Menu Close

When God Dies

god is dead

Repost from 2015. Edited, rewritten, and corrected.

For those of us who spent a significant part of our lives in the Christian church, our eventual defection from Christianity was an important and traumatic event in our lives. People who are still devoted followers of Jesus grossly underestimate the travail people go through when they finally come to a place where they realize God is Dead.

For years we sang praises to God. We prayed and read God’s sacred Word. We devoted our time, talent, and money to the advancement of God’s kingdom.

We were not nominal believers. When the doors of the church were open, we were there. For those of us who were pastors, everything was secondary to our devotion to the work of the ministry. With great gusto we sang, “Souls for Jesus is our battle cry. Souls for Jesus is our battle cry. We never will give in while souls are lost in sin. Souls for Jesus is our battle cry.”

When we sang songs like All to Jesus I Surrender, we meant it. No part of our lives was untouched by our zeal, love, and devotion to Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

When evangelists called for people to come forward to pray, we were the first people down front on our knees before God.

We counted the cost and Jesus was worth it. We were, in every way, true-blue, on-fire, Holy Ghost-filled, sanctified slaves of Jesus.

The Bible said that we were the Bride and Jesus was the Bridegroom. We were happily married to Jesus. He was our best friend, our confidante, and lover. No one compared to Jesus. He was the sum of our existence.

And then one day, perhaps years of days, we found ourselves separated or divorced from the God we had loved and served. Irreconcilable differences were the official cause of our divorce.

The journey . . . We spent so much time talking about our destination that we spent little time discussing our journey. Now, all we seem to talk about is the journey we are on.

The journey takes us away from all that is familiar. All the trappings of our life with God become more distant as we walk, perhaps run, farther and farther away.

For many of us, we eventually reached a place where, to our utter surprise, we found out that God was dead.

Few ponder this thought without shedding tears and lamenting the loss.

Well-meaning Christians earnestly implore us to trace back our steps to that place where we lost our first love. They tell us God will not chase us, but if we will only return home our marriage can be saved and all will be forgiven.

But it is too late.

For us, the God of Christianity is dead, and like all of the many ideas shaped by human hands, this God can’t be resurrected from the dead.

We lament what we have lost, but we are hopeful about that which we have gained.

It took the death of God for us to realize that life, this life, is worth living.

We refuse to surrender one more moment of time to a God made by humans; a deaf, dumb, and blind God who only exists in the imaginations of men who can’t bear the thought of this life being all there is.

But what about the God that is not made by man?

For the atheist, such a God does not exist. All gods are human inventions.

For the agnostic, for the deist, God remains a possibility, but in practice, even this God shows little or no life.

So on we go down an uncertain, but exciting, road.

Who knows what the future may hold. With no holy book, preacher, or God to lead the way, we are left with a wide-open road littered with the potholes of uncertainty. Uncertainty may, at times, cause us to fear, but we are also excited about the possibilities uncertainty brings.

Some day, perhaps today, tomorrow, or twenty years from now, we will face the ugly, unwelcome specter of death. As the COVID-19 virus stalks the human race, death seem all too close and real for us all.

Will we go to the grave with as much certainty as a person who believes that a life of eternal bliss awaits all who love God?

Will we be tempted, as our breath grows labored, to offer a feeble prayer to the God who died?

Will our final moments be those of integrity and commitment to what we said we believed?

Will we prove in death that what we believed was good enough to live by and good enough to die by?

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

49 Comments

  1. Avatar
    The DutchGuy

    Well Bruce, whenever my time is up, if I copout at the last breath, and ask God for acceptance, I won’t worry. God I
    believe will value my honesty over the dishonesty of any hypocrite.

  2. Avatar
    Silence of Mind

    I have seen God face to face and lived. Since then, I have seen God in science. I developed a mathematical equation I call, The God Equation, based on the science of biology and the mathematical theory of limits. I see God in the study of physics and especially is molecular biology.

    Science screams that God exists. And so does mathematics.

    The reasoning, science literate mind cannot help but understand that God exists.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      No man has seen God at any time . . . John 1:18

      A God or your peculiar God?

