My “God’s Not Dead” Story
Our school took grades 8-12 to see the “God’s Not Dead” movie on Friday. The film was terrific — GO SEE IT! (Pause while I get on my soapbox…The only way to encourage the production of more Christian films is to support the ones that are out. Don’t be cheap and wait until it comes out on Netflix! Save money somewhere else and spend it on a ticket THIS WEEK for this movie! Stepping off soapbox now…)
After the film, several of us teachers talked about our “God’s Not Dead” experiences – especially as it relates to college professors. So I thought I’d share my story with you:
It was my junior year of college, and I was taking a glorious amount of literature courses. While I loved getting to learn about great works from great teachers, I was getting tired of hearing EVERY professor say in EVERY course that the Bible, silly students, is just another work of literature and NO intelligent person would ever build their entire lives around its teachings.
One prof, in particular, made this argument repeatedly and passionately. He was in his 70s, brilliant, and claimed to have attended seminary as a young man. Having studied the Bible, he said, he knew it was full of contradictions and inaccuracies, and felt compelled to let us know that often. “Study it as a companion to great literature, even as great literature itself. But don’t follow its teachings.”
I have to admit – I didn’t have the strength of character the protagonist in “God’s Not Dead” has. Rather than standing up to this professor, I began to wonder if he was right. He, apparently, had spent a lifetime studying scriptures. I had attended a Bible college before going to USF, but that was just two years. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the Bible is just a book. Maybe Christianity really is just a crutch for people who don’t want to face reality.
Like Thomas, I was doubting. Big time. So I prayed and asked God, if he was really there, to show me. Give me a sign, something. I knew my faith should have been stronger, but it wasn’t. I was struggling.
Not long after I prayed that prayer, I sat in class, listening to that prof discuss a biblical allusion found in a Faulkner novel. It was an allusion to the story of David cutting a peice of fabric off Saul’s tunic while Saul was sleeping. I knew that story. I’d read it. As had he, apparently. Further comfirmation of how well he knew the scriptures.
“This story,” the professor said confidently, “can be found in the book of Second Daniel.”
There have been a few times in my life where I have felt the presence of God right next to me. This was one of them. It felt like a hug and a whisper in my ear that “I’m here. I’m real. This man has no idea what he is talking about.” If he doesn’t even know that Second Daniel isn’t in the Bible, he doesn’t know the Bible as well as he claimed. (The story is in I Samuel 24, btw.)
I walked out of that class feeling like a HUGE weight had been lifted, knowing that not only is God not dead, but he loves me and is incredibly gracious. I have served him without a doubt ever since.