In our own time, the pagan and pantheist antithesis of the Word of God remains substantially unchanged from what it was in Paul's time:
"Paul was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present. And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, "What would this idle babbler wish to say?" Others, "He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,"-- because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming? "(Acts 17:18-19)
The Stoics and Epicureans were the two most prominent schools of nature philosophy, nature science and nature religion of that time. Theirs was a humanist, animist, monist, evolutionary, and occult scientific worldview predicated upon a one-dimensional universe of animated (evolving) physical matter or divine psychic energy (spiritualized matter). They were the physicists of their age.
Epicurean Atomism: Ancient and Modern
The Greek Atomist Epicurus (341-270 BC) is the father of contemporary scientific materialism. The principle tenet of Atomism teaches that the world was not created by any deity, or with any design, but came about by a chance movement of physical atoms of various sizes and magnitude that cemented together and so formed the world.
The world and everything in it were not created but instead the accidental emergent or evolved products of a great cosmic event (exploding Cosmic Egg/Big Bang) that spontaneously generated animated physical matter from nothing. This way of thinking excludes everything unseen, such as the human soul, mind, angels and demons, and holds that humans are aggregates of physical matter in motion in a human form and the human mind an active principle of grey matter.
This ancient pagan way of thinking forms the basis of the materialist psychology of Sigmund Freud, Darwin's evolutionary conception, modern evolutionary biology, secular humanism, secular trans-humanism and Marxist quasi-pantheist and animist dialectical materialism.
Though modern materialism originated in the metaphysics of ancient Ionians and Stoics during the sixth century BC it was the Atomists (Leucippus/Democritus, 460-357 BC; Epicurus, 342-270 BC; and Lucretius, 96-55 BC) who methodically developed Atomism, the root and source of modern scientific evolutionary materialism. (1)
"An age of science is necessarily an age of materialism," declared Hugh Elliot early last century, "Ours is a scientific age, and it may be said with truth that we are all materialists now." (Darwin Day in America, John G. West, xiv)
Modern materialists such as Julien de la Mettrie (1709-51), Paul Henri Thiery, and Baron D'Holbach (1723-89) all agreed that the human mind is the property of physical matter and man nothing but a bio-machine. La Mettrie speculated that machine-mans rational life is entirely determined by physical causes that run the gamut from raw meat, to climate, blood circulation, and gender. Genetic inheritance, said la Mettrie, causes machine-man to commit crime. This view casts parents into the role of "first cause" and would later manifest itself in the belief that State ‘experts,' or Hillary's "village" experts should have control of children. (Ibid, pp. 16-18)
Pierre Simon Laplace (1749-1827) viewed scientific materialism, as not only the pursuit of God-like omniscience but of the Holy Grail itself---power to create a New Man. If an intelligence could grasp "at a given instant...all the forces by which nature is animated" proclaimed Laplace, it could devise a mathematical formula that would predict everything that would ever happen, and "nothing would be uncertain, and the future, like the past, would be open to its eyes." Scientists should reduce everything in the universe to mechanical laws that could be expressed in terms of mathematics, advised Laplace, for the promise of such knowledge was incredible power...even over life and mind itself. (Ibid, p. 20)
Herbert Spencer, Fechner, Lotze, Wundt, and the pantheist Ernst Haeckel, inventor of the fraudulent scientism dictum---ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny---all agreed that life and mind are properties of physical matter. Haeckel moreover imagined ether to be the primitive life-making substance, which like the primitive fire of the Stoics, changed one part of itself into inert mass while the other part became the active principle, spirit. Today, many scientists routinely resort to Haeckel's postulate without ever inquiring into its pantheist implications.
Haeckel would later write,
"Pantheism teaches that God and the world are one...pantheism is...an advanced conception of nature (and) a polite form of atheism." The truth of pantheism, confessed Haeckel, "lies in its destruction of the dualist antithesis of God..." The godless world system being constructed, said Haeckel, "substantially agrees with the monism or pantheism of the modern scientist." (Monism, Ernst Haeckel, pantheist.net)
During the century to follow, Charles Darwin (1809-82) helped spread evolutionary materialism to the masses and eager seminarians and theologians. As Stephen Jay Gould argues,
"Darwin applied a consistent philosophy of materialism to his interpretation of nature,” and "the ground of all existence; mind, spirit, and God (are reduced to) neural complexity." (Darwin Day in America, p. 41)
According to Darwin, natural selection (god substitute) and the laws of heredity acting on matter produced mind, morality, and civilization. By describing how deified natural mechanisms caused the complexity of life to emerge from deified matter, Darwin helped transform materialism from a fantastically bizarre tale told by power-mad Prometheans on the fringe of society to a hallowed scientism principle enshrined and worshipped by modern scientism and ‘enlightened' Westerners.
