What Is Pantheism? Is It A Threat To Christianity?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Is Pantheism a threat to Christianity? What is Pantheism?

Pantheism

Pantheism is the view that God is in everything and in everyone and everything and everyone is God. Pantheism comes from the Greek word pan (all) and theos (God), so all things are God and God is all things. He is in all and all is He. That sounds a bit confusing, but if you see something in nature and see the beauty of it, we attribute the beauty of that to the glory of the Creator. For pantheists, they see the beauty as being God. God is in the butterfly and the butterfly is part of God. Whatever we can see is not only made by God but is God Himself. In other words, God and nature is the same thing. God is nature and nature is God, so God is the stars, moons, suns, the oceans, the mountains…all matter in fact is God. They don’t separate God from matter because God is matter. This is so contrary to biblical teaching that God is spirit (John 4:24) and not composed of physical matter, therefore matter cannot be God and God cannot be matter. God is the Creator of matter, but He Himself is not that matter.

Pantheists

One of the biggest issues for pantheists is if God is matter or the universe or all things, then how could He be Creator of all things. He would have had to create Himself, since nothing was made that was not made by God (John 1:3). How do they explain the origin of the universe? Who was the first cause if God is matter? How can God as being matter create itself into existence? Then, God would have had to exist prior to His creating Himself. See how logic destroys Pantheism? This is part of the reason Christianity is opposed to this teaching. It not only robs God of glory but it robs God of Whom He is, and that is Holy, Holy, Holy. Physical matter is just that, matter. It is not God, but it is from God. Christianity rightly separates the Creator from His creation. God is not the world around them; God is present everywhere around them, being omnipresent (present-everywhere).

Bringing God Down

Just as many have attacked Jesus divinity and tried to make Him only human, for ages people have been trying to bring down God to a human level. The pantheist believes that God is only the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations, so it is a denial of God’s personality and characteristics. If a pantheist looks at a rock, they believe God is in that rock and God is that rock, however the Rock that Christians follow, is the Rock, and that Rock is Christ (1st Cor 10:4). God is the creator of that rock but He is not that rock. He is our Rock, with a capital “R.” What this looks like is Pantheists worshiping nature and not the One, True God. It is just as the Apostle Paul wrote, “they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Rom 1:25). This is clearly idolatry. Just look at all that nature shows and geography shows. It’s as if we are bowing down to nature and all her creatures as we sit in awe of the wonderful creation. Yes, God is everywhere, but He also is separate and altogether different from His creation. He is God and there is none other like Him, saying, “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). He is totally “other” from us.

The “god” of Nature

It is great to see the beauty of nature and take in its entire splendor, but when we see all of these devotions of nature become their own gods, they are worshiping a false god and committing idolatry. If God is in the rocks, hills, rivers, and the sun and the moon, then there is no accountability. There is no judgment of sin. There is no justice in the world, and the ones who commit horrific crimes have no god to punish them. A rock is a rock and if god is in the rock, how can a rock bring into account, every single thing a person’s done in this life? If God is nothing more than matter, then so many of the great injustices in human history are left unrectified? Hitler’s off the hook, but so is the pantheist. No one has to obey a God that is nature. There is no need for forgiveness, no need for the Savior, no need for God, unless you’re talking about the God that is in the sunset. If that’s all God really is, then we are most miserable, for there’s no hope in a rock.

Conclusion

Thankfully, we know that God is above all things and is supreme over His creation. He is not in the creation necessarily, but He is everywhere in His creation, but we know He is not the same thing as His creation. There is no logical way to see how such a god could exist. The God of the Bible declares, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1), and all He had to say was, “Let there be light,” and there was light” (Gen 1:3), so the pantheist should consider the fact that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2), and “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3), including rocks! God existed before nature did and nature is actually a display of God’s glory. The psalmist writes, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1), as He commands the suns “rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat” (Psalm 19:6). If you believe pantheism is true, try to stop the sun from its circuit, and then you can come and talk to me about your rock that is also god. Maybe he can help. I doubt that…unless you’re talking about “the Rock.”

