Motivated at least in part by the current controvery over oneness heretic T.D. Jakes, (also here and here) please read two very good pieces on the importance of the Holy Trinity. Hopefully, this will help Christians understand that we are to separate with heretics, not dialogue with them.
Archive for the ‘modalism’ Category
Posted by Job on October 26, 2011
Posted in anti - Christ, Apologetics, apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, blasphemy Holy Ghost, blasphemy Holy Spirit, christian broadcasting, Christian hypocrisy, Christian salvation, christian television, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church worldliness, corrupt televangelism, discernment, evangelical, evangelical christian, evangelism, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, grace, interfaith dialogue, irresistible grace, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, orthodoxy, orthopraxy, Ruach Hakadosh, syncretism, TBN, TD Jakes, televangelism, trinity broadcasting network, unitarian, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: Baptist, elephant room, fundamentalism, God the Father, hermeneutics, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, holy trinity, monarchian modalism, Monarchianism, patripassianism, R. K. McGregor Wright, sabellianism, separation, trinity, Vern Sheridan Poythress | 4 Comments »
Posted by Job on May 15, 2009
Oneness Pentecostals, as well as Christians who support and fellowship with oneness Pentecostals, here is a question of you.
The Bible declares God the Father, called the Ancient of Days (see Daniel 7, especially verses 9, 13, and 22) to be King in various places. The Bible declares God the Son, called the Angel of the Lord in His preincarnate form (see Joshua 5:14-15, also Exodus 3:4-6 cross referenced with Exodus 3:2, Acts 7:30, Acts 7:35 ) and the Word of God (John 1:1-18, Proverb 8 especially verse 30) and Jesus Christ to be King.
However, the Holy Spirit, called the Spirit of God the Father (Matthew 10:20, Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18) and the Spirit of God the Son (Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:9, Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18) is never declared to be King by scripture at any time. Also, where both God the Father and God the Son are both spoken of as being glorified and exalted, to my knowledge God the Holy Spirit is never spoken of by scripture as being glorified or exalted at any time.
How is this possible? I welcome your replies. Thank you.
Posted in anti - Christ, antichrist, Apologetics, apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, blasphemy Holy Ghost, blasphemy Holy Spirit, Christianity, heresy, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism | Tagged: Acts 7:30, Acts 7:35, ancient of days, angel of the Lord, Daniel 7, Daniel 7:13, Daniel 7:22, Daniel 7:9, doctrine, exalted, Exodus 3:2, Exodus 3:4-6, Galatians 4:6, glorified, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, God the Son, Holy Spirit, Isaiah 61:1, John 1:1-18, Joshua 5:14-15, king, Luke 4:18, Matthew 10:20, preincarnate christ, Proverb 8, Proverb 8:30, Romans 8:9, Theology, trinity | 22 Comments »
Posted by Job on May 12, 2008
Driving to work this morning viewing the effects of the terrible thunderstorms that spared my neighborhood but hard hit the one right next to mine, I was listening to Christian radio. Out of the blue comes TD Jakes’ booming voice. In it, he first speaks of how much he loves America and so forth. I immediately thought of Jakes doing this to exploit anger over Barack Hussein Obama, Michelle Obama, and Jeremiah Wright’s considerably less than jingoistic statements and actions. Then he went into his exhortation spiel for people to register and get out to vote.
First, I see Lifeway Bookstores, owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, selling TD Jakes’ doctrinal error (oneness pentecostalism and the Word of Faith/prosperity doctrine are but a few of his MANY problems) and now the National Religious Broadcasters are using this guy. I had been using the NRB as a sort of a refuge from the blatant charismania that you will find on The Word Network, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Daystar, etc. So I just ignored the heavy Pat Robertson presence on the channel, as well as their “white Europeans are the descendants of the children of Israel … the Danube River is so named because of the tribe of Dan” show that comes on early in the morning. I also ignored their embrace of the Ellen White Seventh Day Adventist cult. So I suppose that I cannot cast NRB aside on Jakes’ account, since the ones that I just named are hardly better – if anything some might be worse – or else I would be reacting out of a personal dislike for Jakes rather than on principle. (On the other hand, Slice of Laodicea has criticized NRB, albeit for different reasons, such as this post stating that not one red cent of NRB’s $5 BILLION IN ASSETS is being used to defend the faith from Oprah Winfrey.)
Incidentally, speaking of TD Jakes and PR spots, he has another one out (I did not catch the sponsor!) promoting single sex education, saying that “boys need their own schools so that they will be able to, you know, romp and stuff (his choice of words not mine!) and that boys learn differently from girls and needed their own classrooms in order to be accommodated. So … it looks like Jakes is not that far removed from Jeremiah Wright’s separatist doctrines after all?
I have to be honest, back when I was part of the religious right and allowing my worldview to be shaped by the Washington Times and the National Review, I was in full agreement. But now … I just recall reading about this inner city public school that went all male. Sure, the discipline problems decreased and the test scores went up. But when they interviewed the boys that attended the school, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WANTED THEM TO BRING THE GIRLS BACK! Why? Because, er … BOYS LIKE GIRLS! Or at least they are supposed to anyway. Perhaps now that T.D. Jakes is on board with the new world order’s gay rights agenda (and yes this is relevant … perhaps due to his son) he thinks it is OK. To me, the whole single sex education thing … who wants it? Certainly not the kids. Not the administrators or teachers. Parents go for it only because they are desperate for any hook or angle to improve the failing school systems that the government is ruining on purpose. Not even the old fashioned religious sorts – of which I am one – think that it is a good idea anymore, where you were supposed to keep boys and girls separate in their little boarding or finishing schools (where they were supposed to look OH SO CUTE in their little uniforms I guess) UNTIL GRADUATION DAY WHEN YOU MARRY THEM OFF.
