ONEISM AND TWOISM IN CONTEMPROARY EVANGELISIM
Dr. Peter Jones
God’s being makes sense of the world in which we live, so to make a case for God we need to examine the two diametrically opposed ways in which people conceive of the world. Paul says one is the Truth, the other is the Lie. The Lie I call "Oneism", the Truth "Twoism". THERE ARE ONLY TWO POSSIBLE COSMOLOGIES—ONEISM OR TWOISM:
ONLY TWO POSSIBLE WORLDVIEWS
Colin Gunton (1941–2003), considered one of the most important British theologians of his generation, stated:
“There are, probably, ultimately only two possible answers to the question of origins, and they recur at different places in all ages: [either] that the universe is the result of creation by a free personal agency, or that in some way or other it creates itself. The two answers are not finally compatible, and require a choice, either between them or an attitude of agnostic refusal to decide.”
Thomas Sowell, the African-American Stanford professor sees only two possibilities: life is either composed of built-in features that constrain us or are we unconstrained?
Is there hardware or is everything software?
Design or disorder?
Cosmos or chaos?
Robert R. Reilly, a Roman Catholic scholar, author of Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2014), who proposes the complete opposite view, Twoism. He states, without evoking God, that “there are two fundamental views of reality. One is that things have a Nature that is teleologically ordered to ends that inhere in their essence …the other is that…things are only what we make them to be.” (xii). He sees the opposition in the debate about sexuality between the givenness of “objective Nature” and “the primacy of the [human] will.”
De Toqueville (1805-1859) said:
“Not content with the discovery that there `is nothing in the world but a creation and a Creator, he [man] is still embarrassed by this primary division of things and seeks to expand and simplify his conception by including God and the universe in one great whole.”
"... Irrespective, however, of what form the idolatry may take, it represents always a worship of the creature instead of the Creator. The distinction between God and the world is lost. The holiness of God, that is, His distinction from, and His absolute transcendence of, every creature - it was that which was lost to the Gentiles.... the line between Creator and creature has been erased, and therefore the boundary between world and man, soul and body, and heaven and hell has nowhere been rightly drawn.... In the absence of a sense of the holiness of God there is a corresponding absence of a sense of sin.” – Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith, pp 56,57
In my reading, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a Roman Catholic philosopher, Robert Sokolowski, professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America who begins his theoretical argumentation in a very “Reformed” biblical way, by stating: “Our attention is turned toward God as creator and the world as created,” and then immediately notes that the “Christian God is different from other [pagan] gods.” The difference is significant.
Christian theology is differentiated from pagan religious and philosophical reflections primarily by the introduction of a new distinction, the distinction between the world understood as possibly not having existed and God understood as possibly being all that there is, with no diminution of goodness or greatness.
On this Sokolowski erects a whole epistemology. Such a distinction is qualitative, not quantitative, describing two completely different types of beings, [Creator and creatures] that can never be confused or blended. Reconciled, yes, but never blended. One is totally independent. The other is totally dependent.
In either case, here we reach rock bottom. Either the transcendent Creator—one God in the unending interpersonal life and love of the Trinity—is at the origin of everything created and sustains it all, or the universe itself, in all its seeming variety, is all there is, and matter is eternal. We worship what we consider ultimate, whether the personal God or impersonal matter. And in either case, we are dealing with a statement of faith for we cannot step out of the universe to find an objective point of view. We must make a faith decision between these two alternatives—and there are only two.
Paul said it long before the others: “…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen."
There are two possibilities. Either:
– God and nature make up reality, then all is two, and everything is either Creator or creature. I call this TWOISM, expressing a heterocosmology
– On the other hand, if the universe is all there is, then all is ultimately one. I call this ONEISM Oneism sees the world as self-creating (or perpetually existing) and self-explanatory. A homocosmology where everything is made up of the same stuff, whether matter, spirit, or a mixture. There is one kind of existence, which, in one way or another, we worship as divine (or of ultimate importance), which means worshiping ourselves. The classic term is “paganism,” worship of Nature.
A COSMOLOGY BASED ON ONEISM: INTRODUCTION
There are two kinds of Oneism—atheistic Oneism or pantheistic Oneism, seemingly in radical opposition but both ideologically opposed to Twoist theism.
THE ONEISM OF SECULAR HUMANISM
The powerful opponent of Christianity in the recent past, from the 18thy century on, was secular humanism, the conviction that man via his reason alone would save the world.
The Rise of Secular Humanism
When I came from Europe to America for the first time, in 1964, as I described above, the cold War was at its hottest. I often heard Christians describe their fear that America would be taken over by Communism. For the majority, the imminent geo-political threat to Christianity in the Sixties was not the invasion of other religious systems but the subjugation of the “Christian” West by non-religious materialism.
So, what is Secularism or Secular Humanism? It is known under other names. As an intellectual discipline it is called “philosophical materialism”; as a social movement it is known as Modernity; as a somewhat religious expression it is described as “atheism; as a political theory it is practiced as “Marxism”; and for many people, it is a default unthinking way of living as if God did not exist. In all these expressions of secularism, as noted above, is the consistent rejection, as mere ancient superstition, of the supernatural, as a holdover from the dark ages of primitive existence. Without any reference to God, secularism attempts rationally to describe the whole of existence from a this-worldly materialistic perspective. IT IS MATERIALISTICALLY ONEIST.
