The Importance Of Truth
By Nathaniel A. Urshan
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
It is of absolute importance that we develop the Oneness Symposium as a very significant area for our fellowship so that we can understand clearly our doctrinal position.
Our first symposium brought forth scholarly areas and individuals who were unknown as scholars. It is refreshing to discover the knowledgeable growth taking place in the ministry. We are not content with the status quo in spiritual life or in growing in the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
It is imperative that a clear sound be trumpeted throughout the constituency of the apostolic Pentecostal ministry. The present religious climate demands that those who love and espouse truth make plain the vitality of the original apostolic pattern to counteract the error spawned by liberal forces that hide in educational and religious sheep’s clothing.
Why should we vacate the responsibility to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”? Why hide “this marvelous light” under the excuse of reclusive provincial fear? Why run from the battle of truth versus error? Why sit in passive contentment while Babylonish heresy enthrones itself on secular, man-made Councils
of Nicea? Where are the zealous Pauls? Where are the fearless Daniels, the pungent John the Baptists, the adventurous Simon Peters, the beloved apostle Johns, or better still, the Judes who called the hand of the wolfish spirits that have “crept in unawares”?
It is my delightful and thrilling privilege to stand in the position of an apostolic defender to challenge all who study this material to contend. Contend! Contend! Contend for that original, pristine, fearless, foundational, apostolic truth that is and was forever “settled in heaven.”
Cultic we are not! Scriptural we are! The burden of proof is on a trinitarian, tritheistic church world to prove that we are a cult. The responsibility of clarity of thought and correct interpretation of
biblical understanding should be our watchword. The Oneness Symposium becomes a facility of utterance for discussion of “what saith the Word of the Lord.”
We note a very serious climate of liberal attitudes in educational and ecclesiastical circles. This putrefaction of the spiritual environment has performed “menticide” (brainwashing) on the intellectual ecclesiastics. This brainwashing process has circulated through some unwitting apostolic Pentecostals at all levels until they are willing to substitute a tepid, lukewarm, charismatic stance that has a dangerous “form of godliness.” It denies the true power of God in transformed lifestyle and permits men to be deceived by “demonstrations” of so-called worship as if they are acceptable to the Lord. It espouses convenient lifestyle that permits people to live with their “mod” fashions and their unrestrained lusts and still “talk in tongues.”
“New Age” Humanism
Why is doctrine and the need for a clear sound and a unity of thought among believers so important to us? If a person is not aware of the “New Age” teaching, it will be important for him to ferret out some of the thinking that is being developed under the heading of the “New Age” teaching. A quote from a “New Age” leader illustrates the dangers to truth: “If only the Christian would give up his negative, exclusive, separatist views, the world could have unity of religions and world peace would then ensue.”
Other quotations from “New Age” thought support this platform for unity: “We are all pure light, all pieces of God…. We are obviously all one…. If you can just remember that we are all one, we are all God . . . your negative feelings will disappear…. Logic, reason, intuition, and the esoteric literature from most world religions indicate that if you think you have the only way, then your God is too limited.”
According to the “New Age,” unity requires that the Christian cease his efforts to convert the world to salvation through Jesus and to recognize that man is himself divine. To think otherwise, in their view, exemplifies narrow mindedness and wrong thinking. This view is humanism in its precise form and thought. Therefore, we must be alerted to the importance of a clear, doctrinal position.
It is rather strange that incorrect teachings about Jesus, His deity, and His manhood could be confusing even to the scholars. He is the only begotten of the Father. There will never be another Son of God in the exact form as the One born from a virgin’s womb. There is none other like Him or beside Him, nor will there ever be such a One as He. It is imperative that we interpret Jesus in the light of the Scriptures–as to His deity, being the Almighty God, and as to His manhood, the only begotten of the Father. His appearance as the Son of God is known in the Scriptures as the wisdom and righteousness of God.
