Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
Acts 17:24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
This morning we are seeking a very fundamental fact that is being lost in the Church. Along the way we are going to be considering the implications of having lost that fundamental fact and how the loss of that fundamental fact is showing up both in the Church and in the broader culture.
The texts above teach a singular truth and that is that God as creator is distinct from man as the creature. Scripture teaches that there are two realities that we call the Creator creature distinction. God is other than man and man is distinct from God.
With the Creator-Creature distinction, because you have a distinct Creator and creature you also have other qualitative distinctions that are what they are because of how they have been named so by the Creator in His revealed Word. Genesis 1 is a long story of the Creator God making qualitative distinctions, and then God’s Law-Word goes on to make other qualitative distinctions which are definitely not social-constructs, though the Pantheist will insist that God’s qualitative distinctions are instead really just so many social-constructs.
This simple teaching of Gen. 1:1 is contrary to a Worldview that is growing in our Church and our culture. That contrary worldivew is called Pantheism. Contrary to the Biblical view that holds to the distinction of the Creator and creature distinction Pantheism as the etymology of the word teaches believes that all is God and God is all. Everything that is, is a part of God and the whole together makes for God. Pantheism teaches that is all reality is one reality and that one reality is god.
Dr. Peter Jones using one-ism as a synonym for pantheism explains it this way;
“One-ism, (all-is-one) is an esoteric read on reality. It maintains that everything can be explained by everything else. There are no qualitative distinctions to be found in the universe. The world creates itself and humans are ‘co-creators’ along with everything else. In this system reality is One. Think of one big circle. Everything is contained within it; rocks, trees, planets, human beings — even God, as a kind of energy. Everything is connected to everything else. There is nothing outside the circle.
Two-ism (all is two) is an exoteric read on reality. It maintains that the world is made by a Creator who is uncreated and radically different from His creatures. There are two forms of existence: the created and the one who created it. The two, while deeply related, are qualitatively distinct. Think of two circles, connected but distinct and essentially different.”
Dr. Peter Jones
One or Two; Seeing a World of Difference — pg. 88
What Dr. Jone’s labels as “One-ism,” is the idea where ontologically speaking, all reality participates in the same being. In most of these systems, one’s status in the social order is dependent on how much of that ultimate being they have unique to others who have less of this Oneist being. The Mahat system of ancient Egypt was a Oneist system. The Pharoah was at the top of beingness and everyone descended from Pharoah had a lesser measure of being than Pharoah possessed. Animistic, Pantheistic, Hindu, are all Oneist systems.
Since everything is one and so all share the same being the ability to make qualitative distinct distinctions is impossible. For example, if a man and a woman share in the same universal being who is to say that there exists a qualitative distinction between what, in a non-Oneist worldview, has always been understood to be “male,” and “female?” Since the Oneist worldview finds an impossibility to make qualitative distinctions we get the idea of sexual fluidity and/or fluctuating gender.
Indeed, in any consistent One-ist worldview any distinction has to be seen as temporary or arbitrary. In Jones’ words above, humans are co-creators and as co-creator humans create these putative ‘social constructs’ that provide qualitative distinctions that we now, as a more enlightened One-ist people, understand are no distinctions at all. We hear this same kind of language about nations. Distinct Nations, it is increasingly said, like gender, sexuality, and age are merely social constructs created by human co-creators who are free to uncreate what they had previously arbitrarily created.
A similar idea that is often mentioned in tandem with Pantheism is the word Monism. Monism is more inclined to be found in philosophical discussions. Generally, Monism as a concept argues that all things originate from one source. Monism is commonly connected with atheism – the impossible belief that there is no God or ultimate being. Monism, like its partner pantheism denies that there is a God or ultimate being.
Now this may seem odd that while pantheism believes all is God and Monism believes there is no God they should be mentioned in the same breath. However, if everything is god then what does that also imply? It also implies that nothing is God. So, while pantheism and monism are starting from the opposite ends of the spectrum they end up much in the same place. They end up denying the Creator and Creature distinction. One denies it by saying all is Creator (God) and the other denies the Creator Creature distinction by saying none is god but the end result is the same.
Of course on implication of this denial of the Creator Creature distinction is that if all is God or none is God then the only one left to make distinctions between this and that is man. In such an existence whether or monism or pantheism the result is that whatever reality is embraced that reality has not objective essence since there is no God to give it an objective essence. Instead all of reality is what has today become a favorite buzz phrase … all reality is a social construct. If there is no Creator Creature distinction to provide objectivity then all distinctions between creature are arbitrary distinctions and so are social constructs – that is man made reality arrangements that should be recognized as man made constructs and treated as something that can be rearranged as we like. This includes the idea of “God.” For the pantheist who believes all is God or the monist who believes none is God, the idea of a Genesis 1:1 extra-mundane transcendent god is all just so much social construct. The same is true for all reality. Love, justice, gender, nation, race, beauty, mathematics, scientific laws, immorality, legal-order… it is all just a social-construct.
