Why I Am a Christian Monotarian
J. Dan Gill
I might be a Trinitarian, if it was not for God. It is him with whom I am at odds if I embrace multiple persons as one Deity. Again and again, I can hear him saying, “I am the Lord, and there is no one else” (Isa. 45:6). If I will not believe him, then why do I call him God? Either he is God alone or he is not God at all. We must never compromise the biblical definition of God. But have we already done so in the form of multi-person monotheism? Without the understanding that only he is God, it is impossible to know him as he really is.
The beliefs of Christian Monotarians stand in contrast to multi-person theologies. Christian Monotarians are strict monotheists. They hold to the original — biblical — monotheism of God’s prophets and people of old. They believe that the Father of Israel — the Father of Jesus Christ — is the only one in the universe who is truly God (Isa. 64:4, 8; John 17:3);  that God’s spirit is not another person of Deity but rather the Father himself at work in his presence and power (Matt. 10:20). They believe in Jesus as the LORD’s Christ: his Messiah — the one whom God has made Lord of all (Acts 2:36; Ps. 2:2 cf. Acts 4:26); that he is God’s only begotten human son; that he came into existence by a miracle in a young virgin by the name of Mary (Luke 1:35); that Jesus is our redeemer, our savior — but not our God (Acts 5:31; 13:23); that to truly follow Christ, we must serve his God ( John 20:17).
As a Christian Monotarian I rejoice in the working of God by his spirit. I have found peace with God through his Messiah — his Christ (Rom. 5:1). He is the LORD’s anointed (Ps. 2:2); his chosen king (Luke 1:32, 33); his miraculously begotten human son (Luke 1:35). Jesus, by relying on God, did not sin — yet he has borne our sins (Heb. 9:14). He trusted in God to the point of death; God raised him from the dead and seated him at his own right hand in heaven (Eph. 1:20). Nevertheless, the Messiah is not my God. Without reservation, my God is the LORD alone! It is YHWH whose spirit it is! It is YHWH without whom there would be no Messiah! I trust in God — I trust in his Christ. Who shall condemn me?
I embrace the LORD alone as God of the universe. I believe in an uncomplicated singularity of God. I will accept no other gods and no other persons within Deity. I do not serve other personalities or supposed manifestations of God. I unreservedly hold to the original monotheism that God himself gave to his people in the Bible. His first priority is my first priority: “He alone is God.” His prime directive is the basis upon which I live my life: “I will serve only him as God.” It is critically important to God that we know who he is. Because I love him, it is also critically important to me. So they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth (Ps. 83:18).
 I adopt the phrase Christian Monotarian here as it seems helpful to expressing my faith in God as a single individual and in Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ of God — but not himself God. The term “Monotarian” can be drawn from the Scriptures and particularly Jesus’ declaration in John 17:3 that the Father is τον μονον αληθινον θεον. The first person I have known to use the term Christian Monotarian is my friend Pastor Mark A. Jones of Tennessee, http://hgcn.org/ our-pastors.html. Sean P. Finnegan of New York has used the term “Christian Monotheist” with the same intent, http://www.christianmonotheism.com.
 This of course is not to disallow the use of the word “God” as an honorary title or appellation for certain people — Ps. 82:6, etc. See chapter 9 of this book for an exposition of the word when used in its honorific sense.
 Christian Monotarians are biblically centered and embrace the Bible as the word of God. They believe in miracles, the virgin birth of Christ (Luke 1:34, 35), and that the man Christ Jesus was — by a miracle in Mary — literally God’s only begotten human son (Matt. 1:20). Christian Monotarians believe that it was by depending on his Father that Jesus lived a sinless life (Heb. 4:15); did great miracles (Acts 2:22; 10:38); spoke the word of God ( John 12:49, 50) and ultimately gave his life as a perfect sacrifice to God for the rest of us human beings (Heb 9:14; Rom. 5:6–10). They believe that Jesus was buried and then bodily resurrected by God (Rom. 10:9), was/ is glorified at the right hand of God (Acts 5:31); that he will come again (1 Thess. 1:10) and raise from the dead those who trust in him ( John 5:25–30; 1 Cor. 15:20–23).
In all of this, Christian Monotarians hold that Jesus, by the plan and work of God, was truly one of us: That he was the second Adam (Rom. 5:14). Just as God created Adam and made him a human being, likewise, God created his son Jesus in Mary as a true human being. Christian Monotarians believe that to bring salvation to the rest of humanity, Jesus himself had to be really one of us (Rom. 5:17–19): Not God, not a “God-man” — not an angel or “angel-man” — or any other kind of being. They believe that Jesus did not literally preexist his own conception in Mary and that language in the New Testament about his “preexisting” was intended to be understood as “types” (tupos) of the man Christ Jesus. Metaphorically, he was “bread” ( John 6:35) a “rock” (1 Cor. 10:4) etc. They believe that our hope in Christ and of our resurrection is that he, as God’s begotten human son, is genuinely one of us (Acts 17:31).
The term “biblical unitarian” typically refers to the same view of God as being only one individual. However, unitarians do not always embrace the same faith as Christian Monotarians regarding Jesus. As is the case at times among others who assert faith in Christ, some unitarians lean to rationalism at the expense of biblical faith and do not hold to his virgin birth, etc. Additionally, the term “unitarian” is often misunderstood by the public. Use of the term frequently leads to confusing “biblical unitarians” with “Unitarian Universalists” (“Universalism” or just “Unity”), which is an entirely different religion that is neither biblical nor Christian.
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