The first thing to make clear is that I have every respect for Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and people of all faiths and no faith. Our beliefs, whatever they are, are God-given. It is even correct to say that God gives atheists their unbelief, as strange as that may sound.
But the purpose of this article is to explain why I have moved on from Christianity to a new spiritual understanding that isn’t easily categorized. I am close to being a panentheist, which means, literally, “all in God”, but that term doesn’t capture my beliefs entirely accurately.
In a nutshell, I believe that God’s being permeates everything, everywhere, all of the time. I refer to God as “The Cosmic Animator” because I believe that all activity in the universe, including human activity, is willed and directed by God. There is no free will! When I write it is God writing through me, and when you speak it is God speaking through you.
If this sounds strange then consider this for a moment: What is making our hearts beat? What is making our blood flow and our eyes blink? What is causing thoughts to arise in our minds? Clearly, there is a force or power making these things happen, and that force or power is God, or the divine, or the supreme being, or whatever you might like to call the Almighty One.
A view contrary to this is that of Christians. Christians believe we have free will, which means we do what we choose independently of the divine will. But in my humble opinion this cannot be possible. If God (or the divine) is omnipresent (everywhere) as most Christian theology supposes, then there is no atom anywhere in the universe that is not under direct divine control. God, therefore, is doing everything.
In reality, there is no freedom to respond to divine commandments, as Christians, Muslims, and Jews, suppose. There never was a “fall” away from God, as Christians believe. If God is omnipresent, these things are impossible, and we must also conclude that there is no devil-like being in competition with God.
If you are interested in pursuing this line of thought further I suggest reading my new book Ultimate Truth: God Beyond Religion which is out now as a paperback and eBook through SilverWood Books. The book is available from this blog and all the details can be found here.