Sorry people, but society has changed. Not all of the changes have been for the good, but methinks that one of the most important things for a boy to learn from school is how to treat a lady and how to behave yourself in their presence. For some of us guys, those things do not come naturally, and you only learn them through trial and error. Especially error. (If you don’t learn to handle competition and rejection in junior high and high school, how on earth are you supposed to handle being turned down for jobs, promotions, college choices, etc. later in life?) So … HOW ON EARTH ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO LEARN THOSE THINGS IF THERE ARE NO GIRLS AROUND TO LEARN THEM FROM?
Like I said, TD Jakes may have his own reasons for wanting to turn your local public school into Morehouse College or similar, and whatever they are I oppose them 100%. All the more reason why the Southern Baptist Convention should not be selling this guy’s books and NRB shouldn’t be using him for their get out the vote campaign. But I suppose that this oneness anti – Trinitarian heretic is just too good at making money and moving public opinion for these people to pass up. That is, unless they are actually along with Jakes, on his side. After all, the Southern Baptists refuse to do anything about the likes of New Age heretic Erwin McManus and Council on Foreign Relations worker Rick Warren (and Richard Land too?), and as stated earlier, Al Sharpton Al Gore global warming propagandist partner Pat Robertson is a major partner with the NRB.
Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, antichrist, apostasy, Barack Hussein Obama, Barack Obama, beast, blasphemy, charismatic, christian broadcasting, christian conservative, Christian hypocrisy, christian right, christian television, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church state, church worldliness, conservatism, conservative, conservative Christian, corrupt televangelism, Council on Foreign Relations, election, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical, evangelical christian, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, gay rights, global warming, global warming evangelical christian, GOP, government, heresy, homosexuality, idolatry, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, Pat Robertson, politics, prosperity doctrine, religion, religious right, reprobate, Republican, Rick Warren, Seventh Day Adventist, TBN, TD Jakes, televangelism, the anti-christ, the beast, the false prophet, trinity broadcasting network, unitarian, warning given to churches in Revelation 2 and 3, Word of Faith | Tagged: Al Gore, Al Sharpton, Erwin McManus, falling away, Jeremiah Wright, michelle obama, national religious broadcasters, NRB, single gender schools, single sex schools, Southern Baptist Convention | 16 Comments »
What If Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, And T.D. Jakes Were RACIST?
Posted by Job on April 10, 2008
And Pat Robertson, Robert Schuller, Oral Roberts, the Crouch family, Juanita Bynum, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, and whoever else you wanted to name? Take Paula White in particular, who has (or until very recently HAD) a predominantly black church in Tampa, Florida and has the #1 rated show on Black Entertainment Television. Suppose this women were to start preaching that I.Q. tests have proven blacks to be genetically less intelligent than whites (after a manner of “The Bell Curve”) and that black culture is inferior (after Dinesh D’Souza’s “The End of Racism). Suppose that she were to say that she supports the Confederate flag, that her ancestors were slaveowners and that she was proud of that fact, and that the nation was better off from segregation because it protected whites – especially women like her – from black crime, the inevitable product of lowered black IQ and of inferior black culture. And that our low IQs and inferior cultures are due to our being the cursed descendants of Ham/Canaan, and that America had tried to remove the effects of the curse with slavery, generous welfare and social spending, affirmative action, etc. but it is just impossible for man to undo what God has declared. And so on. Would her black parishioners leave (not to mention a good percentage of the white ones)? Would she remain on TBN and the other Christian broadcasting networks, to speak nothing of BET?
Of course not. So then, why are these same people so forgiving when it comes to pastors that commit adultery (and this includes GETTING DIVORCED AND REMARRYING, READ Matthew 19:9), who steal, cheat, lie, preach false doctrines, and violate so many other things that the Bible plainly says (including that women cannot preach!) on a regular basis? It is simple: worldliness. The world has declared racism to be one of the greatest and most unforgivable evils of human history. So the person that commits racism is not to be tolerated in any context. But disobey the Bible? Who cares! That person is still called by God and has a powerful ministry and anointing! Consider their fruits, all the people that they have gotten saved and their works of charity! Instead of tearing them down, causing division, and making the church look bad, pray and ask that God restore them! Touch not mine anointed and do my prophet no harm! And pull the beam out of your own eye before you pluck the mote out of Brother (or Sister) Pulpit Pimp, thus saith the sheeple! (I hate both terms, but that is what they are.)
Are you aware that one of the books in the Bible is named after a slave owner? Philemon is the name. Yet if a pastor owned slaves in this day and time, virtually no one would sit in his church. Yet at any given time you can find any number of convicted felons, sex perverts, and blaspheming heretics running their synagogues of Satan any which way they choose, and instead of saying “hey, this wickedness is just what the Bible warns against in Revelation 2 and 3 and in other places”, folks are much faster to “prophesy” against the people that actually care about what the Bible says. Well, if the followers of these preachers don’t care if their pastors obey the Bible, how on earth can they criticize the unsaved for not doing so? On what basis will the unsaved be condemned? You say “Well, the Bible says that believing in Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven.” You mean, the same Bible that you IGNORE when it says that Christianity is not for getting rich, and that we are to prefer the poor over the rich instead of the other way around? The same Bible that you IGNORE when it reveals the reality of Trinity? The same Bible that you IGNORE when it says that not everyone will speak in tongues, that “sign gifts” are not to be used as evidence of salvation, and that “slain in the spirit” is confusion to be banned from the church? Or that we are not to follow or fellowship with those who reject sound doctrine? And so on? If you are not going to judge YOURSELF by what the Bible says regarding those things, how can you use that same Bible to hold someone’s not accepting Jesus Christ over their heads?
