10
Sep 15

The Elephant in the Room

that everyone, and I do mean everyone, is talking about is one Kim Davis.

Now, I could explain how everyone is wrong, no matter which side you find yourself, but I am not going to do that. Instead I want to pick up on a tiny little fact that everyone seems to be ignoring.

Kim Davis says she is a Christian. What kind of Christian is she?

She self identifies as a member of the Solid Rock Apostolic Church in Morehead, Ky; but what does that mean?

The church has a website but I have not been able to get it to load (even my Research Monkey can't get an archived version, just a screen shot) and according to some sources their phone is not working either. However, with a little digging we can discover that the church is a member of the Oneness Pentecostal movement.

The Pentecostal movement began in 1906 at the Azuza Street Mission in Los Angeles. The movement emphasized the Holy Spirit and in particular the so called "sign gifts" that manifested at Pentecost in the Book of Acts, namely speaking in tongues and miracles. The Oneness or Apostolic Pentecostal movement split from the Pentecostal movement in 1914 over the nature of God.

Pentecostalism teaches the orthodox view Christianity that God is three distinct persons who are nevertheless one being, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, which we call the Trinity. The Oneness movement, however, teaches that God is one person, Jesus, who has three titles depending on how he interacts with humanity. This is a concept known as Modalism - God is one but has different "modes."

[WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IS SLIGHTLY DEEPER INTO THE STUDY OF FORMAL THEOLOGY THAN I NORMALLY GO!]
It is also known as Sabellianism named after Sabellius, who was a theologian and priest from the 3rd century. The chief critic of Sabellianism was Tertullian, who labelled the movement "Patripassianism", from the Latin words pater for "father", and passus from the verb "to suffer" because it implied that the Father suffered on the Cross.Oneness Pentecostalism teaches that God is one Person, and that the Father (a spirit) is united with Jesus (a man) as the Son of God. However, Oneness Pentecostalism differs somewhat by rejecting sequential modalism, and by the full acceptance of the begotten humanity of the Son, not eternally begotten, who was the man Jesus and was born, crucified, and risen, and not the deity. This directly opposes Patripassianism and the pre-existence of the Son, which Sabellianism does not. They teach that "the Word" was eternal and dwelt in the man Jesus at his conception.

[END FORMAL THEOLOGY LESSON]

Oneness teachers often say: "God was manifested as the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Ghost in emanation."

So, what is the point of all of that?

The teachings of the Oneness church, and therefore the stated belief system of Kim Davis, is in the eyes of the vast majority of Christians contrary to the accepted theology and interpretation of the Bible. We call what is against the accepted theology of the majority of the a faith "heresy." Therefore Kim Davis is a heretic, one who teaches contrary or false doctrine by the standards of most of Christianity. A doctrine that has been condemned for 1800 years.

And yet we have a swell of Christians jumping up to support her on a particular moral issue. I find this odd. She hold a view of God that would be unacceptable to most of these supporters. Yet because she has made a political statement with which they agree they have jumped on her band wagon with no concern as to why she has made such a statement.

When did politics trump theology? When did politics take the place of theology?

One Response for "The Elephant in the Room"

  1. Carissa says:

    It reminds me of when Mitt Romney was running for president. Normally, "good Christians" view Mormons as a cult (at least the Southern Baptist church I grew up in did, and I know we weren't alone). But when Mitt was running. Mormonism was perfectly acceptable, and Mitt was going to lead our nation back to God.

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