Paul Derengowski, ThM
One of the smaller cults in existence, as well as a relatively short history, is the hypocritically intolerant religion of Unitarianism. Begun in 1774 in England, and then migrating to the United States in 1782, Unitarianism touts itself as an “open-minded and individualistic” religion that is allegedly a “restoration” of ancient Christianity. It is a claim that nearly all anti-Christian cults make in order to give credence to its otherwise incredible claims; more on those incredible and intolerant claims below.
Aligning themselves with past heretics such as the ancient presbyter Arius of Alexandria, Michael Servetus, and Faustus Socinus, all of which were hostile rejecters of the Trinitarian nature of God, modern-day Unitarians wish to be thought of as reasonable, inclusive and tolerant toward all true seekers after spiritual truth—that is, until orthodox Christianity is brought into the discussion. Hence, Unitarianism is extremely non-creedal, at least in word, while arguing that what one feels is correct in terms of worshiping and serving God trumps absolute statements guided by divine inspiration.
In 1961, the Unitarian Church joined forces with the Universalist Church becoming the Unitarian Universalist Church. Universalism taught that God in his absolute love and compassion for humankind could never condemn anyone to hell for eternity. Therefore, Universalists subscribe to the belief that “there is no such thing as eternal hell or annihilation because God has planned the universe to produce a positive outcome for all people of all times.” Such an idea fit in perfectly with Unitarianism, even though as will be seen shortly, it has no support from the biblical orthodox position, despite much proof-texting by the Universalists to make their case.
Perhaps the most definitive statement on Unitarian beliefs was given in 1955 by then Unitarian minister, Dr. Karl M. Chworowsky, in an article that appeared in Look magazine entitled, “What is a Unitarian?” Later that article was reprinted in Leo Rosten’s book, A Guide to the Religions in America, pages 141-148. In that article, Dr. Chwoworsky concisely answered a series of questions in respect to Unitarianism.
That article will serve as an outline for the current discussion and evaluation of Unitarianism below as a religious movement. Only questions that deal directly with the major tenets of the Christian faith are mentioned here. Some questions, therefore, were left out because of relevance. His answers to those questions are indented and italicized, which are then followed-up with an evaluative response. Although Dr. Chwoworsky and the Unitarians no doubt mean well in their attempt to represent Christian beliefs, as will be seen, once a person or organization neglects God’s revelation on the subject, then the end result will always be something that may carry the Christian label, and yet be anything but Christian. Such is Unitarianism.
What is a Unitarian?
In general, a Unitarian is a religious person whose ethic derives primarily from that of Jesus, who believes in one God—not the Trinity—and whose philosophy of faith and life is founded upon the principles of freedom, reason and tolerance.
Unitarians are firm believers in “the Church Universal.” They believe that this church includes all men and women, of every race, color, and creed, who seek God and worship him through service to their fellow man.
Membership in the Church Universal depends not upon the profession of a formal creed, but simply upon the honest desire in a person’s heart “to do justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God.” The only thing that can destroy such membership is, in the words of the great American Unitarian William Ellery Channing, “the death of goodness in his own breast.”
RESPONSE: The first misleading statement by Dr. Chwoworsky is that Unitarians derive their ethic from Jesus. This is simply because Jesus’ ethic is found in the pages of the Bible, which Unitarians reject as inspired or infallible, much less trustworthy. Instead, Unitarianism was born out of eighteenth and nineteenth century Modernism, which also rejected supernatural revelation of God found in Scripture and exalted human reason to take its place. That is why Dr. Chwoworsky and others like him point to “freedom, reason and tolerance” as alleged virtues that they fawn over, even though anything Jesus, God, or the Bible have to say about subjects have been summarily discarded, unless it agrees with the Unitarian creed.
The second misleading statement is found in its creedal statement regarding “the Church Universal.” It is completely untrue that a devoted Universalist would accept any Christian upholding the Nicene or Athanasian creeds, much less the Westminster or Heidelberg Confessions of Faith. Why? Because those creeds and confessions are in direct opposition to the Unitarian creed, which rejects everything biblical that upholds them. Hence, whatever “God” the Unitarian thinks he is worshiping cannot be the God of the Bible either, since the God of the Bible is distinctly different than whatever concept the Unitarian may capriciously concoct in his mind and would fit in with Unitarian “worship.”
The third misleading statement is, once again, to assume that Unitarianism is any less creedal than all other religions. The exception this time is that Dr. Chwoworsky lifts up human effort, love, and humility before God as three more elements of the creed. The problem, though, is that such elements have no objective basis in reality to make them meaningful. They are merely human contrivances, since God’s revelation has been resoundingly rejected. Add to that the whimsical appeal to human “goodness” and what may sound appealing and wonderful to one person could easily be mistaken as hideous and abhorrent to the next, simply because there is nothing transcendently universal to affirm or deny anything. All is right. All is wrong. No one is either. The Greek philosophers of old would not have been more pleased. Yet, the Unitarian wishes to accuse Christians of being pagan in their beliefs. Oh, the irony!
Are Unitarians Christians?
If to be “a Christian” is to profess and sincerely seek to practice the religion of Jesus, so simply and beautifully given in the Sermon on the Mount, then Unitarians are Christians. Unitarians hold that the orthodox Christian world has forgotten and forsaken the real, human Jesus of the Gospels, and has substituted a “Christ” of dogmatism, metaphysics, and pagan philosophy.
