My conversation with a oneness Pentecostal

My employee left the Catholic Church for a oneness Pentecostal church.

My big question for him that he couldn’t answer is

“Why didn’t anyone have this position until 1900 years after jesus and why is there no extra biblical writings regarding it?”

His answer
I read the bible

My answer
I read the bible also and I see the trinity

What is dialect with a oneness Pentecostal?

I’m not very familiar with Oneness Pentecostalism, but St. Thomas’ Summa Contra Gentiles has a lot of good material on the scriptural basis for the Trinity in Book IV. It might be of help for you or your coworker. One of Thomas’ strengths is that he lays out the the opposing arguments before he refutes them.

I assume he means dialogue.

Is a oneness Pentecostal anything similar to a Unitarian?:confused:

If your Oneness Pentecostal friend is a modalist (i.e. Sabellianism), his conception of the Godhead is at least as old as full articulation of trinitarian theology.

Sort of. It’s basically modern day modalism. Oneness Pentecostals believe that God the Father and the Holy Spirit are simply modes/manifestations of Jesus. So simply put, there is one God whose name is Jesus Christ. This is why they baptize in Jesus’ Name only.

Well, you’re actually wrong. This is one of the earliest heresies, called Sabellianism (there are some differences, but the basic claims are the same). In fact, one of the reasons many people were nervous about the Nicene Creed’s “one substance” language was that it sounded modalist.

Tertullian wrote against this heresy in his book “Against Praxeas,” which I think is the first Christian writing actually to use the word “Trinity.”


I live a few miles from the international headquarters of a oneness Pentecostal ecclesial community. A friend of mine is one of them. She says the Trinity is like roles. For example, she is a wife, mother and daughter. One God, one person.
I was trying to defend the doctrine of the Trinity. I mentioned that at the baptism of Jesus, the Father says, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” Also, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. All three persons of the Trinity are mentioned.
Next, I asked her to whom Jesus offered his sacrifice on the cross. If he offered it to himself, it is not a proper sacrifice. Sacrifices are offered to someone else.
I said that the Bible teaches three persons in one God then named some of them.
Nothing I said convinced her.
On many other things, we agree because I am a charismatic Catholic.
What else could I have said to convince her?

Please tread lightly here. You are the employer and in a position of power. If your employee does not want to discuss religion with you, he may feel he has no discourse and no options. If you are friends or have worked together a long time use your best judgement but please, please, please consider that you are not ‘equals’ in the workplace and questioning your employee on his religious choices isn’t the best idea.

Probably nothing. It will be up to her to make the realization. You gave her plenty to think about, and sounds like you did just fine, I’m sure God will be working on her, I would say “is” working on her per your conversation. Pray for her too.

Oneness doctrine has been around for a lot longer than the 1900’s. :wink:

It just hasn’t been called that - (assuming that you are referring to a non Trinitarian view of God).

If you are referring specifically to the Pentacostal version, then you are correct. :slight_smile:

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