~Panentheism and the Reconciliation of Unity and Diversity
~ Jim Steel ~
A The War on Wisdom Blog Entry at StandingTrue.com
In the great contest between God and Satan we sometimes fail to notice how fastidiously Satan works to withstand God at every point. Every aspect of God’s character, plan, and program has come under Satan’s counterfeited system of misinformation. Nothing has been left to chance. Naïve believers who prefer to view life only though their myopic lenses, (“If it doesn’t apply to me today I’m not interested,”) miss out on many of the riches of God’s wisdom as His program plays out in our times.
Consider the manifestation of God Himself in contrast to world religion. We worship one God who is manifest in three fully distinct persons who remain singularly equal in substance and in all aspects. Because God is truth and all truth emanates from Him we are able to understand one of the deepest mysteries which philosophers, scientists, and religionists have pondered, and yet failed to resolve. In every day terms, it has to do with the reconciliation of singularity versus plurality or unity versus diversity. God in three persons perfectly represents and satisfies this ancient and ongoing philosophic conundrum - How can unity and diversity coexist or be reconciled?
This struggle, for example, is at the basis of all systems political and otherwise. It is obvious in the great contest of communism versus capitalism. Who will dominate? the state (group) or the individual? In mankind’s effort to reconcile these polars, those who have looked to socialism as a palpable compromise have been rudely disappointed. Socialistic praxis has never been able to reconcile these polars. Its expressions most always lean synthetically toward the left. Libertarianism, conversely, simply leans more towards the rights of the individual. And the tedious beat goes on. While it goes well beyond the scope of this short article, this same struggle between unity and diversity may be observed in the various (and mutually exclusive) cosmological theories or theoretical physics of our day.
More importantly, we see the unity/diversity struggle represented in world religious systems. We see in Islam’s Allah, unity represented with no room for diversity. Alternately, we see in polytheism (the worship of many gods) diversity represented without unity. Pantheists have long tried to reconcile the polars by declaring that god is all and all is god. Proof that pantheism has failed in reconciling the issue of unity and diversity is observed in the longstanding struggles between both pantheistic and polytheistic factions in world religions.
This brings us to the popular revival of panentheism, the system which best serves Satan and his counterfeit theology. Though panentheism rose very early in Babylonian/Egyptian times, it has never gained the respect it is beginning to enjoy. What is panentheism? Like primitive pantheism, it teaches that we are all god and that god is all. However, in its effort to resolve the struggle between unity and diversity, it goes one step further.
On the one hand we may properly represent traditional pantheism as a large, all encompassing circle (like the gnostic pleroma or fullness) and suggest that everything within that circle, be it heaven and earth, material or immaterial, spirits, man, angels, and whomever. Panentheism, on the other hand, goes this additional step further. It suggests that there is an aura of sorts permeating, encompassing, and extending slightly beyond this circle (or pleroma), thus the term pan-en-theism. Thus, it provides the all encompassing, unifying essence that naked pantheism lacked. This unifying aura supposedly satisfies, in the mind of the philosophic religionists, the struggle between unity and diversity. The Bible believer knows better. But where does this all fit?
First, the Bible believer understands that the mystery of iniquity is best represented in panentheism. It expresses the satanic mantra to a T or a tittle: It tells us that we are all diverse gods, we all constitute the whole, and yet there is that encompassing universal force which unifies us all. This doctrine of a unifying force (which permeates most false religion) is taking on more definition, virtually, on a daily basis as world religion converges in a homogeneous expression. The expressed "values" of world religions are sounding more and more like one universal expression. More importantly, panentheism will ultimately manifest itself even more tangibly, in a personality, specifically, in the coming man of sin, the second person, as it were, of the satanic trinity. In short, the panentheistic paradigm provides the perfect backdrop for uniting the world while offering the illusion of diversity through the unveiling of antichrist.
Secondly, the Bible believer sees right through this imagined counterfeit system. He knows that the issue of unity and diversity is resolved in the person of the triune God, who alone satisfies this struggle. Moreover he understands that Jesus Christ is the great unifier of heaven and earth, the creator of all things therein, and the preeminent vitalistic force of the creation. In the words of the apostle Paul,
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16,17.
Paul further asserts in verse Colossians 1:19 and 20: “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Make no mistake, this issue of reconciling heaven and earth, unity and diversity, extends to our very souls. Namely, this reconciliation extends to the issue of our willful sin and the righteousness of a Holy God. Jesus Christ is not merely the theological answer to a world gone awry in the labyrinths of philosophy and theology, He is the personal answer to your soul’s longing, your need for true worship and fellowship, and your personal cleansing. Through His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus Christ became the true meeting point between heaven and earth. With the apostle Paul, we admonish you, to become reconciled to God through the person of Jesus Christ, today!
Who needs panentheism when we can worship and serve the Pancreator today!
Just so you know....In an age when folks work hard to obscure their true beliefs, we want you to know we love all of our brethren in Christ everywhere, but we stand squarely on the Bible alone and we interpret it in its normal literal sense. For a detailed explanation visit our What We Believe page at Breadcrumbs.org.