What Do Other Religions Think About the Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit

Dr. John Ankerberg: Okay, the Unification Church, Sun Myung Moon, has the Holy Spirit as being female. Why? 

Dr. Walter Martin: You would have to ask Mr. Moon that. I have always maintained that he has been overtly preoccupied with sex anyhow and there is quite a bit of literature that documents why this was true. But the fact remains that the Holy Spirit is not female and the Holy Spirit is not male. The Holy Spirit is the divine ego, God, I. He is spoken of as in the male gender, primarily for communication purposes. And if that’s the way God chose to express Himself, well let’s leave it there. But Mr. Moon, of course, really doesn’t care if God expressed Himself absolutely because he doesn’t believe in the infallibility of Scripture nor in the deity of Christ. 

Dr. John Ankerberg: Yes, and you can’t get around the use of ekeinos, the personal pronoun in John 14 and 16 there. It’s not anything but masculine. You just can’t get away from it. 

Dr. Walter Martin: Well, it goes even further than that, because you have very definite personality attributes of the Holy Spirit. For instance, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in Mark 3: how do you blaspheme an “It”? You have to blaspheme a person, and you can’t blaspheme anybody but God, so you have blasphemy of God. 

Dr. John Ankerberg: The Way International, in conclusion here, simply does not believe in the Trinity. Again, it outlaws the Holy Spirit. Why? 

Dr. Walter Martin: Well, Mr. Wierwille says that Trinitarianism is pagan, that it came into existence at the Council of Nicaea, and that it was a man-pronounced and defined doctrine. Again, his lack of historical knowledge betrays him as it does the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Council of Nicea in 325 was not called to discuss the Trinity. What it was called to do was to deal with the Arian heresy, which Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, that Jesus Christ was a god. They excommunicated everybody that taught that doctrine as heretical. They also dealt with some other problems that were going on in the church, but nothing to do with Trinitarian theology. 

Dr. John Ankerberg: All those that want to, in The Way International, to get into a good history of the first 400 years of Christianity, what would you recommend? 

Dr. Walter Martin: I would recommend Phillip Shaft’s History of the Christian Church, Kenneth Scott Latourette’s Church History; any one of the good church history books will clearly tell you the Council of Nicaea wasn’t deciding Trinitarian theology. 

Editor’s note: In 1983 we asked Dr. Walter Martin, author of The Kingdom of the Cults, to comment on what various groups believe about The Bible, God, Jesus, Salvation, and a number of other topics. This article is excerpted from that interview. Some groups mentioned may have changed names, disbanded, or modified their beliefs since this interview took place.

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