Derrick continues our study of worldviews and summarized Pantheism. In our discussion, Derrick clarified several questions including:
1. What does it mean?
Pantheistic religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, New Age, and Postmodern Spiritualism among others. Pantheism is the combination of two Greek words: pan (“all”) and theo (“god”) meaning that all is god.
2. Who is God? (Divinity)
Pantheists can’t really ask “Who is God?” They can only ask “What is God?” To the Pantheist, “god” is an impersonal state of being, a divine essence, sometimes called “the one”, “the divine”, “Chi”, “Vishnu or Brahman”. “God” is an “it”. Not a person. In Pantheism, god’s only goal is to bring all things toward unity, harmony and oneness. “It” is immanent, “it” isn’t transcendent; “it” is the universe, “it” is you and me.
3. Who is Man? (Humanity)
YOU ARE GOD! (The original lie: Genesis 3:5). Your body is an illusion or a manifestation of the divine spirit; therefore, you are an uncreated spirit and are part of the divine “oneness”. Your problem… you’re ignorant that you are god or have forgotten it. Your life’s purpose: enlightenment and then dissolve into Brahman (oneness).
Techniques for reaching enlightenment are yoga, channeling, chant mantra, and meditation. The purpose is to break the cycle of reincarnation. The idea is that your soul goes around a wheel of life and you must rid yourself of “bad” karma.
Leading proponents of Pantheism include: Shirley MacLaine, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Oprah Winfrey.
4. Where did the Universe come from? (Natural History)
It doesn’t exist. Pantheists believe it is an illusion or a manifestation of the divine. Pantheists affirm that the divine force and the universe contain the same fundamental nature – they are one.
5. How do we know right from wrong? (Morality)
YOU CAN’T. Morality and ethics are an illusion. The goal is to strike harmony between good and evil (the Ying and Yang). Death and evil can never be defeated; they can only be brought into balance – into harmony.
6. What happens after death? (Destiny)
Two o Options… (1) Your Atman, or impersonal soul, has reached enlightenment and you become absorbed into divine consciousness. Your self is annihilated; you’ve reached Nirvana along with all other mindless, disembodied spirits of oneness. OR, (2) You are reincarnated into another physical manifestation because you have more “bad karma” to work off.
Derrick summarized by saying that the Pantheist believes “I am god”. But, in Isaiah 42:8, God says “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols”.
As Christians, it is our job to filter truth from error. Are you doing that this week? Come join us this Sunday as Derrick continues teaching about Worldviews!