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Switch to Forum Live View Do All Christians Believe that Jesus is God...Part 2
4 years ago  ::  Jan 10, 2011 - 7:22PM #1
Aminagirl
Posts: 5

I am not able to post reply's on the previous thread???


 


Thank you all for the replies.  God Bless You All!!!


 


To: Servant of Christ:


 


I would like to talk to you further also.  I don't understand what you mean by "Arianism" and what your recommending???  What religion are you?  If I missed it when reading your post...I apologize.


 


Pentecostal Trinitariasm and the Oneness is still confusing.  I seem to undeerstand the Oneness part, but I don't believe that.  The Trinitarian belief is what I struggle w/ the most.  I believe in God Almighty..creator of all and that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, but not God.  There is only suppose to be One God.  Please help anyone reading this.


 


Thank you & Peace Be w/ You,


Amina

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2011 - 10:44PM #2
Servantofchrist
Posts: 4

I am somewhat of a unique breed. I attend a church which is a part of a Oneness Pentecostal organization, but at this time I do not accept the Oneness doctrine of God. I believe that their answers to the New Testament distinction between God the Father and Jesus Christ are not sufficient. I also, however, have problems with some aspects of Trinitarian doctrine, but for the most part align myself with them. Sorry i didn't mention that before! And i'm sorry if i used some wordings/terms that didn't click, i don't talk to people much about this subject at deep levels and so have a tough time explaining i guess!


 


Arianism, you can wikipedia it if you want it, is an old 3rd/4th century doctrine concerning Christ and His relation to the Father. They believe that the Father is the One True God and that at some point in eternity Jesus did not exist and there was the Father only. Like saying God the Father created or "begot" the Son (Christ) at some point in time. They say that Jesus is not eternal (having always existed). Hope that helps!


I know that a lot of this can be really confusing. I've been there! And some things are still confusing to me too. What do you think Trinitarians believe? Also, when you say that you don't believe that Jesus is God, what exactly do you mean? (You sound a lot like me a few years back actually!) Some when they say this mean that Jesus was only a man, and others mean this to say that Jesus is not the Father but might still consider him "divine". 


God bless you Amina, keep seeking after Him!


J


 

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2011 - 3:26AM #3
Tlcoopi7
Posts: 7

I am also new to the Oneness doctrine. Before I started attending an Apostolic Pentacostal church, I attended churches that taught the Trinity and I could not understand how would 3 people become 1.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2011 - 1:56PM #4
rebekahe7
Posts: 8

Tlcoop,


It confused me at first when I felt the Holy Spirit telling me the Trinity was true, because I was raised to not believe in it.  Some things you have to accept on faith, even if it is confusing.  I would say that the oneness doctrine does not make sense, either.  Although I cannot fully explain the Trinity, I think it makes much more sense than the oneness doctrine.


There are so many OT and NT references to the triune God.  Some examples:


OT:


Gen. 11:7, "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech."


Isaiah 6:8, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!'"


Gen. 19:24, "Then the Lord [YHWH] rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord [YHWH] out of heaven."  (This shows the Lord speaking of himself as two persons doing these works.)


NT:


Matt. 3:16-17,  "And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water;  and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God  descending as a dove, and coming upon Him,  and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”


(How can one person talk to Himself in this instance?  There are even physical differences in where God is at the same time.)



1 Peter 1:2, "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying  work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with  His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure."


Jude 20-21, "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."


2 Cor. 13:14, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."


There are even more examples besides these.  If Jesus was the Father and Spirit while on earth, was he praying to Himself in the garden before his crucifixion?  When he cried out to the Father on the cross, was he talking to Himself?  At his baptism, did he send his voice up to heaven to talk to him while referring to him as his Son whom he was well pleased in?  How could he be his own son?  These make absolutely no sense to me.  I have found in my several years of attending a oneness pentecostal church in the past that no one can answer these questions.


If we are to think with our lowly human minds, the Trinity still makes more sense than the oneness doctrine.  God's mind is infinite, so we cannot question why we can't comprehend his fullness here on earth, but we will know when we are like Him once we get to heaven.


Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help with your confusion.  It would be terrible to accept a doctrine if you do not believe it.  Have faith.


