Oneness Theology versus Trinity

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Timotheos, May 8, 2005.

  1. Timotheos

    Timotheos
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    I have ran into a teaching here of Oneness Theology. Have any of you ran into churches that teach this? How or what do you use to combat this teaching?
     
  2. GrannyGumbo

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    Yikes, it's spreading! I live in an area that is saturated with with it...they call themselves "Apostolics" here. Our youngest son fell into it a few years ago and I've been their perpetual thorn ever since. I've prayed that the Lord would send a preacher here to combat it, but til then, we do the best we can. There's many threads in the archives that has much info on it.
     
  3. D28guy

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    Timotheos,

    With some of it theres no need to combat it.

    I am what you would call a "standard trinitarian". I believe that all of the normal ways that evangelicals articulate the doctrine known as the "trinity" are the clearest verbal expessions of the nature of God.

    Regarding "oneness" teaching, I've noticed that those who claim to be "oneness" dont all say the same thing.

    Many of them clearly believe in, and articulate, the "triune" nature of God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They simply believe the 3 aspects of God intereact with each other a bit differently then we do. But its certainly not probematic.

    However, others do in fact deny...forcefully and consistently...any type of "triune" nature at all going on. Those are very problematic.

    We dont ever want to get so quick to condemn that we immedietly condemn others simply because they dont use a word we do..."trinity"...particularly when the word is not found in the scriptures, and the only time it is raised to some high level is the sometimes ungodly "councils" and "creeds" that are written by men and not by God.

    Regarding those who do in fact deny any triune nature of God, the best way I know of to combat it is the scriptures...the very word of God.

    Just share the many scriptures that proclaim the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as all being God...yet all 3 being seperate persons that comprise the one God.

    The scriptures are annointed of God and will pierce the hearts of those who are in error.

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  4. DHK

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    For more information see:

    Oneness and the word "Person"
     
  5. D28guy

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    DHK,

    You posted...

    Thats very good, and of course true...and thats what I dont understand about those who proclaim *hard core* oneness teaching. There are places in the scriptures where the 3 persons are all there at the same time, interacting with each other...such as when Christ prays to the Father for the disciples and those who would believe in the future. What was He doing...praying to Himself?

    Also at Christs baptism. I dont know how they can not see it.

    When God said...

    "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

    ...what do they think he was doing...talking of Himself? If He and Christ were the same person it would make God schitzophrenic, whould it not?

    It would almost make it seem like God was being deceptive. It would have been more accurate for Him to have said...

    "This is the beloved ME, in whom I am well pleased."

    Mike
     
  6. DHK

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    That's right Mike. The Oneness people have a very difficult time explaining the baptism of Christ where all three persons of trinity are present at the same time.
     
  7. billwald

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    The problem with trinitarian theology is that it makes salvation dependant upon a correct interpretation of disconnected texts. It isn't sufficient to "Love God and neighbor" or to conclude that Jesus died for one's sins. If one doesn't understand and agree to the theological details one goes to hell.
     
  8. DHK

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    Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father but by me."
    You are correct. If one doesn't know the Jesus of the Bible, and put his faith Him, they will die and go to Hell. It is important to know who Jesus is.
    DHK
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Many do say that but not all.

    Adventists are Trinitarian but do not insist that Christians who are not Trinitarian can only go to hell (or "The Lake of Fire" as we might say).

    Many OT pre-cross saints did not know "The Jesus of the Bible".

    Many NT saints at the time of Christ did not live in Palestine and did not know "The Jesus of the Bible". They did not go from being saved to being lost as soon as Jesus died for them -- or was raised up for them.

    All people who are saved - are saved through Christ alone - but they may not know it is Christ that draws them, and paid for their sins or that it is the Spirit of Christ that they are responding to.
     
  10. av1611jim

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    All people who are saved - are saved through Christ alone - but they may not know it is Christ that draws them, and paid for their sins or that it is the Spirit of Christ that they are responding to.


    Bob;
    Please explain yourself. This appears to be universalism. If they do not know it is Christ they are responding to then they are not saved.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  11. Kiffen

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    I live in a area that is heavily modalist and has a giant United Pentecostal Church in our area.

    I put them in the same league as Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses, Islam. Their understanding of the Deity of Christ is not the same as Trinitarians. Do not be deceieved by their talk. They do not believe there was a Son before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

    They also seem to believe that Jesus died only as to His humanity but not His Deity. This would make natural sense under their false concept of God for if Deity died under their concept of God, the Universe itself would cease to exist. So, I believe Modalists hold a unorthodox understanding of the Deity of Christ and are in no better position that JW's, Mormons or Muslims.

    I don't believe one should be able to quote The Athanasian Creed but one who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will naturaly come to a belief in the Trinity. A denial of the Trinity leads in the end to a denial of Christ Deity.

