Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Exposing Error: Oneness Pentecostalism

Oneness Pentecostals: They deny the Trinity, require baptism for salvation, are legalistic, and do not preach the true gospel.

The above sounds like a strong statement and a serious charge that's been leveled against the Oneness Pentecostal cult, yet it is the unvarnished truth. As some of my limited readership may recall I posted a brief series on the antics of Oneness Pentecostal heretic T.D. Jakes during October '07, however that series didn't provide as much detail on the manifold errors of the Oneness Pentecostal cult as it focused on the arch-deceiver Jakes himself.

In this brief post I'll provide a brief list of Oneness Pentecostalism's manifold doctrinal errors, and for more detailed information the reader can click the link at the beginning of this post and review CARM's excellent resources on the cult.

Here are few Oneness Pentecostal cult beliefs for those who may be unaware of some of the specifics of their false religion of works righteousness:

1. Denies the doctrine of the Trinity.
2. Denies justification by faith alone by stating that baptism is also required for salvation.
3. Jesus is God the Father.
4. Jesus is the Holy Spirit.
5. The name of God is “Jesus.”
6. Baptism is necessary for salvation.
7. Denies pre-existence of the Word as the Son. Teaches that the He existed as the Father.
8. Being born again means repentance, baptism, and speaking in tongues.
9. Baptism must be administered by an ordained Oneness minister to be valid.
10. Baptism must be administered with the phrase, “In the name of Jesus” instead of the phrase, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
11. Speaking in tongues is a necessary requirement to demonstrate that a person has been baptized in the Holy Spirit, and is, therefore, saved. It is claimed to be the initial sign of the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
12. Restitution of all things, though the devil and the angels will not be restored.
13. Women may be pastors.
14. Only Oneness people will go to heaven.

As any fair minded, intellectually honest person can see the traits above are, as I’ve pointed out before, representative of classic cult mind control.

Just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons who are the Oneness Pentecostal’s spiritual kissing cousins these blind leaders of the blind, these wolves in sheep’s clothing, these rank deceivers believe that ONLY THEY will go to heaven because ONLY THEY are “doing things according to the Bible” as taught by THEIR cult leaders.

But notice that “doing things according to the Bible” includes all manner of religious bondage and fleshly works of men in order to be valid.

So according to the Oneness Pentecostal cult (and the JW’s and the Mormons) if you have not met THEIR PARTICULAR CULT’S requirements for salvation then you’re going to go to hell. I wonder which of these three cults is really telling the truth? If you guessed none of them then you are correct!

But don’t their claims sound familiar? They really should since false religion is among Satan’s oldest traps and cults of Christianity are clearly his favorites.

The Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible is able to fully save all those who come to Him by faith through grace alone, but the Jesus Christ of Oneness Pentecostalism is unable to fully save apart from certain ordinances being performed by ordained Oneness Pentecostal ministers. As is commonplace among the cults they use these ordinances as a form of religious bondage in order to control their confused flocks and keep them in line by using fear tactics.

The Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible Himself claimed to have come from the Father and claimed He would return to the Father, but the Jesus Christ of the Oneness Pentecostals is the Father.

The Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible prayed fervently to His Father in the garden of Gethsemane desiring that the cup might pass from Him, and prayed that not His (Jesus Christ’s) will be done, but His Father’s will be done (“nevertheless not My will, but Thy will be done”). Since according to the Oneness cultists Christ IS THE FATHER then the Lord was actually praying “not My will, but My will be done”. The conflict evident herein is irreconcilable and absurd on its face. In this touching and agonizing scene the Son was praying to His Father in Heaven pure and simple.

Sadly Oneness Pentecostals flatly reject the truth that Jesus existed as the Son of God from all eternity. Since Jesus is God this means, according to Oneness Pentecostal doctrine, prior to His incarnation Jesus must have existed as the Father or as an idea in the Father’s mind. Yet there are numerous scriptures that clearly teach that Jesus has always existed WITH (not as) God the Father prior to His earthly incarnation. (John 1:1 & 10-14). An idea can’t be the Creator so we’re left with One Who came to His own world and was rejected by it, now did the Father come to the world or did Jesus Christ - the Son - come to the world? What do the scriptures and Christ Himself teach on this point?