Together, Darwinism and the Epicurean proposition that all that exists is matter in motion within the Void (monism) are the first principles of the naturalistic worldview proffered by atheists such as Richard Dawkins and other evolutionary materialists.
Stoic Pantheism: Ancient and Modern
The Stoics were a celebrated school of severe and lofty mystical pantheist nature sages. Their main principle was that the universe of divine psychic energy was under the law of an iron necessity (determinism in Darwinian creeds and karma in Eastern creeds), the spirit of which was what they called the Deity, World Soul, or Goddess of the Earth (Gaia, Astarte, Isis, Cybele).
Stoic metaphysics has much in common with Eastern mystical pantheism, thus reality is not the physical world but rather the spiritual while the human spirit (divine spark) is deity in the same way that "The Self is Brahman" (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5)
Modernized Stoic pantheism and its Eastern occult counterpart forms the basis of Carl Jung's psychology, Wicca, occult New Age spirituality, Luciferian Theosophy, spiritual or cosmic trans-humanism, Teilhard's Omega, Leonard Sweet's Quantum Spirituality, modern quantum physics, global warming and the science of climate change, to name but a few permutations.
Stoic and Epicurean sages received their ideas from ancient Babylonians, Egyptians and Hindus, whose one-dimensional, evolutionary nature systems extended back centuries before Greek and Roman civilization to ancient Sumeria and the Babylonian Enuma Elish. The Enuma Elish is the original evolutionary cosmogony, the source and model for all ancient and modern evolutionary cosmogonies, Mysteries, nature religions, and evolutionary philosophy. Though it was found in Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrians, evidence indicates that it dates back to the Sumerians. It begins with an evolutionary account of beginnings. Thorkild Jacobsen comments:
“Enuma Elish assumes that all things have evolved out of watery chaos…Then, in the midst of this watery chaos, two gods come into existence…” (The Long War Against God, Dr. Henry Morris, pp. 243-244)
"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
In “The Making of the New Spirituality: the Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition,” James Herrick writes that modern physicists claim to have irrefutable scientific proof for the foundational premises of pantheist spirituality. (p. 169)
For example, in the “Quantum Society,” physics writers Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall advocate a new esoteric science of pantheism, psychology and sociology grounded in a breathtaking range of practical implications in the fundamental physics that underlies all else in the universe lending itself to a revitalized ancient mystical pantheist and monist understanding of the nature of the mind:
“the nature of society, and the nature of nature are all one and the same thing…linked by a common physics.” (Ibid, p. 170-171)
The two men also find that when physicists probe the deep recesses of the universe they are confronted by a void, an infinite field of energy they call the ‘quantum vacuum,’ that seems empty yet is where all physical objects originate.
The ultimate discovery of quantum physics is trumpeted as scientific proof of the basic correctness of revitalized Babylonian pantheist theology and the men call their divine energy field the quantum vacuum. Their quantum vacuum is strikingly similar to some Hindu and Buddhist accounts of the origins of everything that exists as emanations from the Void. Nor do Zohar and Marshall deny the similarity:
“The vacuum spoken of by quantum physicists, like the Buddhist concept of Sunyata, or the Void, to which it is so similar, is replete with potentiality.” (ibid)
From Sumeria to our own age, the Void has been viewed as the ultimate ground of being and true mystical religious experience. As the beginning and ending of all reality, the Void or vacuum is “the vast sea of all else that is.” Moreover, humans are nothing more than excited aspects or modes of the Void:
“…the vacuum has the same physical structure as human consciousness.”
