Oneness pentecostals Jesus only

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peterforjc

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I have a friend who is a oneness pentencostal and obviously does not believe in the trinity. He also believes that tongues is required for salvation. Do you know of any material refuting this? I have heard there are now over 18 million “Jesus Only” oneness believers and growing and many are ex catholics. My hope and prayer is that our professional catholic apologists will jump on board to refute this error. My friends derives his doctrine from scripture and it is reasonable and without the Church to guide them is how they are growing. Any help would be appreciated
 
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peterforjc:
I have a friend who is a oneness pentencostal and obviously does not believe in the trinity. He also believes that tongues is required for salvation. Do you know of any material refuting this? I have heard there are now over 18 million “Jesus Only” oneness believers and growing and many are ex catholics. My hope and prayer is that our professional catholic apologists will jump on board to refute this error. My friends derives his doctrine from scripture and it is reasonable and without the Church to guide them is how they are growing. Any help would be appreciated
the Ask an Apologist board is open…take it there as well
 
Welll, the first thing that comes to mind is that Christ prays to the Father. If He were simply trying to show people how to pray, wouldn’t He have asked them to pray to Him instead? Also, He prays to the Father even when there aren’t any to teach, such as in Gethsemane. Sounds like two obviously different persons to me.
 
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peterforjc:
I have a friend who is a oneness pentencostal and obviously does not believe in the trinity. He also believes that tongues is required for salvation. Do you know of any material refuting this? I have heard there are now over 18 million “Jesus Only” oneness believers and growing and many are ex catholics. My hope and prayer is that our professional catholic apologists will jump on board to refute this error. My friends derives his doctrine from scripture and it is reasonable and without the Church to guide them is how they are growing. Any help would be appreciated
As for the tongues thing, read 1 Corinthians (especially the last few chapters). St. Paul emphasizes the fact that people are given different gifts by the Holy Spirit, and downplays the gift of tongues with respect to other gifts. It seems the Corinthians were struggling with some of the same errors as your friend.

As for the trinity, it is a biblical, though not explicitly so, doctrine. The Church defined it. But the Church also defined what books to include in the New Testament. If he denies the authority that established the one, he denies the authority that established the other.
 
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peterforjc:
I have a friend who is a oneness pentencostal and obviously does not believe in the trinity. He also believes that tongues is required for salvation. Do you know of any material refuting this?
For the first one, not believing in the Trinity, I would say that 2000 years of not only Catholic, but christian, Tradition should be enough, if it isn’t, then I doubt any writing of the Fathers of the Church would do any good.

For the second, the discourse on the Gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 should work…

1 Corinthians 12
*1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.
2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.
3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
*4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
19 If they were all one member, where would the body be?
20 But now there are many members, but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;
23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,
24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,
25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.
28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?
30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?
31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.


Now if tongues is required for salvation, how does your friend explain St Paul’s comment in verse 30, “All do not speak with tongues” or the whole gist of the chapter that there are many gifts and not everyone will recieve all of them…
 
The “Jesus only” theory doesn’t mesh very well with Matthew 28:19, for our Lord said:

“Go therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.”
 
I’ve had some discussions with Apostolics. Basically, they base their entire theology (from what I can tell) on Acts Chapter 2. They basically ignore Matthew.

The strange thing to me about this is that they acknowledge God acting as Father, acting as the Holy Spirit, and acting as Jesus. They just believe He’s all the same person. I also have posed the question of Jesus praying in the garden. They basically have said that we can’t explain everything. They admit to not having a good answer to the question, but dismiss it as just being above our heads.

I have yet to figure out how to crack the nut. I find the whole thing bizarre. The position of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons - while in error - is at least something I can understand. They at least realize there are separate persons, they just don’t accept the divinity. But I simply don’t understand how you can say that Jesus the Son is the same person as the Father is the same person as the Holy Spirit.
 
They admit to not having a good answer to the question, but dismiss it as just being above our heads.
Then they admit to caring more about preserving their religion than seeking the truth.
 
Dr. Colossus:
Then they admit to caring more about preserving their religion than seeking the truth.
Perhaps some. But I think many are sincere in that belief. I prefer not to assume what their motivations are.
 
The Oneness Pentecostals have basically resurrected the heresy of Modalism, (aka, Monarchianism, Sabelianism, Patripassianism):

The Monarchians properly so-called (Modalists) exaggerated the oneness of the Father and the Son so as to make them but one Person; thus the distinctions in the Holy Trinity are energies or modes, not Persons: God the Father appears on earth as Son; hence it seemed to their opponents that Monarchians made the Father suffer and die. In the West they were called Patripassians, whereas in the East they are usually called Sabellians.

“Monarchians”, * The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X*

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10448a.htm

Which leads to a question. Oneness Penecostals receive a “Jesus only” baptism, i.e. they are not baptized was not in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Since the form of their baptism is invalid, are Oneness Pentecostals even Christians?

Would a Oneness Pentecostal that has received the “Jesus only “ baptism that wished to join the Catholic Church be a catechumen or a candidate? I know that the church has ruled that LDS converts must receive the Sacrament of Baptism to become Catholics. Has the church ever spoken about the “Jesus only” baptism of the UPC?
 
From what I have read The Catholic Church does not accept the oneness baptism as valid since it is not a trinitarian baptism
 
peterforjc, I was Oneness Apostolic fo about 8 years and I am currently married to a Oneness Apostolic. Are you a convert from the movement?

There is not much on the net that is Catholic and specifically addressed to them. Although, that is going to change here soon. My friend and I who are both in St Louis (UPCI headquarters) are in dialog with many here in St Louis at the Urshan Graduate School of Theology. This is their first graduate school. They are trying to get into the academic world. Well, once we gather more information and arguments from their scholars then we will begin publishing material that will show how their Church is in error. This will be done on an academic level from a Catholic vantange point.

