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  • TheLayman
    started a topic There is NO ONE ONENESS

    There is NO ONE ONENESS

    No ONE Oneness (theology/Christology) Oneness Orthodoxy

    I wanted to explain again that there is no “Oneness Orthodoxy” and I want to explain this using the words and explanations of Oneness Pentecostals themselves as much as is possible. I have often pointed out that Oneness Pentecostalism is a form of “negative/apophatic theology” because what unites them in their identity is not what they believe to be true about God, but what they don’t believe is true about God. Their core “beliefs” would be better described as “anti-beliefs” rather than affirmative beliefs. Allow me to define these terms for clarity:

    Negative theology: Also known as Via Negativa (Negative Way) and Apophatic theology, negative theology is a Christian theological system that attempts to describe the nature of God by focusing on what God is not rather than on what God is.

    Apophatic (adj): pertaining to a knowledge of God obtained through negation

    Anti-belief: against; opposing: a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith
    • anti: against; opposing:
    • belief: a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith

    In other words, what unites Oneness Pentecostals is not what they affirm, it is what they deny. They are anti-Trinitarian (anti-belief), this is what they have in common, not a common theology/Christology. They claim the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three persons (negative theology) but I'm not sure any two "Oneness" agree on what the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit actually are. This is why you generally see Oneness argue “for their position” by attempting “to argue against” whatever it is they believe the doctrine of the Trinity teaches (though their understanding of the Trinity is invariably incorrect). This is the “Oneness Pentecostal identity,” i.e. anti-Trinitarian (and arguing against the existence of the three divine persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).

    This is further evidenced by the fact that there are so many different explanations of the nature of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit among Oneness Pentecostals, radically different explanations. In these divergent Christology’s one can see elements of Arianism, Adoptionism, Nestorianism, Apollinarianism Monophysitism, Gnostic type emanationism, Modalist Monarchianism, and strange hybrids of these Christological heresies. The fact that their Christology (and therefore their theology since they claim there is only one person) is this radically divergent does not affect their sense of group unity and identity because, as I said, their identity is not defined by what they believe but by what they reject.

    With that said, most people outside of Oneness Pentecostalism assume that “Oneness” are modalists, i.e. Modalist Monarchians. I believe this assumption is made because generally Oneness claim to believe that God is one divine person and that God the Father and Jesus Christ are that same person. This would indeed be the claim of the true Modalist Monarchian but a Modalist Monarchian would not claim that there existed real personal distinctions between the Father and the Son (such as the Father and Son loving and communicating with each other). The Modalist Monarchian would not claim the Son really suffered on the cross but the Father really did not because they truly assert that there is only one person and are therefore Patripassians (i.e. the Father suffered). The Modalist Monarchian would claim that whatever can be said of the Father could be said of the Son because they are the same person, it is just different roles. They would say that when the Son prayed to the Father He was not really praying to someone other than Himself because there would be no one other than Himself to pray to and that the prayers were only as an example to his followers.

    Oneness Pentecostals who are true Oneness, i.e. Modalist Monarchians, are few and far between. I have yet to find one on a discussion board in more than ten years. It is important to understand this because, as I previously said, most people outside of Oneness Pentecostalism believe Oneness theology/Christology teaches Modalism. You need look no further than the CARM website and the questions which one should ask a Oneness Pentecostal. Those would be excellent questions to ask the modalist monarchian but those questions are not very effective in determining the core beliefs held by the majority of Oneness who teach a real personal relationship exists between the Father and the Son.

