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Examples can be taken from the life of Arius, but with the caution that, with rare
exception, few books about Arius remain, other than those written by his enemies.

Consequently, most authors’ opinions betray an unkind prejudice, and the only objective
course is to examine his pure teachings.
Perhaps one of the earliest Arian arguments is that if Jesus was the “son of God,”
then there must have been a time when he did not exist. If Jesus was created of the
Father, then there must have been a time when the Eternal Father preceded the later­
created Jesus. Hence, the Creator and His creation are not the same, and Jesus cannot be
considered a partner in God­head.
Arius held that if Jesus truly did say, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28),
then equating Jesus with God is to deny the Bible. Arius suggested that if anything is
evident from the teachings of Jesus, it is that he affirmed his own humanity and the
inviolability of divine unity.  When Trinitarian clergy claimed Jesus was “of the essence of God,” Arius and
Trinitarian Christians alike objected, for “from the essence” and “of one essence” are
materialist expressions, Sabellian
in origin, not encountered in scripture, and are
contrary to church authority (since the expression originated at a council at Antioch in
269 CE).

When the Catholic Church subsequently asserted that Jesus was “of God,” the Arians responded that the Bible describes all people as being “of God” in the verse,
“Now all things are of God …” (2 Corinthians 5:18—see also 1 Corinthians 8:6).

Forced to correct themselves, the church then asserted that Jesus Christ “is not a creature,
but the power and eternal image of the Father and true God.”54 The Arian response that
the Bible describes all men as “the image and glory of God” (1 Corinthians 11:7) left the
Church confounded. 55 In the words of British theologian Henry Melvill Gwatkin, “The
longer the debate went on, the clearer it became that the meaning of Scripture could not
be defined without going outside Scripture for words to define it.”

To adopt such a
methodology is to propose that man can explain revelation better than The Source of
revelation Himself.
So the arguments started and so they have continued to the present day. After
failing to win through rational argument, the Trinitarian Church violently suppressed
dissension to the point where entire populations were terrorized into conformity. In the
process, the church failed to address the issues. As Castillo, one of the followers of the
sixteenth­century theologian Servetus, commented, “To burn a man is not to prove a
doctrine.” The church can reduce a man to ashes but can only eliminate his arguments
through intelligent rebuttal. Typical of those who lack the ability to substantiate their
beliefs but who possess the power of oppression, violent response has been the historical
reflex against those who challenged Trinitarian creed. That this oppression existed in the
vacuum of reasonable justification weakens, rather than strengthens, the institution.


As John Toland commented, “This conduct, on the contrary, will make them suspect all to be a cheat and imposture, because men will naturally cry out when they are touched in a
tender part … no man will be angry at a question who’s able to answer it.…”

In the words of H. G. Wells, “They were intolerant of questions or dissent, not because they
were sure of their faith, but because they were not. They wanted conformity for reasons
of policy. By the thirteenth century the church was evidently already morbidly anxious
about the gnawing doubts that might presently lay the whole structure of its pretensions
in ruins.”



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