Contextualization, World Christians, and Heresy

Contextualization, World Christians, and Heresy

        It is a fact that Christianity is all over the globe and Christians are in every country. It is also true that Western Christians no longer make up the center of Christendom. There are Asian, African, Latin-American, and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters in Christ. Unfortunately, the state of Christianity in the West is full of liberalism and weak faith that has allowed the tolerance of rampant heresy. This same problem has carried over to churches around the world, most often through the new missiologists from the West who think the Bible is not sufficient to help the world. They believe the Bible alone is not sufficient for teaching about matters of faith; and they care more about gaining numbers who are simply “okay” with Jesus, rather than building up a strong quality of individual believers. This idea has helped promote the lack of theologically sound training that has carried over to many seminaries. Most of these liberals come up with unsound ideas they try to present as innovative evangelism techniques. They use these techniques to address issues within new people groups that the Church encounters around the world. This is based on a pragmatic desire to build an ecuminical “church.”

        It is important that biblically sound, systematic theology and apologetics are made known to various Christian ethnicites to provide answers to the questions that people from these cultural worldviews have. It is also necessary to be able to debunk the false claims of their false religion’s “sacred” texts. We cannot simply answer questions from our cultural point of view either and assume all Christians will think the same way or behave the same way on every issue. Non-Christian people that a missionary is evangelizing will also be thinking within their own cultural context. Culture is not a bad thing in itself, and every culture has things other cultures might not understand. It will take some cultural learning by missionaries, but every culture has its sinful issues that need to be dealt with. This does not mean that Christians should change the gospel message and manipulate it to fit a culture. Christianity should transcend individual cultures, and Christians worldwide need to unite together around the one true Faith. World Christians need to support each other over the main issues we believe about Jesus Christ, but at the same time avoid liberal ecumenicism and dangerous teachings. So many attacks on the Bible come and go. For example, in this new age, Gnosticism is coming back and influencing societies to question, and re-think what is authoritative. We can thank the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements for this attitude since they believe revelations can come outside of Scripture to individual believers and are able to make prophetic claims.

        Gnostic beliefs have invaded many of our churches. Not just Gnosictism, but in certain cultures the occult mystery religions are mixing with Christian religious practices and perverting the gospel of God’s grace. This is called syncretism because it unites paganism with Christian ideas. This creates a false Christianity that is just as dead as any form of solitary pagan religion. One way this heresy has invaded the Western churches is through what is called Contemplative Spirituality or Spiritual Formation. These 2 religious practices are nothing more than New Age mysticism spray painted over with Christian sounding words. It takes the sensual aspects of false religion from the East and presents it as true Christianity.

        Most of these problems are arising because of liberal missiologists who are spreading a false idea about Jesus Christ around the world with weak doctrines based on pragmatism, instead of relying on the hard biblical truths found in Scripture. Many missiologists are using what they call “contextualization” to allow for a postmodern idea of Christianity to form that will mix differently depending on individual cultures. Contexualists will claim the gospel in the Bible is not enough for a people group to read and understand, instead missionaries need to change it and find symbols and beliefs within a people group’s culture to adopt in place of the simple historical biblical writings. They do not think that just educating people on the history, archeology, cultural settings, and texts is going to help them understand Jesus. When contextualizing the gospel, the gospel will look completely different for each individual culture. They want Christianity to be multiple things, looking different within each culture. They want multi-colored sheep, but in reality are only creating multi-colored sheepskin for wolves to drape themselves with so they can parade as God’s chosen and please the masses of pragmatists and lead people astray.

The current consensus of missiologists says that there is no “same kind” of Christianity, or any one theology. There is now Asian theology, Latino theology, African theology, Pacific Islander theology etc. It can even be more concentrated for individual countries such as Chinese theology, Filipino theology, Iraqi theology, Ukranian theology and whatever country’s theology. Furthermore, it can go into sub-culture/communities: Punk Rock theology, Hip Hop theology, drum circle theology and anything else that is ridiculous theology. There is also a big disdain for Western culture and white people, which is used to attack biblical theology: what these liberals call Western theology. So they have created a new name for sound doctrine and labeled it “Western.” What is good for the West might not be good for the East is what they say.

Missiologists seem to be the types of people that consist mostly of professors and authors who sit inside their university office all day at some large Evangelical university, and are always thinking up new ridiculous ideas in order to be innovative and “relevant.” They write all kinds of books and ideas about “Christianity and culture” with a disdain for Christianity’s roots from the West. Not that Christianity originated in the West, it did not, it originated in the East in Israel. Yet, it was European Christians who heavily promoted the Faith throughout history after Christians became dispersed due to persecution. With Christianity allowed, and heavily promoted, in the vast Roman Empire, of course all of the evil corruptions from wolves in sheeps clothing came with it. Even the New Testament speaks of this. This is how the heretical church of Rome began in the first place! Through all of this, God had preserved a remnant of men that eventually “reformed” the Church during the Protestant Reformation over 500 years ago. This was after all kinds of persecutions. Later, more and more men of God have been able to establish biblical doctrines that the Bible teaches universally for all people, and God has used these men to preserve the Bible’s true teachings. From the West many missionaries went out and witnessed God’s loving grace all over the world and died for it! This is the sole reason why Christians in Asia, Latin-American, and the Pacific Islands exist today (no it is not because the Catholics conquered much of the world and set up churches in these regions; after the Reformation many evangelical Christians had to confront Catholicism and still face it today when promoting biblical faith to peoples worldwide). Most early missionaries were White and through them the worldwide church grew. With this history, God’s church all over the world has been able to produce non-White missionaries from non-Western countries who have also died for the faith and established many churches in new cultures; some cultures that  White Christians were never able to reach. So today, most of the Christians worldwide are not from European ancestry. This shows the diverse pleasure of God in bringing people to salvation from every culture.

Culture itself is not wrong, and to deny people of their own cultures by trying to conform different ethnic groups into the missionary’s home culture is wrong. But allowing sin within the ethnic group’s culture and not correcting it is an atrocity! As well as neglecting to correct bad theology! Another problem is to deny the historic roots of Christian faith and act as if it is not important for people to study such men as Martin Luther or John Calvin.

