For the past few months I have been exploring and having conversations with Oneness Pentecostals. I just do not understand where they come from in many of their arguments. They believe they are the only group that is going to heaven and God only limits himself to deal with them and no one else. As anyone can see this attitude is not an attitude that the real people of God can have. They are always very busy trying to convince that only they are right. From what I have research I am not the only that gets this impression of them. They are various points that I do not understand where they are coming from: here they are…
They will call the Catholic Church the Great Whore of Babylon found in the book of Revelation chapter 17 and will always argue how the rest of the Protestants are just like the Catholic Church. It is just ironic that the ones that employed the use of this term when refering to the Catholic Church were Martin Luther (1483-1546), John Calvin (1509–1564) and John Knox (1510–1572) all of them were trinitarian. On the Babylonian Captivity of the Chuch Martin Luther harshly condemns the papacy. Oneness Pentecostals will gladly say Amen to all of these reformers allegations against the Catholic Church but will condemn them in the end because they are trinitarian.
“Secondly, I would remark upon this divine Word, “Let Us Make,”–that it appertains to the mystery and confirmation of our faith: by which, we believe that there is ONE GOD, from all eternity and THREE distinct Persons in ONE Divinity or divine Essence,– the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Jews, indeed, attempt, in various ways, to elude this passage…I would demand, secondly, what the creation of man had to do with angels or angels with it?…Wherefore, God speaks here of Makers or Creators. This expression therefore could not design, or imply, angels….Wherefore, most assuredly, the Holy Trinity is here intended of God…For all the THREE Persons here concur, and speak unitedly, when they say, ‘Let Us make.'”
These argument against the Catholic Church is not originally theirs and they will condemn the reformers that shaped this concept.
They will often say that they are very different from the Catholic Church and that they never had anything to do with them but two early popes had the same false doctrine (Zephyrinus and Callistus) as they do. They can trace back their history to these two early popes.
Another thing is that on the surface they seem to be so fundamentalist. For example they want to take the story of the creation in Genesis literally and they want to take most of the New Testament in the literal sense specially when it come to water baptism in Acts 2:38. But they are not really fundamentalist, a hardcore fundamentalist Christian will never admit that the bible has errors. Their argument will often be that trinitarians twisted the bible yet they want to condemn the world with a bible that they believe has errors. Their arguments can sound liberal, honestly I never expected that a Oneness Pentecostal would say that the bible was adulterated because they seemed so fundamentalist. They will say Amen to the allegations of a trinitarian where there are errors but will condemn the same trinitarian for biblically trying to explain the doctrine of the trinity. On the surface they seem fundamentalist but on a closer examination they will argue that the bible has errors and parts that are not inspired just like any liberal would, yet they want to condemn the world with a bible which they accept to have mistakes. They pick and choose the side that is convenient to them.
Supposedly they are Arminian but when speaking to them they will often say things that really sounds like the doctrine of the predestination. They will argue that God chooses whom to seal with the Holy Spirit. It is not our choice to receive the Holy Spirit it is God’s will on whom will receive it. If according to them God chooses whom to give the seal of the Holy Spirit and receiving the seal according to scripture is the guarantee of what is to come (salvation) then we could say that they are not Arminian and in fact they are Calvinist. But in trying to push their own agenda they loose their Arminian doctrine. Again they pick and choose sides when is convenient.
set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:22
They will also say things that they do not need Holidays to celebrate that for them everyday is a celebration. This sound very much like a Quaker ideal, Quakers did not celebrate holidays because they thought that everyday should be devoted to God. Although primitive Quakers did not celebrate for different reasons that Oneness Pentecostals don’t celebrate. Quakers did not celebrate because they thought that the church had become to dependent and replaced the spiritual reality with holidays and rituals. Unfortunatly Oneness Pentecostals do depend on the ritual of water baptism for salvation with the specific formula in Acts 2:38 as opposed to the formula in Matthew 28:19. They do not celebrate holidays because of its suppose pagan origin, and will side with many liberal arguments about mainstream Christians being just like pagans but they won’t agree when these same liberals make allegations of Jesus being a pagan. Again they only take sides when its convenient to push their religious agenda.
The Oneness Pentecostals will often claim anti-trinitarian historical figures such as Sabellious as a prove that they always existed but in the end they will condemn him and others because they did not fulfilled the Oneness requirements of salvation which are water baptism in the Name of Jesus and speaking in tongues as a sign of the Holy Spirit.
It is very sad that this group will only take sides when its convenient to them but they do not have an identity of their own. These are only observations of having conversations with them. I hope that the readers could take their time and do more research on this group, that their only agenda is to be anti-trinitarian. There is alot of biblical evidence exposed by many trusted scholars (that they trust when convenient) that shows their false teachings.