ADC invites binitarian speaker for seminars
AUBURN, Wash.--Ken Westby of the Association for Christian Development has announced that David Antion of Pasadena, Calif., will present the "binitarian" view at the next ACD-sponsored One God Seminars.
Mr. Antion, founder and director of Guardian Ministries and pastor of the Pasadena Church of God, has accepted Mr. Westby's invitation to make a presentation that will argue for the deity of Jesus in the third incarnation of Mr. Westby's seminars.
The meetings will run from a Friday through a Sunday, May 14-16, and will feature several speakers, most of them in agreement with Mr. Westby's view that God is "one in every way"; in other words, although Jesus is Savior, Messiah and the Son of God, He is not God.
Speakers will likely include "unitarians" Anthony Buzzard of Fayetteville, Ga., Charles Hunting of Sarasota, Fla., and Art Mokarow of Conroe, Texas.
Mr. Westby and the ACD (www.godward.org) have sponsored two such conferences so far. One in the Seattle, Wash., area in 2002 kicked off the series. The latest one occurred this year in Tyler, Texas. (See "ACD Seminars Promote 'Unitarian Monotheism,'" THE JOURNAL, July 31.)
The discussion of the ontological nature of God and Jesus is a controversial one in the Churches of God. Worldwide Church of God founder Herbert W. Armstrong studied the subject in the 1930s, when he founded the Radio Church of God (which became the WCG).
The Church of God (Seventh Day), now based in Denver, Colo., which Mr. Armstrong in those days served as an elder, was in large part "unitarian" or "monotheistic," but Mr. Armstrong broke with that tradition and became a "binitarian," a believer in a two-being Godhead. In Mr. Armstrong's understanding, Father and Son are eternal, with no beginning or end (except for Jesus' time in the tomb before the resurrection).
Further, Mr. Armstrong taught that human beings who hold steadfast through the process of salvation will become immortal spirit members of the God family as well.
"These seminars are conducted in the spirit of a quest for truth," Mr. Westby told THE JOURNAL. "Attendees can expect a collegial atmosphere of mutual respect and acceptance without the judgmental rancor so often present when people find areas of disagreement."
Mr. Westby said he believes it possible to have "open and intelligent doctrinal discussions within Church of God discussions" that can lead to a better understanding of the Bible, "even though they conclude without unanimity."
He said the reaction to the two previous seminars has been that participants enjoyed them and said they profited from them and even that they were "fun." Such comments, he said, came from attendees who agreed and who did not agree with Mr. Westby's "one-God" view.
In 2002 Steve Collins of Sioux Falls, S.D., represented the binitarian point of view. The seminars in 2003 in Tyler had no formal binitarian presentation, although binitarians participated in Q&As and other discussions with unitarian speakers.
The May 2004 seminars are set for the Dulles Airport Holiday Inn, 1000 Sully Rd., Rt. 28, Sterling, Va. (a Washington suburb).
See also "Tapes of One God Seminars" in "Notes and Quotes" on this page.
Contact Mr. Westby at email@example.com, or write him in care of the ACD, P.O. Box 4748, Federal Way, Wash. 98063, U.S.A.
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