We also have John the Baptist testifying to Jesus Christ’s real pre-existence in John 1:15,31 as well as the Lord Himself making reference to the same thing noting how He will ascend up to the Father where He was “before” (6:62). The Lord also testifies numerous times how he has COME FORTH FROM THE FATHER and is GOING BACK TO THE FATHER. We should also consider 1 Corinthians 8:6, Hebrews 1:2-10, and Colossians 1:16-17 which speak expressly of Jesus as the Son of God creating the world.

The truth is that the New Testament itself teaches over and over that Jesus is the Son of God and Son of man, but He is NEVER ONCE called the Father. In fact the Father is referred to as distinct from Jesus over 200 times in the NT and over 50 times Jesus the Son and the Father are juxtaposed in the same verse

Friends, the Oneness Cultists need the same loving but firm rebuke as the JW’s and Mormons in order that some might be saved from the judgment to come. They’ve believed another gospel and have invented another Jesus and they seek after converts in order to make them twice the sons of hell that they are themselves.

In contradistinction to the error of the Oneness Pentecostal (and Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormon cults) the Holy Bible plainly teaches the FACT of a Triune individual being that is commonly known as the One True Living God of Christian theism. Consider the following study adapted from "Reformation Theology":

The Triunity of God - The Basis for the Ontological Trinity
The dividing line between true Christianity and all other world religions is the Trinitarian conception of God. No religion that denies the doctrine of one God eternally existing in three persons can rightfully claim to be Christian. Islam believes in one eternal God, the God who revealed himself to Abraham; but because it denies that this one God exists in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, it is no more Christian than Hinduism. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in one God who, they claim, is the God of the Bible. But they reject that Jesus Christ is an eternal person of the Godhead, and therefore, they are no more Christian than the Greek pagans. The doctrine of the Trinity cannot be denied without Christianity itself being rejected. Here is a good, simple explanation of the trinity, formulated by Athanasius, a man of God who opposed the heretical Arian teaching, which denied that Jesus is truly God:

We worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence. For the person of the Father is a distinct person, the person of the Son is another, and that of the Holy Spirit still another. But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal. What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three gods; there is but one God.

This is the historic, orthodox teaching on the trinity. A careful examination of it will eliminate many possible misunderstands of its nature, such as these:

* We worship three gods
* Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three different names for God
* Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three different parts of God
* God shows up at different times as either Father, Son, or Holy Spirit
* Jesus is a lesser god than the Father or a created god
* Jesus is fully God, but he was not fully man
* The Holy Spirit is an impersonal force from God

Following are some scripture passages which support the Biblical belief in an individual, singular, personal Creator God of a Triune nature:

There is one God
Deu 6:4; 1Ki 8:60; Isa 42:8; John 17:3; 1Cor 8:4; Gal 3:20; 1Tim 2:5; Jam 2:19

The Father is God
Rom 1:7; Rom 15:6; 1Cor 1:3; Eph 4:6; 1Cor 8:6; 1Pet 1:3

The Son is God
Isa 7:14; Isa 9:6-7; John 1:1-3; John 8:58-59; John 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; Rom 10:9-13; Phi 2:9-11; Col 1:15-16; Col 2:9; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:3; Heb 1:8; 2Pet 1:1; 1John 5:20

The Holy Spirit is God
Acts 5:3-4; 2Cor 3:16-18

The Father is one with the Son
John 10:30; John 17:22

The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son
1Cor 2:11; Rom 8:9

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are viewed as equally God, yet personally distinct
Mat 3:16-17; Mat 28:19; Eph 1:3-14; Eph 4:4-6; 2Cor 13:14; Jude 1:20-21

May we who are called by His holy name pray for those who are in bondage to the various cults of Christianity that the Lord of Glory, the Risen Savior, our Kinsman Redeemer and Eternal God, the Lord Jesus Christ might save them from their sin and trespass and translate them from spiritual death unto life by His Spirit of boundless mercy, pity, and love. Amen!