This means that since the soul of the Void and divine soul or spark of the human are one and the same substance then ‘god’ is within the human brain. Reality is therefore within human consciousness because man is an aspect of the Void:
“There is…quite possibly a common physics linking human consciousness to the ground state of ‘everything that ever existed or can exist’ in the universe (and we) are part of it. Each one of us as an individual is an excitation of the vacuum, an individual being on the sea of Being” and this is a straightforward conclusion of “orthodox physics. It is…proven.” (Pp. 172-173)
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
The Apostle Paul warned against being taken captive by ‘elemental spirits’ that are ‘not after Christ.’ By perpetrating deceptions through the elements and powers of the cosmos, Satan lures people away from the Lord Jesus Christ and toward other beings that inhabit the universe, whether real or imagined. What this means is that the impersonal, mystical evolutionary 'powers' ascribed by evolutionary theologians and their pagan counterparts to natural selection, chance, the Void, Gaia, Teilhard's Omega, Christ-consciousness, the Force, evolution, and other idols of mans’ imagination are the powers of elemental spirits applied to the inventions of deluded, superstitious men.
Over the past three hundred years the Word of God and the Western Christian tradition has been incrementally eclipsed by the empty deceit of dehumanizing pagan and mystical pantheist ways of thinking that have been artfully revamped and revised for modern Western consumption.
In “The Making of the New Spirituality,” James Herrick masterfully demonstrates how each major tenet of the Word of God has been radically reinvented and disseminated by certain scientists, occult New Age gurus, evolutionary theologians, and new religious cults as well as through books, speeches, magazines, popular TV programs, plays, radio interviews, music, and websites.
With regard to the Word of God, Herrick lists seven major tenets:
1. The supernatural authority of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures: Beginning with the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo, the Bible is taken to be divinely delivered, thus uniquely authoritative as a source of ultimate truth.
2. A personal, creating and wholly other God: The Triune God is all-knowing, all-powerful, present everywhere and possesses traits of a personality—thoughts, motives, and the capacity to form relationships. He spoke the physical and spiritual worlds into existence ex nihilo, or out of nothing. Moreover He is neither contained in nature in any way nor equivalent with the created order, meaning that man does not have a share of God’s substance as pagan thinking maintains and evolutionary theism implies.
3. God’s creation of the human race: The Word of God teaches that the human race is a special creation of God, the only part of the creation to bear His spiritual image (mind/spirit). Man then is not a product of strictly natural processes nor is he a dehumanized hominid or aspect of the Void. For fifteen hundred years, Christendom and then later Protestant America, had followed St. Augustine (AD 354-430) in affirming that as all men are the spiritual image-bearers of the transcendent Tri-Personal God then it logically follows that each human is a person, a trinity of being — of soul, spirit, and body:
"The essence of the human is not the body, but the soul. It is the soul alone that God made in his own image and the soul that he loves...For the sake of the soul...the Son of God came into the world...." (Incomplete Work on Matthew, Homily 25, Ancient Christian Devotional, Oden and Crosby, p. 153)
4. An intervening God: The Word of God affirms that God’s activity includes involvement in the lives of individual human beings. On occasion Gods personal involvement is in the form of communication and at other times He miraculously alters the ordinary course of cause and effect. Though He invites address and petition through prayer He is not at the command of human beings.
5. Humankind’s Fall: The human race fell into sin at the beginning of its existence as a consequence of their refusal to accept divinely mandated limitations on their activities. The fall carried with it various catastrophic consequences including spiritual confusion, a state of spiritual separation from God and the inevitability of death.
6. Jesus Christ is God Incarnate: Jesus Christ uniquely manifested God in human form. Jesus is a revelation of God’s nature in person and the only human being to ever fully express the divine nature. His death and resurrection are uniquely redemptive of fallen humanity. These events are the sole provision by the living God for the salvation of the human race. There is no other way but His offer of salvation.
7. Human destiny and divine judgment: The Word of God insists that the eternal destiny of the human race is to be determined only by God. Neither the present earth nor the human race exists indefinitely. Human beings live but one life. They do not spiritually evolve or reincarnate. A final judgment of the human race will occur, and each individual human being will be held accountable for the life lived.
Herrick calls the new pagan and pantheist spirituality “the New Religious Synthesis” and lists seven of its major components:
1. History is not important: As evolution is the primary doctrine of the new spirituality, and it implies continuous change or transformation, then history as a record of events in space and time is as useless and absurd as are Special Creation, unchanging higher truths, moral absolutes and the two created sexes.
