Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Trinitarians Believe In One God!

I was driving not to long ago to fulfill the privilege and opportunity to minister at Pinckneyville Assembly of God. Being a bit of a drive, I turned on the radio, to hear a local minister as he began his sermon, shortly into his program I realized I was in for an earful!

He chose as his topic the discussion of pure religion, being sure to litter the message with several comments about his view of those who were "three God believers" and "them that follow three Gods" and the "three headed monster God"! Well, with a chuckle, and prayer I suppressed the desire to catch this brothers name, and call him to discuss the truth he had so eloquently butchered... In the spirit of things, I popped in a Third Day CD, and worshiped my way to church!

Perhaps you have heard this talk before, some well meaning, and others not so well meaning proclaim trinitarians believe in three Gods! In the case of this radio commentator, he hailed from the doctrinal position of Oneness Pentecostalism.

For those unfamiliar with Oneness theology, it is important to note that not only does the Oneness movement reject the Trinity, they feel it is a condemnable abomination, resulting in ones eternal position in hell. A few examples:

The most problematic aspect of my theology when
I was a
Oneness Pentecostal was thebelief that
no one other than us
Oneness Pentecostals was
to heaven. Trinitarian Christians simply
were not saved!
Gregory A. Boyd a former oneness pastor

Secondly they insist the doctrine itself to be “pagan” in its origin. Please see this excerpt from United Pentecostal Church Inc. leader Pastor David Bernard, found in his book

“The Oneness of God”

"The Scriptures do not teach the doctrine of the trinity, but trinitarianism has its roots in paganism"

(David Bernard/ Oneness of God)

In Oneness theology – it is assumed that the GODHEAD is easily understood, and little argument remains, some also must receive “the revelation” many times if you do not understand the GOD HEAD – you have not received what is termed as “the revelation”, and this failure in their mind, disqualifies one for salvation.

If you’ll explore my teachings on the Trinity in lessons 1 and 2, comparing the two views one can safely be assured the Trinitarians have apprehended the truth, and quite soundly! With grace and persuasive words the Godhead is scripturally defined by knowledgeable trinitarians. This being true the GODHEAD is difficult to apprehend fully.

Nonetheless this propaganda floating around that Trinitarians believe in Three Gods.

Is simply is NOT true!

To add the validity to the point I think someone else’s words other than my own are a suitable avenue to travel, I think starting with the Assemblies of God's, the largest Trinitarian Pentecostal organization in the world, statement of faith is a very solid first step!

The One True God

The one true God has revealed himself as the eternally self-existent “I AM,” the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:22).

Key phrases to note here are:

· one true God

· revealed himself

· embodying the principles of relationship and association as

This statement is fundamental truth #2, in the document “Sixteen Fundamentals Truths” for the Assemblies of GOD

Now lets reference a very well know Trinitarian document called the Anthanasian Creed most likely formulated around 373 A.D and one of the most notable Trinitarian creeds around!

I wont include the entire creed, but you can easily find it online! Here are some highlighted segments of the Anthanasian Creed read in this manner:

· there are not three Lords, but one Lord.

· there are not three Gods, but one God.

· there are not three almighties, but one almighty.

· there are not three uncreated; nor three incomprehensible; but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.

· there are not three eternals; but one eternal.

By simply quoting two valid Christian documents one must assess this “three GOD” business is mere propaganda, and that Trinitarians adamantly state there is “ONE GOD” !

Again from the Assemblies of GOD

(a) Terms Defined

The terms trinity and persons, as related to the godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture, whereby we may convey to others our immediate understanding of the doctrine of Christ respecting

the Being of God, as distinguished from “gods many and lords many.” We therefore may speak with propriety of the Lord our God, who is One Lord, as a Trinity or as one Being of three persons, and still be absolutely

scriptural (examples, Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:16,17).

(b) Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead

Christ taught a distinction of persons in the godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but that this distinction and relationship, as to its mode is inscrutable and incomprehensible,

because unexplained (Luke 1:35; 1 Corinthians 1:24; Matthew 11:25-27; 28:19; 2 Corinthians13:14; 1 John 1:3,4).

The Trinitarian doctrine does some things differently than the oneness adherents and that mindset pervades their discussion and their basis of belief. We note the distinctions in the Godhead… JUST LIKE THE BIBLE DOES!

(b) Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead

Christ taught a distinction of persons in the godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but that this distinction and relationship, as to its mode is inscrutable and incomprehensible,

because unexplained (Luke 1:35; 1 Corinthians 1:24; Matthew 11:25-27; 28:19; 2 Corinthians13:14; 1 John 1:3,4).

Notice the terms:

distinction of persons

terms of relationship

its mode is inscrutable and incomprehensible, because unexplained

First the trinity is a concept whose mode or distinction is inscrutable and incomprehensible – because the details of it are never fully explained – Because of this the statement avoids being a complete absolute – but it is instead a concept of the Godhead.

Here are a few Biblical texts to consider regarding this distinction

1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

1Co 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Here the Son will subject Himself to the Father – these are distinctive roles on more than a incarnational(human) role! If we fail to recognize certain distinction present here just to preserve a doctrinal view, we do ourselves a disservice –

(Luk 3:21) Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

(Luk 3:22) And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Here we see GOD acting in three persons – revealing HIMSELF to humanity. I know what some of you are saying, “Only John saw this” So what? Is God a puppeteer? If so which role, was really God?

(Luk 23:34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Here we again see JESUS – who is GOD – pray to His Father – “forgive them” Listen to me from the moment of HIS birth to this day JESUS was always GOD! Even on the cross it was JESUS! The distinction of persons existed - even though we don’t completely understand it. This is not trinitarianism, Catholicism, or anything other than the Word of God! It simply notes the distinctions found in the one true GOD!

The article here is just a tidbit of what can be found in Lessons 1 and 2… I encourage you to peruse those, study them, tear them up, and be loosed to their truth!

There are some great men and women in the Oneness Pentecostal faith, who love God, and their faith. I consider them to by my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ, and I love them dearly! I hope someday pentecostals can unite around the cross, and the Christ who overcame it, and leave some of these arguments behind!

God Bless you!

Pastor Craig Hostetler