Are Christians idol worshippers, for worshipping the Triune God?
A Muslim said to me one day, accusing me of idolatry (Shirk in Islam): “Why do you Christians not worship the one true God? You speak of the Trinity. You worship three, Jesus and his mother at the same time as God.”
The reason for this common misconception about the Trinity is due to the erroneous representation of it in the Quran (Sura 5: 116). The Qur’an does not even bother to address the very first and most basic Christian belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Let’s be clear !
Mary is neither God nor a part of God. The Holy Word of God does not teach this. The Bible teaches rather, that although Mary is a pious woman, she was not perfect, she was a sinner in the same way as all of us (Injil, Luke 1:47).
God is one
It must also be clear that Christians do not worship three gods! The key verse of the Torah of the Prophet Moses proclaims, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is the only LORD. (Torah, Deuteronomy 6: 4)
The One and Only God exists in three distinct persons
Yet the Bible teaches unambiguously that there is more than one who is God. Let us take care how we say it: there is not more than one God, but there is a plurality of Divine Persons in the bosom of the divine essence: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
I will quote only one example here: in the Torah, at the beginning of creation the Eternal God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness … God created man in his image. (Torah, Genesis 1: 26, 27) The underlined words show how God, alone and single, speaks of Himself as One (God created in His image), and also in the plural, as more than one when He says, “Let us make man…”.
1 + 1 + 1 = 1?
Here is how a conversation between two friends, Abdullah (Muslim) and Mehdi (Christian), began:
“By the way, what do you see here?” Said Abdullah, pointing to heaven three fingers.
“I can see three fingers with one hand,” said Mehdi, smiling, as if he knew what to expect.
“Mehdi,” said Abdullah, in a solemn tone. Do you believe that God is One or Three?
“Maybe you do not fully understand how I believe in God,” Mehdi replied calmly. But you must understand that I believe in the one true and living God who created the heavens and the earth, who is omnipotent, who knows everything, and who is present everywhere. You know that my faith is based on the Bible. Now the Bible teaches that God is One! This truth is attested in many passages from one end of the Bible to the other.”
“But God can not be both three and one,” insisted Abdullah, raising three fingers again to heaven. And he continued, with a hint of annoyance in his voice: “1 + 1 + 1 = 3, not 1. In the same way,one god + one god + one god = three gods. ”
“How many Abdullahs here, one or two?” Asked Mehdi.
“One, of course,” said Abdullah.
“Well, God created you with a body and a mind,” said Mehdi. Is your body Abdullah?
– Yes of course.
“But is your soul also Abdullah?”
“Yes, no doubt,” said Abdullah, who suspected a little of what his friend was about to say. Mehdi went on: “Why then would it be impossible for God to be three in one, since He created us two in one?”
There was a silence, and he continued:
” Suppose that God is a complex unity, revealed in three persons … say, 1 x 1 x 1, what does that equal, Abdullah?
“One,” said Abdullah, without losing his composure. He had scarcely considered it in this way, but it would take more than a reasoning to convince him on such a serious subject, touching on the very person of God. Three ones can make one, even in mathematics! But this can never truly represent the Trinity.
We need a lot of humility!
Someone has said that “it is easier to dump an entire ocean with a small bucket than to seek to identify the greatness of God through human reason.”
God is beyond all human understanding and we must expect that we will find in Him some surprising aspects. Remembering the greatness of God’s intelligence, the prophet David (Dawud) said in the Zabour “Such thoughts are beyond my reach, they are too high for me to grasp! – Psalm 139: 6
Men too often try to reduce God to their level of understanding. God is sovereign and we can not demand of him that He reveals Himself according to our own wishes. We can not understand Him perfectly. If that were the case, we would be gods in our turn. We can only bow and accept by faith what He has revealed to us of Himself. Therefore, once again, in trying to answer the question of the Trinity, Christians open their Bible and bring us back to the Holy Word of God, showing us what it teaches about the Father , about the Son and about the Holy Spirit.
Is the difficulty of understanding or explaining the Trinity proof that it is not true? Not at all. There are many more aspects of God (other than the Trinity) that neither Christians nor Muslims can understand or fully explain. For instance, how can God exist without needing anything, and use power without losing power?
An interview with a Muslim magistrate
One day, a Christian friend invited me to meet his Muslim friend who was a magistrate. He was one of the most open Muslims I have ever met. While I was explaining to him what the Bible says about death and suffering, he suddenly asked me: “Can you explain the Trinity to me? “Yes, I can, but if you explain something else to me,” I replied. ” What ? “Please explain to me how the whole person of God can be present here, but at the same time, be present in Paris, and everywhere in the world? Without hesitation he replied: “It is an easy question to answer. Evidently, God is omnipresent. Even if it is difficult to understand this, He is God and he can do everything. ”
He understood immediately where I was leading him, and knew what my answer would be. “This is exactly my answer to your question about the Trinity. God is ONE, but he is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” He took a few seconds of reflection, then said, “It’s okay, I accept that.”
When I studied the Word of God (the Bible) while seriously thinking about my salvation, I do not remember having truly resisted the Gospel because of the Trinity. It seemed very clear to me that I had to first solve the problem of whether or not the book I had in my hands (The Bible) was really the Word of God. Once this doubt has been dispelled, I have since accepted even the smallest truth it reveals.
As I read the Bible, it became crystal clear that it teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And at the same time, I was convinced that there is only one God. I must admit, however, that understanding and embracing this truth came to me with the help of God. There was something like a curtain or veil over my heart that blinded me and prevented me from seeing the wonderful truth of the Bible. I came to a standstill for a time, but when the Holy Spirit (الروح القدس) intervened in my life, everything became clear. The veil was removed!
So I encourage anyone who really wants to know the truth to pray to God for help in understanding the Trinity and accepting it without being ashamed by faith.
“O depth of the riches, wisdom and knowledge of God! That His judgments are unfathomable, and His ways beyond our understanding!”
(Injil, Romans 11:33)