Monday, 1 January 2018

What is Modalism?

This month, I want to examine churches which aren't exactly cults but have aberrant teachings which send people to hell. Though denominations differ on secondary doctrines, such as when Christ will return, the primary tenets are what determine somebody's eternal destiny.

Modalism is a doctrine held by assorted Pentecostal groups. Often called Oneness Pentecostals or Jesus Only, they deny the traditional understanding of the Holy Trinity. Adherents claim that God revealed himself as Jehovah in the Old Testament. Then he became Jesus in the gospels. Finally, he became the Holy Spirit after the resurrection. Some denominations don't believe that the Holy Spirit is a person but a force sent out from God.

This isn't a recently-discovered doctrine but an ancient heresy from the second century. Modalism, also called Sabellianism, was popular among Gnostic sects who felt that the flesh was evil and that only the spirit was pure.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Churches which began practicing speaking in tongues also became convinced that there was one God who manifested himself in three periods of time. Emphasis on repentance and following Christ became secondary as these people strove to get spiritual gifts and perform miracles.

Some denominations even believe that Christians weren't fully saved unless they spoke in tongues. This, they claimed, would happen to believers when they were baptized in Jesus' name. Saying "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," disqualified that baptism, according to the beliefs of certain charismatic sects.

In subsequent posts, I'll mention the scriptures these Oneness people twisted and why the doctrine of the Trinity is true. As I learned from being in a Pentecostal offshoot cult, these beliefs were accepted because of human pride and not because of any new revelation from God.

This subject and many others regarding eternity will be part of my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? This is thee most important decision each one needs to make. Will we obey God or will we decide we know better than him? That's what determines where we'll spend eternity.

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