Following the Reformation’s emphasis on the individual conscience rather than church dogma, seventeenth century thinkers began to claim intellectual autonomy for the human mind. Human thought became more and more the only norm for all truth, the ultimate source of all meaning. People began to conclude that belief in a world created by God and in things spiritual was merely superstitious primitive myth to be ditched as unthinking delusion. Clearly, for the “modern man” religion had to go.
Thus, from the 18th to the 20th centuries, the so-called “Enlightenment project,” the Age of Light, or “The Age of Reason” began to dominate the Western mind. A powerful optimism in the capacities of mankind to bring about a coming, glorious Kingdom of Man on earth.
In 1789 the Paris revolutionaries built an altar to the “Goddess Reason” right in the middle of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, the very center of European Catholic Christianity.
Such atheistic humanism took over the intellectual elite of Europe. The Emperor Napoleon asked Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749 –1827), the great French scientist who developed mathematical astronomy and statistics, about the place of God in his work. Laplace was reputed to have replied: “I have no need of that hypothesis.”
Christianity was called a “delusion” and God “a gigantic human projection,” essentially “man writ large.”
The materialist Karl Marx dismissed religion as the “opiate of the people.” Marx saw in religious belief the sign of a wrongly ordered society, and that once society had been rationally organized the need for faith would disappear. “Man,” said Marx, “is the supreme divinity.”
At the end of the nineteenth century, this popular rampant atheism affected the new science of psychology. Sigmund Freud, in his book, The Future of an Illusion (1927), referred to himself as a “Godless Jew”, and is reputed to have said: “The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.” As a psychologist, he went on to argue that religion (he included Judaism) is a “mass delusion” or “collective neurosis” which formally enshrines our “infantile” longing for an all-powerful protective (but also threatening) father figure. He thus considered religion a serious pathological condition, the great obstacle to mental health, from which the future world would doubtless be healed. This emphasis has not disappeared. In 1976 Richard Dawkins, one of the “new atheists,” in his book, The Selfish Gene, defined faith as “a kind of mental illness,” and this is still part of his arguments against religion.
On another level, Darwin effectively eliminated faith in God the Creator from the lab and the science classroom with another variation of secular humanism.
The disappearance of religion seemed strangely confirmed in the 1960s, even in “Christian” America, with the appearance of the Death of God movement. “Theologians” like Thomas J. J. Altizer, Gabriel Vahanian, Paul Van Buren, David Miller and William Hamilton, Americans all, celebrated in the new world the final triumph of Nietzschean deicide. Rational Man had come of age, no longer needing “the God hypothesis.” As my fellow theological students and I studied this radical “Christian theology” in the late 60s, we saw this as the final triumph of liberal, secular humanism. I later learned, 30 years later, to my great surprise, that nothing could have been further from the truth [see below].
Something strange happened on the way to the 21st century. Despite the secularists’ confident prediction of the “withering of religion” it is becoming evident that in recent times secular humanism has itself been “withering.”
The Decline of Secular Humanism
Secularism’s optimistic belief and profound self-confidence, has produced two devastating world wars; its socialism became totalitarian fascism; the great secularists, Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot produced the insanity of state terror and murdered countless millions of innocent human beings; it gave us the cold war and the fear of nuclear extermination; it produced industrialization and a series of mounting ecological disasters; it promoted soul-less materialism and consumerism that left unanswered an essential part of the life of the human being, namely spirituality.
Indeed, that would include the people who say they are spiritual but not religious, who are turning away in droves from Secular Humanism since it produced a profound sense of alienation or separation between humanity and the rest of physical universe, especially because, for a growing number, the world is not just material but also spiritual, and there is a longing for “wholeness,” that celebrates both the unity of the spiritual and the material.
“Rationalism, the Enlightenment’s path to earthly salvation, has reached a dead-end,” said Vishal Mangalwadi In 1996. “Therefore many sensitive people are hoping that non-rational mysticism might enlighten us.” The culture is running on empty, with no spiritual resources to face the deep problems of life. Recent philosophy has called philosophy into question. The movement known as Postmodernism has deconstructed “reason.” The children of the secular humanists have chewed up their intellectual parents and spat them out. This critique of reason argues that we cannot escape our human, limited “situatedness,” that is, as thinking beings who are miniscule elements in a massive cosmos, unable to stand outside and make true statements about its essential nature. Obviously, the Postmodernists are not rejecting thought as such. They reject rational thinking as the sure means of understanding the meaning of reality. Postmodern thinkers argue that so-called rational “truth, like all truth, is “socially generated.” Truth is anybody’s subjective opinion, but that opinion has no infallible relationship to the way things actually are. Truth is merely personal power that one attempts to impose on others. A rational explanation has become impossible.
This postmodern way of thinking, in one way or another, is surely here to stay. It is taught in the vast majority of philosophy departments throughout the world as “gospel truth,” the demise of secularism it so mercilessly criticizes, is virtually certain. One Postmodern writer speaks of “the embarrassing intolerance of atheism.” For them, tolerance has become one of the great values to be respected, even the tolerance of religion and spirituality.
The intellectual power of mainstream modern science has effectively defined spirituality out of existence. Matter is king. But in spite of this reigning ideology, human beings aspire for spiritual significance—and always have.
Thomas Berry, a powerful exponent of the new spirituality whom we shall meet below, raises a powerful “spiritual” critique against modern mechanistic sciences which have caused "the loss of the interior spirit world of the human mind.” He continues:”…we have silenced too many of those wonderful voices of the universe that spoke to us of the grand mysteries of existence." This has happened before, but that is a long story!
