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Jesus is a man

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posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:03 PM
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The full humanity of Jesus is part of the standard teaching of the church, and always has been.
If the statement comes as a surprise, then that’s exactly the reason why the point needed to be re-emphasised.

The full, balanced teaching is that Christ is God and man.
“And was made man”, says the Nicene Creed.

In the fourth and fifth centuries, the balance was coming under threat from a number of different directions.
The Arians questioned his divinity.
Another group were nicknamed the “Patripassians” (“People who believe that the Father suffers”) because they thought that the totality of God was present in Jesus and therefore placed upon the cross.
The bishop Apollinarius speculated that Christ did not have a “rational soul” (that is, an ordinary human mind), but that the Logos took its place in guiding his actions. Obviously this would have left him less than completely human.
And if Christ was to be understood as both God and man, there was the question of linking the two together.
The teaching of Nestorius distinguished between them, to the extent that it was thought to carry the risk of separating one from the other.
In reaction against this, the Monophysites bound them together so closely that the humanity of Christ almost disappeared, “swallowed up”, as one of their number said, “like a drop of water in the ocean”.

Therefore the balanced teaching, which tries to avoid all these pitfalls, was re-affirmed at the Council of Chalcedon.
Instead of quoting their “Definition”, I’ll make use of a relevant extract from the more accessible (in the sense that I can find it on my bookshelves) Athanasian Creed.

“For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;
God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before all the worlds;
And Man, of the substance of his mother, born in the world;
Perfect God and perfect Man; of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting;
Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead:
And inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood.

Who, although he be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ.
One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God;
One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of Person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ.”

Knowing the background, it’s possible to see how each phrase has a purpose in keeping the balance.

“God of the substance of the Father, begotten before all the worlds” is the answer to Arius, going back to the Nicene Council.

Yet the Creed also goes on to affirm the full humanity of Christ. “Perfect”, in this context, means “complete”. He is human in every essential respect, there is nothing missing.
(Without sin, of course, but that is not of the “essence” of being human)

“Of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting” is a pointed answer to the speculations of Apollinarius. Jesus DOES have a fully human mind, along with everything else that is human.

When it comes to linking the two together;
“He is not two, but ONE Christ” is the answer to Nestorius, who was in danger of separating out Man from God.
“Not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh” denies the theory of the Patripassians.
And “Not by confusion of Substance”, responds to the Monophysites, who lost sight of the human “substance” of Christ by combining it with his divinity.

The result is carefully balanced.
Christ is both God and Man.
Like the human soul-and-body, his Godhood and Manhood are distinct but inseparable.

There is an important message here for two different groups of people.

To those unbelievers who say “Jesus was a man”

You can be persistent in quoting passages which present the humanity of Jesus, because you believe they do something to “debunk” Christian teaching.
As the title of this thread should have told you, they do nothing of the kind.
The point which you’re proving is already an established part of Christian teaching.
The teaching even allows for that favourite quotation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, “My father is greater than I am”. That one is covered in the Athanasian Creed, as already cited; “And inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood”.

The flag of the United States has been nicknamed “The Stars and Stripes” because it contains both stars AND stripes.
Who in their right minds would try to “debunk” that nickname by pointing out the presence of the stripes?
“Look, I can see a stripe on that flag. And there’s another one. That’s positive proof that there can’t be any stars on it.”

In the same way, you cannot debunk the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation by pointing out the humanity of Jesus, because the humanity of Jesus is included in the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation.
If the Creed says that Christ is God AND man, then all you’re doing is demonstrating the “and man” part of the formula.

To those believers who say “Jesus is God”

The above misunderstanding is partly your own fault, you know.
If the full, balanced teaching is that Christ is both God and man, then the unadorned statement that “Jesus is God” is unbalanced and a little misleading.
Ministers, at least, should have been properly trained in the full version, and ought to know better.

