Tritheism is a word which implies a polytheistic belief in three Gods/gods. Trinitarians flatly deny they are polytheists. You will never likely get a Trinitarian to admit his belief system is polytheistic. Whenever they are accused of polytheism they immediately assume their doctrine is being misunderstood. Secondly, the Trinitarian also thinks he is a monotheist simply because he declares himself to be one. And thirdly, he is a human and can always resort to the handy condition of denial. This is the usual first line of defense. In this article, we will show precisely and exactly why Trinitarians are tritheistic polytheists.
Let's start by simply looking at the surface of the matter. Have you ever carefully stopped and thought about the Trinitarian terms, "God the Father," "God the Son," and "God the Holy Spirit?"
| ||1||God the Father|| ||1||God the Son
|| ||1||God the Holy Spirit
Now let's take a look at how they think they manage to get away with their claim. What if we define the word "God" as "divine substance" or "divine nature"? Let's write out the same thing as we did above but expand with this definition of the word "God."
| ||1||(The nature of) God (in) the (person of) Father|| ||1||(The nature of) God (in) the (person of) Son
|| ||1||(The nature of) God (in) the (person of) Holy Spirit
||= ||1||GOD NATURE, 3 PERSONS
Now that's a lot easier to swallow isn't it? After all, the one Humanity of this earth is over 6 billion persons and yet it is still one Humanity. Six billion persons in one single humanity. We all have the same nature of humanity. So, to claim God is plural, just as Humanity is plural, doesn't sound too odd to human ears.
And right here is where the Trinitarian wants to stop. After all, this is usually as far as he ever gets himself. It defines his doctrine and this makes him happy. However, this is just where it gets interesting. Very carefully notice the thing which makes God one here is not one person but the existence of one divine nature/substance. They call this one divine nature "God." The word "God" here in this Trinitarian theological definition can only mean "divine by nature" or "substance of divinity." The word "God" must implicitly answer the question "what" so that all three persons can have that ONE and same substance/nature called "God." There are 3 "who's" but one "what." In this definition of the word "God", the one God is an "it", a "what" a "substance" or "divine nature." Trinitarians want to go no further than this point and the astute mind will already see why. But here is where the issue gets extremely interesting.
In the Bible, the one God is not a "what" but a "who"? The one God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Jesus, is a personal being. God is a WHO. This one God refers to himself with the words "I" and "ME" and inspires his prophets to refer to their God as "HE" and "HIM." God speaks to men and has a relationship with them. God is a "WHO." Indeed, Trinitarians are forced to confess their three person God is a one WHO.
It isn't quite as easy for the Trinitarian to say God is three WHO's in one WHO is it? What is a person? I believe everyone would agree that a person is simply defined as a singular "WHO." However, Trinitarians will vehemently deny that God is one single person. No, no, they insist God is three persons and not one person.
When asked how they explain that their three person God goes by the singular personal pronouns "I" and "ME" and "HE" and "HIM," the Trinitarian response is to say this can be so since "God is one being." And if you ask the Trinitarian if he means God is one person he will respond in the negative. So what does he mean by the word "being." If you ask a Trinitarian to define the word being in his response you will be very lucky to get one. You see, he uses this response because it sounds just like saying, "Adam goes by I and HE and HE and HIM" because he is one being." Yes, Adam is one person. The Trinitarian wants to use language that sounds like he is saying God is one person while denying it out of the other side of his mouth. You see, the word "being" in Trinitarian theology means the same thing as "substance" or "nature." God is one substance, one nature, one being. But if he is asked why God goes by the personal pronouns "I" and "ME" it doesn't work too well to respond, "Because God is one nature/substance." Hence, he tries to pull a fast one by using the word "being" but with a completely different definition. When he replies in this manner he wants you to take the word "being" and think something along the lines of "person" or "individual" even though it really means "nature/substance." It is quite the trick.
The Trinitarian denies that God is one person. Yet he must admit God is one WHO. God is three WHO's in one WHO. A reasonable person knows very well this is the same as saying "three persons in one person." The Trinitarian simply denies it.
Now it gets even more interesting. The Trinitarian insists he does not believe there are three Gods in one God.
But if the word "God" instead meant "a divine individual," a single "WHO," Trinitarians have 3 "who's" in one WHO and therefore 3 Gods/gods. The ONE God of Trinitarianism, in this strict theological sense, is not a personal individual but one nature consisting of, or subsisting as, three persons. In other words, their one triune God is necessarily a nature, not a personal identity that is a "who." Just think about that for a moment. It necessarily means God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are subject to their natures and their natures are not subject to these persons. They are defined by something controlling who they are. Each person is a "who part" of the one God and this one "what God" that is a divine nature by theological definition and their God is one only in this sense. The three "who's" are subject to the one "what." The three "persons" are subject to the one "it." The one Triune God, in this sense, is an "IT," a divine nature. So the Trinitarian claims the Triune God is the One God and the One Supreme Creator of the universe and all that is in it. Does the Trinitarian then actually expect us to believe a divine "Nature" created the universe? An "it" implemented 3 personal individuals to create the world?
