Seeing a World of Difference: Lesson 2
“One” and “Two,” as described in Lesson 1, refer to two antithetical worldviews—Oneism or Twoism. Adding the “ism” is a way of showing that this way of thinking is a system or theory. So Oneism is the theory of Oneness. Dr. Peter Jones created these terms because he thought they might be helpful in today’s world. They are not found in the Bible, but they do reflect the meaning of two worldviews that are described clearly by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1 ESV.
Oneism believes that “all is one” and shares the same essential nature. Theologians use the term “consubstantiality.” Con means “with” in Latin, and substantial means “substance” or “essence.” In Oneism, everything shares the same essence and so everything is a piece of the divine.
Twoism believes that while all of creation shares a certain essence (everything apart from God is created), the Creator of nature, namely God, is a completely different being, whose will determines the nature and function of all created things. Everything you do and think is affected by how you answer the question, “Are you a Oneist or a Twoist?” The apostle Paul clearly describes these two options (and there are only two) in one of the simplest yet most profound verses of the Bible: “They exchanged the truth about God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1:25 ESV). Paul identifies only two possible kinds of worship: worship of creation or worship of the Creator. Behind each is a timeless worldview: either Oneism or Twoism. Paul calls Oneism “the Lie,” and Twoism “the Truth.” All humanity falls into one category or the other. There is no third way. Paul’s clear statement provides both the inspiration and structure of this course. Though Paul wrote two thousand years ago, he still speaks directly to us! His God-breathed wisdom will dissipate our cloud of confusion. The content of this course will not receive praise from all lips, however, because its key argument contradicts what many people believe to be true.
The favorite phrase of newscasters on US TV these days is “going forward.” It seems to sum up the hopes politicians always hold out for a transformed and improved society. The truth we need must be “progressive” or “going forward,” rather than “regressive” or “going backward.” Futurists truly believe they are creating a new worldview. The futurist website Zeitgeist, for example, declares: “The human value system…must be updated and changed through education and thoughtful introspection…[and] the environment surrounding that value system must change to support the new worldview.” [i]
Addressing gay leaders in the White House in 2009, President Obama used his presidential privilege to declare that the foes of homosexuality are holding on to “worn arguments and old attitudes.” This implies that homosexuality is a “new and improved” view of society that no one has thought of before!
Christians must not allow the “futurists” and “progressives” to lay claim to truth, be they presidents, professors or pastors. It is all spin. To be sure, history changes and technology develops. The twenty-first century is “new” relative to the twentieth century, just as the moment this sentence is being typed is “new” relative to the moment the last sentence was typed. That is what time does; it creates new events that become history! We are facing new opportunities and problems, especially those of globalism and technology. How do we organize ourselves in a world that communicates instantly from any point on the globe, even from space? What unique applications of ethical principles should be applied to cloning, stem-cell research or euthanasia? We must use our minds creatively and wisely to find intelligent responses to these new questions. As Christians, we must think how the Scriptures are to be applied in a wise way to these new situations.
But a “new worldview”? Although many of our practical and technical problems are new, the only worldview solutions on offer are very old. To call a belief system “progressive” or “regressive” is a “spin zone,” obscuring the truth. As they say in the US, “The spin stops here!”
Christianity willingly goes “backward” to Paul, to Jesus and even to Moses’ account of the creation of man. But contemporary progressive thinking also goes backward, appealing to the ancient Lie, which consists of notions popular thousands of years ago. The “new” spiritualists, who argue most strenuously for biological and spiritual evolution, exhort their disciples to return to the spirituality of the past for morality and wisdom. Intellectual pagan Oneists call themselves “traditionalists” (see the next lesson). Some researchers believe that science is poised to bring a new age of understanding, not through new texts, but through old ones, such as the ancient Gnostic Hermetica, the medieval Kabbalist Zohar or the fifth century BC Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita. Contemporary gurus (who teach methods of relaxation, meditation and altered states of consciousness to West Coast yuppies in sweet-smelling gyms on Sunset Boulevard) also take their customers back to the Bhagavad Gita, while Western gurus (who teach oneness with nature for the sake of ecological survival) find their models of spirituality in the ancient nature worship of Mayan, Aztec, Incan and North American Indian peoples. Are these not also “worn arguments and old attitudes”? If so, what does “progressive” mean?
In spite of claims that humanity is ever evolving to higher stages of consciousness, the spiritual options practiced with such zeal in the twenty-first century have been known forever. Let’s be honest. There is nothing new. Thousands of years ago, an ancient text recognized this fact. The author of the Book of Ecclesiastes says:
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 ESV)
Seeing today’s utopian futurists in this ancient text brings them down to size. Solomon the Wise testifies against their reckless, self-confident belief that “we can work it out.” The Beatles once used that phrase as a title for one of their songs. Of course, they couldn’t “work it out,” and neither can we!