Why do these missiologists believe we should not focus on the founding fathers of the Reformation and what happened in Western Christianity when relating to other world cultures, when in fact Christianity would not have came to them if it was not for what happened in the history of Christianity in the West? To shun Western Christianity as “not for them” is only going to withhold the knowledge of God that has been revealed and studied intensely under these “White Christians.” Why do these missiologists believe that the only theology that is important is the theology that exists wherever the majority of Christians are in a region or even the entire world? A majority could still be wrong! The real agenda is to replace biblical Christianity with a postmodern outlook that does not have truth within itself. There is a real motive behind this error that is energized by Satan. It is very plausible that the false church that Satan has been trying to set up since the dawn of mankind existing on earth is being built up by such wolves in sheep’s clothing who parade as missiologists that want the Reformation of Christianity to be countered and directed back to Rome.

So many missiologists like Timothy C. Tennet make claims against liberalism, yet are actually promoting that very thing by camouflaging it with the term Christian Ecumenism. Whether or not most of these missiologists and church builders are promoting this knowingly, or they are deceived into it I do not know, but this “Christian Ecumenism” is only paving the way for more liberal ideas in the near future since they claim that there is no one way of doing theology. Saying there is no one way of doing theology is wrong.

I think it is great that so many people all over the world are becoming Christians and many new eyes are reading the Bible for the first time. Even if books like The Gospel of Judas are top sellers, it still does not outsell the Bible. It gives me encouragement to know this. While at the same time, I feel wary of the different types of theologies present in the world today. I think Christian belief should be narrow, exclusive, and identified boldly within the Bible, and also it should be careful of the heresies spreading around the world more than ever today. All theological ideas must match up with Scripture. Anything that contradicts it or is interpreted the wrong way is a false belief and we should not accept it. It is true that Gnostic beliefs seem to be popular today and our society is a society that wants to hear something new and is tired of hearing the “Old, old story.” This is why the Emergent Church was created which promotes most of these liberal authors, missiologists, and academics. This is very sad and Christians should keep standing up for the truth and the authority of the Bible (Sola Scriptura!). There is only one gospel that is true, and with it comes only one theology that is true. Christians should boldly oppose any road back to Rome as well as reject any kind of man-centered theology of sensual occult/mystic practices. Cultures must conform to the Bible, not the other way around.

Christians should not lose hope and must understand that all of the events in history are in God’s control. God is aware of these problems that the liberal missionaries have been causing. It will all be accounted for and God’s elect will not be lost. There are still many world Christians in enclaves around the world who are involved with different churches that are true to Scripture, and hold firmly to the faith found by all the saints in history, including the glorious historic path it traveled from in the West.

On page 272 of Timothy C. Tennet’s book, Theology in the Context of World Christianity, he claims, “After all, the theology that matters the most is wherever the most Christians are located.” This bothers me because it is an appeal to a majority. Just because a lot of people who claim to be Christians are in one area promoting a type of belief about God does not mean their theology is correct. A bunch of heretics could have taken over, and simply because there are more of them than true believers does not mean Christians should then start promoting their false doctrines, and help these heretics grow churches. This is a horrible outcome of sinful liberalism. Where this idea rang true is in the West where the Roman Catholic Church took over and started promoting heresy early on, while claiming it was true, and we all know what the bloody history of the RCC was. Because a majority at that time claimed Christ should we ignore the false doctrine that Catholicism teaches? No!

The Church still has to be careful to protect the integrity of Scriptures and understand that a majority does not matter. What the intention of the message the authors of the Bible were communicating is all that matters. A large group of people who claim Christ could be preaching heresies. With this theological outlook those heresies would be the theology that matters. This is irrational. Appealing to a majority is a logical fallacy. Christianity has never seen a majority in a society and always has been unpopular and offensive to those who are perishing. We do not aim to please man, but to be true to God.

Even with these issues, Christians should seriously think about the worldviews of other cultures and listen to them. Hopefully in the future many Christians will be able to write theological books about different religions and worldviews and come up with Biblical answers for those cultures. Different cultures will have different issues to deal with. I think it is a great idea for the people of those cultures to be the ones to write those types of books (that is if they are doctrinally sound believers). It will give more credibility to the answers for these cultural issues. Christians as a whole need to use intense spiritual discernment about any theological idea that comes around and be willing to reject any heresies or false doctrines that come from those beliefs. Contextualization has never been, and should never be, considered a theological word and is only a way to enforce postmodernism worldwide onto Christianity. This is meant to destroy what true missionaries of God built up in the past, many of them dying, for Christ’s kingdom. This is the way the Enemy, the Devil, is working in this postmodern age. We must declare war on these new tactics!

Why Modalism Is A Damnable Heresy

Why Modalism Is A Damnable Heresy

        In light of the recent T.D. Jakes controversy and Modalism I decided to write this article to better explain the problem with this heresy. Too many times Christians have no clue how to explain why Modalism is a damnable heresy because they do not understand its conclusions. Modalism is nothing new and pops in and out of the spotlight all of the time. In fact, while I lived in Eugene, Oregon my dad and other men from our Southern Baptist church battled with Modalists who were members of our church, but secretly involved in the United Pentecostal Church. The men were actually teaching sunday school for the youth group males, as well as trying to befriend many of the men of the church and influence them. They were trying to take over our church from the inside. This is the church I was baptized in when I was 15.

        One day I was taken on a trip with the main leader of these 3 Oneness Pentecostals who told my parents it would be good for me. His son came with us and we ended up going really far away, near the coast and meeting up with a large group of people to help build a church. We were installing drywall and helping pull wires through the ceiling. It so happened that the church was a United Pentecostal Church that I was helping do work for. He deceptively brought me on the trip to help his heretical church brothers fix up one of their church buildings. His deception was very strong as he accomplished the manipulation and brainwashing of 2 of our church men. The 2 men teamed up with him in order to attract more of the men so they would bring their families into their den of wolves. Heresy within an orthodox church has the tendency to become a zombie-like infestation that deadens the minds of men and puts them under the control of demonic influence.

