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THEO 301 (Fa '15) T23-24 - Oneness Pentecostalism

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Hartmut Scherer

on 3 December 2015

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Transcript of THEO 301 (Fa '15) T23-24 - Oneness Pentecostalism

Oneness Pentecostalism
Beliefs of Oneness Theology
Beginning of a non-Trinitarian perspective
movement began in a chapel prayer meeting in Topeka, Kan., led by Charles Parham
Root of modern Pentecostal movement
Demonstrate to them the unconditional love and acceptance of Jesus Christ.
Emphasize as strongly as possible that Jesus Christ is the very center of your faith and life.
Confronting their theology on its weakest points, e.g., their belief that speaking in tongues is the necessary sign of salvation or their denial of the pre-existence of Christ.
Share your personal testimony of God's grace and your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.
Present the basic plan of salvation and encourage the Oneness Pentecostal to receive Jesus Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savior.
Pray and trust the Holy Spirit to lead you as you share.
Official Names:
(a selection)
General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies (GAAA)
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW)
Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ (PAJC)
United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI)
Pentecostal experience of "speaking in tongues" during a revival in an African-American Baptist church on Azuza Street in Los Angeles, Calif.
R.E. McAlister of Toronto, Ont., began teaching that the Trinity doctrine was untrue
"Oneness" views were strongly rejected by the council of the Assemblies of God
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
were organized
United Pentecostal Church International
was organized
Sharing the Gospel
Confront their misunderstandings of what Trinitarians believe
United Pentecostal Church International
are the largest oneness movements
Baptized in Jesus name
Only One God
Oneness Pentecostals declare that
the Godhead consists of only one
Person and deny the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. They maintain that the only real "person" in the Godhead is Jesus. They maintain that God exists in two modes, as the Father in heaven, and as Jesus the Son on earth. Nevertheless, they are the same
person, not two separate persons. The
Holy Spirit is not regarded as a person
at all, merely a manifestation of
Jesus' power.
Biblical Response
The Oneness Pentecostal view of God
is similar to the ancient heresy of
Modalism. Modalism is the belief that one God existed in time in three distinct modes
of being. The Bible indeed teaches the
existence of only one God (Deut. 6:4),
who exists eternally in three separate
and distinct Persons of the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit. (See Matt.
3:17; 17:5; John 3:35; 5:20;
2 Pet. 1:17)
Four-fold Legal Requirement
1. Faith in Jesus Only
2. Repentance and Baptism in the "Name
of Jesus" (Acts 2:38)
3. Speaking in Tongues (an essential
ingredient in the salvation experience
4. Adherence to Holiness Standards
Biblical Response
Salvation is "by grace through faith" in
Jesus Christ alone (see Rom. 4:4-5; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Baptism is not essential to
one's reception of salvation. Speaking in
tongues is distributed sovereignly by the
Holy Spirit to those He wills. No amount
of good works guarantees salvation.
Sources of Authority
Oneness Pentecostals of all branches
affirm the authority of the Bible for doctrine. Many Oneness advocates rely on the unbiblical revelations received by various Oneness leaders whom they regard as
divinely inspired or anointed interpreters of
the Bible.
Biblical Response
The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and
infallible Word of God (see 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). It is the final authority for the Christian on all matters of faith and
doctrine. All modern writings or
"revelations" must be analyzed in light
of sound principles of biblical
What Do Oneness Pentecostals Believe? (God's Nature)
Key publications:
Pentecostal Herald (UPCI)
The Global Witness (UPCI)
The Bible Way News Voice (Bible Way)
The People's Mouthpiece (AOHCG)
The Contender for the Faith (COLJF)
Christian Outlook (PAW)
Educational Institutions:
(a selection)
