Friday, October 21, 2005

Implications of the Trinity

We don't spend a lot of time on the Trinity. It is difficult, no, impossible to fully comprehend, so we tend to leave it behind and get down to the easier issues. Should we consume alcohol? Should we divorce? Should we have affairs? How should we treat others? Who is in charge when it comes to marriage?

But understanding the Trinity answers many of these questions.

First, the Trinity is an example of perfect community. God had so much love for himself (which without the concept of the Trinity seems a bit narcissistic) that he wanted to share it. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are co-eternal and co-equal. There is eternal submission within the Trinity to one another which brings about love and service. Basically God did not create us out of need but out of a desire to share his love which is characterized by humility and abundance--perhaps overabundance even. This has important implications for how we do on Earth that which is done in Heaven. For example, A husband and wife are one, yet separate individuals. Their unity and love for one another produces children. Originally, children were meant to be a product of an overabundance of love. We simply can't help but create them. They are not the product of deficiency or need.

We see a creator that is capable not of efficiency but of abundance. When Christ turns water into wine at the wedding it is of higher quality than the wine that had been served previously and there was lots of it! When he feeds the 5,000 with the five loaves and two fish there are twelve basketfuls of leftovers. If Jesus is God why didn't he more efficiently allocate his resources? If he had decided upon a more modern time period to become God incarnate, he'd have spent probably spent his ministry fighting a lawsuit over some guy who left the wedding and drove drunk.

Governments and corporations function under laws of efficiency. We should not take more from the people than necessary to perform the basic functions necessary for us to meet the needs of our society (well, okay that is the theory anyway). We should not have waste. But the Kingdom of God is different.

God is characterized by abundance and when we act according to his will there are always leftovers. Examples: when God asked the people of Israel to bring offerings for the temple they brought too much. They had to be turned away. The early church gave so that "not a person among them was needy." (Acts 4, Message translation.) In any society, sociologist tell us that the best we can expect is %95. The Mormons come closest to this--the ones without five wives.) The first people in the church under the new covenant to act stingily and deceitfully with their possessions are struck dead. Ananias and Sapphira are husband and wife. They are held equally accountable for their actions.

Questions of leadership and hierarchy and who is in charge disappear in such overabundance of mutual submission and sacrifice. Dealing with hierarchy within the Trinity is heresy because it assumes a worldly economy of scarcity. Scarcity does not exist in God's Kingdom. I'm not advocating anarchy within the church, leadership is necessary, but I do think we should look seriously at how leadership in the church differs in light of our belief in the Trinity and in being "not of this world."

What would a church look like in today's society if people really began to function as if they lived in God's Kingdom? What if they gave so much that the pastor had to say, "please don't bring anything else? We don't know what to do with all of it."

Anyway, this is something I am thinking about right now. Not sure if it makes sense, even to me yet.

2 comments:

Tessa said...

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