        Another even worse issue was that the main leader of the 2 other heretics was having secret communion meetings behind the church outside on certain nights. He invited my parents to come once, and it was people who did not belong to our church, strangers they never saw before. They were having some kind of worship meeting and communion. They had set up a small tent covering in the back parking lot. At the time, my parents were new to the church so did not realize what was going on at that moment. Eventually, these wolves in sheep’s clothing were exposed and kicked out of the church, but not after many instense debates, arguments, and spiritual attacks.

       In various early church councils Modalistic beliefs were condemned as heresy. For example, Tertullian around 213 A.D. condemned it, and also in 262 A.D. this teaching was also later proclaimed as heresy by Dionysius, the Bishop of Rome. There were many other church councils that condemned it as heresy as well. So Modalism has never once been accepted as an orthodox belief in the Church. Even so,  too many people want to explain something as a heresy simply because a council said so, and with a biblical understanding of why it is heresy. Heresy makes salvation impossible so it is good to understand why it is so with Modalism, and why it is worthwhile to put fourth the spiritual energy to fight it and reject it outside of the Church just like my father and other men from our average sized church in Oregon did over a decade ago…

Introduction

        Modalism (also know as Sabellianism [named after Sabellius, the heretic priest from the 3rd century that promoted this heresy], Modalistic Monarchianism, Modal Monarchianism, Oneness, and Patrapassionism [which means the Father suffers in Latin]) is the belief that God is only one person and changes/shifts into different modes. This is a heresy that leads a person to Hell because any incorrect belief about the nature of God cancels out salvation by default. This default happens in different ways but always occurs. Modalism leads people to Hell just like any other heresy about God’s nature. Modalists deny the Trinity, and in most cases with extreme aggression. Unfortunately, many Christians have a hard time logically expressing why this belief is a damnable heresy. This heresy is an extremely strategically, deceptive heresy which tries to mask itself and blend in with Orthodoxy. It fools many evangelicals. Unlike other anti-Trinitarian beliefs that deny the deity of Christ, this heresy embraces the deity of their “Christ” hence why it is so deceptive (note: there is another less popular form of Modalism that denies Christ’s deity called Adoptionism, but is not the focus of this article). Modalists claim to love Jesus Christ and claim He is God, yet in reality Modalism denies Jesus Christ and is an antichrist religion. It is a very destructive belief and total blasphemy. Without a deep understanding of soteriology and the nature of God, Christians can be confused on how to explain why Modalism is heresy. This article will attempt to do so.

Who are Modalists?

Modalism has been a problem since the early Church and still continues to be a problem today. The main proponent of Modalism in modern times is the cult called the United Pentecostal Church (UPC). The televangelist, charlatan “Bishop” T.D. Jakes is affiliated with this group. Another cult that is almost as big as the UPC are the United Apostolic Churches (UAC). These groups are known as Oneness Pentecostals, and still, there are lesser known sects and individuals who promote a modalistic God. MacArthur (2007) states, “As these groups and their popular spokespersons have found increasing acceptance in the evangelical mainstream, modalism is suddenly being accepted as if it were a valid evangelical option” (p. 117). In some circumstances, people make the mistake of expressing God in a modalistic way to express the three Persons of God, such as using H2O as an example of three things being one which causes people to misunderstand the Trinity (i.e. water, ice, and vapor are different things but all three are still H2O, yet H2O is never all three at the same time). Some people mistakenly believe in a modalistic God out of ignorance of how to describe the Three Persons mentioned in the Bible. People try too hard to explain God and end up using human wisdom to describe God and are not satisfied with leaving the Triune nature of God as a mystery. True believers, who make such mistakes out of ignorance, eventually (and most of the time quickly), come to the realization that God truly exists in Three distinct persons who are not the same, yet comprise of ONE Eternal Being. This is why Christianity uses the term Trinity which means TRI-UNITY as in three-as-one. True Christians become satisfied with this mystery and accept it as just that, a mystery. No one can fully understand how God is, but Christians can know what God is because the Bible teaches it.

The type of people who come to understand that the biblical truth of God is the Trinity are people who care to know correct doctrines and want to love the true God and will seek out proper knowledge of the Bible. Sadly, most Modalists have absolutely no desire for seeking actual truth and want to force their opinions into the Bible because they have personal agendas. A truly innocently ignorant follower of a modalistic god will always repent within due time, without much division, strife, or aggression against Trinitarians. The others are simply heretics whom are inspired by Satan and will always fight a losing battle against the Trinity until they die and go to Hell. Unfortunately, the latter makes up the major portion of Modalists and always has. You can see the demonic minds of these reprobates expressed all over the internet, especially YouTube.

Modalism promotes a god that changes

Modalism contradicts what Christianity has historically accepted about the nature of God. True Christianity expresses God existing in three Persons that equal one Being. This belief is given the theological title of “Holy Trinity” to express this concept. Whereas, in Modalism God is expressed as existing in only one person that shifts into different modes and moves in different ways in different times throughout history. God “shape shifts” so to speak, from the Father at one time, changing into the Son another time, and also changing into the Holy Spirit at times. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit never exist at the same time in Modalism. The UPC and Apostolics call their god “Jesus” and they baptize their congregants strictly, only in that name. “Jesus Christ” is the proper name of God to them which covers the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Their “Jesus” god is all three: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but the modes are never shifted into at the same time. Their god is a changing god. This contradicts what the Bible teaches in Hebrews 13:8 which states firmly: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” What is annoying is that many of these Oneness followers illogically use this same verse to somehow promote the Trinity being false. It is a fact that their religion is not at all based on logic when exegeting the Bible. What Oneness/Modalism promotes essentially, is, that Almighty God being only one person, died on the cross. Logically, this would mean that the Father came down and died on the cross but just shape shifted into the Son. So there is no actual different person of God dying on the cross. It is the same person dying on the cross, the same person giving itself as a sacrifice, and the same person accepting itself back into heaven. Modalism claims another “Father” that schizophrenically changes his personality by shifting into different modes. How can anyone trust a God who changes so sporadically? How can we even be sure there are only three modes of God? There might be more. This is a critical mistake! Not to mention it makes absolutely no sense!