Blessings,


Rebekah


 

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 21, 2011 - 10:47PM #5
Theo
Posts: 4,691

There are several “Christian” groups who do not accept that Jesus Christ is God. They believe in God, and they believe that Jesus was His Son, but they  do not believe Jesus was God, they believe Jesus was a man. Most of them would go on to say that as a Man, Jesus was very unique… meaning that though He was born into the world and had a body of flesh and blood, Jesus was still different from all other men. First of all (1) He was born of a virgin, and (2) He existed before His birth – from the beginning. Then (3) they would say that He remained sinless and holy… and most of them would say that Jesus was the “Second Adam” – meaning that Jesus was a perfect man like Adam was before He sinned and became a fallen creature.


This belief is most often accepted by those who call themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are others who belong to a group known as “Christadelphians,” you can look up either group and their other beliefs on the Internet. There are a group of Christians here in the Pacific  Northwest who also believe these things… but to my knowledge they have not organized into a Church… they call their beliefs “the doctrine of the Son of God.”


I am a traditional Trinitarian Christian, and long time ago I was a Oneness Pentecostal. In between then and now, I changed what I believed about God and Christ many times, so I have a unique and an informed opinion about variant beliefs concerning God and Christ. I would encourage you to read up on the doctrine of the Trinity… study it so as to actually understand what we believe. It is easy to study about something to arm yourself against it, so easy that it does not require that you actually understand what they believe or why – all you will know is why you don’t believe what Trinitarians believe. But in most cases, the people who go that rout never come to understand why Trinitarians believe what they believe.


I believe in the Trinity because it best represents what I find in the Bible as to who Jesus was. My faith is centered squarely on the Scriptures, and I can also confess the ancient Creed of the Church – all things that the Scriptures themselves set forth as being essential for us to believe.


We are to believe in God – the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. You may or may not recognize that this is a quotation of the Apostle’s Creed – a Catholic Baptismal confession.


We are to believe that Jesus was in the beginning with God – because both He and the apostles all said so. And that makes Jesus different than just a mere man, it makes Him different than the angels, because according to the Bible, God created the angels through His Son.


And so what are we to do with the Son if He was more than a man, and more than an angel? In first century Judaism, they believed that the beloved son of a father (i.e. his heir) was as good as the father. So when Jesus came preaching Himself, that He was the Son of God, many Jews flipped out and accused Him of blasphemy, because He being a man, made Himself out to be God. And so that is why Christians from the first century on down to this very day, believe that Jesus was both God and Man. Oneness Christians believe somewhat similar to Trinitarians, but they like to accentuate the differences so as to distinguish themselves. The big difference between Oneness and Trinitarians, is that Trinitarians believe that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are different Person of God, united in nature, but separate in personality. Oneness Pentecostals believe Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit – as to His Deity. To me this makes no sense, which is why I no longer accept that belief system.


~ Theophilus

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2011 - 10:09AM #6
rebekahe7
Posts: 8

I agree 100% with Theo.


Actually take the time to study the doctrine of the Trinity.  One of first reasons I questioned the oneness doctrine was because my Sunday school teachers could not back up why they didn't believe in the Trinitarian doctrine with anything other than, "Those people believe in 3 gods!  There is only 1 God!"  Any inquiry into how teachers, pastors, etc. knew this was met with frustration and statements that I should just accept it that we had the "truth" and they did not. 


They did not actually know anything about the Trinitarian doctrine.  When I explained to my mother what we actually believe, she still acted like I was not telling the whole truth about the fact that we don't believe in 3 separate gods.


Despite some major issues with their doctrine, I still love the church members I was raised with and respect their opinions.  It took me a while to come to grips with not resenting them for the lifestyle I was raised in: i.e. no haircuts, no pants, no makeup, no earrings, no school dances, no visiting churches with friends even though they were allowed to come to mine, no music other than southern gospel.  I think these "standards," as they were called, really hurt the oneness pentecostal church's mission to bring people to Christ because there are so many "no's", and I applaud those churches who have decided to let some of that stuff go.


Sorry, I felt I had to have a little rant there at the end.  Just make sure you know what your church believes in and expects from you and your family before raising your children there.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 13, 2011 - 8:59PM #7
Penitent_whaler
Posts: 1

Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are the two most notable examples of denominations who, basically, do not accept that Jesus was/is God.  Some individual members, and even  church-appointed apologists, might try to twist the official party line to make their theology sound more appealing to traditional Christians, which usually ends up sounding rather new agey, e.g. "what people saw in God, they saw in Jesus of Nazareth".  But both believe that God the Father is a discrete entity apart from the Son, and that the Son is less divine than the Father. 


