The “Inquisition” of Shawn McCraney—What the Heck Was That?

 

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.  Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes (Proverbs 26:4-5).

Introduction

Flyer of scheduled events for the Inquisition
Flyer of scheduled events for the Inquisition
Shawn McCraney invited everyone to an “Open Forum” on the evening of February 20, 2014 to confront him.  Since I wanted to warn Shawn and others on his views of God and accountability, I wrote a blog against him (see “Shawn McCraney is a Heretic and Needs Adult Supervision”) and thought I should be a part of this “Open Forum” opportunity.  In an email, Shawn encouraged me to come and “take the mic.”  Given my public response to his public denunciations of the Trinity, he thought it was better if we just kept things public rather than meet in private.  

When I arrived, I found out that this was going to be an “Inquisition,” and if I wanted to confront Shawn, then I had to sit to the side of the stage and be a part of the whole show (to view the Inquisition, click here)!  Further, we found out that the topic was simply going to be on the Trinity.  Needless to say, this caught me as well as the two other “accusers” (Pastor Jason Wallace and Pastor Dale Finely) off guard.  We were pretty much put into a debate format in front of not only those in attendance, but in front of everyone watching live on the internet (of course also seen by many more when posted on YouTube). 

If we would have walked out, we would have been lambasted as “cowards” and Shawn would have used this to vindicate himself.  Perhaps that would have been fine in some other situation, but if we were going to warn Shawn and others that night, these were the cards we were dealt.  As such, this set the intense tone for the whole evening.  I felt like I was in a bad dream where I couldn’t really accomplish what I wanted.  It was like watching a train wreck, and a number of us felt like we needed to take a shower afterwards!  Jason's sheet music stand fell over at the beginning of his opening statement when he put his big Bible on it, and that was pretty telling how the whole evening was going to go!

In this article, I will give some random thoughts on what happened that night.  There are too many details for too many blogs, but I want to pay special attention in piecing together what we learned about whether Shawn was advocating another god in place of the Triune One.  I will evaluate Shawn's claim that this is simply a matter of rejecting certain terms not found in scripture.  Based on my evaluation, I will conclude with some suggestions for Shawn.    

The Pre-Incarnate “Son”?

I thought Jason did a great job giving the biblical evidence for the Trinity and why Modalism can’t be true.  However, I don’t think he made his case that Jesus was identified as the “Son” prior to the incarnation.  That’s what Jason said was the question before us (13:35ff.).  Other theologians like J. Oliver Buswell, whom Walter Martin popularized, didn’t accept this, but unlike Shawn, they were still Trinitarians.  They thought that any Old Testament references to the Son were prophetic of the Incarnation.

Shawn later said, “I don’t think anywhere in the Old Testament we see the Father called the Father or we see Jesus called the Son, except in Daniel (we aren’t even sure of that). Never!  It was never talked about that way” (58:44ff.).  There are, however, two other passages I thought of that do identify the Son in the Old Testament.  One I brought up in the debate—Proverbs 30:4—and the other is Psalm 2:12.  It seems one has to read one’s presupposition into these texts—that the “Son” language is simply prophetic—in order to dismiss what the Old Testament clearly says, viz., that the Son actually existed prior to the incarnation.   

Regardless of whether all Old Testament references to the Son are prophetic or not, the Bible clearly teaches that God is eternally made up of a plurality of individuals and one of those individuals took on a human nature 2,000 years ago to die for our sins.  That is the crux of the issue, but unfortunately it wasn’t the issue for most of the debate.

Getting the Facts

Dale made clear in his opening statement that he didn’t come as an accuser, but he wanted clarity on his position of the Trinity.  This was the only thing I could tell that may have served as the basis for Shawn later saying that we “all” admit that we don’t have the facts (36:28ff.).  But even Dale went on to say, “When Mr. McCraney will come out and state his doctrinal positions and give factual proofs, biblically, to support his view points, I’ll understand it” (27:40).  So it’s not that Dale said he didn’t have the facts; he just didn’t have the facts of what Shawn held God to be.  Dale had enough facts to be there that night.  The fact of the matter is that Shawn clearly called the Trinity of pagan influences and garbage in his February 4th broadcast.  Yes, none of us were really clear about Shawn’s view of God when we showed up, and afterwards, I don’t think any of us (including Shawn) are entirely clear about what he holds now.  However, we were clear enough that Shawn denied the doctrine of the Trinity.  So we came looking not only for more clarity on his position, but we wanted him to show us from the scripture why it’s true.

