Tuesday, June 12, 2007

And now your pop religion question of the day!!! What does The Katinas, Phillips, Craig and Dean, T.D. Jakes and possibly the KING of Rock n Roll…Elvis Pressley all have in common?

They are (or in the debatable case of Elvis…were) all members of churches that deny the historic and orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. In particular…they are members of “Oneness Pentecostal” churches. Of course, every time I tell people this I always hear “but I love to hear T.D. Jakes preach…” or “I love Phillips, Craig and Dean’s music…”. My answer usually varies…but my favorite answer is, “I understand…but just know he/they are heretics…” The stunned looks I get are priceless…the na├»ve person usually looks like an old mule staring at a new gate. The other response I get all the time is basically, “no way…I don’t believe it…”

I won’t take the time to document this established fact…but you can look into your self here or here.

But to the point…what is Oneness Pentecostalism? The bottom line to this apostate group is that they deny the distinctions between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They believe not only are all three one in essence…they believe all three are one in person. Basically…Jesus IS the Father, IS the Son and IS the Holy Spirit. For example when we read that we are to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit they interpret that to mean to baptize in Jesus name only…the name of Father is Jesus, the name of the Son is Jesus and the name of the Holy Spirit is Jesus. So, according to them, sometimes Jesus is called the Father, sometimes Jesus is called the Son and sometimes Jesus is called the Holy Spirit…that all three are the same person…Jesus.

They deny the distinctions of person within the Triune Godhead…therefore they deny the concept and doctrine of the Trinity (tri-unity).

Interestingly enough…this is how my particular Jehovah’s Witness friends understood what Christendom teaches on the topic. Can it be that we have so badly articulated this doctrine…that just as we at times twist or exaggerate their doctrines into things they are not…that they have misunderstood what we are saying based upon personal interactions and discussions with us?

When this topic was raised she immediately asked me, “If Jesus is Jehovah God…then who was He praying to in Matthew 26:36 for example?” My answer probably seemed like nonsense to her…I said, “To the Father.”

“But if Jesus is the Father then was He praying to Himself?” she asked.

“No…first of all Jesus is not the Father…” I replied as an incredulous expression came upon her face.

Obviously, she is a Jehovah’s Witness and this doctrine had probably never been clearly or reasonably articulated to her…I could tell simply by the look on her face and the questions and assertions she made. But what about you who have not been raised in a Kingdom Hall or Mormon church? You do understand that Jesus is not the Father? You do understand that Jesus is God…but is not the Father? That the Father is God but is not the Holy Spirit? That the Holy Spirit is God but is not Jesus? All three are one in essence…they all three have, possess, partake in, enjoy and bear…to the fullest…the “stuff” of Yahweh…not one more than the other…and there is only one Yahweh in three Persons…the blessed Trinity...

Ok…now I am jumping to conclusions without laying the groundwork. I trust that I don’t have list out passages that speak of “Father”, “Son” and “Holy Spirit”…we should all know that these concepts are mentioned. My point for now is that all three are distinct from each other…that they are not all speaking of the same person. We see this concept in many ways…for example look at the distinctions found Genesis 1:26-27 NASB

Then God (singular) said, “Let Us (plural) make man in Our (plural) image, according to Our (plural) likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God (singular) created man in His (singular) own image, in the image of God (singular) He (singular) created him; male and female He (singular) created them.

Even in the very first chapter of the Bible we see some kind of subject/object distinction within God…that God “talked to Himself” or maybe more correctly stated… “talked within Himself”…so my Jehovah’s Witness friends should not be too terribly troubled when we in Christendom teach that God “talked within Himself” when the Son prayed to the Father…we see that explicitly described in this chapter and here and here.

Passages like these cut both Jehovah’s Witness theology and Oneness Pentecostal theology severely. We see one God yet some kind of plurality within that one God. Period. There has never been a reasonable explanation…by Jew, Muslim, JW, Mormon or anyone else…on how to interpret those passages other than the Trinitarian interpretation. Only Trinitarians can take those passages simply at face value. And I stand behind that statement because I have read all their explanations and am forced to shake my head at how far they all must stretch, twist and bend in their failed attempt to explicate their conclusions in light of the plain reading of the text. Perhaps a member of one of those groups reading this article would not mind giving us an example of their logical gymnastics in the comment section…

The point easily made today is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are presented to us in the Bible as being distinct in person. That much is clear. The Son prays to the Father…Jesus doesn’t pray to Jesus…He prays to the Father…the Father loves the Son...the Holy Spirit leds Jesus into the wilderness to fast and pray...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (distinction), and the Word was God (unity). John 1:1 NASB

6 comments:

Tim said...

Then God (singular) said, “Let Us (plural) make man in Our (plural) image, according to Our (plural) likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God (singular) created man in His (singular) own image, in the image of God (singular) He (singular) created him; male and female He (singular) created them.

Notice one other thing. God said "Let us (plural) make man in our (plural) image (singular)." So, God refers to himself in the plural here, but his singular image. One God, one image. More food for thought.

irreverend fox said...

great point! I missed that one...thanks!

that is a big point indeed...the word "image" is singular...great observation...

Naomi said...

That's right.

Anonymous said...

Lee Greenwood is Southern Baptist....when he lived in TN, he and his wife were members at the FBC of Sevierville...perhaps he has changed, but it looks to me like you simple copied the error that was made on the errant wiki.

irreverend fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
irreverend fox said...

I've read that in more than one place and that is why I included his name...but that doesn't mean anything...I'll remove his name because I've never heard him speak to it...

thanks...