UPC or Oneness Pentecostals

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Are they "orthodox" christians (they deny the triune godhead)?

    Over on the music thread a debate over a particular group (who I've never even heard of) turned into a doctrinal discussion.

    Stated that Roman Catholicism are "orthodox" and closer to Baptists than are the UPC. What do you think?
     
  2. Don

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    Having spent some time on another board with a Oneness Pentecostal, they are NOT orthodox.

    Not only do they deny the Trinity, they also require baptism as part of salvation, and speaking in tongues (at the time of baptism) as proof of indwelling of the Holy Spirit and thus, proof of your salvation.

    Don't know where all that fits into "orthodoxy," so I don't count 'em as such.
     
  3. Chris Temple

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    No they are not. To deny the triunity of God is to deny God. They do not adhere to nicene or chalcedon Christianity.

    Yes, the RCC is closer to orthodoxy than are UPC. The RCC adheres to classical theology/Christology, even though they possess no gospel and introduce other heresies. The UPC is thoroughly unorthodox.
     
  4. Kiffin

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    Agreed, the UPC is a cult and don't be fooled by them saying Jesus is God. Their view of Christ as God is closer to the Arian heresy than Orthodoxy. In UPC theology Jesus did not exist until Bethlehem. Jesus is only one of three modes that God reveals Himself. In that sense Roman Catholicism is in much more agreement than the UPC.
     
  5. LP

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    Anybody have web-sites I can look at both from and for this movement and from others countering them? I'd appreciate it.
     
  6. Chris Temple

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  7. Chris Temple

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    Kiffin:

    Did Jesus of Nazareth exist before Bethlehem? Christ, the Eternal Son did, but not the man Jesus, did he? ;)
     
  8. Kiffin

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    Thanks for correcting me on that Chris [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. DocCas

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    The UPC are Sabellian Modalists and deny Nicene orthodoxy (the Triune nature of the Godhead).

    They are also baptismal regenerationists and works salvationists.

    In other words, they are lost souls in need of the Grace of God in Christ Jesus! :(
     
  10. donnA

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    I just read the thread on the music forum , and then saw the Dr. Bob wanted further comments over here. So I am responding to comments made ther, this said so as not to confuse anyone on what I'm saying, make someone think I'm babbling to myself.

    smoke-eater
    Anytime some has a belief and they teach, or tell others about what they believe(christians singing) of course what they believe is going to be a part of it. Would you tell someone anything about the bible and not tell what you believe, but only what they want you to say? No yu wouldn't, and they aren't either, if they are oness penecostals. Which I really don't know.

    Are we to comprimise what we say we believe simply to have something we want, like listening to music.

    We are told in the bible not to have anything to do with false teachers, that would include false believers who sing our music.

    Eric

    ny unbeliief of the biblical God is all on the same level, unbeliever. We either believe what we say we do, or we do not. If we do, then an unbeliever is an unbeliever. And not believeing in the Trinity is denying the God of the bible, then it is not THE GOD they are speaking about, not THE JESUS they are speakiing about, but one they have made up. That is not my God.

    baptist forever
    How do we know. Then what do they believe about God? Is it the samething the bible says about God? No. Then it isn't the same God, not the bible God, not the one true God. The bible is is our standard.

    I hope no on minds my comments seem to be a little behind the times, as mose of this converstion started in Janurary.
    Sorry, I guess here latley I am behind on everything. [​IMG]
     
  11. Chris Temple

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    I knew you knew, but I was just clarifying for those who don't :eek: :D
     
  12. Ransom

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    Dr. Bob Griffin asked, concerning "Oneness" Pentecostals:

    Are they "orthodox" christians (they deny the triune godhead)?

    No, for that very reason. This is a matter of "first principles." Because the God of the UPCers is not triune, he is not the God of the Bible, and therefore a false god.

    Stated that Roman Catholicism are "orthodox" and closer to Baptists than are the UPC. What do you think?

    On this particular point I think that is true. The nature of God and Christ as taught in the Roman church is orthodox, such that in my judgment it is fair to say the Baptists and the Romanists worship the same God, though of course the Romanists have a false gospel and worship him in error. I cannot in good conscience say that of the Oneness folk.
     
  13. Christopher

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    1. About the Bible: The Bible is the infallible Word of God and the authority for salvation and Christian living.

    2. About God: There is one God, who has revealed Himself as our Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and as the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is God manifested in flesh. He is both God and man.

    3. About Sin and Salvation: Everyone has sinned and needs salvation. Salvation comes by grace through faith based on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Our basic and fundamental doctrine shall be the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.

    4. About the Gospel: The saving gospel is the good news that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. We obey the gospel by repentance (death to sin), water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (burial), and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit (resurrection).

    5. About Christian Living: As Christians we are to love God and others. We should live a holy life inwardly and outwardly, and worship God joyfully. The supernatural gifts of the Spirit, including healing, are for the church today.

    6. About the Future: Jesus Christ is coming again to catch away His church. In the end will be the final resurrection and the final judgment. The righteous will inherit eternal life, and the unrighteous eternal death

    (http://www.apostolic.net/)

    By His grace, Christopher

    P.S. - I AM NOT A MEMBER OF THE UPC.
     
  14. Ransom

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    Christopher posted the following from the statement of faith from Apostolic.net. Thanks for this. (For those who are unaware, "Apostolic" is a buzzword used by many Oneness Pentecostal sects, including the United Pentecostal Church, International.)

    Note, though, that some of their wording doesn't actually resolve any controversy, but raises more. For example:

    2. About God: There is one God, who has revealed Himself as our Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and as the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is God manifested in flesh. He is both God and man.

