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The Persecuted Church

 

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TBN Unites Oneness Pentecostals with Trinitarians                       The walls come tumbling down

…"And then I’m going to become so Oneness in my presentation that I eliminate the revelatory distinction between Father Son and Holy Spirit. (okay) And if I’m fighting Oneness I’ve become so extreme in my attitude that I make three Gods, you see so,so, we go from one extreme to the other extreme, instead of coming together on the premise that I need your theology and you need my theology (C.M "absolutely") to round the body of Christ. (C.M "absolutely") So lets sit down together and lets restate the Godhead in terms that are cohesive , comprehensiveable so that all of us can grasp it then after we baptize and after people receive the holy Spirit then lets get up and do what Romans tells us to do to transform people by the renewing of their minds." (claps form audience)

This is an excerpt from TBN 3/8/99 with a Trinitarian Bishop Clarence McClendon and Oneness Pentecostal Bishop Noel Jones discussing how to have unity together in their ministries and to learn from each others differences. What I watched were these two men doing everything they can to break down the walls that were put up in the first 2 centuries of the Church to keep any false teaching of Gods nature out.

This is amazing that teachers can be so lacking in Church history as to repeat the same mistakes.

In the same manner the Mormons have tried to unite with the Church and now we have anti Trinitarians trying to take advantage of the new openness that is occurring on Christian broadcasting. How far will they go to have unity? What will be next ? Is TBN going to accept The Rev. Sun Yung Moon (who believes he is the new messiah) He's got a big Church too.

Why would TBN which stands for Trinity Broadcasting Network allow or promote such a thing. Maybe TBN should change their name or change their platform.Not all Oneness are sympathetic to this kind of unity. This being the same for Trinitarians as well.

Did you catch what the Oneness said," after we baptize and after people receive the holy Spirit."  Because Oneness believes one MUST be baptised in Jesus name only to be saved and then speak in tongues or there is no salvation.

The concept of restating the Godhead. There is nothing inherently wrong with trying to explain this in modern terms as long as one keeps the truth. But this sounds more detrimental considering how Oneness redefines what is held as three persons to be three manifestations (and more). They look upon us as he had mentioned, as believing in three Gods calling us at best modified tritheists teaching there are three spirits that are separate.  Most have not taken the time to carefully examine what we actually believe and why.

Oneness holds to Jesus being God and man but reinterpret it to the Father being the deity and the Son who is the humanity only. Yet the Father is not the person of God but only a title or role,( now called manifestation) of the Spirit who is God.  So the Son is not God but only the man the Father dwelt in. These become three actions of God and everything is avoided to say they are three persons.While this can seem at first to be a matter of semantics, it is much more.

Later on in the discussion it was said that McClendon and T.D Jakes as well as others preach at Jones Oneness Church. Isn't that grand.(Jakes does espouse a Oneness   interpretation on the nature of God Jakes also states the Trinity is a complex issue, saying, "I'm not sure we can totally bold God to a numerical system." "The concept of the Godhead is a mystery that has baffled Christians for years. With our limited minds we try to comprehend a limitless God. How can we explain one God but three distinct manifestations? " "We believe in one God, who is eternal in His existence,Triune in His Manifestations, being both Father, Son and Holy Ghost AND that He is Sovereign and Absolute in His authority." (Doctrinal Statement for T D. Jakes/Potter's House Ministries," March 18  1999 ) In a Radio interview Aug. 1998 by Living by the Word "We have one God, but He is Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit inregeneration." (Quotes from CRI Journal vol.22 issue 2)

Oneness looks at themselves as being the only true believers having the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues. This all began in modern times (in 1913) 13 years after the Azusa street revival, where Trinitarians spoke in tongues.

Oneness accuses the Church of being tied with Rome with the Trinity being of pagan origin. History shows the doctrine of the Trinity was there long before Constantine’s time when the Church in Rome became a center for Christianity after it was legal to be a Christian . The term "Trinitas" was dubbed by Tertullian over a century before in his now famous debate  against Praxeas. But he was not the first to use the term, we have the written record  of a man Theophilus  many years before in his epistle to Autolycus The 2nd,xv. We can assume it was used prior to Theophilus and was held as a common Church belief because their was no outcry against it. This is established with the many quotes that are left to us in history.

