There are several questions that come to mind from this fairly simple comic panel such as “Is it even possible to kill God? And what does it even mean?” (For now, the definition I want to use for killing God is “removing the belief in God from minds and hearts.”)
But remembering that I want to be radically and savagely in search of knowing Real Life Jesus, My Companion In The Way, there’s one question that stands out before the others.
“Which is worse: killing God or warping the image of God?”
Before examining this question, it’s important to define “killing God.” The definition I want to use is “removing the belief in God from minds and hearts.” This is about killing or eliminating ideas and feelings, not about whether or not Jesus really is God and whether or not as God he could die on a cross. (Although these are important questions for another time.)
To an atheist, maybe a person who says “I have killed God in the minds and hearts of people” would be considered a hero because they have propagated what the atheist believes to be truth. A person who says “I have warped the image of God in the minds and hearts of people” would be considered a villain because they have propagated what the atheist believes to be falsehood.
So what about a theist? Wouldn’t the exact opposite be true? The roles of hero and villain would be reversed, right? A theist shouldn’t want anyone to claim that God doesn’t exist or that God is dead, right? Even a warped image of God is better than no image of God at all, right?
But maybe to a theist, a person who says “I have killed God in the minds and hearts of people” would still be considered a hero, not a villain.
Here’s why. Premise One: God can take care of God (Himself or Herself).
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; Acts 17:24-25 (KJV)
If I truly believe that God ultimately has the last word on everything, then He doesn’t need me to defend Him or convince anyone else of His existence or His nature, and if I truly believe that God is perfectly capable of standing up for Himself and making all things new just the way He promised (without any help from me, thank you very much), then I’d better act like it.
An atheist is perhaps a Christian’s best ally, not worst enemy. We can both agree on one big thing: those who perpetuate falsehoods about God are not heroes.
By listening, really listening, to an atheist, a Christian can learn a great deal. Atheists challenge our beliefs, and that can be a good thing since what if we aren’t always right? (Gasp!) And those beliefs that aren’t always right can cause us the most damage in our daily journey in knowing Real Life Jesus.
Premise Two: God is way bigger than my mind can comprehend.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. Isaiah 55:8 (KJV)
So maybe there are some false beliefs about God rattling around in my mind that need to be killed so that I can see Real Life Jesus just a bit more clearly.
Thanks for reading!