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Do any denominations teach that Moses was talking with three distinct beings in the burning bush?

The answer did not address the question regarding denominations and was flagged as such - 'not an answer'.

The response given was;

declined - Clearly this is not a denominational perspective, but it is a perspective and most question against the Trinity are inane to begin with, which is pointed out in the first sentence.

Is this the response expected from an unbiased Moderator? Or is this acceptable practice here on C-SE?

A word search reveals synonyms to inane (in case you were wondering) - silly foolish stupid fatuous idiotic absurd ridiculous ludicrous laughable imbecilic moronic cretinous unintelligent

  • I know I've been bailed up over answering from a different perspective to the Q. and had it deleted forthwith!
  • I know I've been bailed up over anti-trinitarian 'rants'- and had it deleted forthwith!
  • I know I've been severely penalised for writing 'anti-trinitarian' answers - and had it deleted forthwith!

But if you write whatever you like that is pro-trinitarian - it's OK and gets rewarded.

Perhaps the site should be called Trinitarian-SE - all visitors welcome.

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  • 5
    What the quoted person might be saying, 'most question (sic) against the Trinity are inane' is something that I have often observed on SE-C : that most of the persons who wish to attack Trinitarian doctrine reveal that they have not properly grasped the overall concept, the specifics of the teaching or the history of its progression during the Church Age. That may be what the person meant by 'inane'. The Oxford English Dictionary has the primary meaning of 'inane' as 'empty, void.' Studying first might help.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 21:47
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    @NigelJ This gives additional support to steveowen's point. Apparently anyone who denies the Constantinian/Nicene Trinity of Persons is just ignorant, so we can safely ignore them. Even though nowhere in the Bible does it say that there is a Trinity of Persons, and the idea originated with human beings a century or more after the last books of the Bible were written. Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 10:14
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    @LeeWoofenden I deliberately avoided such a meaning. I stated what is evident : that many who attack Trintarianism have not adequately studied the subject. Did they so correctly appreciate what is actually taught, they might well not be adversaries at all.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 10:59
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    @Lee Woofenden It's not what a person says either in favour of the Constantinian/Nicene creeds re. the Trinity, or against them that's the issue here. It's how the statements / claims are made that matter. I know that had I participated on this site whilst being an ardent anti-trinitarian, I could have displayed a nasty attitude to trinitarians and felt as steveowen presently does - persecuted. Now I believe in the Trinity doctrine and show this on here, I receive some acerbic comments but I don't cry "Persecution!" It's par for the course because feelings are strong. Let's all be gracious.
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 16:47
  • 2
    @NigelJ The assumption is still that if people properly studied the Nicene Trinity of Persons, they would likely come to accept it. But in fact, the Trinity of Persons is one of the key ideas that rational, thinking people cannot accept, and that cause them to reject Christianity altogether. Only the persuasion of having entire large institutions all affirming it gives it any claim to belief whatsoever. In itself, it is irrational and self-contradictory, such that no thinking person not under the sway of religious institutions could possibly accept it. Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 10:57
  • @NigelJ The doctrine of the Trinity of Persons is also a major roadblock to people who belong to solidly monotheistic religious such as Judaism and Islam accepting Christianity. They view it as polytheism. And in effect, it is. In short, the Trinity of Persons is one of the major obstacles to the spread of Christianity. Not even its most ardent supporters really understand it, because it is incomprehensible. Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 11:00
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    @Anne That's precisely why Mods here should not be making statements such as the one quoted in the above Meta post. Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 11:01
  • @NigelJ A question is simply an opportunity to provide an answer. If it's a question where there's an obvious problem with a premise, you can point it out in an answer. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. People don't need a Ph.D. where their dissertations were on the historical development of post-Nicene Trinitarian theology in order to ask a question on C SE. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 19:48
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    I honestly don't understand how any reasonable people can think non-trinitarian beliefs belong as answers on a Christian site. Real Christians disagree about many things, but we all agree that God is a Trinity. If you reject this belief you aren't merely a heretic. You cease to believe in the foundational metaphysical principles of Christianity.
    – jaredad7
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 14:44
  • @jaredad7 it's reasonable to expect people/Christians who follow their leader to believe what he said, not everyone else. Not one of the T core beliefs (about Jesus) are expressed Biblically unless you're used to reading biased bibles and reliant on proof-texts which are stripped of context. The church is of God. Christianity is a religion of men, power, wealth and politics.
    – steveowen
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 20:29
  • @steveowen how do you know which texts are Scripture and which aren't? You're relying on some Church or individual theologian for that information. Your position breaks down if you want to have a canon
    – jaredad7
    Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 21:15
  • @jaredad7 No, there are plenty of authentic texts from which to arrive at a sound understanding of what the NT authors intended and were inspired to record. In times past, we relied on a few trusted translators to accurately bring the Greek into English. Sadly they were often driven by theological and political pressures and gave the text the trinity bias that we still have today.
    – steveowen
    Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 21:28
  • We trust God to deliver His words of life by whatever means He chooses. These days some choose to read the Bible as intended, not with the bias as published. Yes we rely on scholars to translate, but when we have sufficient information we can readily see that the bias in our bibles creates numerous contradictions by a trinity construct. Some are able to accept this reality, many sadly have not, yet.
    – steveowen
    Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 21:28
  • @steveowen you don't know which Greek texts actually comprise the New Testament without trusting in some Church's or theologian's authority that these texts and not those are inspired Scripture.
    – jaredad7
    Commented Nov 13, 2022 at 0:25

4 Answers 4

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The constant line of gotcha questions by non-Trinitiarian folks is a zero-sum game and a pointless waste of bits.

