Food for Thought: Did God really say: “If you don’t believe Jesus is my God-Son, you will go to hell”? |Denkanstoss: Sollte Gott wirklich gesagt haben: “Wer nicht glaubt, dass Jesus mein Gott-Sohn ist, kommt in die Hölle”?
In August 2013 I came to the conclusion to quit my position as global CWCF (Christians @ Work – Christian Fellowship at HP) leader in an orderly way, after having informed my two co-leaders in the US that I was no longer able to endorse the Christian Doctrine of the Trinity. After a telephone conference I wanted to send a last official monthly newsletter, but all editing permissions were taken away from me overnight and I had no chance to send it out. See further below how my step down was communicated to the members by the new chairman.
See my last CWCF Newsletter which was NOT published: Click here. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
See also: CWCF Statement of Faith.
Read some of the last e-mails from the CWCF leadership team, declaring me as a heretic!
Names shortened in the e-mails for privacy reasons.
You actually may want to start reading from the bottom to the top. Note that I just picked some e-mails, not the whole conversation which lasted more than two months in total.
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2013 5:35 PM
Subject: CWCF – Leadership Change
I am forwarding this message from Thomas Maeder (CWCF Chairman)
I have brought up several topics of emerging theological differences with our co-leaders A.J. and D.C. in various e-mails, including a recent conference call. I have offered to step down as CWCF leader with immediate effect which was accepted by my brothers.
A.J. and D.C. will pursue the leadership and they will communicate further steps in due time.
I’m happy to remain a member of the fellowship!
May God bless you greatly.
CWCF Leadership Team
AJ. – Co-Chair
D.C. – Information Officer
From: A J
Sent: Freitag, 30. August 2013 15:44
To: Thomas Mäder; ‘AJ’
Subject: RE: Trinity
Thomas – if you find you, as you have said “I will be careful not to offense somebody in my September newsletter. It will be a Christian newsletter.” Then I would prefer you not write anything. If you have become so deceived by these Unitarian/incorrect writings that you feel you would have to make an effort to write a “Christian” newsletter then we’ve got bigger problems here. Having you write under false pretenses is worse (in my opinion) than simply forgoing a monthly letter.
The reason this man (whose writing you have copied below) has received this silence is that is he speaking foolishly. His conclusions are incorrect and we’ve been told (it is written!) “2 Timothy 3:8 And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people – who have warped minds and are disqualified in the faith – also oppose the truth. 3:9 But they will not go much further, for their foolishness will be obvious to everyone, just like it was with Jannes and Jambres. “
I do not know what more I can say. You speak of putting down your religious church glasses and put on new glasses, but in truth you have begun looking at scripture and Jesus with one eye closed. I will be praying for you, but it will be prayers for knowledge and discernment so that you turn away from these lies and deceptions.
From: Thomas Mäder
Sent: Friday, August 30, 2013 5:09 AM
Subject: RE: Trinity
Thank you for your e-mail.
(Please see also my other e-mail “Truth or Tradition: TorahOfMessiah.com Website” of today.)
I know it starts to be difficult to say I’m a Christian. I start to consider myself more a “Messianist”, a true follower of our Messiah, rather than a follower of the Greco/Roman Jesus.
As you know, I’ve been on this way since two years now. And I do NOT regret any of the documents and books I read.
I feel so much like the author of TorahofMessiah.com who writes on http://www.torahofmessiah.com/whyfocus.html:
I have now had the Torah of Messiah web site active for well over ten years. Prior to that I would often discuss the deity issue with others. I have also sent emails to Christian friends to solicit discussion. What I discovered was very disheartening. With only a few notable exceptions all I get in the way of discussion is silence.
Within my own family the situation is typical. I have 3 sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, etc. Before finally giving up, I asked them directly via phone or in person, sent them emails, articles, etc. wishing for them to discuss this. My nephew-in-law is a Baptist minister; however, not even he bothered to respond. My family is composed of either Baptist or church of Christ members. My younger sister politely responded a couple of times and in each case did not appear interested in studying. All she did was partially and briefly state her church of Christ position. A beloved niece and her loving husband indicated some mild interest for a time. I would spend much time talking to them, recommending material to study, etc., but eventually I realized they probably really had no interest in serious study if that study threatened their bond to their church family. I think that they showed interest merely as a means to show love to me. I appreciated that and love them dearly, but was saddened by their lack of determination to seek truth.
