Category Archives: Armstrongism

Why Christians Believe in the Trinity

by Peter Ditzel

So that we know what we are talking about, let’s begin with a definition. A basic formulation of the Trinity doctrine is, God is a Trinity of three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. Many who teach against the Trinity misunderstand this formula. They make a wrong assumption about what is meant by God being a Trinity of three Persons. They assume this to be tritheism, a belief in three gods. What is meant by “Person” in speaking of the Trinity is that which has the attributes of personality. It comes from the Latin word persona. In the ancient world, actors wore masks. The actor’s mask was his persona. It showed the role he was playing. In the discussion of the Trinity, “Person” never means “person” as we commonly use it today; that is, it never means a free and independent consciousness with his own will. Nevertheless, it does mean that the Persons have an I-you relationship: as I will point out in the Scriptures cited in this article, they communicate with each other.

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Showdown in Antioch: Peter and Paul Face Off

by Peter Ditzel

I think that if you were to ask a representative sample of average churchgoers to name two apostles, they would most often name Peter and Paul. Today, we might call Peter and Paul the powerhouses of early Christianity. Peter was the apostle to the Jews, and Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7). So, it was no small thing when these two men had a head-to-head confrontation in Antioch. Paul records it in Galatians 2. I want to go over those verses, explain what really happened, and point out why the outcome was crucial for the truth of the Gospel.

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New Wine

by Peter Ditzel

What do a patch of fabric, a leather bag, and wine have in common? They are all used by Jesus in three related parables—parables that Jesus used to tell us some very important truths about the kingdom of God. These parables deal with a subject that affects both the things we believe and the life we as Christians are to live. They are parables that, if rightly understood, will help us understand the Bible and help us grow and mature as Christians until we come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. But misunderstanding these parables can stunt our spiritual growth.

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Dead to the Law

by Peter Ditzel

The distinction between law and grace is a Bible teaching that, if misunderstood, can put you in real danger of spiritual bondage. The apostle Paul gives us a very solemn warning that we should take very seriously: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).

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Christianity or Moralism, Can You Tell the Difference?

by Peter Ditzel

I imagine that most of you are familiar with the account in John 8 of the woman caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus by the Pharisees. They knew that Jesus had many times before cited the law and then said, “But I say unto you.” This time, they figured they had an airtight case of adultery and if Jesus contradicted this, they thought they would be able to charge him with violating the law of Moses.

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Twin Dangers—Seeker Sensitivity and Legalism

If you and I were hiking along a mountain trail and you were in front of me, and I suddenly yelled out, “Look out!” what would you do? I think you would likely stop dead in your tracks and look around. Then you might see that you were on the edge of a precipice, and that with one more step in the direction you were going, you would have fallen over the cliff to your destruction. So you would probably back away, look around, study the terrain, maybe look at a topographical map, and find a safe path and take that.

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What Motivated Terry Ratzmann’s Shooting Spree in the Living Church of God?

by Peter Ditzel

On March 12, 2005, 44-year-old Terry Ratzmann walked into the services of the Living Church of God. They were being held in the Sheraton Hotel near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ratzmann stood near the back of the room where he was spotted by 12-year-old Robert Geiger. The boy later described Ratzmann, whom he had known most of his life, as looking enraged, and “his eyes were real dark.” Robert also saw Ratzmann’s gun.

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