Why I Left Answers in Genesis

For the past three years (since March 2016), I have been an employee of Answers in Genesis. For obvious reasons, I refrained from mentioning this in any prior blog posts. I've been waiting until I left to make that apparent. However, on February 1, 2019, I announced my decision to leave rather than re-sign the employee handbook, since there are some drastic theological differences that I could no longer ignore. I wrote the following letter to my family and close friends, but I thought it would be good to share here as well. I was not anyone important at the ministry. My departure didn't create a splash, and I'm not looking to make it a bigger issue than it needs be. But I do hope some who knew me there will read this and be inspired to look into the reasons I felt compelled to leave. Without further ado:

Dear Family and Friends,

For reasons I suspect many of you will privately agree with, I am no longer employable by Answers in Genesis. It is with a heavy heart that I write this and share this. My decision to come public with this is completely voluntary; had I chosen to keep these things in my head, I could continue on with my job there unhindered. Answers in Genesis, like nearly all faith-based organizations, requires its members to affirm a certain set of doctrines outlined in their Statement of Faith. There is a degree of flexibility on most points, but I cannot rationalize my perspectives to align with what they require all employees to affirm. I do not fault them for this. While I disagree with this mentality, I do see the value in having all employees unite on a common set of core beliefs. Some of you have already heard part of the story (disagreements on the fate of the wicked), but there is more I haven't shared yet because of the delicate nature of these things. I've had a year or more to study these issues out; it's a lot to lay on someone all at once.

You may ask, “Why have you remained with them for so long if you have disagreed for such a long time?” The largest area of disagreement has come from this past year. There are several points on the Statement of Faith that I think are such minor disputes, they don't warrant making a fuss, but there are two doctrines in particular that I cannot convince myself to affirm. All of this has come about since the last time I was asked to sign this statement, so I did not lie, although the questions that led me to this position were already in my mind. I just had not had the time to pursue them to the degree of certainty which I now hold. Besides that, I have been looking for other employment. Other than one offer I foolishly turned down last summer, I have not had any success in my job search. This deadline caught me off guard, or I would have been more diligent in my search, but I haven't been completely lax in my searching. Although I cannot blame God for my own failure to seek more diligently, I do believe he closed the doors I did pursue for a reason. And in the week leading up to the February 1 deadline to sign, I've had three opportunities to share my faith in depth with people—one of whom didn't own a Bible until I gave him the one I keep in my car.

Those of you who know me best have seen a radical transformation in my life and how I live out my faith in the past two or three years. I was raised in the Christian Church nondenomination, I joined a fundamentalist Bible Church in high school, I attended a conservative Presbyterian Church in college, and I landed at a Southern Baptist Church out here in Kentucky. Even though I moved around through several denominations with variations on belief, all of them fell under the banner of Orthodoxy. But shortly after getting hired into my full-time position as a Point of Sale Technician, I was introduced to the Messianic, Torah-observant philosophy to which I now adhere. As radical as it is, I did not embrace it overnight. There were several months where I thought it was as outlandish as you probably do. But I was challenged by a friend, Zachary Bauer, to study out whether the New Testament truly overrules God's instructions on which animals are acceptable to eat (Leviticus 11). I didn't want to accept what I found, but the more I searched, the feebler my resolve became. In the end, I could find no evidence that Jesus declared all foods clean.

From there, I did jump in whole hog (pardon the expression) without completely knowing what I was getting into. My personality has always been this way, but I am of the mind that understanding follows practice. I don't need to understand why God decreed certain things, I just want to be faithful to what I believe to be right. Within days, I had thrown out my bacon and picked up some blue and white thread to make my first set of tzitzit, the odd tassels you've probably observed dangling from my beltloops. Over time, my perspective on Scripture changed. Rather than using the New Testament as a filter for the Old, I used the Old Testament as a filter for the New.