As I said, my family is typical. I have had friends at work express interest in having me participate in Bible studies with them, but that was before they saw my web site. Once I warned them of where I stand, which I felt obligated to do, their invitations to Bible study suddenly disappeared and I realized they shunned me at work. What does that suggest about how sincere they were in wanting to study? Were they truly wanting to study, or were they actually wanting to socialize and seek to confirm their bias? The answer is fairly obvious. …..
Again: After a walk in the spiritual desert for some 30 years, the LORD (YHWH) has opened the gate of truth! I’ve learned more, much, much more in the last two years than ever in the past 30 years! I love God, whose real name is YHWH, more than ever. I love Yeshua (Jesus), who is my savior, more than ever. I love the Bible, mainly the Older Testament (the Tanakh), more than ever. I put down my religious church glasses and put on new glasses. It is simply fantastic!
Again: I think you needn’t pray “to get me back on the right path”. I KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW I’m on the right path!
We need to find a solution for CWCF. Please think about it and pray.
I also pray for you, brothers!
I love you both! Believe me!
I need some more time, some more days, maybe some more weeks.
I will be careful not to offense somebody in my September newsletter. It will be a Christian newsletter :-)
Sent: Donnerstag, 29. August 2013 17:37
To: ‘Thomas Mäder’
Subject: RE: Trinity
I do have deep concerns for you and your walk with Christ especially given what you’ve written on your blog and the faith position you appear to hold to now. I do not mean to start any “controversy” with you, but I do believe firmly that one cannot claim to be both non-Trinitarian and Christian. Strong words I’m sure but there is a contradiction of the entire Bible (OT and NT) to state that one can be Unitarian and a follower of Christ. Christ was, is and ever shall be. He was with God in the beginning and will be at His right hand in the end. HE is the Alpha and Omega, the triune God, one in three persons. There is no surprising mystery or error in our beliefs, the Trinity is not a pagan concept, the entirety of the Bible brings a reader to this understanding over and over again.
For me, your comments (for example: “See where the Christian pagan Trinity originates from…”, or “…who introduced Trinity and when, and if they came to the conclusion that we were taught wrong over the last centuries…”) are not only highly inflammatory, they are patently false teaching. I believe, based on the weight of scripture, this is a false doctrine you are supporting and believing in. Even the videos you’ve listed (Deity of Messiah Debate) overwhelmingly refute Dr. Anthony Buzzards errant unitarian position. Dr. Michael Brown, and Dr. James White clearly refute Dr. Buzzards position over and over and over again in these videos so I’m very concerned when you appear to side with such false witness. Have you ever read Dr. White’s book “The Forgotten Trinity” ? (amazon com/Forgotten-Trinity-James-R-White/dp/1556617259/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377787717&sr=1-1&keywords=the+forgotten+trinity) I recommend that you do.
I want to be very clear here, as it was written to Titus (Titus 2:15), I am seeking to communicate to you the Truth of Christ, the Son of God the Father and member of the trinity which our faith is based upon. My fear is that like the Cretan’s Titus was sent to instruct, you have fallen into an errant belief that is not consistent with Christ’s teaching. One can clearly communicate Christ to Jews and Muslims without trying to ignore the trinity!
Remember the words of admonition to Titus: “1:10 For there are many rebellious people, idle talkers, and deceivers, especially those with Jewish connections, 1:11 who must be silenced because they mislead whole families by teaching for dishonest gain what ought not to be taught. 1:12 A certain one of them, in fact, one of their own prophets, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 1:13 Such testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply that they may be healthy in the faith 1:14 and not pay attention to Jewish myths and commands of people who reject the truth. 1:15 All is pure to those who are pure. But to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their minds and consciences are corrupted.”
I do not want you to be unpure, rebellious to the truth; I want you to be believing in Christ’s truth, fully – not corrupted by these idle talkers who are deceiving people with their errant and heretical beliefs.
Your brother in Christ,
… Many other e-mails going back and forth in July and August …
From: A J
Sent: Freitag, 19. Juli 2013 21:49
To: Thomas Mäder; D.C.
