In Genesis 3:3-4 we read these fateful words:-
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Ever since God pronounced that sinners would die, mankind has been trying in vain to appeal its death sentence. At present, it is science which is trying to find the magical elixir for eternal life. But there are also those who call themselves Christians who are promoting other methods by which they believe eternal life may be achievable (ie other than believing in the shed blood of the sinless Lamb of God).
Meet the Christian Transhumanist Association (who I will refer to as the CTA for the remainder of this article). For those who do not understand what transhumanism is, in short, it is the belief that human beings will be able to be transformed from our current condition into something much better by making available a wide range of technologies to enhance the physical and mental attributes of a person.
The intentions of the CTA are clear from their web page (www.christiantranshumanism.org). They claim they are using science and technology to participate in the work of God – to cultivate life and renew creation. I want to stop there and remind everybody that while we are stewards of God’s creation, in no way do we have the power to reverse the effect of sin – only God is able to do that as described in the Book of Revelation. What is promoted by the CTA is essentially a form of theosis that we do not promote. So, what is theosis? The term theosis has two meanings:-
1. The condition or the state of deity – ie the deification of man (theosis by man); or
2. The state of being divinised or “God-infused”, both in character and in person (theosis by God). 2 Peter 1:4 describes it best – Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Note Peter’s reference to being “partakers of the divine”. Christians, through the act of salvation, sanctification and the privilege of being clothed with the righteousness of Christ, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit but that is the work of God, not man.
It is only by God dwelling in us that we become a reflection of Him. In other words, we are not divine of our own strength or nature – it is God’s work in us. The serpent argued in the Garden that Adam and Eve could become as gods through their own actions, which led to their fall. It is the same principle that the CTA and other organisations are promoting – that we can use science to enhance our divine nature. In that way, we understand that they are following the earlier description of theosis regarding the deification of man through his own determination.
The Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church promote theosis by man. In fact, the Eastern Orthodox Church go so far as to claim that theosis may only be achieved through asceticism (self-punishment and denial).
For these reasons, it is best to avoid any group or program that teaches that they can make you “more divine”. Only God is divine in nature and, like the serpent, anybody who tells you that you can also be a god is foolish and a liar.