So, already we being to see how important Genesis 1:1 is as well as the rest of Scripture that teaches repeatedly that there exists a Creator-Creature distinction. Here are a few more Scriptures that emblazon that idea upon the reader;
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people
II Peter 3:7
The youngest child here should be able to understand this idea that what Dr. Peter Jones has taken to calling “Oneism” and what we are identifying as Pantheism and Monism is utterly foolish. There remains and always will remain a Creator-Creature distinction.
But our culture is moving increasingly towards this monistic / pantheistic worldview.
I want to take a few moments tracing that out.
Every culture can be understood through its gatekeeper Institutions. Those are those Institutions by which a social order will organize itself. Those social-order Institutions communicate the Worldview of the people who are operating by them.
I list 7 of these civil-social Institutions. These are not written in stone. Some might come up with a different number. This was what I was taught almost 45 years ago now.
I am trying to communicate at this point that our gatekeeper civil-social Institutions have not become largely pantheistic as seen in the ability to make distinctions. The attempt to escape from distinctions is always a sign that there is pantheism / monism in the air. Remember, if we give up the Creator-Creature distinction all other distinctions are going to begin to unravel with the result that reality is seen as a social construct.
And we have begun to give up on distinctions as seen on our gate-keeper civil-social Institutions.
In the Church we began seeing that in the heretofore Conservative Churches when they began to give up on patriarchy as seen when they began to give up on the requirement in Scripture that a distinction between the natures of men and women be overthrown in favor of having ordained women in the pulpit. Innovative arguments were plastered together with spitballs and paper mache but something more here was happening. The crumbling of patriarchy that this move represented was a consequence of a denial of the Creator-Creature distinction which eventually led to the conviction that patriarchy is itself a social construct that can be rearranged. Since the move to allow women in the pulpit we have seen in the church the continued unraveling of distinctions so that now voices are being raised to allow side-b ordained sodomites in our pulpits. You see if the Creator-Creature distinction is denied then all other distinctions lose their gravitas because they are all merely social-constructs.
Because the Church, as one of the Cultural Gatekeepers has given up on the Creator-Creature distinction we are seeing the loss of patriarchy in the Church in favor of a distinction-less egalitarianism. If the Church had a high view of the Creator-Creature distinction it would not allow the dissolving of the distinctions between male and female that the Church when orthodox has always held as an Institution.
Along this line, in One-ist worldview, religions likewise begin to break down and converge. Hard Ecumenicalism and a refusal to embrace the rough edges that segregate one religion from another becomes the watchword. Unity (really uniformity) becomes the be all end all passion. If all is one then uniformity is obviously the highest virtue and anyone who disturbs the pursuit of uniformity is a pebble in the shoe that must be eliminated.
Harvard PhD student Kareem Carr’s recently had a dialogue about the abstract nature of mathematics and it was profiled by Popular Mechanics in an article entitled “Why Some People Think 2+2=5…and why they’re right.”
Carr’s “hope is that you understand the flexible relationship between our mathematical systems, our perceptions of the world, and the symbolic manipulations we use to reason about reality.
Note what is being said here is that mathematics is a social-construct. There is nothing in objective in mathematics. I submit that people would not be arriving at these conclusions without first concluding that the Creator-Creature distinction is passe.
You see if you give up on the Creator-Creature distinction the inevitable eventuality is that even Mathematics becomes a social-construct that can find everything equaling everything else.
C.) Arts – Media
Here I am simply going to name a few films that have championed this theme
The 2010 Box Office hit Avatar plied this pantheism theme
Marine Jake Sully joins forces with the Na’vi, Pandora’s natives, to defend their ecosystem—which is also their god. The blue humanoids revere all life, believing that each creature is interconnected and charged with divine energy. One main point of the film was to demonstrate the superiority of that Na’vi culture.
The 1996 film “Phenomenon” is a classic expression of this pantheist Worldview.
In this film the main character afflicted with a tumor suddenly discovers that all of life is one and in that discovery begins to harness that oneness in a host of different ways to demonstrate his genius.
The whole “Star Wars” series is characterized by the idea of the Force that envelopes all. The force does have a dark side but the dark side eventually returns to the good side of the force as seen in the redemption of Darth Vader.
Not only do we see the incapability of making hard gender and sexual qualitative distinctions we are increasingly seeing in some quarters of our culture the desire to erase the qualitative distinctions that once distinguished a child from the adult. There is a push in some quarters to sexualize the child arguing that the distinction between child and adult is unhelpful and arbitrary. On all these points we hear that heretofore universally accepted qualitative distinctions are merely “social constructs.” If this attempt to erase the distinction between the child and the adult then the whole idea of the “family unit” where parents are responsible to protect children begins to break down.
This from a 21 March 2021 report of the NY Post
A Canadian man was arrested this week after violating a court order that banned him from speaking publicly about his son’s gender transition. The man — whose identity is reportedly under a publication ban by a British Columbia Court of Appeals to protect his child — was found in contempt of court and arrested Tuesday for calling the teen his daughter and publicly referring to him with the pronouns “she” and “her,” according to Post Millennial. The teenager was born as a female and reportedly identifies as transgender and prefers the use of male pronouns.