    Having known many UPC people over the years and having friends among them I know none of them who are believing in Christ alone for salvation. Besides their denial of the Trinity they teach a plan of work Salvation, that makes Roman Catholic Church theology seem Protestant. I think even their work salvation beliefs ultimately go back to their heretical denial of the Holy Trinity.

    Modalism is a Cult and those associated with it are in one of the most dangerous false teachings out there. They need Salvation.

    I agree with the 1689 London Baptist Confession that states,
    doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God
     
  12. DHK

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    How true that is.
    DHK
     
  13. Eric B

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    Most pre-Nicene fathers did not really speak in terms of "Son" before the Incarnation. (they did speak of "the Word"). Even MacArthur had a view like that, but changed it under pressure.
    Where the Oneness really deny the deity of Christ is when pressing them on the distinctions of the Father and Son. This is where they will tend to split Jesus' humanity and deity into almost two separate persons. The human Jesus then is basically the non-Divine Jesus of the unitarians, who is joined with "the Word", and now they have become identical to the Christadelphians and Way International.
    So you're saying that to be orthodox, you have to believe that God died (or at least a part or aspect of Him)? I don't know about that. Since Jesus was BOTH God and man, the mortality can be identified as one of the properties of his humanity. It is associated with His physical flesh, after all; it is the infliction of His body on the Cross that cause His death in the first place.
    I think failure to get this straight is one of the biggest things that has caused so much dissension over the Trinity, not only with aberrant Christians groups, but also with Islam and Judaism. One of the defining attributes of God is immortality; but if the deity of Christ means God died, then understandably it cannot be to these people. They of course don't understand the dual natures, but it seems many Christians don't quite understand or teach it to them correctly themselves. Why even confess a dual nature, then?
     
  14. Kiffen

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    Let's don't get away from the subject. The pre-Nicene fathers as well as MacArthur were not modalists but were Trinitarians though their views were not as well formulated as the later Councils. Modalism is a heresy not a error. I never said having a Nicene understanding of the Trinity is necessary (Though I that is the correct understanding) But understanding the Deity of Christ will lead ultimately to embrace God's Trinue nature. I have never met a Modalist (Believe me, my area is full of them) who is trusting in Christ Alone for salvation. They trust in works, tongues, etc...Their religion is so legalistic and based on works that it makes Roman Catholicism seem Protestant. I think this is a fruit of their rejection of the true nature of God.

    I agree.

    If it was not God dying on the cross then we are all in trouble. No one believes the Trinity died on the Cross BUT Jesus is God ( Not a part or aspect of Him). Jesus death is much more than physical death. To deny God died is to in your own words trust in a "non-Divine Jesus" for salvation. Can a "non-Divine Jesus" save a person? I don't think so!
     
  15. Eric B

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    I think that that is failing really to appreciate His dual nature. What you're saying sounds sort of like monophysitism. Once again; why profess a dual nature, if you insist that it could only be "God" that died on the Cross? His humanity was there, too, you know. The job of His deity was to make His death worth enough to redeem all of man. (since a sinless man could only pay for one other man). His humanity is what allowed Him to "die" in any way at all, for deity is immortal.
    And His death more than physical? I would say it was "more" than anyone else's physical death, but you are not suggesting that He died spiritually are you? While He took our sin upon Himself, and thus died to pay the price to redeem us from spiritual death; I wouldn't say He spiritually died; though It could depend on what one means by "spiritual death". Just curious; what did the creeds say on that one?
    Well, that wasn't away from the subject. You at that point defined their "heresy" as not calling the pre-incarnate Christ "Son". They say the pre-incarnate Christ was the Father. I pointed out that this was not really that far from the pre-Nicene view; even though they weren't modalists. So what I am saying, is if we want to show that they deny the deity of Christ, then that would be better accomplished by pointing out their splitting the natures of Christ too far.
    I would say that was a "heresy"; but the doctrine in theory; where it is a matter of substitutiong the word "manifestation" for "person"; I would have to say it was just an error. I think the expression that commonly dwells among "orthodoxy" that the Three are "three beings like three men in unity" is far more problematic. But that, while disclaimed by apologists, still gets a pass, and is not condemned like modalism is.

    From my page on the Trinity:

    Most people, assuming that the formula approved at Nicaea was the original formula, regard all the others as DELIBERATE "heresies" made up by their formulators to counter the "orthodox" view. But the situation was a lot more complex than that. All of these formulas sprang out of the same biblical revelation, developed together, and diverged as different points, such as the oneness or threeness of God or the humanity or deity of the Son were emphasized by different people or schools of thought. The challenge was to put all these truths together in some way, and it was hard to do that without overemphasizing certain points and thus neglecting others.
    There are many other Charismatics, and other people, perhaps not as well versed into the debate, who have expressed God in modalistic terms, and they are not all legalistic like that. You're thinking of the UPC based groups. (And then what about Fundies who are just as or even more legalistic than even them? The only real difference is that they don't openly say you must work to be saved!)
     