      Welp, I and others on this site have “reasoning, science literate minds,” and we don’t see a deity at all — especially the God of the Christian Bible.

      • Avatar
        Silence of Mind

        Bruce, Apostle John spent his entire adult life seeing God; first Jesus, and then all of his visions while he lived on Patmos. Also, the Hebrews under Moses saw God all the time, for years on end. Revising your interpretation of John 1:18 may be in order since it does not jive with the rest of the Bible.

          • Avatar
            Silence of Mind

            Bruce, why would a Bible contradiction be my problem? Atheists feast on supposed Bible contradictions. I couldn’t care less. I am just a man who has seen what he has seen and learned what he has learned.

    • Avatar
      GeoffT

      Silence of Mind, I’d love to see your equation about god! Incidentally, during your ‘meeting’ with god did you learn anything? His name, for example, or does he just go by ‘God’. Did he impart any mind boggling information that could help the world? Or provide any tips on how Biden might beat Trump so as to avoid dragging the US into an ever deepening abyss? Or how to change the make up of the Supreme Court so as to re establish a constitutional right to abortion?

      Is he even a ‘he’?

      • Avatar
        Silence of Mind

        Geoff, I published The God Equation at my Word Press site years ago. I’ll look it up so I can send you a link. Do you have a Word Press or other destination where I can send it. I don’t feel right using Bruce’s website for personal communication. Thanks.~ SOM

        • Avatar
          GeoffT

          No I don’t know anything about Word Press, though I’ve visited your blog (the one where one of your headers is “Atheists are disgusting”) and I can’t find anything there. I don’t see your link as being personal communication. If you have an equation that proves God then I suspect all readers would be interested.

          Incidentally I have checked out a mathematical equation proving god by Kurt Gödel but it’s more a demonstration of the power of modern mathematics working in conjunction with modern computers, and less a serious challenge to those who doubt god’s existence. I can mathematically prove that 1=0 but that’s just an example of the manner in which equations can trip you up if you aren’t constantly vigilant, and as most people aren’t fluent in the language of mathematics it’s easy to do.

          • Avatar
            Silence of Mind

            Geoff, There are mathematical proofs, but in science, math is language that expresses relationships. My God Equation uses the biological concept of order to make a statement of what God is. In English the The God Equation reads: the limit of x at x equals infinity equals God, where x = order.

            God speaks life into non-living matter through shapes, bonds and code in biomolecules. With our digital electronics mankind speaks his intelligence into silicone chips with shapes, bonds and code. This is one example of how man expresses himself as an image of God.

          • Avatar
            Sage

            Wow. That is the proof? Even my math addled brain laughs at that one. There is a lot of assumption built into that proof.

            So…let me fix your “proof” for you based on my own observations: the limit of x at x equals infinity equals God equals the Great Glittery Blue Unicorn where x = order.

          • Avatar
            GeoffT

            Maths maybe expresses relationships, but only where there’s a known quantity with which to relate. It can’t describe relationships with factors that may not even exist. I’m not saying that unknowns can’t be introduced into equations, but only where there’s a tangible effect from the unknown factor, and the equation tests the ability of the unknown factor to fit a possible solution. God equations make far too many assumptions to be anything other than contrivances.

      • Avatar
        Silence of Mind

        Yes, George, for you to maintain your faith in atheism, it is absolutely necessary for me to be a liar.

        Your strong rebuke means that you are as locked into your faith in atheism as an evangelical is locked into his religious faith.

        Both worldviews require unquestioning faith and strict adherence to fundamental dogma, no questions permitted.

        • Avatar
          George

          SOM, I am not an atheist. For lack of a better label, I am more of a deist, or Ietsist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ietsism

          Bruce graciously lets me post on his blog because he knows I have no criticism of his honestly held beliefs (or lack thereof).

          I said the sinner’s prayer many years ago. Unfortunately for you, I was raised in the buckle of the Bible belt so I know the Bible from Genesis to Maps.

