God in Everything?
The Premise of Contemplative Prayer
by Ray Yungen
was Alice Bailey (the famous occult prophetess who coined
the term New Age), who made this startling assertion:
is, of course, easy to find many passages which link
the way of the Christian Knower with that of his brother
in the East. They bear witness to the same efficacy
did she mean by the term "Christian Knower"? The answer
is unmistakable! ... [O]ccultism is awakening the mystical
faculties to see God in everything. In Hinduism, this
is called reaching samadhi or enlightenment. It is the
final objective of yoga meditation: God in everything—a
force or power flowing through all that exists. William
Johnston believes such an experience exists within the
context of Christianity. He explains:
I can safely say, however, is that there is a Christian
samadhi that has always occupied an honored place
in the spirituality of the West. This, I believe,
is the thing that is nearest to Zen. It is this that
I have called Christian Zen.
famous psychologist Carl Jung predicted this system
would be the yoga of the west. Christian Zen? Christian
yoga? These seem to be oxymorons, like military pacifism
or alcoholic sobriety. Christians, conservative ones
at least, have always viewed these concepts as heretical
and anti-biblical. The word most commonly used for it
is pantheism—all is God. But when one looks at the Christian
Zen movement one discovers a similar term, which for
all practical purposes, means the same thing. This term
is called panentheism—God is in all things....
panentheism have a legitimate place in orthodox Christianity?
This is a vital question because panentheism is the
foundational worldview among those who engage in mystical
prayer. Ken Kaisch, a Episcopal priest and a teacher
of mystical prayer, made this very clear in his book, Finding God, where he noted:
is a process through which we quiet the mind and the
emotions and enter directly into the experience of
the Divine.... there is a deep connection between
us ... God is in each of us.
lies the core of panentheism: God is in everything and
everything is in God. The only difference between pantheism
and panentheism is how God is in everything.
This position of the panentheist is challenging to understand:
Your outer personality is not God, but God is still
in you as your true identity. This explains why mystics
say, all is one. At the mystical level, they experience
this God-force that seems to flow through everything
and everybody. All creation has God in it as a living,
vital presence. It is just hidden.
theological implications of this worldview put it at
direct odds with biblical Christianity for obvious reasons.
Only one true God exists, and His identity is not in
everyone. The fullness of God’s identity, in bodily
form, rests in Jesus Christ and Him only! Click here to read more of this
excerpt from A Time of Departing, 2nd ed. pp. 28-30