Exceptions Theology? Ridiculous!

by E.L. Anglin

David Bernard Facebook Discussion
The above image was from a September 12, 2015 discussion on the Facebook Page of United Pentecostal Church General Superintendent, David Bernard. Bernard did not respond to Anglin's posts.

These contortions are only necessary because of the gross error attached to promoting the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a work rather than a gift.

Here is my detailed response, which is evolving.

Brother Bernard, with all due respect, that is a horrible deflection and a gross misrepresentation of what is consistently promoted within "The Movement" on a daily basis. It is impossible to attend conferences, camps or any other organizational meetings without hearing repeated references to "the only saving message."

Oneness Pentecostals do not believe in "exceptional cases." The Oneness Pentecostal message is "tongues or hell." The message that one MUST repent, be baptized and speak in tongues. Apostolics consider that "full salvation." Anything less is inadequate.

I, for one, would like to know what you consider an "exceptional case?"

To state that there are "exceptional cases" is to state that there are multiple, perhaps billions, of salvation plans. It muddies the water, making the way to salvation unknowable.

Unless, of course, you believe salvation is not a formula, but a Savior.

From my 40 plus years in the movement, I gleaned that the best example of an "exceptional case" is expressed at the funeral of someone who was not Oneness Pentecostal, but loved by the movement, often couched this way, "We will leave them in the hands of a just and merciful God."

Other examples of "exceptional cases..."

1. The person who cannot speak (dumb).
2. The person who had spoken in tongues, and set up a time to be baptized by the pastor, but died suddenly the day prior.
3. The person who had repented, been baptized and had "stammering lips" but did not "fully" speak in tongues and then died between church services while in "seeker" status.
4. Any church father (like Wesley, Luther, Calvin, Charnock, Sunday, Wycliffe, Augustine, Edwards) who had the misfortune of being born in the centuries before Oneness Pentecostal soteriology was created.
5. Martyrs who lose their heads for Christ but haven't spoken in tongues.

I could go on for quite a while, but the picture is clear. After a while one sees that "exceptional cases" aren't so exceptional. One sees that "The only saving message" isn't the only saving message, either.

If you're going to default to "exceptional case" doctrine in a pinch, perhaps it would be best to preach it from the beginning, and always, instead of preaching one thing from a pulpit and another when your doctrine proves indefensible.


This writing is the copyright of E.L. Anglin and is reprinted on this site by permission. View all of his available articles here.


Page added January 11, 2016

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