Coverage of the Riverside County 2017 Mock Trial final round competition. The trial was conducted on March 4, 2017, at the Riverside Historic Courthouse. Participating teams are Great Oak High School vs. Poly High School, with U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips presiding. This event was co-sponsored by the Riverside County Office of Education and the Riverside County Bar Association.
Larry Wessels, director of Christian Answers of Austin, Texas/ Christian Debater (YouTube channel CANSWERSTV; see our playlist “Dealing with Anti Trinitarians (UPC)” at websites: & presents this mock radio debate between Trinitarian Mark McNeil of Pilgrim Publications (website: a leading publisher of the works of the famous Charles Haddon Spurgeon) & United Pentecostal Church preacher & well known debater Marvin Hicks (pastor, Calvary Pentecostal Church, Dequincy, Louisiana). Larry Wessels, besides his own ministry’s radio show called “Christian Answers Live!” also participated in the weekly radio broadcast called “In Defense of the Faith” which is the broadcast in which this ONENESS VERSUS TRINITY debate took place.
Mark McNeil was a former member of the United Pentecostal Church (anti-Trinitarian, Oneness Sabellianism doctrine of the nature of God) & valedictorian of their Texas Bible College (Texas Bible College was established after endorsement of the Board of Christian Education of the United Pentecostal Church International was granted in September 1962. It is located in Houston, Texas). Mark graduated from there in 1990. Mark later left the UPCI after his studies revealed to him that certain Biblical verses such as John 16:13, 17:5 & others could not be reconciled with Oneness Pentecostal interpretations.
This “mock” debate came about due to the fact that we could find no actual United Pentecostal Church representatives to come forward & debate Mark even though the invitation was given repeatedly. Finally, to present both positions this “mock” debate was devised using clips from Marvin Hicks’ actual debates. Thus listeners could hear both sides although not in the exact way we would have preferred.
An ongoing controversy had been brewing at Austin, Texas’ Christian radio station KIXL-970AM between a “Oneness Pentecostal” radio show hosted by a man named Mike East & the “Trinitarian” radio broadcast called “In Defense of the Faith” with both programs airing on the same radio station. The two radio shows attacked each other as being heretical & challenges were made causing the radio station mangement to eventually take action. A meeting was called at the radio station where Mike East brought David K. Bernard to represent him while Larry Wessels represented the “In Defense of the Faith” show. Bernard & Wessels proceeded to debate the doctrine of the Trinity before the radio station staff for a full hour. In the end the “Oneness Pentecostal” show was removed from the radio lineup never to return. This “mock” debate was aired on KIXL-970AM several times to finish the point.
The Oneness Pentecostals, primarily known as the “United Pentecostal Church,” grew out the Pentecostal movement of the early 1900s. The majority of Pentecostals rejected “Oneness” teaching as well as the corresponding doctrine of the “baptismal formula” in order to be saved. A small group did accept these doctrines, however, and the movement has enjoyed some growth over the decades of time. When the “Oneness” Pentecostal “revelation” of baptism in the name of Jesus “only” appeared (based on a faulty understanding of Acts 2:38), it was immediately opposed by the argument that it called into question one’s commitment to the doctrine of the Trinity. Baptism has historically been connected with one’s commitment to the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit (Mat. 28:19). The new doctrine seemed to weaken the importance of this basic truth to Christianity by stating that baptism should be performed in the name of Jesus only. In response, the adherents to the Oneness doctrine proclaimed that the Trinity was not a Biblical teaching and therefore not an accurate reflection of the Christian faith (this in order to justify their “revelation” about being baptized in the name of Jesus “only” according to Acts 2:38 as being essential to salvation; proving the old adage, “one heresy begets another”).
For more video presentations on this subject & on the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity please type “LARRY WESSELS BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY” in the YOUTUBE search box & select from the array of videos that will appear. Of particular interest is our 4 hour series entitled, “The Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity,” our 2 hour video debate with a “Oneness” advocate entitled, “Is the Trinity True or Not? Debate,” & our video entitled, “THE ETERNAL SONSHIP OF CHRIST JESUS: PROOF FOR THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY (HEBREWS 7:3).”
See our posted newsletters (including our “Oneness Pentecostal” issue) at our website click the “Experience” box & scroll down to the newsletter section.
Our website will document the historic basis of the doctrine of the Trinity as found in Scripture.
2 Corinthians 13:14