Course: Biblical Worldview I: Only Two Religions?
Section 2B Humanity Is Two
Humanity Is Two
Oneism is defined as the worship of creation, where all is one when creation is worshipped and served as divine. In Oneism all distinctions are eliminated and through “enlightenment” Oneism proclaims that man is also divine.
Twoism is defined as the worship of the divine Creator of all things. In Twoism God alone is divine and is distinct from His creation, yet through His Son, Jesus, God is in loving communion with His creation.
Each human being, created in God’s image, has the same intrinsic and marvelous worth. In the Twoist system, mankind is created:
- By God;
- Distinct from and set over all other creatures;
- Male and female;
- Under the authority of God and defined by him.
Whether they admit it or not, human beings all share these qualities, which God gave them at their creation. Those who refuse to consider themselves as created, distinct and under God’s authority, will not naturally feel unified with those who accept these truths. Oneists have taken God out of the picture, but remain “spiritual” by worshiping some aspect of creation. In Romans 1:25 and elsewhere in the Bible, God tells us that ultimately, there are only two kinds of people: those who are for him (who worship and serve him) and those who are against him (who worship and serve creation).
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Luke 11:23)
The old saying, “Christians aren’t better, they’re just forgiven” has a lot of truth to it. Christians are sinners just like everyone else, and have no natural ability to generate unity and love. However, in Christ, they have an amazing ground for unity with others because they not only agree with God’s design and purpose in life (to glorify God) but have the power to accomplish that purpose because they are “new creatures” in Christ and can reflect to one another, and even to non-Christians, the love that Jesus has shown them.
The love and mercy that Christians show one another on the basis of Christ’s love shines out in a dark world. That love, so contrary to our sinful natures, is what often draws an unbeliever to faith in Jesus Christ and to a life of obedience. It is crucially important that Christians speak humbly and graciously, showing their neighbors and friends that the declaration of the truth is not a statement of arrogance, as many think, but a declaration of humility. A Oneist sets himself up as author of his own truth. Now that is arrogant! A Twoist stands in submission to God, under the authority of God’s truth and is therefore humble.
Christians are not to “judge” other Christians or even non-Christians in the sense of playing judge over them. God measures humans according to his standards of goodness, by which we all fall short. God alone is the final Judge, a role he claims for himself: “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (Romans 12:19).
If, however, some humans love God and are eager to obey him, whereas others hate him and are in active rebellion against him, then we can expect conflict to arise between the two groups. Christians are prohibited from “taking up the sword” against their enemies. They “win the day” for the truth of the Christian gospel neither by armed conflict nor by political power, but by living out their love for Jesus, and depending on his love for them, no matter what the results.
Jesus warned his followers that they, like their Lord, would suffer persecution, slander, mockery and even death because they refuse to renounce their faith in him. Christians are to give thanks, remain joyful, and continue to love their enemies. Such behavior often infuriates those who are determined to stamp out the Christian faith, but it can also win them over. One wonders how many joyful, patient, compassionate Christians the Apostle Paul persecuted before bowing the knee to the resurrected Jesus. Christians in many countries live on a daily basis with the kind of persecution Paul visited on early Christians. Those in the West can hardly imagine what it must be like to fear the arrival of an angry mob, or the betrayal of a neighbor, or the knock of police on our door in the middle of the night. There is often no one to rescue, no one to listen and act on the behalf of these Christians. Yet they hold firm, knowing that God is on their side and that other Christians throughout the world are holding them up in prayer.
If Oneism progresses (and its current growth is exponential), then even Christians in Western countries will eventually know the persecution that their brothers and sisters have consistently faced in areas where Oneist religions have long dominated.
In our conversations, we Christians owe it to our friends and neighbors to make the distinction clear between Christian and non-Christian. God divides humanity into two and only two groups: those who believe on and belong to his Son Jesus Christ, and those who do not. “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). Clarifying a person’s position before God is not a hateful judgment, but a loving analysis that a Christian can offer. We invite non-Christians to believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, to receive the sacrifice he made in dying for their sins. We invite them to move from unbelief to belief. Only on the “belonging to Christ” side will anyone ever find true peace.
Keep in mind, however, that no one lives a perfectly consistent worldview. You are a Christian. Do you live in a perfectly Christian way? Do you say things in a perfectly Christian way? Just as you are an inconsistent Christian, so there are inconsistent non-Christians. Your brother-in-law, your child’s teacher, your roommate at university may claim to be a Oneist, but you will be able to show that they actually use many Twoist principles in life—they do make distinctions. For example, they believe in a difference between good and evil. They wouldn’t eat mushrooms picked at random. They realize that they have a responsibility to look after creation. They talk, write and play music, thus using the distinctions of sound and language that God gave us to communicate with one another—all of these inconsistencies are open doors through which they can walk into an understanding and acceptance of Twoism—that is to say, an acceptance of the fact that a Creator made this world by setting things in their particular places and roles.
Our self-sacrificial love for both Christians and non-Christians is based on the love Jesus showed us on the cross. Only in the power of the Holy Spirit can we love as Christ loved. And his love is the only foundation for true human unity. So Christians have the power to begin creating the kind of community everyone hopes for—one in which peace, joy and love abound. In Christ the social, racial and economic barriers dissolve and true fellowship occurs.
1. How is a human being defined in the Bible?
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food. And it was so.” (Genesis 1:26-30)
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. …The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:15-19)
The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:20-24)
2. What happens to those who reject God and worship Creation?
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good. (Jeremiah 10:5)
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. (Psalm 115:3-8)
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (Romans 1:24 NIV)
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (Romans 1:26 NIV)
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (Romans 1:28 NIV)
In your everyday life, or by doing a little online research, find three Oneists and show how they define human existence. Here are three examples:
Wayne Dyer, an expert on self-development says, “What’s the biggest thing people need to learn…to get beyond excuses?” His answer: “They need to know that they are God.”
A Buddhist mystic says, “I thought about Nirvana, about that great and total no-thing-ness into which every human being would ultimately dissolve.”
Stephen Hawking says, about the Christian’s view of God: “They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant and accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible.”