Friedrich Nietzsche GOD IS DEAD
Now, I’m going to talk and tell you a little story.
You’ve all heard of the philosopher, he died in 1900s though, you must have learned him in school. Nietzsche the great philosopher, Nietzsche who everybody accused of being an atheist, Nietzsche who was kind of a fiery strong opinionated one at a time when everything was in turmoil.
Now, this is at the end of the 1800s, and Nietzsche was a great controversial teacher. And Nietzsche had a very, very difficult life, because he had mental illness along with his brilliance, and he was slowly going out of his mind, you see. And one of his stories I’d like to tell you, because I think it’s very appropriate.
When everybody was complaining to Nietzsche, you know, “
Why don’t you live like other people? Why aren’t you like other people? Why don’t you teach like other people?” and on and on, Nietzsche would just tell this one story and the story goes like this.]
There was in Germany, in a kind of a farming section, there was a little village. And the village was full of ordinary little working class people doing their daily tasks and raising children. And at night they would all come out and they would all sit around and they’d discuss.
And they talked about everything: the gossip and the bad news and the good news and this and that and who was sick and who was a pain in the neck and who they’d like to get out of that village, and blah, blah, just like it was a little village, you see.
And it’s very important to them, but if anybody else went into that village, nobody would care about it.
Well, someone did come into that village.
One night they were all sitting around chatting and sharing all these gossipy stories and everything, and there appears at the corner of the village a naked man, totally naked.
And he’s got fire in his eyes and he hasn’t combed his hair for maybe ten, twenty or thirty years. And he runs into the village and he starts screaming at the top of his voice. “God is dead! God is dead!”
And the people at first are really frightened, you see. And then they begin to see that, well, he’s harmless, he doesn’t have anything, because he’s got no clothes on.
So what happens then is they begin to smile, and then they begin to laugh, you know, because he’s kind of funny.
So he’s running all around the water pool in the centre of the village. And he’s running around and he jumps into the water and he jumps up on top of the landing.
And he raises his hand and he says, “God is dead and you have killed him!”
Think of that one now, the people sitting there: “God is dead and you have killed him.”
That’s not atheism. That’s means we’ve taken a God, a good God, a true God, a wonderful God, and we’ve made Him something that makes the village run better, or that makes everybody feel safer or not so worried as…
What Jesus was preaching, remember, Jesus came and he said, “I have come to make a new world. I have come to light fire on the earth and I cannot leave it till it is ignited.”
That’s the end of the story.
Go home and think about this, though. It’s a very powerful story. Many, many people roam around the world and they don’t know anything about anything.
Are these villagers terrible people?
Are they angry people?
No, they’re quite happy people.
Well, what’s wrong with these villagers?
And I’ll tell you what’s wrong. This is what Nietzsche wants you to remember.
Think of the scene now: this poor man is out of his mind, screaming and yelling, he’s naked, he has nothing.
If one of them in the village, just one of them, went over to the man and put their arms around him and said, “Sir, come to my house and I will feed you,” that would be the difference between the rule of Jesus and the rule of the village.
And that is what Jesus was up against when he went to that little village. He was going to take away the things that they felt they couldn’t live without.
And what couldn’t they live without?
It wasn’t love. They could live without love. It wasn’t caring for each other. They could live without that.
What couldn’t they live without?
They couldn’t live without giving their whole lives, giving every ounce of their person, not to just one or two people, but to make that village a place, a village, that would be a house of God, and that little naked men could be received and brought in and cared for and loved.
And what would that do?
That would make these people the kind of people that Jesus had in mind when he came into this world and said, “I have come not for me to imitate you, but for you to imitate me.
“And if you come with me, leave everything behind and come with me, then we will fashion the world that everybody dreams of, a world of peace and love and caring, and where little naked men do not scream out anymore, “Where is God? God is dead.” They will say, “In this village, God is everywhere.”