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Do Deists Have a Personal Relationship with God? — 18 Comments

  1. Beautifully expressed… I’m currently tiptoeing my way out of the fog of religion. The question of “personal relationship” is such a big one in Christianity that it makes its tough to think outside that box at times when the veil is lifted and your views begin change.
    I love your trinity, by the way.

    • Thank you, there is indeed a challenge to retain the greater truth of any religion and to let go of it at the same time.

  2. Hey Modern Deist! It’s been a long time, I found myself thinking of you today, when I think of someone I pray for them, so I prayed for you.

    As I read your last couple posts here, I was struck by your passion for God, and your desire to know who God really is, and rejection of what religious people say God is. You really can’t go wrong with that desire in your heart. Bravo, Brother!

    You have a heart after Christ himself. I mean the Real Jesus, not the Jesus they teach you about in Sunday School…. The anti- religion, anti establishment Jesus. I hope you keep that, it’s a great characteristic in a man of God.

    Keep seeking brother! I’ll keep seeking too! Maybe we will find each other on the trail of truth.

    • It is funny that people totally do not understand that my faith as a Deist is greater than my faith when I was a leader and teacher in the Methodist Church.

      I do not share your zeal for Jesus, as you might imagine if you search this blog for Robin Hood with the search function.

      The lessons of the new testament (most of them) are as Jefferson and Franklin both said, “among the finest ethics of any teaching” but I do not for a minute believe that the bible is factual or accurate, if you do, awesome, great for you, it does not harm as long as you do not push it upon others who are not interested, or try to use the force of the state to impose your belief system on others.

      When people ask me about God, I quote James Kavanaugh and simply say “God Is” and that is enough. That is actually a book he wrote, get a copy you might like it. Kavanaugh was a Catholic Priest who lost faith, left the clergy (very hard to do, as you have nothing when you leave) and found God. He cast aside the mythology of the church and simply realize that “God Is”, while he never called himself a deist to my knowledge it is the only word that describes his philosophy.

      To know God, know yourself ~Modern Deist

      ———–

      From James Kavanaugh

      “Finally unafraid to be free,
      Ready to surrender all the illusions of
      recognition and external securities,
      Living off the sky and earth like soaring
      eagles and braying burros,
      Trusting in a Power even beyond Dow Jones
      and hoarded retirement.
      Finally ready to live like the noble animal that I am-
      Without masters or servants, with dignity dependent on no one,
      Content to know that I am God’s child, and
      only good has been prepared for me.
      When I am not afraid to release all that my life
      and culture taught me to prize.
      To abandon fears once and for all, to discard the
      anxieties of a lifetime like a suit that no longer fits,
      To be afraid of no one, beholden to no one,
      dependent on no one
      Save the few who know and love me as I am,
      and the God Who alone gives meaning and joy
      to the madness of my life.”

      James Kavanaugh

  3. Great article. I was actually an ordained Chaplain counseling prisoners.
    It’s been a 5 year journey for me away from Christianity to Deism. Noahide, Old testament believer, going to Orthodox Jewish services.
    All my life I have been with nature. Hiking, climbing mountains, camping by myself in the woods. But, now, I have found a home in Deism, and very pleased. I would never give up the journey, but, it’s nice to be home.

  4. Hi Jack,

    In your original post you focus on the word “relationship” and I agree with you that both the creation itself, and its many manifestations cement such an intense relationship. It also gives us a framework of conduct and reference.

    I’d like to analyse the adjective “personal”. And here I would answer no for the simple reason that god, by its very nature, cannot be described as a “person”. and certainly not as a person with whom we, mere individuals can “personally” interact.

    Of course, as always, only on man’s opinion…..

    • I get your point, but I think that is a person to person type thing in your analysis.

      When I say my relationship is personal, I mean it as to me personally. As in the 1st definition in the dictionary.

      “of, affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone else”

      In other words my relationship with the creator, is unique to me. It is personal to me. We may share some views but the way it effects me, the way it guides me, the way it speaks to me is unique to me.

      Paraphrasing Richard Bach, “if there are 8 billion people in ‘the world’ there are actually 8 billion different worlds”.