    Before going further let’s look at what Oneness Pentecostals have to say regarding Oneness Pentecostal “beliefs.” The following was written by a Oneness Pentecostal on a Oneness discussion board. What he describes as “Hyper-Oneness” is actually the Modalist Monarchian (Sabellian) belief:
    “This is an issue that comes up from time to time, and I thought it would be good to discuss it here. Most Oneness people see Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, but recognize that the flesh is not just a shell or a husk, but an actual human man, making Jesus both God and man at the same time. We talk about the dual nature of Jesus, and we recognize that, while Jesus was God according to the spirit, on some strictly finite human level, there was a son of God. We have no hesitation about referring to the man Christ Jesus as the literal son of God, while still recognizing His divinity (which is the spirit of the Father in Him). We see an intertwining of deity and humanity, without detracting from either. But there are, within our ranks, a number of people who have a very different view of this...a view that I find startling, personally.

    You've heard of "hyper-Calvinism" before? Well, I've nick-named this the "hyper-Oneness" position. Those who believe this way go to Oneness churches and baptize in Jesus' name, just like the rest of us, but their view of Jesus is radically different. Basically, they see Jesus as nothing more than God in a shell of human flesh, basically "being" his own son. To their way of thinking, Jesus was just the Father going through the motions of sonship, putting on a demonstration of submission, and acting out the role of a son, but they don't really believe in a literal son of God at all.

    Hyper-Oneness believers are constantly having to re-interpret and re-define (read: twist) what the scriptures are actually saying. When they read scriptures about the Father loving the son, or about the son growing in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man, they have to make that into the Father "loved that image of himself" (sort of). The beautiful story of the garden of Gethesemane, where Jesus surrended his will in the garden and said "nevertheless, not my will but thine be done" is totally lost on them, as they see it more or less as a divine example or a charade.

    Some scriptures are particularly troublesome to those who hold this position. For example, when Jesus died on the cross and said "Father, into thine hands I commend my spirit", that gets re-interpreted into something like God releasing the Spirit to go back to Himself (God-the-acrobat?). And the verse about the son delivering the kingdom up to the Father that God may be all in all--well, they just read over that one fast and kind of don't think about it too much.

    I used to go to a church where the pastor was very much into this postion. I tried very hard--desperately, even--to accept that position and make it fit with the Bible, but it just didn't jibe with the scriptures, and that's all there was to it. I would be told that I "needed a revelation", and when I would ask about all of the many scriptures that so resoundingly refute this position, I'd get get absolutely no where. Later on, I came to realize that I wasn't the one who needed a revelation--they were.

    I have since found that a proper Oneness explanation (one that doesn't clash with half the Bible) is not only the accepted norm in our circles, but that those who are taught a correct view are scarcely aware of aberrant views on the issue that exist. But the arrogance, the hostility, and the stinging rejection of those on the other side (people who don't even bother trying to make their view jibe with the Word of God) is hard to take. I have actually seen a church divided over this to the point where people completely lost respect for their pastor, saying he "needed a revelation" when he taught Bro. Bernard's book "the Oneness of the Godhead" and dealt with Jesus saying "Father, into thine hands I commend my spirit". The fact that their position was indefensible in the light of much of the Bible didn't deter them in the least.

    What have the rest of you seen with regard to this? Does it seem to follow geographical trends? It would be interesting to see if there is a pattern.”-Oneness Pentecostal
    Another Oneness poster replied saying, “Thanks for that info Brother. I've often wondered why some folks would say that oneness teaches that Jesus was His own father. It's because of this group that's got it wrong. I would like to hear more about this.” Oneness Apologist Jason Dulle describes “modalism” as “the "God in a costume" view of the incarnation.”

    The point here is that if discussion boards can be trusted as at least representative of Oneness beliefs, they are not “Oneness” in the sense of being modalist monarchians. In other words, they are not “Oneness” in their theology/Christology. Here is a look at what another Oneness Pentecostal noted in a thread he began titled “What we must agree on.”
    What we must agree on?

