What is the difference between God’s omnipresence and pantheism?
Updated: Dec 19, 2022
Pantheism, from Greek "pan" for "everything", considers that God is everywhere and in everything regarding his essence and being. In pantheism God is everything and everything is God. There is no personal God in pantheism.
God’s omnipresence, biblically seen, is not pantheism. God alone is eternal in the absolute sense of the term. God exists before the existence of matter. Some scholars of secular science proclaim the eternal existence of matter. In secular science, not every scholar agrees. Biblical scholarship is in agreement with those secular scientists that believe that matter is not eternal. There is a beginning for matter. This beginning, biblically speaking, is God. Only God is eternal in the absolute sense. God is the creator and creates matter. He is not in that matter, but this matter comes from him as creation ex nihile. Though God penetrates the matter and in that sense is in the matter, he is not that matter himself and the matter itself is not God himself. The matter only comes from God and is the result of his act of creation. God himself is Spirit. The Spirit is non-material in his essence. Thus, matter emanates from God, but once emanated is not God but creation of God.
Living beings are an act of creation, either directly or indirectly. Directly at the beginning of the creation for the first races from which, by evolution, other types of animals have emerged. God is not those animals. He is creator of those animals and plants. Plants are living beings, nephesh on a lower degree than animals. God penetrates all parts of the plants and animals and their life as individual is due to the activity of God’s life-giving Spirit. However, neither plants nor animals are God themselves. God penetrates them, animates them and gives life, but is not himself the plant or animal.
The same is true for the human being. God created the human being and therefore the human being obtains his life from God. God gives life to the human being. This is true for every individual. As long as God gives life to the individual, the individual has life. The human being is created in God’s image. This does not mean that the human being is God himself, but that he resembles God, not in the physical sense because God is Spirit. However, the human being is created to reflect God’s character, God’s being in the moral sense. This is true for both man and woman. God is neither man nor woman, God is Spirit. Man and Woman are both parts of the reflect of God according to creation. Together man and woman reflect the whole picture of the image of God that God has foreseen for the human being. Moreover, the relationship of unity between man and woman in the moral and ethical sense is a reflect of God’s being. Lack of unity and unresolved conflicts therefore reduce, limit and oppose God’s design for the human being as an individual and together to reflect God.
God gives live and is present in that life-giving activity in every human being, but God is in the human being relationally speaking only when the human being desires this and agrees with this. Otherwise there is no relational presence of God in the human being. God nevertheless has control over the life of every individual, whether in relation with God or not, and can talk to every human being, but the decision of the individual decides upon the way that God relates to that human being and up to what extend and in which way God speaks to that human being.