The Church of Nature's God
Inspired by Nature, Based on Reason. The Journey, Not
Deism lacks any established belief in an afterlife, although Payne himself hoped “for happiness beyond this life”.
Other early Deists felt that there would be some sort of afterlife, and some
also subscribed to the notion that the afterlife included rewards and punishment
for acts committed while living. Certainty about an afterlife is probably one of the greatest attractions of
Christianity. All you have to do is say the magic words, “I accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior”, and you've punched your ticket to paradise. You are saved, and nothing you ever did before or might do after will ever disqualify you
from joining Jesus in Heaven. Other major revealed religions have more stringent requirements, but
essentially all include an afterlife among their beliefs.
Praying and worshipping are almost universally required among revealed religions. Deism has no dogma, no requirements to worship, although many Deists do feel that the Creator is ultimately good and worthy of praise, deserving of our thanks for His beneficence and deserves our reverence for His act of creation.
Certainly, it is a rare Deist who believes that praying is a prerequisite for
entry into Heaven (or that there is a Heaven for that matter). So what do you do when you
"attend" the Church of Nature's God? You do not attend to pray. The Creator lacks nothing that you can supply. While Nature's God is infinitely praiseworthy,
He is not needful of man's praise or worship.
The issue of an afterlife is very much an open
question among Deists. The Church of Nature's God encourages the study of as
many theories about the afterlife as possible. Each of us should give this
subject due consideration. Our reason, however, tells us that this is a question
that will not be answered until we each find out for ourselves.
"Nothing dies totally, the death of one thing brings the birth of another, by a universally reciprocal exchange, and everything contributes necessarily to the preservation and welfare of the Whole by a continual change of forms and a marvelous variation which forms an eternal cycle.”
-- John Toland