    -Some apostolics are basically modalists - Father, Son, and Spirit are thre primary modes or aspects of God's multi-faceted existence.
    -Some apostolics are Nestorian - There is the Father (deity) and the Son (humanity) in one Person (Jesus) - see brother Drysdale's answer to Gregory Boyd for what seems to me a thoroughly Nestorian approach to Oneness Christology.
    -Some are Apollinarian - Jesus was the "mind" or "spirit" of God in a human body - God "robed in flesh".
    -Some say Jesus is God, therefore our God came and shed his blood for us...
    -Others (a la Drysdale) cringe at such statements - saying God doesn't die, rather the man died, the Father left the man at death, the man felt forsaken, etc etc.
    -Some almost sound Docetic - like the Heavenly flesh doctrine which states that God appeared as a man, but did not become a man.
    -And again, brother Drysdale demands that God did NOT become a man, but dwelt In a man...
    -Some say God became a man, and the man himself is God.
    -Others say the man was indwelled by God so much that the two are virtually indistinguishable, that is why Jesus is God...
    -Some suggest that Jesus had a human body and mind, but his spirit was the Holy Ghost.
    -Some say he had a human spirit as well as the Holy Ghost.
    -Some say he had a human mind, others treat him as if God merely hopped in a body.
    -And others say God became a man, so that the man is fully a man, only a man, and nothing more than a man, but because it was God who became that man, he is therefore God.
    -Some say God exists in two dimensions - one Divine (Father), one human (Son).
    -Others say it is the man who exists in two dimensions, as God and as son of God.
    -Others say Jesus is neither merely a man, nor God, but a Person who is both man and God (whatever that may mean).

    And on and on it goes. My question is, what must we all agree on, to be apostolic? Surely there is room for diverse opinions or understandings, but also there must be some boundaries outside of which we dare not stray without risking heresy and false doctrine.”--Oneness Pentecostal
    As this Oneness Pentecostal notes: “And on and on it goes” There is no orthodox Oneness theology/Christology, no ONE Oneness “belief” as regards the Father and the Son. Is it any wonder that when I googled “Oneness Christology” or “Orthodox Oneness Pentecostal,” and other such search items that I never obtain any definitive results? Oh, you can get Jason Dulle’s teachings, but he is only one of many beliefs. And even those on this board who claim Dulle teaches real Oneness theology/Christology can’t seem to defend his teachings and often end up saying “that’s what Dulle says, you will have to ask him about it.”

    I noticed that a few recent threads at the AFF (a Oneness Pentecostal discussion board) that discussed or asked questions regarding the theology/Christology of Oneness were summarily removed (apparently to the debate section of the board which can’t be viewed by outsiders). One was a poll asking whether the respondents believed 1.) the Son was God, 2.) the Son was God but derived his deity from the Father, or 3.) the Son was not God. (at least as I recall). The options are pretty ambiguous. However, the last time I saw this poll before it was moved 15% of respondents outright said the Son was not God. The majority went for the compromise saying that the Son was God but that He derived His divinity from the Father. Neither #2 or #3 sound inherently Oneness do they?

    If I recall correctly, another thread was begun by a Oneness Apologist by the name of Mike Blume who was going to explain Oneness theology/Christology quite simply. I wish I could remember more of what he said but I do remember chuckling because on the one hand he claimed that Oneness were modalist monarchian and then went on to describe a Christology that was clearly Nestorian (at the very least). But this thread was moved too. So the question is, why do Oneness wish to hide their beliefs? My answer is because they don’t really have ONE. As I stated at the beginning, their core unifying belief, that which gives them their identity is actually anti-belief, anti-doctrine, negative theology.

    This is why it is hard to get clear answers from Oneness Pentecostals. Their answers, when they will give them, are usually cloaked in vague and ambiguous language. Even then it is generally incoherent, contradictory, and internally inconsistent. This negative theology, anti-belief can be seen in their approach to Scripture, especially the New Testament. They have a hermeneutic that is best described as “it doesn’t really mean what it says.” They try to overlay their negative theology onto Scripture itself.