For instance, Carlton Pearson’s congregation up and left when the fellow started advocating universalism. But what about all of the other false doctrines that this fellow from the Oral Roberts school of Word of Faith/prosperity/confusion was espousing? I suppose that is where such Christians draw the line. The notion that you can get to heaven without believing in Jesus Christ offends them, because they still want to be better than everybody else. They still want to be special. They want to be able to claim to be a peculiar people, blessed and highly favored, anointed, a royal priesthood, and all of those things for themselves, but not give them away to anybody else. But this is the issue: THEY DO NOT WANT TO OBEY THE BIBLE IN ORDER TO BE AND RECEIVE THOSE THINGS. So, these same people who beg for tolerance and forgiveness on behalf of their pastors and themselves for claiming to believe in Jesus Christ while not obeying Him are denying that same tolerance and forgiveness to everyone else. Ones such as those, people, are the real hypocrites, and the Bible itself says that people like that will be judged most harshly of all.
So if hearing that Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar, John Hagee, and Jamal – Harrison Bryant are no better than Ku Klux Klansmen offends you, well I am sorry, but it is still true. The folks who followed the Ku Klux Klan will get the same reward as the people who follow these false preachers on judgment day, and unless you turn aside from these wicked men and women and start seeking after God’s righteousness, all of you spiritual Klansmen will spend an eternity in the lake of fire together! Do not let the standards of the world determine what is acceptable for your pastor, for your church, or for you. Instead, allow the Bible to determine it. Rest assured, there is no excuse for not doing your level best to submit yourself to the standard of the Bible, or for following pastors and fellowshipping with others that refuse to.
Those who hear the shepherd (Jesus Christ) and follow His voice (the Bible) will be saved. All else are not His sheep will perish. But for a lot of you, it would be so much better were some tape of your favorite Pulpit Pimp railing against blacks (or whites), Jews, Asians, etc. were to be found to prove that these people were never called by God and are not following Him, since hearing these people all but come out and deny Jesus Christ with their very lips is not sufficient. Oh but that it were that simple, but it appears that for a lot of you it is precisely that sort of thing that it will take, because for you the Bible itself is just not good enough. The Three Step Salvation Plan
Posted in false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, Kenneth Copeland, modalism, warning given to churches in Revelation 2 and 3 | Tagged: Benny Hinn, Carlton Pearson, Christian hypocrisy, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church worldliness, Jamal-Harrison Bryant, Joel Osteen, John Hagee, Joyce Meyer, Pat Robertson, Paula White, religion, Robert Schuller, TD Jakes | 3 Comments »
Posted by Job on January 19, 2008
This may be a small indication, I know, but a real sign nonetheless. Lifeway Christian Stores is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention. This means that unlike the independent and corporate owned Christian bookstores, they should have a commitment to their own orthodoxy as well a responsibility to oppose the mammon in the Chri$tian book$tore indu$try, right? Well think again. Recently, when I walked into the local Lifeway Christian bookstore affiliate, I saw a devotional book by none other than lying oneness pentecostal Council on Foreign Relations heretic T.D. Jakes!
As if the Southern Baptist Church didn’t already have issues with emergent, antinomian, and Rick Warren Mike Huckabee purpose driven heretics. (By the way, like Paul Crouch said about his opponents, the Purpose Driven people say that we are going to the lake of fire.) This is just a small example of why some are trying to promote Al Mohler to take over the convention.
Posted in apostasy, big business, blasphemy, Christianity, Council on Foreign Relations, false preacher, false preachers, heresy, Jesus Only, mammon, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, TD Jakes | Tagged: capitalism, religion, Southern Baptist, Southern Baptist Convention | 1 Comment »
Posted by Job on January 12, 2008
Actually, according to this IndependentConservative post, the term that she uses was “synergistic triune being”.
Now I am going to be fair to Paula White in this matter: it has long been a common teaching in Christianity that people have a body, soul, and spirit. Some further use that triadic division of our unity as a way of explaining the Holy Trinity doctrine and are made in the image of God, and they go quite a ways in speculating on the matter. I myself held and was promoting this doctrine until a few short months ago; I know that anyone who happens upon my old websites will definitely see my own frequent mentions of it, and I have almost certainly mentioned it on this one as well.
But this is a reason why, despite her assertions otherwise, that Paula White is not a better preacher than the apostle Paul as she claims in the video below. According to two evangelical Christian books on New Testament era Jewish – and Jewish Christian – thought on the doctrine of man, The New Testament: Its Background And Message (by Thomas Lea and David Black) and Jewish Backgrounds Of The New Testament (by Julius Scott) Jewish doctrine about the time of Paul – and remember that Paul was a trained Pharisee and onetime Sanhedrin member – man consists of two parts: the natural and the supernatural, the body and the spirit.
Well what of the soul? Traditional evangelical doctrine, as represented by Erickson’s modern classic Christian Theology, holds that the soul is the mind, will, and emotions, with the heart being the center of rational thinking. There is nothing supernatural or spiritual at all about your mind, will, and emotions. It is 100% natural, part of the body. As a matter of fact, it is what the apostle Paul calls “the flesh.” Mind, will, and emotions are not tangibly physical per se, but they are centered in and produced by the tangibly physical HUMAN BRAIN. Therefore, they are part of the body.
