God’s not dead! If you have any friends who went to see the original God’s Not Dead movie, this deity-affirming phrase likely appeared in your social media feeds each time Willie Robertson pleaded with the masses to declare their faith to every channel of the digital world.
In recent years, we have witnessed an explosion of Christian-based movies on the market. It used to be that such productions were noticeably afflicted by low budgets. However, someone discovered that there is big money in Christian movies, so the quality has drastically improved. I think this is great. I like to watch movies that are not only clean, but promote a positive message.
Recently I took my family to visit the latest masterpiece of Christian-based cinematography, God’s Not Dead 2. If you saw the original movie, you can imagine that the idea is the same. While in the first, the existence of God is debated in a classroom, the sequel literally places Him on trial in the courtroom.
These movies have given rise to the battle cry of theists everywhere. God’s not dead! We text it, tweet it, make it our status, and the occasional zealous but technically challenged enthusiast may even attempt to dial it into a rotary phone. God’s not dead, and we’re pretty happy about that.
It’s obvious that God is alive. Think about it. There are ample proofs of His existence—so many that the Bible declares that a mark of a fool is the claim that there is no God.
The evidence is everywhere. We are intellectual beings (well, most of us anyway). Where did we get that ability? Apparently from someone who is also intellectual. How about the fact that everything in the universe works together in such intricate detail? Did that just happen, or was it designed? Although we cannot see Him or scientifically prove His existence, the evidence for a Creator is overwhelming.
Even if you don’t subscribe to the claims of the Bible, you have to agree that there is some kind of intellectual and personal force behind the universe. I have listened to many debates between theists and atheists, and I have come to the conclusion that most atheists are actually agnostic, which means they cannot deny that God exists—they just don’t think they can prove it.
The duo of God’s Not Dead movies, while contributing greatly to our culture, exposes something disconcerting about American Christians. It has nothing to do with the movies themselves, but with our response to them.
I wonder how many people who enthusiastically text or post “God’s Not Dead,” but live every day like He has actually somehow met His demise?
We see all the signs that He exists, yet we do not let His existence change our direction. Knowing it and claiming it are not enough. Our knowledge must affect how we live. The real question in our lives should not be “Is God alive?” but “What difference does it make?”
If God is not dead, then He is in charge. We answer to Him and Him alone. So, how does He want us to live? The Apostle Peter gave good advice: “be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15). Because God is holy, we should be, too. Practically speaking, the choices we make should be the choices He would make.
It’s not enough to enthusiastically pronounce that “God’s Not Dead.” We have to live like it. Otherwise it’s merely a cute saying, that, while true, is nothing more the latest religious fad.
This article appeared in the Bremen Enquirer in my column Connections: Relating the Bible to Everyday Life on Thursday, June 9, 2016.