"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:27, KJB For fifteen hundred years, Christendom and then later Protestant America, had followed St. Augustine (AD 354-430) in affirming that as all men are the spiritual image-bearers of the transcendent Triune God then it logically follows that each person is a trinity of being â€” of soul, spirit, and body:
"The essence of the human is not the body, but the soul. It is the soul alone that God made in his own image and the soul that he loves....For the sake of the soul...the Son of God came into the world...." (Incomplete Work on Matthew, Homily 25, Ancient Christian Devotional, Oden and Crosby, p. 153)
The essence of the human is the soul/spirit, therefore, "What...God has joined together, let not man put asunder." Matt. 19:6
Though we most often think of this verse as referring only to the joining of one man and one woman in holy matrimony, Vincent's Word Studies say that,
"Christ is contemplating, not the individuals, but the unity which God cemented; and so Wyc., that thing that God enjoined; i.e., knit together. The aorist tense (denoting the occurrence of an event at some past time, considered as a momentary act) seems to refer to the original ordinance of God at the creation (http://bible.cc/matthew/19-6.htm )
So God created them male and female in His own spiritual image, meaning the essence of the human is not the body but the soul and each soul is of either one gender or the other. Gender is soul-deep. And this is the unity which God cemented---knit together--- and which He loves and no man is to sunder.
From the time of the ancients men have been sundering soul from body, a point made by Pastor Louis Pernot in a sermon delivered at the Temple de l'Etoile in Paris. Pastor Pernot said the ancient Greeks--who received their nature and Mystery religions from the Babylonians and Egyptians-- the pre-Christian and Christian era Gnostics and the philosophers of the Enlightenment sundered body and soul. ("Body, Mind, and Soul," Nov. 28, 2010)
From the Renaissance til our own time this separation of body and soul has been undergoing a philosophical revival, hence the need to control human behaviour with a multiplicity of bans in the form of speech codes, hate crime laws, gun controls, population control schemes, etc.
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy which studies being, or reality. The sundering of soul finds expression in two main forms of metaphysics, spiritualism and materialism.
Spiritualism is found in most forms of Christian Science, Theosophy, New Age philosophy, quantum physics, the systems of Leibnitz and Berkeley, evolutionary Christianity and in most forms of Buddhism and Hinduism:
"Six centuries before Jesus Christ, the Buddha already knew that if God does not exist, then the human self cannot exist either......Therefore, he deconstructed the Hindu idea of the soul. When one starts peeling the onion skin of one's psyche, he discovers that there is no solid core at the center of one's being. Your sense of self is an illusion. Reality is nonself (anatman). You don't exist. Liberation, the Buddha taught, is realizing the unreality of your existence." (The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, Vishal Mangalwadi, p. 6)
A form of Christianized-Vedanta monism (spiritualism) is already here said Dr. Peter Jones:
"Evolutionary Christianity" is producing the longed-for and much-prophesied synthesis, namely, the union of science and spirituality.... Evolutionary Christianity is a variant of Wilber's 'Theory of Everything,' a worldview of (Vedanta monism) that claims to explain everything through the notion of human evolution into a non-dual divine. Michael Dowd, the ex-Evangelical now evangelist for evolution (agrees) with Bishop's Spong's post-theistic Christianity (and) declares supernatural other-worldly religion will die out for a post-metaphysical natural religion."
Jones adds that Evolutionary Christianity is an online gathering place for:
"....evangelical theistic evolutionists, 'progressive' Emergent Christian leaders, radical post-theistic Christian liberals, Christian non-dual mystics, pro-homosexual ministers, radical religious feminists, and recognized evolutionary scientists. Some are deeply influenced by Pierre Teillard de Chardin, and pagan "geologians" such as Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme." (Jones cited in Nihilism: Why America and the West are committing suicide, Renew America, Linda Kimball February 9, 2012)
Spiritualism is almost always pantheism, the idea that all (pan) is God (theos) and God is all, thus if God is spirit and all is God then all is spirit hence the reality of the material world is really an illusion.
In his book, "Angels and Demons," Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, observes that pantheism is way behind the times,
"It has not heard the good news that God created matter." (p. 129)
The other side of spiritualism is materialism. In its modern form, the materialist philosophy taught by Greek nature philosophers such as Epicurus, finds expression in contemporary evolutionary materialism and Gnostic Manicheism, the dialectical materialism of Karl Marx.
Materialism by any name denies the goodness of matter, hence its' goal is not freedom from man's sin nature but freedom of ego from matter and binary, which primarily refers to the unity which God cemented.
Kreeft notes that materialism can only be practiced perfectly in hell where the ego,
"will have nothing external to itself and will be left to feed on itself forever...in the soul-destroying fire of sheer egotism and loneliness." (p. 130)
Like spiritualism, materialism is way behind the times,
"It has not yet heard the good news that when God created matter, he declared it to be good." (p. 130)
Western spiritualism and materialism (animalism) are not enemies in principle but rather cooperating philosophies of pagan naturalism. Among common points of departure for both types are the following ideas:
1. Rejection of the living God Who dwells outside the time-space universe, the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo, the unity which God cemented, His Revelation to mankind, Original Sin, His moral law, Christian theism, and Christian-based civilization. Special antipathy is directed against Jesus Christ God incarnate in favor of "only this world" naturalism; no God, a distant God or pantheist conceptions of God, and Jesus Christ as a mortal teacher such as Buddha, the angelic brother of Lucifer, or perhaps a highly evolved Transcended Master or spirit guide.
2. Rejection of the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo in favor of mechanical evolutionary processes such as Darwinism and Teilhardism.
3. Rejection of physical eternal life in either Paradise (renewed earth) or hell in favor of no afterlife whatsoever or wholly spiritual conceptions such as man's ghost forever wandering about in the aerial realm of spirits or perhaps living a phantom existence on a planet.
4. Humanity as deity.
5. Subjectivism: No right way, no wrong way, all directions lead to the same place.
Westerners had the Truth, but since the Renaissance have been unwisely rejecting the God of Revelation and His offer of Paradise, a place of matter and of weight and mass whose blessed inhabitants are beautiful, joyful solid people. N.T. Wright explains,
"...there will be a new mode of physicality, which stands in relation to our present body as our present body does to a ghost....a Christian in the present life is a mere shadow of his or her future self, the self that person will be when the body that God has waiting in his heavenly storeroom is brought out...and put on...over the self that will still exist after bodily death." (Eternal Perspectives, Randy Alcorn, p. 154-155)
Like a dog returning to its' own vomit, Westerners who stubbornly reject God's offer of Paradise have returned to the vomit of ancient paganism revamped, revised and made palatable for modern Western consumption.
By their own choice they are the hell-bound because their egoistic self-idolatry leads to the conceptual murder of God and the rejection of His work on the cross. Hell then is for all who freely choose it:
"The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words, 'Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven'. ..... There is always something they prefer to joy â€” that is, to reality." (The Great Divorce, Allen Adams)