Proof of this: the sin of gluttony. A person is hungry, that is his tangibly physical body needs food to produce nutrients to sustain itself. Gluttony, though, is committed when the person eats far in excess of what his body demands. Maybe the person likes the taste of the food. Maybe the person is depressed or sad and is eating to to make himself happy or to cope. Maybe the person has been socialized or conditioned to eat until he can eat no more. In any event, the person’s eating is not driven by physical hunger, but his heart: his mental and emotional desire for food to meet his UNNATURAL soul hunger. Please note that for the glutton, while it is certainly possible to satisfy the physical hunger, it is impossible to satisfy the emotional and mental desire for food, and such a person will continue eating even after he ceases to gain pleasure or any other emotional or physical benefit from the act.
Now this is very important for the doctrine of salvation in my opinion. The Bible bears witness that even after the person is saved, he continues to sin in body (through acts) and soul (by desiring to sin, such as a man committing adultery by lusting after a woman not his wife). Now were the soul spirit, then how could one’s salvation be preserved? How could the saints persevere? Simple: the soul is not spirit. The soul is part of the body, so there is a separation between the sin in the body of the individual and the person’s saved redeemed spirit man. Now this may sound like the “P” portion of Calvinism’s “TULIP”, but the first person that I heard explain this doctrine of salvation was the free will (Arminian) charismatic preacher Andrew Wommack.
It is also an important part of Christology, the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ incarnated is man – god, fully man and fully God! So, were man a trinity, then Jesus Christ incarnate would have been Trinity within Himself. That is a modalist (or oneness pentecostal) doctrine of God. While a oneness pentecostal would certainly say that this is an example of how Colossians 2:9 “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” is fulfilled in Jesus Christ according to their doctrines. That is disproven by the fact that incarnated Jesus Christ, being fully man, consists of a single body that is limited by the laws of physics – meaning that His physical body could only exist in one place at one time – just like any other natural man. This is why the doctrine that Jesus Christ was fully man and not kinda sorta man as the Docetists and some of the other Neoplatonist – inspired heretics of times past is so important: since incarnated Jesus Christ was 100% natural human, it was impossible for His body to be in heaven and on earth simultaneously. While Jesus Christ’s body that bore our sins was being broken for us on the cross, God the Father was turning His face away from that same body because He could not look upon the sin being borne by it, and was presumably weeping. So no, incarnated Jesus Christ is not Trinity or a Trinity. Incarnated Jesus Christ consists of a human body and a spirit man, just like us and all other humans (and yes, Christians who were trying to mix the Bible with Platonist and other pagan doctrines disputed that for centuries as well). The difference is that where our spirit men were created by God, the spirit man in the incarnated Jesus Christ is Logos of John 1:1, the Word Person of the Holy Trinity.
So while Paula White’s teaching in this area is exceedingly common and possibly even dominant – though I do not claim that it rises to the level of heresy that leads to apostasy, and those seeking to declare Paula White as apostate must do so on other grounds – it is still wrong. An example of this is how Benny Hinn takes this false doctrine to its logical conclusion: his “Trinity of Trinities” doctrine (also mentioned here) that IS a heretical proof of his apostasy (and but one at that). Simple: since each human person is a trinity in the image of God consisting of a body, soul, and spirit, then each Person of the Trinity also has three parts. (One wonders why Hinn stops the division there and does not keep dividing each person into infinity. I am almost certain that there is a pantheistic doctrine that offers a similar concept.)
Part of the confusion is that what is commonly referred to as “the soul” in Christianity is actually the spirit man, or the spirit of man (see Ecclesiastes 3:21). A similar mixing of terms is how “hell”, meaning Hades or sheol, is used in place of or interchangeably with “lake of fire.” I do agree that the Bible itself does not appear consistent on these two matters, but those might be translation issues. But the soul which is your thoughts, will, and emotions, while not physically part of the body, is part of the natural you that will die and return to dust. Your spirit man is the part that will exist forever either with God in glory or in the lake of fire in the second death! Jesus Christ determines where your eternal spirit of man will spend that eternity. If you have not done so already, please follow The Three Step Salvation Plan and give your spirit man to God today.
Posted in Bible, charismatic, Christianity, evangelical christian, false doctrine, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism | Tagged: Benny Hinn, christology, doctrine of God, doctrine of man, doctrine of salvation, Paula White, Theology, trinity, trinity of trinities | 9 Comments »
Posted by Job on January 1, 2008
If Jesus Christ were not truly and perfectly God, He could not be our mediator. If Jesus Christ were not truly and perfectly human, He could not be our mediator. This much, Scripture makes clear. Our problem is that we have absolutely no experience with divine-human beings other than Jesus Christ. He is absolutely unique, the only one of His kind. For that reason, Christians have struggled to find words to express just who Jesus is.
With the Athanasian Creed we affirm that, as to their deity, the Father and Son are equally glorious, eternal, uncreated, incomprehensible, and almighty. Yet they are not two Gods, but one. So we confess. Nevertheless, we also confess that we do not comprehend what we affirm. While the relationship of the Father to the Son involves no logical contradiction, it is inexplicable and impenetrable to the human mind. It rises above reason. We do not understand how such a thing can be.
Already bewildered, we then encounter the full humanity of the Son. Here we discover a person who, as to His deity, is coequal, coeternal, and consubstantial with God the Father, but who, without ceasing to be fully God, also becomes fully human. We are asked to believe that a person who is equal with God is also one of us.
Not everyone agrees. Often, people reject what they cannot explain. Worse yet, they modify the truth to fit some human explanation. So they have done with the person of Christ. Some have denied His full deity. Ebionites saw Jesus as a good man, a teacher, and a prophet who kept the law. Arians explained Jesus as God’s first creation, so highly exalted above others that He could be called “a god,” but who was still not properly “God.” Adoptionists (Dynamic Monarchians) understood Jesus as a human who was elevated to divine status by some act of God.
