Any of the following beliefs could be the perfect antidote for atheists— so they will finally believe in the existence of an Almighty Being. But on the other hand, the following could also make them even more confused, bringing them farther away from any religious lifestyle. Which among the following is the most unacceptable theism?
This refers to a pluralistic theology wherein different deities or gods are viewed as one in essence, and equivalent in power. Another term related to henotheism is “equitheism”, referring to the belief that all gods are equal. A henotheist may worship a single god from a league of deities, depending on his or her choice, while accepting other deities and concepts of god. Max Müller a German philologist and orientalist, brought the term into wider popularity starting with Indian religion, which then spread into other religious sects. A religion with no apparent superior ruler – a distinct concept, but intriguing and thought-provoking as well.
Arising from the speculations and considerations of the problem of evil, this theistic form is the favorite of inquisitive people with questions like: “If God, is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, why would he allow evil to exist in the world? A historical proposition close to “dystheism” is the deus deceptor, which is another way of saying “a god with demonic sensibilities.” Such a concept has been interpreted by Protestant critics as the blasphemous proposition that God exhibits diabolical intent. Out of such notions, Misotheism is born which is defined by its believers as the “hatred of God.” Some of these people even believe that it was considered possible to inflict punishment on the gods… by ceasing to worship them.
As a concept, although often not labeled as such, Dystheism has been referred to in many aspects of popular culture. It is the belief that a god, goddess, or singular God is not wholly good and is possibly evil. The broad theme of it has existed for thousand of years already, as shown by trickster gods found in polytheistic belief systems such as those in Norse and Greek mythologies. It is also furthered by the view of the God of the Old Testament which is sometimes interpreted as angry, vengeful and smiting. Related ideas date back many decades, where an almighty being would give orders for his chosen people to invade a country and slaughter everyone there including women and children. The Bible gives a clear indication about it, thus bringing Dytheism into the mindset of some religious cults.
Open Theists tend to emphasize that God’s most fundamental character trait is love, and that this trait is unchangeable. In contrast to traditional theism, they preach the biblical portrait of a God who is deeply moved by creation and is constantly experiencing a variety of feelings in response to it. So since God and humans are free, God’s knowledge is dynamic and His providence is flexible. Thus, He is very gracious and tolerant, as long as the people who worship Him are happy and content. While several versions of traditional theism would picture God’s knowledge of the future as moving in a fixed direction, open theism would see it as a plurality of branching possibilities, with some possibilities becoming settled as time moves forward. It has been said that open theism triggered the “most significant controversy about the doctrine of God in evangelical thought” in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Theologians declare this belief as an idea that an individual has been raised in a particularly grand or exalted manner called divinization and deification. Simply stated, humans are by default conceived in godlike stature and can also be worshiped and glorified when the situation calls for it . It holds the concept that God has made it possible for human beings to be raised to the level of sharing the divine nature. Proponents of this draw ideas from mainstream theology that since Jesus Christ adapted a mortal existence, and the Son of God became the Son of man, any person who accepts him as savior, might become a son of God… and would be in a certain way, equal to God.
Gaining prominence among intellectuals during the Age of Enlightenment, Deism suggests the belief in one God that became disenchanted with organized religion concepts such as the Trinity, Biblical relevance, and the supernatural interpretation of miracles. This belief was commonplace in Britain, France, Germany and the United States. Deists claim that a righteous god does not interfere directly with human affairs. Despite this classification of Deism today, classical Deists themselves rarely wrote or accepted that the Creator is a non-interventionist during the flowering of Deism in the 16th and 17th centuries. Some scientists are actually Deists though they may not directly admit it, because the belief states that human beings can know God only via reason and the observation of nature, but not by revelation or supernatural manifestations.
Derived from the Greek word which means “all of everything,” Pantheistic concepts date back thousands of years ago, which is believed to have sprung from eastern countries. Today, many of such places continue to contain pantheistic elements. Pantheism is the belief that all of reality is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent god. Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or or any god in humanoid form, attesting to the Biblical notion that “God is spirit.” Nature worship or nature mysticism is often conflated and confused with pantheism. As a religious position, some describe pantheism as the polar opposite of atheism. As a summary, the God we know is actually the power that is present in everything and everyone. All forms of reality may then be considered either modes of that being, or identical with it.
Although it can be viewed as very similar to Pantheism, Panentheism declares that the universe and the divine are not exactly equivalent. God is viewed as the soul of the universe, the universal spirit present everywhere, in everything and everyone, at all times. But it adds that God is greater than the universe, and is far beyond anything that the human mind can fathom. In addition, some forms indicate that the universe is contained within God, which he can easily flush out from Himself at will, leaving it or destroying it instantly. In this faith, God is not an entity who answers prayers, but one who protects balance, harmony and order to the highest degree, and would easily obliterate anyone or anything that can be considered as a threat to the elegance of His creation.
“There must be something undefined beyond the material and that which can be known and can be proven, but does not necessarily accept or adhere to the established belief system, dogma or view of the nature of a Deity or supreme being.” — This is the most notable statement of Ietsism. The name derives from the Dutch equivalent of the question: “Do you believe in the conventional ‘Christian’ God?”, a typical ‘ietsist’ answer would be: “No, but there must be something.” “Something” is translated as “iets” in Dutch. In some ways, an ietist, can be called as an agnostic – a person who claims that God is unknowable. But unlike the latter, an Ietist, may in fact get to know God, but not the ‘pre-packaged’ god offered by traditional religions. One strange fact about it, is that each ietsist’s conception of spirituality will be different from others. This can make us declare that Ietsism is a “one-member spiritual belief.”
As a subsystem of Polytheism, Kathenotheism is the worship of one God at a time. Under the system, it is possible to believe in many gods and focus worship and service on one of them at a time, depending on the desires of a certain person or depending on which god becomes supreme over another in particular situations. Therefore, a kathenotheist can be extremely loyal to one god only, but may also shower the same affection to another god on a different setting. Coined by the philologist Max Müller, It is closely related to henotheism, the worship of one god while not rejecting the existence of other gods. Müller coined the term in reference to the Vedas – a set of ancient Indian writings. As the Bible of all Indian religions, such a book discusses loyalty to the almighty, although such devotion may be viewed as “spiritual prostitution” by conservative spiritual groups.
Which among these should be ranked as No. 1?