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Frank Jamerson


   Pantheism is “the doctrine that the universe, taken as a whole, is God; the doctrine that there is no God but the combined forces and laws which are manifested in the existing universe” (Webster). In a book called “The Source,” John Clayton discussed the conflict between belief in the true God and Pantheism. I am going to quote several statements from his chapter on “which God should we serve?”

   In Genesis 1:28, God said, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Brother Clayton said: “Now, that is a radical concept. It is totally opposed to pantheism. It is saying to man, ‘Look man, you control the earth. You use the earth. You manipulate the earth.’ The opposing forces of pantheism would say, “You conform to the earth. Do not build a dam, you might make the river god angry. You don’t drill holes in the ground to reach water, that is the same as as mutilating your being. You don’t manipulate the lands in this way for agriculture.’ Compare their ideas with Genesis 2:15, where it says, ‘God took man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress and keep it.’ Notice ‘to dress it and keep it.’ I believe that you have to put Genesis 1:28 and 2:15 together. Man not only is instructed by the Word of God that he is supposed to use and subdue the earth, but also that he is supposed to take care of it” (pg. 100,101).

      Under the Old Covenant there were certain kinds of animals, fish, birds and insects that were not to be eaten (Lev. 11), but that covenant is no longer in effect.

    When the Lord showed Peter that he should go to the Gentiles, He sent a vision of a sheet bound at the four corners, with “all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, Rise, Peter, kill and eat” (Acts 10:12,13). Granted that the point here is to show Peter a spiritual lesson, the principle is still true that the Old Covenant restrictions on clean and unclean are not binding today. Clayton said that the alternative to not calling anything unclean is “food restrictions. Do not eat meat. Do not eat various kinds of materials because they may be a reincarnated ancestor...It is obvious that the solution to our food shortages on the earth is to make better use of what we have. Christianity allows that and encourages it” (p. 101).

   Clayton discussed the problem of pain and suffering in the same chapter. Human wisdom sees no purpose in suffering and therefore advocates self murder. The God whom we serve says there is a purpose in suffering and we should use it to be made better. Unbelief says, “do anything you want. Don’t pay any attention to anybody else because since this life is all you have there is no reason to be moral. Get what you can and enjoy it” (p. 102).

    Although we may have difficulties that we cannot explain, we understand our primary mission in life and we can use the creation God has provided to prepare ourselves for His provisions beyond this world. With Paul, we can say “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).


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