Some have denied the distinction of the Son from the Father. The Sabellians (Modalistic Monarchians) affirmed that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were simply three modes in which God presented Himself and not actual personal distinctions. As the same man might appear as husband to his wife, as teacher to his students, and as peer to his fellows, God presented Himself at one time as Father, at another as Son, and at another as Holy Spirit. Ultimately, however, the Trinity is a mask, and God is one and only one person.
Others have denied Jesus’ complete humanity. Docetists believed that the human body of Jesus was a mere phantom projected by the divine Christ. Apollinarians taught that Jesus possessed a human body and soul, but that the place of the rational, human spirit was taken by the divine Logos (in other words, Christ was 3/3 divine but only 2/3 human). Eutychians affirmed complete divine and human natures but saw the human nature as so recessive as to be almost completely overwhelmed by the divine—rather like a drop of honey in an ocean of water. Still others have rejected the integrity of the person of Jesus Christ. Cerinthians believed that the divine Christ descended upon the human Jesus, only to abandon Him before the cross. Nestorians affirmed the full deity and full humanity of Christ but divided those two natures into two distinct persons, joined rather like Siamese twins.
The equal and opposite reaction was for others to affirm the unity of the person by denying the distinctiveness of the natures. Monophysites collapsed the divinity and humanity of Christ into a single nature. In principle this nature was supposed to be both divine and human, but in practice the divine so overwhelmed the human that Monophysitism became a reaffirmation of Eutychianism. A more subtle form of denying the distinction between the natures is Monothelitism, which denies that Jesus had a human will. De facto, this belief is a denial of the completeness of the human nature of Jesus.
These are not merely ancient heresies. They have had a tendency to reappear throughout church history. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are unreconstructed Arians. Mormonism applies Adoptionist principles, not only to Christ, but to all humanity. Many liberals have regarded Jesus simply as a human teacher or prophet, and contemporary biblical scholarship is witnessing a resurgence of interest in Gnostic understandings of Christ. Modalistic Monarchianism shows up in the teachings both of Witness Lee and of the so-called “Jesus Only Movement,” represented by the United Pentecostal Church. The Coptic Orthodox Church still defends Monophysitism and condemns the Council of Chalcedon as “divisive.”
Our understanding of the person of Christ has been hammered out in opposition to these heresies. Each new heretical theory forced Christians to return to the Scriptures in order to test the theory against the text. At each new controversy, Christians erected a new barrier against heresy. They were forced to say, “Scripture teaches this but not that. We may say it this way but not that way.” This process resulted in the adoption of several public summary statements, each of which was more specific than the one that preceded it.
At the end of the day, here is what we must affirm. If Jesus Christ were not true God, He could not be our savior. If Jesus Christ were not true human, He could not be our savior. If Jesus Christ were not one person, he could not be our savior. If the person of Christ were divided, then He could not be our savior. If the natures were combined or transmuted, then He could not be our savior. All of this belief is summarized and elaborated in the formula of Chalcedon.
Nothing is more important to Christianity than the incarnation of Jesus Christ. A false step here can lead us to deny the gospel and plunge us into apostasy. We learn about the old heresies so that we may confront the new ones. We confront the new ones so that we may keep the gospel pure. We aim for precision in our understanding of Jesus Christ so that we may trust Him and worship Him as He is, rather than worshiping a false Jesus whom we have manufactured in our own idolatrous hearts.
In one sense, we are indebted to the heretics. Everything that we need to know about Jesus Christ is in the text of Scripture. If we had not been challenged by the heretics, however, we never would have studied the Scriptures as they deserved to be studied. We never would have noticed the depth and texture and richness of the biblical teaching concerning the incarnation. The heretics have forced us to discover exactly what Scripture says and what it forbids us to say.
We cannot explain the incarnation. We cannot fully comprehend the notion of a theanthropic person. But we can learn to be precise in saying who He is and who He is not. We can know Him. We can trust Him. We can love Him. We can worship Him. Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing: O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
Christmas Carols Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Lo! Newborn Jesus
Soft and weak and small,
Wrapped in baby’s bands
By His Mother’s hands,
Lord God of all.
Lord God of Mary,
Whom His Lips caress
While He rocks to rest
On her milky breast
Lord God of shepherds
Flocking through the cold.
Flocking through the dark
To the only Ark,
The only Fold.
Lord God of all things
Be they near or far,
Be they high or low;
Lord of storm and snow,
Angel and star.
Lord God of all men,—
My Lord and my God!
Thou who lovest me,
Keep me close to Thee
By staff and rod.
Lo! newborn Jesus
Loving great and small,
Love’s free Sacrifice,
Opening Arms and Eyes
To one and all.
Posted in apostasy, blasphemy, Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching, heresy, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, Mormon, mormonism, Moshiach, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, watchtower tract, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: adoptionism, Adoptionists, Apollinarianism, Apollinarians, Arianism, Arians, Athanasian Creed, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Cerinthianism, Cerinthians, chalcedon, Coptic Orthodox Church, Council of Chalcedon, Dynamic Monarchianism, Dynamic Monarchians, Ebionites, Eutychianism, Eutychians, heresies, heretics, incarnation, kevin bauder, modalistic monarchianism, Modalistic Monarchians, Monophysites, Monophysitism, Monothelitism, Nestorianism, Nestorians, religion, sabellianism, Sabellians, scripture, theanthropic, trinity, United Pentecostal Church, Witness Lee | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Job on December 18, 2007
A mediator attempts to bring about reconciliation between two parties. In order to perform this task, mediators must possess one crucial qualification. They must have sympathies for both parties. A mediator whose sympathies are entirely on one side is not a mediator, but an accomplice and conspirator.
