Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Blog of the First Panentheist Church!

What is panentheism?

In our case, it is the belief that the Divine Essence (“God”, to use our culturally common term) is present in all things, yet greater than the sum of those parts, with “Mind” and “Will”. God is immanent and transcendent, omniscient and omnipresent, the Great Architect of the universe and the all-loving source of life.

What is the Primary Message of the Panentheist Church?

I like to call this The Best News. It has three parts:

  1. You are an inseparable and permanent part of God.
  2. God is an inseparable and permanent part of you.
  3. God loves you unconditionally.

We will examine these points in greater depth throughout this ministry, but in brief, this means that nobody is excluded from the body of God, that all people have at their cores a Divine nature, and that nothing anyone does, says, or believes will ever cause God to withhold from any person any portion of the Life, Light, and Love that is the Divine Gift to all creation.

What about Sin?

The Panentheist Church believes that God’s love for us is absolute and unconditional. It is impossible to sin against God. The idea that we can somehow offend God to the point where the Divine Gift of Life, Light, and Love (sometimes called “Grace”) is withheld is a pernicious lie. So in that sense, the Panentheist Church does not believe in “Sin”.

However, there are many things we humans do, think, and believe that can get in the way of our ability to fully accept, internalize, and manifest Divine Grace. The difference is that it is all our own doing, not God’s.

It is the responsibility of every person to learn what their personal “blockages” might be and do what they can to minimize them. This spiritual policy of continuous self-improvement is sometimes called “the Great Work”. It does not depend on pleasing any external, judgmental being, or following any arbitrary set of rules.

Everyone will make progress in their Great Work at their own pace, and that is fine. Nevertheless, the Panentheist Church encourages everyone to help each other in that Work wherever possible. By forming a spiritual community, we do not have to do our Work without help, encouragement and advice.

What about Rules? What is the Moral Code of this Church?

Because everyone is working on their own personal development, trying to become more receptive to God’s Grace, building their inner relationships to that Grace, and learning their own ways of manifesting that Grace in their lives and to those around them, there is no “one size fits all” set of rules. Everyone is different, and is free to find their own way.

This is our only Rule: Harm None.

It sounds simple, but it is not easy. There may be times when all possible actions cause harm. Regrettably, that is part of physical life. Then we must decide which is best; which will cause the least harm for the greatest good. What shall guide us then in these choices?

This is our only Moral Code: Love under Will.

What this means is that we will do our best to manifest Divine Grace in our own actions. It is not the kind of love that “just happens”, but an intentional application of the principle of Love to what we are doing.

Who are you?

I am Reverend Mark D. Warner, D.D. My background is broad and includes Christianity, Judaism, Bahai’ism, Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, Taoism, Western Mystery Traditions, Modern Neo-Paganism, and the study of Philosophy, Psychology, and Communications. I have been actively studying belief systems for over 30 years.

I was brought up both Methodist and Presbyterian churches, took my catechism, went to a Jewish private school, was initiated into a Western Mystery Tradition at age 13, and studied Brythonic Druidry with a hereditary (back to the “Victorian Revival”) Druid. I spent a year and a day as a Bahai’i, practiced Soto Zen meditation, incorporated energy (chi) work into my martial arts practices, and was a member of a “White Lodge” that actively worked to counter the negative influence of people practicing destructive and harmful magic. I joined the Unitarian Universalist Church in 1991 and was active in C.U.U.P.S. for many years in three states. In 1999 I joined a Wiccan coven and studied within the Evergreen tradition, and began participating in local Neo-Pagan gatherings.

I took my ordination in the Universal Life Church in 1993, and received my Doctor of Divinity degree from the ULC Monastery in 2007. Although there are those who have abused the liberal policies of the Universal Life Church, I have always considered myself bound by the ethics of a responsible clergy and take my ordination and work very seriously indeed.

I am a Freemason, a 2nd Degree Wiccan Priest, and a founding member of the HearthFire Spiritual Alliance.

I have spent the last 12 years as a professional technical writer, and am venturing into writing novels and short stories. I hold a B.F.A. Degree in Painting, and live with Dana, my wife of 12 years and our 4 cats in the beautiful rolling mountains of Northwest Georgia. I enjoy drumming, Thai food, and puns, not necessarily in that order.

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