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God and an Impersonal Force

“In his rebellion Saul was treating God as if He were a moody, cranky pagan god, who could be thwarted, and then appeased by sacrifices. He also has rejected you (1 Samuel 15:23). Saul was rejected because he was still treating God as a force to be used. He was sorry he got caught, but he still thought he was right and could give a quick sacrifice and go on with the plan.” (Foundation Study Bible, 1 Samuel 15:23)

“God is not merely some philosophical concept or impersonal force in the universe, such as we see in the science fiction movie Star Wars. God is a Person who shares Himself with us personally…What’s so amazing about genuine Christianity (compared to other religions) is that it leads us step by step toward a God who is so much more than an idea or a force. He is a God we can actually know for ourselves, a Person we can have a firsthand relationship with.” (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD, Ryan Shook & Josh Shook)

“…God is not a force, but a Person. He gives us personal power, He changes hearts, He works miracles. When we detach God from so-called real life and divorce Him from creation, we disregard Him who brings everything into existence from non-existence and continuously sustains it. God’s power may not be manipulated, sold, or exchanged.” (Dynamis 4/25/2018)

“The fact that we pray doesn’t mean that everything we pray for will immediately be ours or that everything we pray against will immediately be wiped away. Let it be clear that prayer is not magic, a force by which we coax God to change the Laws of the universe.” (Rev. Fr. Theodore E. Ziton)

Too often I have heard people over the years say things like, “Let go and let the universe guide you” as if the universe were some sort of deity or personal force as opposed to a created thing. Or I have heard people say after a great natural experience “I felt at one with nature.” Of course I completely understand what they felt and meant, but this oneness is closeness with God whose creation and the beauty of it draws us to Him, draws us to experience Him, but not in some detached nominalist way in which we are more present in the observation of the experience than in the experience itself. When people believe that the universe, or nature, has this power within itself apart from God it’s a form of pantheism, the belief that the Universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent god. Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god. It is actually a pervasive form of spirituality on today’s culture.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

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