God’s Not Dead
We recently watched the Philosophical movie of the above title. It depicts a young man in a typical state university taking a required philosophy class where the professor was extremely atheist & determined to show his class that God IS dead. The young Christian man takes the Profs. challenge to show the evidence that Profs. position is wrong. Well it was a very interesting & penetrating movie, maybe a little dramatized for effect. But I got an EXTRA kick from this movie because 40 years ago I was in nearly the same situation in real life. Only the philosophy professor was my boss.
John M. was an active duty Army Chaplain of United Methodist background. I was the Chap. Assistant. We were in an isolated Hawk missile battalion in Key West, Florida. Since he had a Master’s degree also in Philo., he was paid by the local college to teach the Philo. class to soldiers needing that class. I studied the required books & positions of philosophy, & wrote a paper or two. But even though I was a new Christian at that time I noticed some of his extremely liberal beliefs. I asked direct (&probably blunt) questions on basic Bible doctrines which he simply didn’t believe. I now know that working with him was a “Divine Appointment” for both of us. For me God intended to stimulate my thinking – for J. M. God put a saved believer under his atheist nose. Here are some of his statements that I have reflected on for the past 40 years.
-- “I don’t want to cut my head off.” That is intellectual pride which blocks many from making a stand for the Bible & Gospel of Christ.
-- “You are all O.K. as you are.” We gave many soldier retreats/functions where movies, talks, testimonies, barbecues, etc. were done for morale support. His “all O.K.” statements were a direct contradiction of New Testament teaching.
-- “I don’t disbelieve it.” Philosophers typically ask questions more than holding blunt positions of unbelief on any subject.
-- “I don’t want to defend God.” Well, that is exactly what the paid professional minister should be doing. All Christians should make a stand, but the leader especially should defend Biblical positions & truths with a passion because they ARE on a mission.
-- “You are a mess Fred.” and – “My retarded assistant. . .” While working w/J.M. God gave me a premium revelation of Jesus C. see link 7 “I Saw The King”.
-- Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.” - 2 Timothy 3:12-13 “Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.” See link 57 “Imposters”.
The movie “God’s Not Dead” depicted the philosopher & the challenger as “nose to nose” & toe to toe”, but it just wasn’t like that with me & my chaplain boss. We actually had a good team ministry, AND something like professional friendship. Surprisingly, he allowed me to choose many of the ministry type films we presented to soldiers (some showings over 100 in attendance.) He even allowed me to speak & give testimony of divine miracles & visions I’d had. His understanding of spirituality – we invented God – made him open to the conservative viewpoint. And I do believe he was on trial by the Holy Spirit of God, and if so he failed, because after 2 years he did fire me. But God gave me a better assignment elsewhere. P.T.L.
Well truly “God’s Not Dead”. My experience before J.M. & since has been “full” of God because He blesses those who seek Him, and we have. See Lamentations 3:25-27. The Methodist church has entered into decline due to its liberalness, and last time I talked to J.M. he seemed cold & unfriendly, probably due to reading “Concerning Quicksand”, link 17 one of my earliest Gospel-notes dealing with rank unbelief.
My conclusion is this. Biblical Faith & seeking God has its rewards. My last 40 years have been a blessed adventure. The philosophy crowd & liberals work hard to deny God & Christianity, and appear to be lost & without God’s blessing. It’s easy to avoid that hopelessness – Choose Jesus, He is alive. Avoid hell at all costs – I’ve heard it will be hot down there . . . See also “Waxing Philosophical” link 67.
Many other interesting Titles: www.gospelnotes.net – index is link 1 * * F. J. Stone * *