  16. Kiffen

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    What are you talking about? Where Did I say His Humanity was not there? I affirm Jesus as perfect God and perfect Man. I affirm that God and Man died on the Cross and not that only the humanity of Christ died as the Modalists do.

    Once again Eric, I affirm Christ humanity. As perfect God and perfect man He could bear the World's sins. The Second Person of the Holy Trinity (The God-Man) Died on the Cross.


    Actually it is very far away from what the pre-Nicene Fathers believed. Their view was just not formulated or systemized fully until the Church councils. Yes, it was different but the Christological Church Councils helped formulate our Christology.

    I have heard Baptist preachers affirm the Trinity but then use Modalistic type terms to describe the Trinity YET at the same time declare Three persons yet ONE God. That is more ignorance in trying to explain the Trinity RATHER than being a blatant Heretic such as Modalists. I have already stated, I don't believe one has to be able to quote The Athanasian Creed to be Trinitarian (Such as yourself) but one who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will naturaly come to a belief in the Trinity. Holding to the Creeds view makes you more orthodox in this area however. [​IMG]

    I have never known any Fundy Baptist to deny the Doctrine of the Trinity and I don't know what groups you are talking about. Anyone who has had any dealings with the UPC knows this is one of the most dangerous cults and the Legalism found within Fundamentalism is nothing compared to the UPC.
     
  17. Eric B

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    You have the humanity and deity performing all the same functions. So one could say that they might as well be one single nature. "God-man" means that He was both, and could accomplish both what man could not do (forgive sins, etc), as well as what God could not do (die, be tempted, etc). Each nature has it's own functions.
    Still; it did have some things in common with modalism, such as not not as clearly defining a "son" before the incarnation. As I pointed out, both vies sprang from the same place, but some overemphasized certain points, and then went off on a tangent. The later christological formulations came about when people saw where the modalists and Arians were going with their ideas, but these led to other confusion, and many orthodox bishops even questioned the creeds as possibly compromising monotheism, but signed them anyway, because they were superior to those other views.
    Some (or maybe many) teach the "three men in unity" correlation (which is the opposite direction from madalism, and even worse in a way), but this is not considered "denying the Trinity" since it does seem to still match the creedal definition of "Persons". (Actually, looking closer at the Creeds and what they were trying to convey, it really doesn't, but on the surface it looks like it does).
    There are other charismatic groups, and perhaps a few uninformed non-charismatics who I have spoken to, and express God madalistically. But they have nothing to do with the UPC, and are not legalistic. Even Hanegraaf acknowledges that these people are saved "inspite of their theology"; though not "because of" it.
     
  18. atestring

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    How true that is.
    DHK
    </font>[/QUOTE]I grew up in a town where the united Pentecostal Church is the largest church in that city. Though i am not Oneness, me and The Pastors son of that Church were friends and school mates while that church was little. We had many conversations. I NEVER heard anything close to denying the Diety of Jesus from him or any other Oneness. i have some disagreements with the UPC but that is not one of them
     
  19. MEE

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    I grew up in a town where the united Pentecostal Church is the largest church in that city. Though i am not Oneness, me and The Pastors son of that Church were friends and school mates while that church was little. We had many conversations. I NEVER heard anything close to denying the Diety of Jesus from him or any other Oneness. i have some disagreements with the UPC but that is not one of them

    That's correct atestring! You will never hear a person of the UPC deny the "Deity of Christ."

    As a matter of fact, they are probably the strongest believers of Jesus being God, in the flesh, than any group that I've ever heard of personally.

    Col 2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    Can't get any closer than that... ;)

    JESUS IS GOD! ...and that's a fact.

    MEE [​IMG]
     
  20. DHK

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    I grew up in a town where the united Pentecostal Church is the largest church in that city. Though i am not Oneness, me and The Pastors son of that Church were friends and school mates while that church was little. We had many conversations. I NEVER heard anything close to denying the Diety of Jesus from him or any other Oneness. i have some disagreements with the UPC but that is not one of them

    That's correct atestring! You will never hear a person of the UPC deny the "Deity of Christ."

    As a matter of fact, they are probably the strongest believers of Jesus being God, in the flesh, than any group that I've ever heard of personally.

    Col 2:9) For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    Can't get any closer than that... ;)

    JESUS IS GOD! ...and that's a fact.

    MEE [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]"In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was a god." (New World Translation)

    The Jehovah Witnesses believe (in a sense) in the deity of Christ. After all they do believe that he was a god. He was divine. They do say that he was "a god." They have a greater God and a lesser God.
    Their perception of God is different than the Bible's teaching of who God is.

    The same is true of Oneness and UPC. The denial of the Trinity is in fact the denial of the deity of Christ no matter what you say. You have redefined who God is, just as the J.W.'s have. You can claim him as deity, just as the Muslim's claim Allah as deity, but the God of the Oneness is as different from the Bible as is Allah. They are totally different. Both Muslim and Oneness claim their gods to be divine or deity; both serve gods that are not defined within the boundaries of the Bible.
    DHK
     

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