. They believed of sonship in the sense of relational based rather than office, term or roles while many assume that these are just titles. If only they went further in Proverbs 8 n Psalms 2 but thank God that we have picked where they may have left.
By the fourth century, a most powerful challenge came to the church of Rome — the ‘heresy’ of Arianism. “It involved the question of the divinity of Christ and his relation to the Father, and indirectly the whole dogma of the Trinity.” A Dictionary of Christian Biography. Smith and Wace. Vol. 1. Art Arianism. p144. 1877. London John Murray. Although Arius, a presbyter of Alexandra, was not the first to challenge the teaching of Rome on its understanding of God, his challenge led to a series of violent controversies which shook the Roman Empire, especially in the East, to its very base. The teachings of Arius have been explained by many people, but rarely is there agreement. On one hand, he is believed to have regarded Jesus as a created being, the “beginning of the creation of God”, as this text was explained. Revelation 3:l4.
One writer stated of Arianism. “God cannot create the world directly, but only through an agent, the Logos, who is himself created for the purpose of creating the world… Christ is himself a creature, the first creature of God, through whom the Father created other creatures….” A Dictionary of Christian Biography. Smith and Wace. Vol. l Art. Arianism. pl55.l56. This nineteenth century author is dependent upon previous writers, who themselves are dependent upon others, none of whom may have had the writings of Arius. They do not quote Arius, but in their own words, give his supposed belief. As very few of the Arian manuscripts are extant, we cannot totally refute the above statement, however, as we are seeing the very same charge made against anti-Trinitarians today, it is more than likely the accusations were indeed false.
One author has plainly stated, “An erroneous charge was circulated (in the fourth century) that all who were called Arians believed that Christ was a created being. This stirred up the indignation of those who were not guilty of the charge.” Winds of Doctrine pg. 88. Russell Standish, quoting B.G. Wilkinson in Truth Triumphant p220. (Bracket added). There are others who believe Arius stood for the Bible truth, and that Christ was the literal only-begotten Son of His heavenly Father. They believe he was simply taking John 3:l6 as it reads – “for God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son….” Note how the two understandings have been blended in the quotation below. “Arius…. held that the Son was begotten of the Father, and therefore not coeternal nor consubstantial with the Father, but created by and subordinate to the Father, though possessing a similar nature…”The century Dictionary and cyclopedia. Vol. l. Art. Arian p308.
It’s no wonder there is confusion as to what Arius actually believed. Be that as it may, the teachings of Arius caused great concern to the Papal church. As a result, a council was called in AD325 at Nice (Nicaea), in which church leaders of both persuasions were invited, including Arius, although he was not a bishop. He was permitted to “express his opinions”, but during the proceedings, one bishop angrily jumped up and punched Arius on the nose. After much discussion, the draft of a creed was drawn up by Athanasius (a deacon who came with his bishop), and circulated among the bishops to read and sign. When it was discovered that eighteen Arian bishops had signed the document, the papal opponents broke into a wild uproar, and tore the document to pieces. At the same time they expelled Arius from the assembly. Eusebius Ecclesiastical History p15-17.
It’s quite obvious that the council of Nicaea was not to unite Christendom, but to destroy Arianism. In the commotion that followed, Eusebius of Caesarea presented an old creed before the council. When it was read, the Arian bishops signified their willingness to subscribe to it, but this was the very thing the Papal party did not want. What could they do to keep the Arians from signing the creed? In the subsequent discussion, one of the bishops happened to mention the word ‘homoousios’, saying how absurd it was as a proposition of belief.(The Arians accepted the word ‘homoiousios’, meaning ‘like substance’, rather than ‘homoousios’ meaning ‘same substance’, although they cared not for either as neither of them are in the Bible). This chance comment gave the Papal party the distinguishing mark they were looking for, although even Eusebius had difficulty with the similarity of the words. When he asked Constantine the difference, the Emperor said, “Homoousios could be understood as Homoiousios”. This closeness proved to be an embarrassment to the council, for when Constantine asked the presiding bishop what the difference was between the two terms, Hosius replied, “They are both alike”. At that, laughter broke out in the assembly, and the word ‘heresy’ was flung into the air by the Papists. Truth Triumphant p92. Benjamin Wilkinson.
