My daughter Matalyn is taking a philosophy class. Nietzsche is on deck.
While everyone who knows me or follows me on social media clearly understands I am a Jesus Freak, her assignment this week was to write a paper on the believability of Nietzche's statement "God is Dead". I believe it is good to challenge our beliefs and understand what those who oppose us believe.
Here is my two cents.
“God is dead,” implies the idea that the existence of God has ended or there has been an end for the creator that has been held in faith from so many people for so many centuries. This is not exactly true. Nietzsche’s statement expressed more of a fear of that the spiritual connection between God and his people, his followers, was gone. I don’t believe that his statement is believable, but rather, I believe that “God is dying”
To Christians, (and other monotheistic religions) God is the source of all moral authority. In May 2017, Gallup released a poll that stated that 81% of Americans think the overall state of moral values in the country is only “fair” or “poor”. That is a seven year low. 77% feel that the country’s morals are “getting worse”. If God is the source of all morality and our culture is in a moral decline, God is dying.
It’s not hard to agree with the thought that God is dying based on our cultural degradation, and seemingly increasing individualistic culture that spirituality is severely declining. Religious orientation implies some commitment to a larger group or organization.
Belonging to a religious group means following its beliefs and practices, which can be difficult in a cultural environment favoring personal choice and individual freedom. Religion often involves respect for authority, and Americans are now less likely to respect authorities such as the government, schools, or even the medical establishment. So based on that truth, God is dying.
God is compassionate. It is evident that our cultural divide in the recent months has brought out the worst in people. Yes, there has been some good. But a recent study from Michigan State University show’s America’s empathy is on decline. We are now number 7 in the world. Volunteering is down, bullying is up, and those who will never marry increases. Lack of empathy shows not only in the political arena, but permeates far beyond. God is dying.
God is love. Love means having a concern for others and wanting the best for them. Making sure they are cared for, have the proper needs fulfilled, and are able to cope despite the circumstances of life. Love means sharing, compromise, giving, and honesty along with many other righteous attributes of a so-called religious decree. And regardless of the book used to reach the creator, all people should have it within themselves to show and practice concern for others.
America has faltered and given way to hatred. Hate crimes and race differences are the focus, terrorism (domestic and foreign), war, violence, lust, sex, jealousy, greed, envy, spite, division, and most of all money, which fuels all the above. God is dying.
So no, I don’t believe that God is dead is a believable statement. Why? Because as in poor health as God is, there remains hope that a return to moral authority, respect for authority, empathy and love can make a comeback. And beyond hope there are signs every day, all around that if God was real and He is what Christians claim, he certainly is not dead. He is surely alive, He’s just not feeling well.