The use of the phrase “Jesus is God” gives the impression that the humanity of Jesus is being denied.
This gives unbelievers the chance, which they seize upon, to score cheap debating points by re-affirming it.
Which muddies the waters of this topic.
If you were proclaiming the full teaching, that Christ is God and man, they wouldn’t be able to do that.

Of course I understand why the divinity of Christ is being emphasised.
It’s a reaction against the modern voices which deny the divinity.
But that puts you in danger of understating his humanity; exactly the same mistake that people made in the early church, for exactly the same reason.
You begin to think like the Monophysites, who allowed the humanity of Christ to be “swallowed up” in his divinity, almost disappearing from view.
You begin to think like Apollinarius, who effectively denied the full humanity of the mind of Jesus. You are doing that, I think, whenever you make remarks like “Jesus must have known such-and-such, because he was God”.

The best remedy is that the phrase “Jesus is God” really needs to drop out of use and be replaced by the full, balanced teaching that Christ is both God and man.

Jesus IS a man

This was the deliberate wording of the title.
That is, he has not ceased to be a man.
In the teaching of the New Testament, his manhood was raised from the dead on Easter Day.
So the union of God and man in Christ remains unbroken.

In fact, as far as we know, this combination of divinity and humanity is permanent.
Which implies that the person of Christ is a permanent and unbreakable bond between Creator God and created world, holding them together like a rivet.
That ought to be a mind-blowing thought.




posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

The Arians didn't question his divinity...

They considered Christ to be divine, just not equal to the Father, Just as Jesus stated three times in Johns gospel...

Still created before all the physical world but subordinate to the Father as HE said... For as Arius himself said, "how can the son be a son without the Father coming first, and how can a Father be a Father without also being first"

And as far as the Athanasian Creed goes

Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

Jesus did not once claim to be equal to the Father... John did in his gospel, but that is an issue with that religion not with what Jesus actually said

Good write up though


edit on 10-4-2015 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:23 PM
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originally posted by: Akragon
The Arians didn't question his divinity...

That's partly about how we define the word "divinity".
They denied his eternal existence, for a start,which is one of the defining qualities of God.
"There was a time when the Son was not".
They would have placed him on the "created" side of the boundary between the Creator and the things created. That denies him divinity in the fullest sense, which is what the creeds are talking about.

edit on 10-4-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:40 PM
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Jesus the man was no different than you.
The story of Jesus is not about a man who lived along time ago - it is about every human. Humans believe they are separate from God because of words and ideas - stories about other times and places seem to take you away from Presence - but all that appears, appears in presence and is made of presence.
The realization of presence is the realization of God.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain
The New Testament and the creeds of the church say these things only about Jesus.
Relating them to men in general is a completely different kind of religion.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:51 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




This was the deliberate wording of the title.
That is, he has not ceased to be a man.
In the teaching of the New Testament, his manhood was raised from the dead on Easter Day.

So the union of God and man in Christ remains unbroken.


Jesus has ceased to be a man. He is naught.

As soon as you switched the name of the man Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus the Nazarene to "Christ", you compromised his humanity and assume his divinity.

Many believe that the Nicaean Creed defines Christianity and dictates what a Christian MUST believe, that doesn't make those things true. As Akragon pointed Jesus never claimed to be God.



The bishop Apollinarius speculated that Christ did not have a “rational soul” (that is, an ordinary human mind), but that the Logos took its place in guiding his actions. Obviously this would have left him less than completely human.
And if Christ was to be understood as both God and man, there was the question of linking the two together.


For Christians today, it doesn't really matter if "Christ" incarnated and died on earth, or if "Christ" "died" a spiritual death in the celestial realm, the "Christ" that Christians worship today IS the LOGOS, and exists, for them, only in the celestial realm.



To those unbelievers who say “Jesus was a man”

You can be persistent in quoting passages which present the humanity of Jesus, because you believe they do something to “debunk” Christian teaching.
As the title of this thread should have told you, they do nothing of the kind.
The point which you’re proving is already an established part of Christian teaching.


