Oneness Versus Trinity

You may also be interested in learning about several books that debate the issue. Click here.

Is God one, manifesting himself in three ways, or is God one, yet three persons?

The United Pentecostal Church (UPC) teaches that God is one, manifesting himself in three ways. They believe Jesus is not only the Son, but also the Father and Holy Spirit.

This belief has been referred to as 'oneness' or 'Jesus only'. In contrast, the majority of Christian churches teach a Trinitarian concept. Neither the word 'trinity' nor the word 'oneness' are found in the Bible.

Mormon and Jehovah's Witnesses teachings also reject a trinitarian concept. Both of these have very skewed beliefs and are not Christian groups.

Having been a very active member of a UPC church for many years, I have witnessed differing views on how people in the organization  view Trinitarians. Some treat them as fellow Christians, yet others won't consider them as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Some believe that those who don't hold to the oneness view are lost. I've seen oneness believers state that Trinitarian believers don't even know Jesus.

One of the most extreme statements I've heard is from a non-UPC apostolic minister who stated in two posts on an apostolic board: "I would rather have every family member I have on alcohol and drugs than sitting in a false church and you can print that on USA TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...." & "A false church is one that does NOT preach Acts 2:38 as God's plan of salvation." (Comments made on September 11, 2005 on Faithchild Forum by Steve Epley.) The same minister on May 5, 2006 made the following statement on the New Faithchild Forum, "I remember an event that I thought would generate some interest. I man who thought himself very philsophical asked me once. "You are Oneness are you not? What is the main difference between we Trinitarians and you Oneness people? If you could please give me something short and concise since I am in a hurry?" I said yes sir the main difference is "saved and lost." Excuse me" he said looking questioning? "Yes we are saved and you are lost that would be the main difference." He seemed a little "put off" as the philsophical would say." Both forums are no longer in operation.

On the opposite side, James White shared in an article on Phillips, Craig & Dean, a popular singing group, that he stopped listening to their music when he found they had oneness beliefs. One statement made was: "Likewise, I don't believe it is proper to be led in worship by someone who worships a different God than I do and who specifically denies the truth of the Triune existence of God." This article appeared in the Volume 21, Number 4 issue of the Christian Research Journal.

There have been many in the UPC that inaccurately portray Trinitarian beliefs (and the same happens in reverse). A young boy I know shared that his UPC Sunday School teacher taught they believed in three kings and that there would be three thrones in heaven.

My former pastor went so far as to state, from the pulpit, that if any of us were attending a Trinitarian church when the rapture took place, we would be left behind.

Statements such as the above can make oneness the issue many former UPC members grapple with the most. Some who leave will not even consider attending any church that does not teach oneness for fear of being forever lost.

The following links will take you to writings on both sides of the issue. Note that there are a few links which didn't quite fit into either category but are included anyway because they somehow address the issue.

* Denotes the article is posted directly on this site, with all others being links.



