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Oneness Pentecostals And The Trinity

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We believe in one God, the Father almighty, creator of all things both visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten son of the Father, that is of the same substance of the Father; God from God, light from light, true God from true God; begotten, not created, consubstantial with the Father...And we believe in the Holy Spirit. 1 (The Nicene Creed)

Ever since those words above were hammered out, they have been heralded by orthodox Christianity as the truth concerning the nature of God. However, this belief in the Trinity has been one of, if not the most violently attacked doctrines of the church. Of course, the Nicene Creed was formulated to define the church’s stance on the deity of Jesus Christ, in response Arius, who taught that Jesus Christ was neither eternal nor God.

Arianism was a formidable adversary to Christian doctrine; but it has, for the most part, been recognized as false. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses are the most well-known proponents of this view today, but almost universally orthodox Christians are aware of the fact that they are a cult. Christian bookstores carry a plethora of books that combat the heresy of Watchtower theology, thereby defusing the threat considerably.

However, unknown to many orthodox Christians today, there is another heresy circulating today, which is just as serious as Arianism and also denies the Trinity. This heresy is quite widespread and believed in many Christian circles today—despite being questioned by the church in the third century and officially condemned in the fourth. However, evangelical Christians today by and large do not recognize proponents of this view as fostering a cult, and the particular sect that teaches this heresy is not classified as a cult by the majority of contemporary American Christians. Still, if presented with the facts, few Christians would disagree that this heresy is more malignant than Arianism ever was.

Such is the case with the Oneness Pentecostal Church. I like to refer to it as “the stealth bomber” of the cults, because by using the name Pentecostal, it flies in under the radar and is not recognized as a cult. In addition to their view of the Godhead, Oneness Pentecostals have many reasons to be labeled a cult; but in this article, the aim will be to expose that particular doctrine which is known as modalism or Sabellianism. The discussion will start with a definition of modalism, cover the history of the heresy, and then move to an apologetic against the doctrine of modalism.


Ian Kyle

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