Everyone goes “backward” to find wisdom, even if they don’t realize it. The Apostle Paul tells us we don’t need an Encyclopedia of Religions to find out how many spiritual possibilities exist. Many people believe there are as many different ways to enlightenment as there are days in the year. According to God’s Word, there are only two, which have been around since the Garden of Eden. That has been the truth since the world began and will remain the truth until God steps in to put an end to our arrogance.
Rome Became Christian
Not only does everyone appeal to the past, but our times resemble the old days of the apostle Paul. Were the rabbi to land at Dulles airport in Washington, DC and take a tour of the US capitol city, he would find many similarities to the pagan Roman Empire, where he wrote to the small community of Christians in the capitol city of the Roman Empire.[ii] Consider these facts:
- Rome was invaded by the religions of the East. Because of this, pagan syncretism and religious tolerance produced a common, interfaith world religion;
- Rome was sports-and-entertainment-mad, as well as choking on sexual excess;
- Rome dominated the civilized world politically and created a global empire.
In 1969 an Italian film-maker, Frederico Fellini, made an X-rated moved called Satyricon, which was loosely based on the story of a Roman courtier at the time of Nero (AD 37-68). The film is not recommended, since it was full of bawdy episodes of Roman debauchery, including prostitution orgies, homosexual and hermaphrodite trysts, gay marriage and pedophilia. Such parties were occurring in Rome at the precise time when Christians were being burned on poles to light up Nero’s garden soirées, and when the apostle Paul was beheaded for (among other things) writing Romans chapter one. At that same time, Nero married two homosexual lovers, Pythagoras and Sporus. One was his “wife” and the other his “husband.” Was Paul’s opposition to homosexuality based on “worn arguments and old attitudes” as some say Christians today are doing when they refuse to accept homosexuality? If so, then Nero’s view of sexuality was just as worn and old, since it was typical of the ancient pagan world.
A few years after Paul’s death in AD 66, Tacitus, the Roman historian, described Christians as “haters of humanity,” even though it was the Christians who were rescuing cast-off newborns. They were “haters” (perhaps more accurately “hated”) because they refused to go along with the cruelty and the perversions of the day, justified back then as part of the pax romana (Roman peace) for the common good.
So here we are, in the twenty-first century, with the world turned on its head. Even in 1969, few would have dreamed that such ancient perversions, recaptured by Hollywood to feed the culture’s fantasies, would become accepted and even protected from criticism by the new “hate crimes” law of the land—all for the common good!
Pagan Rome was eventually Christianized, while “Christian” America is becoming pagan. Our understanding of worldview and of recent changes is enriched by the historical perspective we get when we hear what Paul, an ancient Roman citizen, a Jewish rabbi and a Christian apostle, has to say to us today. Paul gives us categories to understand our own culture and to engage as wise Christians in the struggle for truth.
Dreams and Revolutions
The cultural revolution from the 1960s into the twenty-first century is unlike anything in modern Western history except, perhaps, the French Revolution, when a civilization, influenced by a small minority, rejected its religious and philosophical roots to adopt an ideology antithetically opposed to all it had known. From its founding until the 1960s, American culture was defined by father-led families, monogamous heterosexual marriage and Judeo-Christian presuppositions. In one generation, this worldview has been largely replaced by a radically egalitarian, omni-gendered, pansexual, multi-religious (Oneist) belief system that has turned our contemporary world upside down.
Julian the Apostate
There was another revolutionary time like ours. In AD 312 the pagan Roman Empire converted to the Christian faith under Constantine, turning away from deeply ingrained polytheism and widespread sexual license in order to adopt (imperfectly, to be sure) biblical ways and standards. Constantine’s nephew, affectionately known as “Julian the Apostate,” later tried to promote a revolutionary return to paganism, eliminating Christians from teaching and military service and promoting the official worship of Isis, goddess of magic and the underworld.
Julian failed. His famous last words in AD 360, as he finally submitted to Jesus, were: “You have conquered, Galilean.” Ironically, the real American Revolution (in the 1960s, not the one in 1776) returns us to the pagan empire Julian so desperately wanted to restore. Julian’s wish is being fulfilled today.
