On his facebook page Sam Shamoun challenges Rabbi Shapira to clarify if he believes in the Trinity as we Christians do:
“Rabbi Shapira refuses to answer my question regarding the Trinity. Here is what he just wrote in response: “The Return of the Kosher Pig SAM, I am not going answer anything that you write. You claim to be a christian yet you write slander. First learn the way of Musar and then we can talk. Your behavior is shameful. R’ Shapira”: https://www.facebook.com/ReturnOfTheKosherPig/posts/566867873399842?comment_id=3882551&reply_comment_id=3882595&total_comments=1. This prompted the following response from myself: “What is shameful is your cowardice for avoiding answering my question. Yet in not answering my question you actually have answered since you have now shown you truly are a heretic who denies the blessed and glorious Trinity. That is all I needed to read. Sorry to be so blunt but you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing and people need to be warned about you.” So be forewarned, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing who denies the blessed and glorious Trinity.”
So we are grateful to Sam Shamoun for pointing this out. I think there are a number of Christians out there who rejoice that there are some Jews that worship Jesus. They are called Messianic Jews because they believe that Jesus is the Messiah. If they truly worship Jesus I rejoice to see them as our brothers in the faith. I am sure the apostle Paul would rejoice with us. The question is what is their concept of Jesus? Is it a trinitarian concept? Or is it a unitarian concept of Jesus? In this case they, the modalists, do not worship him as the Son of God but as the Father who has manifested himself in the form of a human being who is called Jesus. According to them the Father has just changed the mode of his appearance or manifestation. He could choose, according to this heresy, between manifesting himself as an angel or as a human being or perhaps in some other way. So when Jesus was speaking, he was not speaking as the only begotten Son of God. It was the Father that was speaking, according to the modalists. Now of course, I as a trinitarian Christian ( I don’t believe there can be any other type of Christian) do not believe this. The clear statements of Jesus in the New Testament disprove this.
The names for this heresy are, if I am not mistaken, Modalism and Sabellianism. Is this just the tip of the iceberg? I would be interested to know if this is typical of Messianic Jews or not. It would explain why some of them seem very reluctant to fellowship with Christians and worship God together with them. They obviously view Christians as pagans because they worship three persons as God. Whereas as modalists themselves they do not do this and so preserve themselves from idolatry and do not mix with idolators, as they see us.
In the light of Rabbi Shapira’s reluctance to clarify his position it is interesting to consider the Muslim demand for Jesus to say “I am God, worship me”.
If Jesus had said this would it not leave the way open to interpret his words in a modalist way? A modalist would understand that all statements of this type in the Bible are uttered by one and the same person and thus conclude that God is only one person. Jesus could have been understood to have excluded the other two persons from being members of the Trinity if he had said “I am God, worship me”. This statement could be falsely understood to mean “I (only) am God, worship me”. Whereas the full truth would be for Jesus to have said something like “I am God, the Father is God and the Holy Spirit is God.”
And this is exactly what he does but not in these exact words. But would Muslims believe if Jesus had said something like this? No of course not because their prophet forbade them. And they follow him.