“Is the United Pentecostal Church a Cult?”


Is the United Pentacostal Church a cult, theologically speaking? And if so, why? What do they believe?

The doctrine of the UPC is definitely heretical; they deny the Trinity in favor of what is called the “oneness” doctrine. Heresy makes groups a cult. Here’s a good article on that from Watchman Fellowship: www.watchman.org/cults/upc.htm

Happy reading!

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries

Sue Bohlin

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 40 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. In addition to being a professional calligrapher, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

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Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

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  1. Graden Hurd 2 years ago

    Is UNPI a cult or not? You didn’t answer the question.

  2. Sue Bohlin Author
    Sue Bohlin 2 years ago

    The answer is yes.

    Doctrine of UPS is heretical (They deny the Trinity) –> Heresy means a group is a cult. So yes.

  3. MaximRecoil 2 years ago

    “Doctrine of UPS is heretical (They deny the Trinity) –> Heresy means a group is a cult. So yes.”

    In reality, the trinity doctrine is heretical, and according to your own definition, that means you belong to a cult. The word “trinity” certainly isn’t in the Bible, nor is the concept. The concept of the trinity is inherently self-contradictory.

    Trinity: the Christian Godhead as one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    If there are three persons, it can’t be one God; it is three gods by definition of the term “person,” which means that trinitarians are polytheists. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate manifestations/roles/titles of God, not three separate persons.

    Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    The funny thing is: trinitarians simply repeat those instructions when baptizing someone, instead of actually following them. The instructions say to use the name (singular), yet you folks just repeat the instructions which only mention titles, never actually saying the name. So what is the name? We find out in Acts 2:38:

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    We find out here that the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is “Jesus Christ,” thus proving that they can’t possibly be three separate persons.

    With the UPC doctrine, Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:38 are in harmony with each other. With the trinitarian doctrine, they are at odds with each other.

  4. Michael Gleghorn
    Michael Gleghorn 2 years ago

    We agree (of course) that the term “Trinity” is not in the Bible, but the concept is there all the same. The doctrine of the Trinity is not self-contradictory.

    If the doctrine taught that there was only one God while also claiming that there are three Gods – that would be contradictory. Similarly, if the doctrine alleged that there was only one person in the Godhead (a Unitarian position) while also claiming that there are three persons in the Godhead (a Trinitarian position) – that would be contradictory.

    But the doctrine teaches neither of these contradictory views. Rather, the doctrine states that there is only one God (i.e. a monotheistic position), while also maintaining that the Godhead subsists as three distinct, though inter-related, persons. It is thus Trinitarian monotheism. There is no contradiction here and one would need an argument (instead of just as assertion) to that effect.

    The author seems to claim that the definition of “person” is equivalent to the definition of “God.” But this is incorrect, for there are many “persons” who are not God (e.g. purely human persons, for example). The reason the doctrine claims that there are three distinct, though inter-related, persons is that it is driven to this by the teaching of Scripture.

    Consider, for example, the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:13-17). At one and the same time, the Son is incarnate on earth, the Spirit descends from heaven upon Jesus (the incarnate Son), and the Father speaks from heaven, declaring Jesus to be his beloved Son, in whom he is well-pleased. But the Father who speaks is not also the Son who is spoken of, nor is He the Spirit who descends upon Jesus. The Father sends the Son to be the Savior of the world, but the Father himself does not become incarnate (nor does the Holy Spirit). Only the Son becomes incarnate to die for the sins of the world. When the Son prays to the Father, He is not praying to Himself.

    In light of this, what about Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:38? First, Matthew 28:19 is clearly a Trinitarian formula, taught by Jesus himself to his disciples. Geisler and Rhodes point out that historically, “the Trinitarian baptism (Matt. 28:19) was certainly dominant from the second century” (When Cultists Ask, 197). The singular “name,” followed by references to “the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” is actually significant for a Trinitarian view of God. The singular “name” would refer to the one true God (monotheism), while references to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, would refer to the three persons of the Godhead. This would well express the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.

    What, then, of Acts 2:38? To cite Geisler and Rhodes again, “The phrase ‘in the name of’ in biblical times often carried the meaning ‘by the authority of'” (When Cultists Ask, 196). In this sense, Peter is urging his Jewish audience, who had previously rejected Jesus as their promised Messiah, to “repent” (i.e. change their minds) and publicly identify with Messiah Jesus through baptism. Indeed, this was to be done (as we previously saw in Matt. 28:19) “by the authority of Jesus Christ.” Jesus, after all, had commanded his original disciples to make more disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Peter now urges his Jewish audience to repent of their rejection of Jesus, receive him as their promised Messiah, and be baptized according to his commandment.

    Hence, there is really not a conflict between these two verses (i.e. Matt. 28:19 and Acts 2:38). Not only do the verses harmonize with one another, this interpretation also allows us to do justice to the very clear biblical distinctions which are repeatedly made concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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