Oneness followers love to use isolated proof texts from the Bible or misrepresent a verse’s surrounding context, and also ignore related passages in the Bible. One of their favorite verses they will quote is Isaiah 9:6 which says,

For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Oneness heretics will claim that this proves that Jesus Christ is the Father and only shifted His mode into the Son. The Son did not exist until the Father turned into Him. This verse does call the child Eternal Father, but that is only stating a fact about His Godhood, that Jesus Christ is fully God and God is our Eternal Father. Not that Jesus Christ is actually God the Father. Related passages in the Bible about Jesus Christ and God the Father explain it so.

The concept of the Holy Trinity is all over the Bible. The actual beliefs of the Trinity are misrepresented by Modalists who claim it promotes three gods and not one. This is not true. The Trinity teaches that all 3 Persons are different from each other and not the same, yet they are all One and the same God. The Father is 100% fully God, the Son is 100% fully God, and the Holy Spirit is 100% fully God. But the Father is not the Son, is not the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Father, is not the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is not the Father, is not the Son. Yet all three Persons are one God, the same God. This teaching is all over the Bible and it is a mystery that we cannot understand, but we must accept. God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit is our Eternal, Everlasting Father.

Modalism cancels out salvation by default

The most basic reason why Modalism cancels out salvation is that if the Trinity is true, it means that God is Three-As-One and anything other than a triune God does not exist. Worshiping a God that does not exist is idolatry. Modalism is a false religion and God commands that there should never be any other gods worshiped besides Him (Exodus 20:3). There is no forgiveness of sins if a person puts their trust into a false god. Just because the name of a false God uses the same titles and names as the true, triune God of Scripture does not mean it is the same God. Matthew 24:24 claims there will be false Christ’s coming, and 1 Corinthians 11:4 says that people can preach a different Jesus and a different spirit and Christians should not put up with it. Simply labeling something as Jesus does not change the fact it is a lie from Satan.

Another more complex reason that will help Christians explain on a deeper level why Modalism leads people to Hell is that logically, if the Trinity exists, Modalism cannot provide salvation because it does not give Christ credit for His atoning work on the cross. Romans 8:2 explains that there is no condemnation for Christians “because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” If the Trinity is true it means that only the Person of Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world. John 3:16 says that God sent His “only begotten Son” to die for those who believe. If someone rejects that there is a Person of the Son and instead claims there is only one person that changes, and the Son did not exist until He was manifest in the Incarnation of Christ, then there is no atoning sacrifice that actually happened since they reject the real Person of Jesus, the Son of God who actually exists and has existed eternally. Grudem (2000) affirms,

“[M]odalism ultimately loses the heart of the doctrine of the atonement– that is, the idea that God sent his Son as a substitutionary sacrifice, and that the Son bore the wrath of God in our place, and that the Father, representing the interests of the Trinity, saw the suffering of Christ and was satisfied” (p. 242).

Christians cannot accept Modalists as brothers in the Lord, and they should never be unequally yoked with Modalistic darkness. The modalistic god denies the Eternal Person of the Son, thus meaning they deny the true God and profane His atonement.

Without the Person of Jesus the Atonement is denied

What Modalism is actually saying is that the separate person of Jesus Christ, the Son, is not real and never died on the cross because He does not exist. A separate Person does not exist. Only the Father (or Almighty God) exists and changes his face to turn into and look like the Son. This is a bold denial of God as a whole (since Jesus Christ is fully 100% God) and a denial of the work of the existing Second Person of God: the Son.

A human example would be that a Father agreed with his son that he would go out and pay an extremely expensive price for criminals to be free from their death sentences, and that his son would own them and they would be given to him; and he would show them compassion. After hearing about freedom from their judicial punishments of death because of the son’s payment, those criminals— instead of going with the son who bought them— believe the father is actually the one who bought them because he morphed into the mode of the son. Furthermore, the criminals claim that the son who actually bought them with his father’s urging does not even exist. They believe only the father exists and shifts into a different looking mode to become his own son, but is still the exact same person as there is not a son person and a father person, but only a father person who shifts modes. He just changed into the son. So the son who actually bought them with an extremely expensive price is denied as well as his hard work earning the payment for them to be free. This is a major insult to the son. But in reality the only way they could be free is if they understand that the son is actually a real person who exists and is not the father, and they follow him. Because since these criminals deny the son who bought them, and instead believe his father shape shifted into a son to become him, that real son that exists separately from his father will deny them in the presence of his father.

Modalism denies Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that if you deny Jesus Christ (being the Son of God, a separate Person from the Father, and separate from the Person of the Holy Spirit), He will deny you in the presence of God the Father. Jesus Christ Himself said, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and that of the Father and the holy angels” (Luke 9:26). Jesus in Luke 12:9 also said, “…but whoever denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” So it is obvious that Modalism denies Christ despite the fact they try to claim they promote Jesus and follow Him. The Oneness “Jesus” is a “false Jesus” that does not exist and profanes, and blasphemies the true living, eternal, Son of God. It misplaces credit for propitiation onto the Father, when propitiation was strictly something the Son did. Romans 3:23 says that the redemption is in Christ Jesus, and in verse 24 it says, “God presented Him as the propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over sins previously committed.” It does not say that the Father was the propitiation. 1 John 2:2 explicitly states that Jesus Christ alone was the propitiation: “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.” Since the Trinity is true, Modalism is denying God by claiming the Person of the Son does not exist. 1 John 2:23 expresses it simply, “No one who denies the Son can have the Father…” All repentant sinners become Christians who receive salvation. Christians are saved because they call on the name of the Lord and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. If someone repents to a false God that does not exist, one that denies the existence of the Person of the Son, they will not have salvation. Romans 10:9 says, “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If a person claims this verse for a Modalistic Jesus, one that denies the Person of the Son, there is no power for salvation.

