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Trinity

 
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shahada11



Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:05 pm    Post subject: Trinity Reply with quote

Do Quakers believe in the Trinity?
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John



Joined: 05 Nov 2002
Posts: 481
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most orthodox Quakers believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but the Trinity is not a Quaker concept.
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John Price
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shahada11



Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks John. You answer has left me with more questions. I guess the simplist way to ask is do Quakers believe Jesus is God?
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Jenny



Joined: 26 May 2004
Posts: 330
Location: Portland, Maine

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'm a fairly unorthodox Quaker, and I believe that Jesus is God in the same sense that all of us have that of God in us. I believe in the Holy Trinity in the same sense that I myself am a wife, a mother, and a person in my own right apart from both those roles - they are aspects of something that we cannot put into one packet, but each aspect is essentially indivisible from the other.
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John



Joined: 05 Nov 2002
Posts: 481
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shahada11,

Some do and some do not. It runs the gamut from Jesus was a nice guy, to Jesus was the Messiah, to Jesus was God incarnate. Most of us fall somewhere in between the extremes.
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wsamuel
Site Admin


Joined: 28 Jul 2002
Posts: 699
Location: Silver Spring, MD, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

William Penn was thrown in the Tower as a young man for writing a book opposing the doctrine of the Trinity (Sandy Foundations Shaken). After, he conceded he had gone too far in what he wrote, and modified it.

Quakers objected to the central position of the doctrine of the Trinity in institutional Christianity noting that it was not mentioned by name in the scriptures, and being troubled by the elaborate differentiation among the three "persons" of the Trinity as almost polytheistic. However, they also accepted the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as God. When England approved the Toleration Act, which specified religious toleration for all who accepted the Trinity, Quakers were tolerated, indicating that their views were apparently accepted as being basically Trinitarian.

For a fairly normative Quaker view of Jesus Christ, see Arthur Roberts' A Quaker Understanding of Jesus Christ. Today there is a significant Quaker minority who would say that Jesus was not divine, or not divine in a way essentially different from other people, but this is neither the traditional Quaker view nor the view of the majority of Quaker groups today.

When someone asks 'Do Quakers believe . . ." it is generally difficult to answer because we have no central authoritative body or hierarchy, we are non-creedal, and over the centuries we have split and gone various ways. Today those who count themselves part of the Society of Friends are a very diverse group with an extremely wide theological spectru,.
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grace



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey shahada-

the Trinity is a doctrine i've never really felt at home with, not in the mainstream Christian sense, at least.

i don't literally believe that God is three persons. rather i see the Trinity as a metaphore for God's existing as a fatherly, personal being, as incarnate in all people, and as spiritual inspiration.

but there are definately Quakers who accept the Trinity as God the Father, God the Son and God that Holy Spirit. i guess the only helpful generalization would be that beliefs are diverse. Wink
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Angie



Joined: 13 Apr 2004
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That the trinity is a "problem" even 'normal' christians (the Friends aren't normal, thank God Very Happy ) realize.
I remember a catholic professor once telling about his own exams as a student. He was asked by his professor whether the concept of trinity was an analogy (among theologians this means a very poor comparison wherein the dissimilarities are always greater than the similarities). He said: I took a deep breath and said "Yes".
He passed the exam.
So, when even catholics admit that "trinity" is our view on something totally incomprehensible in itself, why should the Friends bother about it?

Best wishes and a lightful time,
Angy
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finally!



Joined: 09 Jun 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jun 9, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grace wrote:
hey shahada-

the Trinity is a doctrine i've never really felt at home with, not in the mainstream Christian sense, at least.

i don't literally believe that God is three persons. rather i see the Trinity as a metaphore for God's existing as a fatherly, personal being, as incarnate in all people, and as spiritual inspiration.

but there are definately Quakers who accept the Trinity as God the Father, God the Son and God that Holy Spirit. i guess the only helpful generalization would be that beliefs are diverse. Wink


Which denomination of Quaker do you fall under, because these are my beliefs as well. Very Happy
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james



Joined: 11 Jun 2004
Posts: 1108
Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: Thu Jun 9, 2005 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While one can come up with a number of personally satisfying understandings of the trinity, its origins are quite unscriptural. Rather, it resulted from the contorted efforts of some early Christians--those Christians who saw Jesus as deity--defending against rather convincing charges of polytheism from other early Christians (at that time a Jewish sect) who did not see Jesus as a deity. Of course, those who saw Jesus as deity won the day, and their innovative concept of the trinity caught on.
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Dave Thomas



Joined: 07 Nov 2003
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the Trinity was a concept introduced hundreds of years after Christ's death and resurrection, when "church" leaders were establishing creeds in order to standardize belief and enforce orthodoxy. Early Friends believed, and Iwould agree that those who put such emphasis on a contorted theological concept had already lost a true understanding of God, Christ, and His presence in us. If agreeing with this concept is so important to being a Christian, why is it not mentioned even once in scripture?
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sorianofan



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with dave, because Jesus often acts subordinate to the father in will and power. At least, that is how it appears to me.
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Spyridon



Joined: 07 Oct 2009
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Wed Oct 7, 2009 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that Jesus is divine in such a way that is perhaps open to all people. If God is within all things, is he not in all of us? The Hindu concept of an avatar, which I find interesting, is of a person born in the same divinized state that others must develop into.
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Diane



Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 214
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shahada11

You may be surprised that each Friend speaks from their own understanding, but the Society does not hold to "creeds".

We all accept (I believe) what are called our Testimonies, which you will see at Quaker.org if you wish.

For my part I have no inclination to discuss theological issues at all, and especially among Friends, for theological dispute and quibbling has so often a source of divisiveness and arrogance - even of wars.

Perhaps when you have read the long history of the idea, you will come to your own understanding of it.

( The trinity was a doctrine developed by the Catholic church, so you may care to begin there, and follow the discussion through time?)
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michaeldavidjay



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 452

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friends were more uniform in... oh the 18th century or so -- we've no representatives left of that time -- most consider it a dark period.... Ohio Yearly Meeting (kevin roberts is from there) tries to observe the beliefs stated by early Friends -- but, you do not see them enforcing uniformity in expression, dress, and everything else... or trying to micromanage the attenders life... like every YM seems to have done in the 18th century.
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