An absent God, still very much disembodied in spite of what many Christians say, sits up in heaven wielding judgment on hapless mankind. This is the attitude of former tele-evangelist Jim Bakker and the same mind-set of Rush Limbaugh with the present hurricane season. Bakker, the former PTL host, long-since disgraced by financial improprieties, is now hawking the gospel and end-of-the-world survival food, noting again that God is judging we miscreants with these hurricanes. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh is blathering on his latest conspiracy theory, that Hurricane Harvey is implicated in a plot to increase sales of bottled water and batteries. (For Jim Bakker story, see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jim-bakker-hurricane-doomsday-food_us_59af847be4b0354e440d93dd)
Cause-effect is important as otherwise the world as we know it would not exist. There would be no possibility of a structured whole that facilitates human culture. But when the spiritual dimension of life is missing, or at least ossified in meaninglessness, the cause-effect view of the world is devoid of perspective. This is very much related to the time-space continuum about which I pontificate often. The time-space continuum, and its off-spring, cause-and-effect, is basically the nuts and bolts of “reality.” And I am certainly not against reality but I’m very much a proponent of another dimension of reality, which I will call Reality, without which life will become meaningless. This “Reality” is the domain of what some of us like to call “God” but unfortunately when the notion of God gets consumed by culture it too loses its value. And I deliberately used the pronoun “it” for a deity that is confined to cultural conveniences, including language, is an “it.”
Let me put this phenomenon on personal terms. It is easy for we Progressives to blame Trump and Trumpism for the ugliness that is abounding in my culture currently. And, he certainly is a contributor to it. But as Salman Rushie recently pointed out, Trump is only the symptom of the problem and when he takes his place in the dust bin of history the problem will still be with us. For the problem is very much related to this notion of “Reality” that I proposed and the “god” intertwined in that dimension of human experience is not an absent, disembodied deity but one who lives in the very core of our being and, according to none other than Jesus, “is us” in a very critical fashion. The problem is our intrinsic disavowal of that intrinsic dimension of our being, opting to focus on the external, one example being our hedonist consumerism. But as long as we continue to be externally oriented, given to blaming others…including God…we will not come to recognize and experience our own God-given human agency which would allow us to be better care-takers of this beautiful world we live in. As Jesus told us, “The Kingdom is within.” (Re Salman Rushie and Trump, see the following: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/02/salman-rushdie-interview)
Here is a list of my blogs. I invite you to check out the other two sometime.