We cannot deny His Sonship, but He is not an eternal Son. He is the Almighty God no matter how we look at Him–whether it be as the God of creation or in the Son of God, who is the express image of the person of God. The work of the Son is the work of redemption in all of its fullness: in the cross, in His mediatorial ministry, and in His destruction of death and hell. When all this has been accomplished, there will be no need for the Sonship position, but God will become all in all and He will still be Jehovah–Jesus.
The liberals want to take away from His deity and to subject Him as a sinful man, denying the virgin birth and denying the purpose and plan of God in redemptive salvation.
It is wonderfully outstanding that we can discuss our position as the people of God. As Simon Peter explained, we “once were not a people, but are now the people of God” (I Peter 2:10).
The Liberal Attitude
The basic thought of the word liberal means to be urbane or ingratiatingly tactful and well mannered. Its important premise is that a person should not be offended by opposing points of view. Its measure of social success demands that a person listen with appropriate gestures of appreciation to all moral or political opinions. Its priorities place more importance upon communication than upon accuracy. Politeness becomes polity, deference replaces determination, and compromise conquers rightness.
It is difficult to argue against the benefits that an age of tolerance has brought to Western society. We have not burned any witches in quite some time. People are free to embrace any opinion they choose without bearing any social, religious, or political stigma (except, of course, some conservative and apostolic Christians). Ours is an age of tolerance where two mutually exclusive viewpoints can amicably co-exist. Error no longer fears the rack; the thrust is that we all get along well together.
With everyone trying to be so civil to everyone, deferring to others’ right to say and think as they please, little room is left for truth, for truth is never perceived as being polite by those in error. Truth can only be true; all else is either false or wrong or erroneous or foolish or empty or evil or destructive or injurious or disastrous or dead.
Since the liberal attitude values peaceful coexistence as the supreme virtue, it discourages any impetus to discover truth and any desire to change opinions or positions when truth is revealed. Error is encouraged to thrive because it would be presumptuous to assume to know enough of the truth to correct someone. It reasons that as long as no one knows the entire truth, no one can be entirely wrong. How comfortable! Live and let live and speak a fantasy–we are all going to heaven even though we go by different paths. It is absurd to accept this kind of “menticide.”
While the liberal framework functions as an excellent safeguard for the dissemination of ideas, it is not the substance of those ideas. We must guard against confusing the two. A mind that feeds on openness feeds on nothing. A mind that substitutes courtesy for ideas and good manners for genius will starve itself into mediocrity. Without the hammer ringing against the anvil, the steel of inspiration is never formed. Without the whetstone rubbing the blade, the edge of truth is
Give me the passion of Abraham Lincoln, whose lonesome stand on the issue of the evils of slavery brought deliverance to many souls who were subjected to ignominious embarrassment.
Give me a George Washington, whose determination is mirrored in history. Tattered rags on bodies, the army shattered against superior forces, he knelt in the snow to pray; then he went forth to persevere for a nation that could worship God according to conscience.
These are not children of a numbing liberalism that stifles all desire for Bible perfection. Tell me, who builds monuments to civility? Who dies for eclecticism? Who struggles for the middle of the road? Who dies on a cross to please himself? Who obeys truth in the face of opposition? Jesus said it best: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
We are not liberals, because we refuse to substitute liberality for truth. We are not liberals, because our faith centers in Bible salvation. We are not liberals, because truth demands our allegiance. We must not, will not, be brainwashed by a society of humanistic
gushing that denies the supernatural force of God almighty in Jesus Christ. We will swim upstream with truth, and ours will be a church of spiritual conquest.
Nathaniel A. Urshan is the general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International. For many years he served as pastor of Calvary Tabernacle in Indianapolis, Indiana, and as assistant general superintendent. He has been Harvestime speaker for over twenty years. He attended Columbia University and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Theology degree by Gateway College of Evangelism. He has authored four books. N. A. Urshan speaks around the world in various conferences, camp meetings, church dedications and anniversaries, ministers’ banquets and retreats, and many other special meetings. It is safe to say that he has ministered to more people in the United Pentecostal Church than any other Person.
The Above Material Was Taken From The Symposium On Oneness Pentecostalism 1988 And 1990, And Published By Word Aflame Press, 1990, Pages 11-18. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.