A ONEIST COSMOLOGY BASED ON PAGAN SPIRITUALITY
A new way of Oneist “thinking” has taken us by surprise. It began to incubate just below the surface in the first part of the twentieth century, emerged powerfully in the Sixties and now has virtually taken over. It seeks to find salvation not in reason but in unreason, seeing in “primitive superstition,” long rejected by the secularists, the very answer to the spiritual needs of modern man. It seeks to re-enchant disenchanted modern man by recourse to ancient pagan myth. The West is exporting the ideologies and technologies of global capitalism and progressivism while simultaneously importing Eastern and Oriental occultism.
The Death of God
A hint of this move from Oneist Secular Humanism to a new form of Oneist pagan religion was provided, in an almost imperceptibly hidden form, (except for those in the know), in the writings of an American religion scholar Professor David Miller of Syracuse University. Miller occupied a key position of leadership on the publications committee of the Society of Biblical Literature, but was also associated with the “Death of God” theologians of the Sixties. As I and my students and fellow professors studied the “death of God,” mentioned above, we were all convinced that the “death of God” theology was marking the triumph of Secular Humanism. According to one of them, T.J. J. Altizer, God had so completely incarnated himself in the world that by the act of dying on the cross, he liberated man from any alien, transcendent divine power. This was surely the final triumph of atheistic humanism.
Here is the importance of David Miller. Miller was hailing the death of God, not as the victory of Secular, atheistic Humanism but as the return of spiritual paganism. Not the death of the pagan notion of divinity but the death of the transcendent God of biblical twoism. His 1974 book, The New Polytheism, he predicted with surprising assurance: “at the death of God we will see the Rebirth of the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome.”
What did Miller know that few others knew at the time? I later discovered that Miller was a life-long follower of psychologist Carl Jung, and taught Jungianism at clinical programs world-wide, including the Jung Institute in Switzerland and at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California. The importance of this will be clearer in the next chapter where I trace the seminal importance of Jung for the shape of modern culture. Miller understood that the death of God was the death of the Twoist God of the Bible, which would not be not the victory of Secularism but the celebration of the liberating rebirth in the West of the pagan gods of far away places and ancient times.
To understand this, you have to understand the Swiss psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, the creator of trans personal psychology.
Many influential sources to explain this progress of pagan spirituality into the West can be named:
The Hindu mystic, Swami Vivekananda, who prophesied at the first Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893 the coming of “a society of Western Science and Socialism and Indian spirituality”;
Paramhansa Yogananda (1893–1952), the first yoga master to teach full-time in the West lectured to packed audiences, including at Carnegie Hall;
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation;
Teilhard de Chardin, a Roman Catholic evolutionary theologian;
Theosophists Madame Blavatsky and Alice Bailey;
Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse and Saul Alinski, proponents of the Marxist Frankfurt School;
Betty Friedan, author of the Feminine Mystique;
Alfred Kinsey and Hugh Hefner, popularizers of sexual liberation;
Darwin, Marx and Freud, who, though still important, were nonetheless architects of a secularism now in decline.
One stands out for particular attention:
The Contribution of CARL JUNG
Carl Jung’s Transpersonal Psychology used many of the insights of the above thinkers and developed a therapeutic system was not just for the psychologically sick but provided a worldview for all to reach higher levels of personal liberation. While Freud was a materialist, Jung was open to spirituality. He stated: “The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life.” It finally became evident that his work answered that key question not with Christian truth but by proposing a form of pagan occultism as the source of ultimate meaning and psychological health for all. His Transpersonal Psychology was based on a) his own experiences of the occult and b) these recently-available pagan traditions, once considered barbarism. His original doctoral dissertation was entitled “On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena.” Jung associated pagan occultism with psychological health, available to all. The “subconscious” is the spiritual depth of the human being, where fantasies are interpreted as mystical experiences of the real spirit world. Jung believed that our instincts are based on spiritual archetypes or explanatory “myths” from all the world’s religions and from the spirit world. The goal is to join the opposites by relativizing good and evil and make everything One.
His therapy caught on. Today the “subconscious” trumps every other authority. Fantasy derives from “phantom,” that is, something existing solely in the imagination (but often mistaken for reality), associated with magic. It is The Lie.
The ex-jungian, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover states that we can never reconcile (synthesize) good and evil, and sees the temptation facing our generation that "...we succumb to the dangerous fantasy that Good and Evil will be reunited in a higher oneness.” This synthesis is the greatest threat facing not only Christendom but all mankind today." It produces devils who think they are angels.
What really happened on July 26, 2015 when the Supreme Court imposed the legality of ssm on all 50 states. Justice Kennedy justified the majority vote: “some rights are too important to leave up to the democratic process.” But to what body of truth does Kennedy turn for establishing this kind of right beyond the political process? If not the vox populi then the vox dei, but which deus? The god of the human subconscious that is all powerful
What was their all-defining religious worldview? Never in the history of the Western Christian civilization has such a law been passed. Two thousand year old Jewish/Rabbinic texts from around the time of Jesus were already explaining the meaning of Leviticus 18:20, [A man shall not lie with a man] which had already been followed for 1500 years. The Rabbis understood why God made this law:
You shall not walk in their (Egypt and Canaan’s) statutes…and what did they do? A man married a man and a woman married a woman.”
In other words, they understood that this kind of sexuality was endemic to the pagan world around Israel. What the Supreme Court did in willful ignorance was no less than to reject, for the first time in Western history the Judeo-Christian moral teaching that has been in place for the last 1700 years. Rejecting this essential historic Judeo-Christian value for another competing “high principle” that gave us “a redefinition of our civilization’s primordial institution,” marriage, they rewrote into law the definition not of mere politics, but of anthropology, the essential nature of man, and forced onto the public square a massive struggle between two worldviews.