          The Bible states that “No one has seen God.” It states in other places that people have seen God. In other words, it contradicts itself. There are many more such contradictions.

          Ergo, the Bible is not trustworthy, but your cognitive dissonance doesn’t allow you to see this. It only takes one white crow to prove that not all crows are black.

          • Avatar
            George

            I wonder how someone like SOM can have proof beyond the shadow of a doubt that he’s wrong, yet denies it.

            Then again, I keep forgetting that you can’t convince a dogmatist. They only change when they use their noggins. Darn it, I forgot again. I’m done. I won’t answer this scared rabbit anymore, EVEN if he accuses me of being an evangelical.

    • Avatar
      Ben Berwick

      The question, as always, has to be ‘what version of God?’ After all, anyone could argue that what you saw through your science work is the manifestation of any given version of God.

      • Avatar
        Silence of Mind

        Ben, There is only one version of God. The ancient Greeks began the first rational discussion of God. On the other hand, what the Hebrews knew of God, they learned through revelation.

        Since atheists, by definition, do not accept revelation, may I suggest a deep dive into ancient Greek philosophy?

        • Avatar
          Ben Berwick

          If I asked a devout Muslim as to the true version of God, they would argue, as piously and doggedly as you do now, that the only truth to be found would be found in the Quran. If a Muslim saw God through science, they would argue it was their version (which to them, would be the only truth).

          Hence the problem. Every denomination of every faith holds absolutely steadfast to the idea that they and they alone have the truth. They obviously can’t all have it. What makes you right, and everyone else wrong?

          • Avatar
            Silence of Mind

            Ben, You are trying to pit one faith against another. Nearly all the replies I get from atheists are based on religion even though atheists do not believe in religion and I do no offer a religious argument unless asked.

            Are you able to have a conversation about God without bringing up religion or quoting the Bible?

          • Avatar
            Sage

            So..Silence…you want to talk about religion with atheists but dont want them to refer to religion in their arguments…..hmmmmm

            I see that you a very good at setting the parameters for debate. That is very convenient.

            You claim evidence but bring no evidence. You see god in science but can’t quantify the claim. You claim some great formula to prove god exists, but can’t remember it, which seems odd because proving god exists is kind of a big deal. You talk a lot, but have nothing but anecdotes and opinions as “proof”. You want to talk about religion but not hqve religion used to counter your rguments.

            The only conclusion I can reach is you just like to argue for the sake of argument.

    • Avatar
      Matilda

      SOM, my mum’s generation would do an eye-roll at some folks weird words or actions and say, ‘Hmmm. too much cheese for supper again.’ My peers said, ‘I see you’ve partaken of the wacky-backy again.’
      ????Maybe off your meds or too many shrooms???? Do tell us!!!…….

    • Avatar
      ObstacleChick

      Silence, please do share your mathematical equation with us. My husband is a mathematician, and he would love to peruse this. I work with a,lot of scientists, and we would all be interested in this information as well. Please share! There are an unlimited number of deities possible in the universe, so it would be helpful to have the tools to narrow down which is the correct one. You’d be doing a great service to all creatures in the universe.

    • Avatar
      The DutchGuy

      “Silence”, I enjoy good word smithing and whether you made complete good sense or not, you wrote dang good. But geez! “Science screams God”? Reasonable minds may disagree depending on how you meant it.

      You reminded me of Max Ehrmann’s words in his Desiderata: “Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be”. I submit “God” doesn’t have to the man-made magical, angry, vengeful omniscient , omnipotent, actual human-like supernatural personality that religions worship. If you must have God, it can be, as Ehrmann wrote; “whatever you conceive Him to be. “Whatever floats your boat” as my Niece Sue eloquently commented re: her Sister’s Evangelism..

      And thanks for somehow reminding me of Desiderata. It did me good to listen to and read it again. It quiets my negative emotions, calms my fears, angers, resentments, despairs, jealousies, etc. It even seems to ease my aches and pains a bit. The old Les Crane recording is on Youtube. I recommend it.

      And so, “Silence of Mind”, “Go placidly amid the noise and haste”, as will I.