As I continued to learn and grow in my understanding, it slowly became evident to me that something was wrong. My whole life in church, I heard statements like “Jesus fulfilled the law so you don't have to”, “The law was given to prove that we need God and can't please him on our own”, “If you obey the law, you are trying to earn your salvation”, and “Jesus is God because only God can perfectly obey the law.” The problem is, I couldn't find statements like these anywhere in the Bible. Throughout the Old Testament, there are many calls to repent and walk in righteousness (aka obey the Torah), but there is nothing which says that the Torah is too hard for us to do. In fact, we see statements that completely refute that idea:

“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.”
—Deuteronomy 30:11-14

In the New Testament, the very word “disciple” dispels the idea that “Jesus fulfilled the law for us”. A disciple is someone who walks in every footstep of his master, talking the same way, eating the same way, sleeping the same way, with a desire to become his master. First John 2:6 says that we ought to “walk in the same way in which he walked.” If Yeshua (Jesus) was truly “tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15), and I am supposed to live like him, then I must also strive to be this way. That's really what the entire book of 1 John is about.

The biggest difficulty I had with this Hebraic understanding of Scripture is the idea that Yeshua just had to be God because only God can obey his own instructions perfectly. The latter half of that statement is missing from the Bible, so what does it mean for the former half? Yeshua isn't the only person in the Bible who is said to be blameless according to the Torah (cf. Luke 1:6). (Yeshua is the only sinless person, which is a little different, but if God can call someone “blameless”, then there is no excuse for us not to obey.) In the Old and New Testament, I could find no evidence to back the idea that only God can obey. I see some generalities saying that “no one is righteous” (Romans 3:10-18), but those statements are only generalities, or else we'd have to admit the Bible contains contradictions in places that do call people righteous.

Before moving on, I need to backtrack the story a bit. In November 2016, before I started down this path, I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a homeless man I'd befriended through a second job I had in Cincinnati. As I tried to explain how he could be saved, I felt it was of utmost importance for me to explain how God the Son bore our sins at the behest of God the Father. The last thing I wanted was for this man to come to faith but believe in a heresy and be damned anyway. Yet as I meticulously explained the complexity of the Trinity to this fellow, I realized I would never believe my own words were someone else trying to explain them to me. That shook me.

As I was studying Torah in the spring and summer of 2017, I came across resources such as the United Church of God1 and Messianic Niagara2 who had different ideas about the person of Yeshua. I didn't take anything they said as-is. I studied everything against Scripture, and as 2018 rolled around, I was still grappling with the doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of Messiah. One the one hand, I was struggling with logical issues:

  • The Bible says that God is immortal (Romans 1:23, etc.), yet Yeshua died for us (Romans 5:6).
  • The Bible says that God cannot be tempted by evil (James 1:13), yet Yeshua was tempted in all things (Hebrews 4:15).

These things made no sense, as a straightforward reading of the text would force the reader to preclude that Yeshua is God. I studied the opinions of various theologians to figure out how Trinitarians reconciled these contradictions. I listened to hours of sermons and debates from people on all sides of the aisle to make sure I was getting well-rounded opinions.

And then there were the prophecies. The whole concept of the Son of David requires a human to fill that role. The title “Son of God” means various things in the Old Testament; it's a title representing authority under God. But it is always used of beings other than God, whether angels (e.g. Psalm 82:6) or people in authority (e.g., Luke 3:38; 2 Samuel 7:12-16). Moses promised a prophet who would come from among Israel and be like him—essentially a second Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). There are dozens of prophecies about the “Servant of Yehovah” who is, logically, not Yehovah. If you talk to any Jewish person who loves God and the Scriptures, he will tell you the Bible never mentions a divine Messiah. And while you might cast aside his opinion as that of a non-believer, it doesn't get any better in the New Testament.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke never make an obvious case that Yeshua is Yehovah. Granted, books have been written explaining how prophecies about Yehovah are applied to Yeshua, but there are alternative explanations for those that fit within a biblical worldview. The book of John makes a lot of cryptic statements that many have interpreted to prove Yeshua's divinity, but Yeshua himself refuted this idea when the Pharisees accused him of making this claim (John 10:33-36). And John said his stated purpose in writing his Gospel was to prove that Yeshua is the Messiah and the son of God (John 20:30-31). There also isn't a hint of a divine Messiah in the book of Acts. In fact, just read Peter's first sermon here:

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Yeshua of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Yeshua, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, ‘I saw Yehovah always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to Sheol, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Yeshua God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the holy spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Yehovah said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Yeshua whom you crucified.”
—Acts 2:22-36 (emphasis mine)

Pay close attention to how Peter constantly contrasts Yeshua with God by highlighting what God did through “the man Yeshua”.

