Trinity and Oneness Theologies

ColleenOlson

New Member
I've recently transitioned out of a Pentecostal church, as they embraced NAR and Prosperity teachings. We have found a wonderful church where the full gospel, repentance, end times, etc are all taught and preached about passionately. There is NO Bethel teaching or Hillsong music, which I struggled greatly to find a Church locally that did NOT support these 2 giant Churches. I'm personally struggling because as I've been researching it appears the denomination as a whole, believes in Oneness. I was brought up Assemblies and learned of the Trinity at a very young age. Maybe it's my "ignorance" and lack of deeper research, but I can't seem to really see the difference in the 2 thoughts. I believe there is ONE God. I believe Jesus was God, the right arm of the Lord, I believe the Holy Spirit is moving and on Earth, our Great Comforter. Both leaders at both Churches would say the same thing.

I guess, I was bothered to my core, when I was told I was believing a lie. I have no idea what "lie" I'm believing. As, I stated before my beliefs. Our children are taught about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Is anyone able to scripturally clarify why Oneness is so "wrong" versus the Trinity? I really feel a weight on my heart and I'm asking God to reveal answers to me. I'm reading away in my Bible and remembered I as apart of this forum, which I have always found sound thoughts here. Thank you for any input.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Colleen. Welcome to RF. I don't have time to write my own answer at this moment. But a very simple answer to your questions can be found at the website of the Got Questions ministr4y: https://www.gotquestions.org/oneness-Jesus-only.html . That ministry also has a very good article explaining why the concept of the Trinity is correct: https://www.gotquestions.org/Trinity-Bible.html .

You may find some people who will tell you that the difference between Oneness and Trinitarian beliefs (ie: is God one person manifesting Himself in three different modes at times or is He one God containing three co-equal persons) is merely a question of semantics. This is not true. It is a fundamental issue that relates to whether a person is saved or not. In fact, you cannot separate your view of Jesus Christ from your view of the Trinity.

If you deny the Trinity, then you deny the Christ of the Bible. After all, the Christ of the Bible says He was sent by the Father and that He would send the Holy Spirit. Was He lying? Well, clearly the answer to that question has to be no. Therefore, if He was not lying, He was declaring the triune nature of God: that is to say that He was revealing God is a Trinity.

It has been said that the doctrine of the Trinity is the distinctive feature of the Christian revelation of the nature of the true God. I would agree with this. To disagree (as do the Oneness people) is to take sides with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Muslims, all of whom state emphatically that God is only one person.

I pray this helps.
 

Maranatha!

Member
Hi Colleen. Welcome to RF. I don't have time to write my own answer at this moment. But a very simple answer to your questions can be found at the website of the Got Questions ministr4y: https://www.gotquestions.org/oneness-Jesus-only.html . That ministry also has a very good article explaining why the concept of the Trinity is correct: https://www.gotquestions.org/Trinity-Bible.html .

You may find some people who will tell you that the difference between Oneness and Trinitarian beliefs (ie: is God one person manifesting Himself in three different modes at times or is He one God containing three co-equal persons) is merely a question of semantics. This is not true. It is a fundamental issue that relates to whether a person is saved or not. In fact, you cannot separate your view of Jesus Christ from your view of the Trinity.

If you deny the Trinity, then you deny the Christ of the Bible. After all, the Christ of the Bible says He was sent by the Father and that He would send the Holy Spirit. Was He lying? Well, clearly the answer to that question has to be no. Therefore, if He was not lying, He was declaring the triune nature of God: that is to say that He was revealing God is a Trinity.

It has been said that the doctrine of the Trinity is the distinctive feature of the Christian revelation of the nature of the true God. I would agree with this. To disagree (as do the Oneness people) is to take sides with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Muslims, all of whom state emphatically that God is only one person.

I pray this helps.
MattFiveFour
You believe this is really a salvation issue?????
 

ColleenOlson

New Member
Well, the feeling of shaky ground definitely describes me today. Thank you for the links, I will print them and take the time to read them.
 

Goodboy

Well-Known Member
MattFiveFour
You believe this is really a salvation issue?????
It is clear that we are saved by trusting what Jesus did correct? There is also no other name that can save us correct?

If you believe there is no difference between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then it does not matter which of God's names you give the credit of salvation to. So just as the JW's trust in the name Jehovah, it should not matter which of God's names you trust in if they are all the same specific person.

Oh but it does matter!!!
"Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
 

ColleenOlson

New Member
Sorry, I'm just trying to clarify your thought process. Are you saying that Oneness theology would be "more" accurate than, since we are ONLY saved by the Name of Jesus? (Acts 4:12)

It is clear that we are saved by trusting what Jesus did correct? There is also no other name that can save us correct?