There are many Oneness Apostolics that frequent chat rooms and discussion boards but generally they nor their argumentation represnt the “learned” group. Although, there is one site that does do this. It is at www.onenesspentecostal.com. The main person that runs this site is Jason Dulle. We have been in dialog form some time.

If you want to know anythihng about them or have any questions I can answer them for you being that I was in the movement for so long as a teacher and a preacher. I also went to their non accredited Bible College for two years then realized that if I wanted to do anything with my education I would have to go somewhere that was accredited. So I went to a different College and had to start all over. Oh well!
 
CatholicBerean

From a Catholic POV, are Oneness Pentecostals considered to be Christians? Or are they all still pre-Christians since their Sacrament of Baptism is invalid?

Do the members of the UPC the same status as other non-Christians Protestants such as Unitarians, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons?
 
Just reading through the NT, it seems pretty clear to me that the Father and Son are two persons. The Spirit can also be seen as a seperate agent (remember Christ said that the Father would send ANOTHER, when speaking of the Spirit—Jn 14:15-17). In the Greek, I have been told, the word here translated as ‘another’ means something akin to ‘another of the same kind’.
How is it that the Father laid our sins on His Son if they are the same person? How can Christ be our intercessor and mediator b/w Man and Himself? How can the Spirit intercede for us when He is also the same person? (Rom 8:26)? How did the Father glorify Christ if they are the same person? How is it that the Father is greater than Christ if they are the same person (of course they are equal in nature, but they weren’t in position when Christ came—Jn 14:28).
The list goes on and on. I don’t know of any Catholic studies of the Trinity as comprehensive of this, so I’ll post this. It looks at both the Old and New Testaments and provides hundreds of verses support the Trinity. WARNING: This is an Evangelical site, I am in no way guarenteeing the accuracy of all doctrine on this website.christian-thinktank.com/trin01.html

Just read Hebrews 1. This passage alone seems to make it clear that the Father and Son are distinct persons, in my view.
 
Matt16_18 said:
CatholicBerean

From a Catholic POV, are Oneness Pentecostals considered to be Christians? Or are they all still pre-Christians since their Sacrament of Baptism is invalid?

Do the members of the UPC the same status as other non-Christians Protestants such as Unitarians, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons?

The First Council of Constantinople
  1. Those who embrace orthodoxy and join the number of those who are being saved from the heretics, we receive in the following regular and customary manner: Arians, Macedonians, Sabbatians, Novatians, those who call themselves Cathars and Aristae, Quartodeciman or Tetradites, Apollinarians-these we receive when they hand in statements and anathematise every heresy which is not of the same mind as the holy, catholic and apostolic church of God. They are first sealed or anointed with holy chrism on the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth and ears. As we seal them we say: “Seal of the gift of the holy Spirit”. But Eunomians, who are baptised in a single immersion, Montanists (called Phrygians here),** Sabellians, **who teach the identity of Father and Son and make certain other difficulties, and all other sects – since there are many here, not least those who originate in the country of the Galatians – we receive all who wish to leave them and embrace orthodoxy as we do Greeks. On the first day we make Christians of them, on the second catechumens, on the third we exorcise them by breathing three times into their faces and their ears, and thus we catechise them and make them spend time in the church and listen to the scriptures; and then we baptise them.
 
CatholicBerean

IOW, Oneness Pentecostals aren’t Christians since they are modern day equivalent of the Sabellians.
 
Matt16_18 said:
CatholicBerean

IOW, Oneness Pentecostals aren’t Christians since they are modern day equivalent of the Sabellians.

It is not the case that the are modern day Sabellians in their soteriology but it is the case that they deny the persons of God and use Sabelllian rationale in their argumentation concerning who God is.
 
… it is the case that they deny the persons of God and use Sabelllian rationale in their argumentation concerning who God is

Which would mean that the Catholic Church would deny that the Oneness Pentecostals are Christians for the same reason that they denied that the Sabellians were Christians.

BTW, thanks for the information that you posted from the First Council of Constantinople, it was a great answer to my question. 👍
 
Matt16_18 said:
… it is the case that they deny the persons of God and use Sabelllian rationale in their argumentation concerning who God is

Which would mean that the Catholic Church would deny that the Oneness Pentecostals are Christians for the same reason that they denied that the Sabellians were Christians.

That does seem to follow.

BTW, thanks for the information that you posted from the First Council of Constantinople, it was a great answer to my question. 👍
Anytime!
 
I have a question regarding baptism. According to at least some history sources(http://ebiblestudies.com/BibleStudi...ripture_and_History.htm#The Historical Record) the church originally baptized in the name of Jesus only, and was latter changed to the Trinitarian formula. Are these accounts of history wrong, or is the mode of baptism not an infallible doctrine? Also, I was reading the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The Acts of the Apostles, and came across these footnotes, which went well with the question I had regarding baptism:
Code:
"**10:43 through his name:** Forgiveness comes through the invocation of Christ's name in Baptism (2:38; 10:38; 22:16)." pg 35.

"**22:16 be baptized:** Baptism signifies on the body what it accomplishes in the soul - the washing away of human sin. The visible water is coupled with the audible word of the minister, who calls upon the saving name of Christ (2:38; Eph. 5:26)." pg 55.

If the above is true, why is the name of Christ no longer invoked or called on in baptism? If baptism in the name of Jesus was practiced early on, why was it changed? And, if it was valid early on (I've read somewhere that Pope Stephen said it was) then why is it not valid now?
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
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