God does not exist

Such a statement from one who professes faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, might sound strange. I’ll try to knock some of the strangeness out of it in a few paragraphs.

First of all, my proposition is that God does not exist, and the Bible never said that he did.

Why do I say this? Well, the word ‘exist’ comes from the Latin word ‘exsistere’ which has usages such as ‘become, emerge, proceed, arise, be produced, turn into’. All these words have much more to do with the gods that people make up, and very little to do with the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For example, the gods of ancient  Mesopotamia, according to the ancient texts, once did not exist but emerged from the gathered primordial waters. It was within these eternal waters that the first gods were allegedly formed. From these gods all the other gods were born. The made-up gods of the Sumerians were thought of as existing, that is, as emerging from the stuff of the universe. According to another ancient Mesopotamian account, human beings were formed from the blood of a slaughtered god. So, in the thinking of these ancients, gods and humans both exist from the same stuff. The only difference between gods and humans was the level of power and organisation that particular pieces of stuff (humans, gods or bugs) attained.

The Bible does not speak of the true God in this way. In the Bible, God does not exist, He is. He is the I Am — the uncreated being who, in the beginning, made everything that is not God (namely time, space and stuff). This non-God stuff, God made out of nothing by the power of his word, the Lord Jesus Christ. Against the wrong-headed thinking of sinful people, the Bible tells us that God did not emerge from pre-existing stuff, and it is also clear that we human beings have a very different type of being to that which God has. We exist only because the-God-who-is created us from the stuff that He Himself made in the beginning. God inhabits eternity, but we are creatures of time.

The unhappy tendency that we sinful humans have is to make up gods which resemble ourselves, or we wrongly think that the true God (who is like no other) is just like us (Ps. 50:21). Augustine mocked the ancient Romans for worshiping gods that they could not respect. He notes that any actor who had represented the myth-stories of the gods on stage was regarded by the Romans as too immoral to be a citizen. For the Romans, the gods that they feared were worse than they. These gods emerged from the twisted minds of human beings, The God that the Bible reveals is not like them, or us. God does not exist, He IS.

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