looking at many of the popular movers and shakers in the church something is going on
around here that is concerning. If I make take the liberty to use the words of
Stephen Stills who once sang “something
going on over there, what it is ain’t exactly clear.” But it is very clear what
is happening-- at least to some of us. Lets look at what tracks are being laid down
by some very well- known teachers.
Tommy Tenney- Who has
written the best seller The
Chasers was raised in the
United Pentecostal Church (UPC), His family is 4 generations in this church. UPC
converts are to be baptized in Jesus’ name not in the name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit because all three mentioned in Mt.28 are suppose to be Jesus, God
is only one person. T.F.
Tenney who is Tommy Tenney's father a UPC leader insists the Oneness doctrine does
not contradict the Bible. “You can't call us 'Jesus only,' as some have. We do not
deny the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit,” Tenney told Charisma. “We believe
Jesus Christ is wholly, fully, absolutely and completely God. But no one is going to put
us in the position of saying there are three Gods.”
Tommy Tenny for the most part has avoided answering anything on his Oneness background and current beliefs. Although we get a glimpse in his writings.
“Christians share a common body of beliefs, such as salvation by faith in Christ, the divine inspiration and authority of the Scriptures, the deity of Jesus Christ and the triune oneness of God”(God’s Dream Team p.18). However whatever sounds orthodox is then cleared up by his statement “Theologians struggle vainly to draw a line between Sonship and Fatherhood. We are unable to describe the oneness of Father and Son or the unity of the Trinity because these things are beyond our comprehension. Jesus Christ so wrapped Himself up in the providence and Person of His Father that He bluntly said, “You can't separate us. I and My Father are one”( God’s Dream Team p.31). Do theologians vainly struggle? Sonship and Fatherhood is the Oneness way of saying offices and not persons. To Oneness the trinity is not three persons but three modes of being all of whom are Jesus, one person (or no person depending who you ask).
On the one of the crucial passages that uplifts the deity of Christ as well as shows plurality he interprets John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word.” The literal meaning of logos, the original Greek term translated as “Word,” is idea, thought or blueprint. It is an ancient Greek theatrical term describing the work of a playwright as he conceives, or dreams up, the plot of a play. So we could say, “In the beginning was the dream.” (God’s Dream Team p.22) this is the same as Oneness Pentecostals except Tenney goes further by calling the word a dream.
Considering Tenneys clear statement that the word (who is the Son)” was the
dream” certainly makes him a non (pre-existent person).
If the word is God, does this not make God himself a
Creflo Dollar-”the trinity is of course God the father God the son God the holy Ghost. We have to be careful because religion has us sometime thinking we have three different Gods. You know there’s God here ..hey holy ghost- hey Jesus…its God one God one faith one baptism not three Gods not three faiths not baptism’s everytime you mess up, one. God the father, one God, three functions one and different functions God functioning as a father- God functioning as a son -God functioning as the holy ghost. I am Creflo Dollar I’m a husband to my wife I’m, a father to my children I’m a pastor to gods sheep. Right now I’m not functioning as husband I am not functioning as a father I am functioning as one of the 5 fold ministry gifts to God’s sheep. Same guy other functions you follow me. One God other functions.”(Feb.19, 2001 World Changers program)
Rod Parsley “God the father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, God three in one. The Holy Ghost is no different than Jesus and Jesus is no different than the Holy Ghost … water you see it… if you take that to a scientists and ask it to analyze that and tell you what it is. He won’t tell you its water he’ll say that’s two parts hydrogen one part oxygen. That’s H2O now if take this and boil it and I capture the steam and I take that to the scientist he won’t say its steam he’ll say its H2O if I take this and put it in the freezer and take it to the same scientist hand it to the scientist say analyze this for me he won’t say that’s ice he’ll say that’s H2O they’re all H2O but there different manifestations of the same thing.” ( Breakthrough 9/19/2000)
Again we have another who misunderstands the Trinity or does not believe it.
When being interviewed on the radio Jakes in responding to the questioner on the orthodox view of the trinity said “The Trinity, the term Trinity, is not a biblical term, to begin with. It's a theological description for something that is so beyond human comprehension that I'm not sure that we can totally hold God to a numerical system. The Lord said, “Behold, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one, and beside Him there is no other.” When God got ready to make a man that looked like Him, He didn't make three. He made one man. However, that one man had three parts. He was body, soul and spirit. We have one God, but He is Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit in regeneration. It's very important that we understand that, but I think that the first thing that every believer needs to do is to approach God by faith, and then having approached Him by faith, then they need to sit up under good teaching so that they can begin to understand who the God is that they have believed upon.” (“Living by the Word” on KKLA, hosted by John Coleman, Aug. 23, 1998)
I agree about sitting under “good teaching.” Wouldn’t God being called one be a numerical system? Jakes is actually quoting Sabellius who said that God revealed himself as the Father in creation, Son in incarnation, and Holy Ghost in regeneration and sanctification. In the United Pentecostal Church’s Articles of Faith they state the same“ God is manifested as Father in creation, in the Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our (by emanation) regeneration.” The mistake is to equate image with physical components such as we are body soul and Spirit. However even using this example defeats his own position as these are existing simultaneously while Jakes is saying God changes his roles to act in relationship wirh man.
Jakes did not respond to CRI piece done in the Journal but later issued a statement to clarify his views on the Trinity, through an article written for Christianity Today. He said, “I believe in one God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe these three have distinct and separate functions so separate each has individual attributes, yet are one. I do not believe in three Gods.
Many things can be said about the Son that cannot be said about the Father. The Son was born of a virgin; the Father created the virgin from whom He was born. The Son slept (Luke 823), but the Father never sleeps (Psalm 121:3-5). The Son took on the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 83), but God is a spirit (John 4.24).
