I see a progression in thought which has lead many Christians to a popular belief that Who Is Jesus, alone, is their God (a contemporary version of the old heresy of Modalism, where One person fulfills all 3 offices or ‘modes’ of the Trinity). Followers of this belief perceive that when they pray to the Father, they are in reality praying to Jesus in His capacity as ‘Father’, and they also see the ‘Holy Spirit’ as the spirit of Jesus – Therefore Jesus IS the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We have Christian churches [cults] which openly claim this as their belief system, such as the UPC (United Pentecostal Church), but my concern is that mainstream Christianity has also absorbed this theology to a large extent – without even being cognizant of the change, because it happens in such a subtle way. These churches would never SAY that they believe in anything but the traditional doctrine of the Trinity, but their actions speak otherwise.
Before I share the tangible evidence I’ve gathered, I’d like to encourage you to ask your colleagues and friends to watch for these things with you – especially if they attend different types of churches. The non-denominational/charismatic/ “community” churches seem to be the most obvious in their prayers to Jesus in Jesus’ name, worship songs that acknowledge Jesus as their God, etc., but, as you’ll see in the quotes given below, traditional denominations are ‘morphing’ into Jesus-Only churches as well.
1) *** There is evidence that people are switching from mainline denominations to non-denominational churches (many of which are Charismatic or Pentecostal). Also, significant numbers of new converts are being added to these non-denominational churches, which often display Jesus-Only traits. This hits mainline denominations in the pew and the pocketbook, creating a need to play ‘catch-up’. This could explain why mainline churches now offer a contemporary as well as a traditional Sunday morning service, where they can incorporate some of the contemporary worship music that has helped to make non-denominational services so popular.