Only Two Religions

When we get down to examining the nature of world religions we come to the realization that there are really only two basic religions with their accompanying worldviews. There is Christianity and then there is everything else which is really just a subset of a monism in which everything is "one reality" which winds up being nature or the created order. The Apostle Paul warns us in Romans that when people turn away from the God of creation that they will worship the creation. 

Christianity is different from every other world religion because it distinguishes the creation from the Creator. This is referred to as the "Creator/creature" distinction. God is seen as the Creator of the universe and outside of it. All the other religions of the world have a god that must be within the circle of the created order. In fact, the creation is seen as being divine. Since people are within the circle of the created order, they are also considered divine as well. The following video by Dr. Peter Jones describes the principle called the Creator/creature distinction and how there are actually only two religions in the world.
 

Only Two Religions

Only Two Religions Exist


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Karma vs Providence

ByRev. R.J. Rushdoony

 

J.S. Mackenzie, in his Manuel of Ethics (London,1900), declared, "To be free means that one is determined by nothing butoneself." Such a freedom, however, can only be ascribed to God. Mackenziein effect posited a necessary aseity for man, so that man could be freed fromall determination external to himself.

From ancient times to the present, such a view of man has beenrepeatedly popular, although arising in different contents and culturaltraditions. It has had competition, however, from another tradition. Just asMackenzie represents one extreme, so too does Karma represent another. For thedoctrine of Karma, all acts have a necessary and inescapable link to the past andto the future. There is an inexorable chain of causes and effects, so that,instead of man being one who is determined by nothing but himself, as withMackenzie, man becomes nothing but a brief and fleeting focus of consequences.We may call him a person, but he is really only a moment in a chain ofcausality, a step, not a determiner.

 

In a sense, these two doctrines represent an antithesis. However,to hold so is to overlook a central fact: both absolve man of responsibility.If man is determined by nothing but himself, he is responsible to no one; hetherefore cannot be judged by an external law or standard. He is then his owngod and law. He is his own universe and causality, and none can judge him.However, if man is simply a link in the chain of Karma, then he again is beyondcriticism because he is beyond responsibility. As a product of Karma, he is nomore than a consequence of a multiplicity of causes, and he bears a burden notof his making. He is a victim, and hence not responsible. Both positionsthus mark man as a covenant-breaker who refuses to acknowledge his sin before God.

In bothpositions, moreover, a fundamental principle of polytheism appears, "godsmany and lords many." In Mackenzie's view, every man is his own god; inthe doctrine of Karma, the multiple and accruing causes become the many gods.In either case, man denies responsibility.

 

The doctrine of creation, however, sets forth, among otherthings, two facts which make man fully responsible. First, man isGod's creation. The universe and man move, not in terms of an abstract,impersonal, and inexorable causality, but in terms of God and His law. Thecommon doctrine of causality, because of its Greek origins, depersonalizescausality, which is seen as a part of the blind world of matter. This doctrineof causality has great affinity to Karma, and, like it, presupposes some kindof ultimate other than the sovereign and absolutely personal God of Scripture.A depersonalized causality is nonsense: it is a myth and a delusion. Second,man is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-28), so that, by virtue of thatimage, he is a responsible creature who has a secondary power of determination.He is not a god, but neither is he a passing link in a chain of consequences.He is man, a responsible creature, and hence, in his fall, under God's moraljudgement (Gen. 3:16-19; Rom. 3:10-19). His creatureliness is an inescapablefact, as well as his creation in God's image. Similarly, the doctrine ofprovidence has major implications with respect to man's responsibility. TheStoics used the word providence as asynonym for nature, necessity, and fate; it was non-personal and no more than acausal nexus. Thus, despite the use of the term providence, theStoic doctrine was closer by far to Karma than toScripture.

 

The Biblical doctrine of providence gives us the personal andtriune God whose government totally comprehends all things. Thismeans, first, that because it is a universe of personal facts that surroundus, and the personal God, our response and actions cannot be impersonal: theyare always personal and moral. Neither we nor creation are abstractions, nor isthe movement and nature of things a product of blind necessity. We live, move,and have our being in God and His universe, in a moral context at all times(Acts 17:28) so that we can never escape moral decisions nor moralresponsibility. Man was no sooner created than he was confronted by thenecessity for moral decisions (Gen. 2:16-17). The moral choice placed beforeAdam was not something imposed by God on Adam but an inescapable fact ofcreation and providence. Since God has created man and all things else, andGod's absolute and total government rules providentially in and through allthings, moral responsibility is an inescapable part of the constitution ofthings. There is no neutral, non-moral corner in all of creation. God'stotal providence is His absolute wisdom, holiness, and righteousness in action.Man's life is thus not in a vacuum but in a moral context and continuum. Noteven death provides the sinner an escape from this moral universe.

Such aview is not acceptable to paganism and humanism, nor to the neoplatonists in thechurch. In Deuteronomy 23:12-14 we have a law wherein God requires even an armyon the march to practice sanitation where defecation is concerned. Theneoplatonist is not averse to state laws on sanitation, but he wants God toremain "spiritual" and above and beyond such matters. He thus turnsover a vast area of ultimate responsibility and providence to the state.Biblical law makes such a view heresy.

 

Second, thedoctrine of providence means that, at every moment, every man confronts theliving God. His response, whether for good or evil, is a personal and amoral response. Man is inescapably a responsible creature.
In Proverbs, we have a strong emphasis on God's sovereign and predestinatinggovernment, as witness Proverbs 16:4 and 20:24, but this goes hand in hand witha strong stress on man's moral responsibility (Prov. 20:11,17,23, etc.).

God isthe living God. So Jeremiah's words, "the LORD is the true God, he is theliving God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, andthe nations shall not be able to abide his indignation" (Jer. 10:10). Wecannot isolate morality from religion without denying both in any Biblicalsense. God is the Lord, and nothing is outside or beyond Him, so that inall things we are face to face with the living God and His government.

For the ungodly, whatever order, rule, or providence that mayexist in the universe is an impersonal, abstract, and exteriorfact and government. For us, because God is our Lord, it cannotbe seen as such, and is in fact never such for any man. Providence for us meansa universe of total and personal meaning which becomes our life and world bythe adoption of grace. We then move in the light of God's providence and graceas responsible covenant-keepers. We have a place then in that total government,a meaning, goal, and calling. Responsibility for us is then not a chore butthe key to a world of knowledge, holiness, righteousness, and dominion underGod as His image bearers.

 

http://chalcedon.edu/research/articles/karma-vs-providence/