The word manifestation in 1 Timothy 3:15 is applied to the incarnation God coming in the flesh of man, (as does 1 John 3:5) it has nothing to do with the nature of God as He existed prior to this event. 1 Corinthians 12:17 has to do with gifts not the nature of God directly. Again Jakes does not make the distinction between Jesus the Son of God and the son of man. Only the son and the father. He implies the Son is the humanity. This is a certain type of modalsim. Sabellianism later became other forms of modalim. Sabellius avoided using of the term “persons” replacing it with manifestations The denial of three Gods is a basic oneness argument for the denial of the trinity. Despite that Trinitarians have mad e it absolutely clear there is only one God in three persons not three manifestations or offices. If Jakes or others believe in the orthodox view of the trinity they can easily make it clear. Instead they hem and hog over things shifting the issue. Since no one of any influence is insisting on these men and women to get it straight they will continue to avoid the issue.
This is straight up with Oneness Pentecostals who deny a tri-unity of nature and use the same wording. Yet he is accepted by Trinitarians who no longer care about these doctrines (some I realize are not aware of this aspect of his ministry). One of the Oneness views holds that God revealed himself as the Father in creation, Son in incarnation, and Holy Ghost in regeneration and sanctification.”
While not as explicit on paper the UPC does hold to the same view. “That this one true God manifested himself in the Old Testament in divers ways; in the Son while he walked among men, as the Holy Spirit after the ascension.”(Articles of Faith UPC) Therefore these are not co existent.
Dr. Norman Geisler President of Southern Evangelical Seminary and a well known scholar and speaker on cults said in an interview with “The Charlotte World,” “I know T.D. Jakes is very popular, and I know people don't like his ministry being called a cult, but it is. It would have been condemned by any orthodox church down through the centuries.”…He “ said that Jakes promotes modalism, which denies the doctrine of the Trinity.”
Rod Parsley “I’m here to tell you this morning God the father, God the Son, God the holy ghost God three - in - one, the Holy Ghost is no different than Jesus and Jesus is no different than the Holy Ghost and water. Water, you see it… if you take that to a scientist, and ask it to analyze that and tell you what it is, he won’t tell you its water. He’ll say, ' that’s two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen. That’s H2O.' Now, if I take this and boil it and I capture the steam, and I take that to the scientist, he won’t say it's steam. He’ll say, ' its H2O.' If I take this and put it in the freezer, and take it to the same scientist, hand it to the scientist say, ' analyze this for me,' he won’t say, ' that’s ice,' he’ll say ' that’s H2O.' They’re all H2O, but there different manifestations of the same thing. Do you understand what I’m saying? (Breakthrough 9/19/2000)
This is Onenes Pentecoatalism, Parsley denies personhood and attributes to each as being a manifestation.
-“God the Father. ladles and gentlemen, is a Person, and He is a triune being by Himself, separate from the Son and the Holy Ghost... God the Father 1s a Person, God the Son Is a Person. God the Holy Ghost Is a Person. But each of them is a triune being by Himself. It I can shock you- and maybe I should- there's nine of 'em...
Though not exactly as Mormonism this becomes too similar to their view for any Christian to be comfortable with. This attributes human parts(not functions) to God the Father and the invisible Holy Spirit.
God is a “spirit-being with a body, complete with eyes, and eyelids, ears, nostrils, a mouth, hands and fingers, and feet.” (Kenneth Copeland ministry letter, 21 July 1977.)
Once again this makes God have more than human qualities but bodily ones.
This is Mormonism.
Jesus has a beginning
and an end. (What Happened From the
Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303)
“Why didn't Jesus openly proclaim Himself as God during His 33 years on earth? For one single reason. He hadn't come to earth as God, He'd come as man.” “ K. Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory magazine, Aug. 8, 1988. p.8.
Copeland is denying God came in the flesh
“Jesus existed only as an image in the heart of God, until such time as the prophets of the Old Testament could positively confess Jesus into existence through their constant prophecies.” (Kenneth Copeland, The Power of the Tongue, pp. 8-10)
“People who teach the Trinity argue that Jesus and God are one because they are trying to justify the teaching in the Trinity that says, “these three are one God.” They also use the one and only passage that I can find that might remotely back up their teaching. John 1:1-2 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” However, this means that Jesus is deity - He is not the Father -- for verse 2 says, “He was with God in the beginning.” And then verse 14 says “came from the Father.” Please do not take verses out of context.
She then confuses the issue by saying “Teachers of the Trinity teach that Jesus is Jehovah; they have no scriptures to back this up, and why don’t they believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that Jehovah is Jehovah?
This is like the Jehovah Witnesses doctrine teaches. He is firstborn of the dead not first in all of creation.
I have not heard anything since that would clarify this. Murray does hold to Christ being God however this again is modalism.
Joseph Goode- Hatikva Ministries “Yeshua was an attribute of the Father that was made flesh,” Goode said. “But in being made flesh, he was a man. Totally a man… Yeshua we do not see as being God when he walked here on earth. We see him as a man. A man anointed by God, sent by God to perform a function. Now in his resurrection, we do not see him as God. We see him as a man anointed by God and that has been restored back to what man was intended to be” [before the fall of Adam]. He has also stated “I believed in the Trinity, now obviously I don’t.” (audio tape on file)
This again is denying God came in the flesh Jesus is not just an attribute but the sum total of all whom God is, in other words as Jn.1 says the word was God. 1 Jn.4:1-3 makes it clear how dangerous this is.
Now that we have discovered what some of these well known teachers of the word say. There should be no complaints. If there are, don’t come to me about them, all I did was repeat what they said and share with you what it means. I hope you share the same concern. If they are unable to have the nature of God correct; we need to be concerned about other teachings that are not part of the core doctrines.