    So is it any wonder that as you go through the threads on this board you will find that Oneness seem loathed to explain their beliefs and answer your questions? Is it any wonder they are so defensive that they are often “offensive?” You can see their negative theology and anti-doctrine in almost every thread when asking about Oneness beliefs as the Oneness believers invariably want to talk about the doctrine of the Trinity, or at least their misunderstanding of it. That is perhaps the other extraordinary distinctive about their negative theology and their anti-doctrine. They don’t really understand what they are disagreeing with, their own personal version will do. These are the things I find very unique about Oneness Pentecostals:

    1. The fact that their “belief” system is actually negative theology and perhaps even more accurately, and anti-belief (this anti-belief, as explained above, is certainly their identity, the one true unifying “doctrine”).
    2. As a group, they do not really know what they believe concerning the “Oneness” of the Father and the Son.
    3. In their anti-belief they do not, as a rule, understand what they are arguing against but it doesn’t matter.

    The mechanics of that are really quite fascinating when you think about it (not being able to explain what they really believe while claiming something they don’t understand is wrong).

    TheLayman

  • SeventhDay
    replied
    Originally posted by TheLayman View Post


    You better read the opening post in the thread again, nothing you are talking about has anything to do with it...I should know, I wrote the opening post.

    TheLayman
    Okay.

    I do not go by a label in my doctrinal beliefs and know not enough about oneness teach to say I agree with your premise that they only affirm what is anti-trinitarin and have no doctrine of their own.

    I seek not to pursue whether premise is true or not so I will bid you goodbye because I do not want to derail your posts.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay.

    Leave a comment:


  • Truther
    replied
    Originally posted by TheLayman View Post

    I didn't "trash" anybody. If there was some specific thing in the opening post you wished to discuss, you failed to do so. Nothing in any of your posts has anything to do with the opening post. Still defending your rudeness aren't you? And I see you have decided to renege on just staying out of my threads because you always, always do this. I can't stop, only you suddenly learning to be courteous would do that and I'm not holding my breath.

    TheLayman
    Don't know if you have noticed but I am keeping your thread at the top by talking on it with SD.

    This is the thanks I get?

    Also, I know oneness is incorrect, and so is trinity.

    So, why is an incorrect concept attempting to debunk another incorrect concept?

    Yes, this is a challenge to a debate with you, by me, with 1st century doctrine, using KJV wording of the true oneness doctrine(unification of the Spirit Father and begotten son)of the Bible VS trinitarianism.,
    Last edited by Truther; 02-10-19, 07:34 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheLayman
    replied
    Originally posted by Truther View Post

    You started a thread, trashing oneness.

    I defended them, showing that trin wrong and oneness wrong does not make a right.

    Your thread is like a JW trashing a Mormon...irrelevant.
    I didn't "trash" anybody. If there was some specific thing in the opening post you wished to discuss, you failed to do so. Nothing in any of your posts has anything to do with the opening post. Still defending your rudeness aren't you? And I see you have decided to renege on just staying out of my threads because you always, always do this. I can't stop, only you suddenly learning to be courteous would do that and I'm not holding my breath.

    TheLayman

    Leave a comment:


  • TheLayman
    replied
    Originally posted by SeventhDay View Post

    What makes you think we are off track? The Son of God who is the last Adam was raised a quickening spirit is definitely not off track and must be considered in our understanding of who God is and there is only one God!

    Is not Jesus as the Son of God the logos who is God made flesh or is he a second party person God made flesh? We need to understand this!

    Is God one or is God three!

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay

    You better read the opening post in the thread again, nothing you are talking about has anything to do with it...I should know, I wrote the opening post.

    TheLayman

    Leave a comment:


  • Truther
    replied
    Originally posted by SeventhDay View Post

    Yes, God made himself the role of the Son of God that God is in and thus God is in the role of the Father as well!

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay
    What movie did God star in?