Further, at 34:47, Shawn said that we went after him on the basis of one show.  Actually, it was two shows (episodes 380 and 381).  But even if it was only on the basis of one show, hearing him just one time call the Trinity “garbage” should be sufficient to take issue with him regardless of whether we fully understand his view of God or not.

Shawn said, “Rob Sivulka, without having the facts, admittedly, ‘I haven’t heard Shawn on this’” (35:06).  Shawn seems to think we can’t have the facts in any other way than sitting down with him to get his views fully articulated.  Why can’t I get the facts from his own words that I heard in two different shows?  Are his shows that worthless?  It seems he doesn’t even want accountability from what he said on his two shows.

Even though I asked Shawn for a sit-down after I published my blog, I was under no compulsion to meet with Shawn for further clarification of his view.  I got enough of it.  I was interested in with meeting Shawn to ask: 1) why do you hold this garbage, and 2) what do you think of my arguments against it and for my Triune God?  And because I chose to do it my way, Shawn calls me and the other “accusers” “cowards” (38:12).  So I guess I’m a coward for responding to BYU’s Daniel Peterson’s or LDS Apostle Jeffrey Holland’s public statements without first meeting with them?  Where’s the argument?  Is it simply because this is what Shawn presupposes?  Or is it simply because it’s divisive and Satan’s purpose?  The Bible is clear that God has a purpose in being divisive in a holy way.  That is, the Bible tells us that Christ came to “divide” family members (Matthew 10:34), and it instructs us to come out from among them and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17). 

We had enough of the facts to be there at the debate and press Shawn on this issue, and we have enough facts to go public before the debate.  Of course if we were hearing things second-hand, that would not be sufficient.  We would be required to get a careful first-hand listening.  However, there is no reason why this had to be handled privately except perhaps to pacify Shawn’s unknown feelings. 

Shawn never went to me in private prior to this debate to state his problems with me going after him publicly.  In fact, all he told me in response to my invitation to meet with him privately was that given what I did with the blog, we should just keep things public.  Also, he admitted to Jason that he had never even seen his show (1:17:09).  If that’s the case, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out that he never even read my blog I emailed him.  So I find this whole “why didn’t you first come to me privately to get the facts?” business a bit hypocritical.  Public statements deserve a public response.

Slander

Shawn slandered my pastor, Bryan Hurlbutt, accusing him of putting out a YouTube video attacking Shawn. However, Bryan never did that.  Shawn had his facts wrong and again never went privately to Bryan before he blasted him publicly!  Shawn was confronted about it at the break and afterwards publicly apologized for calling Bryan out like that.  This was quite ironic, since after first calling Bryan out, Shawn then immediately says of his accusers that first “you shoot, then you aim, and then you find out the facts” (36:44)!

At 52:54, Shawn said, “While this approach doesn’t please the scholars out there, and the apologists, and the street preachers who rip up Books of Mormon and throw them at the feet of LDS children and stomp on it, sigh, it does work as a method to reach the people who are in this state, who I love.”  It was obvious who he was referring to by street preachers when he looked right at me.  However, the only part of this statement that is true of me is stomping on a Book of Mormon one time during a Manti Pageant outreach almost six years ago!  It was the one and only time I’ve ever done it.  I did it as a visual after I showed how it contradicts the Bible, and Galatians 1:6-9 says that if any come to preach another gospel, it’s to be damned.  The Bible was exalted by holding it up.  Street preachers historically have use theatrical elements to grab the attention of the audience.  Of course this is something that I don’t think would work in a prolonged personal exchange.  Nonetheless, in deference to one of my board members, I deleted that scene from a YouTube video about four years ago, so Shawn (or probably others who later told him about it) must have seen it before then. 

