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In addition Oneness Pentecostalist churches emphasize overly strict 'holiness standards' in dress, grooming and other areas of personal conduct. Oneness Pentecostalists insist that Christians should be re-baptized 'in the name of Jesus only'
One of the largest denominations within Oneness Pentecostalism is the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI)
In his book Charts of Cults, Sects, and Religious Movements, H. Wayne House says "United Pentecostals call their theology 'Oneness,' because they believe a plurality of persons does not exist within God's nature. In other words, God exists only as one 'person.'" He then explains:
This is an ancient heresy known by a number of different names, including Modalism, Monarchianism, and especially Sabellianism -- after Sabellius, a third-century teacher whoc prominently championed this doctrinal position.
The orthodox position is that the God of the Bible exists as three distinct persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- who are one essence or being sharing all attributes of deity including eternality, infinitude, uncreated spirituality, ominscience, omnipresences, and omnipotenence.
The doctrine of the Trinity is derived from Scriptures that clearly show different entities (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) that are all ascribed all of the characteristics of both individual personhood (intellect, emotions, and will) and a divine nature.
- Source: H.Wayne House, Charts of Cults, Sects, and Religious Movements, ZondervanPublishingHouse, Grand Rapids, MI, 2000, Page 242.
My purpose here is to expose the unbiblical "gospel according to Oneness Pentecostalism," and to present the "gospel according to the Bible." The primary reason I label this movement a cult is their gross perversion of the Bible's message of salvation; secondary reasons would include their unbiblical view of the Godhead, legalism, hyper-experientialism and spiritual elitism. their unbiblical view of the Godhead, legalism, hyper-experientialism and spiritual elitism.
Understand the monumental task of the Oneness apologist: he must overturn our common sense intuition that when the Bible speaks of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit the Bible is in fact speaking of three persons rather than one. That is to say, on the face of it, it would appear that a plain reading of the text clearly presents three distinct persons, since we have numerous verses that indicate communication and relationship between persons, such as when Jesus prayed to his Father and the Holy Spirit descended upon him. In other words, since the common sense plain reading of the text indicates three distinct persons, the burden of proof is without a doubt on the Oneness person to show the common sense plain reading is false. The Trinitarian does not have the burden of proof.
All books but the summary volume, Truth and Error, contain five sections:
- A concise introduction to the group being surveyed
- An overview of the group's theology --- in its own words
- Tips for witnessing effectively to members of the group
- A bibliography with sources for further study
- A comparison chart that shows the essential differences between biblical Christianity and the group
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