*While doing some reading on-line I noticed a post from Dr. James White regarding the controversy surrounding Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has refused to issue gay “marriage” licenses. And, since White mentioned me specifically, I decided to respond.
*Below I have copied White’s typical misrepresentations of Oneness believers (even though he’s been repeatedly informed otherwise) in red with my categorical responses in blue (as here) immediately following. For corroboration of White’s post, see HERE. Enjoy!
Just a few hours ago, though, I read a tweet, replete with links, showing that Kim Davis attends an Apostolic (Oneness) church—i.e., a non-Trinitarian church—no, more specifically, an anti-Trinitarian church. OK, well, nothing like throwing a curve ball at the situation. I made very brief mention of this (not really commenting at all) on Twitter, and it has exploded with a number of, well, odd-ball comments (again showing that those who follow me on Twitter are an, uh, eclectic group).
In any case, many have asked, “So what?” Well, good question. Constitutionally it doesn’t mean a thing, obviously. It doesn’t really impact the issue of whether the local magistrate should support and engage in promoting a clearly unjust, absurd and in fact evil governmental policy (the SC decision isn’t a law—it just absurdly says the Constitution does not allow all the laws that currently exist).
What it does impact is how we relate to Kim Davis herself. And for a large number of folks—the majority of evangelicals I would assume—it really doesn’t matter. I mean, if she was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, yeah, that might matter. A Mormon? Well, maybe a bit less, but still problematic for many. But a Oneness Pentecostal?
*Here White poisons the well as he seeks to link Oneness Pentecostal believers with clearly aberrant groups such as JW’s (who openly deny that Jesus Christ is the supreme God) and Mormons (who openly confess Polytheism).
*Ironically, Oneness believers could just as easily link Trinitarianism with these groups inasmuch as, along with JW’s, Trinitarians deny Jesus Christ as the single-supreme God of the Bible contra I John 5.20, Colossians 2.8-10, John 14.8-10, etc.
*And, along with Mormonism, Trinitarians equally confess more than one identified as “God.” In fact, in our debate in Australia Dr. White openly “affirmed” multiple “separate centers of consciousness within God” – the very definition of Polytheism (see the cross-exam portion of this debate).
*There are also other clear similarities between Mormonism and Trinitarianism that we could point to. Hence, Oneness believers can just as easily make these same links, which does nothing at all to foster mutual understanding between opposing camps.
Well, as I mentioned to Michael Michael L Brown on the DL last week, I think the majority of people attending “evangelical” churches in the US would test “modalist” on any meaningful test of their knowledge of the Trinity.
*First, Oneness believers are not “Modalists” and Trinitarians have been told this ad nauseum. The ancient Modalists confessed three sequential “modes” of God’s existence. That is, ancient “modalists” believed that the Father became the Son of God while He ceased being the Father. The Son of God then became the Holy Spirit while He ceased being the Son of God.
*Modern Oneness believers do not accept this theological error. Oneness believers confess three simultaneous and distinct manifestations of the one-single God’s existence (e.g., I Timothy 3.16, John 1.1-14)…big difference. Again, Trinitarians like White have been told this repeatedly, yet they continue to openly misrepresent our beliefs (i.e., straw-man attack).
*Further, if “the majority of people” attending Trinitarian churches have a Oneness understanding of God, then apparently Dr. White views the “majority of people” sitting on Trinitarian churches as lost (?)! And, isn’t it strange that “the majority of people” reading the Scriptures would all independently conclude the Oneness identity of God? Why? Obviously this an indirect concession that the Oneness position is the natural deduction of the straight-forward reading of the Bible by “the majority of the people” (and only serves to advance the Oneness posture).
Since that is the case, why should they think Davis’ Oneness position would be relevant, when they don’t think the matter is worthy of enough attention for their own personal orthodoxy? If most people who call themselves Christians are so lacadaisical as to spend more time mastering the complicated instructions for the most recent first person shooter video game than to come to understand the hypostatic union and the relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, why should they care if Kim Davis goes to a church that takes a minority view on the same topics?
*Here White seeks to pit the Oneness position as an outer-fringe belief-system, when the reality is there are millions and millions of Oneness believers worldwide (see Dr. Talmadge French’s voluminous work, “Our God is One” found HERE).
*In fact, above White concedes that “the majority” of Trinitarians have a Oneness understanding of the Godhead…not such a “minority view” now is it? Apparently White has never read that “few” would “find” true biblical salvation (Matthew 7.14). Not to mention how such logic commits the Argumentum Ad Populum (formal logical) Fallacy – something I would think that an experienced, professional apologist would know better than to practice (?).
Well, I get all that, to be sure. And if we dare say, “Hmm, well, this surely impacts how we should pray for this woman, since her foundation for doing what she is doing is seriously flawed,” we will get BLASTED by many who will find us “doctrinaire” and “narrow” and “unloving” and fill-in-the-blank.
*Ironically, it is White’s quirky notion of a God who supposedly exists as, “three divine individuals, each with their own separate center of consciousness apart from the other two divine individuals” (White’s own confession during our debate) that is “seriously flawed” – to put it mildly.