Richard Noll, an unbelieving Harvard researcher, wrote two books about Carl Gustav Jung, the Swiss psychologist (1875-1961) and disciple of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Jung rejected the Lutheran Christianity of his youth and developed spiritual but anti-Christian psychological theories about the unconscious self that have thoroughly infiltrated our modern world. Even seminaries (liberal and not-so-liberal) have been teaching Jung as the great source of hope for spiritual counseling. Noll, however, seeking a historic figure whose influence would parallel that of Jung, chose Julian the Apostate. You may never have heard of Jung, but this is what Noll says, with no religious agenda:
Jung ranks with the Roman emperor, Julian the Apostate, as one who significantly undermined orthodox Christianity and restored the polytheism of the Hellenistic world in Western civilization. I realize that this is quite an incautious statement…[but] for a variety of historical and technological factors—modern mass media being the most important—Jung has succeeded where Julian failed…[the result is that] the patriarchal monotheism of the orthodox Judeo-Christian faiths has all but collapsed, and filling the void, we find Protestants, Catholics and Jews adopting alternative, syncretistic belief systems. [iii]
An unbelieving Harvard researcher has understood that, in one generation, the Lie of paganism has established itself as “Christian” Truth. This upheaval is not normal history; the revolution was orchestrated.
Carl Jung played a major role in the cultural upheaval. An ex/anti-Christian, he hawked his occult spiritual wares as “scientific psychology” and deeply influenced our culture’s leaders (e.g., George Lucas and his Star Wars trilogy). Jung was determined to undermine the Christian faith on which so many unthinkingly depended. While Jung was busy in the academic world, my ex-friend John Lennon and the Beatles (“more popular in the entire planet than Jesus”) taught millions that drugs and “imagination” could produce a utopian world without religion but with peace and justice for all.
One man who joined with the Beatles in the 1960s is an example of the radical nature of the revolution. Timothy Leary, a one-time Harvard professor, proclaimed to the hippie generation: “Our aim is to transform American society spiritually and have thirty million Americans taking LSD.” His mantra was “turn on, tune in and drop out and reject the values of your parents.” He believed that “to use your head you have to go out of your mind.” “Turning on” was accompanied by sexual license and public nudity.
Leary advocated open rejection of Christianity. “Good for Eve who stood up for herself and took the fruit. Forget it, Jehovah. Get back in your squad car and go back to headquarters.” Leary’s “delusional hope for radical change” ended like all utopian fantasies. He could only face the reality of death by smoking marijuana and sucking on balloons filled with laughing gas. Appropriately, in 1997, some of his disciples, the Heaven’s Gate cult of Rancho Santa Fe, CA sought to join Leary’s ashes, already in space, by committing mass suicide to get on the Hale Bopp comet!
- The information class has enormous social powers of influence, an influence that shows up on university campuses, where students arrive having had their opinions formed through the media. From the moment the TV became a dominant factor in our culture, television personalities have often promoted an ideology of moral, sexual and philosophical relativism.
- In a 2008 poll in the US, only six percent of the national press corps considered themselves conservatives.
- The Boston Globe in 2004 described campus leftism as “a Left Wing monopoly” that is “radical, aggressive and deeply intolerant.” [iv] The ideology of the media and academia was, for a time, driven by anti-Christian secular humanism. Now it is mostly driven by anti-Christian, all-inclusive pagan Oneism. The slant of the press and Hollywood, and the control of the campus by politically correct feminist multiculturalists are well-documented. So also is the dumbing-down of a population fed on evocative video images and unaware of the grand ideas of the past. You can graduate from most universities without one credit in American History. Western Civilization courses, if they exist, have been rewritten to exclude the influence of “dead, white, male chauvinists.” Two generations of students have already drunk from this fountain of anti-knowledge.
The precursors of this ideology studied the “science” of population manipulation. Edward L. Bernays, the nephew of Freud (Jung’s mentor), became an expert in collective mind control. Basing his theories on his uncle’s notion of “the unconscious,” Bernays believed that the true masters of society are not politicians but those who control information. His theories have proven true. Historically, it might be better to say that both Jung and Freud succeeded where Julian failed.
Thirty million Americans are not taking LSD, but they are practicing yoga. One in five American women is training to be a yoga teacher, according to the Department of Labor’s figures for 2009. Also, the broader goal of transforming American spirituality by rejecting Christianity, ridding society of “religion” and finding sexual and spiritual liberation has come true. We cannot expand on the practice of yoga in this lesson, but Christians need to remember that yoga is far more tightly linked to its Hindu spiritual roots and principles than one might imagine. One Hindu said that for a Christian to practice yoga for reasons of exercise would be like a Hindu getting baptized in order to get his hair washed! If you are interested in a brief exposé on Yoga, truthXchange has a small booklet on the subject.[v]
One event illustrates such progress in transforming both sexual and religious norms. At the invitation of Barack Obama, an openly homosexual bishop prayed at the Presidential inaugural ceremonies. This choice reflected the new administration’s acceptance of homosexual behavior, while the bishop used the limelight to announce biblical apostasy. He declared that his prayer would not be Christian, because he was “horrified” at how “specifically and aggressively Christian” previous inaugural prayers had been. With Interfaith pastoral tact, Gene Robinson prayed to the “God of our many understandings.”