Shawn later said in the evening that he describes himself as a “wild ass” from the book of Job.  He said, “That’s how he has made me. Don’t like it?  Freaking turn the channel or go to another church.  I don’t care!  I don’t care about your thoughts on your YouTubes.  I don’t care.  I care about people and coming to know the truth” (55).  (I was thinking of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” song while Shawn was making this “wild ass” claim about himself.)  Shawn should have given me the same benefit of the doubt about caring for LDS in that moment when he found out about me once stomping on the LDS scripture.  Furthermore, if Shawn is a wild ass, then how is he a model of winsome behavior toward LDS?  Shawn acted like he never offends his LDS audience.  However, the fact of the matter is that he hangs up on LDS, yells at and talks over them, pretends like he is falling asleep on boring callers, uses offensive language, etc., etc.  And I get chewed out for holding up a Bible and then throwing LDS scripture on the ground and stomping on it to represent it being damned?  And Shawn calls me out for being “in the business of bashing Mormons” (1:19:28)?  As my pastor said in reference to Shawn, “Ease up Attila the Hun!”

Finally, at 1:23:54ff., Shawn said, “And everybody says Shawn’s a Modalist. And so everyone uses moral absolutism and says Shawn McCraney’s not worthy to be listened to.  And guess what.  Rob’s ministry grows.  Because more people come to him.  The guy got on our web site and said, ‘Come over to us and come to our church.  Come to us and leave him.  Believe me; run from him.  Come to our church.’”  Shawn goes on to paint me as hungry for power, and doesn’t give me the benefit of the doubt that I’m honestly concerned about people following a heretic or new cult leader.

Again, Shawn is wrong on the facts.  I have a friend that goes to his church.  When I heard the venom of his shows against the Trinity, I told that friend on the Evangelicals Discussing Mormonism Facebook page (not Shawn’s page) that it was now time for this individual to run and that this individual would be welcome at our church.  I have never posted anything on Shawn’s site prior to this.  Ironically, this friend told me earlier that day, prior to me knowing about what Shawn was teaching on the Trinity, that there had been actual consideration about coming to our church if this friend ever ended up leaving Shawn’s church.  There was even a consideration of concurrent enrollment. 

I also saw that another Facebook forum (again not Shawn’s page), which was planning on meeting at Shawn’s church this summer, was wondering if they should continue with those plans and if there were any alternatives.  I suggested that I would host them at my house and my church if they were interested.

Now of course Shawn’s going to accuse me of slandering him with Modalism.  Even if I’m wrong in my assessment of his theology, I’m still doing my best to get it from the horse’s (i.e., “wild ass’”) mouth based on what I hear him say.  Shawn doesn’t watch our YouTube videos, he got off my newsletter list, and he won’t read Christian material we’ve tried to send him.  So is it any wonder he’s going to make these sort of mistakes in slandering me and others?  It appears that he’s getting his information second-hand.      

What’s in a Name?

Shawn McCraney listens to Pastor Jason Wallace
Shawn McCraney listens to Pastor Jason Wallace
Shawn said, “I’m not saying the bishops were far afield. I essentially agree with almost everything the Trinity says.  I just don’t like the word.  Let’s get rid of it from our vernacular” (59:40).  The screen kept displaying in various ways that Shawn was being accused “of heresy for refusing to embrace the man-made term ‘trinity.’” 

Really?  So all that business in Shawn’s past shows of the doctrine of the Trinity being formed primarily from pagan sources and being “garbage” was simply a matter a confusing syntax?  We all must be a bunch of idiots for not understanding Shawn correctly.  If it was really simply a matter of the term “Trinity,” there would be no uproar.  All Shawn needed to do was to simply state his practical problems in helping LDS understand the God of traditional Christianity, and advocate using another term.  He could have suggested using the term “X” instead of “Trinity.”  If this is all there was to it, there never would have been an “Inquisition.”  In fact, Shawn clearly does say at one point in the debate that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit “are three persons from eternity” (1:43:26, emphasis added).