Because Unitarians refuse to acknowledge Jesus as their “Lord and God,” they are excluded from the National Council of Churches of Christ. But their monthly journal is called The Christian Register, and many of them today prefer to be called “liberal Christians,” or simply religious Liberals. The intolerance and prejudice of many Christians make it difficult at times for Unitarians to rejoice in the name “Christian.”
Unitarians worship God as earnestly and reverently as those of any other faith or church. They worship “differently” because they believe that every individual has the right to approach his God in his own way, and that every religious community has the duty of recreating such patterns of worship as best serve the needs of those who worship.
RESPONSE: Given the definition by Dr. Chwoworsky of what he assumes is a Christian, that in itself is enough to disqualify Unitarianism as a Christian religion. For to be a Christian has nothing to do with profession and seeking to practice Jesus’ religion, but with being spiritually born again by God into His kingdom (Jn. 3:3-5), because of what Jesus did to atone for the sins of the saint, and then to walk in the Spirit of truth as the newborn emulates Jesus. What one finds in Unitarianism is actually the exact opposite of what Jesus taught. Unitarianism encourages one to work one’s way into God’s good graces, which is a hallmark of Christian cultism, whereas Jesus said to “believe in God, believe also in me” (Jn. 14:1).
The evidence only becomes stronger that Unitarianism is not Christian, but is in fact, anti-Christian, through Dr. Chwoworsky’s admission that Unitarians deny that Jesus is their Lord and God. This comes straight out of the old Arian heresy, with other anti-Christian groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians, and Mormons all subscribing to the same heresy. Interestingly, Dr. Chwoworsky accuses Christians of “intolerance” for rejecting the Unitarian acclaim to be Christian for its rejection of Jesus’ lordship and deity. Yet, just how intolerant is that to accuse someone else of intolerance over such a key doctrine of the Christian faith that is biblically supported? Oh, that is right. Unitarians reject biblical authority as well.
The final statement borders on incredulity. Unitarians reject biblical authority, Jesus’ lordship and deity, and find it “difficult at times” to think of themselves as “Christian,” because they cannot tolerate what Christians believe, but the Unitarian wishes for everyone to accept that Unitarians worship God “as earnestly and reverently as those of any other faith or church.” All one has to do as this point, if one were in a conversation with a Unitarian, is stop and ask: “If you are correct in your beliefs, and I am wrong, then how could you compare your worship to mine, and still say you are worshiping God as earnestly and reverently as I am? Conversely, if I am correct, and you are wrong, just what does your statement on worship really say?”
What do Unitarians believe about the Bible?
The Scriptures occupy a position of high esteem and affection among Unitarians. This great book of religious prose, poetry, and drama is awarded a place of honor in every Unitarian church. Unitarian services usually include a reading or a sermon from Holy Writ. Divinity students, in their preparation for the Unitarian ministry, undergo a thorough training in the Bible. But, it must be remembered that the use of the Bible by Unitarians differs from that of most churches.
RESPONSE: Not only is it not true that Unitarians hold the Bible in “high esteem and affection,” as will be seen shortly, it is absolutely deceptive how Dr. Chwoworsky equivocates in his answer of this question. Three statements into his answer he misleads the reader into assuming that he is still talking about the Bible, as “Holy Writ,” being the source for Unitarian readings and sermons. Yet, by Holy Writ Dr. Chwoworsky means anything religious, whether it is something from Buddhism, Islam, or even Wicca. Hence, the Bible is degraded by comparing them with those sources; it is not held in high esteem.
Dr. Chwoworsky begins to reveal his real sentiment toward the Bible by admitting that divinity students study the Bible, “thoroughly,” but for purposes that “differs from that of most churches.” By this, he means Christian orthodox churches, which get their doctrinal beliefs from the Bible, through careful exegesis, as opposed to Unitarians who impose their beliefs upon the Bible, through haphazard eisogesis. Then the Unitarian degrades the Bible by either denying its divine inspiration and infallibility, or by simply equating it with non-Christian, uninspired texts like the Bhagavad Gita, Book of Mormon, or the Koran. But, Dr. Chwoworsky and Unitarians like him wish to be thought of as “Christians.” Again, the irony is almost staggering.
Do Unitarians believe the Bible is divinely inspired and infallible?
No. The doctrine of “revelation,” of the absolute and indisputable authority of the Bible, is alien to our faith and teaching. Unitarians hold the Bible very dear, but they reserve the prerogative of critical appreciation which is intimately related to liberty of conscience.
RESPONSE: Dr. Chwoworsky mixes truth with a falsity in this response, with both statements serving as a condemnation of Unitarianism, not an exaltation. By confessing the truth that Unitarians reject the Bible as “the absolute and indisputable authority” which guides and directs their faith and teaching, he admits that Unitarianism not only is not a Christian church, but that it has no objective authority to guide its belief system. Such a confession is wholly contrary to what the Apostle Paul told Timothy, when he wrote in reference to God’s revelation, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Although Paul was speaking of the Old Testament when he wrote, a careful perusal through the New Testament will show that not only was the Old Testament inspired by God, but so was the New Testament.
