A Trinitarian Identity
When people tell others to "find their identity in Christ," it seems, at least to me, to be devoid of a correct Trinitarian theology. Is Jesus, the second member of the Triune God, the ONLY person we have identity in? If so, that is heretical according to the formulations of Christian tradition about their so called Triune God. And dare I say, is it not a very weak understanding of identity for Christians?
According to the understanding of perichoresis, which is how the Church Fathers have understood the relationship that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost have with each other. (The Trinity's relationship with the world is a different beast, so I will not talk about that here.) This formulation by the Church Fathers bequeaths to us that the divine persons perfectly indwell each other but still remain distinct, while on top of that, still maintaining divine oneness. (over simplification, I know). So if one finds his or her identity in Jesus, then we also find, by default, our identity in the Father and the Holy Spirit. I could go further, but I want to be brief. I think the Triune life of Yahweh has a lot to talk about identity, but I want to make one point.
If a Christian's "identity" is supposed to model the Trinity, then a person's identity is not self-enclosed. For each member of the Trinity is in a perfect oneness/unity with each other, while keeping distinctness (hard to understand, get in line with all the critiques). They find their identity in their distinctness and oneness, but also in their interrelatedness with the other members of the Godhead. Since God is one, Christians have a strict identity, but God is not just one for Christians, and so other possibilities for identity rise in light of this. Does identity for a Christian involve community as well, since God is in community? I think so. Is this community just with God? I do not think so. I think God is a major part of a Christian's formulation of identity, but I also think, according to the Trinitarian nature, that we find identity in community with others of like-nature as well. Just as the Trinity is identified with perfect community with beings of like-nature.
I am not saying we do not find identity in God. We are created by him through some process. The fact we are created means we are identified by our Creator. However, I am highlighting that identity for a Christian might be more significant than just finding identity in God alone. In short, I think we find identity from God and from our community with fellow believers who help us formulate and examine our identity in light of Christian standards (There are so so many implications, if I am right). To relegate or narrow or dare I say, monopolize one's pursuit of identity only in Jesus is to fall short of discovering what true identity is in light of the Triune God and the significant implications this has for believers.
I am not trying to muddy waters. I am trying to understand how one should find identity as a Christian. I am still refining and testing this understanding myself as well. So there are many other things to be fleshed out.