AOHCG: Berean Christian Bible College-Birmingham, Ala.
PAW: Aenon Bible School-Indianapolis, Ind.
UCJC: Institute of Biblical Studies-Baltimore, Md.
UPCI: Apostolic Bible Institute-St. Paul, Minn.
160 expelled ministers formed the General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies
a number of oneness sects started
Sources and Image Credit
(Material for this presentation partly adopted from Tal Davis, Oneness Pentecostalism, at http://www.4truth.net/fourtruthpbnew.aspx?pageid=8589952678; retrieved Nov 17, 2012.)
Adapted from Sharing Your Faith with a Oneness Pentecostal (Part 1+2) by Gregory A. Boyd, at http://www.equip.org/articles/sharing-your-faith-with-a-oneness-pentecostal-part-1/ and http://www.equip.org/articles/sharing-your-faith-with-a-oneness-pentecostal-part-2/; retrieved Nov 18, 2012.
Testimony of Mike Barden
Material partly adopted from Mike Barden "The Gospel According to Oneness Pentecostalism;" accessed November 17, 2015; http://www.gospeloutreach.net/opgospel.html
To be born again, a person must:
1) Repent
2) be baptized "in the name of Jesus Christ" for the
remission (forgiveness) of their sins,
3) receive "the gift of the Holy Ghost," evidenced by
"speaking in tongues."
4) must comply with several "holiness standards"
How people get into Oneness Pentecostalism
- questions and doubts about Christianity while
growing up
- invited by a friend at the end of his college time
- talked about present-day miracles
- studied the Bible -> convinced of truthfulness
- joined a United Pentecostal Church
Step #1-#3 is based on
Acts 2:38
(can be a long process)
Holiness Standard
- Women should wear skirts, but never pants or slacks.
- Women should never cut their hair.
How people get out of Oneness Pentecostalism
- heard statements like: "to be save, all you have to
do is accept Christ as your Lord and Savior"
How Romans 4 changes everything
- Oneness adherents believe that one's sins are forgiven
through water baptism (their interpretation of Acts 2:38)
The message of Romans 4
- justification is a legal term, a declaration from God
The message of Romans 4
4:7 - justification includes the forgiveness and covering
of sins (s. Ps. 32:1-2).
- Women should not wear jewelry or makeup.
- Men should only have short, conservative haircuts.
- Men should not wear facial hair.
- No one should own a TV.
- No one should watch movies at a theater.
- No one should wear shorts, or anything that would
expose the legs.
- No one should go swimming in a public place.
- turning point was Romans 4
- preunderstanding shapes interpretation of the Bible
- use of hermeneutical principles (e.g. "Scripture
interprets Scripture")
- as soon as a part of their theology is defeated, the
whole theological structure collapses
- Justification by faith
God "justifies" (or declares
"not guilty") a sinner the moment he puts his faith in the
saving work and authority of Jesus Christ.
For Oneness Pentecostalism, the primary work in one's initial salvation is baptism, but subequent obedience to the "standards of holiness" are also necessary to maintain one's standing before God.
4:2 - no good works could justify him before God
4:3 - Abraham was credited with righteousness simply
because he believed God's promise.
4:4 - salvation cannot be earned; it's a gift
4:5 - a person is
justified through
but only by believing in the God who justifies
undeserving, ungodly people
4:11 - Abraham was circumcised as a sign of obedience to
God, but only after he had put his faith in God.
4:22 - it is because of
this kind of faith
(trust in God's
promise) that God justified Abraham
4:25 - the promise Christians believes that Jesus took the
the punishment for our sins, and he was raised from
the dead so that we could be justified
Another problems with Oneness Pentecostalism
Unbiblical teaching about the Godhead
- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are "modes," or
"manifestations" of God in various activities
- any relationship between the Father and the Son is
between Jesus'
and Jesus'
- John 14:26, "But the Comforter, which is me, whom I will
send in My name, I shall teach you all things, and bring
all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said
unto you." (Oneness understanding)
- John 14:23, ""If anyone loves me, he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him, and
will come to him
and make
home with him." (ESV; emphasis added)
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