What Dr. Chwoworsky means by reserving the prerogative of critical appreciation is simply, once again, the belief that human reason or opinion about spiritual matters trumps anything God has to say on the same. He, like some many like him, whether Unitarian or otherwise, wishes to think that he can reason his way to the truth. This is nothing more than Modernism dressed up in sanctimonious jibe that if reduced to its lowest common denominator is nothing more than what Satan tricked Eve into doing back in the Garden of Eden when he queried her with the words, “Has God said?” After that, she was acting with reserved prerogative or human autonomy and ended up disobeying God, which led to the fall of mankind. In short, Dr. Chwoworsky’s rejection of the Bible as inspired and authoritative in all matters pertaining to faith and practice is a diabolic replay with diabolic results.
Do Unitarians hold the Bible to be “the Word of God”?
Yes, provided “the Word of God” means every revelation of truth, every unfolding of beauty, every voice of wisdom that human experience discovers in its slow progress toward clearer understanding, freedom, and the Good Life.
RESPONSE: Dr. Chwoworsky offers another equivocation to divert attention away from answering the actual question, just so he can answer one he thought should have been asked. In essence, he lies up front, and then tries to gloss over the lie, by proffering an explanation that might appease every other non-biblicist in existence, but he does nothing to bolster his claim that Unitarianism accurately represents the Christian faith.
Moreover, the misleading doctor contradicts his earlier answer respecting inspiration and authority. If Unitarians reject the idea that God spoke the Bible into existence, which makes it fully authoritative, then what point is there for assuming that it is “the Word of God”? Is it even possible to be God’s Word and believe that it is also erroneous, untrustworthy, and uninspired? In addition, if it is God’s Word, then whatever other “revelation[s] of truth” that is out there should comport with that Word. Anything more or less, or contradictory, would clearly demonstrate that that alternative “revelation” was not from God.
Clearly, the Unitarian explanation regarding the Bible is totally inconsistent, if not simply a deception. To a Unitarian, the Bible is prop, just as it is in all Christian counterfeits. It is only used to further the Unitarian agenda, which undermines Christian beliefs; it does not support, promote, or defend them.
What do Unitarians believe about Jesus?
Unitarians love the person and message of the great Galilean. They consider him one of the rarest of personalities that have walked among men. Jesus is one of the greatest religious teachers, and Unitarians endorse his prophetic teaching, his moral teaching, and his spiritual insight. But Unitarians of all times have stubbornly refused to “make a god” of one who was so utterly human in all his words and deeds, and who once even protested against being called “good.”
RESPONSE: Dr. Chwoworsky continues with another disingenuous response by asserting that as a Unitarian, he loves the person and message of Jesus. All that has to be asked at this point is, if what he says is true, upon what basis does he make his claim, given the prior testimony about rejecting the Bible as inspired and authoritative, since it is in the Bible where the teachings about Jesus and his message are found? Clearly, there are no other documents that outline the record of the historical Jesus and what he taught. So, if one was to discredit it as somehow false, then what is left to make an objectively intelligent argument that one loves the person of Jesus and what he taught?
Dr. Chwoworsky then perpetrates another fallacy by equating Jesus as just another great, but rare, religious teacher. He ranks right up there with all the other false teachers found in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and so on and so forth, which only means that Jesus was a false as they were. And that is somehow demonstrating one’s love and admiration of Jesus?
He concludes what amounts to an attack upon the person of Jesus, as well as historic Christianity, by denigrating Jesus’ deity, and then misinterpreting a biblical passage (Lk. 18:19) where Jesus is actually asserting his deity, not denying it. The fact of the matter is, no one made Jesus anything other than whom and what he was. Jesus was the Son of Man and the Son of God, fully human and fully deity, even though in certain instances, Son of Man is actually a designation for his deity as well.
The real reason why Dr. Chwoworsky would make such a snarky comment is simply because (1) he has rejected the biblical teaching on Jesus, and (2) if he accepted what the Bible had to say about Jesus, his whole anti-Christian worldview would crash like a house of cards. Nevertheless, to keep up the façade he, like many in the cults, uses all the Christian-sounding verbiage, but with more vagaries and open-ended comments to make the slickest used car salesman proud.
But, he loves the person and message of the Galilean. While that may be true, one only has to ask, “Which Galilean?” Because clearly the Unitarian Galilean Jesus is not the biblical one. And if one is not in love with the person and message of the biblical Jesus, then what exactly is one in love with?
Do Unitarians deny the divinity of Christ?
Unitarians do not believe that Jesus is either the Messiah of Jewish hope or Christian fantasy. They do not believe he is “God incarnate” or “the Second Person in the Trinity”or the final arbiter at the end of time who “shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”
On the authority of reason and common sense, and on the basis of research into the Bible, Unitarians are satisfied to look upon Jesus as a great and inspired moral and spiritual teacher. They see him as one whote [sic] stature grows with the ages, and whose words and example will remain the bread of life for those who hunger after truth, justice, and righteousness.
