If we dig a bit we will find that ‘oneness Pentecostalism’ and non-trinitarian theology is usually associated with legalism and fundamentalism of the abstract kind.
The reason for this is that legalistic cultures and their mindset are the effect of the knowledge of good and evil and its tendency to ideology rather than to union of being that is ours in the personhood of God. Anything from this tree can vary from a cult to a perverted gospel. Everything from the tree of the cross makes us overflow with infinite spirit and life.
HEAVEN AND EARTH
Heaven invades earth, not because of the ‘gifts’ but because you have become the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. You are incarnated. Gifts are a function of the incarnation. You have become the expression of Christ. Or not. Not if you are tied to the law.
Fundamentalism from the 19th century onwards has had more to do with materialism and the industrial revolution and its mechanical mode of thought than is commonly realised.
BEING IS ONENESS
Christians have always read that we ‘have our being in God’, as Paul says in Acts. But it has not always been appreciated what ‘being’ means. All ‘being’ especially the human kind finds its nature in God. Christianity at heart is not a religion as in other religious faiths. It is our Person in Christ and because we are in Christ it is foundationally personal since we are derived from the ‘being’ of God. This means we are more blessed to think of ourselves as incorporated into God in Christ as sons and daughters rather than as moralists, commandment keepers and bearers of a contractual religion.
Of course we will grow in purity and righteousness when Christ is our life. We will experience healing, liberation from sins and freedom from addictions and the joy of grace. Not much of this when the law is our life. Even if we have some semblance of uprightness in the law we are never alive in our spirit and do ourselves a disservice as dead men talking.
Thomas Torrance observes that the nature of ourselves and the nature of our salvation is profoundly trinitarian, “The relations which persons have with one another as persons are onto-relations, for they are person-constituting relations.
That was a concept and a way of thinking developed through the understanding of the Holy Trinity as a Communion of Love in whom Father, Son and Holy Spirit mutually involve and co-inhere in one another in the profound onto-relations of that Communion, without any blurring of their hypostatic distinctions or properties as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”* (1)
AN AUTHENTIC ONENESS WITH GOD
‘Onto-relations’ simply means ‘being.’ The Church Fathers used the word perichoresis to describe this relationship of oneness and individuality in the trinity. I had read previously that the trinity and its relationship of three persons, one God is the empowerment that ignites a happy marriage and well-functioning church. Torrance expands on this with reference to Irenaeus and the Church Fathers.
Jesus is the living word and logos because Jesus is God. Logos means the meaning, purpose and function of the universe – what Paul names as the law of the spirit of life.# It is this Person who is in us and this trinity that is with us and in us that unites us intimately to God and to the Created order – the order that is the expression of God.
Torrance writes, “We consider Jesus Christ in the light of his internal relations in so far as they are disclosed to us, that is, in terms of his own intrinsic significance or Logos. Thus we come to think of him and his work from the knowledge he gives us of himself in his own inner relation to God the Father, and within the constitution of his incarnate Person as Mediator.” (2)
We are embraced by God by the nature of God.
Jesus and the new wineskin is not the old law in Jesus clothes. It’s none of the law. The new wineskin is our being drawn by God into the fellowship that is God: Trinity.
In Him we really do have our being, our personhood, our spirit and life and our fellowship with the Creation. The way we use or abuse the earth is not irrelevant to life, righteousness and the created world that finds its being in God. ‘God so loved The World that He gave His only Son.’ Jesus invested Himself in fulfilling ‘all righteousness.’ This is the Christ who is our life. Note: In his book Space, Time and Resurrection and elsewhere, Torrance argued for a cosmos that was orderly enough to be investigated yet “strange and unpredictable” enough to allow for new and unexpected things to take place. “Far from being closed or predetermined,” he wrote, “the universe constitutes an open-textured system in which novel forms of order constantly emerge. * Thomas Torrance believes that the nature of the trinity is also the paradigm of, physics but I cannot enlarge on this not being a scientist. His work on the topic should be of much interest to progressive physicists. # Not to be confused with the law of Moses which is a function of separation from God and the culture of the knowledge of good and evil.