LET us continue our refutation of pantheism in this Study. Another argument against pantheism is its degradation of man. It degrades him by denying personality to him, for according to it, men are not individuals who are separate and distinct from one another and therefore are not conscious of self or of others. According to pantheism, man is only a part of the non-self-conscious universe. Pantheism also degrades man’s moral powers through its denial of his freedom of choice.
Furthermore, this degradation is religious. According to pantheism the universe is God, and as such, is impersonal. As a result, pantheists are unable to exercise those things which the true child of God does – worship, adoration, devotion, consecration, disinterested and duty love, fellowship, and cheerful obedience to the Biblical God on account of His personality.
Pantheism is false because it teaches that the All is a numerical unity, in other words, the whole of reality, everything that is, constitutes one inseparable and indivisible entirety. Pantheists claim that only the whole is a reality and that its parts, considered separately, are only mental ideas, not realities. But such a theory contradicts every known fact of existence. It contradicts the facts of every science, everyone of which proves by observation and the mind’s intuitions, the separateness and distinctiveness of being in the various spheres of existence. It contradicts the intuitions of the mind, which differentiate self, world, and God from one another.
The Absurdities of Pantheism
The doctrine of pantheism contains numerous absurdities, which make it unworthy of acceptance. According to it all is God and God created all. This means that God made Himself; hence He must have existed before He came into existence; for a cause precedes its effect. This is further absurd because it implies that the first cause was not causeless. But denying His personality denies that He could have created at all; for existing before creation, He must have been personal to bring it into existence; since creation is filled with expressions of personality – wisdom, power, purpose, beneficence, and justice. Hence these being in the effect must have been in the cause and they imply personality.
Their doctrine that nature made nature is absurd because it implies the existence of the thing made before it was made. To deny personality to man when man has the very things that make up personality – self-consciousness and others-consciousness, which all sentient beings have – is certainly absurd. To assert that man considered as a part of the All is a mere abstraction and not a reality is another absurdity, since abstractions are only ideas, while it takes real existent and sentient beings to feel, know, and will, as man does. To assert that there is no real difference between good and evil, the saint and the sinner, is both intellectually and morally absurd.
Another argument against pantheism is its insufficiency to explain the theories it professes to explain. Its explanation of the nature of God is insufficient to account for His existence and work. Its making Him His own Creator is insufficient to explain either Himself or His creation. Its denial of His personality leaves Him as an abstraction and an incompetent and insufficient originator of all things. Explaining Him to be the universe and the universe to be Him leaves both unexplained. Assuming a numerical unity for the universe as against the unity of a systematic aggregation of diverse individual things neither explains the universe nor its real parts. Finally, the denial of man’s personality and his liberty to choose cannot explain man in his nature, structure, qualities, and activities toward himself, his fellows, the universe, and God.
To the true Christian, possessing a measure of the holy spirit and having intimate union and communion with God, not only in prayer and contemplation, but in the varied experiences and providences of his life, are to him a most striking contradiction of pantheism. His experiences in enlightenment, justification, sanctification, and deliverance show him that pantheism, in the light of Scriptures, reason, and fact to be a demonstrated false view of God.
(to be continued)