The Trinity and Ethics

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve talked about the Trinity for awhile and I’d like to look deeper at what that means for us as Christians. I’d also like to break off of this some and then just get into a look at the doctrine of God in classical theism. Thus, for those wondering about how we get our ideas of God and our understanding of him, hopefully you’ll get something out of this. I do ask for my usual prayer requests first. The first is that I will be a more Christlike man and have the rough edges I see in my heart worn away. The second is that I will get the help I need for my finances. Finally, I ask for prayers in the third related area of my life. For now, let’s get to the blog.

How do we treat our fellow human beings? Are they objects or persons in their own right? I do agree with Immanuel Kant on this in that he said that persons should not be treated as means to an end but rather they should be treated as ends themselves. Now someone might say “Well I used the cashier at the grocery store to ring up my purchases.” True, but Kant would say to never forget that that cashier is a person as well and don’t treat them as just an object.

Could we learn that from the doctrine of the Trinity as well?

In the relationship of the Trinity, you see the Father glorifying the Son. You see the Son glorifying the Father. You see the Spirit giving glory to both. All the persons of the Trinity have a selfless love for each and each loves the other for the sake of the other.

The Trinity should teach us that God is relational in his very essence and so ought we to be. We ought to relate to one another the way the persons of the Trinity relate to each other. Yes, each person fulfills certain roles for the other, but they do so out of love for the other.

If we have an arian concept of God, then we can say that God is creating out of  a lack of love in himself. There is no one for him to love and so God creates man fulfilling a lack in himself. In the Trinity however, there is already abundant love and love that is overflowing. Man is not created because God was lonely, but man was created because God is happy and God wishes to spread that happiness and creates man to invite him to join in the dance.

What would it mean if we each sought the good of the other as a person and not as an object? How would employer and employee relationships change? How would student/teacher relationships change? How would parent/child relationships change? How would relationships with the man on the street change?

The observant reader should notice I left one relationship out.

How would husband and wife relationships change?

Cohabitation has proven a problem for people today as marriages tend to not last that have cohabitation before marriage. Now I know there are some that do, but cohabitation is generally an impediment. Why? Each person is being treated as a test object. Consider the analogy of “Well would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive?” No. Most of us wouldn’t. In this case however, there is one question.

Which of you is the car and which of you is the driver?

You see, if you take the car back to the lot, the car won’t be mourning. It won’t be asking what it did wrong. It won’t have a feeling of rejection. The human being is different. What does it mean to say that you rejected another human being because they did not bring about the happiness that you desired? Did you ever consider thinking about their happiness instead?

A true marriage will have each seeking the happiness for the sake of the other. Now there’s nothing wrong with telling your spouse what you desire if they want to know how to please you, which they should, but your main focus should be on the desires of your spouse before your own desires. The husband is to love as Christ loved the church. He gave himself up for her. The wife is to love as the church loves Christ. She submits to him and seeks to serve and please him. Now I know a lot of women balk at the idea of submission, but it is biblical and it is not to be used as a whip by men. If you have a good and godly husband, submission will not be a pain. It will be a pleasure as he will help you in Christlikeness.

Let us then learn to be Trinitarian in our ethics and not Arian in them. We are Trinitarians. We live accordingly.


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