If you believe there is no difference between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then it does not matter which of God's names you give the credit of salvation to. So just as the JW's trust in the name Jehovah, it should not matter which of God's names you trust in if they are all the same specific person.

Oh but it does matter!!!
"Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
 

Batfan7

Well-Known Member
Eh, I have to disagree with the idea of this being a salvation issue. If someone believes the Oneness stuff (even though it's wrong), but believes God-in-the-person-of-Jesus died on the cross for our sins, that is all that's necessary for salvation. It doesn't require a "full understanding of God". Salvation is faith alone in the work of Jesus, but to claim a person must then add on top of that understanding of the Divine nature... How many people can honestly claim to know that? And what about people who don't have the mental ability to comprehend a Trinity? Are they excluded from salvation?
 

Goodboy

Well-Known Member
Eh, I have to disagree with the idea of this being a salvation issue. If someone believes the Oneness stuff (even though it's wrong), but believes God-in-the-person-of-Jesus died on the cross for our sins, that is all that's necessary for salvation. It doesn't require a "full understanding of God". Salvation is faith alone in the work of Jesus, but to claim a person must then add on top of that understanding of the Divine nature... How many people can honestly claim to know that? And what about people who don't have the mental ability to comprehend a Trinity? Are they excluded from salvation?
I cannot say whether a person who does not believe in the Trinity can be saved or not. However, not believing in the Trinity can be a slippery slope. If there is absolutely no difference between God and Jesus, someone might think that they can get saved through Jehovah's name.
 

Jan51

Well-Known Member
If God is not three persons, but only one, then when Christ was on earth, there was no God/Father in heaven, even though Jesus often spoke to the Father while He was on earth. That would make Him a liar or as C.S. Lewis said, someone on the level of a poached egg. Nor could Jesus be sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. If there is only one person, then either God is not currently in heaven, or we do not have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. To believe in "oneness" is not to believe in the God of the Bible, which would seem to be a salvation issue.
 

Sowen

Well-Known Member
Trinity: God is the Father, the Son (Jesus), the Holy Spirit
Oneness: Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son, Jesus is the Holy Spirit
Difference: Although Jesus is indeed God, Jesus is not the Father, and Jesus is not the Holy Spirit. We can know this because Jesus distinguishes Himself from the Father many times in Scripture especially when Jesus spoke directly to the Father in prayer.

Also, at Jesus' baptism, the Father speaks from Heaven to testify that Jesus is His Son. Jesus' baptism is also an occasion where we see that the Holy Spirit is not the Father and not Jesus because the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and alighted on Jesus.


Trinity: God is always and simultaneously the Father, the Son (Jesus), the Holy Spirit
Oneness: God is sometimes the Father, sometimes the Son, sometimes the Holy Spirit
Difference: The Trinity states that God is the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit all at the same time. This differs from Oneness because Oneness states that God is only one of the three at any given moment.

For example, Oneness believes that when God is the Father then God is not the Son nor the Holy Spirit. This is not Biblical because God is always the Father, always the Son, and always the Holy Spirit all at the same time. There is never a moment when God isn't simultaneously all three.


Why Understanding the Trinity Matters
Knowing the distinction and unity between the persons of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) is crucial because merging or conflating any of the three leads to confusion and more unbiblical doctrines such as those held by Oneness, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. That's why it can affect whether you're saved.

For example, there's an erroneous belief that Jesus is a god (notice the little "g"). This belief doesn't deny Jesus is divine (a god), but it's blasphemous because Jesus is not "a" god, but Jesus is none other than God Himself. So, while they don't deny that Jesus is a deity (god) in the flesh, they are in severe error because such a belief denies that Jesus is the one and only true God; it relegates Jesus to something lesser than God, so anyone who believes in this so-called "god" Jesus is not saved because the Jesus they believe in is not the second person of the Trinity but some other false god with a Jesus sticker slapped on it.

There are a ton of false beliefs that spawn from a misunderstanding or flat out denial of the Trinity; this is just one. The links mattfivefour provided are great because they provide good summaries of the topics and provide leads that set you on the right path for further research.


Edited to add: these are just general Oneness beliefs. Their beliefs vary, but they're all in error because their views on the Trinity are wrong.
 
Last edited:

antitox

Well-Known Member
He is 3, yet he is One. It's probably the most complex thing for man to attempt to understand. This is a quote from Hal Lindsey when he made mention of the issue - this is from the Hebrew of Gospel of John 1:

"In the beginning, there always was the Word, and the Word always was face to face with God, and the Word always was as to His person, God."
 
Top