Nobody is going to convince anybody that the Trinity is or isn't in the Bible. And that is entirely not what this site is about.

Individuals who hold a non-Trinitiarian viewpoint, but whose viewpoint is not respective of a larger creed than themselves (i.e. not Jehovah's Witnesses or Unitarians, etc...), are not exactly unwelcome, but they need to rely on scholarship rather than their own personal authority.

And if the purpose of asking questions is little more than to pick apart the answers to questions they asked then no, they're not welcome on the site - that is trolling.

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  • Unitarians usually appeal to the authority of Dale Tuggy, so they do rely on scholarship not of their own. Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 22:38
  • 2
    If a question is a bad question by Christianity StackExchange standards, then it should not be argued with, but deleted. If it is a valid question, it should also not be argued with, but answered by anyone capable of answering it. Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 10:22
  • @GratefulDisciple Does Dale Tuggy have any theological qualifications? "I earned a PhD in Philosophy from Brown University in 2000. From 2000-2018 I was a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia." Found that on-line but lost the link.
    – Lesley
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 17:24
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    @Lesley It's from his personal website. Here's another self description. I think he is qualified as a scholar in Philosophy of Religion and Analytic Theology, but did not have formal training in Christian theology, Biblical interpretation, and Church History. But a PhD can self-study academically if he wants to. I just think his agenda generates unwarranted assumptions (unwarranted from Christian angle) that biased his history of Trinity, just like 19th century liberal Bible scholars and liberal theologians. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 13:50
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    @GratefulDisciple Tuggy is a great resource and important figure in contemporary BU, but contemporary BU scholarship is a lot broader than his writing, and spans hundreds of years of development, with important figures in pretty much every century from the 1500s. A lot of scholarship by Trinitarians is also drawn upon, where the Trinitarians have assembled the dots but just don't want to draw all the lines. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 19:54
  • @LeeWoofenden "but answered by anyone capable of answering it." I was told by a moderator that I was not allowed to ask a question of anyone capable of answering it here on Christianity.SE. See HERE.
    – Biblasia
    Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 0:03
  • @bib almost any rule we've come up with on the site is to ensure that all questions have one answer, not multiple valid answers. I think you're misunderstanding Curiousdannii's comment. "Capable of answering it" means answering unambiguously and in total, questions that can't be reasonably answered by a single person need to be broken up somehow.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 3:24
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Just want to add a little to the other 3 answers by @KenGraham, @OneGodTheFather, and @PeterTurner.

I'm a Trinitarian and this site has been educational for me to learn about non-Trinitarian views as there are plenty of good existing Q&A about them from LDS, JW, Unitarian, Swedenborgian, and other groups claiming Jesus is Christ for them. I admit that it is sometimes hard for me to understand why Trinitarian views may not come naturally to those other groups, so I would appeal for grace and patience from non-Trinitarians to educate us.

Fortunately, we have some objective guidelines that are clearly written and enforced (although not to perfection) that C.SE is a SECULAR site and is not beholden to any Christian group. We all know that the goals of the site are:

  1. clarity of questions: here all parties can legitimately demand clarity of the language used to describe the question (using comments) and can request (with patience and desire for understanding the other) others' input to make the question better understood by potential answerers

  2. prefer substantive questions: if the question is based on some trivial misunderstanding that can be resolved by a simple research or simple digging of a Trinitarian / non-Trinitarian position, then both parties can legitimately judge whether the question has substantive value (using the voting system) or whether the question is more for tripping up / propaganda (trolling). Example:

    • common charge by non-Trinitarian against Trinitarian: three "persons" mean three "beings" so Trinitarians cannot be monotheist
    • common charge by Trinitarian against Unitarian: logos in John 1:1 clearly refers to the One God who in John 1:14 takes on flesh

    In the example above, both sides make a mistake that should have been simple to resolve by a simple research of another's position.

  3. not a site for opinions: thus a Q should be answerable from a narrow enough scope (but not too limiting) by identifying the perspective that belongs to a specific AND established2 theological position

  4. non-proliferation of duplicate questions: more established users and moderators legitimately can suggest existing similar questions and use the question closing mechanism

  5. objectivity of answers: like in #3, the Answer should be verifiable (if not already obvious within the answer) via references to authorities2 that can vouch for the scope identified in the question.

  6. clean comments space: moderators have legitimate mandate to delete unnecessary comments, i.e. comments that have served their purpose to improve a question or an answer. If you want to preserve them, copy those comments to a chat room.

By and large, I think the Trinitarian moderators here have tried very well to be unbiased and to give equal "first citizen" space to non-Trinitarian denominations. If there are comments here and there that show some impatience with what they think as trivial misunderstanding, which in turn makes a question / answer not substantive, I think it will be good to exercise the Christian spirit to try to understand each other better and to appeal to clarity and objectivity which if we Christians don't think we can have, will make all of us (both Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians) either lose trust in the English language (no clarity) or degenerate into the law of the jungle (no objectivity1, since each simply imposes power / popularity from one's subjectivity).


1 Note: objectivity here doesn't mean ultimate truth with regards to God, but what a certain group's position IS about God, i.e. their claim on possessing true knowledge about God

2 A note for what I mean by "established" and "authorities" in #3 and #5: I understand that Unitarians are at a disadvantage here because they are relatively new, and there are not many established authorities that a Q or an A can appeal too, unlike LDS and JW who have their official websites. Personally, I accept Dale Tuggy and Bill Schlegel to be cited as authority for Biblical Unitarian because their view seems to gain following by Biblical Unitarian adherents; their view seems to be de facto authority. But unfortunately it's the responsibility to the minority view to advocate the appropriate source that the moderators and established users can also accept as worthy adjudicators when objectivity becomes an issue.

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  • Well said. The content you refer to from. what was it?,established authorities, is regarded more highly here on C-SE then the Bible. (And slightly less on BH-SE where unscriptural also terms abound.) This is a scandal of cosmic proportions and is testified by the diverse appeals of Christians to innumerable sources with barely a verse in sight. Clearly something is terribly wrong with Christianity, and we can look forward to the end of its confusion sooner than later.
    – steveowen
    Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 22:38
  • 2
    @steveowen Examples of established authorities is a denomination or a clear theological position (ex. Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Catholics, Oriental church, Trinitarian, etc.) who can provide a specific interpretation of the Bible. We need this for C.SE not because they are regarded more highly than the Bible (remember, for all Protestant denominations sola scriptura means Bible is the highest authority) but for practical necessity because empirically there are contested interpretations of Bible verses. Commented Nov 8, 2022 at 22:58
  • Also note there is one non-Trinitatian moderator.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Nov 9, 2022 at 3:43
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"Is this the response expected from an unbiased Moderator?"

The moderators are unbiased in their work here. However we occasionally make mistakes like everyone else. No need to get ruffled about reflagging for a second look is acceptable. What one moderator sees another may not. But we should in all things remain charitable towards others, especially in writing in a public domain.

The answer as of now has been deleted. I do not see a real answer to the question asked for: Do any denominations teach that Moses was talking with three distinct beings?

Nevertheless your tone towards moderators should bear remarks that are becoming of Christians.

Moderators may make mistakes, but to rant off that this should be a Trinitarian site is not acceptable either in the manner this post has been written.

It would have been better to have asked for a discussion of this question as for a simple reconsideration towards deleting it and that would have been better.

I totally agree with Peter in his comment: Nobody is going to convince anybody that the Trinity is or isn't in the Bible. And that is entirely not what this site is about.

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    This Q is not a 'rant' - it is asked respectfully and draws some reasonably obvious conclusions about the status quo here. Denying the reality of the matter doesn't make it go away. Thank you for attending to the flagged matter in a manner that aligns with the site policies.
    – steveowen
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 22:19
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    If this question is a rant, then the statement it is responding to, made by a C.SE Moderator, is also a rant: "Clearly this is not a denominational perspective, but it is a perspective and most question against the Trinity are inane to begin with, which is pointed out in the first sentence." Two wrongs don't make a right, but let's be fair in our treatment of users vs Mods. Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 10:24
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    You say that "The moderators are unbiased in their work here." But the Mod in question showed obvious bias against questions questioning the Nicene Trinity of Persons. Whether anyone is going to convince anyone else is irrelevant on this site. This site is about asking questions that can be given an objective answer, and answering them objectively. It's not about convincing people of one or another position. Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 10:31
  • Rant I've come across a few Answers and Comments where they accuse the writers of Ranting. But none of the content written ever matches the accepted definition of the word "Rant"! Just because a variant position or view is given, doesn't mean it should be considered a rant. Perhaps usage of this should be flagged, and comments deleted. Eh?
    – ray grant
    Commented Feb 29 at 1:32
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Is this the response expected from an unbiased Moderator?

No, it's not. All moderators at C SE must agree to the Moderator Agreement.

https://christianity.stackexchange.com/legal/moderator-agreement

In particular, all mods explicitly agree to abide by the C SE Code of Conduct.

Under 'Unacceptable Behavior' it lists

"No subtle put-downs or unfriendly language."

This isn't even subtle - it's pretty explicit.

I'm a bit puzzled by a defense of "You're not going to change our minds" - which is beside the point. The point of C SE is to provide easily indexable questions and answers so other people can look them up - it's not about whether a question will change the minds of regulars on SE.

What one mod may find a 'gotcha' question might just be an important or interesting question for others.

1
  • That's some good points. Instead of justification from several who should know better, I'd have thought some disciplinary action was warranted. If only to backup the Code as you have highlighted. Otherwise, it's pretty pointless having one. It looks nice but doesn't do anything - like an ashtray on a motorbike!
    – steveowen
    Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 20:59

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