      • ModernDeist,

        Using that definition, of course I wholly agree with you. I looked at it more as “person to person”, and that gave rise to my comment.

        Cheers!

  5. This is an almost watershed issue for many theists who claim that they do indeed have a personal relationship with God. When I was a Christian, I almost cherished this mantra (though I secretly struggled with the fact that it seemed to be a one-sided relationship). Now that I am out, it seems, well, an almost ego-driven claim, like a person claiming to know the President in a very personal way. Such a person would be on a first-name basis with the President, have the President in their life, and have the President’s ear on things. The President would probably intervene on the person’s behalf.

    This notion, to me, is a troubling one because we have over 7 billion people on this planet. Do 6 billion or so all claim to have the attention of this heavenly President? We might end up with a “Bruce Almighty”. Ha ha!

    But I agree with much of what you say here, Jack. I have a personal relationship with the creator through the creation. But it is because *I* am a person, not because I necessarily believe that the creator is a person. I relate to *everything* as a person. That is what we are as human beings. But it gives me no claims of superiority to anyone or anything else. Rather, it leads me to higher degrees of responsibility to the earth and to other created things around me.

  6. I have a question: would you considered one a Deist if you don’t believe in revealed religion, or in the supernatural, but believe God can work through nature to answer prayer, and is involved with man?

    • Yes I would, we’d call that warm Deism, the idea that God does in someway respond to things like prayer in some sort of direct way. I am more a cool Deist, in that I believe prayer benefits the person who prays, it may even have energy that benefits others but God what ever God is, doesn’t answer it. But the tent is more than broad enough for both types.

  7. In my personal philosophical worldview, Enformationism, the essence of reality is relationships. For a technical example, an atom alone is imperceptible, because the human mind registers information only in relative (entangled) pairs. We don’t see things-in-themselves, but only things in context, in meaningful relationships.

    So if God is the ultimate unity, we could never hope to know He/r in the way we know other people. Hence, we can only know Deus as a relationship between I and Thou. I think of God as the Whole of which I am a part. In which case, the deity is not a person in the sense that I am a person. But I can still have a “personal” relationship with God, in which I am the person and God is all persons.

    I and Thou : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_and_Thou

  8. “I am also aware of the fact that the creator is responsible for everything that is”

    This statement caught my attention.
    Here is why.
    People ask me why did God have to come and dwell with man in the form of man and die on the cross for man and sin.

    What the Lord God of Creation, my heavenly Father taught me about this subject of him dying for man and sin ties back to the statement of the author of this post (see quote above).

    The Father shared with me that he being responsible for all that he created; man included made him accountable for what man has done and that non other than himself can take accountability for the actions of his creation.

    As one having ownership over an animal the owner of the animal is responsible for and accountable for that animal just as we see in the Old Testament.
    No, this understanding did not come from the Old Testament but the Old Testament was rather the example The Father showed me that was given in the Old Testament about accountability and what was required.

    Exodus 21:28-31 KJV
    28 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.
    29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.
    30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.
    31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.

    Understand the Bible (Word of God) is NOT a book/books of religion but a book of instruction and understanding, a book of knowledge, that we may understand our creator and have a right relationship with him, knowing and understanding everything we need to know about him that we may walk in true faith in him, knowing and believing, entering his rest/resting in/on him, putting our complete trust and confidence in him for what he has said and done for us and what he said he will do for us.

    When The Father created all things he rested; rested in his creation. He put his entire trust and confidence in what he had done was sufficient to sustain his creation forever with no need to do anything more to keep it going.

    So back to what I was talking about originally.
    The Father came in the form of man and died for man and the sin/wickedness of man paying the ransom with his life for what his creation, man has done to harm another of his creation.
    At the same time The Father of creation could give himself a ransom but yet not cease to exist as creation was created by him to continue forever without end, meaning he himself could also not cease to continue forever as the creator of all that is for it was by his WORD that all was created and it was his WORD that took on the form of man and died for man.

    I hope that I was able to explain this well enough from what The Father showed me so many years ago.

    • We totally disagree as to what and who god is, but that is okay with me. Just know quoting the bible to a non believer is like quoting Harry Potter to a scientist. It may have some wisdom but it has no authority at all to us.

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