Thursday, February 22, 2018

Does God Speak To Us?

     When it was reported Vice-President Mike Pence said Jesus Christ spoke to him, he was roundly and acerbically ridiculed by Joy Behar on NBC's The View.  This came after disgraced Trump aide, Omarosa Manigualt, reportedly voiced the same vicious ridicule of the vice-president to fellow reality show contestants.
     Behar is infamous for mocking anything religious or republican, especially someone who is both.
     Many Christians, most especially Evangelicals like Pence, espouse a belief in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  That relationship is built on following the teachings of the man Christians revere as God made man and a close adherence to Biblical teaching.  Those of the Jewish and Muslim faiths honor Jesus as a holy man and/or prophet, but do not recognize Jesus as divine.
     Each time we pray we talk to God.  Prayers are simply petitions. And if those petitions are answered, is that God speaking to us?
     I believe it is.  And I believe that is true for all who pray to a higher Being.  I have taken my shoes off in temples in Thailand and China and Tibet and watched Buddhist light candles, leave offerings of bread and fruits, and kneel with bowed heads and clasped hands to seek a blessing.  I have seen men in mosques in Indonesia, Oman, Turkey, Morocco, among other counties, wash their faces and feet before kneeing on rugs to bend and touch their heads to those rugs to pray to their Deity, Allah.
     It is one of the great privileges of traveling the world to see people speaking to God and seeking his answer in a number of religious cultures.
     I was watching a 1957 movie the other evening - Heaven Knows Mister Allison. It features  Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum as a Catholic nun and hard-bitten, non-religious Marine, trapped on an isolated Pacific Island in World War II.  When the island is invaded by Japanese, Mitchum's character ponders how he can lessen casualties for Marines set to retake the island at dawn.  He looks whimsically at Kerr's character and says he may know a way.
     "Did God tell you to do that?" the nun inquires.
     "I believe so, ma'am," the Marine replies, shaking his head in affirmation.
     The film was honored with two Academy Award nominations.  It is well worth viewing.  Curse words are non-existent and the violence non-graphic.
     And there was no one like Behar around to ridicule the Marine for hearing God speak to him.
     By the way - it was Marines 1, Japanese 0.

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