Monday, January 30, 2012

Oneness Pentecostalism, and How "Evil" Isn't Always Obvious

Posted by Christine Pack and Cathy Mathews (with thanks to Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries)

In light of the uproar over the acceptance of Oneness Modalist T.D. Jakes as a keynote speaker during the Elephant Room's recent gathering, we're posting the videos below which feature a debate held in 1985 between Christian apologetics writer Dr. Walter Martin and Oneness Pentecostal pastor Nathaniel Urshan and Robert Sabin. We would like to also point out the curious fact that, in our experience, many of our fellow Christians don't seem to understand that they can be deceived, and that in fact, the Bible gives warning after warning after warning to Christians to take care that they are not deceived. And that's perhaps one of the most peculiar characteristics of doesn't feel like deception. Well, isn't that kind of the whole point of deception? It's not called "Parading In Waving A Flag Stating Its Evil Intent," now is it?

For the record. Deception, by its nature, is designed to confuse, to trick, to ensnare, though in its outward appearance it will often appear beguiling. And when deception happens, let's be discerning enough to recognize that it's not going to be like in the movies: Green smoke won't start oozing under the door and spooky music won't start playing. Heretics will typically not be foaming at the mouth, hostile and half- crazy, charging in and demanding that everyone immediately renounce Christianity. In fact, heretics will often be gentlemanly, likable chaps, and will quote plenty of Scripture, as evidenced in the videos below. You can witness this type of reasoning in the transcript of Session #7 of the Elephant Room 2, where James MacDonald discusses initially being concerned about Bill Hybels, Mark Driscoll, and Steven Furtick; but he explains that once he talks with them and realizes they are all swell, likable guys, all concern is gone. Apparently the same thing happened concerning T.D. Jakes. In our opinion, ER2 misnamed this particular breakout session "We Can Work It Out;" when instead (and still staying with the hip and culturally savvy Beatles motif) that session should have been rightfully named "All You Need Is Love." Does it not seem like the visible church has made the same decision, that "All you need is love"? That nobody can or should challenge doctrine? And that we should all, in the name of "love," rush pell mell into false unity with heretics?

Fellow Christians, please suit up in your spiritual armor, and please take to heart the many scriptural warnings against being deceived. Niceness is not our measure for truth, God's Word is. Whatever is claimed or taught in the name of God must always be held up to the actual Word of God, and studied in context. Let's remember that when Satan tempted Jesus in the desert, he did not make up, he quoted straight Scripture. Only, the Scripture was taken out of context.
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” (Satan, quoting from Psalm 91:11,12)
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:5-7)

(NOTE: The videos above are only 4 segments of a 27 part series. The rest of the series can be found on YouTube.)

 Additional Resources 

Interview With A Former Oneness Pastor

Carl Trueman and the Elephant Room

A Measured Response to Bryan Crawford Loritts' Request for the Reformed Community to “Repent” of their Criticism of T.D. Jakes

File This One Under "Oh, The Irony...."

Talk Show Host Chris Rosebrough Threatened With Arrest At The Elephant Room II

Elephant Room Security on Lookout For Dangerous Persons

Elephant Room II: May We Now Regard T.D. Jakes As Trinitarian and Orthodox?

Hypocrisy Reaches New Heights in The Elephant Room

Threatened With Arrest At The Elephant Room II - Chris Rosebrough's Article

Elephant Room 2 Features Trinity Denier T.D. Jakes As A Keynote Speaker

The Doctrine of the Trinity

Running Scared: Why Is The Elephant Room Afraid of Scrutiny

Even Better Than The Race Card

James MacDonald Resigns From The Gospel Coalition

A Church Breaks With James MacDonald's Harvest Bible Fellowship

A Review of T.D. Jakes Code Orange Sermon

Code Orange: Revival or Deception?

Why Is Oneness Pentecostalism Heresy?

James MacDonald Digs Deeper Hole For the Elephant Room

T.D. Jakes' Modalism is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

James MacDonald, T.D. Jakes and Postmodern Obfuscation

Oneness-Pentecostals vs. Christians

Is Nicene Christianity That Important? An historical-ecumenical note