I think the point is that some people will admit that a man named Jesus existed, but they don't believe he performed the miracles he was said to have, nor did he rise from the dead or die for sin, or come from a virgin. In other words, Jesus of Nazareth, if he existed, wasn't the "Christ" or God in the flesh. He was JUST a man.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:52 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

One of the better lectures on the God head and the plurality of God in scripture by Micheal Heiser .



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
The bible is all about the human condition of suffering - humans suffer from the separation of God - they were thrown out of the garden of Eden. Every human is seeking their way back in - most believe that the body has to die before realizing God but Jesus came with good news.
Banging on about past stories will not get you to heaven. Heaven is right here and now but it is not felt because of the concern with all the stories about things (concepts) that may or may not have happened.
Does anyone notice that what is happening presently is just happening?

When it is seen that all is arising unconditionally then the separate self will be lifted away (raptured).

Christian theologians often consider John 1:1 to be a central text in their belief that Jesus is God, in connection with the idea that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are equals. Though only in this verse is Jesus referred to as the Word of God, the theme transposed throughout the Gospel of John with variations.[1] Theologian N.T. Wright characterizes "Word" (logos) as being incomprehensible in human language. He claims that through belief the Logos will transform people with its judgment and mercy. According to Wright, John's view of the Incarnation, of the Word becoming flesh, strikes at the very root of what he terms "the liberal denial...of the idea of God becoming human...." His assessment is that when the "enfleshment" and speaking Word is removed from the center of Christian theology, all that is left is "a relativism whose only moral principle is that there are no moral principles, no words of judgment (because nothing is really wrong, except saying that things are wrong), no words of mercy (because you're all right as you are, so all you need is affirmation)."
en.wikipedia.org...(Christianity)



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:58 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: Akragon
The Arians didn't question his divinity...

That's partly about how we define the word "divinity".
They denied his eternal existence, for a start,which is one of the defining qualities of God.
"There was a time when the Son was not".
They would have placed him on the "created" side of the boundary between the Creator and the things created. That denies him divinity in the fullest sense, which is what the creeds are talking about.


that is nothing more then one of the many errors in Christian doctrine...

Just because He was created by the Father First over all creation does not make him any less divine...

Not to mention the fact that The Father in that very role implies the Son came after him... Just as Arius said

Arius Followed what the gospels actually said... Athanasius who at the time of the Council of Nicaea was nothing more then a deacon was the one who strayed from what the gospels said... they had to murder Arius to prevent the truth of the matter from being spread because they wanted their version of the trinity.

The truth can still be read in the gospels.... The Father is greater then I... said three times in johns gospel...

And as I've said... There isn't a single line in any of the gospels that came from his mouth that puts Jesus equal to the Father

John said it... Paul said it.... Jesus did not once




posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 05:59 PM
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… “If I were the devil, I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree—Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first—I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’ And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors on how to lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches that war that themselves, and nations that war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flame. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, and neglect to discipline emotions—just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door. Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography—soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and then the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money.

If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle. If I were the devil I’d take from those, and who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. What do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would question against extremes and hard work, and Patriotism, and moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were to devil I’d keep on doing on what he’s doing. Paul Harvey, good day.”

Paul Harvey 1965
edit on 10-4-2015 by whyamIhere because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:05 PM
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originally posted by: windword
Jesus has ceased to be a man.
As soon as you switched the name of the man Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus the Nazarene to "Christ", you compromised his humanity and assume his divinity.

No, the label "Christ" covers the whole combination (in the usage of the creeds).
Within that combination, the man Jesus is still there. That has always been the fomal understanding of the church, even if individual Christians are hazy on the subject.


Many believe that the Nicaean Creed defines Christianity and dictates what a Christian MUST believe, that doesn't make those things true. As Akragon pointed Jesus never claimed to be God.

However, this thread was very specifically about defining what the church teaches (for the sake of clarifying debate on the subject).
It is also deliberately focussed on the humanity in the person of Christ.
Arguing out the connection with God is for other occasions, like last week's "The Word became flesh" thread.



