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 — 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.”
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