|Only Begotten and
the Deity of Christ
A Review of Hugo McCord's paper
[Hugo McCord's Paper is in the smaller type.]
Brother Hugo McCord presented his paper, "ONLY BEGOTTEN," at the
Freed-Hardeman College Bible Lectureship in 1988. In it he charged those
who use translations "which make Jesus 'only begotten'" with demoting "the
Lord whom they love to creature status" in the same way the ancient Arian
heresy did and the the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society advocates do
today, along with the Unitarians. Brother McCord also, in way of passing,
states the Father-Son relationship between God and Jesus is "figurative,"
therefore not literal, or actual, or in reality.
The problem I have with brother McCord is not so much his wishing to
translate monogenes as "unique" (although I do disagree with that being an
accurate and adequate translation, and believe it to have further
implications concerning the identity of Jesus and his virgin-birth). My
greatest problem is two-fold: 1) his acceptance of the arugments
advocating the Arian heresy, and his consequent accusation of the
brotherhood "unintentionally" advocating such heresy; and, 2) his teaching
that Jesus is only figuratively the Son of God. Both of these positions are the
basis of why brother McCord rejects "only begotten" as the translation of
monogenes; and, are the real source of the problems with his paper.
Each and every argument brother McCord advances is wrong in his attach
of translating monogenes as "only begotten" and in advancement of
translating monogenes as "unique." Yet, that is not what is distressing
about his paper. What is distressing is his accusation against the church.
The Arian heresy of which he speaks, he does not understand. It does not
now, and never has demoted (in any sense of the term) our Lord for Him to
be referred to as "the only-begotten Son of God." Only in the twisted minds
of heretics has it ever appeared to do so! The church of our Lord has
always referred to her Savior as "the only-begotten Son of God." She has
never intentionally, nor unintentionally, demoted the One who bought her with
His blood to creature status (Acts 20:28). Brother McCord owes the
brotherhood an apology for such a vicious and untrue accusation.
Brother McCord's paper is distressing because he affirms Jesus is the Son
of God only figuratively. 110 times the New Testament refers to Jesus as
the Son of God. Not once, in all 110 times it is recorded, is there any reason
to assume figurative language is being used in reference to Jesus as the
Son of God. It is saying Jesus is not actually the Son of God. That is heresy!
That is blasphemy! It makes the voice from heaven, at both the baptism and
transfiguration of Jesus, to be a liar; and, God cannot lie. Brother McCord,
in his paper, denies the Lord who bought him (1 Peter 2:1). To say the
Father-Son relationship between God and Jesus is figurative, is the devil's
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are
of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1
Paul spoke of "grievous wolves" which would enter and arise from within the
church, "not sparing the flock, ... speaking perverse things, to draw away
disciples after them" (Acts 20:29,30). It should be no surprise to see it
happen today. The only question is, "Will we recognize the wolf in sheep's
clothing?" False teaching and false teachers must be recognized.
I have never met brother McCord. I have no malice toward him personally.
However, I believe with all of my heart, that his paper, "ONLY BEGOTTEN,"
contains false teaching and damnable doctrine. Brother McCord is wrong
and needs to repent! And, so do any who agree with him, or support him.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and
offences contrary tot he doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid
them. For they that are such serve no our Lord Jesus Christ, but
their own belly; and by good works, and fair speeches deceive the
hearts of the simple." (Romans 16:17,18).