Saturday, January 5, 2008

Oneness Pentecostals Are Secretly Trinitarian

I posted the comment below in a thread over at Heal the Land in response to several Oneness Pentecostal adherents who were active in the meta. In particular this comment was in response to "Crimson Wolf":

Crimson Wolf,

Yes I can “talk”. I merely chose to copy and paste (and provide due credit to men abler than I) in a spirit of love and earnest prayer that the Holy Spirit might open some eyes to the truth and to encourage my fellow servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, my Savior and King.

In fact I’ve carefully read through the posts that you, Manuel, Jesusman and Dr. Ward provided in order to try to focus my responses with Biblically based, scripturally supported, and Christ centered teaching.

To be quite honest, apart from the vitriolic personal attacks, belittling sneers, and requisite fear, loathing, and hatred that has been consistently (and sadly) demonstrated by you personally and some of the other Oneness contributors to this thread one overarching thought has struck me throughout this exchange: Oneness folks are closet Trinitarians!

The truth is that Oneness thought secretly - and cleverly - “borrows” orthodox Trinitarian teaching by intellectually mugging it in a dark back alley and coming out on the other side wearing its clothes pretending that they belong to the Unitarian camp.

I’ll admit that I was a bit stunned when the pieces all came together and I have surely appreciated this dialogue. I pray that it has served to bring much glory to God and it has certainly helped to deepen my feeble understanding of the glorious Risen Savior Jesus Christ which has in turn served to further humble me before His infinite wisdom, grace, mercy, pity and boundless love. Praise be to His Holy Name forevermore!

You see, I’ve come to realize the Oneness folks who have commented here thus far have clearly and repeatedly affirmed and demonstrated an intrinsic belief in a monotheistic trinity of sorts. The Oneness God’s “manifestations” or “modes” as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been readily confessed and heartily embraced by the Oneness representatives in this thread.

Therefore it’s become clear to me that the primary difference that has been articulated by the Oneness contributors herein is rather than confessing a “trinity of being” like I - and all true orthodox Christians - affirm, the Oneness camp confesses a “trinity of activity”.

Yet this distinction does not result in less mystery, it creates more. In fact the Trinitarian “mystery” so frequently derided by the Oneness camp remains in that based on the Oneness positions expressed in this very comment thread we find that one indivisible God can and does exist in at least three distinct ways (or manifestations or modes if you prefer) and He does so fully, personally, and simultaneously.

So now I’m left scratching my head and wondering if it’s so non-offensive to Oneness sensibilities and their concept of God’s Unitarian monotheism to believe God can and does “manifest” Himself fully, personally, and simultaneously in three distinct ways from time to time, then why is it so offensive to believe that God continually exists in this manner eternally? The latter is the basic, historic teaching of the doctrine of the Trinity.

I’m not trying to be a jerk or back you Oneness guys into a theological corner here, I’m genuinely curious. Could some or all of you give a calm, reasoned, rational explanation of this seeming anomaly?

Thus far none of Oneness Pentecostal commenters active in the thread linked above has offered any response to my simple inquiry.