The "God Is Dead" Rally

Floyd Chappelear
Woodrow Bedford, Ohio

Mankind continually turns its back upon Jehovah in times of prosperity. As men fare well, they often forsake the God of Heaven who made it all possible. It would seem, to some, that when things go well one has no need for Divine guidance or providence. The fruit of our hands is sufficient unto us, thus, who needs a God?

However, in times of disaster man realizes his condition and often tries to return to the God who formed him. To illustrate the point, consider the nation of Israel. The Jews continually sought for themselves their own peace, their own favors, and their own pleasures. Jehovah who brought them out of bondage was forever forgotten. It can be little wonder that God reacted to them as he did. Note the following:

"Who say to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble." (Jer. 2:27, 28)

The gods of America are fame, wealth, and status. Men can on their own achieve each of these. When we have fashioned unto ourselves such gods, the work of our own hands, where will we turn when we need help? Major disasters (such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and earthquakes) show no favorites. Then man who had amassed wealth is as apt to die in a tornado as is the man who has none. (An historical note: Jay Gould, one of America's richest men, drowned when the Titanic sunk.) Humanly devised gods are of no value when men need real assistance.

Thus we are brought to the problem before us today. Recently the worst earthquake in years struck California. More than two dozen were killed, hundreds were injured, thousands left homeless or with badly damaged homes. Out of this unfortunate disaster came a line that must go down in history as a classic. After the tremors had abated for the most part, Johnny Carson, host of the Tonight Show, had this to say, "I have an announcement to make: the 'God is dead' rally scheduled for tonight has been cancelled." There are no atheists in foxholes; apparently there are none in Earthquake zones, either. Would to God there were none at all.

October 21, 1971