We live in a time when Christian belief is in decline. The evidence of this is made manifest with the rise of our culture’s declining morality in all its forms and the rampant Biblical ignorance found inside and outside the church. In the place of Christianity, our once nominal Christian neighbors are now exiting the church entirely and are declaring themselves to be full-on atheists, agnostics or no particular religion at all (a.k.a “the nones“). Additionally, many are now embracing (intentionally or unintentionally) neo-paganism, which is a worldview antithetical to the Christian worldview.
In the preface to his book, “One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference“, author and PCA pastor Peter Jones calls this rise of paganism in the West “the revolution of spirituality” in America. As Director of the non-profit organization truthXchange®, Jones and his team have devoted themselves to helping Christians understand and combat the rise of this neo-pagan spirituality in our time. As part of their efforts, the truthXchange® team has recently created a “catechism” (a fancy word for instruction presented in a question and answer format) that seeks to provide Christians with an entry-level overview of the basic facts of and the contradictions that exist between the truth of Christianity and the lies of Satan as expressed in the form of neo-paganism.
I found this content to be quite helpful and a great introduction to the competing “Oneist” (monist or pagan) worldview and the “Twoist” (Christian) worldview. I think it should be read, understood and shared by Christians everywhere. I hope you find it to be just as valuable.
Enjoy and be sure to share!
Oneism and Twoism, A Worldview Catechism
1. What do Christians believe about reality?
Reality is two. There is God, and there is the world he made. There is a Creator and a creation. They are not the same. This is twoism.
2. What is the lie that challenges that belief?
Reality is one. There are many beings, but all are part of the same universe. The world is itself divine. There is no Creator and nothing outside of this universe. This belief is called “monism”, which is a fancy way of saying “oneism.”
3. How many truths are there?
There is only one truth—or, more precisely, one “system” of truth. There are many facets of truth, and there are many things that are true; but there aren’t multiple truths and realities out there. There is only one, and that truth is Christianity.
4. How do we know the truth about the world and life and everything?
Ultimately, all that we can know that is true has been revealed by God in one way or another.
5. How does God reveal truth?
God reveals truth in two ways: by creating and by speaking. Theologians call these “natural” and “special” revelation.
6. How does God reveal truth by creating?
God is true, so he puts truth in everything he makes. We can learn ordinary truths about the way the world works just by looking around us. We can also learn truths about good and evil and even about God himself because of the way he has made our minds and the way he has made the world around us.
7. What do we know about good and evil from creation?
We all have a basic sense of right and wrong, which is supported by what we observe in the world around us. God’s basic moral law is available to everyone, even those who have not heard God’s laws as he explains them in his Word.
8. What do we know about God from creation?
We know that he exists without having been created, that he is eternally powerful, that he is divine, that he has created the universe, and that he is distinct from what he has created. (See Romans 1:20)
In other words, we know just by looking at the universe around us that someone other than it and greater than it must have made it. We do not need to be scientists or theologians to know this, and we do not need anyone to tell us. On a deep level, all of us know.
9. Can we know everything about God through creation?
Hardly! There is much about God that he only reveals in his Word, more that we will not know until we see him face to face, and much that we will never fully know. Still, we know enough by nature to be condemned if we do not acknowledge him as we ought.
10. Is it possible not to know God?
It is possible not to have a good relationship with God. It is possible to deny and reject God, and to be denied and rejected by him. It is possible never to have heard of Jesus or salvation. It is possible to be bound for final judgment and eternal damnation by God.
But it’s not possible not to know God at all. Paul writes, “For although [the wicked] knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
So we all know of God on a basic level.
11. Are we responsible for knowing God?
We are responsible for knowing that God exists and acknowledging him as such. No one can deny God out of true ignorance.
Anyone who claims not to know the basic truths about God, that he is the Creator of the universe and outside it, that he is eternal and divine, is not ignorant of the truth. He is suppressing the truth. He is guilty of sin and deserving of condemnation.
12. How does God reveal truth by speaking?
Ages ago, God spoke to people through men called prophets and apostles. His words were written down and now we have a record of his speech and his actions in the Bible. The Bible is itself God’s speech, as his Holy Spirit inspired the men who wrote it.
13. What do we know about God from his Word?
We know more things about God from his Word than we can count. Most particularly, we learn about God’s actions in history, above all his sending of his Son Jesus Christ to save sinners.