Philosophers and educators routinely refer to the importance of one’s Weltanschauung—the philosophy of life or worldview that provides meaning for life. To be fully human means addressing the “big questions,” wrestling with “ultimate concerns,” finding a unifying belief system. Though often assumed rather than consciously embraced, sometimes absorbed from dubious “authorities” or misperceptions, one’s worldview significantly directs (even dictates) how we act.
In everything we need a strong sense of meaning. The so-called “moral crusade” for sexual egalitarianism is the tip of a profoundly powerful spear. Melanie Phillips speaks of “the real agenda [of what she calls “the attack on western civilization”) has been to use sexuality as a battering ram against the fundamental tenets of Western culture in order to destroy it and replace it with a new type of society altogether.”
Actually, we are witnessing the deliberate destruction of the biblical worldview that created the Age of Reason, Modern Science and US Constitution and are witnessing the attempt to reinsert into culture paganism as the default option. Paul calls these two views the truth and the Lie
The present culture is founded on two pernicious lies:
The lie concerning spirituality, in particular of Jungian psychology that promotes personal health through the embrace of pagan myths and fantasies. The Lie is that it publicly claimed to be based on scientific research whereas Jung in his secret diary, the Red Book, admitted it was based on his experience of the occult;
Sexual liberation. Dr. Alfred Kinsey was an American sexologist, considered the father of the sexual revolution, since his reports changed social mores forever, legalizing prostitution and homosexuality, and reducing and eliminating most sex crime penalties. His “research” was based on crimes and lies, including raping babies, infants, and children and the testimony of child abusers pedophiles as well as a pedophile organization.
Both were funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
A HINT OF WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE DEEPEST LEVEL OF THE CULTURE?
Those who control public speech get to define reality. Do you hear more and more the constant programmatic DENIAL OF THE BINARY.
Orwell’s 1984, a fictional account of the takeover of the West by a totalitarian regime, published in 1950, states: “Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else, and we control the mind.” “We are breaking down the habits of thought…we have cut the links between child and parent…between an man and a woman…in the future will be no wives…”
The change mechanism, as always, is sexuality, because it redefines the image of God in Man, in the progress of the so-called “moral crusade” for sexual egalitarianism which is the tip of the spear. 'What you're seeing is how a civilization commits suicide," says self-described "notorious Amazon feminist" Camille Paglia, pointing to the elimination of sexual distinctions.
Melanie Phillips agrees: “the real agenda [of what she calls “the attack on western civilization”) has been to use sexuality as a battering ram against the fundamental tenets of Western culture in order to destroy it and replace it with a new type of society altogether.”
– In an article in the Huffington Post (August, 2015) a teacher of 4 year olds says, in a clear immediate social implication of the Supreme Court decision to legalism.
“So I work to create a classroom environment where differing points of view [men marrying men, women marrying women] can be addressed and explored. My goal is for the children to feel confident about articulating their point of view and safe enough to consider other perspectives. As teachers, through careful listening, we can identify the issues that kids in our classroom are grappling with. And, through conversation, we can model nonjudgmental behavior and challenge binary thinking."
– Two lesbian academics, Genny Beemyn and Sue Rankin, published an article, "Can We Put an End to the Gender Binary?" Because "there is no one way a person should be."
– "Dartmouth college seeks to provide a living environment welcoming to all gender identities; one not limited by the traditional gender binary.”
– Oberlin College, founded by two Presbyterian ministers headed by Charles Finney, is committed to “finding a space that…defies the binary in our society…that you were assigned.”
New Spectator: BINARY—OCT.15, 2015:
The first thing you need to know about the new sexual revolution isn’t how to do it: it’s how to talk it. Confining yourself to terms such as straight, gay and bisexual is indicative of adherence to a ‘binary’ view of sexuality. It is fast becoming the equivalent of walking around in plus-fours.
Busting the binaries
Discovering “non-dual” reality
The delusion of duality
Rejecting [DISTINCTION-MAKING] dogma for [UNIFYING] spirituality
Chambers: “Good and evil is a distraction, a detour.”
Alan Chambers’ description of the “limitless boundaries” of God’s love and acceptance = no boundaries
See OT scholar, John N. Oswald, in The Bible Among the Myths – paganism’s “Denial of Boundaries.”
Destroying the dichotomies
The joining the opposites
Synthesis rather than antithesis
All is one
What is behind this kind of antagonism to binary thinking? It is the clash of two cosmologies.
This is the real meaning of the attack on the BINARY. It is an massive cosmological attack on the Twoist/binary nature of existence composed of the Creator/creature distinction, and all the distinctions the Creator placed in the creation as a witness to this truth.
Cataclysmic Cultural Change
This choice has always been the only option for human beings, but the choice has become very clear in our time.
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, a respected American scholar with a Ph.D from Harvard, said of the cultural revolution in which she had participated so enthusiastically, “Within a remarkably brief period … has occurred a cataclysmic transformation of the very nature of our society.”
Contemporary “Gay Christian” leaders do not see present culture in that cataclysmic way. [Blue Ocean Faith, Ken Wilson]. “Secular culture, like religious culture, is just a culture, with good and bad qualities. In the past when those of us with religious backgrounds have shaken our fist at culture, we’ve come to realize to our embarrassment that, rather than defending God, we’ve often been defending things like “the way I grew up.” We find ourselves hoping that we can offer our best insights within our culture even as we receive the best things it has to offer.” There is here no historical perspective at all. No sense of the clash of cosmologies
In our time, the old TWOIST canopy has been shredded, replaced by a new overarching structure of ONEIST spiritual beliefs and practices. We are witnessing the installation of a Oneist culture as entirely normative. That is the difference. There was a cultural revolution in the 1960s which was called the Sexual Revolution and it was also Woodstock, a Spiritual Revolution when the Hippies went East and the gurus came West to bring Eastern Oneism to our land.