Moving into Paul's letters, nearly all of them open with statements such as, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua Messiah” (1 Corinthians 1:3). There are only a tiny handful of verses that could conflate Yeshua with God, and all of them come down to either (1) variations in the text between manuscripts or (2) difficulties in translation with multiple possible readings. But there are two passages which sealed my mind against the doctrine that Yeshua is Yehovah God.

“But in fact Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Messiah. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘all things are put in subjection,’ it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.”
—1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (emphasis mine)

Did you catch that? The wording is a little tricky to follow, which is probably why I never noticed it before. But Paul says, “When the Bible says, ‘all things are put in subjection,’ it is plain that God is the exception, since he is the one to put all things in subjection under Yeshua.” Then he says that when Yeshua has conquered the whole world and brought it into subjection under his authority, he will surrender that authority back to God, so that God may be all in all. It is clear that Yeshua is the man whom God has chosen to use as his instrument to bring the world back into obedience to him.

“Yeshua said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”’”
—John 20:17 (emphasis mine)

“The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”
—Revelation 3:12 (emphasis mine)

In John, Yeshua called his Father our Father. Moreover, he called our God his God. And in a single verse in Revelation, Yeshua referred to his God four separate times. If God is a Trinity and Yeshua is part of that, then how can our God be his God? If Yeshua is our God and the Father is our God, does that mean we have two Gods? Does that mean that one of our Gods is subservient to another of our Gods? The more I dug into Scripture, the harder it was to reconcile what I was reading to my orthodox upbringing.

What does this all mean? What difference does it make? It makes all the difference to me. If Yeshua is God, then his obedience means nothing to me. God can't sin. Heck, he can't even be tempted. So Yeshua's temptation means absolutely nothing. His obedience is worthless if he is God.

And if God is immortal, then Yeshua didn't really die on the cross. There are a number of theories from Trinitarians about how Yeshua paid for our sins if he didn't truly die. You’ll never hear it in church because it's a rather lofty argument typically only had in universities and seminaries, but every theologian probably has his own idea on how exactly Yeshua died when God cannot die. You see, even if you think that Yeshua's body died but his soul lived on, that's impossible as well. Because no matter how we define death, Yeshua cannot do it if he's God. If death is the separation of soul from body, then Yeshua couldn't do that. The definition of immortal is “unable to die”. So no matter what “death” is, Yeshua cannot die. Thus he did absolutely nothing on the cross if he is God.

If you haven't completely shut me out and rejected everything I have to say by this point, then you are probably wondering to yourself, If this is all in the Bible as Seth says, why have I never seen it before? Why did my pastor never teach me this? Personally, I went through a brief period where I was angry at my pastors for teaching me so many things that are simply wrong. But then the spirit of God began to speak to me. Over the last few months, I have felt a huge change in my heart that cannot be explained by personality or upbringing. I guess I've been called a heretic so many times from my “Judaizing” that I became a softie toward others. Back in the fundamentalist Bible Church, I thought everyone who disagreed with my church's doctrines was a heretic.

But it is clear to me that God judges us based on our allegiance and the actions it produces. I don't care (that much) what other people believe on the particulars. I am much more concerned with seeing that they love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and love their neighbor as themselves. I don't expect to ever stop growing in my understanding of the faith, but I hope even more that I never stop growing in my love for others and my obedience to God. And this is why I have told so few people about my conversion to Biblical Unitarianism (not the same as Unitarian Universalist!). Your theology is useless if it doesn't produce a heart that desires to obey God. I care so much more than my loved ones begin walking in faithful obedience to God's commandments than I do that they have the right Christology. The Bible consistently says that God will judge us according to what we have done, not according to which brand of Christian Orthodoxy we subscribe to.

If Yeshua isn't God, his obedience is the most precious thing in the world to me. If Yeshua isn't God, his death and resurrection are the hope of my soul. They are what give me the confidence to quit my dream job and stand by my convictions.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Yeshua, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
—Hebrews 12:1-2

I finally understand what it means for Yeshua to be the founder and perfecter of our faith. He is the first man to truly love God with his entire being, and for that love, he gave up everything to serve God without hesitation. If he could do that, it gives me hope that my life is meant for more than just endless battles against the various lusts of the flesh.

