Is God dead or simply AWOL?

One of the running themes in the TV show Supernatural is that God got tired of us and wandered off to another part of the universe. While this is certainly more postmodern than Nietzsche’s “God is dead,” the idea still upsets a lot of people. Mainly Christians.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize the idea isn’t inconceivable, especially to someone who spent his life immersed in Christian faith and traditions. I don’t believe God did abandon us, but I wouldn’t blame him if he did.

Think about it. The central theme of Christianity is that the divine presence dwelled in human form and allowed himself 1 to be killed unjustly so that we could escape our own guilt. Not only does more than half the world say, “No thank you,” but many of us who don’t have become so unpleasant or noncommittal that the rest of the world can’t help but believe our faith is a fraud.

How many Christians obey Jesus’ injunctions? And I include those who profess that obedience is the first requirement of salvation. Let’s take Jesus’ injunction to not judge others or to criticize the blemishes of others while ignoring the gross deformities of our own, for example. Whenever any of us reads or hears that (including me) the first thing we say is, “That’s right. Those other guys should stop judging people.”

Christianity also teaches that grace replaces judgment for believers. We cling to that promise. Isn’t it unfortunate that our own behavior is so negligent and ungraceful that we convince the rest of the world our faith is little more than sound and fury?

In spite of our protestations to the contrary, if the world doesn’t feel the presence of God in our presence, but instead feels put off by the thought of us, we only have ourselves to blame. Not the devil, liberals, Hollywood, atheists, secular humanists, school system, mass media, advertisers or internet pornographers.

1I say “himself” because gender free language such as “itself” undermines God’s personality. Some would say “herself,” and that would immediately bother others. I could say “themselves” because technically God is a they in modern protestant and catholic theology, but that seems even odder. Of course, the fact that I feel it necessary to even qualify my choice of pronouns in many ways lends credence my thoughts on the matter. back


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