I recently re-posted an article called Jesus, the Gospel and Other Essentials of the Christian Faith. The purpose was to “prime the pumps” of our collective thinking about what is True. The Truth is something worth pondering. Truth matters.
There was a time before I knew I was serious about faith but still spent time at church and with people of faith. I have always enjoyed learning and this was quite a formative time in my life that laid a foundation for how I would eventually approach faith matters. There was a unique group in my home church at the time who were highly intellectual and inquisitive as well. Any serious question was fair game and worthy of honest inspection. Final answers were seldom achieved and most agreed that such was as it should be.
With that being said, that didn’t mean that any of these learned individuals believed that “anything goes” or that whatever you chose to believe was “okay”. The underlying, unsaid, but understood principle that drove these discussions was that if one’s beliefs cannot stand up to honest, faithful inquiry, they were not worth believing. They are not the Truth.That was half a lifetime ago and I have yet to find such a group of faithful inquisitors since. Therefore I blog.
Blogging has its own rewards as well. Not the least of these rewards are the meeting of like and unlike minds in comments sections on various and sundry blogs and reaching thousands of people from more countries around the world than I previously knew existed. Praise God for the internet.
I believe that I am a “tolerant” person. By that I mean that I am willing and able and that I do, in fact, tolerate much. I reach out and discuss things with people of other faiths and those with no faith: Muslims, pagans, atheists, Presbyterians (joking), etc… The point is that just as I believe that my faith is worthless if it cannot hold up to inquisition, I hold others’ to same standard. Let the Truth be their judge as It is mine.
All of that is leading up to this:
There are heretics out there who are leading Christians and would-be Christians astray. Heretic for the purposes of what is sure to be an ongoing discussion on this blog is a belief that is contrary to orthodox Christianity that has salvific consequences. I believe that there are plenty of things that Christians can argue about and discuss and generally agree to disagree on without losing sleep over who is going to wind up burning in Hell.
However, I also believe that there are a few essentials of Christianity to which one must adhere or else cease using the label “Christian.” One of these essential doctrines/standards for being a Christian is belief in the Trinity, the triune God that the Bible clearly teaches. Succinctly stated the doctrine of the Trinity affirms that the Bible describes One God who exists in three distinct persons, The Father, The Son (Jesus), and The Holy Spirit. Even though the Bible never uses the word “trinity”, God reveals Himself in these three persons throughout the Bible. Though some who would claim to be Christians deny this obvious fact, the Three Persons of the Trinity are plainly evident in Scripture and since Scripture is God’s personal revelation of Himself to humankind, we know that the Trinity is a Truth.
Oneness is Modalism all over again
Oneness, Jesus only churches and Apostolic Pentecostalism are examples of heretics who are not worthy of the name of Christ whom they pretend to worship. No playing with the word by changing the words “persons” to “manifestations” will cover up this crime of heresy. This is the old heresy of modalism (otherwise known as Sabelliansm, modalistic monarchianism, or modal monarchism). This is the belief that there is one God who merely manifests Himself differently to meet a particular situation. Christianity rejected this erroneous belief long ago. To believe this is to reject our Lord and His Church.
Oneness is going to be the first heresy that will be discussed on this blog. It is more prevalent than you may think. One prominent Oneness preacher/teacher is none other than T.D. Jakes. A heretical Jesus Only church is the United Pentecostal Church International.
As always, comments and discussions and emails are always welcome and encouraged.
- Jesus, the Gospel and other Essentials of the Christian Faith (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- The Passion of Christ (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)