However, just nine minutes later, Shawn goes on to clearly contradict this.  At 1:52:28, a questioner from the audience, James Thompson, asks Shawn, “Would you also say that there are three distinct persons?”  Shawn replies, “No.”  James asks, “How would you prefer to describe the distinction that you see in Scripture?”  Shawn says, “Word and Spirit,” and then in response to my question, “So the Word wasn’t a person then?,” he said, “Not a person, it was the Word.”  I asked, “And the Word didn’t have a consciousness?,” and Shawn replied, “It didn’t have a body and a beard either.”  I asked, “Okay, but you don’t believe they are different in their identities, so the Father is not different in his identity from the Son.”  Shawn said, “When the Son became flesh, when his Word became flesh, yes.”  I asked, “Okay, but not before any creation?,” and Shawn simply said, “It was God.  …It’s the word ‘person’ were hanging up on here. That’s the word the Nicene Creed used.  John himself called him the Logos, not a person. That’s my distinction” (1:55:45ff.). 

Earlier, Shawn argued with Pastor Bryan Hurlbutt about how the pronoun for the term Word is to be translated.  Shawn merely asserted that the Greek uses the pronoun “it” instead of “he” in reference to the Word prior to the incarnation.  However, in the next show, theologian Rob Bowman made it clear that the Greek uses the same term “he” throughout—before and after the incarnation—in reference to the Word.  Shawn’s argument was based on the Geneva Bible as well as the Emphatic Diaglott.  Bowman said that since the time of the Geneva Bible, we’ve discovered better and older manuscripts of the New Testament to give us a better translation.  He also said that the Emphatic Diaglott is not a credible translation due to the imposition of Unitarian theology upon the text.  Other than that and until Shawn digs up some other obscure translations, every other version of John 1 uses the term “he” not “it.”  The evidence here is certainly not in Shawn’s favor.

After thinking about his theology more, it was wrong for me to accuse Shawn of being a Modalist with reference to what God was before creation.  It’s more complicated apparently.  Shawn’s God seems to clearly be a Unitarian God prior to creation with a Mind and a Spirit.  Just as my mind and breath or life are things I have, the same goes for God with His Mind and Spirit.  God was an individual identity with a couple of impersonal things that His being is comprised of.  These things are “co-eternal” with God and none of them were created (1:53:56ff.), so Shawn isn’t an Arian.  Creation happened, and then this one identity began manifesting Himself in various ways.  Here’s where the Unitarian God becomes a Modalist God.  This one God, without different centers of consciousness, began manifesting Himself as Spirit, Fire, Wind, etc.  Then the Word became flesh, and then you have two different identities—Father and Son.  At this point, the Unitarian God seems to morph into a Biunitarian God.  Here I should have asked Shawn, “At the incarnation does the Father in His identity no longer have a mind since that mind became the Son?”  If the Father and Son share the same mind, then how are they really distinct in their identity rather than just being one identity sharing the same mind and merely appearing as different identities?  If they really aren’t two distinct identities, then Shawn’s still a Modalist.  And this is all supposed to be easier for LDS to grasp than submitting to the biblical doctrine of the Trinity? 

Whatever Shawn’s god turns out to be (I’m not even sure Shawn knows), it’s clear that he is still a heretic for rejecting that God eternally existed in three distinct centers of consciousness, egos, identities, or persons (whatever term you want to use).  This is the crux of the whole debate, not that Shawn was being vilified for rejecting the term “Trinity.”

Shawn used the term “Disgracebook” and everyone understood that to be a reference to Facebook.  Shawn is all bent out of shape concerning certain theological terms found outside of scripture… ones he doesn’t like because they don’t fit his theology.  There is nothing wrong with using various terms to capture what we all as the Church understand the scripture to teach… “Theophany,” “Christophany,” “Person,” and even “Trinity.”  Shawn gives a pass to certain non-biblical terms like “Bible” (in reference to the Holy Bible), “it” (in reference to the Word), “co-eternal,” “distinct,” “identities,” etc.  So there should not be an issue with using terms found outside the Bible.  The problem comes when one starts denying the Triune God of the Bible like Shawn has done with his own man-made theology.            

Aren’t We All Christians?

With all this in mind, Shawn’s caricature of this debate being Christians against Christians (39) simply begs the question.  Does Shawn really think that the Arians were Christian?  If so, then I guess he should think Jehovah’s Witnesses are also Christian.  If not, given Arius’ denial of the Word being eternal, then perhaps there are other criteria that needs to be considered before we grant the “Christian” title to Shawn.

