Here’s another eye-opener from Lee. Enjoy! -anita
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. -I John 4:1-6
I have started reading a great, thought-provoking book by a Colorado Springs author that my daughter gave me for Christmas (more on this another time). But I somehow got sidetracked into another piece that discussed Unitarianism. I always thought that Unitarianism was just another Protestant denomination and never really looked at what it really teaches.
This teaching has been in existence some 500 years and began in Eastern Europe (primarily Poland). A key piece of their theology concerns who Jesus is, and this is what got my attention. According to Unitarianism, there is a strict monotheism, not a trinity. God the Father is the only one true God. The teaching of one essence with three persons is debunked from the Unitarianism point of view. They teach that Jesus did not exist prior to the Incarnation and that He is only a human being rather than a deity with supernatural ability. Further, that He “was inspired by God … and is a savior…” but only because He was imbued with that ability by the Father.
Researching a little further, it seems that Unitarianism believers also reject the doctrines of original sin, predestination, and biblical infallibility [see for example at the Unitarianism website, http://www.uua.org, quotes such as this: “[Religious liberals] agree that the Bible is riddled with historical errors but nonetheless can serve as an important repository of human truth.”] And in modern times, they also appear to reject the idea of punishment in an eternal hell.
Now that I’ve become a little more acquainted with Unitarianism, I’m astounded that adherents can reach the conclusions they do if they’ve read the Bible. Maybe one can discount Jesus’ own teachings that He is the Son of God and at one with the Father [John 5:18 for example] if you happen to believe that Jesus was saying these things simply on His own authority. But God is quoted as saying in Genesis 1:26: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….” At Jesus’ baptism by John, God the Father is quoted as saying, “This is My beloved Son….” He didn’t say “this is My hand-picked guy I selected out of the crowd to do incredible things as I enable him.” And if Jesus was only human, as taught by Unitarianism, I find it hard to believe that He was able to raise from the dead after dying on a cross and, further, as recounted by the Apostles who were eye-witnesses, was able to levitate up into the clouds and to ascend into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father [Mark 16:19, Acts 1:9-11]. The Bible distinctly teaches that we should test anyone who prophesizes; if what they say glorifies Jesus [1 John 4:1-6] and comes to pass [Deut 18:20-22], then they are speaking from God. Jesus not only didn’t speak as one reiterating what God has said by saying “thus says the Lord,” but rather spoke on His own volition, and, importantly, everything He said, in fact, has mostly already come to pass.
So, imagine my surprise when I found through research that several historical people that I admired were believers in Unitarianism. People like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Schweitzer, Linus Pauling, Sir Isaac Newton, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Florence Nightingale, and Susan B. Anthony, among many other notables, all were followers of Unitarianism.
I guess this just illustrates an important fact. Even those who have access to the Word of God and have read and studied it can still reach conclusions that detract from or diminish Jesus and His divinity. Only by the workings of the indwelling Holy Spirit can we ever truly say that Jesus is Lord [1 Cor 12:3]. It makes me think of a passage: “…false prophets… will introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them [with His death on a cross]….” [2 Peter 2:1]
We’ve all been taught that Satan is the Father of Lies; one who relentlessly proffers partial truths that sound scriptural but, in fact, are heretical in content and deadly in effect. Unitarianism seems to be in alignment.