A priest is a kind of mediator. Priests represent humans before God, seeking to reconcile the wayward who have violated God’s justice. The writer to the Hebrews teaches that compassion for sinning people is one of the qualifications of a priest, particularly a high priest (Heb. 5:2-3). In order to gain this compassion, the Levitical high priest had to be one who “wore weakness.” Indeed, before he could offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people, he first had to offer a sacrifice for his own sins.
Although such a priest would have obvious sympathy for sinful people, he would lack adequate sympathy for God’s holiness. Because the priest was a sinner himself, he could offer no sacrifice that would truly propitiate God and expiate sin. His inadequacy did not consist in the fact that he experienced weakness. The failure was that, in his weakness, the priest himself had sinned. Therefore, he could represent only one side in the dispute. The efficacy of his sacrifice was necessarily limited.
The writer to the Hebrews affirms that Jesus Christ has become the final mediator who represents humans before God. He is our great High Priest. His work was to reconcile humans to God, propitiate God’s justice, expiate sins, and redeem sinners through the blood of His cross. There He offered Himself as a once-for-all sacrifice for sins.
The sacrifice of Jesus is wholly efficacious for all believers because He was both like and unlike earthly priests. He was unlike them in that He was the eternal Second Person of the Godhead. Of course He sympathized and identified with God. He was God! He understood the importance of justice, and He determined from eternity past that justice had to be fulfilled. He had no propensity merely to excuse or to overlook sins.
Furthermore, because of His divine nature, He did not and could not commit sins. The sacrifice that He offered was the only sacrifice ever offered that was utterly pure in itself, offered by a priest who was utterly pure in Himself. Because His sacrifice was backed by the infinite purity of His deity, it was the only sacrifice that could truly remove the infinite guilt of human sin and satisfy the infinite justice of a holy God. If Jesus were not truly God, then He could not be our savior.
On the other hand, Jesus was also like human priests in that He shared their nature and even their weakness. He did not take the nature of angels, but He entered the world as a true human being. The genuine humanness of Jesus is essential to His work as mediator. He could not represent us before God if He did not sympathize with us. For this reason, He necessarily had to be made like us in every way (apart from sin) in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest. Therefore, He made the choice to “wear weakness” (see Heb. 5:2-3) like the Old Testament priests. What does this mean?
It means that, to His deity, the Second Person added a complete human nature. It also means that during the time of His humiliation He “emptied Himself” (Phil. 2:7, NASB) by receiving the form of a slave and coming to be in the likeness of humans. In His weakness, He experienced temptation and grief, manifested human piety, and learned obedience through suffering (Heb. 5:7-8).
In order to save us, Jesus had to be one of us. He had to experience the full force of human limitation, frailty, and weakness. He had to be tested, and He had to face testing with the same resources that are available to any human.
We fail to appreciate the utter humanity of Jesus Christ. True, during His humiliation Jesus never ceased to be God and never surrendered any divine attribute. The limitation that He accepted, however, was that He would not use His own divine power unless directed to do so by the Father. His faithfulness, therefore, was the faithfulness of a man, His labor was the labor of a man, and His weakness was the weakness of a man.
What about Jesus’ miracles? They were the deeds of the human Messiah, upon whom rested the Spirit of God without measure (John 3:34). This Spirit that gave power to Jesus was the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord (Isa. 11:2). This immeasurable, seven-fold Spirit of God (Rev. 5:6) imparted such knowledge and ability as Jesus needed in order to perform His Messianic wonders. With rare exceptions, these wonders were not the direct manifestation of His own deity, but rather the demonstration of His complete dependence upon His Father through the Spirit.
The Lord Jesus was utterly human, fragile and weak, completely dependent upon His God and Father. In other words, He was exactly what any one of us should have been. Of all humans, Jesus Christ alone has lived a life of genuine, human righteousness, a life of perfect obedience. This active, human obedience constitutes the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to us when we believe.
Jesus no longer experiences humiliation. Since His resurrection and ascension, He has been exalted above the heavens. Our Brother now governs the universe. He once again receives the adoration of seraphim and cherubim. To the glory of His eternal deity, however, has been added the excellence of a perfect humanity. We worship Him as God, and we also revere Him as the Anointed One.
Though He is now exalted, Jesus has never forgotten what it means to be weak. He never will forget. Precisely because He walked this earth as a fragile human being, experienced testing, passed through suffering, and learned obedience, He is now qualified to be our merciful and faithful High Priest. He is the one mediator between God and humans. He is able to help us when we are tempted. He is able to save us to the uttermost. And for our part, we can come boldly to the throne of grace, knowing that we shall obtain mercy and find help in time of need.
Jesus Christ loves to embrace sinners. He delights to forgive. Before the demands of divine justice, He pleads the merit of His own blood and righteousness. He is our God, our Brother, and our Savior.
O come, let us adore Him: Christ the Lord!
Lord Jesus Christ, All Praise to Thee
Latin, XI cent., tr. Charles Kinchin (1711 – 1742)
Lord Jesus Christ, all praise to Thee,
That Thou wast pleased a man to be;
Our low estate Thou didst not scorn;
And angels sang to see Thee born.
The heavenly Father’s only Son,
He left His rightful glorious throne;
The Lord through Whom the worlds were made
Is in the humble manger laid.
The brightness of the Light divine
Doth now into our darkness shine;
It breaks upon sin’s gloomy night
And makes us children of the light.
The Father’s Son, for ever blest,
Becomes in His own world a Guest,
To lead us from this vale of strife
Into the everlasting life.
For us these wonders has He wrought
In love beyond our human thought.
Let Christians all now join to sing
Praise to our newborn Saviour King.
This essay is by Dr. Kevin T. Bauder, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MN). Not every professor, student, or alumnus of Central Seminary necessarily agrees with every opinion that it expresses.