I never answered your question: Why is this missing from our churches? How did we get so far from this understanding of Yeshua? Didn't the early church councils declare views such as mine heresy? This is a long, complicated history that I can't fully explain here, but the root of it is that Greek philosophers joined the Messianic Jewish sect in the second and third generations at the same time the Jews were being exiled from Israel by Rome. The apostles were dead, the Nazarenes (Messianic Jews) became a tiny sect (which nevertheless survived to at least 1250 CE), and Greek teachers took over. These Greek teachers carried the baggage of their old religions and philosophies, and they were sorely lacking in a thorough understanding of the Hebrew Bible. As Roman emperors started persecuting Jews, Messianic Greeks distanced themselves from the Nazarenes to escape persecution. Thus these Messianic believers split into Nazarenes (Jewish worshipers of God who believed Yeshua is the Messiah) and Christians (Greek believers in what would become the Trinity). Even though the Greek perspective won out over time, there have always been a remnant of Messianic, Unitarian believers. The Nazarenes disappeared from record around 1250, but in the Protestant Reformation, many new Protestant groups returned to the Torah and a unitarian idea about God and his son Yeshua. Those groups were persecuted by the Trinitarians—Catholics and Protestants alike. And in the American colonies, there were a lot of Sabbath keepers and unitarians. (Presidents John and John Quincy Adams were Biblical Unitarians.) Over successive generations, these groups eventually got assimilated into orthodox Protestantism at the same time that Catholic traditions and doctrines began to infiltrate Protestant congregations (e.g., Christmas).

Most pastors today hear only their denomination's interpretation of the Bible. Most people don't even know there are other ways to interpret certain texts. Most people are afraid that even admitting they don't understand the Trinity will get them excommunicated or worse. Your pastor taught you what his pastor taught him, and so on. I would've gone on believing the same things if God hadn't brought one Messianic friend into my life at a time when I was feeling disenfranchised because of a lack of solid churches. And it is my hope that you will prayerfully study these things in depth like I've done now that you've been exposed to them through my decision to leave Answers in Genesis.

There are many, many passages I didn't cover in this letter, including some that seem to support the God-man doctrine. I would love to open the Bible with you and discuss each one if you'd like. It's up to you. I just ask that you show me the dignity of not calling me a heretic. I don't care if you do because if you’re a Protestant, the Catholic Church already says you’re going to hell, so you have no real authority to call me a heretic. Labels like that serve no purpose. It's like Leftist bullies calling all white people racists. It just shuts down conversation and avoids getting to the real issues. So please, either come to me one-on-one to discuss this further, or accept that I have spent over a year studying this very thoroughly and agree to disagree.

All of what I've written so far might come as a shock to some of you, particularly my parents. When I first said I had theological issues I couldn't ignore, I didn't mention this. I only brought up my views on hell that differ from what Answers in Genesis teaches. I left this out because it was already such a blow for you to hear. I knew I would get to this in due time, but my views on hell are another reason I cannot affirm their beliefs. And I do know a man who was terminated for the same views on hell back in 2012,3 so if that were my only disagreement, it would still be too much.

I will briefly summarize my views on hell, but I think what I've written so far is enough of a shocker that whatever else I say is unnecessary. You've already either decided I'm a hell-bound cultist or I never knew the Lord and was playing you all these years. I hope you pick option C, that I have a profound love for God and for his Messiah, to the point that I'm willing to lay my security on the line in defense of my faith.

It's fairly simple. The Bible teaches that immortality is a condition given to men by God.

I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Messiah Yeshua, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Yeshua Messiah, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
—1 Timothy 6:13-16 (emphasis mine)

Incidentally, this is one of those few verses that could call Yeshua “God”, depending on how you translate it, but the portion after the dash makes more sense as a doxology to God (the Father). After all, it is “God who gives life to all things,” and Yeshua testified, “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself” (John 5:26). Only the Father is immortal, and he gives eternal life to those whom he chooses—first to Yeshua, and then to the rest of us through Yeshua.

