Steven Anderson is the Tempe, Arizona pastor, the one with a colorful personality and infamous YouTube presence best known for sermons about Jesus wearing britches, urinating against the wall, and praying imprecatory prayers against the POTUS. Anderson has been on Alex Jones’ Info Wars, and even more famously, was tased on camera by U.S. Border Patrol (and was subsequently vindicated of any wrong-doing). Anderson pastors Faithful Word Baptist Church, which I visited and wrote about here. Anderson is – love him or hate him – one of the more interesting figures among evangelical celebrities in the Internet age. Anderson has also been busy battling Modalist heretics at his Tempe church.
A video has begun to circulate in social media claiming that Anderson has lost lots of church members to what – they claim – is Anderson’s “bizarre, newly developed views” on the Holy Trinity. Many evangelicals, especially those in the Reformed or Calvinist segment who have a bone to pick with the hotly anti-Calvinist preacher, have posted the video with a certain degree of glee that Anderson’s influence might be waning. While many people may bristle at Anderson’s brand of independent fundamentalism (and other aspects of his theology), on this particular issue, Anderson seems to be upholding orthodoxy against Monarchians, Sabellians, Modalists and Oneness Pentecostals.
You can watch the video below (it is entertaining on several counts).
Pulpit & Pen reached out to Anderson, who explained that the man who approached him during his sermon and was eventually thrown out was a first-time attendee and probably a person suffering from mental illness (he claimed to be Michael the Archangel after being tossed from the facility). It actually had nothing to do with the topic of ant-Trinitarianism.
According to Anderson, the Oneness heresy had been infiltrating his church for some time.
“We had one guy show up ten years ago,” Anderson explained, “and started talking about it on his first night. He wanted to start a Bible study, and in talking to him, it became clear he was a Oneness Pentecostal…I don’t know why this has begun to take a foothold, other than this might be an end-time heresy.”
Since that time, growing numbers of people have come to Faithful Word Baptist Church, increasingly intent on spreading the doctrine of anti-Trinitarianism. Anderson, on the other hand, holds what he calls, “the traditional, orthodox and standard view of the Trinity.”
“When it comes to what they’re saying, they’re teaching a hard-core Oneness doctrine and just call it ‘Trinity.’ which is way more dangerous than what the Oneness Pentecostals are doing. At least they have the guts to say they’re denying the Trinity,” Anderson said.
Anderson told Pulpit & Pen that he has had to remove seven families from the church for teaching against the Holy Trinity. However, the church just broke an all-time attendance record of 384, after the families were removed. The YouTube video above might paint the picture that a large percentage of the Tempe church has left or been kicked out, but that hasn’t been the case.
Anderson continued, “It’s not hard to prove they deny the Trinity. They say that they deny ‘three persons,’ and that’s what the Trinity is. Secondly, they do a Jesus-only baptism, which is the smoking gun of the Oneness Pentecost Movement going back to 1913.”
According to Anderson, he has received many emails from fundamental baptists claiming that anti-Trinitarianism is growing and many Oneness teachers have invaded IFB churches.
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