Posted in Christianity, devotional, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Kevin T. Bauder | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Job on December 12, 2007
All Christians at all times and in all places have one thing in common: we worship Jesus Christ. In His presence we feel compelled to bend the knee and bow the head. We cannot escape the feeling that He is worthy, not merely of esteem, respect, and admiration (as if He were simply the greatest of teachers and humanitarians), but rather of adoration, exaltation, and glorification. We worship Jesus Christ, and we long for the day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11).
When we worship Jesus, we are tacitly acknowledging that He is God. None but God is worthy of worship. Apostles refused worship (Acts 14:14-15). Angels rejected it (Rev. 22:8-9). Herod was struck down with worms for accepting worship rather than giving glory to God (Acts 12:22-23). God alone is worthy of worship. He alone merits adoration.
Yet Jesus Christ freely accepted worship. He received worship from the man born blind (John 9:38). He accepted the worship of the disciples who were in the ship when He walked on the water (Matt. 14:33). He welcomed adoration from Thomas, who cried out, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28, KJV). The risen Lord Jesus offered no rebuke to the disciples when they clasped His feet and worshiped Him (Matt. 28:9).
In the Revelation, John shows the Lamb being adored along with the Father: “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Rev. 5:13). This is the very worship that every Christian yearns to offer. We long for the day when, finally in the presence of our Lord, we cast ourselves at His feet and wash them with the tears of our joy. We ache to cry out with redeemed hearts and minds and tongues, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing!” (Rev. 5:12).
Sometimes people express concern that the over-exaltation of the Son might somehow detract from the glory of the Father. They need not worry. Jesus Himself made it clear that the Father has committed all judgment to the Son, specifically in order that all people would honor the Son just as they honor the Father (John 5:22-23). That is, the Father delights in the honor and glory of the Son. The Father is most glorified when the Son is most magnified. Every bit of worship that is offered to Christ redounds to the glory of the Father. In fact, no one can worship the Father without worshiping the Son. Son-worship is the mode that the Father has given us to worship Himself.
In other words, the way that we worship the Father is by worshiping the Son. This is the case because of the kind of relationship that the Father and Son enjoy with each other. That relationship has no human analogy.
On the one hand, the Father and the Son are distinct persons. The Father blessed the Son at His baptism. The Son prayed to the Father repeatedly. In Gethsemane, the Son clearly distinguished His will from the will of the Father: “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). Any attempt to erase the distinction of persons (such as the Modalists try) reduces these exchanges to a grotesque form of shadowboxing. Scripture everywhere teaches that the Son is not the Father. They are distinct persons.
On the other hand, the Father and the Son are one God, for there is only one God. They are one and the same being, co-equal, co-eternal, and consubstantial. The Son is of one nature (homoousios) with the Father. He is not ontologically subordinate to the Father, though He did choose to subordinate Himself administratively during His humiliation.
This is the point at which language begins to fail us. We know that Father and Son are one and the same God, and we know that they are not the same person. Yet we have no experience whatever with distinct persons who are the same being. Our finite lives provide no analogue for the relationship of Father to Son. Almost every attempt to reason about this relationship is freighted with the risk of heresy. One tiny misstep in either direction, and we can end up denying something that is essential to the Faith. Whatever we say, we must be careful to maintain both fundamental insights: the Father and Son are not distinct beings, but they are not the same person.
One thing is certain, however. Because the Father and Son are one and the same God, the relationship between them must be far closer and more intimate than the relationship between any two created persons. From all eternity, they share each other’s being. In their infinite wisdom they know each other’s minds with precision. And their relationship is one of infinite, eternal, unsurpassable love.
Scripture describes this relationship by saying that the Father loves the Son. Because of this love, the Father has given all things into the hand of the Son (John 3:35). Because He loves the Son, the Father has completely disclosed His plan to the Son (John 5:20). He publicly declares the Son to be His beloved (Matt. 3:17; 17:5). Therefore, the Son declares the Father, displaying the love of the invisible God and making it accessible to human minds (John 1:18; 17:26).
So close is the connection between Father and Son that whoever has seen the Son has also seen the Father (John 14:9). The Father is like a bright light, and the Son is like the rays that come from the light; the Father is like the image on a die, and the Son is like the image on the coin that is struck by the die (Heb. 1:3). That is why every act of worship toward the Son is also an act of worship toward the Father. The Father desires nothing more than that Christ should have the preeminence because the entire fullness of Deity dwells in the Son in bodily form (Col. 1:18-19; 2:9).
With what words shall we confess this truth? No one has ever improved upon this expression: “[We believe] in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.” Every lover of Jesus Christ thrills to these words. Every pious heart resonates. When we repeat the Nicene Creed, it is no vain repetition. Rather, we find ourselves exclaiming, “Yes! This is my Lord Jesus Christ!”
So let us bend our knees and bow our heads before Him. Let our hearts rejoice in Him even as our mouths confess Him. Let us glorify Him and magnify His name. O come, let us adore Him!
Posted in Christianity, devotional, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: doctrine, Theology, trinity | 2 Comments »
Posted by Job on December 1, 2007
Background information: my wife reports that while driving recently she was listening to a local religious call – in show on a gospel radio station. A caller, a recently saved fellow, told the pastor answering questions that he had just started attending a church whose pastor told him that he needed to be baptized in the name of Jesus only. He said that he related that information to his wife, who told him that he had to be baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The call – in show pastor told the fellow that he should not listen to his wife, but rather the pastor, that he should be baptized in the name of Jesus only. This pastor then asserted “the Name Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has no power.”
