Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 8th June 1997
From the Pastor: Some Contemporary Buzzwords III: Holism
No, it's not about digging holes or gardening! Perhaps we should spell it
"whole-ism", i.e. it has to do with seeing things as a whole. "There's nothing
wrong with that", you may say. Indeed not, but what is its meaning in the modern
Holism is in the first instance part of the New Age vocabulary. It expresses the
belief that everything in the world and the universe is organically one. Applied
to health it sees the body as an interrelated organism, and disease as a
disruption of normal harmony. The aim of treatment is to restore the natural
In issues of faith it sees all religions and philosophies as fundamentally one,
whether Marxism, Buddhism, TM, Hinduism, Christianity or whatever. Adherents of
any "faith" must give up claims of exclusivism and participate in "cosmic
consciousness" and be one with God and the universe. One can see how "Holism"
can very easily join hands with multiculturalism. This sort of thinking has
influenced the World Council of Churches for some time, but in a diluted form is
now even penetrating "evangelical" circles. Thus there are calls, e.g. to seek
dialogue with non-Christian religions as valid forms of revelation rather than
confront them as error.
Confronting these wafty fantasies is Paul's plea to the Colossians: "See to
it that no-one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception,
according to the tradition of men ... and not according to Christ."