Bible Truth Examiner


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Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

THE next false view of God is pantheism. The word pantheism, like the words atheism and agnosticism, is a Greek derivative, compounded from the words pan (all) and theos (God). Etymologically it means all-god, and thus designates the theory that everything is God – God is the sum total of all things. According to pantheism, God and the universe, in the sense of all things, mean the same thing.

The inventor of pantheism in Christendom was Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), a Jew. As a young man he was excommunicated from Jewry because of his unorthodox opinions. Spinoza sought to reduce all things to a single substance which he called God. He claimed that He or it has two attributes: extension and thought.

Their view compels them to deny the personality and intelligence of God and man. Consequently, it also denies His and man’s freedom of will. They claim that God is free because He acts out the law of His being and therefore has no liberty of choice. This also necessitates that man does as he does, hence has no free will. As a result, they deny moral responsibility in man and affirm that the good and bad acts, motives, thoughts, and words of men are alike God’s, since men are parts of God. Therefore, they make no difference between good and evil as qualities.

Refutation of Pantheism

Let us now refute this false view of God. First, it is merely an unproven supposition. It denies that there are two substances, spirit, and matter, and claims that there is only one substance. Some of its adherents claim it is spirit while others that it is matter. Pantheism is based upon principles that are not self-evident and therefore demands proof, something that has never been offered. It is therefore an unproven supposition set up against the proposition that there is a personal God, which has many convincing proofs in its favor.

Second, the theory that all is God is also a supposition for which no proof has been given. Also, their denial of will as the power of choice, that is, will in the true sense of the word, is equally unprovable. The same thing may be said of their denial of intelligence in God, for the universe is filled with proofs to the contrary of these two denials. Furthermore, they cannot advance any proof that we are not individuals and that we do not have personal wills. Nor can they offer any proof for their thought that there are no such differences as virtue and vice, good and bad.

The underlying principle of pantheism, that there is but one substance, is contrary to facts. Experience and observation prove that there are two substances: spirit and matter. For example, the fact that no thought is possible in the animal creation without the union of the spiritual substance called life-principle and an organized material organism is proof that there are two substance realms: spirit and matter.

Their view that God, being identical with the universe, is inseparable from the universe, is also unfactual; for this implies that He made Himself, that is, the universe. Science has proven the proposition that a cause precedes, produces, and is different from the effect. But their formula implies that nothing made everything, and thus a thing existed before it existed. On the contrary, the proofs from facts regarding God’s eternal existence, His personality, His independence of, and activity in the universe all contradict the view that the impersonal universe is God. Innumerable facts of nature prove His existence of volition and therefore contradict the assumption of His having no power of choice. The facts of our consciousness and experience prove the personality of humans; for our self-consciousness is the primary fact of our knowledge and of our relations to others and the universe. The same kind of facts proves our having the power to choose, and these facts plus our consciences prove the reality of moral responsibility and the worldwide difference between the good and the bad, the virtuous and the vicious.

This theory makes God an errorist and sinner. If everything is God, then we are parts of God, therefore, when we think, it is not we who think, but it is God who thinks. Hence God thinks all the errors that man has thought from the beginning until now; and He will continue to think all future errors! But the matter is even worse when we consider the spheres of moral and religious motives and acts. According to pantheism, God is responsible for all the ungodlike thoughts, motives, words, and acts throughout history. Such a God is repulsive to our Christian moral and religious sentiments.

(to be continued)