    At face value, there's little to this claim that I can object to. The problem is, it is too ambiguous. Apostolic/Oneness churches differ from orthodox denominations over the very nature of god: is he a Oneness God or a triune God? I can't see why the statement of faith wouldn't make that difference clear, unless they were somehow trying to legitimize themselves amongst less discerning trinitarians.

    I note, by contrast, that the official Web site of the UPCI (www.upci.org) has a statement of faith that specifically repudiates the Christian concept of the Godhead, that being one being in three distinct persons.

    3. . . . Our basic and fundamental doctrine shall be the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.

    Note the additions to faith: baptismal regeneration, and tongues.

    It also might be less obvious to some, but when the UPCI or other Oneness denom says they practice baptism "in the name of Jesus," what they mean is that they specifically reject the trinitarian formula given by Christ in the Great Commission. Rather than interpret "in the name of" as "by the authority of" (in which case "in the name of Jesus" and "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost" are equivalent phrases), they actually mean that a valid, Christian baptism must have the literal name "Jesus" spoken over it. This, too, is an addition to faith.
     
  15. Chris Temple

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    Yes -

    the greatest enemies of the faith are not the pagans, heathens, secularists, humanists and atheists, but rather are those who look and speak like believers until one looks more closely at their faith and practice.

    Galatians 1:6-9 (ESV)
    I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— [7] not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. [8] But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. [9] As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
     
  16. donnA

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    I was reading a little on one of the links givn here to learn more about the Oness Pentecoatal chrch, and found this,

    Unique Terms: Apostolic, Jesus Only, Jesus Name baptism, prophecy wheel, emphasis on Acts 2:38.
    Groups: United Pentecostal Church International, Apostolic World Christian Federation, Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ, Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.


    So I wondered if that measn the churches with Apostolic in the name/tital are oness? Does anyone know this?
     
  17. Ransom

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    katie said:

    So I wondered if that measn the churches with Apostolic in the name/tital are oness? Does anyone know this?

    Typically, yes, that is a Oneness buzzword. I noticed on the church directory at Apostolic.net, for example, that my city, Ottawa, has four Oneness churches listed. One of them was UPCI; the other three all had "Apostolic" in the name somewhere.

    Isn't it ironic that . . .
    </font>
    • "Apostolic" churches probably aren't?</font>
    • a "New Testament" church probably isn't?</font>
    • when someone says "Scripture clearly indicates," it probably doesn't?
      </font>
     
  18. donnA

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    Then we have a few oness churches around here too. I had wondered about them.
     
  19. Eric B

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    ny unbeliief of the biblical God is all on the same level, unbeliever. We either believe what we say we do, or we do not. If we do, then an unbeliever is an unbeliever. And not believeing in the Trinity is denying the God of the bible, then it is not THE GOD they are speaking about, not THE JESUS they are speakiing about, but one they have made up. </font>[/QUOTE]What I was trying to say was that the distinction between modalism and "orthodox [Nicene/Chalcedonian] trinitarian" while significant, is not quite enough to say that is necesarily another god, or just another form of "unbelief". The problem revolves around semi-Biblical terms-- "person" versus "manifestation"; semi, because they are found in the Bible, but never in a formula of "three". Both groups are interpreting various passages to extend the use of "person" or "manifestation" to all three. Both agree that all three are fully divine, and this is what I am saying sets the oneness apart from the Arians and others who say Jesus is not God and the Spirit is just a force, or Mormons who say the three are separate gods. So the statement that their "god" is not triune (Ransom) is not even totally correct. They acknowlege three as God, (rather than removing the son and spirit from the godlead like the others) but interpret this triunity differently, albeit erroneously. Just what do we mean by "persons"? Many think of three separate self-conscious beings, with different wills, etc. but even apologists tackling the issue such as James White (Forgotten Trinity) and Greg Boyd (Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity) say this is misunderstood. But they still try to explain it in ways that suggest precisely that ("One what, three who's", which suggest that God is a thing, or perhaps only a "committee" of persons, as it is often called.)
    So the modalists substitute "manifestation" but this raises the problem of Jesus praying to the Father and sitting at His right hand. This is a big problem, and when you get them to try to explain it, they wind up creating two Jesuses--one totally divine, and one totally human, who didn't exist until Bethlehem (thus agreeing with the theological unitarians or adoptionists, such as Paul of Samosata, the Christadelphians, etc). I would say the UPC ultimately hangs itself on the salvation issues (baptism, etc)
    But there are many other people in other pentecostal groups not associated with the UPC that may describe God in that way, and while correcting their error, my concern is that we should not deny their salvation or genuine Christianness because they don't conform to "Nicene and Chalcedonian Christianity" as much as those Roman councils were loaded with extrabiblical terminology and philosophy and even politics.
    One good idea is to look at pre-Nicene theology (Irenaeus, Hippolytus, the early Tertullian, etc.) because they expressed things a bit differently, and this was the "orthodoxy" of that period, and what modalism was originally challenged by. You can learn a good deal about this from JND Kelly's Early Christian Doctrines
    So once again, I am not trying to justify oneness theology, but only cautioning about making 4th/5th century Christianity our measuring stick. I think this wouls be the best way to reach them.
     
  20. Ransom

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    Eric B said:

    So the statement that their "god" is not triune (Ransom) is not even totally correct.

    Not so. By definition the Trinity is one God existing in three distinct persons. The god of the Oneness people does not meet this definition; therefore, it is not "truine."

    Oneness Pentecostals believe in one person in the Godhead. That is, Jesus is the Father, etc. Hey, that's why they call themselves "Oneness."
     

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