Monday, September 22, 2008

Oneness can't be right


Oneness, the belief that there is no distinction in the God head - meaning Jesus is not the Son but the Father and the Holy Spirit too just different modes of dealing with us mankind, can not be correct if one emphasizes the work of Christ at the Cross. In effect, when we ground ourselves in the Gospel, Oneness belief is wrong.

Although we can pray to Jesus, he taught the disciples the "Lord's Prayer - the Our Father", when asked to teach them how to pray. The prayer addresses God as Father and does not address him. I was thinking about this at church.

At first blush this sounds not glorifying to Jesus but actually it does glorify Christ. Because the place where the Lord is glorified is found in his mediation between God and Man. Addressing the Father to grant our petition for the sake of the work of his Son - Christ actually glorifies Christ - and so it is true - no one comes to the Father except by Christ.

Think of it this way, if Jesus is also the Father, then the situation is absurd. The mediation becomes play acting, a farce. It does not make sense that Jesus intervenes or intercedes for Man towards whom? But himself? That is bizarre and funny...

I think the Trinity is a theological corollary from the Axiom of the Cross (making a pun on the axiom of choice in maths - set theory so forgive me). The Gospel requires the truth of the Trinity asserted.

Oneness charismatic theology thinks it is glorifying Christ but in reality it is robbing Him of the truth about his mediatorial work on behalf of sinners. It in the end deflects you away from the Cross. In fact belief in his mediatorial work is what JBFA is all about.

9 comments:

Thursday's Child said...

Amen!

L P Cruz said...

Nice to hear from you Thursday.

Are you guys spending Christmas in Kuwait?

LPC

Jim Pierce said...

Hi Lito,

As you might remember I was a Oneness Pentecostal pastor at one time.

Oneness doctrine is wrong, as you point out. It is a heresy known to the Church as Sabellianism, aka "modalism". Sabellius is the early church founder of this heresy which denies the deity of the Son. For the Oneness Pentecostal/modern day modalist, there are not three distinct, persistent, persons in the divine nature. Instead, there are three "personas" (or as you point out "modes") of God's being. In this view God chooses to reveal Himself in three different "manifestations" of Himself. When Christ was born God chose to indwell the human Jesus. In oneness Christology the human nature and the divine nature are separate. They call "the Son" the God-Man only so far that God was inside the man Jesus. In fact, some Oneness adherents go so far to say that God left the man on the cross to die. That is, when Jesus died he did not die as the "God-man" but just as a forsaken man. Likewise, when Jesus was resurrected it was God essentially "filling" the human with His presence again and taking the physical man to heaven with Him.

In short, Jesus is but a human "puppet" for God in Oneness doctrine. Jesus the man is NOT god and "the Son" is not the Son, but essentially a man fully possessed by God from birth. It is really a bizarre heresy.

L P Cruz said...

Jim

Yes I do remember and thanks for commenting.

Your comment is timely, an old friend has been struggling with Oneness for many years. Just last week he consulted me again, he has been discipled by UPC.

Now that point on Jesus being a "puppet" is a very good point. I will take this up with him next week. BTW do you have something on your blog on this?

My friend is not able to navigate the smoke though it is clear to us, it is of course hard to make him see the inconsistency.


LPC

Jim Pierce said...

Hi Lito,

No I haven't anything on my blog about this but here is a good article on it. I debated the writer of that article via the mail for several months when I was a Oneness Pentecostal. Of course, if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me.

L P Cruz said...

Thanks Jim.

I will likely comeback on this.

LPC

Lucian said...

Why not? Sola Scriptura, remember? Which is not to say that You can't defend Your own view from the Bible (of course You can); but so can the others. (Do You honestly think that they don't already have an explanation for whatever verse You might want to quote back at them?).

L P Cruz said...

Lucian,

The art is not in the explanation my friend, anyone can have an explanation, the question is this - is it consistent with overall teaching of the bible or is the explanation ----- warped.

LPC

Lucian said...

It obviously is (duh!), that was my whole point. (I'm refering to a Sola Scriptura approach here).