      • Avatar
        Silence of Mind

        Dutch, I studied biotechnology under atheists. And I presented by God Equation before my peers (students) and our professor. The mere mention of the word “God” in a college classroom nearly caused a riot.

        There was no scientific curiosity. And anyone who may have been interested was bullied into silence.

        My point is that you cannot see something if you refuse to look at it. And you can’t find something if you aren’t looking for it.

        In the spirit of the ancient Greeks I look at everything. And I see God in science because I am looking, and I know what to look for.

        • Avatar
          GeoffT

          How on earth do you know that you studied what is clearly an out and out scientific subject under atheists? It has no relevance and the only reason you know is because you are a religious nut who insists on bringing superstitious nonsense into everything he does. I doubt any of your co students or professors had the least interest in your beliefs, and rightly saw no benefit to including them. I have never heard any argument that persuaded me in any way: in fact, quite the reverse, in that I see the weakness in every such argument as evidence against god/gods. To claim that there’s a mathematical equation capable of proving God is rather like claiming there’s an equation that shows strawberries taste better than raspberries.

    • Avatar
      Sage

      ooo, Vision comparison time! I can make a similar claim.

      I have been in the very presence of god. It is an experience I had as an adult, while wide awake, in prayer, in the middle of the day, and in the presence of other people who did not see this vision. Even spiritually transported into gods presence where where I would shave died except god let me live. It is as a very long experience, but in earthly time happened in mere seconds.

      I can even tell you I left that experience sinless.

      Which lasted for a month or so before god apparently got tired and moved on. And in spite of a relentless effort to get closer to god, understand deeper, do what god wanted, including denying th very core of my existence. (something you have no way of comprehending unless you are gay or trans). But god was gone, apparently off to better things than hanging out with an abomination.

      But I still saw god in everything and still persevered. Run the good race, right? But the more I learned and studied, the more i realized the Bible has many issues, and Christian belief changes as time passes, and god stands by silently while bad things are done in gods name.

      So, yeah, good for your anecdotal experience and good for my anecdotal experience…so they can cancel each other out. Neither of these real experiences can be used to declare this god does or does not exist.

      All I want in the end is for Christians to do whatever they want with their religious belief and leave the rest of us out of it. Stop judging or telling me how to live or act or think or dress or exist or whatever. I am way better off without this Christian god.

      • Avatar
        George

        All I want in the end is for Christians to do whatever they want with their religious belief and leave the rest of us out of it. Stop judging or telling me how to live or act or think or dress or exist or whatever. I am way better off without this Christian god.

        That would be nice, but you’ve got that irritating Great Commission (so called), that makes ’em stick their noses in everybody else’s business. If only they’d keep to themselves. But they’ve got their marching orders (no-doubt inserted in the Bible by church elites who don’t want to give up their lobsters and ribeyes).

      • Avatar
        Silence of Mind

        Sage, True that. But I am not trying to bamboozle anyone. What I say is true. I was on a mountain top praying Rosary to the Virgin Mary, and God presented Himself to me.

        I told that to a Catholic priest and he had the same reaction as you.

  3. Avatar
    Karuna Gal

    SOM’s avatar is “The Thinker,” the famous sculpture by Rodin. It was supposed to be part of “The Gates of Hell” piece, a figure contemplating all the damned souls around him. An interesting avatar choice – you’d think he’d pick something a bit more celestial, having seen God and all that.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thinker

  4. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Karuna–Rodin is one of my artistic heroes. I have never left the city of Paris without visiting the museum dedicated to him. That said, I find it ironic, as you do, that SoM would choose “The Thinker” as his avatar.

    And, like the other commenters, I would love to see that equation even if my mathematically-challenged self wouldn’t understand it. SoM, or whoever came up with it, should get a call from the Nobel committee. Or is he a schoolyard bully or “mean girl” chanting “Nyah, nyah, nah-nah, nyah, I know something and I’m not going to tell you!”

