From Here To There: A Brief Journey In Life
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 1, 2015
Having been raised in the Methodist church, over time, I had “been around” in various Christian traditions
– including participation in by membership in some –
• make-your-own church
• Pentecostal (talking in tongues, dancing, but no snake handling)
• Church of God
• Church of Christ
• Church of God in Christ
• Baptist (hard shell, soft shell, primitive, mainline, and corn on the cob varieties)
• Cumberland Presbyterian
• Seventh-Day Adventist
• Evangelical Protestant
• Anglican (Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin – Southern Cone, while in California)
and then, finally… I arrived home at Rome, never more to roam.
Along my Christian spiritual journey, there were markers, some of them being points at which unanswered fundamental questions about the faith of Christ the LORD left me hungering. One which I recall with specificity was concerning the nature of the Trinity – which was how did the idea of the Trinity and the nature of the same come to be?
For that, I had to look back nearly two thousand years into the formative period of Christendom when a fellow named Athanasius who lived 296-373, defended the newly formed church against heresy & schism against the heretical matter of Arianism. Specifically, Athanasius defended the Church on the nature of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), against the ideas of a man named Arius.
In a nutshell, what Arius taught denied that the Son is of one essence, nature, or substance with God; that Jesus is not consubstantial (Greek word homoousios) with the Father, and therefore not like Him, or equal in dignity, or co-eternal, or within the real sphere of Deity. Arius and his followers said that the Son was “unlike” the Father. They denied His co-equal dignity and co-eternal existence. While they affirmed the Word of God to be everlasting, they imagined God as having become the Son to create the worlds and redeem mankind.
The orthodox, traditional view defended and supported by Athanasius (the phrase “Athanasius contra mundum,” translated as “Athanasius against the world” arose at that time) was that there was only one God; and the Trinity, that this Absolute One existed in three distinct subsistences; and the Circumincession, that Father, Word, and Spirit could not be separated, either in fact or in thought, from one another; yet an opening was left for discussion as regarded the term “Son,” and the period of His “generation” (gennesis).
Arising from that entire discussion was the Nicene Creed, to which practically every Christian church to this day holds true as fundamental, foundational doctrine.
We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
Consequently, Athanasius is one of my patrons (a saint with whose life I can identify). John Henry Newman is the other, because he was, like me, a convert to the Catholic church from the Anglican church.
In the link below, the writer expresses practically the exact same sentiments as I had when I converted.
You may find them interesting.