In all Christian history, there has never been an openly homosexual bishop until 2003, when “Bishop Robinson” was consecrated. Not only is Robinson not a heterosexual bishop; he is not a Christian bishop. In an act of public defiance of the God of the Bible (which is the canonical book of his Church, which he had sworn to uphold), this self-affirming syncretist prayed to the gods of all religions and peoples. And so, the Interfaith double-edged sword of polysexuality and polytheism slashes at the cultural and religious roots of our society. Don’t be surprised at this terrible twosome. Once more, Jung has succeeded where Julian failed. Jung’s ideal religion of the future included both the acceptance by Christianity of all other religions and of the practice of homosexuality.
On April 29, 2009, the US House of Representatives passed its “hate crimes” bill, making various alternative sexual lifestyles, such as homosexuality and others, into a federally protected class under civil rights laws—as they were in the ancient pagan world.[vi] Even an amendment to exclude pedophiles from these protected classes was voted down. The text of the bill claims it is needed to deal with “a serious national problem” (hate crimes against people in these categories). The truth is, however, that there is no nationwide epidemic of hate against LGBT individuals in the United States.[vii]
Any pastor, youth leader, theologian or ordinary Christian believer who teaches what the Bible says about normative heterosexuality, over against abnormal sexual practices, may soon be placed under the punishment of the law. By the same token, the bill gives free rein to the approval of the ideological speech and practice of sexual perversion, to be taught in schools, as early as kindergarten. We will also see polyamorous conjugal arrangements.
Such events as the outlandish gay parades in San Francisco and other cities are legalized by this bill. In California schools, special days celebrate homosexual heroes (e.g. Harvey Milk). Various teachers’ associations in California support the hate crimes bill. Many pro-homosexual changes to curriculum are now written into children’s textbooks, and homosexual clubs exist on many school campuses. How drastically things have changed since my boyhood in England when head teachers read the Bible and prayed at the beginning of a school day.
England is not immune to such changes. Though Christianity is still its official religion, though the Queen is head of the church and Parliament names bishops, British culture, like American culture, is post-Christian, even anti-Christian.
- In 2008 Caroline Petrie, an experienced Community Nurse, was suspended for praying with an elderly patient.
- An experienced foster mother, having previously housed eighty parentless children, was struck off the official register and her only means of support was denied, for allowing a Muslim girl in her care to convert to Christianity. She had tried to discourage the girl, offered alternatives, tried to find places for her to practice the faith of her birth, but all to no avail. The girl insisted on becoming a Christian, and the foster mother lost her job.
- Adoption agencies, nurses, firemen, registrars of clinics, elderly care homes and foster parents in “Christian” Britain are being punished for Christian beliefs. Will the English punish their Queen for being the “Defender of the Faith”?
The 1960s goals have largely succeeded, but they have created a moral and social vacuum into which is rushing a Oneist spirituality more powerful than most of us imagine.
The next lesson will deal with the full revelation of paganism in the culture. You may feel discouraged, but just as a doctor has to diagnose an illness before he can treat it, so we must look carefully to see what disease is destroying our culture before we can bring biblical answers to the question of how we should move forward in faith and hope with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
[ii] See Peter Jones, Capturing the Pagan Mind (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2003) [to be reprinted by Main Entry Editions as Return of the Rabbi].
[iii] Richard Noll, The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung (New York: Random House, 1997), xv.
[iv] “Left Wing,” here denotes ideology more than politics.
[v] Mary Eady, Letter to a Friend: Yoga (Escondido, CA: Main Entry Editions, 2012).
[vi] These terms may offend you, but such is not the purpose. We must expose this behavior because our children and grandchildren are threatened and affected by it. Please understand the motivation.
[vii] FBI hate crime statistics for 2007 cite 16,929 murders in the US, of which five were classified as motivated by bias against sexual orientation. Of course, that is five too many, but how many of the remaining 16,924 murders were not caused by hate? This bill, claiming to deal with an “epidemic” of hate crimes, actually lays a legal foundation for the criminalization of a particular kind of hate speech. Jewish commentator, Don Feder, says that the real goal of the homosexual movement is to “use the state to crush dissent.”