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#39980 Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:17 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 19
Plebeian
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Plebeian
Joined: Jun 2008
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I was having a little refresher course on the Pentecostals yesterday because my wife has a cousin that is only about 3 months old in the Lord and she is starting to go to Pentecostal churches because she can't seem to find what SHE is looking for. Anyway I heard of something called Oneness Theology about all I have found is this http://www.carm.org/oneness/whatisoneness.htm and it honestly left me with more questions than answers.

I guess my main question is how popular is this? do most of the people in the pews in Pentecostal Churches know and belive this?

I have very little knowledge about anything Charismatic so this is all new to me. If someone could give me a more detailed description of Oneness Theology it would prove to be helpful I'm sure.

And if this should have been in the Theology Forum forgive me. you have to grin

Thanks in advanced
The Monergist

Joined: Sep 2003
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Persnickety Presbyterian
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Persnickety Presbyterian
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Hi Monergist,

Oneness Pentecostalism is MOSTLY confined to the United Pentecostal Church, however, with the proliferation of "non-denominational" churches it may by now have spread further. There are also certain popular charismatic leaders who are "Oneness" people (e.g., T.D. Jakes).

Oneness teaching is basically a form of modalism, where God is one divine Person who reveals Himself successively in three different forms; whereas, in biblical Trinitarian teaching, the three Persons coexist eternally as one God. Oneness theology developed historically because of the Pentecostal emphasis on the Book of Acts. If you read through Acts, you'll see that the baptismal formula is expressed simply as "in the name of Jesus," contrasting with the fuller formula in Matthew ("in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"). Because Pentecostals were insistent that the theology and pattern of life of the church must be drawn from the Scriptural example in Acts, some took that to mean that we should only baptize in Jesus' name; and from there developed Oneness theology. It was actually a major schism in the Pentecostal movement, but the Trinitarian Pentecostals have always been able to draw greater numbers.

I'd say the majority of Pentecostals are Trinitarian, although they may not be very consistent in how they exress their Trinitarianism. When I was in the Assemblies of God (which is officially Trinitarian), I remember being told about a certain Sunday school teacher who began pushing Oneness theology on the kids, and as soon as she was found out, she was told to leave.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
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Tom Offline
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I agree with everything that Kyle said, but I would add something that I think that is prevellent in a lot of Penticostal curcles.
When I was a Penticostal, the main reason that I left the Penticostal Church at the time was that the Church I was in, was becoming involved with the Word of Faith movement.
If you don't know anything about the Word of Faith movement, some of the teachers include Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn etc...
Although it is true that there are many Penticostal Churches that speak out against this movement, I have found that many Penticostals themselves actually read and follow Word of Faith teachers. I learned this lesson not too long ago with a family member, who is a Penticostal. I mentioned some of the teaching of Benny Hinn and was soundly rebuked. Saying that I was not supposed to talk that way about the Lord anointed. When I said that Benny Hinn said these things himself and I wasn't saying anything that he wouldn't agree with. I made her angry and she said that she knows for a fact that what I said isn't true.

This is a double edged sword, because not not only in the followers eyes of people like Benny Hinn are we not supposed to say anythin g against them, we are not even supposed to say things that these Word of Faith agree with.
I had one other person tell me that I am quoting these people out of context, and when I asked them what they believed they meant by the statement, they could not or would not answer me.
I mention all this, because of the fact that cults like the Word of Faith movement have a hold on their followers that is very hard to break. As well as the fact that the subjective and emotional nature of the Penticostal movement breeds this kind of thing in its people.


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