Modalism denies the Father’s ability to be a righteous judge

Not only is Modalism an offense to the Person of the Son, but it offends the Person of the Father by ignoring His sacrificial giving of His one and only Son, the Son which He loves so much in relation within the Godhead; and it claims instead that He is the one who died and gave the propitiation for sins. Ignoring the extreme sacrifice the Father allowed to happen to His precious Son is an extreme insult to the love of the Father for sinners that He would allow His own Son (who was willing) to be punished in their place; and not only that, but that the Father is the one who gave out all of the crushing punishment to His own Son. Isaiah 54:6 says, “The LORD has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.” Also, 2 Corinthians 5:21 states, “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Modalism denies God this glory and insults the Father. The Father remained pure and untouched by sin and is the righteous judge that gave out His wrath onto Christ. If Modalism is true it means that God existing in one person, being the Father would have became sinful and then killed himself. There would be no righteous judge untouched by sin able to pour out the wrath. It would be the Father becoming sin on His own and then punishing Himself. This idea cancels out a pure and holy Person who is able to remain innocent who can judge sin. In reality, since the Trinity is what is true, there is a righteous and clean judge untouched by sin that was able to pour out His wrath onto Jesus Christ (who was made sin willingly by the Father) and complete the ability for salvation to be completed. To deny the Father’s giving of His real eternally existing Son is blasphemy, and it cancels out the ability for salvation. Such a person as the “god father” of Modalism does not exist and it profanes the true Father’s work. Therefore, Modalism completely denies the true Father.

1 John 2:22 firmly states, “He is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.” 

Modalism denies the Holy Spirit

Not only does Modalism deny Christ, and the Father, it also denies the Holy Spirit and claims He is also the same as the Father. That would mean the Person of the Holy Spirit (who is 100% fully God as well) according to the Trinity does not exist, thus denying God completely. Nonetheless, Modalism is idolatry and an offense to the true God and will be punished on judgment day.

The Incarnation’s salvific power is cancelled out   

Modalism cancels out the ability for an actual human/God existence in Jesus (a conclusion that the Adoptionist form of Modalism understands). Jesus Christ is 100% man and 100% God at the same time. This is the dual nature of Christ concept that true Christians believe. Jesus Christ, who is God, came in the flesh (John 1:1, John 1:14) and was a blood sacrifice for our sins. Romans 7:4 says, “Therefore, my brothers, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the crucified body of the Messiah.” If God is only one person then it would mean that Jesus Christ is the same person as the Father. If Modalism was true it would be that Christ’s will as a human would not at all be different from the will of the Father because they are the same person. But the Bible says in Mark 14:36, John 6:38, and Luke 22:42 that Jesus was not doing His own will, but the will of His Father. If Modalism was true these verses would be contradicting this “one person only god” by expressing that Christ’s will as a human and His God will were not unified. This would mean that Jesus Christ as a human was not God, and that God must have possessed a human person that is not God.

Consequently, only God is infinitely valuable and perfect to be able to die for the sins of mankind in order to save them. One human could only atone for one life, but God could atone for everyone because of His infinite value. Also, humans are not perfect and never can be because all of them are born in sin. Romans 3:10 states, “There is no one righteous, not even one,” and Jesus Christ Himself expressed, “No one is good but One— God” (Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19). Even if God created a human body or a human person that was perfect, that He could fill up, it would still not be infinitely valuable. The fact is the Bible teaches that God paid for His people in His own blood (Acts 20:28). Therefore, God died for the sins of His elect which forces Modalism’s logical conclusion to be that Jesus’s humanity was not unified with God which means it could not possibly have provided salvation. There is no salvific power in the “Modalist’s incarnate Jesus.”

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has effectively addressed the reasons why Modalism is a serious heresy, and is not to be taken lightly. Especially, it is not to be accepted as a valid, non-essential doctrine within the bounds of orthodoxy. Modalism completely denies the true God and creates a false god that does not exist. Modalism’s logical conclusion is self defeat. It denies all three Persons of God and commits theological suicide. It denies the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as well as the humanity of Christ that atoned for sin. Modalism is an illogical heresy and needs to be aggressively refuted in evangelical circles. Too many people are confused and unable to understand the mechanics of this heresy because it is so deceptive. It is nothing but a device of Satan and demonically energized within theological circles to lead people astray so that they will burn in Hell for eternity. Modalism is truly a damnable heresy.

References

Grudem, W. (2000). Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

MacArthur, J. (2007). The Truth War. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Comparing Islam’s Second Pillar To Christian Prayer

 Comparing Islam’s Second Pillar To Christian Prayer

        The practice of prayer is an integral part of many formal religions in the world. Islam has been defined as “submission to God” and prayer for a Muslim, “means submission to the infinite and unknowable Allah” (Goldmann, 2004: 84). It is interesting how Islam claims their God is unknowable. Prayer, or better known to Muslims as “salāt”, is the second of the five pillars of Islam. 

        According to Mawdudi, salāt is “the prescribed daily prayers which consist in repeating and refreshing five times a day the belief in which you repose your faith” (2006). One more important aspect to Islamic prayer is the required attendance for men to participate in congregational prayers every Friday. Below is a list of the following characteristics that define salāt more specifically:

  • 5 prayers a day at set times as demanded by Allah
  • Muslims must perform a ritual wash before each prayer called wudhu or cleansing (if water is not available sand can be used)
  • The prayer is performed facing Mecca or otherwise known as qibla

Muslims must abide by certain requirements during their formal prayers in order to perform them worthily before Allah. The salāt must be recited with the tongue silently in Arabic and include praises to Allah, the shahada, prayer for forgiveness and blessings, and an optional prayer for oneself. “For Muslims prayer is more than a repetition of words since it involves significant actions: kneeling, looking to left and right, touching the ear. Muslims have their own qibla, the direction to be faced when praying” (Riddel 2003: 46). These prostrations and repetitions are seen as a witness to the Islamic faith.    

Salāt compared to Christian prayer

        How do Christians respond to the issue of prayer in their daily lives? First of all, we must examine what the Scriptures say in regards to this.

        Jesus has given Christians a model of prayer that is better known as the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13). He begins this passage by telling his disciples, “This, then, is how you should pray” (Matt. 6:9, NIV) assuming that they will pray. There are various Scriptures that discuss how Christians are to pray continually (1 Thes. 5:17), pray in the Spirit on all occasions (Eph. 6:18), and how believers should approach the throne of God with confidence (Heb. 4:16). It is not simply only the actions of how Muslims deviete from true worship of God in their prayer rituals that are aimed at pleasing their “unknowable deity,” but it is the God to whom a Muslim prays to and the motivation and nature of the prayer that separates these two faiths.

