Stop the Feud

by | Jun 30, 2002 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

None of us heard cheering, but I suspect there was a big celebration in heaven on April 29. That’s the day officials from a dozen denominations prayed together and–for the first time–attempted to heal one of the ugliest rifts in Christendom. Finally, leaders of the two camps in the Pentecostal movement–Oneness Pentecostals and Trinitarian Pentecostals–apologized for fighting like the Hatfields and McCoys.


I wanted to throw a party of my own when I heard the news. But I’ll wait until the healing has filtered down to the grass roots–where this bitter quarrel has fractured families, split churches and spoiled our witness to the world for decades.


In case you aren’t familiar with the conflict, the story goes like this: Pentecostals began fighting over the doctrine of the Trinity in the early 1900s. Trinitarians insisted that God is one-in-three. Oneness folks argued that God is three-in-one. In 1916, a split occurred in the Assemblies of God over the issue, and the United Pentecostal Church (UPC) and the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World emerged as leading voices of the Oneness movement.


Oneness people rigidly insist that a minister must say “in the name of Jesus” when baptizing a convert. They also believe that if you are baptized “in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit,” well, that’s just too bad because God won’t accept that wording.


It all sounds like pointless doctrinal hair-splitting to us younger types. After all, who can explain the mystery of God’s triune nature? Instead of fussing about terms or reducing the gospel to a baptismal formula, why can’t we rally around our common belief that the Father sent His Son to save the world?


It may take another decade–and a few more funerals–to end this dispute. But we could speed up the process by taking these giant steps:


1. Oneness Pentecostals must join the 21st century. Unhealthy isolation has created dysfunction in many Oneness groups. My calendar says this is 2002, yet the UPC still bans TV viewing and won’t allow women to wear pants, makeup and short hairstyles. If the UPC wants to be relevant to the next generation (and this one, for that matter) they must allow the Holy Spirit to season their message with grace. What many of them preach is a toxic form of salvation by works.


2. Trinitarians must embrace our Oneness brothers. I know people in the Assemblies of God who were taught all their lives that the Jesus worshiped by Oneness Pentecostals is “another Jesus.” The Lord told us to love one another, but we have avoided this by declaring that our brothers aren’t really in the family.


3. Oneness leaders must stop trying to convert us to their views. If they keep insisting that their narrow interpretation of Scripture is the only ticket to heaven, they will continue to be marginalized.


4. We must all renounce sterile religion. Oneness Pentecostals may be known for their dress codes and harsh judgmentalism, but they don’t have a monopoly on spiritual pride. The whole church is full of it.


I hope reconciliation efforts will continue so we can build a bridge across the Pentecostal divide. I want to see the day when this hatchet is buried. Then the real party can begin.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Read Time: 3 Minutes 7 Seconds “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold,” (2 Sam. 5:17). When David heard that he was under...

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Read Time: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds God is good. And He has a good plan for each of our lives. No matter what may be going on right now, God’s plan is unfolding. In the meantime, Romans 12:12 tells us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,”...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...

RECENT ARTICLES

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own...
Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Read Time: 4 Minutes 2 Seconds When I first became a believer in 1970, my mother was one of my first “converts," giving her heart to Jesus as soon as I shared with her the beauty, the power and the opportunity of making Jesus the Lord of her life. However, my father...

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds I was remembering a time when my husband and I were praying over friends who had been in a situation for many years that had caused deep trauma to their souls. As we were praying for them, I became aware of an angel standing over them...

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

Read Time: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Do you believe the Lord is concerned about your emotional and spiritual health? He is. He wants you to know how to improve your emotional and spiritual health to be resilient in turbulent times. One of the most powerful things you can...

Pin It on Pinterest