We speak of both Sexual Revolution the Spiritual Revolution doubtless because Sex and spirituality ultimately go hand in hand, because they define at the deepest level who we are as human beings.
Thus we have seen the rise of pantheism or polytheism on the one hand, and pansexualism and homosexualism on the other, at the same time. This is an unresolvable face-off, and why?
Here is the evidence of this intense and unresolvable worldview clash, between an evolving, self-determining reality, Oneism, and one that is “predetermined,” namely, Twoism.
Jeremy Rifkin, an advisor to the European Union since 2002 and head of largest global economic development team in the world, who declared in 1983 at a point in the maturation of the 60’s cultural revolution:
We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of preexisting cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world, and because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible for nothing outside ourselves, for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.
THE ATTACK ON THE BINARY OR TWOIST REALITY IN THREE AREAS, THEOLOGY, SPIRITUALITY AND SEXUALITY
IN THEOLOGY, THE WAY PEOPLE THINK ABOUT GOD
In 2015 the founder of Burning Man was asked if he believed in God. He claims he is an atheist, and said, “I do not believe in a supreme being but I believe that being is supreme.
“The Force is an energy field created by all living things.”
That is precisely what the apostle Paul said. You either worship the creation of the Creator. How many people, “spiritual but not religious,” think of God in these terms. An author, Diane Butler Bass, much appreciated by certain Emergent Church leaders says: we need a god “defined in less dualistic [binary] terms.” praying to God as “our Mother,” …the nourishing spirit of mother earth….”
There is no God as JUDGE.--elimination of the moral binary—A “non-dual” ethics for a non-dual psychotherapy. "We must beware", said Jung, "of thinking of good and evil as absolute opposites.” freeing morality from its neurosis-inducing, guilt-creating chains. A “non-dual” ethics. The Postmodernist Richard Rorty, “There is no Big Picture.” No morals—“No act is right or wrong in itself.”
“Objective morality has gone the way of cosmic order” and metanarratives! Post-secular religion now supplies the new pagan metanarrative of Oneism which joins the opposites.
The subtle, seemingly harmless spiritual form of Oneism, meditation, which is seeking to remake the world, by saving our threatened planet. IS THIS NOT ALL GOOD? Meditation creates a new kind of human being “with values very different from what we know today,” granting a new form of consciousness, unlimited by the old assumptions of separation, and the normativity of the binary! (the old Christian, Western worldview). Filled with a sense of unlimited potential through “direct knowing” (gnosis), you do not have to play by the old rules. ‘I am the whole, a sacred emergence of the self (divine) and there is nothing fundamentally wrong with our own nature. By meditation we can become a new species. This, for instance, the ultimate goal of yoga, namely is “unitive consciousness.” Pew's most recent U.S. Religious Landscape Survey (2008 found that around 40 percent of adults claim to meditate weekly.
– Hindu disciple, Sarah Caldwell speaks of the “hermeneutic of Tantra,” as involving the joining the good and the bad. The self-described "non-dogmatic" spirituality of Hinduism fiercely defends a religious non-negotiable that must not be questioned--the Hindu notion of Advaita, "not two." (Not Two-ism.) The future synthesis will be "non-dual." --“the encounter with the [unconscious] Self is experienced as a meeting with the inner divine.” SUBTLE GOAL OF YOGA
Non-binary spirituality: “religionless” Christianity, such as it is describe by Diana Butler Bass. Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (HarperOne, 2013), hailed by Emergent activist Shane Claibourne and Brian McLaren, “provocative, inspiring…a sage guidance for the future.” Bass announces the advent of “the Fourth Great Awakening,” a faith borne along on the current breath of an undefined “Spirit” into an age of pure inner experience. See “non-dual” spiritual retreats.
Gender-bending is binary-busting, and it is happening everywhere—in the Target toy department, on the haute couture runways, in gender-inclusive public bathrooms, -- we remove the binary of animal and human. “Animals are persons, too,” declares the TV program Animal Planet.
Progressives are now preparing what is called the "Equality Act" that is much more radical than the ENDA [Employment Non-Discrimination Act] legislation whose present goal is the end of “discrimination,” and the total normalization of sexual distinctions. It will enforce special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas of credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, public educational institutions, jury service, public facilities and accommodations, and federally funded programs." And would end sex-segregated facilities" (that's restrooms and locker rooms).
On Dec. 21, 2015, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights announced that it has re-interpreted the city’s transgender anti-discrimination law. It covers all people in the areas of employment, public accommodations (i.e., restaurants, theaters, stores, health clubs, etc), and housing. Included are fines of up to $250,000 for each violation.
This is moving way beyond "tolerance" to "coercion." You will be punished if you don't agree. It will drive a wedge between parent and child as it creates moral confusion for children. What a child is taught at home, regarding what is morally permissible, will be challenged and contradicted when they go out the door into the public sphere.
Is this just ending discrimination or is it imposing a worldview of radical egalitarianism or sameness, what I call a homocosmology, a deliberate destruction of the cosmic binary that God placed in the creation?
Glamour Magazine (10/16/15) has named Bruce Jenner as Woman of the Year. He still has his male reproductive organs so how can actual real women even compete for “woman of the year” anymore?