        Christianity diverges from Islam in the nature and practice of prayer. For Christians, prayer is not something that is formally done with preset times and bodily movements; although, some Christians could be found praying at meal times, in church settings, and also randomly with one another. Prayer is something that is birthed out of a relationship with God and is based not on an outward manifestation or adherence to a particular code of conduct, but is rather directed at the inward heart of a believer as a response to the grace of God.  

        Christians should devote themselves to prayer as Colossians 4:2 states, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” While there are differences in the motivation for a Christian to pray we should take to heart the dedication and devotion of the Muslim’s attitude towards prayer. Prayer is the essential aspect of our relationship with the one true God. As Christians move to develop their prayer lives they should appreciate God’s willingness to reach out to mankind. He does not demand a rigid form of prayer or ritual, but a loving relationship that is based on His amazing grace. The Muslim who understands that the Quaran’s Allah gives impossible demands will instead direct his dedication away from the false diety and express prayful dedication to the God of Grace as a response to His revealed, and knowable, love which is ONLY found in the Bible. This is the real God who gives faithful love through His compassion to forgive sinners freely by His passionate sacrifice that took the place of sin. Christians can pray for and only hope that God’s grace will be given to many Muslims and give them a dissatisfaction toward the false, demonic god of Islam that demands impossible works based rituals, and deeds to decieve people into remaining slaves to their sins.

        Islam teaches that Allah is “unknowable.” Their God is unknowable not simply because Islam says so, but because their god does not exist so their submissive prayers are empty and a waste of time. Allah in no way at all can ever be considered the same God of Abraham in the Bible. The fact that many missiologists want to promote such heresy is a sign of the times that we live in. The differences in prayer between Christianity and Islam are only one example of how the two religions are opposite.  

Sources Cited

Goldman, David. (2004). Islam and the Bible. Chicago: Moody Publishers. p. 84.

The Holy Bible, New International Version. (1973). Grand Rapids,MI: Zondervan.

Mawdudi, Abul Al’a. (2002). Towards Understanding Islam. [online]. Accessed 17 May 
         2006. Available at http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/M_tui/index.html.

Riddel, Peter G. Cotterell, Peter. (2003) Islam in Context. Baker Academic.Grand
         Rapids, MI. p. 46.

 

Pentecostalism Is An Anti-Intellectual Plague To Biblical Missions Work

Pentecostalism Is An Anti-Intellectual Plague To Biblical Missions Work

        During my Biola University days I had to read chapters of a book by Timothy C. Tennet, a modern missiologist and pragmatist. The book is titled Theology in the Context of World Christianity and calls for a contextualization of the gospel and the use of pragmatism for his idea of evangelism. I believe this author is in serious error. One chapter I had to read was chapter 7 which was all about Pentecostalism being an acceptable form of Christianity as well as praising the movement. The following is my reaction…

Four observations I made when reading chapter 7 of Tennet’s book were the following claims he made: (1) Pentecostalism is a movement that was started by people who were uneducated without an emphasis on theology. (2) Pentecostals are bigger than the Roman Catholic Church and have influenced many different sects, and denominations of Christianity. (3) Pentecostals have a missionary zeal which is a positive attitude to have for Christianity, and (4) Pentecostalism has caused many Latin Americans to leave the Catholic Church and become evangelical.

Three questions I have are (1) why is it okay for a Christian movement to be based on anti-intellectualism and allowed to be considered valid by the Church? Does that not seem strange to most people? (2) Why did Tennant briefly mention the bad things about the Pentecostal movement and push them aside if they are not a big deal when in fact Pentecostals are the ones who have caused many, many problems within the Church? They have brought greed, false miracles, false signs, and even worse: false doctrines and false prophecies out in the open which makes a mockery of true Christianity! (3) Do Pentecostals decide to change their theology whenever they want in order to make it better sounding in the future? And if a theological system does change from its historical claims of belief does it keep the system valid? Pentecostals first claimed that the 2nd baptism of the Spirit had to occur for a person to be saved and proclaimed that that was the true anointing of the Spirit. Now days in Pentecostal theology they have decided that the 2nd baptism of the Spirit does not have to happen to be saved. They have changed their theology to fit their experiences over time and Tennet claims this is an acceptable thing.

Two reflections I have about Tennet’s claims are that first, if a belief system is based on an anti-intellectual idea or lack of theology it could not possibly be a true anointing of the Holy Spirit. I think Pentecostalism is based on a false revival and people have been duped into believing it is real because of the ecstatic emotional states people go into. Emotions manipulate people. Also just because a lot of people become Pentecostal all over the world does not make that form of religion true or even Christian. That is a logical fallacy called “appealing to a majority.” This shows Tennet does not use logic when explaining missionary work, or biblical theology. Another reflection I have is that Pentecostalism is guilty of so many false claims, and corruption that people seem to ignore. I wonder why Tennet feels Christians should ignore it or make it sound light hearted. It is serious when someone claims something was done in the name of the Lord, but it was actually a fabrication from a person’s mind. This is a dangerous belief and none of the miracles in my experience have ever been proven. I do not agree with the author Tennet’s view on Pentecostalism.

A startling statement I found was on page 174 which says, “In the early ‘sunrise’ of a new movement, there is little time for formal theological or missiological reflection.” I think that this statement is dangerous because it is saying that whenever something “new” in religion happens it does not need to have theological backup because people can just worry about figuring it out later. I think that if people are in tune with God and the Bible any event that would occur would be easy to line up with Scripture at the moment and not have to be made up later. We should always test any experience that happens within the church and always line it up with Scripture.