For Christians today, it doesn't really matter if "Christ" incarnated and died on earth, or if "Christ" "died" a spiritual death in the celestial realm, the "Christ" that Christians worship today IS the LOGOS, and exists, for them, only in the celestial realm.

I don't think that fully represents the stance of Christians today. I think it represents what you think their stance should be.



I think the point is that some people will admit that a man named Jesus existed, but they don't believe he performed the miracles he was said to have, nor did he rise from the dead or die for sin, or come from a virgin. In other words, Jesus of Nazareth, if he existed, wasn't the "Christ" or God in the flesh. He was JUST a man.

My point was that finding scriptural proofs that he was a man (as I've seen on threads in the past) does not amount to proving that he was JUST a man. Nothing in those proofs is incompatible with Christian teaching, which identifies him (also) as a man.

edit on 10-4-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:09 PM
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Jesus is I am - 'I am' is present tense.
Through the 'I am' God can be found.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

Only when one stays with the 'I am' sense will God be realized.
The mind is never concerned with now because it cannot do anything with now - it is too late. So now (the present) gets totally overlooked - the mind can play God by believing it can control other times. But there is no other time but the present and it is God who is doing now, it is God who is knowing now.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:20 PM
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originally posted by: Akragon
that is nothing more then one of the many errors in Christian doctrine...
Just because He was created by the Father First over all creation does not make him any less divine...

Christian doctrine is "in error" when it wants to reserve the word "divine" for the Creator God?
No, as I said before, this is just a quibble about the definition of the word "divinity".
You are prone to doing this, I've noticed.You come up with private definitions of words, and then "correct" people who are using the word in a more standard way.

I take it we both agree that Arius would not identify the Son with the Creator God?
Fine; that is what I meant when I said that Arius denied his divinity.
I am not being "in error" here, just refusing to spread the meaning of the word as broadly as you want to spread it.

As I've already told somebody else, this thread was for the specific purpose of emphasing the humanity in the person of Christ.
So I'm not going to get involved, in this thread, in proving his divinity.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: the2ofusr1
Thank you for adding that link.
I nearly missed your post in all the traffic.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:29 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




No, the label "Christ" covers the whole combination (in the usage of the creeds).


No, the Title "Christ" wasn't bestowed on Jesus until HE ROSE from the dead. That's the critical distinction between Jesus of Nazareth, the man, and Jesus the "Christ".



My point was that finding scriptural proofs that he was a man (as I've seen on threads in the past) does not amount to proving that he was JUST a man. Nothing in those proofs is incompatible with Christian teaching, which identifies him (also) as a man.


Well, you opened the subject when you said that non-believers are debunked merely by admitting that Jesus existed, here:



To those unbelievers who say “Jesus was a man”

You can be persistent in quoting passages which present the humanity of Jesus, because you believe they do something to “debunk” Christian teaching.
As the title of this thread should have told you, they do nothing of the kind.
The point which you’re proving is already an established part of Christian teaching.
......
In the same way, you cannot debunk the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation by pointing out the humanity of Jesus, because the humanity of Jesus is included in the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation.
If the Creed says that Christ is God AND man, then all you’re doing is demonstrating the “and man” part of the formula.


Are you saying that Christians' faith can be shaken by the prospect of Jesus' humanity?

You're right, Christianity can't be debunked by claiming that Jesus was JUST a man, because Christians believe the Bible, while non-believers don't. Non-believers acquiesce to his existence by claiming he was JUST a man. A lot of non-believers don't believe he even existed at all.

I missed your "Word Became Flesh" thread. I'll check it out.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:29 PM
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Jesus was a God-Man who, when on earth, was a living Spiritual Master to his followers. He transmitted the force or spirit of God to them, especially after testing their sincerity of practice, devotion, and surrender, via his two great commandments.

Their conformity of their hearts and body-minds to God through him was part of his function as their Master. He also initiated the most prepared ones into the Spirit Light above the body-mind, and this was their spiritual re-birth, even while alive on this earth.

