Manuscript of the 2014 Inquisition Speech with Shawn McCraney: Debunking the Term “Trinity”

Introduction

Years ago, my refusal to embrace what I call, Creedal Trinitarianism, let to an event in Salt Lake City that we called, the Inquisition.  Because I was popular in the State from hosting a live call-in television show (Heart of the Matter, HOTM.TV) the local faith-police (mostly Calvinists) found it their duty to call me out as a heretic.  The following is the text from the speech I gave before a packed house.

INQUISITION 2014 Speech Manuscript

I want to first say to my accusers that by my faith in our King I love them.  I’m not saying this because I feel a lot of love for you – I would actually like to punch a few of you in the nose – but by the command of our King I am required to love you . . . and to show you love, and so I do.  

I can honestly say, however, that I am not at war with any of you and forgive you every attack.  Additionally, I publicly acknowledge that each of them are, in fact believers in the true and living God and I believe they are acting in good conscience in what they believe is a defense of Christian truths.

A few days ago, I sat down with a brother I have known for years.  At the end of our conversation he told me that he seriously questioned my being a Christian because I did NOT completely accept the Trinity as defined by men in 381 AD.

I was absolutely astounded.  

Our topic tonight has historically proven to be incendiary fodder for all manner of unconscionable actions taken BY Christians against other Christians.  It is thought that between 342 AD and 343AD that “more Christians slaughtered other Christians” than all Christian deaths at the hands of pagans in the history of Rome.

And yet here we are again.

In the Gospel of Luke (chapter 4) Jesus (my Lord and King – “the Word of God made flesh who dwelled among us”) after being baptized by the Baptist was led to the wilderness and was there tempted by Satan.   In response to each of Satan’s temptations Jesus included the line, “It is written.”

“It  . . . is written.”

I believe (whole-heartedly) the contents of this book. (Bible held up).  I trust in the contents of this book.  I teach (to the best of my ability as a man) the contents of this book.  I accept what it says.  By it, through it, and from it (in conjunction with the Holy Spirit of God) we KNOW HIM . . . we test ALL things by it . . . and I encourage everyone I teach to challenge everything I say . . . by it.

Again, I trust in the contents of this book.  The word “Trinity” is NOT in it.

I believe this is by divine design . . .a design of God that has been overlooked by men who surreptitiously decided that what this book provides, and teaches and describes about His being . . . was not enough!

And they, like Ellen G White, like Joseph Smith, Mohammed, Swedenborg (and many, many others like them) have decided to add their addendums to it.

Angel Moroni?  Not in this book.

Calvin?  Not in this book.

T.U.L.I.P.?  Nope.

Monergism? Sola anything? Modalism? 

Nicean, Apostles, Athanatian creeds?

NOT . . . IN THIS BOOK!

These are all the constructions of MAN who believe they have the right to tell us what this book says, how to categorize it, how to assassinate with it. (beat)

Somehow along the way we have forgotten that we, by the grace of God, have been saved by faith (through the shed blood of His Son) and not by intellect, creeds, words, or definitions.

I have gradually come to stop supporting all constructs of MAN the minute I walked from Mormonism because men, and man, by and through constructing these demanded terms and definitions simultaneously construct scaffolding upon which to hang people.  And once these scaffolds have been erected and accepted, anyone – and I mean anyone – who questions them, climbs upon them, or tries to drive a truck through them – are renounced, called out as heretics, and are hung out to dry . .  and die.

In Calvin’s day the assassinations were literal.  In ours, personal and in the halls of social media.   We have to try see what is happening here tonight clearly:

The religious TRADTIONS of MAN are being used as grounds to attack and malign a person who challenges and questions them  . . . in the face of what THIS book says!

The Pharisees (frothing with the traditions of Man) attacked Jesus, who refused their traditions  . . . because of what was written.   The Catholic Inquisitions – starting in twelfth century France – were efforts to defend religious traditions that ended in the deaths – deaths of many believers – all in the name of God!

Calvin in Geneva, aimed at maintaining his views of scripture and their application sent failing believers to be “ostracized, and even tortured physically for failing to live up to man-made traditions and his interpretations of Christianity.

And it’s no different today!  This very spirit lives on – with the difference being that  inflicting physical pain or putting people in prison for religious views has become unlawful . . . (beat)  had it not, I am certain some of my accusers would have had me burning at stake years ago.   Listen – had God wanted us to define Him by the word Trinity, He would have included the word in His Word. To say otherwise opens the door wide to all sorts of other extra-biblical writings and thoughts and ideas from the minds of Man.

But for some odd reason, and in the face of a wide variety of biblical descriptions of Himself – including that He is One, and that He is from “everlasting to everlasting,” and that He is Spirit, and a consuming fire, and a Father, and made flesh as a Son – He has completely and totally failed to describe Himself as a Trinity.

HMMMMMMMMM?

My accusers, no different than the LDS, have adopted and embraced (and rigidly enforce) a non-biblical term (and creed) that must be upheld – or the label of heretic (and mockery) is applied.

If I were LDS, and confronted these men on their “television programs” and “their blogs,” and their “Disgracebook posts,” I would point out in no uncertain terms, that where they accuse me of following a MAN they are not one bit different!

Not ONE bit!

Calvinists, by definition, follow the teachings of a man named Calvin.  This is no different than Mormons following the teachings of a man named Smith!

“Oh, no, no, no!” the Calvinist cries, “we don’t follow Jean Calvin.  Everything he said is in harmony with the Bible!”   Guess what – the LDS say the same thing about Smith.

I am trying (and constantly failing) but I am trying to not only pursue biblical truth unadulterated by men and their revelations or summary creeds, but am additionally trying to clear the field in the Mormon/Christian debate where truth can be assessed from a truly biblical world view, and not one colored by ANY doctrines or philosophies of Man – whether they come from Calvin, Smith, or anyone else – myself included.

To understand me, and the methods and approaches we take in this ministry (which I want to explain as a means to hopefully put an end to this theological witch-hunt) it would be beneficial to understand what is behind everything we do.

And what is behind everything we say and do can be couched in four words that all begin with M.

The Four M’s

The first (is our ministry) to “Mormons,” the second is our biblical views of “Man,” the third is the “Methods” we use in the face of Mormonism and Man, and the fourth is our “Mission.”

Mormonism, Man, Methods, and Mission – each of them play a role (or part) in almost everything I say and do.

Please don’t take this admission out of context or wrongly – I do NOT (at least purposefully I do not) “bend, add to, or take away from biblical truths” in light of the four M’s – but I am cognizant of their presence when I respond and speak and teach.

If a person does not have a very strong grasp of the “ins and outs” of Mormonism, if they rely or trust or seek the approvals of Man, if they are resistant to unheard-of or strange Methodologies, and/or if they forget (or are not aware) of my life’s Mission,  it is quite likely they will find themselves doing a fifth “M” – misunderstanding me.

And often, when misunderstanding is in place, most jump to yet another “M” –  “maligning my person.”

But before explaining these four M’s – I want to publicly re-affirm my Christianity to anyone who either questions it (from a biblical sense) or anyone who believes, as a Christian, that I am NOT their fellow brother in faith.

The Lord Jesus Christ is my God and King.  He is the author and finisher of my faith.  My salvation is solely in His grace-filled hands.  

As the Word He is uncreated, without beginning of days or end of years, He is God and, born of a woman, is God in flesh.  He is one with the Father who sent Him and one with the Holy Spirit who testifies of Him.

I trust that He lived in perfection in this flesh, that He died for the sins of the World, that He resurrected on the third day, and I worship Him as my God, King, and Mediator to the invisible God.

I trust the Living Word (which we call the Bible).  I seek to worship God in Spirit and Truth.  I seek to walk in faith and love to all men – even these men who accuse me here and in the public eye.

There is no thing, no person, no idea, no possession more important to me than my faith, love and knowledge for God – made known to me by His Son through the Holy Spirit that dwells in me.

If you are a true believer in this God, I accept you and receive you as my brothers and sisters in Spirit.   If you are not a believer in this God, I accept you as my brothers and sisters in the flesh.

No matter what group you belong to I see you as either my family in Spirit or my family in flesh – and love and interact with you accordingly.

I will, because of this love for Him, contend with anyone over points and theories and ideas, but I receive all men and women as His creations – some spiritual and others (sadly, and at this point) as only creations of the flesh.   If this isn’t enough for you, it’s okay.  If you are an atheist or a Calvinist or a deist or a Mormon, I do NOT stand in judgment of you or your person – that’s God’s job. 

I will openly and without any preferential treatment for your professed creeds challenge your beliefs and philosophies – certainly – but NOT your person.

This difference seems to be lost by many modern Christians, who like the Pharisees of old, believe it their right to condemn people to social death.

Unpacking The Four M’s

So, the four M’s.

First, Mormonism.

Most of this stuff on the Trinity is a result of this background element.  My purpose is to help (and to continue to help) the LDS come to know the living God.  When things get in the way of this goal, I try to discover “biblically accepted work-arounds” that will facilitate mutual understanding.

This is not “syncretism” nor an attempt at “ecumenism.”  I am just setting man-made (even archaic) descriptions aside as a means to try and help comprehension.

Where this approach may not please you scholars out there, or your apologists, if I ardently believe these clarifications are in harmony with the Bible and I will use them – no matter how men of learning react.

This brings me to the second M – Man (Men, Mankind, Hu-MAN-ity).

While I strive to love all people individually, I care nothing about what you do or represent collectively.  This attitude really troubles some people – and they attack me for it.  I am not one of the boys.  I do not play politics of any kind or type.  I don’t compromise as a means to succeed.  So, while I love individuals – 

I will serve you, forgive you, turn the other cheek to you

I will never agree to collective thought with you.  This is NOT personal.  It’s how I was made by our King.  In the Book of Job, where God responds to Jobs complaints and insights, He asks Job a series of questions. Do you know when this happened, Job?  How about when I did that?  How did I created the wild goat, Job, or can you explain the power of Leviathan.  In chapter 39, God, in His questioning of Job, perfectly describes me, saying:

Job 39:5-8

“Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.”

In the church, we aren’t accustomed to wild asses – at least not from the pulpit or on television.  And our more refined brothers often want to corral them, put a saddle on them, tell them how to think and believe.  But the wild asses response is always the same – “Naaaaay.”

I do not care one wit for your collectives, your group-think, your most popular past-times, or Christian culture.   But, I DO care about you.

If you, as my brother enjoy or believe things, that’s okay.  I will love you.  But if MAN is behind it as a favored position, I will most likely challenge it and then reject it – bucking and kicking all the way.

My King and His Kingdom are NOT of this world.  We have His Spirit and His word to guide us. I do not think He endorses the man-made ways that make it spin and groove.  Flowing then from this general yet somewhat unconventional approach to the faith comes some unusual methods of doing things.

Methods that are not understood, appreciated, or readily embraced.  Those who know and love me accept my idiosyncratic ways – but even they can be greatly challenged by some of them.  But try and remember, most of the Methods extend out to the Mormonism/Christan debate and my refusal to please Man.

This brings us to our ultimate M – our mission.

Most everyone involved in this ministry on a weekly (“face to face”) basis are well aware that our overall mission is to:

 . . . worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

 . . . to bring all to a knowledge of Jesus Christ (which is our media ministry).

 . . . to grow in our ability to walk in faith and love . . . and

 . . . to manifest these things in and through Christian action.

Few of my accusers have either witnessed these endeavors or believe they even exist on our part.  Instead, over non-essential doctrinal differences, over concepts even God has refused to include or clearly reveal in His Word, they have categorized me as a heretic, a modalist, a deceiver, a cult- leader, and worst of all, not . . . a follower of Christ.

Let me wrap, before we take our break, by touching on a few concepts regarding the specific allegations against me regarding the Trinity.

Here are some official remarks:

The terms Trinity and the Creeds that attempt to describe the man-made term Trinity are Man-made – so I reject them on these grounds alone and for the reasons and purposes stated.

I do not believe ANY Christian has the right to demand that another person receive this term or creed, or anything else (for that matter).

I do not believe that Man has the ability to explain God and so all attempts to capture Him in a word is futile.

I personally think God has purposefully made it this way so that we cannot deride (torture or kill) others who agree with the biblical descriptions of Him.

Additionally, I would suggest that to assign a definitional title and description to God is outside the ability of Man.

This being said, I believe everything the Bible says about God, about the Father, about the Son, and about the Holy Spirit.

I read nowhere in the Bible that in the pre-creation of all things there was anyone named the Son or the Father.  Do I believe the Word (of God) was made flesh and dwelled among us – certainly.

Do I believe the Word made flesh was God in the beginning?  Of course.

Do I believe Jesus was God in the Flesh?  Yes.

Do I worship Jesus as God? Yes.

Is the Father God?  Yes.

The Holy Spirit?  Yes.

Prior to the Word becoming flesh, was the Word God?  Yes.

Are the Word and God one?  Yes.

Are they co-equal? 

Not when Jesus was mortal.  He was the Son of God (incarnate) who had a will of His own that was fleshly.  Unlike us, He only did what the Father told Him to do.  He prayed, as God in flesh, to the Father, He did not know things the Father knew, and even had the Father forsake Him for us.  He died.  

I wholly reject the Man Arian and His descriptions of Christ.

I endorse and support the written word alone in its descriptions of Him.

Anyone who believes the Trinity is welcome here and I consider a brother or sister in Christ.  But I believe it is a made-made construct to describe God to the best of man’s ability . . . and this is not acceptable  . . . to this wild ass.

Shawn McCraney
Shawn McCraney
Articles: 108

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