RESPONSE: More clear evidence of the anti-Christ nature of Unitarianism is found in its rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. To add insult to injury, to assume that Jesus is the Messiah or Christ is to believe in a “Christian fantasy.” This is in stark contrast to what the Bible teaches, much less what Jesus’ disciples believed. One day Jesus confronted his disciples with the question, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matt. 16:15). Their response was that, “Some John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” Jesus then became more personal by asking them, “But who do you say that I am?” Impulsive Peter, without hesitation, blurts out, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” “Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew or Aramaic word for “messiah.” Both before and after this encounter with his disciples, it was understood that Jesus was the messiah (Matt. 2:4; 27:17). Jesus even warned that there would come a day when many would come in his name, claiming to be “the Christ,” and would actually lead many astray. His instruction was, “do not believe them” (Matt. 24:5, 26). So, the Unitarian rejection of Jesus as the Christ is without warrant. Jesus is the Christ, and to scoff at that reality is to condemn oneself eternally.
Additional rejection of Jesus’ deity is a carryover of the previous statement by Dr. Chwoworsky. It is in clear defiance of biblical passages such as John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” along with John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Later the Apostle Paul would write of Jesus, “But when the fulness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,” (Gal. 4:4), as well as “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:5-7). Therefore, Unitarians are without warrant in rejecting Jesus’ deity as well.
Dr. Chwoworsky’s denial that Jesus is coming one day to judge the “quick and the dead” is equally without merit. Luke recording Peter’s testimony to Cornelius, a Roman centurion, said, “And He [Jesus] ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42). Peter would reiterate this declaration in 1 Peter 4:5-6. Earlier, Paul would write to Timothy, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1). An ominous scene is depicted in the Book of Revelation where those who are destined for the Lake of Fire are judged by Christ (Rev. 20:11-15) and Paul recorded that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). Therefore, Dr. Chwoworsky and the Unitarians are in error in that regard.
Finally, Dr. Chwoworsky pays Jesus a backhanded compliment, but not until he exalts himself over both the Bible and Jesus, by assuming that his human reason and what amounts to a twisting of whatever biblical references he has in mind show that Jesus is not going to be the “final arbiter” over anything. He believes in a “progressive Jesus,” which is a Jesus that can be manipulated apart from biblical revelation. The Unitarian Jesus, in other words, is an idol. It does and says whatever the Unitarian wishes him to do and say, and if that means rejecting biblical revelation to the contrary, so be it.
Yet, as has been warned time and again Scripture, no one is to add to or subtract from the words that God has inspired (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:6). Otherwise, those daring enough to do so will have added to their account the plagues found written in “this book”—namely, the Book of Revelation, just quoted above referencing Jesus as the final judge—as well have their part taken away from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 22:18-19). That being the case, coupled with all the Unitarian denials to the contrary, and it is not difficult to conclude just where the subscriber to Unitarianism will spend eternity upon his demise: in the same Lake of Fire referenced above.
Do Unitarians deny the Virgin Birth?
Unitarians repudiate the dogma or doctrine of the Virgin Birth.
RESPONSE: Dr. Chwoworsky gives more clear evidence of what happens to a man or religion once the Bible has been kicked to the side in matters of faith. Plain statements about key elements of the Christian faith are disregarded and before long a veritable hodge-podge of disconnected dogmas and doctrines fill the void. One such disconnect comes from denying the virgin birth of Jesus, which is clearly evidenced from Matthew’s Gospel. Writing in reference to a passage found in the Book of Isaiah (7:14), and interpreted by Matthew to refer to Jesus, it states, “‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us’” (Matt. 1:23). Elsewhere, the angel Gabriel informs Mary that she will conceive a son and call his name Jesus. Her response was one of amazement, as she asked how that could be, since she had never known a man, which is a euphemism for having sexual intercourse (Lk. 1:34). Hence, she was a virgin that was about to bear a child.
Nevertheless, as is typically the case with Modernism, the supernatural is anathema. Persons like Dr. Chwoworsky have already determined in their own minds that unless something can be explained using naturalistic means, then it is either unreal, a “fantasy,” or is simply untrue. It is another bit of testimony that completely contradicts Dr. Chwoworsky’s claim of how much the Unitarian adores the Bible. For if the Unitarian did adore the Bible, then there would no qualms about the virgin birth, since both Matthew and Luke make it clear that Jesus was born of a virgin. Yet, it is because the Unitarian holds the Bible in disdain, mainly because it contradicts everything he humanly believes is true, that the virgin birth is rejected, as well as other doctrines, such as the inspiration of the Bible and the deity of Jesus already seen above.
What do Unitarians teach about sin?
Unitarians recognize the evil in our world and man’s responsibility for much of it. They do not agree with the Christian doctrine that holds that the disobedience of Adam (“original sin”) has so completely incapacitated man for anything good that only God’s “grace”—operating through a church and its rites and sacraments—can save him. Because of this total depravity of man, supposedly, God sent His only-begotten son into the world, to die for sinful men in order that…whosoever believeth on Him may have everlasting life.
Such doctrine Unitarians find offensive, unbiblical, even immoral. It is certainly inconsistent with the nature of God or the dignity of man, whom the Eternal One created in “the image of God” to love with “an everlasting love.”
Unitarians believe that man has native capacities for both good and evil. His natural tendency for good can grow—through proper environment, effective education, and honest effort. Man, in appreciation of the Good Life, can achieve the stature of “the man of God.”
