Theology

How The Trinity Makes a Decision

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Why was the Son sent by the Trinity, and not the Father or the Spirit?

Did the Son draw the short straw?

If the Son wasn’t just the unlucky one, how was such a decision made (if we can speak of decision making in the Godhead of the Trinity in such human ways)?

Some have said the Son, in being sent by the Father, reveals an eternal willingness, or disposition, to submit to the Father. They imagine an eternal divine counsel between the Father, Son, and Spirit where it is decided the Son would be sent for our salvation. But for these complementarians, this “decision” reveals the Father’s authority and the Son’s obedience.

But are decisions always made based on authority? Is that really the only option for finding a common agreement?

Does this reveal a lack of imagination when it comes to making decisions among some complementarians?

Could there not be a more mutually based divine decision making process? And if so, if we had an imagination for such a decision-making process, what would that say for leadership in our churches, and between men and women, and between husbands and wives?

Are decisions, in the Trinity, our Churches & homes based on authority or mutuality? Click To Tweet

A Trinitarian Conversation

Imagine listening in on the Trinity’s conversation about who should be sent (for this is roughly how the ancient church thought of these things).

Trinity
The Trinity, by Andrei Rublev

The Father asks of the Son and the Spirit, “Now that we have decided, not only because of our love and desire to save humanity from the sin and folly they have fallen into, but that it would not be fitting to let our glorious creation fall into nothingness through our inaction, who of us should be sent into the world?”

Immediately the Father sees the hands of the Son and Spirit shoot up, and notices his own raised arm, making three.

Should the Spirit be Sent by the Trinity?

“Well,” says the Son, turning to the Spirit, “it would make sense for you to be sent. You are the Spirit of life, having been breathed in humanity at the first. It would be fitting for you to breathe upon them again, that the dry bones might live. And you have already dwelt among humanity when you anointed kings, and priests, and prophets, that they would speak and know our one will. And you have been our glorious presence in cloud and fire before Israel, filing the tabernacle and temple with our eternal glory. Indeed, it is through you that our glory fills the whole world.”

And the Father added to the Spirit, “Truly you have blessed humanity in so many ways. And because you proceed from both I and the Son it would be most fitting for you to be sent by us into the world for the salvation of all humanity.”

“But perhaps,” the Father continued, “perhaps, humanity would be confused that you, the Spirit of God, who has taken so many temporary forms to manifest our presence, perhaps humanity would be confused that you would be personally united to a human. Would fickle humanity worry that we also are erratic and that the promised salvation will only be another temporary measure? We have already promised humanity that you would be poured out on all flesh, so for you to be joined personally to one particular human might make them doubt our words of promise. We must find a way that, while necessitating faith, will not burden humanity with uncertainly about the permanence of our salvation.”

The Spirit, always of one mind with the wisdom of the Father and Son (for the Son is the wisdom of the Father), nods in agreement that it would not be most fitting to be sent.

Should the Father be Sent by the Trinity?

The Father spoke again.

“I long to be sent, that all might become children of God. I long to expose the lie that mastery and dominance are marks of fatherhood. It must be revealed that true love, even unto sacrifice, is one with power using it for the benefit of those without it; that true authority is not something to be grasped or held onto but used for the sake of others, elevating others at all costs. We created humanity in our image in order that they might share in our authority and love. But now they abuse one another and destroy all of creation.

“Let it be that I am sent to show and offer the powerful love of a father.”

The Son and Spirit, so moved by the passion of the Father and the plight of humanity, and indeed especially women and those on the margins suffering under the oppression of those who abuse power, and Son and Spirit in their longing with the Father that all would know the love of true fatherhood, they almost agreed to send the Father.