Until I see some statements from Shawn recanting his heretical view of God, I still don't regard him as a brother in the Lord.  Shawn may actually be, but at this point, I still don't have a good reason for making that claim.  If I let Shawn off the hook here, then I'd have to let T.D. Jakes and all those in the United Pentecostal Church (UPC) as well.  They've had apparently radical conversions by grace as well and have great ministries.  Walter Martin didn't do that with them, so though I'm cautiously optimistic with Shawn and his meetings with Rob Bowman, I'll wait to see the proof in the pudding.

Doctrine of Justification

To the myopic caller at the end of the last show with Rob Bowman, of course I understand the doctrine of justification by grace through faith, not of works.  What this caller doesn’t seem to understand is the Church is filled with tons of people who went through false conversions and are not being led by the Spirit of God.  Some of these are called wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15).  This caller also doesn’t seem to recognize the ability the Church has to make righteous judgments concerning these who lead the sheep astray (John 7:24, 1 Cor. 5:11-13, 2 Cor. 13:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, and 1 Jn. 4:1).

Call for Sabbatical

Even if Shawn recants, I think it’s foolish for him to continue in his position at this time.  He needs a break, and he needs to submit himself to some elders who will have his best interest in mind.  The way I see it, Shawn has publicly committed spiritual adultery with another god, and it makes no sense to put him right back in his teaching ministry.  Many churches would have no problem doing what I’m calling for with some pastor who commits physical adultery.  I don’t see why this situation should be any different, especially since the Bible says teachers are held to a stricter standard (James 3:1).   

Abortion and Killing the Fags

At 53:34, Shawn said, “I do not care what you collectively think.  …I don’t care about Americanism, and evangelical Christianity, and stopping abortion, and killing the fags. None of that matters to me and I don’t want any part of your rhetoric.”  I was really troubled by this statement.  I don’t want any part of Shawn’s rhetoric.  What kind of Christian doesn’t want to stop abortion?  I mean, even if a Christian is pro-choice in not wanting government to decide the matter, that Christian should still be bothered by a procedure that rips a fetus’ head and other bodily members all up—bothered enough to at least pray that it won’t happen anymore.  Shawn apparently doesn’t care about the most defenseless among us, but God certainly does, since He’s the one in the business of knitting us all together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13-16).

As for the “killing the fags” statement, what?  That’s a description of American evangelical Christianity?  Where?  Westboro Baptists?  They just say that God hates them, not that they want to kill them, and even if I’m wrong here, they are hardly representative of American evangelical Christianity.  This is simply a straw-man argument designed to make us look like a bunch of idiots, even though we don’t hold to it.

Who Won the Debate?

Shawn said, “I don’t care!  I don’t care about your thoughts on your YouTubes.  I don’t care.  I care about people and coming to know the truth.  You care about being right.  I’m not right on anything; 90% I’m wrong, but I care about people and truth” (55:37ff.).  There’s at least a 90% chance according to Shawn that his accusers won the debate.  How does one care about others and the truth if one doesn’t care about being right?  I really don’t know what this means.  My humble suggestion to Shawn is that he take the time off, submit himself to some good elders, and “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV).

Conclusion

As I told Shawn during the debate, I still love him.  I want the best for him.  That best is found in the God of the Bible.  Having said that, I love the Church even more.   We are instructed to do good especially to the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).  So as long as Shawn teaches heresy, I still have a responsibility to warn the Church.

 

Further Resources

 

James White's reaction to The Inquisition (3-4-14)--start video at 38:15

James White's reaction (3-6-14)--start video at 5:24

R. M. Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
February 28, 2014


Add Comment
Guest1 says...
"I think Shawn won the debate because of the format he used. He was able to come off as a martyr to his followers.

It feels like his theology is evolving and ever changing. The truly sad thing is that it is happening behind a pulpit and in front of a camera.