So, here we see the Canadian courts working legally to force upon us this pantheistic world and live view. Don’t doubt that it will soon be coming here.
The One-ist will, of course, appeal to “Science” as a support to their One-ist cause. However, what most people don’t realize is that convictions don’t change because of science but rather science changes because of our convictions. This is a huge subject and so I will merely recommend three books that explain what I am getting at here,
a.) The Structures of Scientific Revolutions — Thomas Kuhn
b.) The Philosophy of Science and Belief in God — Gordon H. Clark
c.) Hermeneutics and Science –Vern S. Poythress
An appeal to Science in order to prove One-ism will always be successful as coming from One-ist “Scientists.” Of course, if all is one, then anything and everything and nothing can be proven because no qualitative distinctions exist. One of the greatest failures of “Science” to give scientific heft to a distinctly non-scientific pursuit was the Soviet Union’s pursuit of Lysenkoism over Genetics. Lysenko insisted that he had overcome the qualitative distinction between Spring Wheat and Winter Wheat. He hadn’t and food shortages followed. “Science,” so-called, “proves” all kinds of things that just aren’t so. One-ism makes it easier for “Science” to do just that.
All of this to say that Science is only as good as the Theology that it is dependent upon and of which it is an expression.
The Pantheistic worldview has hit the jackpot in the Biden administration with the appointment of a Trannie as a under-secretary of Health as well as officials who defend the idea of men competing with women as “women” in sports.
The demonstration of this mad pursuit for Pantheist uniformity is commonly seen in the Revolutionary. We see it in Church history whether it was the pantheistic leveling of the Bogomils, Cathar, Albigensians, and Ana-Baptists, or later the Levellers, Diggers, and Quakers. Whether it was expressed culturally with the Phrygian cap in the French Revolution with the common leveling greeting to one and all, regardless of status or rank of “citoyenne,” whether it is the universal leveling greeting of “comrade” during the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, or whether it was the ubiquitous leveling Mao suit found in the post-Communist Chinese Revolution, the Pantheist worldview passionately desires to press upon people uniformity. Uniformity in Pantheistic in slovenly thought, uniformity in slovenly clothing, uniformity in Pantheistic speech pattern. If all is one then all are interchangeable uniform cogs in the Pantheistic world.
Actually, in a genuinely Pantheistic world, as consistently followed, language and communication would be utterly impossible since qualitatively distinct meaning is impossible in a consistently One-ist world. Perhaps this explains God’s confusing of the language at Babel. Babel was perhaps the greatest attempt to build a One-ist social order ever.
George Orwell’s novel, “1984” is a wonderful fiction that describes the pursuit of Revolutionary One-ism.
According to Bouwsma the idea of God’s creating qualitative distinctions was something well understood by John Calvin,
“The positive corollary of Calvin’s loathing of mixture was his approval of boundaries, which separate one thing from another. He attributed boundaries to God Himself: God had established the boundaries between peoples, which should, therefore, remain within the space assigned to them … ‘Just as there are in a military camp separate lines for each platoon and section,’ Calvin observed, ‘men are placed on the earth so that each nation may be content with its own boundaries.’”
John Calvin: A Sixteenth Century Portrait — p.34-35
I highly recommend reading Dr. Peter Jones’ books. He provides scintillating analysis of how the culture and the Church are slipping faster and faster into One-ist presuppositions that are not Christian in their origin. Postmodernism, for example, is a child of One-ist ideology. Postmodernism teaches that no grand narratives exist and that all personal narratives are social constructs. Reality is malleable. Qualitative distinctions do not exist except as man subjectively creates them.
When One-ism slips into the Church the traditional language is retained but emptied of its original Two-ist meaning and is re-filled with One-ist pagan content. Dr. Jones’, in is “One or Two,” demonstrates how the Apostle Paul in Romans 1 deconstructs One-ism while making the case that our church and culture is increasingly falling into Oneism.
We must return to the Cross though once again. The Cross itself demonstrates again the Creator-Creature distinction. There was the God-Man making satisfaction to the extra-mundane personal God in order to pay for the sins of man the Creature. There is that distinction. All is NOT One. God as the Creator must be propitiated for the sinse of man the Creature.
The Cross explains why we must insist upon this Creator-Creature distinction. Apart from a worldview that embraces this distinction between the Creator and the Creature there is no communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We see this kind of evangelism in Paul’s work on Mar’s Hill in Acts 17. There as he is giving the Gospel he is insisting on the stupidity of the Greeks for their panentheism. “They even had an altar to an unknown God,” just in case they missed identifying all the gods in their panentheistic world.
The Gospel only makes sense in a Christian world and the Gospel being preached naked without the context of a twoist world and life view will only come as a conundrum and a curio to the pagan pantheist. In speaking up Biblical Christianity we must provide the worldview context that allows the Gospel to make sense. We cannot preach the Gospel into a pantheist world which has no hands or feet in order by which to grasp the Christ crucified. A crucified Christ apart from the context of the Creator-Creature distinction makes absolutely zero sense.
This is why we must not only give the Cross but we must preach the worldview context in which the Cross can make sense.