It is my staunch, unwavering belief in the foundational book of Genesis that pushes me in this direction, since in the creation account of Adam, we see that life (soul) is produced when you combine a body with breath (spirit). So our soul is our entire being—body and spirit—and Solomon wrote that our spirit returns to God when we die (Ecclesiastes 12:7). The Bible isn't super clear on what happens to us in the “intermediary stage” of death. The Hebrew concept of Sheol/Hades is a vague, undefined idea that is developed somewhat in extrabiblical books, but not so much in the Scriptures. The consensus throughout the entire Bible, though, is that all the dead—sinners and saints—go to Sheol until the time of the resurrection. Saints will be resurrected when Yeshua returns (hopefully soon!), while sinners and those who have never been exposed to the truth will be raised up for judgment at the end of Yeshua's 1,000-year reign on earth. In that judgment, the Bible says that God will judge everyone based on what they have done (1 Peter 1:17-19). He will even judge us based on what we could reasonably be expected to know (Romans 2:12-16). The North Sentinelese natives who killed John Allen Chau will not be judged as severely as someone who claims to know the Lord, has the whole Bible, but hates his brother in his heart.

Also, the judgment in the lake of fire is not eternal torment. For that to be the case, God would have to give sinners new, perfect bodies that cannot die. This is completely unbiblical. When the Bible speaks of “eternal destruction”, “eternal death”, or “eternal damnation”, it's talking about dying and never coming back again. There is no purgatory. Sinners will suffer proportionately to their crimes, then they will be annihilated. God is just, but his justice doesn't demand infinite punishment for a few decades of sins. Please don't think this is me making light of sin. If you think that, then ask yourself why you are so willing to say that God's food laws are no longer relevant when Isaiah 65-66 mention his wrath against those who eat unclean animals twice. I strongly affirm the gravity of sin, but I don't see a reason in the Bible for it to be Eternal Conscious Torment.

(For my family who attend the Christian Church, your movement's founders, Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone, had some major issues with the Trinity doctrine. They weren't Unitarians, but they rejected the Trinity nonetheless.4 Update (February 16, 2019): An earlier version of this blog stated that my family's home church, Rochester Christian Church, did not mention the Trinity in their statement of faith. The page I referenced in the footnotes appears to have been removed, and a new page has been uploaded that is aligned with orthodox Christian teachings. Using the Wayback Machine, I was able to find a working hyperlink to the original page and determine that the new, replacement page did not exist far enough back for an archived copy to be made. See my updated footnote for details.5 I find it hard to believe that anyone in that church read this blog and updated the website accordingly, but this article was published ten days ago (February 6, 2019), so the timing of RCC's update is intriguing at the very least. I know from experience that they do teach the Trinity there, but it was only within the last ten days that they updated their website to indicate this. In December 2016, shortly after my aforementioned discussion with my homeless friend in Cincinnati, I attended my parents' Christmas Eve service. (I cannot find a recording online.) It was told through a grandmother reading the Christmas narrative to her grandchildren. In part of the story, she used the classic Modalist analogy of the Trinity being like three forms of water. I remember discussing this with my parents on the way home from church because I was bothered that they used that analogy to describe the Trinity. At this time in my life, I was still an orthodox believer, but the seeds of doubt were beginning to take root. It struck me that the only way to explain the Trinity using a comprehensible analogy was to teach a heresy and claim, “It's similar to this, but no analogy is perfect.”

It is easy for me to type all of this at my computer, but it's going to be much harder to face you all, especially if you don't first reach out to me. This has been a long time coming, and I've kept these things bottled up from most of you because I never knew when or how to bring them up. I wasn't fully convinced of my Biblical Unitarian perspective until after spending over a month studying through an essay by The Masters University which was defending the deity of Messiah. I figured if anyone could convince me I was wrong, it was that school, but their paper is the very thing that convinced me the Trinity was not biblical and Messiah is not Yehovah.6

For nearly the past year, I've been involved in a Facebook group for the Trinities Podcast. That group is full of daily discussions on very difficult questions on the nature of Messiah. There are Trinitarians, Arians (e.g., Jehovah's Witnesses), Modalists (e.g., Oneness Pentecostals), and Unitarians present in that group, and we duke it out regularly. I have been exposed to more rigorous Trinitarian arguments in the past year than I ever was growing up, and it is that exposure which has proved to me it can't be true.