Now here is where it gets really, really interesting. The "three person yet one nature routine" is how the Trinitarian needs to respond to the charge. This is all he can really do. He is compelled to claim this oneness is a oneness of divine nature, that is, one "subtance" not one "individual." But now he is in very hot water. The one God of the Bible is a "who" not a "what" or an "it." Now, the Trinitarian is pressed to admit the one God of creation is one personal being, a "who." So now the Trinitarian must also say that there are 3 "who's" in the 1 "who." Indeed these 3 are necessarily then 3 "sub-who's" of the greater 1 "Who," that is, "GOD."
When the Trinitarian says "Jesus is God" what does he really mean? Does he mean "Jesus is divine by nature" or does he mean "Jesus is the Supreme Creator." Well sometimes he does mean "Jesus is divine by nature" and as it turns out he cannot say Jesus is "the Supreme Creator" for that would be saying "Jesus is the Triune God" because for Trinitarians the one Triune God is the one Supreme Creator and vice versa. He can only rightly say "Jesus is one person of the Supreme Creator" just as he says "second person of the Trinity." So then why doesn't he say it this way? Why doesn't he say, "Jesus is of God?" Because he is a tritheist masquerading as a monotheist and he uses this double meaning of the word "God" to try and get away with it.
Indeed, the Bible says Jesus is the Son OF God. And it is rather obvious this does not mean, "son of the triune God" since the Triune God would be this son's Father and the father of this son would necessarily be the Triune God. And it is quite obvious we are not to understand that Jesus is the son of God where the word "God" is defined as "the divine nature" for then we would have Jesus being the "son of the one substance divine nature." His father is not a "substance." Indeed, the Bible explicitly says his Father is his God. So, this "God" of Jesus is necessarily a person and this person is identified as "God" and his God is identified as this person, his father. His father is his God and his God is his father. Now if this particular God is his Father and not the Triune God, which God are we talking about here if indeed the Triune God is also a personal being and the one God? The Bible does not say Jesus is the son of the first person of the Triune God. No, it says he is the son of the one God and it is absurd to say this one God is either the Trinity or a divine nature. The Bible clearly identifies the one God of creation as a personal being and Trinitarians say this one being is the Triune God. So it appears we now have at least 2 gods on our hands, the God of Jesus and the Triune God, both being personal beings. Now if the Holy Spirit is a person, as Trinitarians claim, and Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit are all co-equally "God," as Trinitarians also claim, then these two other persons must each be a God too just as much as the Father who is the personal God of Jesus. Hence, there are 4 Gods: Father, Son, Holy Spirit and the Triune God.
The Trinitarian is caught by one very simple truth and there is no way out. Jesus is the son of God and that personal God is necessarily his Father and not a divine substance. If the person of God was the person of his Father and the person of the Father was the person who was his God then the Father is a most definitely a God if not the one God. However, Trinitarians must also claim the Father is not the one Supreme God for that is the Triune God. Moreover, God is the Father of the person Jesus (who) not a nature of Jesus (what). The terms "Father" and "Son" relate two identities to one another and so do the words "God" and "Son." Hence, God is one identity known as the father of Jesus and Jesus is another identity. The first confession of all Christians was that Jesus was the Son of God and we see in the book of the Acts of the Apostles this message was the main theme of their preaching. And it is ultimately a very powerful message. Jesus is the son of a personal being known as God and that God was his father. That being true, then if indeed the other two persons of Trinitarianism are equally "God" as the Father is God then Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also two other Gods, whether or not they share the one divine nature which Trinitarians also call "God."
The Trinitarian tries to get away with his doctrine without taking it all the way to its logical conclusion and stopping short of it. His problem is that he believes two distinct things about God and he never bothers to reconcile the two of them. First, he believes that his God is "one divine substance subsisting as three persons" or "three persons subsisting in one divine substance." And secondly, he also is compelled to say his one God is a personal being. He cannot entertain the reconciliation these two beliefs without getting himself into a lot of trouble. He can only go as far as saying his one God is one "substance" of divinity and must stop there and fall short of explaining how God is also ONE personal being. So he has these two beliefs alongside each other and cannot reconcile them together. This is where he must invoke the words "unfathomable mystery."