I hope Shawn will consider enrolling in a solid seminary, submitting to elders in the faith, and consider his flock before straying from orthodoxy." (3/1/14)
Arthur Adam Haglund says...
"at the 1:52:26 mark, Shawn says that there were no distinct persons. He goes on to say that, "God spoke, God breathed (1:52:58". This shows the God Did an action. God did it, not the Spirit, Not the Word.
This is clarified shortly thereafter, denying three separate 'centers of consciousness' and then he says, "God breathing and I see the Spirit moving. I see Him (God) speaking and it becoming flesh. And those words (NOW PLURAL!) becoming flesh for us." (1:53:22- 1:53:31)
THIS SHOWS THAT THE SPIRIT DID NOT EXIST ETERNALLY!
THIS SHOWS THAT THE WORD DID NOT EXIST ETERNALLY!

This shows that God acted and THEN, and ONLY THEN, did the Spirit become and the Word (or is it WORDS?) became ONLY when spoken.

No matter how you slice it, this shows that God is the Father and the Father produced at some point, both the Spirit and the Word.

This is Arianism, maybe hidden, but it is more Arianism than it is Modalism. However, Shawn seems to be melding the two." (3/1/14)
Rob Sivulka says...
"One can have a Mind and Spirit before the Mind and Spirit are displayed or manifested in creation. That's why it's not Arianism. Worse case, Shawn is inconsistent, since he clearly called the Word (Mind) and Spirit "co-eternal." I'm trying to make sense of both that statement as well as their manifestations, and putting them both together, you don't get Arianism." (3/1/14)
Arthur Adam Haglund says...
"Maybe YOU don't, I DEFINITELY do!
Shawn shows CLEARLY the Word and the spirit as results of God's actions, thus created, thus Arianism!" (3/1/14)
Rob Sivulka says...
"How did God speak words or breath if He didn't have a Mind (Logos) to decide to do it? Nothing would have been done. I'd buy your theory too except for the fact that you ignore what Shawn already said about them being "co-eternal." Nonetheless, these may just be details in Shawn's theology that are a work in progress." (3/1/14)
Arthur Adam Haglund says...
"I have spoken to Mormons that claim to hold this co-eternal position, yet hold that both Jesus and heavenly Father are created beings. This terminology seems to be stuck with Shawn, while not meaning what a Christian means when he , the Christian, says it.

Also, if he holds that all manifestations of God ARE God, he can claim co-eternal, because they are in God's infinitely knowing mind of all things future, thus they were part of his, God's, mind even before they were breathed of spoken. Thus his spoken concept of co.eternal does not mean, by needs, what WE think it means if WE say it." (3/5/14)
Rob Sivulka says...
"Of course it’s true LDS believe Jesus and the Father are co-eternal. It’s just that they don’t hold that they were co-eternally God, since they both had to be exalted. They also hold that they are co-eternal with us as well, since we were all intelligences from eternity. We were all pro-created, but none of us were technically created. Nonetheless, for LDS, “co-eternal” means we all existed from eternity, and that’s what S applies to only God, His Word, and His Spirit.

As for God’s foreknowledge, knowledge requires a Mind, and in God’s case, that Mind is co-eternal with Him. That Mind had foreknowledge of when “It” would become incarnate, but nonetheless, it seems clear that for S, this Mind or Word always existed with God pre-creation. I think S’s last show (on the 11th) was even clearer on this." (3/5/14)
Arthur Adam Haglund says...
"What you have done is deflected the cult's definition, that one I am hitting upon, of ETERNAL.
It seems that Shawn is not using the ACTUAL definition, of eternal past, but some Mormon-speak version when he says co-eternal.

BTW, the New Testament needs to be shown to him to teach him, from the bible alone, that Christ was Christ, pre-carnate:
1Co 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1Co 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
1Co 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
1Co 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1Co 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
1Co 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
1Co 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1Co 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. " (3/5/14)
Rob Sivulka says...
"Don't know how much clearer this could be from S, but I wrote him an email to see if he could make it even clearer. In the "Inquisition," we have this dialogue between the questioner, James, and S:

[James] ‘Would you say that the Father, Word and Spirit as you put it are all co-eternal?'

[Shawn] ‘Yes, absolutely’

[James] ‘That they have always existed?’

[Shawn] ‘Yes’

[James] ‘That none of them were created’

[Shawn] ‘No’

[James] ‘And then how would you define their equality or their relationship within one God?

[Shawn] ‘What comes from God is equal to God. His breath, his word, God. But when Jesus took on flesh, he, he says, ‘the Father is greater than I.’

