Is there such a thing as a saved Unitarian? I mean, can one not believe in the Trinity and be a follower of Jesus?
I just read - not for the first time - that among fundamental beliefs necessary to calling oneself a Christian is the teaching that God is trinitarian: One God existing in three coequal persons.
But I struggle with this. Everyone struggles with the Trinity, which is beyond difficult to understand completely, but I struggle with making it a requirement.
Don't get me wrong: I am Trinitarian to the core of my bones. I do not believe scripture supports any other conclusion.
However, I was asked by a guy if I considered him a Christian. He believed firmly in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and had trusted him for salvation. He was "salvation by grace through faith" all the way. But he called himself a "biblical Unitarian": He did not believe in the trinity.
Of all the people he asked, I was the only one to answer yes. I am apparently in a very small minority, but I think I was right, and the others wrong.
What does it take to be a Christian? Put differently, what do we have to believe and do to be declared righteous by God?
The New Testament is clear - over 400 references - that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus. That's all. Nothing more. It's all Jesus.
So how is it we include a belief in one of the most difficult theological concepts in the Bible?
I don't believe it. It's incomprehensible to me that God will turn away a sincere seeker for lack of agreement with a point of theology. If he did turn non-trinitarians away, would he not also be obligated to turn away the majority of Christians who profess their adherence to trinitarian theology, but who have no understanding of what they claim to believe? What's the difference? Refusing to believe what one doesn't understand, or "believing" what one doesn't understand?
So I'm not ready to buy the statement that it's trinitarian or nothing. However, I will agree that one cannot grow to fullness in knowing God and be a Unitarian. The presence of the triune God is so overwhelming in the Bible that to deny it, in my opinion, so limits one's growth in relationship as to make it impossible to live a conversational, missional life of a Jesus-follower.
So, can my friend be a "biblical Unitarian" and be saved? That is, can he be declared righteous by God and not believe in the Trinity?
Yes. I can't come to any different conclusion that offsets the weight of 400+ verses.
It's about Jesus. It's all about Jesus. Nothing else is in any way involved in salvation. After that, we can argue about whether certain doctrines are essential to growth, but first, we have to confess: It's all about Jesus.