In Christianity, followers believe God created the Earth, the sky, and the universe. But many of the world’s belief systems believe the universe, like God, is uncreated and equal with the divine. This is known as pantheism.
Rather than being a specific religion, in simplest terms it is the belief that God and the universe are one. People of different religions sometimes share pantheistic views.
Baruch Spinoza is donned as the one to introduce pantheistic beliefs to others in the 17th century. The term pantheism is rooted in the Greek words pan—meaning “all, of everything”—and theos—meaning “god, divine.” The first known combination of these root words was in Latin when the word pantheismus was used in a book by Joseph Raphson.
Although Spinoza introduced the belief and catalyzed its spread, other philosophers have expressed pantheistic ideas, such as Albert Einstein.
"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings." -Albert Einstein
Einstein, as well as other philosophers and theists, made the distinction that pantheistic beliefs are neither atheistic nor anti-religious. The view is that God is immanent and impersonal. An immanent god is a god that is present in all things. Pantheism posits that God and the universe are one. Therefore, because God is uncreated and infinite, the universe is also uncreated and infinite. If God is present in all things, under this view God did not create the universe because God and the universe are one in the same; both God and the universe have always existed.
There is a strong emphasis on science, and it plays a vital role in the belief system of pantheists. There is an emphasis on scientific inquiry within pantheism because as one comes to understand the universe, he or she will also come to understand more about God. A pantheist views all avenues to God as leading to an understanding of God. As a result of this approach, pantheists generally do not believe in an afterlife or any form of strict rituals or practices. Many non-Christian religions are considered to have pantheistic beliefs, such as ancient Hinduism and Cheondoism.
There are many ways to share the truth with someone of pantheistic beliefs. There are two main topics that are important to clarify with Scripture, including God creating the universe and God desiring a personal relationship with His children.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” -Genesis 1:1
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” -John 1:3
Through Scripture, we come to understand that God has always existed, and, in the beginning, He alone created the entire universe from His own power. The Bible clearly states that nothing would exist without God because He created everything from the ocean to the sky to animals and humans. Unlike the rest of the world, which is temporal, God will remain constant for eternity.
And while the god of pantheism is impersonal, the God of the Bible wants to have a personal relationship with His children.
“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” -Acts 17:27
God made each of us specially and knows everything about us. His perfect plan was for God and man to be united in perfect relationship with one another. When sin entered the world as a result of Adam’s and Eve’s choices, there was a separation between God and man. However, through the good news of Jesus, God provided a way for His children to be in right relationship with Him again. He loves us immensely and desires to have a personal relationship as reflected by the sacrifice of His only Son. Pantheism reflects a god that does not desire relationship with mankind, but this could not be further from the truth.
The gospel is a powerful truth that has the ability to changes hearts and bring people to Christ. There is an opportunity to share the truths about God and the universe with those who believe differently. Let us pray for opportunities to share with those who do not yet know the life-changing truth of the gospel and the value of a personal relationship with God.