Sunday, February 26, 2012

Taxes and the Trinity

The Mormon Missionaries have shown up again, which is always really cool. We get to sit down and just chat about whatever they bring up. Every time it's different, so I always wonder if I'm saying the right thing. Ultimately, it's up to God... but your prayers are always welcome as we chat with all the kids God brings into our lives (what a joy and blessing!).

This week, the doctrine of the Trinity came up again. We were reading 3 Nephi 11 and came across verse 27: "...verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one."

I stopped us there. "That sounds pretty Trinitarian to me."

The one response they had was that in verse 32, Jesus is recorded as saying, "I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me." Thus showing distinction between the two... namely, that they aren't truly one in anything other than purpose.

Standing under the hot water of my morning shower, a thought struck me: The Trinity is modeled in Taxes. I've heard many explanations and word pictures used to describe this mystery. How does this one fit?

Brittany and I are two distinct persons. If we had a kid, that'd be a third. But to the government, we are but one entity when filing taxes: The Holzmann Family. They see us as dependents and parents, to be sure, but ultimately we are only one. One family, three persons.

Considering how often God uses family to give us pictures of who He is and how He works--Lover, Husband, Parent (Ezekiel 16 comes to mind)--it doesn't seem like a very big stretch to think that this may be another glimpse into the mystery of the Trinity. God, in and of Himself, makes up a complete "family." But this heavenly family is made up of the persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the unit is the Godhead Trinity.

That make sense to you? Or is my morning shower not the best time for theological pondering?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester


mary grace said...

Totally brilliant. Sounds like the shower is your Thinkin' Place. :-)

Jen said...

I had a Mormon friend one time who tried to witness to me about her Mormon beliefs. We had an interesting discussion about the Trinity. She explained it exactly like this, using her own family as an example. Their doctrine states that the trinity is three physically separate persons, but one in purpose, which is pretty close to a description of a family. The Christian idea of the Trinity has the contradiction of being three persons and one person, all at the same time. They are equal, whereas members of a family are not and exist in hierarchy. They have one mind, whereas members of a family do not.

I'm not trying to be argumentative or cause conflict by pointing out the flaws in this description but feel I need to share that this is how, ironically, some Mormons describe the Trinity. Essentially, all human attempts to describe the Christian view of the Trinity are inadequate since it is a divine mystery and we will only understand once we get to Heaven.

Luke said...

Heh... good observation, Jen [smile].


Loving learning at Home said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog, Luke. And it does sound like the shower is a good place for your thinking. God Bless.

Jenn said...

The Trinity makes my head spin. I can barely explain it to my kids and I'm always in awe that they just nod and agree. To explain it to a Mormon missionary would be intimidating to me.

I have a dear friend who is Mormon and the conversations have been interesting. There is so much that we DO agree on and yet, I'm starting to think that we have not adequately defined our terms. I need to find some resources for understanding this better, I think.

Luke said...

Jenn, from what I've read and observed, Mormonism went through a massive PR overhaul over the last couple of decades, and especially the last year or so. Over this time they have reworked their message to begin the conversation that they are, indeed, Christians. The question, of course, to follow on to that is, "I am a Bible-believing, Orthodox Christian, what are you offering me?"

It takes a while, but the differences in definitions, approaches, applications, and outcomes are staggering.

May God give you wisdom and grace as you talk with your friend. Ultimately, may His truth and loving kindness be what comes out of these conversations... and may we all end up closer to Him and following as He leads!


Anonymous said...

I wonder what Amber Densmer ponders about.