I am truly sorry to find that certain opinions, called Arian or Unitarian, or something else, are about becoming the sectarian badge of a people who have assumed the sacred name Christian; and that some peculiar views of atonement or reconciliation are likely to become characteristic of a people who have claimed the high character and dignified relation of “the Church of Christ.” I do not say that such is yet the fact; but things are, in my opinion, looking that way; and if not suppressed in the bud, the name Christian will be as much a sectarian name, as Lutheran, Methodist, or Presbyterian.
—Alexander Campbell

I love you all, and I hope and pray God will move your heart to accept me in spite of my beliefs. I hope that the character of Messiah shines through in my life regardless of what you think of my doctrines. I have great hope that we will all spend eternity together in the restored Creation even if we never agree on these things in this life. The God we serve desires that we love him with all we are, not that we nail down every dogma perfectly. So even if I am in error, it is an error fueled by passion for my Creator and his Salvation. I am only accountable to him.

With the deepest of affections in God our Father and in his son, the Lord Yeshua Messiah, your friend/brother/son,

Seth שת



  1. UCG: Is God a Trinity?
  2. Messianic Niagara
  3. Rethinking Hell: Episode 33: Standing for Authority with Chuck McKnight/; I do not endorse the theology Chuck espouses. I only became aware of his liberal theology a few weeks ago in January 2019. I understand that friends from Answers in Genesis who read this and are familiar with him will be likely to lump me into the same category as him, but that would be an unfair move. Although we hold to the same idea about Conditional Immortality, he embraces the same orthodox creeds that Answers in Genesis teaches. From the little bit I've gathered about his background, his theological shift came from trying to reconcile personal views of nonviolence with violence in the Tanakh. Prior to making my decision to leave (and before learning about any of this), I reached out to him on Facebook for advice. I won't divulge the contents of our personal conversation, but I want to be clear that while I respect him as a fellow Christ-follower, I have some fundamental differences with him and do not want to be put into the same theological camp simply because we share a perspective on divine wrath. Chris Date, the other man in the interview, holds to much more conservative, orthodox views.
  4. Covenant House One: “The Christologies of Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell”; I only skimmed the latter article, but it appears both Campbell and Stone rejected Trinitarianism and had views somewhere between mine and yours.
  5. Here is the original link I cited that has since been removed from RCC's website: Rochester Christian Church: “What We Believe”. Here is the archived copy of the same page Archive.org: Rochester Christian Church: “What We Believe” (captured March 3, 2017). Here is the new page that has been uploaded to replace it: Rochester Christian Church: “Vision & Beliefs”.

    In reading through the “Vision & Beliefs” page, the language is still ambiguous. In the section on “God”, it says, “He is the head of the Trinity. … He is a loving father who is described throughout the Bible as the Great I AM, the one who is above all, in all, and through all. I don't want to nit-pick too much, but this language is not Trinitarian, despite the usage of the word “Trinity”. This sounds more like a description of early Christian ideas of a “triad”, which is what evolved into orthodox Trinitarianism(s) over several centuries. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: “History of Trinitarian Philosophies”. Reading the descriptions given for Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit only solidifies this assumption. If anyone from my family's church happens upon my blog again, you might want to update this page once more. You're teaching Tri-theism, not Trinitarianism.
  6. after Thine own heart: “Response to TMU: A Synopsis of the Deity of the Messiah”

Comments

  1. Brother Seth, thank you for sharing about coming into the truth. When we come to this place in our walk of faith we can more fully appreciate what our Master meant when he said, "...few there be that find it". But be encouraged, more and more are coming into the truth. I pray to our Father for you to continue to be strengthened and emboldened in Him, contending "for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 1:3 WEB)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Strange that belief in the Trinity has become the number one essential for so many Christian organisations. You have to eat pork and believe in the Trinity to be a good Christian according to them.

    I'm sure if the stake were still available they wouldn't hesitate to send Unitarians to the stake. I can see the headlines: AIG burns Unitarian heretic at the stake.

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  3. Well out of respect for my many friends still employed there (a few of whom are much more willing to embrace theological differences), I don't want to besmirch them. There may be things worthy of criticism there, but holding to a doctrinal position isn't one of them. That's their choice, and I respect it, which is why I left rather than raised a fuss.

    That said, it isn't too far off from what happened with The Masters University last year and how they publicly lynched the career of a professor with over twenty years' experience teaching there because he told a colleague in private that he needed to resign after the semester so as not to cause problems.

    When you reject God's instructions as the standard for your life, you need to start inventing standards of your own, such as having right-think. If you believe the right stuff, you're in—obedience be damned.

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