RESPONSE: As with previous pronouncements, Dr. Chwoworsky mocks the biblical and Christian position on the doctrine of sin. While he repulses at the reality of what sin has done to the human race in terms of totally incapacitating its ability to perform truly good deeds, especially when it comes to spiritual good, the Bible makes it clear that it was through Adam that “sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). That, “There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Rom. 3:11-12). Jesus, illustrating the total impotence of humanity in accomplishing anything comparable to the fruit that is produced by being in him said to his disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). Now, if his disciples could do nothing, just how incapable is the lost man, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), going to be?
In his second denial, Dr. Chwoworsky mocks the grace of God as the sole means of redeeming anyone. To him it is “offensive, unbiblical, and even immoral.” Yet, the Bible makes it perfectly clear that “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). That, God “saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Tim. 1:9). That if one believed that personal effort and keeping the law was sufficient to merit one’s entrance into the presence of God, then those things would nullify God’s grace and demonstrate the needlessness of Christ dying on the cross (Gal. 2:21).
It is because Dr. Chwoworsky either has no idea what grace is, what sin is, or what it cost God to redeem man, that he could say something as “offensive, unbiblical, and even immoral” as he has. Moreover, to assert that it is inconsistent with God’s nature or dignity of man to redeem mankind by grace is purely preposterous. It is because God is gracious and compassionate (2 Chr. 30:9; Neh. 9:17, 31; Ps. 86:15; 116:5; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Rom. 11:5) that anyone has the opportunity to be saved at all. For there is certainly nothing that a man could do to save himself, which is the whole point behind Paul’s statement in Ephesians 2:9, “not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”
Dr. Chwowrsky’s final statement is similar to that of the ancient heresy known as Pelagianism. Pelagius taught that man, although he fell in the Garden of Eden, did not fall as badly or as far as the Bible portrays. That there remains an element of goodness and capability in him, whereby he can still perform good deeds, including the selection of whether or not to be saved. However, as already seen above, that is pure nonsense. Although the image of God in man was not totally corrupted, his capability to make spiritual decisions consistent with the spiritually living was completely negated. From the day Adam and Eve ran away from God and tried to hide themselves shortly after their rebellious fall into sin, their progeny has been doing the same thing ever since. Whatever righteousness the sinner has to offer, now, by way of appeasing God is described by Isaiah as “filthy rags; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa. 64:6). In other words, Dr. Chwoworsky’s concept of sin, and the remedy for it, is as shallow and deceptive as anything he has written thus far.
Do Unitarians believe in salvation?
Unitarians believe in “salvation by character.” They hold that as man develops a society where moral values and spiritual insights are treasured, man will find the road that leads to peace, justice, and brotherhood.
Man at his best is the surest proof that he needs no God-man Savior to die for him and for the sins of the world. He needs all the help that good education, noble example, and friendly cooperation can give him. God’s help is not likely to come to those who cast all their burdens on the Lord. There is practical wisdom in the saying: “God helps those that help themselves.” If man is to be “saved,” the image of God within man will save him—here as well as hereafter.
RESPONSE: Dr. Chwoworsky’s opening statement is an indictment against Unitarianism and a clear indicator to anyone abiding by its precept will be condemned to hell one day. Not only does it fail to correctly diagnose the true character of each and every man, woman, and child prior to God’s gracious move to spiritually redeem humankind, it fails to take into account Jesus’ mission statement that he came “to save that which was lost” (Matt. 18:11), which includes everyone. King Solomon wrote, “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins” (Eccl. 7:20). And as pointed out above, because of Adam’s transgression, which tainted his nature and was passed on to his progeny, the Apostle Paul would declare, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12).
Therefore, it is foolhardy to assume that anyone will be saved by developing one’s “character,” especially given the rejection by Unitarians of Jesus Christ as the means for character development. Rather than bowing to Jesus was “the way” to salvation (Jn. 14:6), the Unitarian mistakenly swaps out Jesus for his own faulty reasoning. Humanity becomes its own source of “peace, justice, and brotherhood,” instead of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Chwoworsky reaffirms his rejection of Jesus as the way to salvation by substituting education, noble examples, and friendly cooperation for him. “For by grace you have been saved through faith” has been exchanged for “God helps those who help themselves.” Sole dependence upon God’s perfect will is exchanged for a cooperative effort, whereby if man will simply do his fair share, then God will accept man’s “best,” and God is then obligated to save man. Yet, that is very different from what the Bible has taught all along, for in it God is the savior and those whom He has chosen for redemption are the rescued, mainly because they can do nothing to rescue themselves. Remember, their righteousness amid their lost condition is as “filthy rags.” So, a lost person not only has no inclination to cooperate with God, if he did, he would have nothing of worth to offer God to meet His standard of holiness to make salvation possible. That is why Jesus’ shed blood becomes so valuable, since it not only satisfied the sin debt against God, but propitiated His holy anger (Rom. 3:25; 1 Jn. 4:10). For “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” of sin (Heb. 9:22), regardless of how hard the Unitarian attempts to reform his character through whatever other pseudo-alternative he suggests.
Do Unitarians believe in heaven and hell?
If by heaven you mean an abode of eternal light where the “saved and redeemed” enjoy everlasting bliss, and if by hell you mean the devil’s eternal darkness where the wicked suffer unending torment and punishment—the Unitarians emphatically repudiate such beliefs.