Despite the accusation's of the Roman Church inventing and promoting the Trinity we find the Church in Rome falling prey to numerous falsehoods that they tried to keep out, one of which was Oneness.  Almost 125 years before Constantine conflict arose with what is classified  as modalism (Oneness Pentecostalism). This teaching found support with two early Bishops of Rome, Zephyrinus and Callistus. Zephyrinus was the head Bishop at the time and was attracted to the Modalistic view. Caught between two major factions trying to keep the peace, he was advised by his soon to be successor Callistus on how to keep both sides satisfied. After Zephyrinus died in 217 A.D. Callistus kept his policy and Modalism became the official theory in Rome for almost a generation. He also was determined to excommunicate both Sabellius ( who promoted Modalism) as well as Hippolytus (who promoted the Trinity) who he accused of promoting two Gods. He devised a formulae that would satisfy the contention of both parties to keep the peace, since he considered himself the Pope.

"Callistus gave out a statement which declared that the Father and the Son are the same, and that the Spirit which became incarnate in the virgin Mary is not different from the Father, but one and the same". "It seems to have been a modified form of Modalistic Monarchianism."(K. Latourette History of Christianity p.144) Hippolytus in 228 AD said this of the contention,"Thus, after the death of Zephyrinus, supposing that he had obtained (the position) after which he so eagerly pursued, he [Callistus] excommunicated Sabellius, as not entertaining orthodox opinions" (Refutation of All Heresies 9:7).

The Catholic Church gets blamed for inventing the Trinity yet when we look through it's history it tells a different story. they actually promoted modalism and the arian doctrine of the Son being a creature.We find Anicetus, Bishop of Rome (160 a.d.) tried to influence Polycarp the Bishop of Smyrna to change the date of the resurrection observance, Polycarp who was a Trinitarian refused him. Zephyrinus (210 A.D.) and Callistus (220 A.D.) were the first bishops to claim Mt.16:18 to themselves, both were Modalistic in their view of God. Tertullian (the one who popularized the phrase Trinity) challenged this and called him an usurper saying, "as if he was the Bishop of Bishop's". History shows it was many Trinitarians that resisted a single church Government with a Pope as head, so they did not invent it. A.Harnack in his book the History of Dogma actually states that "Modalism…was for almost a generation the official theory in Rome."   Which certainly proposes a problem for those who claim a Roman origin of the Trinity. It is the opposite as Callistus a modalist modified the view to keep the peace.

"In the 3rd century Sabellius in Rome made this into a more sophisticated system ironing out the kinks. He claimed "the existence of a divine monad (which he named the huiopater) which by a process of expansion projected itself successively in revelation as the Father, Son, H.Spirit".( Elwells Evangelical Dictionary of Theology p.727) So each appeared in different periods of time having no simultaneous appearance. The Father was the creator and law giver, the Son was the redeemer and the Holy Spirit was the giver of grace and the regenerator.As Oneness developed it became more fine tuned to what they have today. Yet there are still some who hold the original views of Sabellius and others.

These issues were discussed as well as debated in the beginning of the Church.  TBN is allowing an undoing of what was settled over1700-1800 years ago. While it is good to civily discuss the issues so that people know the differences in position, to promote understanding . I don't think it is advantageous to put aside the differences for the sake of unity.

 

ntroduction to the Oneness Movement  Oneness Theology The Word One     Mt.28 Baptism 
  The Word Persons   God Does not change Are Tongues and Baptism Necessary ?
  Proofs of the Trinity    Preexistence of the Son Who died on the Cross ? 
  The Trinity in the Resurrection The Grace of God Jn.1:1   The Son being Sent 
History of Heresies   The Right Hand of God  Today I have Begotten Thee
From the mouth of Two or three Witnesses  Oneness Pentecostals and Trinitarians Unite
Modern beginnings of Oneness The Early Church on Oneness Who was manifested in the flesh?

 

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