Whether he still functions as a direct Spiritual Master who transmits as he did during his physical life is worthy of consideration - but his disciples called him Master and testified to this spiritual initiation or rebirth during his and their physical lives; and other mystics over the years have done so as well.




edit on 4/10/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:33 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


Christian doctrine is "in error" when it wants to reserve the word "divine" for the Creator God?


Yes...

2 Peter 1:4
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

According to the NT not only can we be one with Jesus and God making us divine, but angels are also considered divine beings... IF Christianity chooses to keep a narrow view of divinity that is their issue I suppose... but the fact remains, God is the most divine, most holy... but there are other divine creations


You are prone to doing this, I've noticed.You come up with private definitions of words, and then "correct" people who are using the word in a more standard way.


Standard to Christianity... which has many errors in its doctrine, as I've said previously...


I take it we both agree that Arius would not identify the Son with the Creator God?


Not at all... Read what I wrote... don't assume... Better yet read the letters we have from Arius...

But he teaches that that one [the Father] is alone true when he says, “that they may know you, the only true God” [John 17:3], not as if one only is God, but that one is the (only) true God, with the very necessary addition of true. For also he himself is Son of God, but not true, as God is. For there is but one true God, the one before whom nothing existed. But if the Son himself is true, it is simply as an image of the true God, and he is God, for [Scripture says] “and the Word was God” [John 1:1], but not as the only true God.

Subordinate... But no less divine...

Christianity is also guilty of Changing the meaning of words to suit their teaching.... Just like the word Grace... Paul twisted that to suit his doctrine... John uses it correctly in his gospel... Jesus didn't say anything about "grace"


As I've already told somebody else, this thread was for the specific purpose of emphasing the humanity in the person of Christ.
So I'm not going to get involved, in this thread, in proving his divinity.


And that is most definitely appreciated... I've always liked your threads...

Unfortunately I can't help but correct errors


edit on 10-4-2015 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:38 PM
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originally posted by: windword
No, the Title "Christ" wasn't bestowed on Jesus until HE ROSE from the dead. That's the critical distinction between Jesus of Nazareth, the man, and Jesus the "Christ".

That doesn't really contradict what I said. I was referring to the usage of the creeds, which were defined after he rose from the dead.


Well, you opened the subject when you said that non-believers are debunked merely by admitting that Jesus existed...
Are you saying that Christians' faith can be shaken by the prospect of Jesus' humanity?

No, I was responding to unbelieving posters, as I've seen in the past, who thought that it could be shaken in that way.
I wasn't trying to debunk non-believers. I was just dismissing one approach to "debunking" Christians.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:53 PM
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originally posted by: Akragon
"I take it we both agree that Arius would not identify the Son with the Creator God?"
Not at all... Read what I wrote... don't assume... Better yet read the letters we have from Arius...

I am relying on Ottleys book for my knowledge of Arius.
I see that one of his dicta about the Son was EX OUK ONTON EGENETO - that is, "He was made from those things which were not". In other words, he was, as I said, on the "created things" side of the boundary between the Creator and the created world.
And even the passage you quote denies his identity with the "one true God".
Which is what I was talking about.

The point was simply that Arius was included among those not following the "Christ is God and man" balanced line of Nicene and post-Nicene teaching.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 07:01 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Correct... But the thing is, IF things were different at the Council of Nicaea... You, along with the rest of Christianity would actually be following the gospels as they are written...

Arius was not only outnumbered in that conference... he was murdered to prevent his version of the trinity from being accepted... They counted it as a divine blessing that arius was poisoned... In reality he was clearly disposed of... the same as everyone else who attempted to say anything other then what the church wanted... Marcion met the same fate, and im sure there were plenty more including most if not all of the gnostic writers...

The reality is... Jesus was subordinate to the Father... He came after the Father, and there was a time when there was only the Father... because the a son can not exist unless a Father is present

All one has to do is read the letters from Arius... HE had the correct argument by following what is written

Athanasius was wrong...




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