Course: Biblical Worldview I: Only Two Religions?
Section 4A Our Problem According to Oneism
Our Problem According to Oneism
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.
A consistent Oneist should not be bothered about the world’s problems. yesAfter all, if the world created itself and knows how to progress, then the course of history should leave a Oneist perfectly content. He shouldn’t even worry if you choose to punch him in the nose for no apparent reason. That is just the dark side of your force! Ultimately, there is no reason for a Oneist to think that anything is better than anything else. If All-is-One, then good and evil are also one. You and he are one. He is one with the animals. It shouldn’t matter to him whether his dog or his child dies in the fire that destroys his home.
If you meet a Oneist, you might ask him that question, “Why do you think there’s something wrong in the world, if everything is already one and if the world knows how to create itself?”
Oneists are not consistent. Like everyone living on earth, they realize that everything is not right! They feel that they should do something to make the world better—have fewer children, stop using plastic bags, give money to help the victims of sexual abuse or those rendered destitute by a tsunami. Some become passionately involved in trying to bring unity to the planet.
Their desire to improve the state of the world is good and right. We all sense that there must be something better than the bitterness, hatred, war, greed and violence that every human being experiences to one degree or another. In that sense, a Christian readily agrees with a Oneist that there is indeed a problem.
Leading Oneist thinkers teach that all the world’s problems are due to separation and distinction. The very distinguishing of one thing from another—one sex from the other, animals from humans, God from creation—is the reason the world is in a mess. If only we could all wake up to the fact that there are no distinctions, then we could create the ideal world. Have you ever wondered why some groups are more concerned about the habitat of a gnat than about shredding the bodies of human babies inside (and now even outside) the womb? Why is the distinction between men and women leading people to believe that there are fifteen or more possible sexual identities? Why is the authority of parents over their children being shifted to the state, or to society as a whole? Why, in spirituality, is God being made part of all things? These are all evidences of a Oneist desire to destroy distinctions so that everything can be seen as One.
Some religions teach the destruction of distinction quite clearly. Hindus, for example, are to be detached from such differentiation. The measure of their spiritual progress is the level of detachment they can reach. The goal of the entire religion is to lose one’s self in the All and to reach Nirvana—a state in which you no longer possess any individuality or awareness of that individuality. Buddhism is similar. Mormonism, which often presents itself as being nearly identical to Christianity, believes that we can become god.
All Oneist systems are not so explicit, however. They are not purely Oneist, when it comes down to it. In speaking with a Oneist, you may wish to probe gently this inconsistency. If All is One and the world will evolve once everyone wakes from their amnesia and is aware that they are a part of the whole, then why bother with morals at all? Why is one course of action better than another?
Christians know that God has placed the desire for utopia in our hearts, because he planned utopia from the beginning. Adam and Eve, though in a perfect garden, were not in their final state, but rather in probation. Had they obeyed God’s commands, changes would have occurred. Of course the longing for a better world only intensified when they did not obey. The beauty of the garden turned to ashes and their wailing was heard as soon as the effect of their sin began to work its way into the newly created world, and into the hearts of the humans who inhabited it. In the very next generation, jealousy, anger and hatred erupted into the first murder. Pain and frustration would accompany every act of every human being from the moment Adam and Eve decided that they should take over being God to create utopia after their own imaginations. Is it any wonder that we all long for a better world?
Oneist solutions, however, only intensify evil. The Oneist goal is to destroy God’s distinctions and to bring the opposites together. Previous sections have shown some of the ways Oneists try to accomplish this. They have no time for God’s Word, his Son or his salvation plans. What they fail to realize is that the destruction of God’s created distinctions will bring increased sadness and suffering to all mankind, not the happiness about which they dream.
On the one hand, Christians who have been used to living in a culture where Christianity dominated for hundreds of years, may think that such Oneist beliefs are marginal and they may have trouble realizing the pagan nature of the beliefs that are now taking root in their cultures. On the other hand, Christians living in countries where syncretism [i] and animism [ii] have always flourished will understand how the many varieties of native spiritualities are really Oneist. Indigenous religions see nature, ancestors or spirits as a part of God or as powers equal to that of other gods. These forces must be appeased. Fear dominates, and religion becomes tyrannical because one can never do enough, pray enough, present enough sacrifices. The “doctrine” of Oneism is so central, so ingrained in the hearts of rebellious human beings that a Christian’s strong belief in created distinctions becomes a hated threat. Persecution of Twoists by Oneists is almost inevitable, because Twoism is the only system that won’t join the unified Oneist party. Christians know what Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6).
The real human problem is not that we have forgotten that we are God. The real problem is that we have no communion with the God who has told us to worship him and him alone. We cannot have union with God (become a part of God) because no one is God but God. However, God has provided a way for us to have eternal communion with him. We’ll look at the solution from a Twoist point of view in the next section.
What have you noticed in this week’s news that shows how a Oneist way of thinking is blurring the lines between the following distinctions:
- Animals and Humans
- Male and Female
- Parents and Children
- Good and Evil
- Creator and Creature
What is the difference between “union” and “communion”?
What does Jesus mean when he speaks of our unity with him and with the Father?
Is this the same kind of One-ness that Buddhism and other Oneist systems advocate?
Why or why not?
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23)
[i] Syncretism: The belief that religions can be mixed or blended, and that a person can take portions of several religious beliefs at the same time. God’s people were syncretistic in the Old Testament, for example, by believing they could worship God by worshiping a golden calf (doubtless like the idols they knew from Egypt).
[ii] Animism: The belief that the elements of the earth, such as fire, storm, water or animals, are forms of God and should be both feared and worshiped.