Drei Irrlehren tauchten während den ersten Jahrhunderten des Christentums auf, die alle in enger Verbindung mit der Trinität stehen. Ein genaues Hinblicken lohnt sich, denn Irrtümer halten sich hartnäckig. Thomas K. Johnson gibt in seinem Buch „What Difference Does the Trinity Make? A Complete Faith, Life, and Worldview“ einen kurzen Abriss über diese Lehren.
The God of the Old Testament, he thought, was an evil God who created a world filled with evil, cruelty, and suffering. The human body and soul were created by this evil being, who is also vindictive and stern in his enforcement of an inflexible law. But Jesus came and revealed a new God, who had remained hidden until the coming of Jesus. This new God is a God of mercy and love who only requires that people respond in love and mercy. But Jesus could not really become a man with a human soul and body, since such an incarnation would bring Jesus (and the new God revealed by Jesus) into close contact with the evil physical world created by the evil Old Testament God. Jesus only appeared to be a man, though in fact he avoided becoming human. Real followers of Jesus should have as little as possible to do with physical flesh, and therefore they should not eat meat or have sexual contact.
The Gnostics generally taught that human souls had a heavenly existence prior to this life, but something happened in that heavenly existence which caused souls to fall from heaven into a physical body. But the good god sent a heavenly redeemer who gives secret knowledge to fallen souls about their forgotten previous state, which allows them to return to this higher form of life. Individual souls are seen as sparks of a heavenly Primal Man, a representative of Light. Evil demonic forces of darkness tore the Primal Man into pieces and created the world we see from these pieces. But if a soul has received the proper secret knowledge, after death it is able to return to its original home in the realm of Light.
Arius is famous for claiming that Jesus was of “like substance” with God the Father, homoiousion in Greek. In contrast, the Council of Nicea said that Jesus is of the “same substance” with God the Father, homoousion in Greek. But in that one-letter difference in spelling there is not only a difference in metaphysics; there is an entirely different religion, faith, and life. As articulated by Athanasius and the other great preachers over the centuries, if Jesus is only “a lot like” God, then we are left without a Savior. The human race needs a Savior who is truly God, as well as truly human. If Jesus is only “like” God, not God in the flesh, then we do not have a real Savior.
Welche Relevanz ein ausgewogenes Verständnis der Trinität für unseren Alltag hat, habe ich hier aufgezeigt.