The Holy Trinity is part of many sects of Christian doctrine. The belief is that God is of three parts: God the Father; God the Son, as represented by Christ; and God the Holy Spirit. The key element of this belief is that God is at once a single God, but also that each aspect of Him is individual.
For some, the Holy Trinity represents polytheism, and is therefore not in keeping with the concept of the one God. Those who believe in the Trinity insist this is not a polytheistic view, however, and that it is part of God’s mystery that he presents as three discrete persons in one joined God.
Each part has its own will and personality, but each is also a part of the other. It is a rather difficult concept to understand for those unfamiliar with Christian doctrine on the term. It is thought of by most as part of the mystery of God.
In accordance with the Nicene Creed said by most Catholics during Mass, the following represents the Catholic view of the three aspects of God:
We believe in one God
The Father, the Almighty…
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ…
Eternally begotten from the Father…
One in being with the Father
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified...
Some other versions of the Nicene Creed are said during the church services of other Christian denominations. For example, many Protestants, Evangelical Christians, Methodists, and some Baptists say The Apostle’s Creed, which is a variant of the Nicene Creed.
It is important to note that not all Christians believe in the Holy Trinity, and they are called nontrinitarians. Some, like the early Christian group the Ebionites, believe that Jesus Christ was a prophet and not the Son of God. Others see Jesus as the Son of God but still do not teach or believe in the Trinity. These include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Christian Scientists. For example, most Mormons believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as separate beings that can act in concert. When they do so, they are called the Godhead.
Muslims are also nontrinitarians. They accept Jesus Christ as an important prophet, but not as the Son of God. Mohammed is the most important of the prophets, and the Quran the basis for religious understanding of the world. Most are not aware that the Muslim religion acknowledges the importance of the Judeo-Christian tradition, however, and especially reveres Abraham, and Jesus.
Teaching of the Holy Trinity is often a dynamic process, and views on the Trinity tend to change. Women who wish for greater roles in the church often describe the Holy Spirit as feminine in nature, though there is not much scriptural basis for doing so. There is still huge theological debate on how to perceive the Trinity, or whether to discard the traditional understanding of it.
In Eastern Orthodox Churches, the debate about the Holy Trinity is ongoing, with some questioning whether the idea was taken from pantheistic religions in order to make Christianity more palatable, or whether it is the most accurate depiction of God. The resolution of this discussion might result in unification of the churches most similar to Roman Catholic Churches, but with several hundred years of discussion on this topic, this has yet to occur.