Answering Gregory Boyd's "Sharing Your Faith with a Oneness Pentecostal" by Mark Bassett Is the United Pentecostal Church Teaching the True Godhead Doctrine? by Christopher C. Warren
The Other Side of the Other Pentecostals by Mark Bassett Varieties of Monarchianism- The Ecole Initiative
The Right Hand of God by Mark Bassett Sabellianism: Third and Twentieth Century Heresy by Rick Branch
If Ye Know These Things- Another Answer to Gregory Boyd's Book by Ross Drysdale Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity: A Summary Critique by William Watkins
The Oneness of God: A Biblical Explanation by Ken Raggio Sharing Your Faith with a Oneness Pentecostal: Part 1 by Gregory Boyd
Response To A Cult Hunter by David Bernard (Response to E. Calvin Beisner's "'Jesus Only' Churches" book) Sharing Your Faith with a Oneness Pentecostal: Part 2 by Gregory Boyd
The Truth About One God by Eddie Jones Oneness Pentecostalism and the Trinity by Robert Bowman
An Answer to a Critic - Another Answer to Boyd's Book by David Bernard The Error of the Jesus Only Doctrine by Jimmy Swaggart
* An Examination of Distinctions by Douglas Joseph The Trinity: The Triune Godhead by Stuart Samuel Pattico
The Oneness of God by David Bernard Unbiblical Teachings About the Godhead by Mike Barden
The Definition of Oneness by David Bernard Who is God? A Trinitarian View by David Lloyd
Answering the Charge of Cultism by David K. Bernard Contending With Oneness Theology from the Joy Well Homepage
60 Questions on the Godhead- UPCI Tract "Sixty Questions On The Godhead" Refuted! by Fred Shewmaker
The Trinity Doctrine Is Pagan by Cohen G. Reckart of Apostolic Messianic Fellowship Trinitarian Faith by Robert Brow
Answer To David Vivas by Mark Bassett Trinity or Unity by Robert Brow
Did Jesus Pray to Himself? by J.L. Hall The Holy Trinity by Orthodox Church in America  
Historical Development of the Trinitarian Mode of Baptism by Walter Copes The Trinity by Catholic Answers, Inc.
Oneness & the Name of God by Michael Blume God in Three Persons by Catholic Answers, Inc.
Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone, Walter Scott - Trinity Trinitarian Baptism by Catholic Answers, Inc.
*Oneness, Twoness or Threeness by Buddy Martin Rediscovering the Trinity by Robin Vogsland
Jesus Christ: One-God Preacher by Kenneth Lamb Does 'the Son' Mean 'the Flesh' of Jesus of Nazareth?
Sitting at the Right Hand of God by OvadYah Avrahami Book First: Of  The Knowledge of God the Creator by Calvin's Institutes
The Mystery of the Oneness revealed in just 4 short Bible Studies presented by 'Bible Revelations' The Doctrine of the Trinity- Darkness to Light web site, several articles
Should You Believe in the Trinty? from the Watchtower The Trinity by Michael Bremmer- Gospel Outreach Ministries Online web site
Where Are Their Gods? by Tom Raddatz The Trinity Chart by Matthew Slick- Gospel Outreach Ministries web site
Introduction to the Oneness of God in the Name of Jesus Christ by Tom Raddatz Modalism: As Taught By The United Pentecostal Church
Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods by Tom Raddatz Messages from the AR-talk list about the Trinity and Oneness
Wheel of Prophecy: Who Is God? A Brief Definition of the Trinity by James White
Jesus: Delegate of God? Or God in the Flesh? by Robert Sabin The Trinity, the Definition of Chalcedon, and Oneness Theology by James White
Teaching Others Who Jesus Really Is! by Robert Sabin E. Calvin Beisner Responds to David K. Bernard: Part One
The Oneness Teaching - Answering Objections by OvadYah Avrahami   E. Calvin Beisner Responds to David K. Bernard: Part Two
Church of the One True God- misc. writings, including Oneness Charisma Magazine- June 1997 article: "The Other Pentecostals"
A Oneness Perspective of John 16:13 by Robert Sabin The New Testament Revelation of the Father by Mike Bugal
Response to Trinitarianism Oneness Pentecostals Page from Let Us Reason Ministries
Several articles related to the Oneness position by Randall Hughes *Jesus and the Trinity by Mark Mattison
The Trinity- Christian or Pagan? The Eternal Son by Mike Bugal
Principles of Bible Interpretation by Robert Sabin What is the Significance of the Doctrine of the Trinity....from Spotlight
The Man Christ Jesus by Robert Sabin An Examination and Refutation of the Denial of the Doctrine of the Trinity by Oneness Pentecostalism by Vincent McCann
The Right Hand of God by Robert Sabin The Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Jay Rogers
Does the Phrase, "Let us make man in our image," Indicate Plurality of Persons Involved in Creation? by Robert Sabin The Oneness Doctrine: Full Gospel or Fool Gospel? by Edgar L. Havaich
Who is Jesus Christ? by Robert Sabin The Trinity: Refused or Confused  
Apostolics Today: Charisma Magazine Examines Oneness Pentecostals by Richard Brown Oneness Pentecostalism by Jason Barker
Oneness Believers in Church History- plus David Bernard's Modalistic Monarchianism: Oneness in Early Church History The Athanasian Creed
What's Wrong With "A Trinity"?- A "Bible Revelations" Presentation A Biblical Answer to "60 Questions on the Godhead"  Part One by Mike Bugal
Who is Jesus...Really? by D.E. Haymon A Biblical Answer to "60 Questions on the Godhead" Part Two by Mike Bugal
Is Jesus God the Father? by William Arnold III The Trinity by Mike Bugal
Jesus, the Voice, & the Dove by Jason Dulle Answering Oneness Pentecostalism
226 Questions Totally Disproving the Doctrine of the Trinity by Tom Raddatz The Deity and Personhood of the Holy Spirit by Mike Bugal
History of the Doctrine Concerning the Nature of God in the Early Centuries of Christianity by Don Barnett Oneness Verses the Trinty by Dick Helms
The Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity by Jason Dulle Guy Woods & Marvin Hicks debate the Godhead & More
In the Beginning was the Word by William Arnold III The apostasy of the so-called Apostolic Church´┐Ż
Plural Pronouns Used for God by Jason Dulle A Distortion of History by Steve Born
A Oneness Response to the Challenge of Neo-Trinitarianism by Ross Drysdale The Attributes of Jesus, The Son of God by Steve Born
Father, Son & Holy Spirit by Jason Dulle The "Dual Nature" Doctrine: The Importance of the Subject by Steve Born
The Doctrine of Oneness Vrs. the Trinty- Bernard and Cook debate (scroll to bottom of page for link) The Trinity And The Beliefs Of PCD (Phillips, Craig & Dean)
Behold His Glory- The Oneness of God by Michael Gibson Understanding the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Stuart Pattico
Answering the Silence: A Response to Jason Dulle by Brian LePort
The Trinity, Baptism & Speaking in Tongues by Mark McNeil (A Word Document)
The Oneness of God and Defense of the Trinity by Mark McNeil (A Word Document)
Oneness Pentecostalism: Refuting its Soteriology, Christology, and Theology by E. Calvin Beisner

Years back, then General Superintendent Nathaniel Urshan, along with Robert Sabin, appeared on the John Ankerberg Show. On the Trinitarian side appeared Walter Martin and Calvin Beisner.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Note how many times Nathaniel Urshan was asked by Walter Martin if he was his brother, a believer, a Christian, and saved and the difficulty Urshan had in responding.

Debate between pastors Steve Richie and Bruce Bennett; Debate between James White and David Bernard.

Debate between Gino Jennings & Reginald Young; Debate between James White and Roger Perkins.

Debate between David Bernard & Gene Cook; Debate between John Tancock and Marvin Sanguinetti.

Debate between James White and Robert Sabin- Parts 1 & 2.

Debate between pastors Steve Richie and Michael Burgos; Debate between Robert Skynner and "Limey Bob".

Below is a song written and performed by a non-UPC apostolic that shows how many apostolics believe Trinitarians are lost.

Updated January 13, 2015


August 23, 1997
Copyright © 1997-2015 by Lois E. Gibson
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