Now this is where it gets even more ridiculous. If indeed the Bible explicity taught what Trinitarians teach, as we assume the Bible only teaches truth, it would be quite alright for them to say, "it is a mystery and we just cannot possibly comprehend it." However, the Bible does not explicitly teach this idea. It is developed through the reasoning of Trinitarian men who compared and reasoned various concepts they see in the Scriptures. So in the end they invoke the word "mystery" and try to claim they have logically come up with a doctrine that does not need to have a logical conclusion. It is a pitifully absurd confession. They are saying they made sense out of the Scriptures but the ideas contained in their logic do not ultimately have to make logical sense with each other. It is so absurd one wonders how they can make this claim with a straight face. It is absolutely insane to say one figure out something by logic and reason and then claim that its own contradictions are a mystery. Logic has no contradictions or it is not logical. In the end, hey are simply trying to pass off the notion that their unreasonable conclusions they developed by their reaons are "mysteriously" unreasonable.
So are Trinitarians tritheists or not? Do they really teach 3 gods? Yes they do: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. They simply cannot escape the dilemma that their Triune God is a singular personal being. That's one God. They further cannot escape the truth that the father of Jesus is the God of Jesus. That's now two Gods. And since the Son and Holy Spirit are co-equal to the Father that adds two more Gods.
Now let us explain even further what they are trying to do. In the Smith family there are three persons, Father John, Mother Sarah, and Son Joshua. Their family is only "one" entity. There is one Smith family but three persons in this one family. Now if you are a Trinitarian this sounds good so far doesn't it? Well there is a big problem here for the Trinitarian. How many persons are there in the one Smith family? Answer: there are 3 persons in the one Smith family. Now here is the real problem. How many Smiths are there? Answer: 3 Smiths. Analogically, one then asks how many Gods there are in the Triune God entity of persons. Answer: 3 Gods. 3 Smiths, 3 Gods.
So the Trinitarian has to somehow take this one step further. He has to make his three into one and he must also do this beyond claiming the one "substance" routine since his God is also one personal being by identity. He is not just one "what" but also one "who." His God is an individual because his God is individable, indivisible, an "individual." This one individual Triune God also goes by the first person singular pronouns "He" and "Him" and "Me" and "I" in the Bible. The Smith family does no such thing. His one Triune God of three individual beings are also altogether one individual being. How are they going to explain their one individual God is really three individuals and these three individuals are really one individual God? Big, big problem. And "mystery" will not help their own faulty reasoning process get them out of the absurdity they made for themselves.
It is amusing that the hero of Trinitarianism is Athanasius who said, "God became man so that men might become gods." Now just how are these men going to become gods? They will become "gods" by divinization in the resurrection. They will become gods by bodily having a divine nature. It is indeed true that men will be divinized bodily in the resurrection with the divine nature of God and the Bible teaches this in many places. Indeed, the Bible says we are already sons of God and partakers of the divine nature of God and even now being conformed into the image of the Lord. So why is it then that this adoption to sonship and divine nature of the bodily resurrection will make us distinct gods but it does not make the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit separte gods but one God? Then should we altogether not be the "one God" once we Christians are raised into glory into his image? And even further, the Bible indicates Jesus himself was divinized bodily in his resurrection. He became divine then? O the tangled web they have weaved for themselves. And you can bet your bottom dollar that most Protestant Trinitarians will be quite sure Athanasius was a really great guy... except for this unfortunate statement of his. Today's modern Protestant Trinitarians consider themselves much wiser. In the end, the laud Athanasius with honor and laud themselves with even greater honor.
So we have yet to resolve the Trinitarian dilemma. How is he going to get out of his predicament? He has one substance of being he likes to call "God." He also has three persons who have this substance of being so he calls them "God." And finally, he has a Triune God who is a singular personal being. How is it that this Triune God is three individuals yet one indivisble individual? He can't get out of it. Essentially, what he has done is created a God who is three persons yet one person while denying his God is one person. He likes to say his God is one "being" instead but is not one "person" but three "persons." However, it is here the trickery again begins. The word "being" is now necessarily shifted and changed to mean "being of substance" and not "a personal being" (a person) when he is pressed on this particular matter. It "sounds" workable to him and that is the way of Trinitarian apologetics. It is how is "sounds" that matters, not what it really means. Using the word "being" sounds like he is saying God is a "who" but he is really suggesting his one God is a "what," one divine substance. So in the end he is just reverting to his "one being but three persons" meaning "one substance of divinity but three persons" routine. And we have already dealt with that issue. The one Supreme Creator God is not just a substance but one personal identity. The Trinitarian is still caught in his predicament.