Unitarians believe that evil defeats itself and that virtue is the reward of those who obey the laws of man and God. The idea that a God of Love and Mercy would want to consign a human being, because of wrongdoing during a relatively brief spell of mortal existence, to eternal damnation, or that God will reward the mortal doers of good with everlasting happiness, appears to most Unitarians as absurd—entirely inconsistent with any mortal concept of our Deity…
A typical Unitarian statement on hell is: “Hell is man’s failure to be and live up to his best. Hell is injustice, violence, tyranny, hatred, war, and everything that fits these Satanic categories. Let us fight these evil forces here and now to help create that Paradise of which the poets speak.”
RESPONSE: The incredulous denials continue in the face of biblical revelation to the contrary with Dr. Chwoworsky’s denial of both realities, heaven and hell. In reference to heaven, the Bible supplies several words (18 forms in all) that are translated heaven, with the two primary ones being the Hebrew shamayim 354x and the Greek ouranos 242x. Of course, not all instances of heaven represent the abode of God. Some refer to the open space beyond the earth’s atmosphere (Gen. 1:1,14-15, 17), while others refer to the atmosphere which envelopes the earth (Gen. 1:20). Whatever the case, the biblical evidence is abundant that heaven does exist, denials to the contrary.
As for the abode of the wicked, there is no greater authority on that subject than the person of Jesus Christ, who spoke of its reality as a place of fire (Matt. 5:22; 18:9; Mk. 9:43), destruction of body and soul (Matt. 10:28), and a place of final judgment (Matt. 23:33). Peter taught that hell was a place where rebellious angels were committed until the time of judgment (2 Pet. 2:4). Hades, which was another term used by Jesus to describe hell, was cited as a place that seemed to be compartmentalized, with one part containing those who underwent eternal torment amid flames (Lk. 16:23), as well as abandonment and decay (Acts 2:27), with another part reserved for those awaiting the resurrection of Jesus and were at peace or metaphorically in Abraham’s bosom. The final demise of those in hell would see them, as well as hell or Hades, being cast into the Lake of Fire at the final Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:13-14). So, despite the denials and rationalizations of Dr. Chwoworsky and his Unitarians friends, the Bible speaks of the reality of hell, with none other than Jesus Christ himself affirming its reality as well.
What is always interesting about those in the cults—and given what Dr. Chwoworsky has provided thus far, it easily fits that theological description—when they reject an obvious biblical doctrine, is how they go about revising the doctrine to try and make it say something that is not obvious at all. Such is the case with Dr. Chwoworsky’s attempt to revise the definitions of heaven and hell. To replace the biblical heaven as a place which houses God, the sun, moon, and stars, and the clouds and birds that occupy space above the earth, he substitutes human virtue in overcoming evil by keeping the very laws that he has rejected earlier. To him that is heaven. Then, to add to the confusion, he turns around and damns the biblical concept of hell by imposing upon God something that really turns Him into an idol by presupposing that because God is a God of Love and Mercy, then by default, He could not be a God of Justice and reward those who have walked away from Him into a life of sin and rebellion with an eternal stay in hell. To justify Dr. Chwoworsky’s revision, he cites human reason, once again, as the source of authority, that trumps biblical revelation. Biblical and world history is replete with examples of others who followed his line of reasoning, which has resulted in the exact opposite of his delusional goals of fighting “injustice, violence, tyranny, hatred, war, and everything that fits these Satanic categories.”
Do Unitarians believe in immortality?
Unitarian attitudes to immortality vary widely. Some Unitarians hold views which closely approach traditional Judaism and Christianity; others admit to being humble agnostics as regards “life after death” or “life everlasting.” Religious Liberals sometimes hold conceptions of immortality that are sympathetic to such Eastern religions as Hinduism and Buddhism. Socrates’ noble sentiments about immortality, in the Phaedo, have captured the imagination of many who find them emotionally satisfying.
Unitarians believe that life goes on and that its tomorrow will be determined not by the arbitrary judgment of a tyrannical God, but by our actions here and now, according to God’s eternal way.
RESPONSE: If it is not already evident, Dr. Chwoworsky’s response to the question is not only confusing, it is misleading as well. In essence, he is telling the reader that he has no idea what the official stance of Unitarianism is on the afterlife, simply because there are so many conflicted views held by its members that no one can say for sure. That can hardly be a comfort to anyone, particularly when the Bible makes it clear that upon death, the soul of the person goes to either one of two places: heaven or hell.
In one famous reference already cited above, a certain rich man and a certain poor man both died almost simultaneously (Lk. 16:19-ff.). While living, the poor man laid at the gate of the rich man, waiting for a few crumbs to eat that had fallen from the rich man’s table. To make matters worse, instead of the rich man attending to the sores that had covered the poor man’s body, he left that up to the dog’s to come and lick them clean. After they both died, the rich man woke up in Hades, “being in torment,” yet saw the poor man in Abraham’s bosom across a great chasm that separated them. The rich man made two requests, neither of which would be granted. He asked Abraham for a drop of water to cool his tongue and one opportunity to go back and tell his brothers of the awfulness of Hades. The response was that the chasm prevented any crossing over, and that since his brothers had Moses and the Prophets to listen to, there was no need for him to be making a special trip. After all, if they do not listen to them, then they will hardly listen to someone who has come back from the dead. Of course, there are some who treat this story as a parable, but as others have pointed out, a typical parable is not treated with such detail as that found in Luke 16.
