Through the ages there have always been some people who wanted to honour and worship only One God. The Catholic Church did everything in her power to disgrace such believers in one God. Later several protestant denominations joined forces against those who did not want to make the son of God as their God.
The 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman Joseph Priestley (1733 – 1804), having separated from the Church of England because his ‘ordinary brain’ has given him much on his mind to think and to consider how one God could be three persons. As a natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works, he was not afraid to make his hands dirty to do some good study-work.
Agitated for a wide-reaching Protestant Reformation of the Established Church, he went looking for the Truth, and where could it not be better found than in the Bible itself, the Book of books that church claimed to have as its basis for its teaching. Several ministers refused to use certain vestments and ceremonies of the Church of England, rather than to separate from it. Not many dared to question the fundamental beliefs.
Because of his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and what the church taught ‘When Joseph was four years old, he could flawlessly recite all 107 questions and answers of the Westminster Short Catechism.) and his knowledge of the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, he could see what the phrases said and how the way of writing should be interpreted .
Joseph Priestley’s science was integral to his theology, and he consistently tried to fuse Enlightenment rationalism with Christian theism. The classical rationalism of the 17th and 18th centuries (Descartes, Spinoza, Male-branche, and Leibniz) was based on the idea of natural order—an infinite chain of causality pervading the world. There was a decisive role of reason in both human cognition and human activity and everything should be investigated and checked by the things we know already.For him as scientist it was clear that reason should be used as the chief source and test of knowledge.
Using such a method of research, comparison and elimination, trying to understand the language of the Bible, looking at the words how they were written, placed and used he came to the findings that many church teachings, presented to the people as dogma’s which they had to believe because they could not understand them, where not according to Biblical texts.
We should remember
The excerpt from the pamphlet “A General View of the Arguments for the Unity of God,” published in 1794 its third section enumerates arguments from the Scriptures against the trinitarian doctrine:
- The doctrine of the Trinity . . . has as little countenance from Scriptures as from reason.
- The Scriptures teach us that there is but one God (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 83:19; Mark 12:29; 1 Corinthians 8:6)
- The Scriptures teach us the One God sent Jesus Christ to instruct mankind
- God empowered Jesus to work miracles
- God raised Jesus from the dead
- God made Christ, who has to make us and we should be in him (1 Corinthians 8:6)
- for followers of Christ there should only One Most High, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all of them who have one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5, 6)
- Bible says there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).
- Not only does the word trinity never occur in the Scriptures, but it is nowhere said that there are three persons in this one God; nor is the doctrine explicitly laid down in any other direct proposition whatever.
- Christ who did not sin and as such did not tell any lies, indeed says “I and my Father are one,” but he sufficiently explains himself by praying that his disciples might be one with him in the same sense in which he was one with the Father (John 10:30; John 17:21, 22)
- The one God is said to have created all things and is one God called the Father, author of all beings
- the Creator God is God and Father with respect to Christ, as well as all other persons (John 6:27; John 17:3; John 20:17; Ephesians 1:17; Colosians 1:3).
- Christ is said expressly to be inferior to the Father; all his power is said to have been given him by the Father, and he could do nothing without the Father. (John 16:28; 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3; John 5:19; John 14:10; Matthew 28:18; 2 Peter 1:17; Revelation 1:1).
- God is the Almighty who knows everything and can do everything but: Some things were withheld from Christ by his Father. (Mark 13:32; Matthew 20:23).
- Dominion Christ derived from the Father subordinate to that of the Father. (1 Corinthians 15:24ff.).
- Christ always prayed to the Father to whom we also should pray (Matthew 6:9; 26:37ff.; Philippians 4:6; Psalm 5:1-2; Psalm 69:13)
- God is Spirit (John 4:24) and his son is Jeshua from Nazareth in the lineage of King David, who came after God, Adam, Moses and Abraham, and who called Jehovah the Only True God. (John 17:1-3; Luke 1:35; John 1:34; John 20:17, 29-31; 1 Peter 1:3; Mark 15:34; Revelation of the apostle John 1:1; 3:12; Matthew 16:16-17; 1 John 4:15)
- Christ is not only styled a man even after his resurrection, approved of by God, by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of the people around at that time Jesus was alive and death (Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:21).
- Christ now enjoys exaltation,but it is the gift of his Father, and the reward of his obedience unto death. (Philippians 2:8, 9; Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 12:2).
- Think above all those mentioned passages in the Holy Scriptures, compare them with other passages and wonder if the 18th century has reason to believe:
No person, I think, can, with an unprejudiced mind, attend to these considerations and the texts of Scripture above recited (which are perfectly agreeable to the tenor of the whole), and imagine that it was the intent of the sacred writers to represent Christ either as the supreme God, or as the maker of the world under God.
- Only One God
- God is One
- One God the Father, a compendium of essays
- God of gods
- Attributes to God, titles ascribed to Him or Names given to JHWH, the God of gods.
- Full authority belongs to God
- God Helper and Deliverer
- Praise the God with His Name
- The Divine name of the Creator
- Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
- I Will Cause Your Name To Be Remembered
- Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
- Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
- Fearing the right person
- Jesus Messiah
- Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
- Jesus spitting image of his father
- The Trinity – the Truth
- The wrong hero
- Joseph Priestley Memorial Chapel (josephpriestly.wordpress.com)
Priestley’s religiousness carried over to the U.S. when he came here later in life. The Joseph Priestley Memorial Chapel is the oldest church building in the Borough of Northumberland, PA.