    Leave a comment:


  • Truther
    replied
    Originally posted by TheLayman View Post

    The two of you (you and 7th day) have completely destroyed talking about the topic post of this thread. I assume you are both adults? Does common courtesy and respect have no place in your respective truth claims? If you had wanted to go back and forth on a topic other than the topic of the thread why didn't you just begin your thread? Why did you feel it was okay to ruin someone else's topic?

    TheLayman
    You started a thread, trashing oneness.

    I defended them, showing that trin wrong and oneness wrong does not make a right.

    Your thread is like a JW trashing a Mormon...irrelevant.

    Leave a comment:


  • SeventhDay
    replied
    Originally posted by TheLayman View Post

    The two of you (you and 7th day) have completely destroyed talking about the topic post of this thread. I assume you are both adults? Does common courtesy and respect have no place in your respective truth claims? If you had wanted to go back and forth on a topic other than the topic of the thread why didn't you just begin your thread? Why did you feel it was okay to ruin someone else's topic?

    TheLayman
    What makes you think we are off track? The Son of God who is the last Adam was raised a quickening spirit is definitely not off track and must be considered in our understanding of who God is and there is only one God!

    Is not Jesus as the Son of God the logos who is God made flesh or is he a second party person God made flesh? We need to understand this!

    Is God one or is God three!

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay

    Leave a comment:


  • TheLayman
    replied
    Originally posted by Truther View Post
    He was made a quickening spirit per the verse.
    The two of you (you and 7th day) have completely destroyed talking about the topic post of this thread. I assume you are both adults? Does common courtesy and respect have no place in your respective truth claims? If you had wanted to go back and forth on a topic other than the topic of the thread why didn't you just begin your thread? Why did you feel it was okay to ruin someone else's topic?

    TheLayman

    Leave a comment:


  • SeventhDay
    replied
    Originally posted by Truther View Post

    He was made a quickening spirit per the verse.

    Who made him?

    Himself?
    Yes, God made himself the role of the Son of God that God is in and thus God is in the role of the Father as well!

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay

    Leave a comment:


  • Truther
    replied
    Originally posted by SeventhDay View Post

    Jesus who is the Logos was always a quickening Spirit because he is the Father but the Son becoming a quickening Spirit is coming back to God who Jesus is.



    The glory the Son had before the Logos was made flesh is God himself which is the Father that he is praying to. Is that hard for you to understand?

    You know very well there is only one Lord God and that is Jesus!

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay


    He was made a quickening spirit per the verse.

    Who made him?

    Himself?

    Leave a comment:


  • SeventhDay
    replied
    Originally posted by Truther View Post

    You forget. The dead/resurrected son was made a quickening spirit/ God.
    Jesus who is the Logos was always a quickening Spirit because he is the Father but the Son becoming a quickening Spirit is coming back to God who Jesus is.

    Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
    The glory the Son had before the Logos was made flesh is God himself which is the Father that he is praying to. Is that hard for you to understand?

    You know very well there is only one Lord God and that is Jesus!

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay



    Leave a comment:


  • Truther
    replied
    Originally posted by SeventhDay View Post

    No, a man was not made God but made a Son of God!

    This is by begettal, by proclamation through an angel and by the Father and by death and resurrection.

    Do you know who Jesus is?

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay
    You forget. The dead/resurrected son was made a quickening spirit/ God.

    Leave a comment:


  • SeventhDay
    replied
    Originally posted by Truther View Post

    No, no and no.

    God never became a man, nor will He ever become a man. A man was made God, though.😇
    No, a man was not made God but made a Son of God!

    This is by begettal, by proclamation through an angel and by the Father and by death and resurrection.

    Do you know who Jesus is?

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay

    Leave a comment:


  • Truther
    replied
    Originally posted by SeventhDay View Post

    Did God make himself lower than his creation? Does God change? Is God a man?

    God bless you,

    SeventhDay
    No, no and no.

    God never became a man, nor will He ever become a man. A man was made God, though.😇

    Leave a comment:

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