But the Spirit responded, “You have spoken what all of us hope and long for, that humanity is lost in a war of sin, abusing the gifts we have given them. But, you being Father, longing to reveal all that fatherhood should be, can not become human, born of a woman. For then you would also be a son, and not always and eternally Father. Certainly humans can be both sons and fathers, or mothers and daughters, but you are Father from all eternity just as the Son is the Son from all eternity. It would not be fitting for you to be sent from us when we truly are from you, the Son eternally begotten from you and I eternally proceeding from you and the Son.”

And the Son added, “While you long to reveal the true love of humility as true fatherhood, it would not be truly humble for you to represent yourself and speak of yourself. Humanity will either submit to you out of fear, misunderstanding you as an angry god demanding allegiance, or fault you for a feigned humility secretly seeking control over them. Humanity cannot see you lest they die from your perfectly holy love, obliterated by their own misunderstanding and sin. Our approach to humanity must be even more subtle and persuasive, witnessing to another way of life, and leaving open a truly human response?”

The Father, filled with an infinite love of humanity now matched with an infinite grief that he could not be sent, agrees to the wisdom of the Son and Spirit.

Should the Son be Sent by the Trinity?

The Father then turns to the Son.

“Truly you have always been Son, through whom all things are created. It would be fitting that through you all things would be re-created. And if you are born of a woman you would still be eternally Son, and the woman would be the mother of God. If you were sent in the flesh, purifying and vivifying humanity, then you and I would still be able to send the Spirit onto all flesh, fulfilling the Spirit’s longing to be sent by us also.”

The Spirit then said to the Father, “And if the Son is sent by you, then you, while not being sent, would be known as the one who loves without measure, not withholding anything, but sending both the Son and myself, and in that way you too, in a sense, will be sent through us, into the world that all might become children of God.”

And so, it being decided by the Father, Son, and Spirit, in all equality, the Son, for the joy set before him, endured the cross through his incarnation, became flesh that God could die, so that all humanity might re-join the eternal love of the Father, Son, and Spirit.

Further Reading on the Trinity, Authority and Submission

See also:

Imagine the Trinity's conversation about who should go to die on earth. Click To Tweet
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tip the Author & Support Our Ministry!

Thank you for supporting this author and Missio Alliance’s ministry of online publishing! All our authors graciously volunteer their time and expertise in creating resourceful articles such as this. Your generosity makes it possible for their voices and perspectives to reach and influence Christian leaders all around the world.
 
From #GivingTuesday (Nov. 27) through the end of the year, half of any donation you make will go directly to this author while the other half will support Missio Alliance and our Writing Collective platform in particular. 
 
Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated! 
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Billing Details

Donation Total: $5

By commenting below, you agree to abide by the Missio Alliance Comment Policy.

8 responses to “The Collateral Damage of Video-Venues: A Challenge To All Video Venue Multi-Site Church Leaders – DO A SURVEY!

  1. Gidday,A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar. He was visiting a church planting friend in Myanmar who reported that a common problem [or is it just an event rather than a problem] is a planted church will change denomination when a better sponsor comes along. I just wondered if the good intentions of slick marketing extends a little further in the world than multi-venue churchs in north america.
    I enjoyed your thoughts.

  2. I am not a church planter or pastor…BUT…I really appreciated your blog here on video venue churches. I attended a video venue church in Mesa AZ that was planted by one of the most if not the most well respected video venue churches from the heart of the Bible Belt, OKC.I left a Mega church that I had been deeply committed to for 23 years to give this type of church a try. It made sense for me initially as the church plant in our area tended to attract a very ecclectic and even marginalized kind of demographic…something I wanted to be more closely connected to…but it also attracted a lot of people who were on their way out of the door of the I.C. and were willing to give ‘church’ one last try.
    This particular video venue church never really made it here in the desert. It sorely misunderstood the culture and while it had a very modern and contemporary feel…it certainly wasn’t missional or at all new in it’s ministry focus especially after being up and running for about a year. It hit a peak attendance of roughly 400 people before rather quickly unraveling; that is not the case with the parent church and it’s dozen or so campuses in Oklahoma and other more southern states.
    I left the church before it dissolved…and in fact chose to leave the institutional church completely…
    A couple of churches native to our area are trying the video venue thing and it appears to be ‘working’ for them. I suppose it does take all kinds of methods to reach different people…but…I just can’t stomach most of what goes on on the ‘inside’ myself…Thankfully there are other options outside of the traditional model for the fringe like me!
    I now host Emerging cohort ( Emerging Desert ) in my home weekly…which is just what I guess I was looking for all along and it is going very very well.

