Legalism and anti-trinitarianism go together. A fad that lives in some sections of the church is the denial of the trinity. This kind of reductionism is typical of communities that will not relinquish the law. They either deny the new covenant and the union with God that is our inheritance in it or act as though the old covenant with adjustments and a ‘Jesus slant’ is our inheritance. The latter is fools gold. The former the gold tried in the fire.
It is not uncommon for sects and cults to seize on some point of doctrine, make an icon of it and build a community around it. They lay claim to belonging to the Body of Christ. They do belong but it’s the kind of belonging one has when we fly in the cargo hold of the plane when we have a business class seat at the front of the plane.
The pre-requisite for fullness in Christ is worship of the Christ of God and His gospel - not gathering around another christ and another gospel. Such a ‘gospel’ is the kind Jesus described as tares, rocks and weeds.
SEEDS AND WEEDS
‘The good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one.’ Matt 13.38 NIV. They are good people seduced by the father of lies.
‘But when the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away’
Matt 13.6 NIV. Their doctrine had no substance because it just another version of the Fall.
DOCTINES OF WITCHCRAFT
The Parable of The Sower is not about morality and besetting sin. It’s about God’s gospel versus look-alikes contained in the rocks and stones of the law.
This is not a story in which Jesus is urging us to give up our favourite carnalities and immoralities. It’s about people who refuse to disconnect themselves from the rocks, weeds, crows and demonic influences of the old covenant and law. It’s an invitation to be planted in the deep soil of God in the Seed who is the Son of Man. Here is much Kingdom fruitfulness.
The inevitable result of ‘Other Gospels’ is abstruse theology and confusion posing as sound doctrine. From his experience in ‘Oneness Pentecostalism’ and his personal analysis, Gregory Boyd observes that,
“Oneness exponents get around the traditional concept of “the eternal Son” by interpreting Scriptures that have traditionally been taken to imply Christ’s pre-existence as Son as referring either to Christ’s pre-existence as God the Father, to Christ’s ideal pre-existence in the mind of the Father, or (for a minority) to Christ’s pre-existence as a finitized aspect of the Father (“the Word”). But what, we might finally ask, is to be made of the many passages that speak of Christ as being “sent into the world” by the Father? Do these not presuppose that the Son pre-exists with the Father prior to his sending?” (1)
Of course they do. They do for a reason. Not only is our salvation a result of the divine enterprise arising from Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our salvation is the undoing of the separation of ourselves and God wrought by Adam. Our achieved union is a renewed union WITH RELATIONSHIP ITSELF. The trinity is a communion of distinct persons who are one in relationship. In Jesus we have been enfolded in this Relationship that is God.
‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT.
Baxter Kruger explains this ‘everything’ and ‘belonging’ well.
“The doctrine of the Trinity means that relationship, that fellowship, that togetherness and sharing, that self-giving and other-centeredness are not afterthoughts with God, but the deepest truth about the being of God.
The Father is not consumed with Himself; He loves the Son and the Spirit. And the Son is not riddled with narcissism; he loves his Father and the Spirit. And the Spirit is not preoccupied with himself and his own glory; the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. Giving, not taking; other-centeredness, not self-centeredness; sharing, not hoarding are what fire the rockets of God and lie at the very center of God’s existence as Father, Son and Spirit.”
The trinity is not obsessed about being ‘something special.’ The trinity is a Communion from that has birthed something so special that they are the sons and daughters of God. Both individuality and togetherness have their origin in the trinity. The trinity birthed the sons of God. The enterprise of the trinity has re-created the sons of God to the original plan.
God is what God is as described in the words above. This is I AM in spirit and in truth. God is not a Christian version of the Unmoved Mover. He is not an abstraction like the law. God is ultra-personal and communal. It is out of this personal-communal hub that all togetherness flows.
‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ Col 1.17 NIV.
TARES 1 AND 2
Aberrant theologies like ‘oneness’ and ‘law revisionism’ give themselves an appearance of legitimacy by linking scriptures together in what appears to the naïve, to be a compelling way. But they would have no attraction whatsoever to those who are secure in their understanding of the new covenant or of the consequences of the cross for our well-being.
Even though the texts have no genuine relationship to each other they are woven together as ‘truth.’ They become an ideology around which a community is built by adding people to it by means of ‘Bible Studies.’ These studies have one purpose, which is to sell this parody of the gospel that contradicts the apostles teaching. It is charade that confuses the saints and degrades their humanity while giving them a false identity and a fabricated claim to ‘specialness’ in the Body. But it is the kind of specialness the human body acquires when we have a tumour or get cancer. The kind of specialness we can do without because it kills the host. The ploy of the anti-christ in developing these fantasies is to denude the saints of their spirit of sonship and neutralise the power of the living Christ who has come to live in them.
‘They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!’ 2 Tom 3.5 NLT.
(1) Boyd, Gregory A. Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity (p. 40). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.