2. The dominance of reason: Reason—also mind, Christ-consciousness, intellect, awareness, divine spark, pattern, mind-stream or imagination—is the divine essence in humans. It is virtually unlimited in its potential development through scientific study, evolution, and mystical experiences.
3. The spiritualization of science: The tool employed by divine reason to acquire new spiritual truths.
4. The animation of nature: Nature is infused with and animated by divine spirit, the Force, Zoe, christ consciousness, serpent power or life force
5. Hidden knowledge (gnosis) and spiritual progress: Gnosis is the key to spiritual insight and human progress and is the preserve of some scientists, mediums and a new class of Western shamans. Such knowledge comes by means of science and mind-emptying psycho-spiritual technologies that lead to direct communication with the Void.
6. Spiritual evolution: Spiritual evolution is not simply change but incremental advancement over time as the initiate achieves greater and greater fusion with the divine energy field or void. The eventual result of this process will supposedly be human divinity but in reality ends in insanity and/or possession.
7. Religious pluralism as rooted in mystical experiences of the Ultimate Source: Mystical experiences of interconnectedness or oneness with the Void provide a basis for religious pluralism:
“Bishop William Swing, of the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of California, thinks he is building a religious bridge to the new millennium, and he wants everybody on Earth to cross it with him. His United Religions Initiative (URI) is trying to create a United Religions, a world parliament of religions, “a permanent assembly, with the stature and visibility of the United Nations, where the world’s religions and spiritual communities will gather on a daily basis, in prayerful dialogue and cooperative action, to make peace among religions and to be a force for peace among nations, to address urgent human need and to heal the earth.” (The United Religions Initiative—Foundation for a World Religion, Lee Penn)
According to Swing’s experience of mystical oneness:
“Religion is concerned with the relationship of human beings with their spiritual Origin. We believe in the universality and eternity of the Spirit. We believe that all religions derive their wisdom from that ultimate Source. Therefore, the world’s faith traditions share in common wisdom, which can be obscured by differences in religious concepts and practices. … The United Religions promotes dialogue. A theology of acceptance will help the world’s people explore common ground. Our awareness of unity within religious diversity promotes ever-increasing kinship.” (ibid)
So stunning has been the transformation of Western consciousness under the shaping influence of scientism, evolution and modern pagan and pantheist spirituality that it has now supplanted the Word of God as the religious foundation of a large and growing number of Westerners, Americans and undiscerning Christians. James Herrick comments:
“For many Westerners, the long-prophesied new spiritual age certainly has arrived. The Revealed Word and its busy, personal God have faded into our collective spiritual memory, and bright new spiritual commitments encourage fresh religious thought.” (Herrick, p. 16)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Hosea 4:6 Therefore, “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 ESV
In his insightful essay, “Why Christianity Lost America?” Vishal Mangalwadi, author of “The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization,” argues that Christianity lost America because 20th-century evangelicalism branded itself as the party of faith while secularism (science, evolution, university, media) became the party of truth. This is one reason why 70% of Christian youth give up meaningful involvement with the church when they grow up.
In other words, Christians have bought into a vast deception that defines ancient pagan and pantheist spirituality as “factual” empirical science. Thus if evolution and pagan presuppositions are true then the Genesis account is not true, so why bother with Christian theism if it has been scientifically invalidated? This is one reason why ancient pagan and pantheist spirituality revamped for our age have replaced the living, personal Triune God and His Word as the great explanation of the origin and subsequent existence of life in all of its forms.
The pagan and pantheist way of thinking represented by evolutionary biology, scientism, occult Eastern pantheist creeds, the Stoics and Epicureans are the principle enemies of the Word of God and by extension, of salvation unto life eternal. Thus in obedience to our Lord, and as an act of Christ-like love for the faithful and all who are open to truth, we are to actively contend against these infernal pagan teachings even though our paganized culture and increasingly paganized church not only ridicule, scoff, scorn and reject us but accuse us of insanity, intolerance, racism, homophobia, transphobia, divisiveness, and hate.
1.The Materialist Faith of Communism, Socialism, and Liberalism, L. Kimball, American Thinker, Feb. 23, 2008