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February 21, 2008 / Nick

Why I prefer to be called an ‘Apostolic’ and not a ‘Oneness Pentecostal’


I’ve been focusing this week on addressing the issue of ‘Oneness Pentecostals’ being labelled as members of a cult. When reviewing the writings of those who speak against Oneness Pentecostalism, they label us with a name we rarely give to ourselves. Most of us never refer to ourselves as ‘Oneness Pentecostals’.

‘Oneness Pentecostal’ – lets look at it. ‘Oneness’ speaks of a doctrine of One God, while Pentecostal is an unfortunate phrase for those who believe in the infilling of the Holy Ghost as initially evidenced by speaking in unknown tongues. I say ‘Pentecostal’ is an unfortunate label as it really refers to the Jewish Feast of Shavout commemorating the giving of the Law of Moses. It just happened that to fulfil typology God placed His Law in the hearts of the 120 of Acts on this day (Acts 2:1-4). The term Pentecost just means ‘fifty’ as the feast fell fifty days after Passover.

I find the term ‘Apostolic’ a much more fitting definition of my faith.

I’m much more used to being called/calling myself an ‘Apostolic’ and I believe this is the most fitting label for ‘Oneness’ people as it accurately sums up the totality of our faith experience. That is, we hold to the teaching and practise of the Apostles seeking to continue the revival that started in the Upper Room of Acts 2.

‘Apostolic’ encapsulates our Hebraic rooted doctrine of One God, who is a Spirit (Deut. 6:4; Jhn. 4:24). Wrapped in ‘Apostolic’ is our holding to the teaching of the Apostles as outlined in the Bible and rejection of later extra-biblical creeds such as the Nicean & Athanasian creeds which introduced plurality of persons within the godhead. The name ‘Apostolic’ speaks to the power of availability of the charisma (gifts) of God, none of which have ceased to operate. As the fruit of Galatians (Gal. 5:17-24) are listed as 9, so there are 9 complimentary gifts of the Spirit, all of which God uses in His church today.

When I say ‘I am an Apostolic’ I am proclaiming that the God of the book of Acts is still alive, that He has a people through whom He is still operating (of which I am one) and that the power of the Spirit is available to all who believe.

So, in the words of Lance Appleton’s 1975 song: “I’m a one God Apostolic, tongue talking, holy rolling, born again, believer in the liberating power of Jesus Name!”

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4 Comments

  1. Power of Faith / Jan 11 2009 8:40 am

    WILDMAN STREET PENTECOSTAL.

  2. danielle / Mar 6 2009 5:56 pm

    The problem with that One God song is that it doesnt glorify Him rather its an I,Me,My song. All about me me me instead of Him HIm HIm. Some of those songs really bug me.

    • jesusblogger / Mar 7 2009 7:52 am

      Bless you Danielle,

      You know, I never saw it like that before. You have a good point, songs that are the best glorify Him.

      I guess I woulnt sing that song at church, I just take it as an affirmation of the faith I hold.

      Thanks for such a good comment!

    • JC John Sese Cuneta / Dec 12 2009 3:50 am

      Good catch!

      I haven’t heard the song yet (I think it didn’t reach the Philippines), but I think that song is best left outside of worship services and Bible studies. In a casual fellowshipping, maybe it is fine, or outside or of personal, something in the line of an “anthem” if you will.

      But then again, it is still better to sing songs that Glorifies the One True God, as you have said, HIM HIM HIM, than sing songs that doesn’t glorify HIM and instead points towards ME, MYSELF, and I.

      Interesting song, I should look for it… if we don’t have it locally, I guess I just have to look for it online.

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