In spite of the strategic nature of the question we need to heed a number of warnings:
Great Care And Respect
The issue of sexuality is full of pitfalls and landmines and so great care is necessary.
Beginning at the personal level, it is important to realize that the homosexual person deserves respect and love as a fellow human being, made in God’s image, and thus part of the intentions of God’s project of love for his creatures.
In rejecting the approach of “moralism” as in “God hates fags” since God hates all sin, it is important to recognize that we are all broken in our sexuality, in one way or another, so we speak with humility from common ground.
Personal guilt is not evident. Dr. Michael Brown observes: “In today’s culture, almost no one is guilty of anything. It’s someone else’s fault, someone else’s responsibility, not our own. We’re all victims, and the reason we do bad things is because someone else wronged us.”
Note the testimony of ex-lesbian unbelieving professor of English, an advocate of postmodernism and post-structuralism now wife of a pastor Rosaria Butterfield, who states:
“I found peace and purpose in my life as a lesbian and the queer community I helped to create, with no stabbing pain of guilt. This only confirms homosexuals in their beliefs that they are fine, and that their opponents are the ones needing help. “
Christianity is not moralism but grace.
Avoid Mere Sentimentalism
Evangelical ethicist, Dr. David Gushee affirms: “my heart got broken, so I began to be able to see scripture through the tears of our most oppressed group.”
It is very tempting to take a sentimental/emotive approach to this modern problem. But I have to say that behind personal choices there exists a massive worldview struggle which can be hidden by our emotions. So the ultimate pros and cons must be decided by macro-cosmology, how everything fits together.
– traditionalism - we’ve always done it this way
– historic teaching - what the church has always taught
– just citing Bible verses opposing ssm gets you dismissed as a killjoy, and it fails to uncover any kind of biblical cosmology, which is the only valid response to make real sense of the issue.
Gen 1:27, 2:24; Gen 19:1-38; Lev 18: 22, 20:13; Rom 1:26-28; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10
The nature of this new sexual theory also seeks to redefine reality from top to bottom. This is not to make any particular homosexual person feel guilty but is meant as a warning to the deep implications of the movement. Homosexual rights are not just a democratic sop that we throw to a very small group of people for issues of fair play that will not bother the general population. With moral sounding notions of “anti-discrimination” and “equalities” legislation, and “equal rights,” this agenda has begun to deconstruct and dismantle the very moral foundational of modern society.
We are witnessing the determined and conscious destruction of the binary, that is, of the Twoist cosmology based on distinctions that has shaped Western civilization for centuries, especially as it relates to sexuality. With the SCOTUS decision of June we are in a new phase: government-mandated confusion. A clear example is Bruce Jenner who has been lionized by the media, celebrated as a hero (or, heroine, as the case may be) and granted an award by ESPN for courage for changing his sex.
A NEW GNOSTICISM
Robert Reilly recently re-formulated his critique of the homosexual agenda by describing it as a contemporary form of Gnosticism, which reinvents reality, as ancient Gnosticism did. Gnosticism does not accept the evidence of material reality and goes within for personal truth. In my own study of this ancient heresy, Stolen Identity: The Conspiracy To Re-Invent Jesus (2006), I document how Gnosticism rejected the objectivity of the flesh, including normal marriage and childbirth (“flee maternity” and “destroy the works of femaleness,” Dialogue of the Savior, 144:9-10), held androgyny as the ideal (Gospel of Thomas, 22), consistently denied God the Creator, and in a final rejection of Twoism, the Gnostic “goddess” Zoe “breathed [fire] upon his (Jahweh) face and threw him down into Hell” (Hypostasis of the Archons, 94:8). This is what is now happening in Western culture with the spread of this neo-Gnostic spirituality and sexuality.
This is what people will more and more do with the biblical self-revelation. In order to make a case for God, we must realize that we do it in this deeply hostile context. And why? Because beneath the surface of rites and acceptance lurks a deeply pagan view of existence.
Finally, Gnosticism is a variant of classic paganism, expressed in the ancient mystery cults and then taking on a veneer of Christianity, and it is worthy of note that historically, over time and across space in classic pagan cults, the shaman is invariably a homosexual—see my article “Androgyny: The Pagan Sexual Ideal.” The great expert in world religions, Mircea Eliade in his study of pagan religions speaks of “ritualized androgyny” as a classic form of the pagan cultus from two thousand BC to today. Walter L. Williams in his study The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture, shows that before the invasion of the Spanish conquistadores, homosexual shamans dominated the animistic, earth-worshiping spirituality of the Mayans and Aztecs. In North American Indian culture the homosexual Berdache was the spiritual leader in the tribal religions of pagan animism. The reason is that the goal of paganism is to destroy the binary and “join the opposites,” to produce a unified world, a pagan cosmology of which the homosexual is an embodied expression, denying the creational heterosexual norm.
CONTEMPORARY CALLS FOR ONEIST SEXUALITY
Here is a modern witness. The Jungian and Gnostic June Singer in 1977 made a programmatic statement that others are now putting into practice: “What lies in store as we move towards the longed-for conjunction of the opposites [ONEISM]…can the human psyche realize its own creative potential through building its own cosmology and supplying it with its own gods?”. She is calling for a coherent, all-encompassing, attractive and religiously pagan account or cosmology of the nature of existence. This is stated programmatically by June Singer in 1977 in her book Androgyny: Towards A New Sexuality. Actually, this supposedly “new” paradigm fits perfectly with the witness of paganism’s past.
