THE EVOLUTION OF EVIL — PART IV (final)
In this series we have been tracing the evolution of Pantheism, from it’s origins in the mind of Lucifer, to it’s present predominant global influence over humanity. It surfaced within Adventism as the “alpha” of apostasy through the influence of J.H. Kellogg, and we have been duly warned that it would resurface “in a most startling manner” in it’s “omega” form as we approached the end of time (Lt263-1904.15). As we look at all the internal challenges rocking the Church, we have to wonder if that time has arrived. As a prophetic movement we are being shaken by Pantheism’s gradual but steady reemergence among us. Writing in her day, Ellen White was shown how this would come about:
The experience of the past will be repeated. In the future, Satan's superstitions will assume new forms. Errors will be presented in a pleasing and flattering manner. False theories, clothed with garments of light, will be presented to God's people. Thus Satan will try to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Most seducing influences will be exerted; minds will be hypnotized. [8T 293.4]
The Past Will be Repeated, but Will Assume New Forms
The ancient lies peddled since the garden of Eden will be repeated— he will promote our independence, justify our fallen inclinations, fan our sense of entitlement and our desire for exaltation as just cause for rebellion and self-gratification. But his false theories will be clothed in “garments of light”— which is to say he will market the same humanistic values he promotes in the public arena of evolving popular culture by relabeling them “Christian,” employing flattering versions of “freedom,” “equality” and “love” as of higher value than selflessness, obedience and faithfulness.
Note that Satan’s special focus will be “the elect,” and that he will employ “seducing influences.” In Scripture we have many examples of “the elect” being “seduced.” Adam, by “enlightened” Eve. The Canaan-bound Israelites by prancing Moabitess worshippers. The wisest of men— Solomon— seduced by women of culture and influence. No one is saying the men were guiltless, but the methodology is well established. Satan well understands that sex appeal sells— it has been and remains a critical part of his strategy. Thankfully there are also examples of “the very elect” successfully resisting seduction, both physical and spiritual— men like Joseph and Daniel. Prophetically speaking, the world will be seduced by a dazzling, accommodating harlot, Babylon, but the humble remnant of God will remain faithful, and stand for purity rather than justify licentiousness (Rev. 14:4)
Minds will be Hypnotized
Satan has always been a master hypnotist, but with the power of mass media, he can accomplish this like never before. From the cell phone to the big screen, mesmerizing devices are all around us, and in Western culture we spend the better part of a day faithfully attuned to them. Public opinion is no longer shaped by the timeless Word of God, as it was in yesteryear, but by Madison Avenue marketers, by Russian trollers and by anyone capable of producing a viral video. We consider ourselves savvy connoisseurs of media, but the enemy spreads a steady stream of subliminal pantheistic messages through every media venue possible that often includes “Christian” programming. She continues:
Corruptions of every type, similar to those existing among the antediluvians, will be brought in to take minds captive. The exaltation of nature as God, the unrestrained license of the human will, the counsel of the ungodly—these Satan uses as agencies to bring about certain ends. He will employ the power of mind over mind to carry out his designs. The most sorrowful thought of all is that under his deceptive influence men will have a form of godliness, without having a real connection with God. Like Adam and Eve, who ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, many are even now feeding upon the deceptive morsels of error. [8T 293.5]
Corruptions of Every Type
Note that because minds will be hypnotized, corruptions of every type will not seem like corruption at all. In Pantheistic Thinking, the predominance of sensuality becomes it’s own justification. Let this be a wake-up call to servant leaders of the remnant, who like Aaron of old caved-in to the popular culture of his day, and are building theological “golden calves” to justify the party spirit overtaking our people. They exaltation of the creation over the Creator is a critical part of Satan’s plan to impact the Church from within.
The Exaltation of Nature as God
I do not question the intelligence , sincerity or commitment of those among us who believe God used macro-evolutionary processes to bring about life on planet earth. But whether they are professing Adventists or Theists or Progressive Creationists or whatever, if they assume that the limited scientific data and methods available to us prove Evolution and debunk the first eleven chapters of Genesis as reliable history, then in the final analysis they are in agreement with pantheists and the ancient creation myths, not the Bible! They may be committed social Adventists, but they are antithetically opposed to what this movement stands for, and their influence is telling!
