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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