Today I came across a video by Mark Driscoll talking about oneness Pentecostals. A viewer emailed him saying that they were attending a Pentecostal church that teaches the oneness doctrine (God is one who manifests himself as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) and wanted some insight on this teaching verses the doctrine of the trinity.
I would like to share my thoughts on his video which you can find on his youtube channel.
The title of this video is “Should They Leave Their Church Because It Denies The Trinity?” Mr. Driscoll goes into explanation on why Coral (the viewer with the question) should leave the Pentecostal church, believing that this is a “closed handed issue” that should not go ignored. He explains that he believes that there are Jesus loving Pentecostals, but that they are in error of scripture. As a oneness Pentecostal we also believe the same about those who believe in the trinity. In fact we would agree with Mr. Driscoll that the identity of God is very important. My problem here is not that Mr. Driscoll and the oneness believers disagree on the identity of God, but that Coral simply asked for insight, and Mr. Driscoll goes on to immediately explain the reasons the viewer should leave the church and then proceeds to title the video in the same manner.
I would also note that the United Pentecostal Church is not a denomination. It is instead a fellowship of ministers.
The Trinity vs One God
To quote Mr. Driscoll on his definition of the trinity he says “one God in three persons, eternally, and simultaneously existing. Father, Son, and Spirit. Sharing all the divine attributes and living in perfect harmony as the first loving community.”
Mr. Driscoll explains the doctrine of the trinity is three things.
- God is three persons.
- Each person is fully and equally God.
- There is only one God.
He even goes on to give the explanation that I have heard often from trinitarians, which is that our minds cannot comprehend the trinity. I concur with this statement because you will not find anyone in the Bible that believed in a trinity. Let’s compare the doctrine of the trinity with the doctrine of One God (Pentecostals).
- There is only one God.
- God has revealed himself as the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Ghost in regeneration.
- Inside of Christ Jesus dwelled the fullness of the Godhead. (Colossians 2:9)
I have spoken with several friends who are trinitarians who have said that they do not like the term “persons” because it sounds like they believe in three gods. However we can see throughout scripture how God has manifested himself to humanity in different ways.
Mr. Driscoll uses Matthew 28:19 as a point of reference to defend the trinity. I would like everyone reading this blog post to carefully read this scripture and notice a word that I have bolded.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” KJV
Jesus instruction is to baptize in the name. I would challenge Mr. Driscoll to answer the question of “what is the name?” Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not names. In fact Father and Son are both titles. So where can we go to find out the name? I say that we go to scripture.
The apostle Peter was standing there when Jesus spoke this commandment to the other disciples. After Jesus ascends into heaven we see the apostles in action in the Book of Acts. So with that, what did Peter command concerning baptism?
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38
So, we see here that the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is Jesus.
But I Thought Jesus Was Only The Son
Maybe you’re saying this to yourself right now, “but I thought Jesus was only the Son of God?” Yes, Jesus is the Son of God, however he is not “just the Son of God.” I want to share with you the fidget spinner looking diagram that a lot of trinitarians use to teach their doctrine. Let’s take a look at it.
Notice something important in this confusing teaching. The Father is not The Son and The Son is not The Father. However this is not scriptural. Let me take you back to one of our favorite Christmas scriptures. Isaiah 9:6 describes the future birth of Christ as this.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” KJV
We see here and in countless other scriptures in the Bible that Jesus is the one true God. I would contend that this is what makes the Gospel so powerful. That God took on flesh (John 1:1 & 14) as the man Christ Jesus and died for our sins. And the same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave can live in you (Acts 2:38-39). God was the one who paid the price, he didn’t force his “son” to do it. Glory to the one true God!
In conclusion I would encourage Coral or anyone else reading this post to not fall into the trap of believing that the oneness of God is false teaching. It is the foundation of Judaism and the first church (Duet. 6:4). I would also encourage the reader to find a good oneness Pentecostal church in your area.
If you’re interested in learning more about the beliefs of the UPCI please visit https://www.upci.org/about/our-beliefs.
His in Christ,