Oneness Pentacostals do not fall into this category, in my opinion.  Though I am not one and have never actually met one IRL, I gather that they believe in a strict monotheism akin to traditional Judaism and Islam.  They hold that God has appeared in various manifestations throughout history, termed "theophanies", such as the burning bush of Moses, the three strangers who announced Sarah's pregnancy to Abraham, the wrestler against whom Jacob struggled, the fourth man in Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace, or the whirlwind to Job, and that Jesus Christ was the last and greatest of these theophanies, so that to call the Father, Son, and holy Ghost of the New Testament three persons of one God, one might as well tally up the dozen or so avatars, apparitions, and appearings throughout scripture and elevate each to like status.  But again, I am not a oneness pentacostal and so lack the proper authority on this subject.



As for whether Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses can truly be called Christian, I lean strongly toward "no", as do most evangelicals, Catholics, Orthodox, and those mainline Christians who still believe in certainty.  I actually wrote a paper in high school about how JW's much more closely resembled Muslims than Christians, and Elijah Muhammad apparently agreed.  I suppose the short answer to your question would be that if one denies the true divinity of Jesus Christ, then by definition they're not really Christians according to the overwhelming consensus. 

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2011 - 4:32PM #8
rebekahe7
Posts: 8

Jun 13, 2011 -- 8:59PM, Penitent_whaler wrote:


Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are the two most notable examples of denominations who, basically, do not accept that Jesus was/is God.  Some individual members, and even  church-appointed apologists, might try to twist the official party line to make their theology sound more appealing to traditional Christians, which usually ends up sounding rather new agey, e.g. "what people saw in God, they saw in Jesus of Nazareth".  But both believe that God the Father is a discrete entity apart from the Son, and that the Son is less divine than the Father. 


Oneness Pentacostals do not fall into this category, in my opinion.  Though I am not one and have never actually met one IRL, I gather that they believe in a strict monotheism akin to traditional Judaism and Islam.  They hold that God has appeared in various manifestations throughout history, termed "theophanies", such as the burning bush of Moses, the three strangers who announced Sarah's pregnancy to Abraham, the wrestler against whom Jacob struggled, the fourth man in Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace, or the whirlwind to Job, and that Jesus Christ was the last and greatest of these theophanies, so that to call the Father, Son, and holy Ghost of the New Testament three persons of one God, one might as well tally up the dozen or so avatars, apparitions, and appearings throughout scripture and elevate each to like status.  But again, I am not a oneness pentacostal and so lack the proper authority on this subject.



As for whether Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses can truly be called Christian, I lean strongly toward "no", as do most evangelicals, Catholics, Orthodox, and those mainline Christians who still believe in certainty.  I actually wrote a paper in high school about how JW's much more closely resembled Muslims than Christians, and Elijah Muhammad apparently agreed.  I suppose the short answer to your question would be that if one denies the true divinity of Jesus Christ, then by definition they're not really Christians according to the overwhelming consensus. 





 


I was raised 18 years in a oneness pentecostal church, but I can't once recall out of 3 services a week/52 weeks a year ever hearing a message taught in detail on their doctrine of "oneness."  Members mostly just accept the simplified belief that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one in the same and not different 'persons' joined as one.  Asking detailed questions about how this is possible considering Jesus prayed to the Father, the Father spoke to the Jesus at his baptism, etc. is met with anger or dumfoundedness 99% of the time.


The best way I can explain the belief is that they believe Jesus took on different roles as either one of the 3 names of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost is actually considered a "power" given to Christians once they speak in tongues (this must happen as evidence that they have "it," not "Him.")  They mainly just refer to God as Jesus, and if you ever hear them talking about God, assume they are speaking of Jesus.  Jesus is the Father and the Holy Ghost is the power He gives, according to them.  So it is not that they don't believe that Jesus is God or that he is equal with God and the Holy Spirit (the truth of Christianity), but it is more like they believe He is God alone.


