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Conversations with Oneness Pentecostals

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.'”
Martin Luther

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.

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Who To Believe?

Knock! knock! knock! Its the Jehovah Witness at your door to tell you that the bible you have been reading is not the correct bible and that the New World Translation Bible its the correct one. That the King James Version and the American Standard Version that you are probably using and until the 1960’s they used is not correct.

One of the members of a Unitarian Universalist Church that belongs to the Jesus seminar tells you that not all of the bible has been inspired and that Jesus words have been corrupted. He will usually quote John Dominic Crossan or Marcus J. Borg who are most interested in discovering the historical Jesus rather than Jesus the Friend. Or another member of the same church will tell you that the bible has the same authority as the Quran, Vedas, generally other sacred text. Another will tell you that any sacred texts have no authority.

A few members of a Oneness Pentecostal Church will tell you that the bible has over 2,000 errors, although they might seem fundamentalist superficially but on a closer examination they argue the same points that a liberal might argue. The church’s general view will say that the King James Version, Douay-Rheims Bible,
Webster’s Bible Translation, Young’s Literal Translation has a verse added (1 John 5:7) for that reason the New International Version, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, International Standard Version, GOD’S WORD® Translation, American Standard Version, Bible in Basic English, Darby Bible Translation, English Revised Version, Weymouth New Testament World English Bible don’t have it. They will generally say that it was the trinitarians specially the Catholics that adulterated the bible but ironically the New Revised Standard Version does not include the verse in question. Why would they not included in their latest version? If they were the ones that adulterated it. I am no able theologian therefore I am not able to make judgement if the verse is ispired or not. A trinitarian whose opinion is that the verse is not included in the original greek text said this:

the removal of this text does nothing to weaken the evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity, or to modify that doctrine. As it was never used to shape the early belief of the Christian world on the subject, so its rejection, and its removal from the New Testament, will do nothing to modify that doctrine. The doctrine was embraced, and held, and successfully defended without it, and it can and will be so still.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

Oneness Pentecostals will only agree with this theologian on the part that the verse is not inspired and that is only found in two later manuscript but will disagree with this statement. They expect me to agree on the part that they agree with this scholar but disagree on the part that they disagree with.

Another group the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) also believe that the bible is spurious. Joseph Smith claimed, “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.” Brigham Young said further, “… many precious things have been rejected in the compilation and translation of the Bible” Even further than this Joseph Smith suposedly had a vision that he was the one chosen to restore the true Church to the world by bringing forth the Book of Mormon.

The Muslims will also say that the bible has many errors and the Koran does not thus superior.

Now there is a common denominator between all these groups they are ANTI-trinitarian. They are often too busy trying to convince the world that the bible is spurious. When I come across people like this I often question a few things for example do I trust a scholar, theologian, a pastor a member of any of this churches to tell me what is inspired and what is not inspired? Do I trust a human being to tell me that the bible has been adulterated? Why would I believe a group over another? After all they all claim to have prove but I am no expert in the subject how can I trust them? What if I would have never crossed paths with these groups would God send me to hell for believing in a bible that was adulterated and given to me? Would God even allow the bible to be adulterated? Wouldn’t the Holy Spirit guide us to see what parts are inspired and which ones are not? It just does not sound correct when I have to trust a human to tell me what parts of the bible are inspired and should trust and which ones are not and should not believe.

Well the bible itself tells us:

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me
John 5:39

We have to remember that the bible can only be studied with the guidance of the one that inspired it, the Holy Spirit. We should trust the Holy Spirit over any teaching of any man. The bible and the Holy Spirit will never contradict each other.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13

the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:17

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

I stand behind the words of the Apologist Robert Barclay:

From the revelations of the Spirit of God to the faithful have come the scriptures of Truth, which contain: (1) a faithful historical account of the behavior of God’s people in various ages and of the many unusual and remarkable acts of God which they experienced, (2) a prophetic account of some things already past, and of others yet to come, (3) a full and adequate account of all of the chief principles of the doctrine of Christ which were spoken, or which were written, by the motions of God’s Spirit at various times in treasured declarations, exhortations, and maxims which were given to certain churches and their pastors.

The Bible is a faithful declaration of the Spirit containing all the chief doctrines of Christianity, and thus can be relied upon as an authority and a check as to whether claimed revelations of the Spirit are true revelations. The Bible can only be truly understood when we are in that Spirit which is its source.