We also learn more about the things we already know about from God’s creation.
14. How many lies are there?
There are many different things that are not true. But when it comes to the identity and reality of God, the lies can be summed up as one big lie. That lie is pagan monism, or paganism for short.
15. What is paganism?
We know from creation that God is the eternally powerful Creator who is separate from what he has made. Paganism denies this and says that the universe is all there is, and there is no Creator outside it.
Paganism is not just the worship of tribal or nature gods, though that’s a historically common form of it. Paganism, broadly speaking, is the worship of creation—in whatever form—rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:25)
16. Don’t other religions have creator gods?
If you read a pagan creation myth—whether from Greece, or India, or the Middle East, or tribes in America or Africa or anywhere—the gods are beings that are already part of the world and just reshape matter that’s already there. The idea of a Creator outside the universe, distinct from it, is unique to theistic religions like Christianity.
So if you worship a pagan god, you are worshiping a being that is more powerful than you, but still part of the universe just like you are.
“When it comes to Islam or Judaism, you have a god of singularity, or a god that is totally transcendent, and in that sense bares no relationship to us and our world. He is unknowable, a lone being for all of eternity. The God of the Bible is personable because He is trinity. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit forever. So there is a personal relationship between the persons of the trinity irrespective of humanity and creation.” – Dr. Peter Jones
17. How is paganism unified?
Paganism in all its forms identifies reality as one—just creation, no Creator. The universe is all there is; there is no outside Creator who exists on his own. All paganism, in one way or other, worships the creation or something in it.
18. How is paganism diverse?
There is diversity in the way that pagans conceive of the world. Some believe in many gods, though they are still part of the world. Some believe nature is itself divine. Some deny any divinity at all.
19. Are Atheist pagans?
Atheists worship no “gods,” so to speak. But they are pagans in the broad sense. Atheists deny the Creator, or anything beyond the one reality of the universe. They do not call anything divine, but generally view the universe with the awe and wonder normally associated with a deity. They see reality as one and the universe as all that there is, denying the “two-ness” of reality just as thoroughly as any pagan monist.
Many atheists also perceive themselves as creating their own meaning in a meaningless life. That amounts to making themselves the God of their own life.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0B-cUSX57Q (link broken)
20. How many truths do pagans say there are?
Pagans generally hold that there is one basic truth or reality behind all the various versions of monism out there. There is a sort of universal religion with “many paths to God.” A monist can say, without any sense of contradicting himself, that reality is all one, yet at the same time that each of us can have our own truth. Each of our separate “truths” are different manifestations of the same cosmic and/or divine reality.
The effect of this is to not, however, to take a stand for a central, absolute truth as Christianity does, but to reduce all truth claims to ultimate meaninglessness.
21. Is paganism completely separate from Christianity in its basic ideas?
Paganism is completely opposed to Christianity, in the sense that the two views are fundamentally opposite and cannot be reconciled. There is a Creator outside of creation, or there is not; both cannot be true.
22. Is paganism completely separate from Christianity in practice?
No pagan can completely deny the truth God has revealed in his world. No Christian can completely reject the lie while we are still sinners. So no one on either side is going to be completely consistent.
Most pagans have some beliefs that come from Christianity. Many Christians have likewise absorbed some beliefs from paganism. You will have to keep this in mind as you study the differences and the fundamental opposition between them. We will see more specific examples later in the series.
23. Who is God?
God exists from eternity to eternity, uncreated, needing nothing and no one, completely sufficient in himself.
24. How many Gods are there?
There is one God—and only one. There are other spirit beings, angels and demons, but they are all created by God and subject to his authority and will, even the ones that rebelled against him.
25. What is the Trinity?
God is one, and God is also three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These are multiple Persons of the same Divine Being. We say that God is “triune”—three and one. The persons are not, however, separate or multiple Gods.
26. What does paganism say about God?
The pagan conception of God varies somewhat. For some, there are many gods—not to be confused with a triune God—which are either dead humans, or nature spirits, or beings like humans but more powerful. For others, God is an impersonal force who constantly brings the whole world into being, and the whole world is ultimately one with it. For others, we are all God, with little sparks of divinity inside of us. Some reject deity altogether.
But all of them agree that the idea of a transcendent Creator God, above and beyond and outside of and distinct from the universe, is nonsense if not openly offensive.
truthXchange® is a registered service mark of truthXchange, Inc.