Once this amendment was voted upon, the Papists signed the document; and the Arians abstained. Arius and his followers were banished from their church offices, and every known book, paper, and manuscript of Arius were burnt. (It is important to note, that in spite of the fact that the synod at Antioch sixty years earlier had condemned the word ‘homoousios’ (because it meant ‘one identical substance’ as believed by Modalistic Monarchians), the Nicene council used the very same word to condemn the Arians). The Nicene Creed reads: “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things both visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance (homoousios – the amendment)with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.” Nicene creed. English Version AD1549. (It has since been modified to include the word ‘eternal’ referring to the Son, as the Catholic Church believes in ‘eternal generation’).
“What the Apostles’ Creed was content to say, that Jesus was the only Son and Lord, the Nicene Creed accumulated convergent affirmations: he is ‘eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from light, true God from true God, of one Being with the Father’ “. How to Understand the creed. Jean-Noel Bezancon, Phlippe Ferlay, and Jean-Marie Onfray. Roman catholic. p53. The council of Nicaea began a religious controversy that continued on for at least two hundred years. Many more councils were held, and the “boasted unity of Romanism was gloriously displayed by the diversified councils and confessions of the fourth century… Roads were crowded with bishops thronging to synods….”Truth Triumphant pg. 91.
- It was not until the 6th century that a full agreement was reached on the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and its place in the Trinity dogma, now an integral part of Roman Catholicism. In AD538, the Arian believers were completely wiped out by the catholic Church, leaving the Papacy as the sole “Corrector of heretics”; Anyone opposing the Catholic teaching of the Trinity was exterminated, for “the Mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith.” Handbook for Today’s Catholic p. II.
In summary of the Papal background:
- Paganism entered the church at Rome during the early centuries, including the heathen teachings about God. As a result, the heathen trinity was brought into the catholic church. Over the years, it took on many forms.
- The catholic church officially condemned the heathen trinity of Modalistic Monarchianism and Sabbellianism in AD264 at Antioch. Many Catholics have continued to teach this form of heathenism down through the years. (Some Protestant Christians still teach this form of the heathen trinity)
- The council of Nicaea in AD325 deliberately condemned the Arians for believing that Jesus had a beginning, without regard as to whether He was created or begotten. The decision of the council was that Christ was eternally begotten, without beginning. Arius said this belief made Christ the “un-begotten begotten One”, a contradiction of terms.
- After the passing of the Nicene creed, the Arians were proscribed. The uprooting of the three horns on the head of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, eradicated the Arians by force. In AD538, the last of the three horns was uprooted, giving the Papacy full dominion over the churches
- The debate over the doctrine of the Trinity continued on until the 6th century, until it was firmly established as Papal dogma.
The result of this decision (the decision of Nicaea) was that Arius was once again condemned for his faith and exiled. Constantine ordered the writings of this presbyter to be destroyed. This is why almost nothing of his original works exists today. This is also why his ‘enemies’ have found it so easy to misrepresent his beliefs. The Council of Nicaea CANNOT be credited with the formulation of the trinity doctrine. This is because in the creed depicting what was voted at Nicaea, the Holy Spirit was NOT stated as belonging to the one substance of God. It simply said, “We believe in the Holy Spirit”. Nothing else was said of the Holy Spirit. It was only later, at the first Council of Constantinople in AD 381 (the second ecumenical council), that the Holy Spirit was included in this ‘one substance of God’ belief. (Nancy Mattley)
Some (mainly Trinitarians) say the sudden demise of Arius was the ‘hand of God’ (against heretics) but others say it was the work of men. In other words, the latter believe that in order to stop Arius from being re-instated, his enemies poisoned him – which is more than likely. Following the death of Arius, the dispute continued to flourish. In fact the truth of the matter is that Arianism (as it is commonly called today although this designation is often very ambiguous), almost won the day. In other words, as time progressed, it was Arianism that was steadily gaining the ascendancy over the Nicene faith (the one substance theory). So what brought the Nicene faith back into the ascendancy – which eventually developed into trinitarianism? As has been said earlier, it was the intervention of the state into the affairs of the church –which is something that should NEVER have happened. Church and state should always remain separate. (Nancy Mattley)