Biblical, especially Reformed missionaries, should be aware of the Pentecostal movement and realize that they are a strong missionary force that has been, and is, converting people from all over the world into their sect of Christianity based on unbiblical beliefs. Most foreign people in Asia and Latin America are Pentecostal or charismatic within their denominations. This is especially true with Korean missionaries and places like the Philippines which is being invaded with thousands of Pentecostal Korean missionaries promoting serious error. Africa has been bombarded with the “health, wealth, and prosperity” heresy and all of its charlatans who claim false healings and miracles. With the conversion of people groups by the Pentecostal movement, many times sadly, people are converted into these major problems which were only briefly mentioned by Tennent. He seems to have a biased attitude that is afraid to emphasize the errors of the movement. Christians should be aware of these false doctrines and understand the kinds of competition missionaries and evangelists have to deal with within Christian, evangelical circles. Also, ecumenicism which was mentioned by Tennet is not something good because it relaxes theological boundaries and that is something that should never be wavered in the search for absolute Truth.

Keep in mind that I do not that believe every single Pentecostal is not a Christian. I think there are many who are; even if they have a weak experience in theology. There are Pentecostals who are real Christians, but the movement itself is not Christian and has been mightily used by Satan to cause more confusion within the Body of Christ.

Tennet is just another typical modern missiologist with an M. Div. degree from a typical modern Evangelical seminary that has relaxed it’s biblical standards and has been saturated with liberalism. He also got his B.A. from none other than Oral Roberts University (Oral Roberts being one of the biggest “word of faith” heretics of our time) a Pentecostal university which explains why he is so soft on the major errors and unbiblical actions of Pentecostalism. He is also an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church (a liberal universalist sect of Christianity). The Pentecostal movement has thrived within evangelicalism and is only reinforced by liberal Christian academics who make the calls of when the “next big movement of God” is occurring every so often when new ideas are formed outside of the Bible’s wisdom.

Exploring Church In The Philippines

Exploring Church In The Philippines

        During my time in the Philippines in 2009 my mission team went to several different churches. We never went to the same church twice so each week I never was able to see the consistency of any individual church and how they work, but nonetheless I got a god feel of how church culture is for the nationals. There are certain similarities in the local Filipino churches compared to American churches that I saw as well as some differences.

        My first time going to a church in the Philippines was attending what American’s would consider a mega-church. Apparently, the Philippines is also plagued with the mega-church experience which I think is not good. It is understandable since most Filipinos are Catholic and the Catholic Church has built all kinds of large cathedrals all over the country. I personally do not believe that mega-churches, or large churches in general are always bad or wrong. In some cases they are understandable. A pastor might have great teaching that a large area where Christians live is not getting, so they flock over to the one biblically centered church nearest them. In most cases though, a mega-church is usually lacking in truth as well as filled with members that have the wrong attitude for even going to church. Unfortunately, the church in the Philippines was large and had the typical, annoying Rick Warren philosophy as they quoted him in their church bulletin. This church was very seeker friendly, exactly like many American mega-churches in the U.S. They even had a team of dancers dancing for a few minutes to worship music for the purpose of entertaining their members. They had a lot of lights and their power point had graphics and sounds. They even showed clips from a movie about Acts, the same one that “Acts class” at Biola University made me watch. I thought that was funny. This church was very impersonal and too gigantic to connect with anyone in a real way. I was saddened by the influence of modern-liberal-western “Churchianity” in the Philippines.

    

    At the next churches that we attended, we had work which we planned ahead of time to do with the members. These were jobs such as preaching, praise and worship music, giving testimonies and fellowship. We came to the Philippines specifically to link up with these churches and their pastors. I noticed that most of these churches were extremely humble and very poverty stricken; but the people still survived and praised God for the little they had.

Youth Rally

The churches were very small and in run down or old buildings. I was so impressed with these people and their pastors and their strict adherence to the Word of God. One church we visited was in the province of Rizal and this church held a youth rally one night. Even though I had never been a fan of “youth groups/youth nights,” it was nice to see the Filipino youth coming to church. Most of them dressed like Americans, but I knew that they lived in really small shacks made with bamboo or cement bricks. I had previously visited some of these young people at their homes. The dress code was relaxed at this event, but for the most part at church, men are supposed to wear long pants, and a nice shirt. Women wear a skirt or dress. It is so hot in thePhilippines, this rule was hard for me to want to follow, but I managed each Sunday to survive the humidity. It is my opion that much of Philippines church culture leans on the legalistic side of clothing. I was not happy about it, but for the sake of their consciences I tried my best to follow their standards at least to the point of protecting my health. I did slide a little bit one time and wear a t-shirt once. It was an “MMA,” Anderson Silva, Tapout shirt I bought at a famous market called Greenhills in Manila. The Fil Am pastor I was with probably was not happy about that, but one of the church members thought it was cool.   

       

      

Singing in church

  The church members at these small churches were extremely kind and hospitable people who greatly appreciated our presence. I felt so blessed by them. This was a great learning experience which gave me the opinion that church works best when it is simple and genuine for God. All a church needs is to stick to the true doctrine of Jesus Christ and have full assurance of faith that causes the Christian to feel joy in the Lord. Church does not need flashing lights, “cool” guitars, video clips, and dance teams to be a church full of the Holy Spirit and alive. I love small, local, Filipino churches in the Philippines! They are completely different than the Filipino American churches I’ve attended in California, and Kentucky.

Meeting some local Christian youth in Metro-Manila

        The worship style and order of church service of the small churches were exactly the same as what I am used to in America. During the time of my 6 week trip I was attending a small, non-denominational, Filipino American church in Chino Hills, California and it was much the same. They have worship songs, a worship band, anouncements, and a pastor preaching. The preaching from the local pastors was in Tagalog in Metro Manila, and in Ilongo when we were in Bacolod. For us while we were there, the preaching was done in the local language as well as English. Most of the time it was English speaking, and even the worship music was in English and only one or two songs in Tagalog. I thought it was interesting how they used so much English. The heart language must not be a necessity when doing praise music in that country. I do not think they were singing in English for us, but it is something they always do. When my pastor preached he spoke in “Taglish,” (Filipino and English put together) and in Bacolod he spoke in English since he does not speak Ilongo. Almost every Filipino has decent, communicable English skills.

