The New Age movement has transformed itself into a Universal Spirituality that has coiled its anti-biblical beliefs of polytheism and pantheism around the common sense of many professing Christians. Many immature believers have difficulty discerning truth from error because the “all life is sacred” mantra is not only politically and environmentally “correct,” but because existential philosophy is increasingly embraced by professors and pastors who claim to be followers of Christ. Terminology can no longer be trusted; the terms “God” and “Creator” are defined by dozens of “alternative religions” (as pagan beliefs are commonly now called) in ways quite contrary to Scripture. Sometimes the shift is subtle, but any deviation from a biblical worldview is critically significant. The following essay was written by a TBC staff member in response to such an error appearing in Christianity Today magazine.
“As I watched the spider dance, I felt another little creature flitter, testing his boundaries—my second child, prodding the edges of his world, my womb. The baby and the spider were linked with a thread of the cosmos, moving together to a tune I rarely stop to listen for.”
The author is describing her emotions upon discovering a spider in her car during a period when she is pregnant. While Torode marvels at the “engineering of this delicate creature” (the spider), she expresses remorse that “millions of similar creatures come into being every season, and I destroy them without a second thought whenever they happen to seek shelter in the unused corners of my home.” As “hope” for both human and animal kind, the author cites a local billboard message, cleverly co-sponsored by a Crisis Pregnancy Center and a Humane Society chapter, which reads: “All life is precious in his sight.” But is a household pet of equal value to a child in the womb? Does the Creator God of the Bible really equate the life of insects (or in this case, arachnids) with human life? Certainly God is concerned that our pets and farm animals are cared for in “humane” ways, for that is simply proper stewardship; but is the “life” of a spider truly “precious in his sight”? (I don’t recall singing that line in the popular Sunday School song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”)
Torode goes on to say, “I recently learned that Orthodox Christianity, of which I am a practitioner, forbids the harm of any creature—even insects—within the church. I pondered this one Sunday as I sang ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ while watching an ant scurry about my feet. The grace of sanctuary is extended even to life that cannot understand the One who provides it.”
In this context, the “One” described by Torode sounds a great deal like a nebulous, pantheistic, universal “god” that has more in common with eastern mysticism than with Christianity. The author quotes Job:12:7-10 as support for the “sanctity” of all life forms on earth. But she fails to distinguish that the life given to humans is quite different from the life given to creeping things. Spiders, unlike human souls, do not have a spiritual existence or an eternal destiny. Although it is true that a close inspection of God’s creation should cause us to marvel with increasing wonder at the limitless beauty and perfection of the works of His hand, we should be exceedingly careful that we do not fall into the sin of worshiping creation more than the Creator: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans:1:22-23). The penalty for this error (read the rest of the chapter) is clearly manifested in our culture today.
The author expresses a personal longing for “tolerance” of all insect life: “Perhaps someday, like my church, I will learn to share my home with little creatures, as I am learning to share it with little people.”
Would Torode (or her church) truly seek to be as “tolerant” toward rats and mice, or wasps and hornets, should they choose to “seek shelter” in an attic or entry, porch or pantry? And if virulent and dangerous creatures alike are “precious in his sight,” then would the web of a black widow be a welcome “cosmic connection” between the rungs of her baby’s crib? The author poetically concludes, “I hope to grow increasingly sensitive to the fullness of Glory manifested in the minute. It is not easily captured with words. It can only be experienced in flashes, in the form of a garden spider’s waltz, or a floating baby’s kick, or a holy ant.”
Holy cow! We now have holy ants?!
Although it could be reasoned that God’s creation does give us a glimpse or “flash” of His glory (Scripture says the heavens “declare” it), this is certainly not the “fullness” thereof! Regarding the ant, Scripture does urge us to “consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs:6:6). However, although we may observe the activities of a colony in wonder, an anthill is not a shrine at which we are intended to experience a “flash” of spiritual awakening. Scripture is clear that we will only know and see “the fullness of Glory” when we enter heaven: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians:13:12). “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians:3:18).
It is true that our omniscient God certainly knows the location and habits of every sparrow (Matthew:10:29)—and by extension, every spider, and yes, even every ant—but to declare that the “life” of an insect (or any nonhuman creature) is “sacred” is not supported by Scripture; such a belief is, in fact, a tenet of pantheism. Though they are marvelous testimonies to Intelligent Design, the existence of amazing “creeping things” is not the same miraculous existence given to humans, created in the image of God, whose souls are uniquely designed for eternal life and for an intimate relationship with their Creator through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The boys in our household are now age 7, 13, and 15—and while they on occasion perform sub-human “feats” (generally to the amusement of their parents; sometimes to their chagrin), there is one certainty my wife and I can guarantee: whether in the womb or out, they have never been “linked with a thread of the cosmos” to any spider! To use their vernacular in response to the editors of Christianity Today—“Yeah, right (not)!” (Interpretation: “What a bunch of mystical nonsense!”)
So editors, please take note: The earth is not our mother; the cosmos is not our Creator; pantheistic evolution (however poetic it may sound) is the antithesis of truth—and of biblical Christianity. We are created in the image of an almighty, triune God—whom we know through His Son, Jesus Christ—and His image is not that of any “creeping thing.”