Why I Gave Up On Pantheism

What exactly is pantheism, and what do its followers believe? Robert Velarde, a former pantheist, walks us through the belief system and practical applications of a pantheistic worldview.

From Robert Velarde and true.org.

Proselytizing the Pantheists

“As I approached the Colorado Springs city auditorium to attend the “Metaphysical Celebration,” I glanced at signs posted near the entrance: “Proselytizing is not allowed. Distribution of literature is not allowed. This is a private event. Anyone found forcing their beliefs upon someone not interested in hearing them will be asked to leave.”

So much for handing out copies of the booklet Are All Religions One? by Douglas Groothuis, as I’d planned. I guess the event coordinators have had their share of dealings with Christians who offered less than “gentleness” and “respect” (1 Peter 3:15) in their approach to the proclamation and defense of Christianity.

A quick tour of the exhibition floor revealed what I was up against: pantheism and various forms of occult practices. Being a former atheist1 as well as a former pantheist, I had a good idea of what to expect, but that didn’t make my task any easier.

In this article I will define pantheism, provide a brief overview of its various forms, explain what drew me to it, and what tends to draw others to it, outline why I abandoned it, and offer a helpful biblically-based suggestion for dialoguing with pantheists.

The Pantheist’s Creed: “All is God, God is All”

Pantheism is derived from two Greek words, pan, meaning “all,” and theos, meaning “God.” Even though there are several flavors of pantheism, as outlined below, all pantheists believe all is god and god is all. Sometimes instead of referring to “god,” pantheists prefer words such as the Absolute, the Universal Mind, the One, the Universe, the Life Force, and so forth.

In pantheism, God is not distinct from the universe, as in Christian theism, but is the universe. Christianity teaches that God created the universe and is separate from it. In other words, within Christianity God is said to be transcendent, but also immanent β€” active in the universe without being the universe. In addition, pantheism results in an impersonal god, while Christian theism believes God is a personal being.”

To read more click here.

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12 Responses to Why I Gave Up On Pantheism

  1. dancingmoogle says:

    Interesting, I found the Christian god to be very impersonal, up there somewhere on his throne, something I had felt since I was very young. That is why I found a philosopy/religion that I could feel a personal connection with.

  2. Chris says:

    Are you a pantheist? What do you believe about god?

  3. dancingmoogle says:

    I guess I would be refered to as panthistic. I am a follower of the Tao, with leanings into Shinto. We are all a part of god, god is in everything around us. The creative force is in everything. The same elements, are used in everything, therefore everything is part of the divine. And everything has a spirit of that creative force. Trees, animals, rivers, rocks. I just refer to that creative force as nature. I believe that all things deserve respect as such. There is a word in Hindu that describes it best, Namaste- The divine in me sees and respects the divine in you.

    LOL… my dad says that believing everything has a spirit is refered to as mysticism. My mother is a Taoist Christain, and my boyfriend is in his words a “Follower of Christ” while my father is a Theosphoist Universalist. Everyone else in our family is Southern U.S. Church of Christ and Methodist, with a couple of Southern Baptists thrown in.

    Peace

  4. Chris says:

    Thank you for the comments. So, you are pantheist. So, you believe that God is the world and the world is God? How did you become a pantheist? It looks like the people in your family have a lot of beliefs that contradict each other.

  5. dancingmoogle says:

    I was a member of a Christian Church until I was 18 years old, and everybody was more worried about conforment, and “believe what I believe or you will go to hell.” I had a different view point than one of the elders wives and I told her that I had a different view point and I was throw out of my church. (I was anti book banning and she was pro book banning). I had never felt a spiritual connection in that church or any of the churches I went to with my cousins and friends, and it ran the spectrum. Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Penticostal, etc. I have read the KJV cover to cover, and while I still to this day respect Christ and his teachings, it never gave me any sort of spiritual fulfillment. About six months after the kicking out of the church I started a philosophy course in college that had some excerpts from the Tao Te Ching, and I found it made sense to me. The Tao is a philosophy to live by for some, and some treat it as a religion. I tend to treat it more as a philosophy.

    If you mean our religions contradict each other, well they would if we let them, but we don’t. If you mean like my mother is both a Christian and a Taoist, not really. Again some people see the Tao as a philosophy and not a religion. So my mom’s religion is Christianity, while her philosophy is Taoist.

  6. Ace says:

    Interesting

    I am Pantheistic but also a Unitarian Universalist and a Witch.