- The Life and Works of Joseph Priestley (josephpriestly.wordpress.com)
He performed experiments that also acknowledged photosynthesis. He hasn’t had the easiest of lives, one full of political and religious torment. He also did experiments on other things such as photosynthesis and carbonated water. Still, somehow he managed to perform his oxygen experiments and make sure his name is forever written in our textbooks as one of the best scientists of his time.
- Early Life (josephpriestly.wordpress.com)
When Joseph was four years old, he could flawlessly recite all 107 questions and answers of the Westminster Short Catechism. This showed that he was an extremely intelligent boy and absorbed almost anything put in front of him. His aunt decided to get the best education for him that they could. They planned to have him become a part of the ministry. Joseph Priestley attended local schools where he learned Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.
in 1761 became a tutor at Warrington Academy in Lancashire. Ordained in 1762, he was married that same year to Mary Wilkinson, the sister of the Welsh ironmaster, John Wilkinson. He gradually came to question the divinity of Jesus, while accepting much else of Christianity, in the process becoming an early Unitarian
- When Scripture Becomes Scripture (afkimel.wordpress.com)
he writings of the Bible exist as historical artifacts and may therefore be read as historical artifacts. To properly interpret a text we must seek to understand it within its historical context. We need to know all sorts of things: we need to know who wrote it and why; we need to know its intended audience; we need to know the literary genre to which it belongs; we need to know about the society in which the author and audience lived; we need to know the cultural and literary conventions of the time; we need to know the worldview the text inhabits, etc.
- Trinity: The Truth about Matthew 28:19 & 1 John 5:7 (discoverthetruefacts.wordpress.com)
The Father is not the Son, nor is the Son the Father, and the Spirit is not the Son, nor is the Spirit the Father. They are all distinct from each other. Yet there are not three Gods, but One God (this is according to Christians). Any human with a sound/sane mind, who is looking for the truth, will see that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is massive contradiction to what God Almighty stated in the Old Testament. Furthermore this kind of doctrine is never taught by Jesus or his disciples and thus contradicts everything what Jesus taught. If Jesus (p) really taught the doctrine of the Trinity, how come there is not one verse where he states:- “God is One but in three persons” i.e. saying something along the lines, “Father is God Son is God and the Holy Spirit is also God?” Anyone reading throughout the New Testament will see Jesus saying: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Jesus taught Monotheism not Polytheism.
- Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity (afkimel.wordpress.com)
I do not know if it’s happening throughout worldwide evangelicalism or is restricted to the more intellectually inclined; but I have noticed a curious phenomenon on the internet—a movement amongst evangelicals from trinitarian to unitarian faith. This movement does not necessarily entail the rejection of the teaching of Jesus nor even rejection of the confession of Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is a unitarianism that can accommodate the kind of subordinationism characteristic of some of the second and third century Church Fathers: Jesus and the Spirit are “divine” (in some sense), but only the Father is the one God. Consider, for example, a recent blog article by Kermit Zarley: “Can Genuine Christians Be Trinitarian or Non-Trinitarian?“
I think it’s just a function of sola scriptura. I think we can honestly say that the Trinity is not crystal clear from Scripture alone (I say this as a trinitarian). So when one doesn’t have recourse to tradition, what do you do with verses like “my Father is greater than I” or “I return to my Father and your Father, your God and my God?”
There are other reasons that may particular to an individual. For example, libertarian blogger Vox Day is ok with the Nicene Creed, but takes issue with the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (with the expanded section on the Holy Spirity) because he perceives it to be the result of imperial meddling. Here’s a link to a discussion of the Trinity on his blog: http://voxday.blogspot.com/2013/10/mailvox-25-reasons-for-trinitarian.html
- Facts About The Birth Of Jesus (heatonkent.com)
There are many people who believe Jesus was born on December 25 in a manger with shepherds and three wise men surrounding Him with a star shining above. Nothing is more foreign to the truth or the real story of what the Bible tells of the birth of Christ.
The Lord does not reveal when Jesus was born. It was likely in spring but the Bible does not reveal his birthday or the year of His birth. Christ was born somewhere between 7 B.C. and 4 B.C. Herod (Matthew 2:3,16) died in 4 B.C. and Jesus was born during his reign. Ferrell Jenkins writes, “It is impossible to keep Christ in Christ-Mass for He was never in it. The Catholic Church dreamed that up all by themselves without the help of Christ, and I might add, without His approval.” Should we hold to traditions of men instead of God’s word? Jesus said, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9)!
- Evangelical Nonconformist origins in Leeds (gerardtjcharmley.wordpress.com)
Moult died in 1727, and was succeeded by Thomas Whittaker, son of the first pastor. His ministry was remarkable not so much for what he did preach, and what he did not preach. The Trinity was barely mentioned, as was election. The congregation declined, as dissatisfied members found homes elsewhere. A few years after his death, the congregation had become Unitarian. Depleted, they eventually united with the church worshiping at Mill Hill Chapel, and Call Lane Chapel became a hired hall, used by a number of sects. – (below, Mill Hill Chapel today)