Singer saw and affirmed that the spiritual Age of Aquarius was also the Age of Androgyny, that the “new humanism” of this new age required a new view of sexuality, which she found in androgyny. She also understood its implications, and declared programmatically: “We have at hand…all the ingredients we will need to perform our own new alchemical opus…[the Great Work] to fuse the opposites within us. This is what individuation [the Jungian state of human maturity] is all about.” She states: “The archetype of androgyny appears in us as an innate sense of...and witness to…the primordial cosmic unity—that is, it is the sacrament of monism [or Oneism], functioning to erase distinction…this was “nearly totally expunged from the Judeo-Christian tradition…and a patriarchal God-image.” The importance of this quote and her entire book is that Singer, as a true Jungian is conscious of promoting the deeply important sexual element in the coming “new humanism”: “The androgyne [the human being aware of being both male and female] participates consciously in the evolutionary process, redesigning the individual…society and…the planet.” She recognizes that a fundamental element in this “new sexuality” in its affirmation of Monism or Oneism is a radical rejection of the biblical God and cosmology of the Western Christian past.
This macro-cosmology is a form of worship, pagan worship. Gay theorist, Toby Johnson, recently declares that contemporary gay consciousness, represents a new religious paradigm. He believes:
1) in interfaith—all religions are one;
2) that gay people as outsiders, undermine the authority and legitimacy of traditional religion;
3) that gay emotional relationships see the world with the harmonious, non-dualistic vision that is the traditional goal of mystical religion and are reverberations of humanity's common mystical cosmic oneness with Gaia;
4) that the real message of religion…human beings should live harmoniously and non-judgmentally;
5) The role of gay identification today is…to call all people to get over dualistic, polarized thinking, so we can all live in peace.
Homosexual rabbi, Jay Michaelson, God vs. Gay? (2011), 159 “Sexual minorities, in transcending dichotomy, enter the zone of the sacred.” This is the oneisst zone of the god within. He dismisses what Paul says about homosexuality as addressing ancient pagan practice, that does not apply today, not realizing that “transcending dichotomy” is the very heart of paganism ancient and modern.
OT scholar, John N. Oswald, in The Bible Among the Myths makes a most important statement about paganism. In a section entitled “Denial of Boundaries” he states that boundaries between realms (humans and gods, gods and nature) cannot be allowed in ancient pagan thinking because “we humans are left with no way to affect our destiny,” as in magic practices. As the Witches and the ancient Hermeticists say: “As above, so below.” He goes on. Ancient libertine sexual practice is not “an unfortunate aberration” or primitive morality. All the immoral behaviors (occult prostitution, incest, homosexuality) of the ancient world are not “primitive behaviors.” “They are theological statements, necessary expressions of the worldview [of Oneism] of which they are part,” necessary attempts to join the opposites.
In 2016, for the first time in a millennium, a pagan temple, close to the airport of Reykjavik, will be completed. There, like the Vikings of old, members of Iceland’s neo-pagan Ásatrú movement will be able to feast on horse meat, swig from goblets of mead, and praise deities such as Thor, the god of thunder, and Freyja, the goddess of love. Ásatrú, founded in 1972, has, in particular, seen an “explosion” in pagan same-sex weddings, some years before the Icelandic state adopted ssm. This is due to the fact that “pagan belief is very inclusive,” and the practice is pleasing to the pagan God, Thor.
Paul’s argument follows the same pattern seeing a connection between theology and sexuality
Not clobber texts or pesky verses, but a carefully-worked out logic.
Three essential issues:
Theology—God as Nature to be worshiped (v.25)
Spirituality—worship of idols, exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Sexuality—“for this reason” sexuality is unnatural (1:26-28)
Besides the three major subjects, there are other signs of authorial intention:
–there are three “exchanges” in the sense of a determined pagan overturning of the theological truths about the world—
ἤλλαξαν 1:23 exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man;
μετήλλαξαν 1:25 the truth for the lie and
μετήλλαξαν 1:26, exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
and three responses of God the Judge “givings over” in the sense of temporal divine judgment, that prefigures the final judgment—
παρέδωκεν 1:24; to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
παρέδωκεν 1:26 to dishonorable passions
παρέδωκεν 1:28. to a debased mind
This is clearly a coherent and structured theological discussion. In other words, Paul is not merely expressing abstract theory or throwing out semi-ignorant piece-meal, “off the wall” homophobic opinions. What he says concerns the ultimate issues of existence regarding the truth and the Lie, expressed as two possible discrete world views of Oneism or Twoism.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Rom 1:26-27)
The “reason” is that anti-creational sexuality is organically and logically tied to apostate theology and idolatrous spirituality and thus carries deeply religious significance
What he evokes are ESSENTIAL issues regarding the nature of existence.
Do evangelicals who are moved on a purely emotional level to accept the homosexual life style as affirmed by Jesus see the immense cosmological consequences of such an embodied ideological statement?
Rachel Held Evans in a November 2014 blogpost entitled “The False Gospel of Gender Binaries” castigates the Church for attempting to fit intersex, transgender, gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons into “rigid gender binaries.” She argues that gender, sex, and sexuality ought to be understood as a continuum rather than as polarities.” She is unwittingly repeating the view of the atheistic anthropologist Margaret Mead, popular in the 1950s who taught: “rigid heterosexuality is a perversion of nature” and wanted Americans to “come to terms with the normal human capacity to love members of both sexes.”