As for eternal life, Jesus not only promised that those who believed in him would receive eternal life (Jn. 3:16, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54; 10:28; 17:2-3), but the Apostle Paul makes it clear that upon death one would be at home in the presence of the Lord. He wrote, “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—for we walk by faith, not by sight—we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:6-8). Later, John the Beloved would write of the New Heaven and New Earth, and a spectacular New Jerusalem, where there was no longer a temple, given that “the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple” (Rev. 21:22). It was to be an abode for the redeemed; a place where “nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (v. 27).
So, while Dr. Chwoworsky and the Unitarians are conflicted over the afterlife, the Bible is, once again, clear on the matter, which is simply more evidence of just how far askew the Unitarians are in claiming to be “Christian” or a “restoration” of primitive Christianity.
May a Unitarian believe what he pleases?
While Unitarians believe in freedom of conscience and freedom of choice in religion, they do not follow every wind of doctrine, or accept uncritically whatever they read or hear.
To believe, in the Unitarian sense, is to arrive at conviction through mental discipline and labor of the spirit and heart. Dr. Charles Eliot, the late Unitarian president of Harvard University, called Unitarianism “a cheerful religion.” It is cheerful because it represents the individual’s victory over ignorance, over superstition, over fear and uncertainty.
RESPONSE: Given all of the previous responses above, whereby God and His Word have been cast aside in favor of human reason, it is almost laughable that Dr. Chwoworsky could reply to the following question about belief in the manner that he has. While wishing the reader to assume that Unitarians hold to a well-disciplined standard of critical inquiry, all that needs to be asked is what the object is to base that standard? Human reason is not objective, and neither are the human senses, intuitions, or opinions. Typically, the agnostic or atheist will make an appeal to logic or science as their bases to answer the question, but upon further examination, all that needs to be asked of them is, “Logic or science according to whom?” Because logic and science are not just floating around in space, waiting to be plucked out of thin air like someone was picking an apple. They are, divorced from their objective source, nothing more than subjective opinions as well, meaning that someone is interpreting data according to his or her worldview and then labeling this or that “logical” or “scientific.”
Now, that does not necessary mean that whatever conclusions have been arrived at are untrue. It simply means that without an object beyond human observation to make the logic or science absolutely or universally true, it is only one short step from the humanist logician’s conclusion to nonsense and meaninglessness. What may be true today may be false tomorrow, simply because there is no objectivity beyond human opinion to grant anything universal stability. Such is what ails Dr. Chwoworsky and his Unitarian idealistic ethic. He may say that Unitarians are not allowed to believe whatever they please, but at the end of the day, just what is going to stop them from doing that very thing? The answer is nothing!
Dr. Chwoworsky’s allusion to Dr. Eliot’s statement that Unitarianism is a “cheerful religion” is just plain bogus. Not only does Unitarianism have absolutely nothing upon which to base its nilly-willy religion, it has divorced itself from anything godly by rejecting God’s Word about itself, God’s Word about Himself, God’s Word about Jesus, God’s Word about Salvation, God’s Word about the Afterlife, and so on and so forth.
Moreover, to assert that each individual Unitarian is “cheerful” because he or she has overcome the ignorance, superstition, fear, and uncertainty by simply resorting his or her human reasoning is equally nonsensical, given the prior statements seen above about the afterlife, where the Unitarians are conflicted about what to expect. Some assume nothing, others that they will be reincarnated, while others may assume that they will never die. One thing that is sure, none of them believes in what Jesus said was necessary in order to inherit eternal life, which was to be “born again” (Jn. 3:3-5). That being the case, then not one Unitarian will enter the kingdom of heaven, but will go straight to hell upon dying. Now, just how “cheerful” of a prospect can that be?
Do Unitarians try to make converts?
No. Unitarians do not proselytize; they do not send out missionaries. They do, quietly and effectively, let people know who they are and what they stand for. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said.”
RESPONSE: By confessing that Unitarians do not try to make converts, Dr. Chwoworsky also confesses the non-Christian nature of Unitarianism, given that Christianity has always been a mission-minded religious movement that has been commanded to make converts. In fact, Jesus Christ himself, during his “Great Commission” statement, told his disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20). With Jesus’ command come several other observations that further expose Unitarianism as the “Christian” counterfeit that it is.
First, despite earlier proclamations that Unitarians “love the person and message of the Galilean,” if the Unitarian is disobeying Jesus on something as fundamental as making disciples or converts, then just how much in love can the Unitarian be with either him or his message?
Second, Jesus gives the Trinitarian formula in the Great Commission statement by citing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all of which share the same name, as well as the command to make disciples and to baptize them. Unitarians are unabashedly anti-Trinitarian, holding that to believe in such a doctrine is paganistic. Yet, if Jesus is giving the foundational formula for the Trinity in his Great Commission statement, then once again, just how much in love can the Unitarians be with him or his message.
Third, Unitarians balk at the reality that Jesus is God. In fact, they find it repulsive to try and make Jesus into a God, as well as to rely upon him for their salvation. But, if Jesus is to be with his disciples “even to the end of the age,” how would that be possible, if he was not God? Surely, such a statement could not derive from a mere human, since mere humans are fixed in time and space, whereas Jesus’ is alluding to not only his eternality, but his omnipresence as well. Again, just how much in love can the Unitarian be with Jesus and his message if they deny his presence in the here and now, as he promised his disciples?
