Murdering God?

Is God dead? Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th century German philosopher, shocked the world by proclaiming the ‘death of God.’ This son of a Lutheran pastor rejected Christianity as a young adult and became a fierce opponent of the faith.  In the second half of that century, many in Europe were leaving Christian faith, which led him to make his shocking declaration about the ‘murder of God.’ Nietzsche wrote of the danger that came with abandoning God and leaving behind the social and moral contracts that had been cornerstones of Western culture for centuries. Would anarchy result? Would the social order fall apart?

His answer was to substitute the discovery of and the assertion of Self for the God of Christian faith, becoming one’s own god. He saw the love and compassion which Jesus taught as a trap of weakness, choices to serve the weak and thus to promote mediocrity. His philosophy was twisted to serve the ends of the Nazi party in Germany and became the justification for the atrocities of the Holocaust as well as the terrible cost of World War 2.

God is NOT dead but millions of us act as if He were. Is this new?  No, it isn’t. David’s song of the 2nd Psalm, acknowledges that our sinful nature resists submission to the living God.  “Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from this slavery.” But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury.” (Psalm 2:1-5, NLT)

As I look across this nation it appears to me, that for many, in essence, God is dead. “I will follow my own will” is the rallying cry for sexual license, for greed, for discrimination, for abortion rights, for racism, and so many other issues. The old line that ‘might makes right’ is now accepted truth. Power is no longer seen as a sacred trust, it is now pursued so that those holding it are able to force an agenda with no external restraint coming from Heaven. The social, political, and moral anarchy in our land is, I believe, a direct result of rejecting God and chasing self-fulfillment above all. (Please do not stop reading here!)

But, it is too easy to rail on the culture, to point out the sins of society while ignoring our own choices. Christian, we need to start much closer to home, examining our own lives.

Have you killed God? Of course, neither you nor I can actually ‘kill’ the Lord of Glory, but we can think, act, and live as if He were dead. We may hold memories of Him, even keep the customs that celebrate Jesus, without really serving Him, without bowing our will to His. Faith is not really faith if it just sentiment or tradition. James, in his letter to us, uncompromisingly calls for action aligned with our claim to faith. “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” (James 2:17-18, NIV)  “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:7-10, NIV)

Christian, let’s become true disciples of Jesus, heart and mind submitted to His will, our highest aim to know, serve, and love Him. And, He will LIVE in us!

Here is a word from the Gospels. Lord, speak to my heart.

Jesus says,  “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:15-17, NIV) “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23, NIV) “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:26-27, NIV)


Build My Life

(Jesus, our solid Foundation, our Savior, our Lord)

Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett © 2016 Martin, Karl Andrew (Admin. by Arkyard Music Services Limited) Kaple Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing) Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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