And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision. I Samuel 3:1b (English Standard Version)
Just when you thought it was safe to go to the movies, God’s Not Dead 2 is coming to the big screen. This film deals with a high school teacher’s career on the line after answering a student’s question about Jesus. And to think, we were just getting over its recent predecessor, God’s Not Dead (I wrote about that movie in the past).
The second installment of God’s Not Dead shows an “us versus them” Christianity that attempt’s to “prove” God’s existence. We see stereotyped “Atheists” and people being “persecuted” for their faith. This is not a witness of God’s love through our living. No, it’s just a silver-screen bully pulpit for Christian fundamentalism. Of course, Christian fundamentalists will gobble this shit up like free appetizers at a happy hour.
When I see stuff like this on any media: movie, social, TV, etc., it leads me to believe that God IS Dead.
“God? Dead? Surely you jest!” You may say. However I beg to differ. You see, God is dead in our hearts. We’ve turned the Divine into some ventriloquism dummy who we use to beat others over the head with to prove what we believe is “right” by putting words into His/Her mouth. We treat others as if they’re the bad guys and we’re just “persecuted innocents”; instead of watching for the bad apples in our midst. Movies like the God’s Not Dead franchise don’t show the existence of God; it in fact diminishes it and has killed God in us.
We’ve taken God and whittled Him/Her down into something we can use-instead of being used of God. Paul’s words in Romans 1:22-23 come to mind:
Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Instead of lifting ourselves up to God’s level to live higher, we’ve dragged God down to our level. We then killed God in our hearts by adapting this version of God that is far from what God truly is. Instead of letting others experience God in their own way, we shove God down their throats. And in the end, tonight’s main Scripture comes to bear: the voice of God is rare among Christians, and the frequent visions God could give us have all but dried up. Thanks to that, the world sees a dead God; no matter what the producers of the God’s Not Dead franchise might claim.
Now you may get mad and call me the biggest heretic since Giordano Bruno, however I stand by my words. God is dead to us and to the world. And unless we change, they can produce other God’s Not Dead sequels up to Number 10. God will still be dead….
And in the end, so will we. Something to think about.
(Image: ruins of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Asbury, NJ)