Clearly, if the Unitarians stand for anything, they stand in abject opposition to everything Jesus was and taught. They oppose his deity, his word, his sacrifice, his example, and his authority. Further evidence of their opposition is the hypocritical misquote of Jesus’ admonition to the churches in the Book of Revelation (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). So, if they are not rejecting what Jesus said, they abuse it, like all cults do to serve their anti-Christian agenda. And that somehow is an indication of how much the Unitarians “love the person and message of the Galilean”? Just whom do they think they are trying to fool?
How does one become a Unitarian?
Not by baptism or confirmation or a rite. To become a Unitarian you must (1) feel within your own heart and mind the love of freedom of conscience; (2) recognize the demands of the voice of reason, challenging you to examine the truths you would incorporate into the texture of your personal faith; (3) understand the point of view of those who disagree with you, even those who will oppose what you hold dear as your religion.
It is your own mind and heart that make you a Unitarian—not what somebody else thinks, says, or does. Thus, you will enter into fellowship with other men and women who seek to worship God through truth, beauty, and goodness.
RESPONSE: It is probably good that Dr. Chwoworsky was asked this question rather than one asking how one becomes a Christian. From the foregoing, it is quite evident that neither he, nor anyone subscribing to Unitarian principles, knows the first thing about becoming or being a Christian. What he does offer by way of substitution is a humanistic mish-mash of subjective nonsense that one could receive at any social club, religious or otherwise. It is all about how to make the person doing the committing feel good about himself, but has absolutely nothing to do with what it means to be a Christian.
To prove the self-centered autonomy of Dr. Chwoworsky he ends his answer with a statement that is antithetical to what the Bible has to say about who goes seeking for who in terms of the God-human relationship. He says that accepting the Unitarian creed that “you will enter into fellowship with other men and women who seek to worship God through truth, beauty, and goodness.” Yet, it is not by humanistic means that anyone ever enters into fellowship with God, much less worship. It is only by God’s means that anyone can do that. Adam never came running to God after he sinned, Jesus made it clear that no one can approach him without God drawing the person, and the Apostle Paul argued, “There is none who seeks for God.” Only by spiritual regeneration does anyone enter into fellowship with God or can one offer worship based on the truth. Unitarianism, with its grocery list of rejections of orthodox, biblical Christian thought has excluded itself from anything meaningful when it comes to God or the worship of Him.
So, to become a member of this religious order may make one feel good about him- or herself, and that person might even find a few like-minded people as irrational and intolerant of the biblical truth as he or she is. But, as far as coming to know the Bible, Jesus Christ, God, or genuine Christian fellowship, the person subscribing to Unitarian principles will only be left on the outside looking in one day. That person will stand before the Lord in judgment , claiming to have done so many wonderful things in Jesus’ name, only to be rejected by him, as the Unitarian rejects him today, as a practitioner of lawlessness and a final declaration from Jesus, “I never knew you.”
Unitarianism has had a relatively short organizational life, comparatively speaking, to some of the other better-known religions in existence today. That said, it has roots extending all the way back to the Garden of Eden, and the serpentine doctrine that was used to deceive humanity into questioning God’s authoritative word. More recently, though, Unitarianism is an outgrowth of the Enlightenment thinking of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, where supernatural revelation took a backseat to human autonomy and reason.
Although it touts itself as “open-minded and individualistic,” if not tolerant and restorative of primitive Christianity, upon closer examination it is actually the polar opposite of each of those accolades. So long as one is not a biblical Christian, then the Unitarian is willing to throw open its doors to just about anything that might come slithering through them, whether it be the paganism of Hindu thought or the diabolical teaching of Wicca. Evidence of this was seen earlier where nearly every orthodox Christian teaching, starting with the Bible and ending with evangelism, were all resoundingly rejected by Dr. Chwoworsky and his Unitarian responses, while those non-Christian religious ideals were lauded. Hence, Unitarianism is not open-minded, but closed-minded, and that especially concerning biblical truth.
That said, however, Unitarianism has had its influences upon both the European and American continents, and that despite its relatively small size as far as members. A majority of United States of America Presidents to be elected to office have had some kind of training, typically in law, at Harvard University, which is a harbinger of Unitarian thought. Others, as Dr. Chwoworsky points out, such as Thomas Jefferson, John and Quincy Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Horace Mann, et al, were all steeped in Unitarian thinking as well. Nevertheless, name-dropping aside, just because a certain worldview has been influential does not necessitate that it is also true. Because of Unitarianism’s rejection of the Judeo-Christian ethic, it has fostered a spirit of anarchy and rebellion across Europe and America that has only been detrimental to those under its influence. The often-used expression “political correctness” is a direct cousin, if not offspring, of Unitarianism, and it is literally tearing those societies apart because of its endorsement to appeal to the baser nature of humanity.
Given all of its rejection of biblical orthodoxy, yet desire to be aligned with Christianity, the closest it will come to the latter is that of a Christian caricature much like that found in Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Christian Science. There is nothing Christian about Unitarianism, except for the few terms that it borrows, and then revises to suit its own capricious views and standards. Therefore, unless one is already dead-set against the biblical standard, one would be better off looking for truth, love, and meaning elsewhere than in the darkened halls of a Unitarian “church,” where man is exalted and God is disgraced.