Uthaclena, who is one of the few people reading this blog I know personally:
Okay, it’s Sunday, and the header of your blog refers to “pondering… God.”
Do you believe in “God” as a supernatural Personality actively creating, shaping, judging, intervening, with whom one can have a “relationship?” And, as a follow-up question, do you believe in personal survival after bodily death? Some awareness that will recognize I am/was “Roger?”
OK, U., interesting questions. And I waited until Sunday to answer them.
I don’t think God made the world then went away. I believe that God is an active entity. I believe in the power of prayer. But I don’t believe that prayer is like some sort of cosmic Santa Claus where you get to pray for a pony and ZING!, a pony arrives. Intercessionary prayer I believe in. And sometimes the answer is no. Three examples immediately come to mind.
There was a woman I knew named Rus who had a rare, incurable disease. About 20 years ago, while she was dying in a Boston hospital, a bunch of her friends, including me, were in the chapel of Trinity United Methodist Church in Albany, praying for Rus. And she was cured. There is no other logical explanation for it.
People were praying for my father in 2000 and my brother-in-law John in 2002, too, but they both died. And in each case, someone who was praying probably the hardest for them got pretty damn angry with God.
God may talk to people through earthly tools, such as movies. I found this website that discusses the theological ramification of movies. Theological ramifications of “Natural Born Killers”? The site also has a thematic directory where topics from alienation to trust are referenced to specific movies.
I think that often God sends a sign. I am reminded of the joke here (Dumb Faith) that suggests that sometimes the message is given but we are just not hearing it.
As for the second question, I believe in an afterlife. Whether it’ll contain my Rogerness, I simply don’t know. People often talk about the deceased watching over them from heaven; I don’t know if it’s true or not, though I suspect it’s true for them, and that may be enough.
Meanwhile someone suggested that I become “friends” with Stan Lee on his Facebook page. So I did, and he accepted on Friday, as he did with Laurence Fishburne and doubtless thousands of others. Probably not worth mentioning, except that it’s Stan Lee’s 86th birthday today.