But the reality is that modalism has never produced an orthodox representation of the gospel—not in the early church, and not today. It can’t, since the gospel is inherently Trinitarian to its core.
*Again, Oneness believers are not “Modalists” in the sense that White erroneously charges. Further, Oneness believers openly and gladly renounce White’s supposed “orthodox representation of the gospel” found within his clearly Tritheistic confession of “multiple-eternal-divine-centers-of-consciousness” canard. If such a theological construct be considered “orthodox,” then sign us Oneness believers up as “unorthodox!”
*Moreover, the “Gospel” is biblically defined as the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God enfleshed (i.e., I Corinthians 15), with absolutely nothing ever stated in Scripture regarding “inherent Trinitarian(ism).” This is purely White’s anti-biblical religious tradition found nowhere in the inspired writings of Scripture. The “Gospel” message is that God loved humanity so much that He Himself became a Man for the redemption of a lost humanity (not just “the elect”).
*Contrary to the biblical message of the Gospel, Trinitarianism teaches that the supposed “first divine individual” in the Godhead loved humanity so much that He ordered the supposed “second divine individual” to be beat, spit upon, openly humiliated and ultimately crucified…while He remained in the bliss of Heaven.
*At this point Trinitarians appeal to the supposed “volunteering” of the Son of God in the “Eternal Covenant of Redemption” – again, both of which are entirely anti-biblical traditions. Indeed, I find it amusing how White is constantly chiding the RCC for their unbiblical “traditions,” when he and the supposed “Reform” movement have just as many unbiblical religious “traditions” as the Pope (e.g., “T.U.L.I.P.”)!
You can’t talk about the Son interceding for His people, for example, in any meaningful fashion when the Son is merely the human nature that came into being at Bethlehem. There are other issues (see my debates on line with Dr. Sabin and with Roger Perkins for details) as well.
*First, Oneness believers do not confess that the Son of God is merely the “human nature” of Christ that “came into being at Bethlehem.” However, if White includes the humanity of Christ in the Sonship, then White equally believes that there’s a sense in which God’s Son “came into being at Bethlehem.” That is, unless White wishes to join hands with some of the cult-groups he mentions above by affirming that Christ was a “pre-existent man?”
*Contrary to White’s charge, Oneness believers accept the biblical identification of the Son of God as the one-single God of the OT incarnate (Matthew 1.23, I Timothy 3.16, John 1.1-14) – but He is absolutely not the “second of three eternal divine individuals in the Trinity.” Jesus Christ is the one YHVH of the Bible enfleshed – period.
*Further, nor can White speak of biblical monotheism “in any meaningful fashion” if “God the Son” is so radically separated from “God the Father” that each divine person can pray to one another in Heaven, which, obviously, would connote bodily separation within the Godhead – contrary to Colossians 2.9 (and a whole passel of other Scriptures).
*Yes, by all means, please see my debate with Dr. White on my “Debates” tab above and listen to him unashamedly tell the world that he worships a God who exists with multiple, “separate centers of consciousness.” And, yes, there are indeed “other (soteriological) issues” that Oneness believers would reject as anti-biblical within Trinitarianism, and we stand ready to provide a biblical defense of these doctrines.
*I have received innumerable contacts from all over the world regarding the debate with White and, by God’s grace, even led some out of Trinitarianism into biblical Christianity. To God the Glory!
I am still uncertain about the proper way of juggling all the issues we are facing in this matter. I am uncomfortable with some of the simplistic cheer-leading approaches I have seen thus far. But surely this information regarding her understanding of the gospel and the Godhead (or lack thereof) is important to any Christian analysis of the developing situation.
*As we have seen above, it is White’s fanciful notion of a God who has supposedly eternally existed with multiple, independent minds – that not one Bible writer was inspired by the Holy Spirit to mention – that constitutes the “lack of (biblical) understanding.”
*White is fond of labeling Oneness believers as “heretics” (he thinks this keeps him in the “stream of the Reformation”), and yet the overwhelmingly vast majority of Trinitarians I have spoken with adamantly disagree with his “separate-divine-centers-of-consciousness” heterodoxy (of course, always masquerading as “orthodoxy”). Thus, ironically, White’s own confession has placed him outside of the majority of his fellow Trinitarians.
*Though we Oneness believers certainly do not glory in this – it is White and the supposed “Reform” movement that represent the abandonment of biblical Christianity (i.e., Heresy). However, we will continue sincerely praying that God would deliver the Trinitarian world from their religious traditions into biblical salvation via Acts 2.38-Mark 12.29, etc.
*Indeed, the lack of understanding clearly does not stem from Oneness believers who affirm that the God who identified Himself with no less than 9,000 single-person-pronouns can be taken at His word.
*Moreover, we will continue to evangelize the Trinitarian community out of this theological error that so openly militates against the biblical presentation of God’s identity and status. Simply put, God is – and will always be – unequivocally-uncompromisingly One (Galatians 3.20, The Amplified Bible).
(By the way, Dan Phillips tweeted relevant links regarding Kim Davis’ church: http://tl.gd/n_1snd3cq)
*There were no theological assertions to be addressed in Phillips’ links.
*Thank you for reading ~ God Bless!