Pantheism is the belief that everything in existence is of the same essence. For pantheists, God, humans, animals, and rocks are all made of the same “stuff.” This is commonly expressed by phrases like “Everything is God” or “God is in everything.” Pantheism is not a religion so much as an underlying belief expressed in many religious systems, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Neo-Paganism.
God is eternal
Pantheism is simply not envisioned in the Bible. Instead, the Bible presents a God who is different from anything else in creation because God has no beginning and no end.
Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.
Romans 1:20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature.
By contrast, human beings had a beginning.
Genesis 1:27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them…
Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.
If God is eternal and humans are not, humans cannot be part of or equal to God. Even though created in God’s image, humans are not the same as God. We are not eternal.
God is unique
One day a group of Jewish leaders were ready to stone Jesus for blasphemy. They thought Jesus was equating a human being with God.
John 10:31-33 Once again the Jewish leaders picked up stones to kill him. Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many things to help the people. For which of these good deeds are you killing me? They replied, “Not for any good work, but for blasphemy, because you – a mere man – have made yourself God.”
These leaders understood that God is essentially different from humans. If Jesus was not actually God, they would have been right to stone him. It would be blasphemous of an ordinary human being to equate him or herself with God. God is both eternal and unique. Nothing and no one shares in God’s essence and attributes.
God is holy
The Bible repeated calls God “holy.” Holiness, by definition, means that God is different from us. He is completely separate from his creation. The Old Testament sacrificial system showed on a daily basis that people are separate from God. We are sinners in need of a redeemer. God is not.
In our basic nature and essence, we are very different from God. So is the rest of creation. Unlike us, our God is not bound by the constraints of the physical universe. He is greater and higher, and he always will be. This is a source of joy for us.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- How would a pantheist define “god” differently from a theist? What are some pantheistic religions? What are some expressions of pantheism in
- popular spirituality?
- What kinds of miscommunication might arise when talking about God with a pantheist? How could you overcome this problem?
- According to the Bible, in what ways is God essentially different from human beings?
- Why do you think some people might find pantheism to be appealing? What do you think they would say is “beneficial” about being pantheistic?
- Why do you think it is important to maintain a distinction between God and his creation?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.