Do we adopt the model of a continuum when we relate to God? A little bit of Isis, Jupiter, Jahweh, Christ, Just asking. Or is Paul our standard with his all-inclusive cosmology: either worship of creation or worship of the Creator, either natural sexual relations or those that are contrary to nature (Rom 1:26).
THE ESSENCE AND GOAL OF THIS ONEIST COSMOLOGY: COMPLETE EGALITARIANISM
If contemporary paganism intends to give us A Theory of Everything, it becomes clear that the push for homosexual rights is not a democratic sop we throw to a tiny percentage of our population in a compromise that will bring no harm but rather individual happiness and social peace and justice to society.
However, pushed with ethical fervor through “anti-discrimination” “equal rights,” and “equality” legislation, and the “checking of privilege,” this is an agenda of total egalitarianism that deconstructs foundational social concepts like the family, gender, the church, and social achievement.
The seemingly harmless calls for justice and ‘fair play” by the Sixties feminist movement against macho males in fact already betrayed a revolutionary agenda that denied male/female distinctions, and continues to oppose the “noxious taboos” of male and female difference, or as the ACLU campaign says, regarding education: "Teach Kids, Not Stereotypes.” In this brave new world there are no stereotypes because there are no “types” because there is no image of God. Note the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: “on ne naît pas femme, on le deviant” (“one is not born a woman, one becomes so”).
The goal of this cultural neo-Marxism is no longer a classless society but a classless mind. Michael Ryan, author of Marxism and Deconstruction ties the postmodern rejection of objective truth to the political program of “radical egalitarianism.” Seemingly good notions of fair play surreptitiously introduce radical ideological notions of homogenous sameness and boundless subjectivism. The rightful denouncing of sinful racism morphs into a call for the end of the religion of the “white founders” of America, namely, Christianity, as well as an end to “Christian hegemony,” that is, Christian culture, located especially in the Constitution, labeled as “male document” of “white privilege,” the incubator of capitalism and “heteronormativity.” This ideology becomes the spear-head of future “social justice” in a coming classless society, in which all forms of “privilege”—racial, sexual, social, religious and economic—will ultimately be expunged for the final liberation of the global proletariat. Now we understand what the Sixties radicals meant as they shouted, “Hey ho, what d’ya know: Western Civ has got to go.”
An indication of how far this leveling could go is shown by the complaint by Ivy League students against the Dartmouth College administration in 2014 for its institutional and structural “micro-aggression” and violence. Dartmouth was founded in 1769 to train Christian students for mission work among Native Americans. The present students denounced the administration for its “racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, transphobic, xenophobic, and ableist structures,” and called “for more ‘womyn’ and people of color [on the] faculty; covering sex change operations on the college health plan; censoring the library catalog for offensive terms; and installing ‘gender-neutral bathrooms’ in every campus facility, specifically including sports locker rooms,” all in the name of equality.
Though they may remain unnoticed for the moment, contemporary hard-Left progressive American “socialists” have the political and cultural winds in their sails.
The programmatic book of the contemporary radical Left is Imagine Living in a Socialist USA, Among the authors is Frances Fox Piven, a prominent theorist of both socialism and “community organizing.” In the 1960s, with Andrew Cloward, she devised a plan to provoke chaos by deliberately overwhelming governmental systems to the point of collapse, paving the way for state intervention and an eventual collectivist system.
Piven was a former mentor to the “community organizer,” young Barak Obama, and later as his professor at Columbia University. Together with him, she was a member of Chicago’s “socialist” New Party, which followed closely the playbook of neo-Marxist, Saul Alinsky, an expert in camouflage and linguistic deception, by deliberately avoiding revolutionary buzz words. Imagine Living states clearly that “socialism” is not just an economic program for income redistribution but a social agenda of radical egalitarianism. This version of Marxism, which carefully avoids the very term, is “neo” because it goes beyond the anti-capitalist liberation of the worker (which it still includes), to a liberation of the psyche and of sexual fantasies. It is a “cosmology,” and thus it includes views on sexuality, which, it is states quite openly, is a wholesale program of [human] “identity politics”:
…our conception of socialism is not limited to restructuring work and economic activity. It embraces altering the full range of social, cultural, political and familial structures and power relations…all the institutional forces that affect our lives.
This new “sexual” agenda is an essential element of a “post-capitalist” apocalyptic transformation of all of human society, and a utopian remaking of human “identity” where all binary distinctions and all isms, like classicism, racism, sexism, machismo-ism, heterosexism, and ageism have been eliminated, and where all sexual expressions have been normalized.
This idealistic cosmology understands how deeply the Christian faith has molded Western culture throughout its history. It therefore intends to destroy the “bourgeois” Judeo-Christian hegemony culture as the first step towards a better world. This involves a systematic weakening of the culture, economically, militarily, morally, psychologically.
The goal of this growing ideology is the destruction of the image of God and complete remaking of human “identity” according to human imagination. Is there any question that this is not a significant attempt to dismantle Christian discourse and the Christian worldview of a divinely created universe of structure and order and the obliterating of its present social hegemony?
Does this marginal ideology deserve our attentions. We said that of the Sixties “marginal” to our peril. In 1992 I wrote an article, “Hippies in the White House,” as the first signs of that radical ideology taking political power. Now that Sixties ideology is well-ensconced in our culture and even our laws, so how can we elude its more radical implications?
This is surely part of what Paul means when he says: “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false” (2Th 2:11).
THIS IS THE CONTEXT TODAY IN WHICH WE ARE CALLED TO MAKE A ERY STRONG CASE FOR GOD. So many are spiritual but not religious believing that God is The Force, the energy behind everything, which we create, the god within.