So S plainly says they weren't created and have always existed. That's not Arianism. Just because the Word and Spirit were employed within creation doesn't entail that they were created themselves.

Finally, S wouldn't have any problem agreeing with the Corinthian passage. He'd simply say that Christ did preexist as the Word, not the Son. So in that sense Christ was the Rock. " (3/6/14)
Arthur Adam Haglund says...
"Rob, I believe you asked Shawn the wrong question. He said in the 1:53 area, that the word existed when God SPOKE, the Spirit existed when God BREATHED. THIS shows a beginning, it does not show anything other than Arianism. It shows that they came FROM GOD when GOD DID SOMETHING.
If you want Shawn to clear it up, then THAT is the topic to have explained." (3/6/14)
Rob Sivulka says...
"Here's the quote, right before the quote I gave you from James and Shawn's interaction: "[Shawn] ‘God spoke, God breathed. You can say things, the Early Fathers said centers of consciousness, that’s what they meant when they said Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They were centers of consciousness and the Son came from, was begotten by the Father. So to me what we have here is Mormonism without the Father having a body. And I don’t see God in that way through Scripture. I see God and I see him breathing and the Spirit moving. I see him speaking and it becoming flesh. And that those words becoming flesh for us Jesus God in flesh saving us and Jesus being God – I just don’t see those centers of consciousness being separate and distinct individuals before creation. I see them as being God. That’s my definition I have a right to see it that way and it doesn’t take away from the love and devotion I have for Christ or the Father or the Holy Spirit."

So you misquoted what was said and then you didn't take into account the context of what I quoted that came right after it. There's no Arianism here. You're too bent trying to put the circle peg through the square hole." (3/6/14)
Arthur Adam Haglund says...
"My Quote:
"God breathing and I see the Spirit moving. I see Him (God) speaking and it becoming flesh. And those words (NOW PLURAL!) becoming flesh for us."
Your quote:
" I see God and I see him breathing and the Spirit moving. I see him speaking and it becoming flesh. And that those words becoming flesh for us Jesus God in flesh saving us and Jesus being God"

The hitch seems to now be this:
God and I see him
Sorry, I forgot or neglected to put in the ..., so my quote should have read:
"God... breathing"
This is my misquote?
Sorry, Rob that you are not seeing it, but Shawn (I do not know why you write S instead of his name) said there were not more than one person, consciousness, prior to creation.
This means that AFTER CREATION for MORE THAN ONE 'God consciousness' (MY word, not a quote of Shawn), it means they were either part of CREATION (thus created things, Arianism) or they came into being but were not created, but still not eternal, because Shawn claims what makes the Word and the Holy Spirit distinct from each other did not exist prior to creation. In ANY event, no matter HOW you slice it,, Shawn is advancing the idea that they (the Holy Spirit and the Word) did not exist and are only IN God in the same way that creation itself is IN God.
While he IS presenting a form of Modalism, he IS also mixing it with A FORM of Arianism. I have listened and tried to hear it in a way that is not Arianism, and that way does not appear. You cannot convince me otherwise. Shawn needs to address this objection.
WHY?
Because your objection is not the only object that is important, that's why. IF he can clear it up, great. If he confirms it, great, then it is factually from HIS mouth, not our interpretation.
BTW when I speak directly or forcefully, it does not mean I am angry or against you. I only disagree with you on this point, at this time. The typed word leaves a lot to be desired as a form of communication.
God Bless." (3/7/14)
Rob Sivulka says...
"Yes, I know that S teaches there was only 1 consciousness prior to creation. But that consciousness was made up of a Word and a Spirit prior to creation. But as I’ve said in my blog, it’s not clear for S what happened at the incarnation. If another consciousness came into being, then you’re right. It would be Arianism. But for all we know with S, Jesus could have simply been another extension (i.e., a modal manifestation) of the same Mind or Word that was with God from the beginning. If that’s the case, then it’s just a different created manifestation of the only true God. Regardless, it’s heresy since S clearly rejects that God has eternally existed in a plurality of consciousnesses or Persons." (3/8/14)
Shane says...
"Shawn has become enamored of his own rhetoric and his ministry a cult of personality. This has ruined many a ministry. It's tragic." (4/4/14)