    As for Nietzsche: If he had been an ancient Athenian, would he have declared “Zeus is dead?” Or would he have said “The gods are dead?” (If he had, he might’ve suffered the same fate as Socrates!)

  5. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    SOM, so, do you really find atheists disgusting ? While I’m not atheist myself, I do know some e who are. They’re not disgusting at all. If you truly feel this way, why are you bothering with this blog, then ?? Personally,while I am still a believer in Jesus,and I have my reasons, I consider American Christianity to be detestable. The latest dust-up with them, is controversy over NAR, and I’m so glad to not be near such mental cases like the Apostolic Lighthouse, and Assembly of God groups anymore!! They give God a bad name. This craziness is one reason why there’s more atheism currently. Have you ever given this situation any thought ?

    • Avatar
      George

      SOM, so, do you really find atheists disgusting ? While I’m not atheist myself, I do know some e who are. They’re not disgusting at all. If you truly feel this way, why are you bothering with this blog, then ??

      (answer) So that he can get the nonbelievers saved.
      (translation) So that he can (1) keep them from being barbecued by the bloodthirsty god of the Bible, and (2) sure up his illogical evangelical footing by converting some straying heretics and apostates.

      I’m not an atheist either, but it so difficult understand such cognitive dissonance. People like SOM should be honest and just admit that hellfire evangelism is baloney. The idea of a royally pissed off creator god is stupid.

      • Avatar
        Silence of Mind

        George, Admittedly my language is usually a bit strong and obnoxious. From my understanding of history, all civilizations rose up around religion. No religion = no civilization. So my objection to atheism is intense because if everyone were atheist, modern civilization would not be possible.

        • Avatar
          GeoffT

          I’ll not argue that religion wasn’t important to the advances of civilisations over the centuries, but it didn’t happen for the reasons you might think. The reality is that societies could only progress if there were people who were educated, literate, with time to be able to engage in endeavours that released them from the day to day grind of survival. The only places where this could happen, by and large, were in bodies associated with religion, be it monasteries or universities. The Venerable Bede devised a working calendar and shone in linguistics and history during the time he was a monk in Monkwearmouth and Jarrow monasteries. In short, virtually all human learning came about because religious institutions were the only places where it was possible to be fed and housed without having to engage in day to day survival.

          Nowadays the reverse is true. The most important educational establishments throughout the world are secular in nature, and the higher academics progress in modern educational establishments the more likely they are to be atheists. 92% of the most respected scientists in the US (NAS) are atheist or agnostic.

  6. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    I have not seen God and I have not seen the unconsicious mind. Logical fallacy easily follows…Still, the unconscious exists and is at the wheel giving me my worn but sturdy heartbeat, bringing the somatic wars of invading viruses and bacterias to at least some ceasefire, allowing me to rest in its fullness while I sleep… and so forth. We need the God similar (maybe to the one that SoM speaks of) and it does not matter if it is Atheist/Agnostic skepticism or Triune worship. It all came out of the caves perhaps. The idea though of humankind as ‘fallen’ was not invented by the unconscious as God probably was… That brilliant bit (with offering plates) was brought to us by robust business folk!

  7. Avatar
    Jeff Bishop

    “We refuse to surrender one more moment of time to a God made by humans; a deaf, dumb, and blind God who only exists in the imaginations of men who can’t bear the thought of this life being all there is.”

    INDEED.

    Question: Do any other living organisms on this planet, and there are millions, require a “God” to exist?
    Why, O – Why, do humans reject an ‘Earth-Filled” with the evidence of our relationship with this sphere and all things on it and need a “God”? You know, the one that never speaks or answers?

    For me, the partial story (reality) of our existence, that is still being uncovered by science, as to the origin of this planet and the things that live on it, is a far more remarkable story, and worthy of greater adulation, than the so called messianic god man that was impaled on wood 2,000 years ago.

    • Avatar
      George

      “We refuse to surrender one more moment of time to a God made by humans; a deaf, dumb, and blind God who only exists in the imaginations of men who can’t bear the thought of this life being all there is.”

      A-FUCKING-men!

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Discover more from The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Bruce Gerencser