So round and round we go and we end up right back where we started. God is one personal being and not simply a substance and there is no way for the Trinitarian to get out of it. So he still has three individual personal beings in one individual personal being. This is quite honestly no different than saying "three persons in one person." And here is the crux of the whole matter. When the word "person" shows up like this, Trinitarians have been so fixated on Modalists and the Modalists have been so fixated on Trinitarians that neither one of them can see their own folly. The Trinitarian will refuse to admit that God is one person for fear of being a Modalist. The Modalist will refuse to admit God is three persons for fear of being a Trinitarian. And their fear of each other keeps them dwelling in their own absurdity and subsequently afraid of dealing with the truth.
The truth is that there is no way for the Trinitarian to get out of his own absurdity. While he can sing all day long how his God is one divine substance he does not escape the fact that his three person God is also one personal identity, one individual. And so he invokes the word "mystery" here because there is simply no way he can explain his way out of the unreasonable absurdity of his reasoning. Such men who realize what they are really doing here do not really have much care for the truth. They are far more interested in clinging to their fantasy like a child.
So let's make this clear now. Just why is the Trinitarian a polytheistic tritheist? It is because in concept he believes in more than one god. There is the God of Jesus who is his father. And there is the Triune God in which he also believes. These two gods are not the same God. That alone makes the Trinitarian a polytheist. As we have shown above, the Trinitarian really believes in concept that God is one person yet three persons but just does not like using those words. And every Trinitarian knows in his heart that he first thinks of his "God" as an old man in heaven and not a Tri-personal being. Words are one thing; concepts are quite another. We can attach whatever concepts we like to words and this is just what Trinitarians are doing. Words are things which are to be defined so everyone can understand what is meant. But that is precisely what the Trinitarian is doing when he defines his doctrine. He takes it upon himself to defien things as he likes and he must to try and get away with it. So "God" or "being" means one thing one second and another the next second or both at the same time depending on what is needed to serve his agenda. But he knows very well that his one God is one individual personal being. That is by definition "one person." And so he has three persons yet one person for his God. He actually has four "who's" in question if we including his Triune God. His entire word game apologetic is designed to avoid the implications of the truth concerning this matter. But in the end each of these three persons are God and the one personal being he calls God is also God and he has identified four personal identities as "God." One of these personal individuals is the one God of Jesus. That's one God and one person. And since the other two persons of Trinitarianism are necessarily God in the same respect then they are each one God too. That's three gods. Trinitarians are tritheists masquerading as monotheists. And what do they use for a mask? They use the words as masks over the concepts behind them. The words appear true but deception lies behind them. And thats just how deception works. They appear true but they are illusions. Trinitarians don't really believe there are three Gods in one God or one God in three. No, they believe there are three divine individuals in one divine individual, three gods in one God. They just refuse to call them "gods" out loud or accept it in their mind because they don't want to go to the logical conclusion their theology road takes them down. But they know in their hearts that Jesus' one God was not their Triune God. Yet their fleshly passions to control and dwell in their false teaching have blinded them to the truth.
The Trinitarian will insist that he does not believe in three Gods in one God. Instead, he will insist he believes in three persons in one God. Consider this carefully. This means that he does not consider the person of the Father to be a God. Because if the Father is a God then he does indeed believe in three Gods in one God. However, the Bible is quite clear that the Father is indeed a God and is the God of Jesus.
The Trinitarian really believes that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each a divine being. This is just another way of saying that each of them are one divinity. And that is just another way of saying that each of them are one God being, that is, each of them are a God. If we asked a Trinitarian when the Father spoke to someone if God was speaking to a person they would answer in the affirmative. The same would be true of the Son and the Holy Spirit. When Jesus spoke to Peter they presume God was speaking to Peter. Jesus was human. And so they must also say humanity was also speaking to Peter. And when Paul spoke to Peter humanity was speaking. There are numerous human beings yet one humanity defined by human nature. In the same way, the Trintarian has three divine beings yet one divinity as a whole defined by divine nature. But if Jesus, Paul and John had all spoke to Peter we would say one humanity spoke to him but three human beings spoke to him. This is another way of saying three humans spoke to Peter. In the same way, if Father, Son, or Holy Spirit spoke to Peter only one divinity spoke to him but three divine beings. This would just another way of saying three divinities, three God beings, spoke to Peter and that is just another way of saying three Gods spoke to Peter.
There are questions we need to ask the Trinitarian. Is God a god? Is God the Father a god? Is God the Father the God? What are the answers to these questions? You will be surprised to discover that Trinitarians will be hard pressed to answer these very simple questions without getting themselves into very hot water. Of course God is a god just as the President is a president. It matters not whether there are other Gods/gods or presidents for this to be true. But now is God the Father "the" God? The word "the" implies the concept "that one." How can the Father be "the" one God without also saying the Father is also "the" one Triune God? But we can say that God is a god. Since God is a god and God the Father is God is then God the Father a god? If so, then is the Son a god too? And is the Holy Spirit a god?