  3. Hey Dave,I’m wondering just what kind of questions would go on this survey. By implication I might come up with:
    Did you come to this church from a congregation of 350 or less?
    Were you attracted to the possibility of anonymity at this church?
    Have you been a regular attend of another congregation within the last 10 years?

    Is that the sort of stuff you’re envisioning? And is this more of a symbolic statement, or are you really hoping mega-churches take you up on this challenge?

  4. Matt,I’m quite serious, yet skeptical that such venue church mega-church efforts will conduct such surveys. I could tell stories of many ‘successful’ mega church efforts that always shrink back in the last minute from such surveys. The results would undermine the ‘ideology.’ Again, I have no beef that there are many people educated in Christendom Christianity that need to be called into a more personal commitment (via mega churches), or that certain ‘older’ churches should die because they have become “dug in” with a ‘church culture’ that needs to die. I just think we ought to have our eyes opne as to what is really going on in our church efforts, and not hype up something that is not actually happening.

  5. I am glad to know that others are raising questions about the video-venue churches. My own denominational herritage (Churches of Christ, A Capella) have recently had a couple of churches (both in the Bible-belt which is our strongest geographical area in terms of numbers) begin video venues. I wonder why, if they believe that X community needs a church because local churches are not making a kingdom impact, they don’t just plant another autonomous church (and that is especially crucial in a tradition that has historically championed local church autonomy). However, in a culture driven by consumerism, I wonder if the church leaders are being driven by kingdom values or the values of growing bigger, going coorporate, becoming the latest “church” fad among Christendom. I know those are only speculations but they come from the same recess in my heart that heard a few fellow seminarians who shunned the idea of serving with a smaller church in favor the large church that is well recognized in the Christendom radar.
    In the end, there seem to be many values (good and bad) that might grow a church in terms of numbers. However, some (perhaps many) of these values do harm to the bigger picture of what we’re to be about. The proof is in the pudding. We live in a culture where, despite the numbers of people who profess to be Christian, the witness of the gospel is becoming the salt that lost its saltiness. So it seems that we cannot continue on asking the same old questions that lead us to solving the problem of how to increase numbers, tithes, etc… We must ask what needs to be done so that the church will bear authentic witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God…and the right answer to that question must begin with the resolve to allow our own agendas and self to be crucified on the cross of Jesus.

    Thank you for this post and all of your kingdom work.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  6. […] churches are actually growing that much, if by growth we mean lost people being found. David Fitch relates some experiences where the new hip church sactually cripple other established gatherings by taking […]

  7. Hi David,I found your blog when one of the students in the class I teach at Fuller, "Leading a Missional Church,' posted your website for an assignment. Glad to know that you are raising similar questions about the video venue. I have strongly believed that these video campuses have skimmed off the rest of the body of Christ when they have their grand opening. Typically, church shoppers are usually the ones that show up looking for the next new and hip thing. This has certainly been the case in Las Vegas where I now lead a missional community. As you probably know, many times these video venues begin with a large number attracted to them but over a period of six months to a year have sharply decreased. Sadly, the bottom line is that we see churches competing for the same crowd – 'the found,' instead of impacting the lost community around it.
    I appreciate your blog and your perspective.
    Grace,
    Barry Diamond http://barryjdiamond.wordpress.com/

  8. Hi! I know this is kind of off-topic however I had to ask. Does running a well-established website such as yours take a lot of work? I am completely new to running a blog however I do write in my diary everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *