Yesterday I was at the STR blog reading a post about Mitt Romney. In the comment section, a former Mormon named Steve was objecting to the use of the word “cult”, and lashed out with a comment about the Trinity. He asked some reasonable questions…But they revealed a basic misunderstanding that was pretty predictable, given his background. (Though in fairness, I remember asking the same questions when was growing up.) Because his background separates the persons of the Trinity more than the Bible allows, he thinks we combine them more than the Bible allows. He doesn’t realize the distinctions that we recognize.
I’ve recently listened to some great material on the subject, so I was able to recommend some resources. If you have any interest in getting a better understanding of the Trinity, you can read this post and look into those resources. I’m going to post his comment, along with my answers (slightly edited):
“For any Christian conservative to support Mitt Romney is to fly in the face of scripture.”
No, but it may fly in the face of YOUR interpretation of scripture and your precious Nicean creed. I was raised Mormon, so maybe I’m a just a little biased, but the Mormon idea of three separate beings makes a lot more sense than the trinity. Jesus prayed to himself? Jesus asked, why have I forsaken myself? When he was baptized he looked down from the heavens at himself?
These questions you ask are understandable. But they reveal that part of the reason the Trinity seems irrational to you is that you do not know what is the actual doctrine of the Trinity. (That’s not an insult; many American Christians are just as unclear about it.) The answer to those questions is no, no, and no. Jesus was not praying to Himself, because Jesus is not the same as the Father. The Father is not the same as the Spirit. The Spirit is not the same as the Son. The Trinity is one God, and you seem to understand that. But the Trinity is three separate “persons”, and that’s where you’re going wrong.
[Edited to add: I should have said "distinct persons", not "separate persons". See the comment section.]