    I am intrigued by the poster who is Taoistic because I have encountered similar texts and have found myself drawn to them and his/her beliefs seem to match many of my own….

    I hesitate as do many Pantheists to use the word God when speaking of the Universe/Nature, so Instead I simply say that it is sacred and holy and deserving of reverence and respect and that all of life is interconnected and therefore sacred.

    I find christianity to be one of many good paths for those who are meant to become christians, which is not the same for all of us, some of us are meant to be Witches while others sufists and others Hindu, it all depends on what experiences we are here to become a part of but I respect that you do not agree with this…

    Really, I only wrote to say hello and mention that I do enjoy the Journal

    πŸ˜€

    Ace

  7. Chris says:

    Ace,

    Thanks for the comments. I am glad you enjoy the blog. The key thing to understand based on your comments is that all of these religions you mention are mutually exclusive. Only one can be right.

    There are certain truth claims they all make that can be tested. The important thing is to study the truth claims and decide which is right and true.

    As far as pantheism, it is illogical/impossible. Pantheism is the belief that God is everything. Well, if God is infinite and the world is finite than it is impossible for God to be everything.

  8. Ace says:

    I do not believe that any religion is right, I believe that all of the religions hold a piece of truth and wisdom, some parts are correct while others are not, I do not see anything that cannot be gained from being open to experience many differing paths given this fact.

    Pantheism-well some folks do not call the Universe God, they simply say that the Universe is divine, sacred and /or Holy and do not even use the word God, but you are looking at God as a personal divine creator who has certain traits.

    I am not. The Universe is sacred. That is all I mean when I use the term Pantheist. I do not believe in any God. I do not see any logical impossibility because there is no text that claims (In Pantheism) that God is infinate.

    Nor is there any evidence that suggests that the Universe is finate. We do not know that.

    πŸ™‚

  9. Chris says:

    You might not believe that a particular religion is right but you are wrong. Christianity is total Truth. If you study the evidence for Christianity you will find this to be correct. The danger in taking bits and pieces from different religions and making up your own is that you are following the wrong path to destruction.

    So, if you do not believe in any god you are an atheist.

    There is scientific evidence that the universe is finite. We know it came into existence through the big bang explosion and through the 2nd law of thermodynamics we know that it will eventually run out of energy and cease to exist.

    I pray you will spend more time studying Christianity because only then will you find the Total Truth.

  10. Ace says:

    Ok

    Then I am a very deeply spiritual Atheist, That title also works fine for me

    I have studied the evidence for christianity and the Bible and that is why I am non theistic and non christian, You obviously have been able to convince yourself that the blantant contraditions, mistakes, errors against science, lack of historical proof for the existance of the Flood and Jesus christ and cruelties of the christian God who is (and watch for it-Here is a contradiction) a loving God and all Good and perfect and thats fine, whatever you choose to believe in is fine with me.

    You seem to think that Atheists and Non Theists are totally ignorant to christianity or that if we would just read the Bible that we would come to this great truth and yet most Atheists I know have studied and have come to their conclusions based on what they found.

    oh well, I will leave you be so no need to further comment as I wont actually see it, I doubt you were ever really a Pantheist, I have yet to meet any non theists who became christians, I have met a few who believed in God and chose to abandon him for other religions and non religions, Yes, but they still held onto a belief in God.

    I have no beliefs in God or Gods and No, I am not an Atheist-Buddhists (about 80% of them are Atheistic) Pagans can be Pantheistic and Atheistic depending on their traditions and teachings and there are always Taoists.

    The laws I follow include belief in a supreme power-Law #1 States that I am to Honor My Creator in everything that I do and everything that I say-It goes on to say that My Creator is understood in ways that I comprehend, which means its open for interpretation-I believe the Universe and Nature are my Creator, I have no belief that they are God so even if the Universe is finite-of which again there has been no evidence for this that has held up (but I suppose in your universe and using christian science (lol) this may be the case), it doesnt matter since the Universe and God are NOT the same entity.

    Most religions make the claim that they are total truth-Not Just Christianity, under careful examination one will see that all religions have pieces of wisdom and truth while at the same time having errors, Yet, Witchcraft (The Tradition I follow) has no errors, No contradictions, No mistakes….I wonder if that means I am right and that Witchcraft is the one true path…. πŸ˜‰

    Unfortunately for you, Evidence is not on the side of the christian.

    Blessed Be

    Ace

  11. Chris says:

    What evidence specifically for Christianity have you studied? What evidence or lack of evidence specifically lead you to not believe Christianity to be true?

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