Ellen White openly challenged those in her day who proposed that all “the operations of nature are conducted in harmony with fixed laws, with which God himself cannot interfere.” She continues: “This is false science, and is not sustained by the word of God. Nature is the servant of her Creator.” She clarifies the matter this way: “God does not annul his laws, or work contrary to them; but he is continually using them as his instruments” (CE 194.3). Thus miracles are not a negation of His laws, but rather reflect His inscrutable use of His laws in ways that science has yet to penetrate. The fact that there are growing numbers of outspoken supporters of evolution within our ranks reflects a significant fulfillment of White’s prediction— that Pantheistic Thinking would not only resurface, but would threaten the Church as never before. Undermining the Word of God and exalting human reason would leave the Church completely vulnerable to any wind of doctrine, and worse. Note the progression:
In Progressive Creationism there is no great controversy— based on evolutionary limitations, God Himself is responsible for death, disease, warfare, and survival of the fittest. Salvation is a product of natural selection in the realm of social order, where trial-and-error evolves ethical consciousness over time, which is later sustained by religious myths or allegories. The Word of God is thus not reliable; it can only provide fodder for human speculation. As such, for some time now SDA thought leaders have been unwittingly trying to merge theology and pantheistic evolutionary theory by promoting popular culture as the ultimate test of relevance for evangelism. It is becoming obvious that this will yield a very different “god” and plan of salvation than that contained in the Bible. Under these fallacies, what ever popular culture “pipes,” we will eventually dance to. (Mt. 11:16-17)
The Unrestrained License of the Human Will
Adam and Eve never imagined that the simple act of eating a piece of fruit would lead to dread, depression, disease and death. The problem was not in eating fruit; the problem was in exercising the “unrestrained license of the human will.” They were not reasoning on the basis of love, loyalty and inspiration (“thou shalt not eat of the tree in the midst of the garden.”) They were reasoning Pantheistically (we have rights to self-development!) and thus rationalized permissiveness, presumption and rebellion! They thought they would become more “godly” by asserting their independence, rights and self-development, when in fact they were denying their union with One who would later invite their sons and daughters to “take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Those who think Biblically will recognize “the unrestrained license of the human will” as THE core problem behind all the contemporary challenges we face. Sadly, those who think Pantheistically will see “the unrestrained license of the human will” as the solution.
Let’s get specific without getting into all the pro/con arguments. As we face challenges like Women’s ordination, the LGBQ+ movement, the Emergent Church and the One movement, Social Justice matters, Moral Influence theology, anti-Trinitarianism, Worship styles, Music, Entertainment and Fashion, etc., we should be asking ourselves some core questions:
First, are we thinking Biblically, or Pantheistically? That is, are we seeking to promote Christ, righteousness by faith, regeneration in the Spirit, gospel order and loving obedience to the revealed will of God through His inspired sources, OR are we seeking to promote ourselves under humanistic values and practices?
Secondarily, are we championing the truths and authority of God’s Holy Word, regardless of how that makes us look in a culture steeped in Pantheistic Thinking, OR have we bought into Lucifer’s evolving lies; have we embraced popular culture in the name of liberty, rights and freedom?
Finally, are we being led by Christ-centered, Spirit-filled thought leaders who place full confidence in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy regardless of what popular culture dictates, or are they pointing the way to the “wide gate” and “broad way” everyone else is marching to? If they are, such leaders simply have “a form of godliness,” and pose a graver danger to this movement than those who are openly opposed to it.
Love, Equality, Tolerance and Social Justice.
The question is not whether we should champion love, equality, tolerance and justice; the question is who’s definition of these terms are we to champion? If we think like Pantheists, we will impose the definitions of popular culture upon the Christian faith; we will look to the world for what is “right;” we will perform eisegesis until we can justify the “unrestrained license of the human will” through Scripture. As we close this section, let this be a warning to those who would promote relevance over faithfulness:
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20).
Sam Solér currently teaches in the Religion Department at Ouachita Hills College. He has pastored for 25 years, and besides sharing Jesus with others, Sam enjoys outdoor adventure, travel, science, history and the arts. His wife Marti is registrar at the college, and they have 3 fine young adult children, Raquel, Raphael and Sophia.