Andrew Brown, from the UK’s Guardian newspaper, has written a short article asking “How do religions die?”
Obviously, he writes from the perspective of an Atheist, believing that all religions are passing fads which come and go with the ages.
“If religions are born, they must also be able to die.” he says.
One interesting approach he takes in attempting to answer the question is to “think in terms of gods dying, rather than religions”
With this assertion, he posits that when a God is no longer worshipped in any form, the religion he/she embodies dies.
The question that Andrew’s article raises in my mind is: “What if there is a God who exists even if no one worships him or believes in him?”
Does a true, living God require people to believe in him for him to exist?
The Christian God, claims to have existed since before the beginning of all things:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:1-3
And indeed, the God of the Bible passed through milennia when no one at all worshipped him or knew anything very much about him. Before Abraham’s time, no one that we know of in pre-history had created any sort of organised religion devoted solely to worshipping the creator of the world described in the Bible. People instead made religions up and worshipped stones and images of created things, rather than acknowledging the one who had actually created the world.
Speaking through the prophet Isaiah God says:
“This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let them foretell what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
A little later, speaking about how a man uses a tree, he goes on to say:
15 It is used as fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”
It’s funny, isn’t it? The God described in the Bible would agree with Andrew Brown’s article: Religions rise based on the delusions of men and therefore die because they have no basis in truth or in fact.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was indeed a living God who was real and not a lie. A God who didn’t need men to worship him in order to have self-validation.
I worship that God. His name is Jesus Christ.