Yes, it is very confusing.  Yes, it doesn't make any logical or theological sense, especially when you read the New Testmament.  There are so many contradictions to this doctrine that it would take all day to list them, but they are emotionally attached to this belief and believe it is a "revelation" or "truth" to those who "have the Holy Ghost" and can "see it."  If you haven't guessed, they focus on the book of Acts, miracles, supernatural 'blessings' from God.


I still love the people who used to be my church family.  I believe they truly love God, but they have a very skewed perception of scripture.  I'll take my good old-fashioned One-God Trinitarian-believing church any day over 'oneness' nonsense.

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2011 - 3:52PM #9
rideronthastorm
Posts: 6,149

Oneness Pentacostals do not fall into this category, in my opinion.  Though I am not one and have never actually met one IRL, I gather that they believe in a strict monotheism akin to traditional Judaism and Islam.  They hold that God has appeared in various manifestations throughout history, termed "theophanies", such as the burning bush of Moses, the three strangers who announced Sarah's pregnancy to Abraham, the wrestler against whom Jacob struggled, the fourth man in Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace, or the whirlwind to Job, and that Jesus Christ was the last and greatest of these theophanies, so that to call the Father, Son, and holy Ghost of the New Testament three persons of one God, one might as well tally up the dozen or so avatars, apparitions, and appearings throughout scripture and elevate each to like status.  But again, I am not a oneness pentacostal and so lack the proper authority on this subject


 


No Im an ex United Pentecostal person thats one of the oneness Pentecostal churches,Im an exPentecostal and what you said is completely correct theyre all manifestations of God.

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 10, 2011 - 11:03PM #10
Johnboymv
Posts: 3

**I originally posted this in "part 1" but didn't realize there was a "part 2" to this thread.  I hope I can add to the conversation! **


 



As someone who is currently Apostolic, and was raised Baptist, I felt  the need to chime in here.  The first place I heard that Jesus was God  was in my former Baptist church.  As a very young boy (5 or 6) I was  under the impression that Jesus was my "brother."  After all, God is  Jesus' Father and my Father as well, so obviously, we're siblings,  right?  When I brought up my brilliant observation in Sunday  School, my teacher corrected me and let me know that Jesus--the Man--was  God's Son, but that the Spirit that lived inside of that body was God  the Father.   It just made sense to me.  Now again, I stress that this  was taught to me in a Trinitarian Baptist church.  




Fast-forward  12 or 13 years.  I had started attending a oneness Apostolic  (UPC-affiliated) church.  After much study, I realized that I agreed  with their doctrine of salvation.  In my now 16 years of attending that  church, I still agree with the doctrine, but there have been many things  that I feel the UPC, shall we say, reaches for, in their attempts to  explain things.  I'm talking mainly about outward standards (don't get  me wrong, I believe in holiness and modesty, but I think some things are  overkill).  The only standard that I see a definite scriptural backup  for is "the hair thing."  But standards isn't the reason for this post. 




The  biggest beef I have with the UPC (which again, I agree with in  doctrine) is the way they misrepresent Trinitarianism.  UPC ministers  regularly talk of how trinitarians worship "3 Gods" or a "schizophrenic  3-part deity."  This is simply not the case.  Most UPCers confuse  trinitarianism for tri-theism, the actual belief in the 3 gods.  I've  heard tri-theism represented as trinitarianism in Sunday School,  campmeetings, and even in my classes at Indiana Bible College, a UPC-run  school.  I've been a trinitarian, and I've been a oneness believer, and  I've come to a startling realization: it's two ways of explaining the  same thing.  Ask a trinitarian how many thrones are in heaven, he'll  tell you there's one.  Ask a oneness believer the same question, you'll  get the same answer.  Ask a oneness believer if Jesus is the Son of God,  he'll say yes, and so will a trinitarian. 




So to the  trinitarian, I say: the Oneness believers don't deny the Father and the  Holy Ghost.  They believe that all 3 exist in the Godhead, as offices  held by Christ Jesus (Col. 2:9).  And to the oneness believer I say:  trinitarians don't believe in 3 Gods.  They believe in one God, holy and  eternal.  They just use the term "person" instead of "manifestation."   And to both I say:  while there may be some big doctrinal differences as  far as salvation goes, WE BELIEVE THE SAME THING ABOUT GOD!!!


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