Why do Christians say they have only one God but pray to both Jesus and God?


7 Answers

Megan goodgirl Profile
Megan goodgirl answered

I don't know.

Dan Banks Profile
Dan Banks answered

Technically they do only have one God, but this God is separated into different divine persons, with Jesus Christ being one of them.

The Holy Trinity

In fact, Christians technically consider God as three different entities (as if we weren't already confused enough), known collectively as the Holy Trinity. They are:

  • The Father.
  • The Son (Jesus Christ).
  • The Holy Spirit.

These three 'divisions' of God are all equal and co-dependent, although they are also meant to be distinct from one another. It's all extremely confusing! Hopefully the diagram below explains it better.

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Tom  Jackson
Tom Jackson commented
@Kyle Risi

My answer is below.
Tom  Jackson
Tom Jackson commented

The Spirit was not sent when Jesus rose from the dead. He came to the apostles at Pentecost.

You are not causing me an offense, but I would suggest you are "mis-associating" some concepts.
Tom  Jackson
Tom Jackson commented
@za reddy

From the internet:

"1) Godliness comes from the Greek word "eusebia" and is used in the New Testament to express the idea of inner piety or spirituality.

2) As an attitude, godliness is the quality of the inner person that recognizes from the various evidences, that the all-powerful Creator exists, and therefore actively seeks to develop a spiritual relationship with Him."

So I disagree with your statement that "Godliness is one."

When we predicate femaleness) and maleness) to God it is because He must possess whatever perfection He has created--a concept called "efficient causation."

The Holy Spirit was "created" in the act of "Spiration" within the Trinity, not as a side effect of predicating gender.
John McCann Profile
John McCann answered

By making up trinitarian BS they rationalize this nonsense away!

Dash TwentyOne Profile
Dash TwentyOne answered

Because they have dismissed Jehovah as the only true God, and have discarded Jesus as a literal "mediator" between God and men. (1 Tim.2:5)  And have redefined Jehovah's spirit (or "power")- which is "holy"- as a 3rd, nameless person of a proposed trinity.

With the Bible, one can debate the point in various ways, from various sides. But what is already a matter of history, is that the Trinity- the concept that permits this plural view of God- was adopted by the newborn Roman Catholic Church, in late 3rd and 4th-century Europe, after being formulated with the help of Greek philosophy.

The Judaic Christians- or "Early-Christians" (both Jew and Gentile)- did not worship a Trinity, nor worship Jesus; not as God, anyway.

This history, is what led Catholic and Protestant teachers to later call the Trinity "new light".

But actually, the Trinity wasn't even "new light" to humans in or before the 4th-century. Historical records are reasonably clear about the fact that the pantheon of gods that stretched back through Rome, Greece, Egypt and Babylon, were headed by popular trinity godheads, whose origin is not traced back to Jehovah, but to human political and spirtisitc unions of philosophy and development.

This is too important a matter to argue over, or maintain animosity between peoples; that would be petty.  Yet, each individual must respectfully make their choice, while keeping in mind a number of realities, including the Bible, and Revelations chapter 17 and 18:

For "No light of a lamp will ever shine in you again, and no voice of a bridegroom and of a bride will ever be heard in you again; for your merchants were the top-ranking men of the earth, and by your spiritistic practices all the nations were misled."- Rev.18:23

Trinities were also popular, during Jesus' time, among the Gentiles.

“Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah."- Deut.6:4  

Mark.12:28-29- “Which commandment is first* of all?” (And) Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah."

"Jehovah your God will cleanse your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and you may live."- Deut.30:6

Of course, many popular contemporary Bible translations, have now removed God's name from the divine text, which does little to help identify Jehovah as God.  So one will have to decide for themselves, what sounds accurate, and what does not.

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Charles Davis
Charles Davis commented
Dash you said "But actually, the Trinity wasn't even "new light" to humans in or before the 4th-century." But in actuality it was known before the 4th century, and was expressed in many of the Ante Nicene fathers of the late 1st through the 3rd century. I did some research on this as another JW expressed this to me. So I started reading some of the Ante Nicene fathers writings and the concept of the trinity was in many of their writings, it did not always include the Holy spirit, but it did equate Jesus on the level of God.

The dogmatic battles that culminated with the Nicene council was not just the question of Arius, but also included the Marcionites, Valentinians among others, to settle the nature of Jesus. If they held that Jesus was not part of God, then they would not be monotheists, or they would have to accept the teachings of Marcion that he was not human. The addition of the Holy spirit to the Godhead did not happen until later in the 4th century (around 360) however, if I remember correctly, at the council of Carthage.
Tom  Jackson Profile
Tom Jackson answered

I'll give you the Catholic "take" (How we look at it.)

One God, one nature (divine), three persons (through Generation and Spiration)---Father, Word, and Holy Spirit.  (John, 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.)

Second person, the Word, became man, Jesus Christ.  Jesus had both a divine and a human nature.  (Hypostatic Union---is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity in one hypostasis, or individual existence.)

And if you get to the point where you really want to try to understand this, FJ Sheed has a method in his book Theology and Sanity that will give you a good shot at making some progress in understanding.

A complete explanation may not come until you are face to face with Him in our subsequent existence in what is usually described as "Heaven."

Make sense?....  Personally, it does to me.

And let me also throw in two quotes with this edit:

Jesus told us to pray to the Father in Matt. 6:9 when He said, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, holy Is Your name."

Jesus said in John 14:14, "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it."

For myself, whenever I get any kind of gift I always try to personally thank everyone who was involved in the giving.

Charles Davis Profile
Charles Davis answered

The problem that existed in the 4th century, within the Christian religion, was many divisions. Some claimed Jesus was not actually a human, some claimed Jesus was not God, some claimed Jesus a different being sent by a different God then the Hebrew God, or even that he was not from a spiritual realm but was a human inspired by God as the greatest Prophet and saviour of mankind.. Then there were those that saw Jesus as actually a part of God. The problem was the early church had to define what Jesus actually was, God incarnate, just a human, or something else. If the early church was praying to him, he could not be another God, as that would make them Polytheists, so it was devised, that he had to God, but then how to explain that and still be monotheists? In comes the Trinity/Godhead, so it was decided and all the bickering about what Jesus was ended (officially). All written works from other traditions were burned, and those that did not conform were either burned too, or were exiled.

Diane  Howard Profile
Diane Howard answered

Jesus both taught and showed us to whom we should pray.

When one of his disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us how to pray,” Jesus replied: “Whenever you pray, say: ‘Father. Let your name be sanctified. Jesus both taught and showed us to whom we should pray. (Like 11:1,2)

In praying to his heavenly Father, Jesus set an example for us to follow. Further, in his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus urged his listeners to pray. He said: “Pray to your Father.” He also reassured them by saying: “Your Father knows what you need even before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:6,8) On his final night as a human, Jesus told his disciples: “If you ask the Father for anything, he will give it to you in my name.” (John 16:23) Jesus thus taught us to pray to the one who is both his Father and our Father, Jehovah God.—John 20:17. In line with the way he taught others to pray, Jesus personally prayed: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.” (Luke 10:21) On another occasion, “Jesus raised his eyes heavenward and said: ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me.’” (John 11:41) And as he was dying, Jesus prayed: “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) In praying to his heavenly Father—the “Lord of heaven and earth”—Jesus set a clear example for all to follow. (Matthew 11:25;26:41, 42;1 John 2:6) Further, in his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus urged his listeners to pray. He said: “Pray to your Father.”

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