First off, the claims by the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus only folks, etc. that the original apostolic doctrines were discarded and that their group is the true church restoring the true faith … well they have been around for awhile. The first known group to make this claim were the “adoptionists”, who claimed that Jesus Christ was born a mere man (though supremely virtuous), received God’s “anointing” at baptism, and did not reach divine status until His resurrection. This doctrine originated in 190 AD, and within a few decades its followers started claiming that their doctrine was the original doctrine first given to universally accepted by the church until it was changed when the church was led by Zephyrinus, the bishop of Rome from 198 AD to 217 AD. Fortunately there were still people around that were alive before Zephyrinus became bishop of Rome to refute their lies, and further Hippolytus was easily able to trace documents, doctrines, and teachers into the first century, which was the apostolic era itself. So the same lies that Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Smith, and the neo – gnostics like Elaine Pagels and Dan Brown are currently pushing
Second, the notion that Jesus Christ and Michael the archangel were one and the same did not originate with Ellen G. White of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination. Instead, it was first proposed in a crude form by second century figure Hermas. The source of Hermas’ confusion on this matter seems to be that put the Holy Spirit in the place of Jesus Christ in his Similitudes writings. Also in those writings he described a council of six angels, with Michael as the lead, who were called most venerable, holy, and glorious, and were also were given supreme power over the people of God, to pronounce judgment, etc.
Third, the original Jesus only oneness pentecostal, a late second – early third century figure named Noetus, who along with his followers justified their doctrines by rejecting John 1:1-18 by refusing to interpret it literally. In those days, it was a common practice to resort to an “allegorical” or “spiritual” interpretation of scripture whenever one encountered something that they did not want to believe or obey. It was most commonly used to A) discard things in scripture that did not conform to the Hellenistic mindset and B) bash Jews, which appears to have been a beloved pasttime of the early church after the Jewish Christian – Gentile Christian schism. But of course allegorizing and outright taking things out of context was also broadly used by heretics, as it was in this case. Please keep in mind that the views of Noetus actually predated the Council of Nicea by 100 years and the Council of Constantinople, where the full Trinity doctrine was adopted, by over 150 years. Despite what the oneness crowd claims, “Jesus only” and similar was not the doctrine being debated at Nicea and Constantinople, but rather Arianism, which rejected both Christianity and oneness by claiming that Jesus Christ was a created being that was not divine. The Trinity doctrine, then, was fully articulated as a response to Jehovah’s Witness – ism, not modalism, which had been rejected over 100 years earlier. Please consider that it was in response to the teachings of Noetus that Tertullian became the first to refer God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as “Persons”, and the document in which he did so was produced in 213 AD. Not that Tertullian was an innovator, but rather built on the writings of Irenaeus, and he on other church leaders.
Oh yes, and as to the claim that the early church baptized in the name of Jesus only, the Didache (the Teachings of The Twelve Apostles), which was written as early as 140 AD, says otherwise. So do the writings of Theophilus, who was born around 115 AD and became bishop of Antioch in 169 AD. Not coincidentally, this same Theophilus is considered the first person to use the word “Trinity.”
Source: Early Christian Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly.
Posted in Christianity, jehovah's witness, Jehovah's witnesses, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, watchtower tract | Tagged: adoptionism, Charles Taze Russell, Christian History, Dan Brown, doctrine, Elaine Pagels, ellen g. white, hermas, Joseph Smith, Mormon, mormonism, Noetus, Tertullian, Theophilus Antioch, trinity | 53 Comments »
Posted by Job on October 28, 2007
Posted by Job on October 25, 2007
Similar to Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, many Oneness Pentecostals claim that their unitarian view of the godhead is the true apostolic biblical faith and doctrine, and that the Holy Trinity came as a result of paganism being introduced into the church down the line. Well, if that is true, then this paganism took over the church rather quickly; long before Constantine and the Council of Nicea in the fourth century. Why? Because the oldest recorded Christian hymn, Hail, Gladdening Light!, which was being sung as early as 150 AD, is utterly Trinitarian! Now this date is key, because church tradition generally holds that the Gospel of John and Revelation were the last books of the New Testament and that one or the other was written as late as 96 AD, as the beloved disciple apostle John lived an exceptionally long time. So this hymn was being sung than 60 years after the New Testament was completed and the apostle John died, meaning that people that were personally taught by John and the other apostles were still alive, and thus would have contended against any paganism, heresy, or false doctrine expressed by it (as after all, in those days people actually did contend against false doctrines rather than just throw up their hands and say “who am I to judge … I am just going to remove the beams from my eyes before I go take the speck out of the eyes of the antinomian gnostics over there … who is to say that the montanists, marcionites, arianists, etc. are wrong and I am right … only God knows the heart and He will restore these good hearted Christians and forgive them on judgment day).
People, this is why the intellectual component of our faith, disciplines like systematic theology and church history, cannot be ignored. I would like to know what “oneness historian” deceiver Dr. Curtis Ward with his “unbroken Church lineage in which the oneness church began in the first century and has succeeded in continual perpetuity throughout history” says about this? Well, below is the hymn, and thanks to Ingrid Schlueter of Hope In Laodicea for providing it. Here post (which can be accessed here: Hail, Gladdening Light!) also provides an audio recording of the song.
Hail, gladdening Light, of his pure glory poured,
who is immortal Father, heavenly blest;
Holiest of Holies, Jesus Christ our Lord!
Now are we come to the sun’s hour of rest;
the lights of evening round us shine,
we hymn the Father, Son and Holy Spirit divine.
Worthiest art thou at all times to be sung,
with undefiled tongue,
Son of our God, Giver of life, alone!
Therefore in all the world thy glories, Lord, they own.
Posted in abomination, blasphemy, Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching, heresy, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, unitarian | Tagged: church history, Hail Gladdening Light, historical evidence of trinity, hymn, trinity | 717 Comments »