Course: Biblical Worldview I: Only Two Religions?
Section 4B Our Problem According to Twoism
Our Problem According to Twoism
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 Twoist defines the world’s problems completely differently than does a Oneist. We can never “wake up” to realize that we are God! Our problems stem from trying to be God. As our Creator, God defined our reality and commands our worship. He it is who laid the foundations of the earth and put us in it to be his viceroys (Psalm 90:1-2; Psalm 8:6-8). He it is who has given us in his Word the training manual for life on earth. In following his commands and absorbing his love, we know true happiness and contentment. It is his plan for utopia that will take place in the end—not our vain human attempts at building a Tower of Babel or climbing a ladder of good works into heaven.
It is not by destroying God’s distinctions that we gain freedom and joy as human beings, but by conforming our lives to them, by living within those structures, by allowing our hearts to be shaped by the love God has for us—the love of a Father on whom we are entirely dependent. A Twoist always begins by recognizing that God is God and that we are his creatures, created to honor him, give him glory, and take joy in living according to his pleasure. That is our deepest satisfaction. We do not look to a god within but to our personal Creator who “sits above the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). We do not worship mute, powerless idols, but a living God who loves us enough to take our name into his, to assure our identity, which comes from being separate from, yet dependent upon, his ever-living identity.
The Twoist realizes that if you collapse distinctions, you end up not with harmony but with chaos or even nothingness. Though this may seem a wonderful goal to a Oneist, it is not how Twoists live. Our very identity as humans depends on distinctions. Even God himself, as Trinity, exists with distinctions. God is not dependent on the world for love. He loves within the distinct persons of the Trinity. A man and a woman who are married are in a “union” of sorts, but their individual identities are not destroyed by that union. They are enhanced by it. So true communion actually depends on distinctions! How can you commune with anything if you are already an indistinguishable part of that thing? This is why Twoists can pray. We have someone outside of ourselves and indeed outside of all creation to whom we can pray.
In recognizing that the world is not as it should be, Twoists are consistent. They don’t expect the world to fix itself through some innate spiritual, self-creating, self-healing power. Like others, Twoists long for unity, peace and the end of poverty, sickness and war. However, a Twoist will try to conquer these problems using a different remedy and a different motivation than a Oneist uses, because a Christian believes the problem is coming from another source. We can’t drum up “good karma” or be reincarnated to a better life by doing good things for people or by “joining the opposites.” The problem, in one sense, is just the opposite of the definition given by a Oneist. The world is not falling apart because of distinctions. The earth and other humans suffer because we fail to respect and live out God’s distinctions. The most important distinction is the one between the Creator and the creation.
Oneists are right, however, about one thing: there is a problem of “separation” that needs to be fixed. The separation was caused not because we are of a different essence from God, but because we rebelled against him. We can’t solve the rift we have caused by seeking union with God (in the sense of becoming God), but rather by finding communion with him, which he has offered to us by coming down in the person of Jesus to rescue us. This Jesus is our path to peace, both with God and with one another. Jesus died to satisfy God’s justice; rose to show mastery over death and evil; ascended to the Father, sent the Holy Spirit to fill his church with power, joy and love and now prays for his children. He will come to judge the world and is the object of our worship and the key to our daily living.
Twoists cannot impose this solution on others, and they find it difficult to convince Oneists to see this kind of peace as any solution at all. The Twoist solution sounds abstract and other-worldly. Oneists work through earthly and political structures to put in place their ideas of utopia. Though Twoists throw themselves into life with enthusiasm and accomplish many practical things for the benefit of others, ultimately, their success in influencing the course of history and the lives of their neighbors depends on prayer, faith and love. Those tools seem feeble, but they are not! The Holy Spirit, who is in the Christian, is more powerful than the forces of evil in the world (1 John 4:4-6). In our weakness, God’s power is made known (2 Corinthians 12:9).
1. Read the following passages (and other similar passages), then discuss with your group whether Christians and non-Christians can work together to solve the world’s problems. How? When? In what way?
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10)
1. Many Christians today feel that the church’s influence is waning due to the sins of the last few generations of the church. Are they right, or is the problem due more to sinful refusal of the Christian message? Give your reasons.
2. What influences have made the church in your country weak?
3. Is it strong today? If not, when has it been strong? If so, why is it strong?
4. What are the challenges you face today from a Oneist way of thinking?