These “heretics” of course were those who would NOT accept the ‘one substance’ faith drawn up at the Council of Nicaea. E. Glenn Hinson summed up the situation this way “Theodosius himself, therefore, deserves credit for turning the empire into a fully Christian state.” (E. Glenn Hinson, The Early Church, page 214-215, chapter 19, ‘Church and state after Constantine’) He then said “In sum, that would mean to believe in “the doctrine of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one deity of equal majesty and pious trinity.” Those who adhered to such faith could call themselves Catholic Christians, BUT OTHERS MUST BE DESIGNATED DEMENTED AND BARBARIAN AND HERETICAL AND BE STRICKEN FIRST BY DIVINE VENGEANCE AND THEN BY IMPERIAL ACTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WILL OF HEAVEN. (Cod. Theod.XVI.1.2.). (Ibid)
Note that all who would NOT accept the ‘one substance’ theory of Nicaea (that later developed into trinitarianism) were designated “demented and barbarian and heretical”. On the same page Hinson wrote “Shortly after his arrival at Constantinople, at any rate, Emperor Theodosius began to remove Arians and replace them with bishops who accepted the Nicene Creed. In Constantinople itself, Arianism had gotten a strong grip, and Theodosius had to weather a popular storm against his replacement of Demophilus with Gregory of Nazianzus. Soldiers had to protect the saintly Gregory on his way to the Church of the Apostles.”(Ibid) It can be seen here that in Constantinople, Arianism “had gotten a strong grip”. This was during the latter stages of the 4th century. This was over 50 years after the Council of Nicaea had devised the ‘one substance’ theory. (Nancy Mattley)
In his ‘Truth Triumphant’, Benjamin Wilkinson noted “The burning question of the decades succeeding the Council of Nicaea was how to state the relations of the Three Persons of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The council had decided, and the Papacy had appropriated the decision as its own. The personalities of the Trinity were not confounded, and the substance was not divided. The Roman clergy claimed that Christianity had found in the Greek word homoousios (in English, “consubstantiality”) an appropriate term to express this relationship.” (Benjamin Wilkinson, Truth Triumphant, Chapter 7, ‘Patrick, organizer of the church in the wilderness in Ireland’). He continued “THEN THE PAPAL PARTY PROCEEDED TO CALL THOSE WHO WOULD NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THIS TEACHING, ARIANS, WHILE THEY TOOK TO THEMSELVES THE TITLE OF TRINITARIANS. An ERRONEOUS charge was circulated that all who were called Arians believed that Christ was a CREATED being. This stirred up the indignation of those who were not guilty of the charge.” (Ibid)
TODAY, EVEN WITHIN THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH, THOSE WHO REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE ‘ONE SUBSTANCE’ THEORY (the trinity doctrine) ARE STILL BEING MISREPRESENTED AS BELIEVING THAT CHRIST IS A CREATED BEING. As we have seen, the trinity doctrine, albeit only an ASSUMED teaching, WAS ‘FORCED’ INTO CHRISTIANITY BY THE SECULAR POWER OF ROME. If this had not happened, this teaching would probably never have become established. It is no wonder that J.N. Andrews, whom many believe was one of the most ablest theologians of the Seventh-day Adventist Church said regarding the trinity doctrine “This doctrine destroys the personality of God and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (J.N. Andrews, Review and Herald ‘The Fall of Babylon’ March 6th 1855 Vol. 6 No. 24 page 185)We can see from the above why J.N. Andrews made this statement. The Trinitarians do not accept that God and Christ are two separate persons each with a form of their own. He then added “The infamous, measures by which it was forced upon the church which appear upon the pages of ecclesiastical history might well cause every believer in that doctrine to blush.” (Ibid) This is my belief exactly – also the belief of countless numbers of non-Trinitarian Seventh-day Adventists. ~~ A SIMPLE GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE TRINITY DOCTRINE by Terry Hill ~~ [Caps added for emphasis]
What Does the Roman Catholic Church Say? A Practical Catholic Dictionary, p.32:
“Blessed Trinity, the: One and the same God in three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. There are three distinct persons who are one God. Each of these persons is divine because each one is God. They all have one and the same divine nature. The Father is God and the first person of the Blessed Trinity. The Son is God and the second person of the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Ghost is God and the third person of the Blessed Trinity.”
“Unless (people) keep this Faith whole and undefiled, without doubt (they) shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic faith is this: we worship one God in Trinity.”
Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p.16
“The mystery of the trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church”
The Catholic Encyclopedia
“The term trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion; the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons. Thus in the words of the Athanasius Creed, the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God…“This, the church teaches, is the revelation regarding the nature of God which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came upon earth to deliver to the world; and which she (the church) proposes to man as the foundation of her whole dogmatic system.”
From the Beginning of the Catholic System
“In the establishment of the Catholic Church, the place of Theodosius is second only to that of Constantine. About the beginning of the year 380 he was baptized by the Catholic bishop of Thessalonica, and immediately afterward he issued the following edict:—“…Let us believe the sole deity of the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost under an equal majesty and a pious Trinity. We authorize the followers of this doctrine to assume the title of Catholic Christians; and as we judge that all others are extravagant madmen we brand them with the infamous name of ‘heretics, and declare that their conventicles shall no longer usurp the respectable appellation of churches. Besides the condemnation of divine justice they must expect to suffer the severe penalties which our authority guided by heavenly wisdom shall think proper to inflict upon them.”
The Encarta Encyclopedia has this to say about the origin of the Trinitarian doctrine: “Trinity (theology):
In Christian theology, doctrine that God exists as three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who are united in one substance or being. The doctrine is not taught explicitly in the New Testament, where the word God almost invariably refers to the Father; but already Jesus Christ, the Son, is seen as standing in a unique relation to the Father, while the Holy Spirit is also emerging as a distinct divine person. The term trinitas was first used in the 2nd century, by the Latin theologian Tertullian, but the concept was developed in the course of the debates on the nature of Christ (see Christology). In the 4th century, the doctrine was finally formulated; using terminology still employed by Christian theologians, the doctrine taught the coequality of the persons of the Godhead…. For an adequate understanding of the Trinitarian conception of God, the distinctions among the persons of the Trinity must not become so sharp that there seems to be a plurality of gods, nor may these distinctions be swallowed up in an undifferentiated monism.”
The Catholic Church has stated:
“Our opponents sometimes claim that no belief should be held dogmatically which is not explicitly stated in Scripture ….But the Protestant Churches have themselves accepted such dogmas as the Trinity for which there is no such precise authority in the Gospels.” (Life Magazine, October 30, 1950)
“Q. Do you observe other necessary truths as taught by the Church, not clearly laid down in Scripture?
“The doctrine of the Trinity, a doctrine the knowledge of which is certainly necessary to salvation, is not explicitly and evidently laid down in Scripture, in the Protestant sense of private interpretation.” (Doctrinal Catechism as quoted in The Review and Herald, August 22, 1854)
FROM FERNANDO L. CANALE – The Handbook of Seventh Day Adventists theology, SDA Encyclopedia Vol. 12, p. 138. states that, “Doctrine of God”, The concept of the Trinity namely the idea that the three (3) are one (1) is not explicitly stated BUT ONLY ASSUMED”
DO YOU GET THE ABOVE TWO ADMISSIONS FOLKS?! Who are we then to believe of follow? Isaiah 8:20
1-Can anyone see the way it was FORCED upon the church? Does God work in this way?
2-Why would anyone want to believe something that was FORMULATED instead of BIBLICAL?
3-Anyone notice how the Papal church LIED about the Arians to cause people to hate them?
It seems to me, NONE of these tactics are Christian, so how can the FORMULATED doctrine be either. HOW THE TRINITY DOCTRINE CAME TO BE FORMULATED by <a>Nancy Mattley</a>is a classic exposition of Nicean Creed.
- Isa: 58:1: Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
- Jer: 2:11: Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
As it stands, the next other enemy to be uprooted is the Sabbath… A little thinking may help. The current believers in the trinity are called trinitARIANS. It is interesting that consubstantial was pointed out as one of the words used by Arius. Once again the trick that is being played on most Christians is that they are told to choose between trinitARIANISM and ARIANISM. Of course mathematically minded individuals know that there is always a third choice; rejecting both forms of error and holding on to the truth. The first thing we ought to remember is that being Rome is an agent of Satan and being Satan is the father of lies; it follows that there is a 99% chance that the beliefs ascribed to the three uprooted horns is false. LET THE READER READ AND EXAMINE THE FACTS AND MAKE A DECISION WITHOUT PREJUDICE.