Subject: RE: Anti-Trinitarian Doctrine
Brother, no matter how often you pray about this it isn’t a case of spiritual ignorance among Christians. This guy (rem.TM:author of the Torah of Messiah website) is a PhD (Doctorate) in engineering (according to his own statements) and even he has written he is not a biblical theologian, so he is not trained nor equipped to properly exegesis the scriptures as he has tried to do. He is guilty of picking versus and twisting their actual meaning. There are entire volumes of study material dealing with the Trinitarian heresies of the early church, the “Babylonian mystery” and so forth. This issue as he has laid it out was (and is) a heretical teaching that resurfaces from time to time and is rejected by Christians for its fallacy.
While I have not (until yesterday) read the majority of this Joel Erlich’s work – and I have now – there isn’t ignorance at work here. Like I said if there was any truth to what this guy was saying this material would be taught at seminaries around the world. Did you know that his material is rejected even by the majority of the scholars he lists on his reading list? Surely if he was right, these other authors would quote his work, or at least ask him to come lecture their students – wouldn’t they?
Here is truth. I am blessed to share the company of biblical scholars who are recognized around the world for their work (see Stonebriar Church stonebriar.org/home/, home to Dr Swindoll who is the retired head of Dallas Theological Seminary (dts.edu/). Because one of my close friends is a teaching pastor at this Seminary, and my pastor is the retired Dean of the Seminary, I have a very close relationship to many of the people who not only teach biblical scholarship, but men and women who live it, people who are asked to come and teach all over the world and who are often guest lecturers at other seminaries. Two other brothers of mine in Christ are biblical teachers ordained to go out into the world and teach pastors how to be better teachers in places like China, India, Viet Nam, and Malaysia – and you should know how hard these countries are to be Christian in, people are regularly killed for their belief in Jesus – and all of these teachers teach the Trinity and that Jesus was and is God as much as the Holy Spirit and equal to God the Father. Every one of them will soundly reject the heretical idea that Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit are separate, unequal creations – and you should too brother! Jesus was not a perfected man, he was God among us! One other brother of mine is a languages teacher here at the Divinity school that helped with the exhaustive translations of Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin copies of the bible to produce the Net Bible (https://bible.org/netbible ). He’s even helped with the translations of the Dead Sea scrolls (on exhibit here in Ft. Worth http://www.dts.edu/reviews/maxine-l-grossman-rediscovering-the-dead-sea-scrolls) and I know this teacher will tell you that this Joel Erlich is in deep, deep error in his translations. What Joel Erlich is preaching, while always an interesting topic to deal with, simply isn’t true.
So tell me, what does your pastor have to say about this? I know mine soundly rejects this monotheist (anti-Trinitarian, Jesus was a man not God) doctrine. Of the Messianic Jews that I know, none would support this Joel Erlich’s writings; none of the biblical scholars that I personally know would support his work. What I find most surprising is like many errant “teachers” he actually has a page (web page) where he attacks his challengers instead of inviting debate and discussion – this alone tells me that he and his writing is in deep, deep spiritual error – and frankly brother it should speak volumes to you! And his defense? At each turn he writes that it is “everyone else” who’s hiding something, lying, deceitful or ignorant.
Brother I will be praying for you. This is not wise counsel you’ve taken on from this man. I hope and pray that you will consider what I have written as it is intended, for it is written in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens another”.
I would charge you to study your bible, consider what Genesis 1:10 reveals to us about God and the Holy Spirit (1:2 Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.); consider reading a scholarly translation and the extensive notes of the scriptures you have questions about. For example, just run through the immense number of foot notes here (net.bible.org/#!bible/Matthew+1) verse by verse on those versus this guy says we’re interpreting incorrectly. I think you will learn that what this guy has cooked up isn’t the truth brother.
Peace and grace to you,
From: A J
Sent: Donnerstag, 18. Juli 2013 22:11
To: Thomas Mäder; D.C.
Subject: RE: Torah of Messiah and more.
Whoa brother…there’s a lot of really, really anti-Trinitarian doctrine here. The author is considered nothing more than a quack (fake) by nearly everyone in the Christian/Jewish communities. I would steer clear of ANYTHING this guy says. If he was at all accurate in his suppositions his work would be featured in every seminary in the U.S. (liberal and orthodox). I’ve never heard of him, I cannot find a credible site on line that has any support for his comment – but I can find plenty who take issue with his terrible “scholarship”.
I’m sorry brother, I should have read this more closely. I hope you can forgive me but this is not the truth.
Some e-mail conversation about how it began … when I started to tell me friends that I have troubles with the Trinity…. I asked them to read the website Torah of Messiah.
Please read from the bottom to the top.