        We had the opportunity to visit Bacolod, which is an island province and very rural. The churches there are really poor, but humble and are extremely full of the joy of the Lord. I loved the way these churches worked, as the people met in houses outside with a cover to block the sun. They would turn on fans for cool air, but we had a blackout (brownoutin Filipino) and no electricity worked so we had to suffer the extreme heat. Later we went to another house church in the same day and ate food there. In the evening we visited a church out in the farmland that had an actual church building. It was open air as the windows had no glass. It was an old church built by Fundamental Baptists back in the day. This experience was interesting as many lizards crawled across the walls and ceilings and even a very large intimidating spider which made me nervous. It was at least 2 inches wide, yet the locals said it was harmless and a lady touched it and made it jump which freaked me out.

Sanctuary of the open air Bacolod church

The spider on the church window

        Overall, the majority of biblical, Christian churches are very small and meet in very humble communities. The few rich people help out the poor members. Despite the few things I had issues with, like the way they believed you should dress, these churches are very biblically centered and understand the struggle of life and the focus on eternity. They are a light in dark places surrounded by cult churches and a few liberal mega-churches as well as the majority Catholic churches. Every cult of Christianity that America has is in the Philippines. The Philippines especially has their own indiginious cults that plague the nation as well. These small, humble Christian churches (known as “born again” churches), stand in the face of outside persecution and an antichrist presence. These Christians are strong and know what it means to persevere in the Faith. Most members are poor and live in substandard houses when compared to American church people. It was inspiring to spend time with Filipino brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ! I hope one day to go back.

 Video from some of the churches:

 

 

 

 

The Hyper-Calvinist’s Prayer

The Hyper-Calvinist’s Prayer

*The following is a JOKE and a reaction to dealing with Hyper-Calvinists on youtube, expecially those who are delusional and believe they are not Hypers and are not heretics. These people completely misunderstand the “Doctrines of Grace” and are promoters of self. They are extremely self-righteous heretics equally as bad as the ultimate Free Will Arminians they so intensely hate. The logic of their false misrepresentations of true Calvinism are astounding and make for great comedy. They are guilty of using the foolishness of human wisdom to express and preach their false soteriological worldview. They are too proud to repent. The following is an example of how I think a Hyper-Calvinist must pray. I base it off of the “Arminian’s Prayer” that C.H. Spurgeon wrote. Enjoy! This is a Hyper-Calvinist’s prayer:

        “Oh Lord how JUST you are to DESTROY WICKED SINFUL creatures such as unborn babies who NEVER knew your grace, and never knew life itself outside the womb.

Those disgusting reprobates, those wretchedly filthy creatures are sooo exceedingly SINFUL! It is JUST that God punishes those wicked babies and throws them into hell to burn for eternity!!

And it is GLORIFYING TO GOD and brings WORSHIP!! Oh GOD HOW JUST YOU ARE! HOW RIGHTEOUS You are to PUNISH EVIL BABIES for their SINS!!!!!

I love you God for bringing your ETERNAL justice on such evil creatures as unborn babies! How HOLY you are for that and how UNJUST I am; yet you SAVED ME, ENSLAVING ME to your grace. And my mind is YOUR mind thinking and doing everything! I can only do good because YOU do it through me, yet sinful babies sin and it is their fault. It is in no way your fault at all! EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE THE AUTHOR OF THEIR WICKEDNESS! Including all human atrocities, rapes, pornographic fantasies, child molestations, beastiality, Satan worship, blasphemy and more…it all comes from You, yet you are not at fault…Oh how shameful all of those heretics are who believe you are not the author of wickedness. I thank you so much I have the intellectual mind You put in me to understand such deep things unlike all those foolish heretics who claim to be 5 point Calvinists, but are just blasphemers. I shall continue to street preach, make videos for youtube showing me insulting such reprobates and blocking and ignoring anyone who messages me who disagrees with this pure doctrine that I hold which you are forcing me to believe, ENSLAVING ME TO IT!

You are innocent of sin! My religion of Calvinism is far better than the WICKED HERETICS who claim to be Calvinists (because Calvinism actually means CHRISTIANITY, and if you are not a Calvinist you are going to hell). They are all just ARMINIANS IN DISGUISE! I am thankful that I am more of a Calvinist than John Calvin himself!

I am so thankful Lord, that you force everyone to do everything and nobody thinks for themselves or makes their own choices. I am so THANKFUL Lord that I am a puppet completely controlled by God and programmed without a will or desire that comes from myself! That somehow even though it sounds completely illogical, that I am in NO WAY responsible for doing good, yet anyone who does evil (who is completely controlled by You in every way 100% without ANY desire or will that they express; since You are the author of all sin) IT IS 100% THEIR FAULT!!! And in no way are You responsible for their sin. Yet, in the same way as wicked people are controlled by You to do evil, I am controlled by you to do righteousness— and yet I am ENSLAVED by your grace and it is not by my merit— yet it is the wicked’s merit on their own that they are ENSLAVED by sin from YOU, YOU ALONE LORD! The logic astounds me!

Thank you Lord for killing all sinners and sparing me, and not making me like all those SINNERS! And since I am enslaved by your grace, I am in NO WAY being self-righteous in this prayer and I am NOT AT ALL praying the prayer of the priest in your parable…

I am so thankful God, that common grace does not exist and that you did not call or make the gospel presented to those sickening REPROBATES and that YOU HATED THEM SINCE BEFORE CREATION! And in no way expressed blessing on any of them, not even physical, earthly grace…because all it does is stores up more wrath for themselves…I thank you God! I thank you so intensely, yet it is You thanking Yourself through me, that there is absolutely NO SUCH THING AS THE FREE OFFER OF THE GOSPEL!!! The belief that You offered the gospel to all humans is a SATANIC doctrine and blasphemy! Yet, you are the author of this Satanic doctrine and blasphemy. I praise you for Your sovereignity. Also, this praise is also You and not me!  You are controlling my fingers to type this prayer!

Thank you for keeping me holy above everyone else and loving me, even though I am unworthy, yet this exact prayer I am praying is You praying and doing everything and it is not my own action.

IN YOUR MOST HOLY, JUST, WRATHFUL, KILLING, DAMNING TO ALL SINNERS, yet enslaving me and forcing me to be righteous against my will that DOES NOT exist, and in your mercy towards my righteous behavior, in your most sovereign, controlling, illogically non-fatalistic name AMEN!!!!!!!