Theology and Apologetics Roundtable: Apologetics to the Oneness Pentecostal Movement

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Apologetics to the Oneness Pentecostal Movement

The Oneness Pentecostal (or Apostolic Pentecostal) movement is a cult of the Christian faith and also a heretical movement identified by modern Pentecostals. The movement began around 1913 and emerge in popularity by 1916. It sprung out the Assemblies of God (AOG) denomination causing the AOG to respond with a strong stance on trinitarianism. Over 160 ministers where expelled from the AOG denomination at this time.

The Oneness belief is just as its name implies. They deny the Trinity and believe in one God. Oneness movement are also known by other names such as: Jesus Only churches, Jesus Name movement, and Apostolic Pentecostals. Oneness believe the Bible speaks of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They deny the three exist as one Person. They believe God manifested as Father in creation, as Jesus for redemption, and as Holy Spirit for regeneration. Three separate persons. Oneness would agree with orthodox Christianity that faith in Jesus is the way to salvation. Due to horrific misinterpretation of the Bible, Oneness believe Jesus to be the totality of the Godhead.

Oneness argue their "Jesus only" view by misinterpreting passages like Acts 2:38 where Peter says to baptize in the name of Jesus. The negation of the Father and Holy Spirit supports their "Jesus only" claims. They also argue that Matthew 28:19 shouldn't be taken as a command to baptize with the trinitarian view. My first response is that here Jesus Himself is giving a direct command in this Great Commission passage and you are telling me not to take that as a command? Secondly, Oneness has now shown they have a problem with the inerrant, infallible Word of God. They pick some passages to mean something different for them and then other passages they look at it as errors.

The Bible teaches the Trinity. The Godhead of three distinct, manifested simultaneous Persons. Not three separate gods. That would be polytheism. To deny the Trinity is deny the very nature God. He is Triune and we cannot get around that. Oneness theology is quite identical to ancient Modalism. The view of Jesus being the totality of the Godhead may be a misinterpretation of Colossians 2:9. Here Paul is showing the full essence of Christ's divine nature. Nothing can be added to it. Therefore, as believers in Christ, nothing can be added to salvation. We are COMPLETE in Him.

On the contrary, Oneness believes that the speaking of tongues, and water baptism is necessary for salvation. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches. Oneness also hold to a strict legalistic moral code that they believe if not followed, one can lose their salvation. It would seem to me there is a blend of faith and works for salvation.

The United Pentecostal Church International (UCPI) and Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) are the major organizations that hold to the Oneness movement. These churches are predominantly African-American in population as well. The well-known T.D. Jakes is a Oneness Pentecostal.

Oneness Pentecostal is anti-trinitarian, doctrinally wrong on their view of Jesus Christ, legalistic, and add works to salvation. All these things are clear signs of a cult. They seek to redefine the Bible and the orthodox view of God.