Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors. Winner of an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, he is one of the most popular actors of our time. It turns out he’s even more significant—at least in his own mind.
In a recent interview, Freeman was asked, “Do you think there is a God?” His answer: “Do I think there’s a God? Um (pause) yeah.” “You paused,” the interviewer noted. “I paused because I am God.” “Because every man is created in God’s image,” the interviewer replied. Freeman: “Yes or God’s created in my image.”
In an earlier conversation, he explained that God was created by man: “Has anybody ever seen hard evidence? What we get is theories from our earlier prophets. Now, people who think that God invented us think that the Earth can’t be more than 6,000 years old. So I guess it’s a question of belief. My belief system doesn’t support a creator as such, as we can call God, who created us in His/Her/Its image.” He concluded: “So if I believe in God, and I do, it’s because I think I’m God.”
Freeman’s comments are ironic, given his famous role as God in Bruce Almighty. But on the merits, his logic is clearly indefensible. He thinks all theists believe in a young earth, a position that is actually held by only a minority of creationists. And he is convinced that God’s existence is a “question of belief,” as though our “belief system” changes what actually exists. If I don’t believe in Alaska because I’ve never seen it, does my disbelief change its reality?
As a theological assertion, Freeman’s “faith” in himself is easy to refute. But I’m more interested in what it says about our culture. Some 92 percent of Americans say they believe in God. But only half of them, 43 percent of Americans, say they go to church, synagogue, or mosque each week. And if you call these houses of worship and total their actual attendance, it comes to around 23 percent, only one fourth of those who believe that God exists.
Surveys indicate that professing Christians typically mirror the general population in their weekday behavior as well. In other words, while most Americans would reject Freeman’s theology, we seem to follow it in practice. We say we believe in God, but in practice we trust in ourselves. Satan tells us we can “be like God” (Genesis 3:5), and most of us agree.
There’s only one antidote: begin every morning by putting God on the throne of your life. Do this intentionally and consciously. As a fallen person living on a fallen planet, your “default” position is to rule your own life. God is your King each day only if you make him so. Would Jesus say he is your King today?
Dr. Denison’s cultural commentary originally appeared at http://www.denisonforum.org. It has been reposted here with permission of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture.