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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology


Pantheism is the view that God is everything and everyone - and that everyone and everything is God.   Pantheism is similar to polytheism (the belief in many gods), but goes beyond polytheism to teach that everything is God.   A tree is God, a rock is God, an animal is God, the sky is God, the sun is God, you are God, etc., etc.   Pantheism is the presupposition behind many cults and false religions (i.e. Hinduism and Buddhism to an extent, the various unity and unification cults, mother nature worshippers, etc.)

Does the Bible teach pantheism?   No, it does not.   What many people confuse as pantheism is the doctrine of God's omnipresence.   Psalms 139:7-8 declares, "Where can I go from your Spirit?   Where can I flee from your presence?   If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there."   God's omnipresence means He is present everywhere.   There is no place in the universe where God is not present.   This is not the same thing as Pantheism.   God is everywhere, but He is not everything.   Yes, God is "present" inside a tree and inside a person, but that does not make that tree or person God.   Pantheism is not at all a Biblical belief.   Pantheism is incompatible with faith in Jesus Christ as the Saviour (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

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PANTHEISM: AN EXPOSITION (Part 1) at Ankerberg Theological Institute
PANTHEISM: AN EXPOSITION (Part 2) at Ankerberg Theological Institute

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One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.

Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans.   Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.

Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church.   Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc
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