Here is something else for you to read: How Can We Recognize False Doctrines?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie January 30, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Thank you for the Word of God written in your article. I was not familiar with this view. I feel close to God in nature because I can see first hand God’s creation and intricate workings.

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Jack Wellman January 30, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Amen. I think you make a good point. We can see the greatness of the Creator in the glory of His creation. Thank you Stephanie.

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Joe January 30, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Why do you feel that anything anyone else believes that doesn’t exactly follow what you believe is a threat to you?

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Jack Wellman January 31, 2017 at 8:38 am

Hello Joe and thank you sir. I do not feel threatened by false teachings. Why have I said that Joe? I feel that these false teachings must be exposed in order to stay away from them and be deceived like many others are. Isn’t it good to warn of error when it appears to be from God and we know for sure it is not?

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Stephanie January 31, 2017 at 9:44 am

Thank you! I am grateful for your reply! God has given you a great gift, please continue to write.

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Jack Wellman January 31, 2017 at 9:46 am

Thank you Stephanie. It is all glory to God, as you know, but you are encouraging.

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Joe January 31, 2017 at 11:35 am

You chose a title that makes it sound like pantheism is an attack on you and your beliefs. You outright pondered if it was a threat (your word). What you believe are “false teachings” others believe to be true, and what you believe to be true other’s believe to be “false teachings”. Attacking another religion for not following your beliefs only encourages members of that religion to return fire. And then, instead of having two religions where people can appreciate and respect that others have differing beliefs, we have two religions that are opposed to each other and trying to take the other down. You can believe what you want, and others can believe what they want, and everyone can live in harmony together. Or, you can try to impose your beliefs on others, tell them what they believe is deceitful and can not be tolerated, and cause strife.

The biggest threat to christianity is the tendency of some of it’s members to tear down other religions and impose their own. This will only drive people away. There’s an old saying: “live and let live” that applies. Focus on enriching your faith instead of depleting another.

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Jack Wellman January 31, 2017 at 11:51 am

Joe, nothing can stop the church of Jesus Christ so not false religions can stop it. We only write articles for those who ask questions about these things and many ask this question by our “Contact Us” and people need to be warned about what is not from God. We are not attacking other teaches or religions. We are only presenting what is true about them so that Christians might not be drawn into these other areas that draw them away from God. The old saying “live and let live” is not from Scripture. Let Scripture be our guide to truth and nothing else. I am sorry if it offended you (apparently). The biggest threat to Christianity is a counterfeit Christianity.

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Seona April 13, 2018 at 11:48 am

I agree with what Joe pointed out. You ask in the title if Pantheism is a danger to Christianity but you focus on how absurd you perceive the religion.
“If…pantheism is true, try to stop the sun from its circuit, and then you can come and talk to me about your rock that is also god I doubt that…unless you’re talking about ‘the Rock.'”
If I were Christian (I was raised Catholic but I consider myself Agnostic), I would inform of what Pantheism is, why Christianity disagrees and conclude that ‘no, it’s not a threat’ because it really is not; Christianity will not win or lose recognition for another belief existing it the same world/universe, as it will still be there with the same testaments. God wants us to choose the path to eternal life, and just having information on Christianity for any who want to seek it is perfectly fine, but devaluing other’s beliefs because you personally found it absurd? You’re selling a product, not sharing objective information.

As for what Doc asks about other teachings, while I can’t speak for all theologies listed, Buddha and Confucius don’t teach people to free themselves of ‘sin’ but to practice self reflection to better yourself as a person, holding a strong emphasis in respect for your community. Shintoism, while polytheistic, discourages deceitful behaviors as you will be spiritually punished and it could have harmful affects on a community depending on the crime. This isn’t too far off from Christianity or Catholicism with God punishing those who sin. From what I also understand, God can punish a large group of people as well if necessary.

