I really had not been aware of the Filioque Controversy until you brought it up. Having checked it out, I think it really was a minor part of the controversy, a symptom, as opposed to a cause.

The reason I see it this way is the fact that the Eastern Church already had rejected Papal authority over doctrine — which by writings of Apostles Paul (2Timothy 3:16) and Peter (2Peter 1:20) is the Scriptural position — in 867 AD.

Prior to that, the Eastern Church had in the preceding century rejected worship of religious statues, inducing yet another schism between the Eastern and Western Churches.

I believe these two schisms — worship of religious statues and authority of the Pope — are much more foundational to the schism than the Filioque Controversy. Rather unfortunately, the Eastern Church maintained hangings of religious drawings, an allowance that eventually would contribute to loss of fidelity to the truth of the gospel within the Eastern Church.

With respect to the Filioque Controversy itself, all I see is a miscommunication fueled by pre-existing differences. The Scripturally sound position is:

The Father is the Eternal Spirit who gave birth to a Son whom He gave to the world so the world could be redeemed (John 3:16), whom He then designated God to all those who are saved (Hebrews 1:8), with outcome the Holy Spirit can be received ONLY by those who acknowledge the Son as Savior and Lord (Galatians 3:13–14). We call Jesus ‘Lord’ so that we can acknowledge Him distinctly from The Father.

The Evidence that it is rational for the Father to call the Son ‘God’? Well, a reigning king can anoint his son as king while he himself remains alive. For distinguishing of the two, the father is called king, the son, regent. From timing of designation of his son as regent, in order for the son not to be undermined, while the son can ask his father for advice, the father delegates all of the decision making to his son, takes up role of ceremonial king.

You see then that man rather sub-consciously learns from God The Father, yet has trouble recognizing God-likeness in his or her actions and social structures.

So then, the Holy Spirit is Spirit of The Father, but whom now is domiciled in The Son, such that the Holy Spirit only can be received through The Son.

This is what Jesus meant when He declared that:

“No one comes to The Father except through me (John 14:6, NIV),”

meaning:

No one can receive the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of The Father except through Christ.’

The goal of the Christian life is that having been originally made in the image of Jesus Christ (Let us make man in our image, having our likeness (Genesis 1:26 ); Jesus is the physical likeness of The Father (Colossians 1:15)), meaning we are composed of body and spirit, first we have our spirit, souls, and body purified (2Corinthians 7:1; 1Thessalonians 5:23), then we become life giving spirits (1Corinthians 15:45–49) like the Eternal Word and Father. Like our Lord Jesus Christ, however, we continue to be spirit and body.

The goal of the Christian life is that we transition from beings that are spirit, soul, and body to beings that are spirit and body. Beings that are spirit and body do not live by emotions, which can be irrational, have learnt to live by rationality — the Spirit represents rationality (2Timothy 1:7). The reason those who are saved will not miss marriage is because all of their emotional co-dependencies have been stripped away.

The Father, the Word and the Lord Jesus Christ are not souls — only an entity who needs breath for life can be a soul. Remember, however, that Jesus is the Word in a body, and only the Word (not the Father) ever has tabernacled in a body, such that since the Word is God, Jesus is God, except tabernacled in a body (John 1:1–3,14).

In this respect, consider that if water is placed in a bottle, if the bottle could somehow take up the nature of the water, what we would have is the original substance — water. We could not say the bottled water, which now could be drunk along with the bottle — is any less water than the fountain from which the water was bottled.

Since the body of Jesus is a spiritual body — a form, as opposed to a separate entity from the God whose image He is — Jesus is in His very essence God.

Given those who express faith in Jesus Christ only receive the Spirit of God, which is not God, but who has all of the essence of God, we cannot by receiving the Holy Spirit become God like Jesus. We, however, have opportunity to become like God.

Jesus Christ is God because God became Jesus, not because Jesus received the Holy Spirit.

You and I only can become like Jesus Christ.

For avoidance of doubt, consider 2Corinthians 5:18–19:

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Thanks for taking the time to engage in a conversation.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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