These beliefs all share the same purpose, to establish moral in a society based on cultural values. Humanity, as a social being, is drawn to community, and communities need to agree on things to function for a long term. That’s why theism isn’t really necessary to have morals if we agree that we all are capable of thought and feels to understand that hurting does just that, hurt; if we relate to joy, love, pain and sadness moral can exist.

I’m sorry for the long response, but I find myself in a weird lacuna where I’m swaying closer to atheism – and while I don’t have a problem with being Catholic, Agnostic, Atheist, Pagan, or whatever, it really is frustrating to come to a page that just undermines other religions or insists that coexistence is impossible. It’s these closed mentalities that pushed me away from Catholicism and Christianity because those people are telling me I have no choice even when God gave me free will.

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Jack Wellman April 13, 2018 at 12:17 pm

If you see error, and people are putting their trust in that, then we have an obligation to tell people the truth. I am not judging other religions. God’s Word states that there is only one way and I believe it (Acts 4:12). Not all beliefs share the same thing. If you knew there was only one fire escape but deceived people into thinking there is another way, then that is sin and so should we sit by and say nothing while others are sucked into the deception that man-made religion brings people into. Jesus said you are either for me or against me, and all other religions that don’t deal with repentance and faith is false. We sin by our silence to warn others that there is only one way and His name is Jesus.

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DocReits February 3, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Joe,

Christianity is by definition at odds with all other religions. Jesus tells us this Himself, “For I came to set a man at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”(Mt:10:35) Christianity is exclusive. There is no room for other religions or beliefs for the human race. All other religions are false. There is no room for kumbaya with other religions. That means we do not strive to “Coexist” while all these other sects are sending their supplicants to hell.

That doesn’t mean we are rude in telling them this. It is our duty to warn them that without faith in Jesus they are damned to hell. That is love, not hate. Pastor jack was simply stating that other beliefs are leading the unwary away from the truth(Christianity)…hence, “the threat”.

Without faith in Jesus Christ, His death and Resurrection a person is going to hell. This isn’t just “a truth” for those who call themselves Christians …it is “the” truth, which stands outside of those who believe. It is like gravity. You can believe in gravity or not, but when you jump off a 70 foot roof, you will demonstrate that gravity is real… Ask yourself who Jesus was, what He did and why He did it.

Mankind has broken God’s Laws. We are all sinners. We have lied, stolen, blasphemed God’s holy Name, lusted and the list goes on. We are all condemned to hell…you, me, everyone, because we have all sinned(broken God’s Laws). God loved us so much He was not willing that we should all perish, so He sent His own Son to pay “Our” penalty. Jesus never sinned, so He was the perfect sacrifice(substitute) for we who did sin. He died and paid the price for “Our” sin, so we get to go free if we simply believe in Jesus’s death and Resurrection, repenting of our sin and turning from sin and following Christ.

What other religion that you know of can cleanse us of this sin we all possess? Can Buddha, or Confucius, or Joseph Smith, or Mohammed? Can Pantheism, Shintoism, Taoism, Sikhism, Jainism or Judaism. We are to bring God’s light by force to the darkness. If that means being bold in condemning false religions, so be it. We are trying to help others believe in their only hope and rescue from hell. ALL of these false religions are lulling their adherents into the eternal abyss. How can we peaceably “coexist” while our neighbors houses are burning down right in front of us?

Jesus says this more succinctly and to the point than I can ever hope. Here he is, Jesus summarizes this very theme that Christians are at odds with the world, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”(Mt 10:34).

Think about it,

DocReits

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Jack Wellman February 3, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Thanks Doc. Amen. Jude says we must contend for the faith once delivered…and later deliveries don’t count. Thanks bro. Jesus is not one of many ways to the Father. He is the One and only way (John 6:44; Acts 4:12).

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