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God Is Not 'the Man Upstairs' or 'a Cool Dude'

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


It is interesting to know that there are more than 100 names for God in the Bible. Each name of God reveals something about Him, His attributes, and what He does. God’s names show the many ways God helps us in our times of need.

Whatever we need, there is a name of God for it such as the following ones:

  • Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
  • Jehovah Rapha (The Lord Who Heals You)
  • Jehovah Nissi (The Lord Is My Banner)
  • Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
  • Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
  • Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
  • Jehovah Raah (The Lord Is My Shepherd)
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
  • Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)

"The Man Upstairs"

Perhaps you have heard people refer to God as “the man upstairs.” Maybe you have used the expression yourself. However, God should never be reduced to just the man upstairs.

When people refer to God as “the man upstairs,” they reveal that they have no concept of who God is or what He does. It is also an indication that they have no intimate relationship with God. Otherwise, they would have a personal sacred name for God.

There are over 100 names for God in the Bible. Each one indicates God's nature and His role in our lives. Every name is sacred with a measure of reverence for God. It is so sad when people can't think of at least one of those names.

When people reduce God to "the man upstairs," they are proving that they know little or nothing at all about God. They don't know who God really is. They think of God as just a man and one who lives upstairs in the apartment above them.

  • The psalmist thought of God being more than "the man upstairs." According to Psalm 50:21, God sets the people straight and let them know He is not just a man. He said, "You thought that I was one like yourself.”
  • In the midst of Job's suffering, he acknowledged that God is more than just a man. Job said, “For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together” (Job 9:32).
  • Balaam told the people, "God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19)

Rather than referring to God as “the man upstairs,” use one of the hundreds of other names for God.

The talented country singer Garth Brooks sings a song, titled “Unanswered Prayers,” in which he referred to God as “the man upstairs.” That proves that it is human nature to neglect God's sacred attributes and think of Him as just a man.

While it is true that the Bible sometimes describes God with human traits, like having hands or eyes, it is not true that God is just a man upstairs.

"A Cool Dude"

I have heard Christians refer to God as being a "cool dude." I have even heard ministers preaching sermons from the pulpit and calling God "a cool dude." It is offensive to some people because God is more than just "cool." He certainly is not a "dude."

It is acceptable to call Kanye West, Drake, or Chance the Rapper a cool dude. However, God is so more than that title. God is a sacred and supreme being, and his title deserves more respect. Calling God "a cool dude" minimizes who He is and what He does.

It is a compliment to say a person is cool because it connotes calmness and confidence even under stress. Someone who is cool dresses well, speaks wells, acts well, is accepted by society, and is liked by most people. In fact, a cool dude might even become someone's role model. While those characteristics are acceptable for a man, God's attributes are on a much higher level.


Feel free to call your male friends and your favorite male celebrities "cool dudes." Out of respect for God, use a sacred name for God. After all, you have hundreds to choose from.

Believe like the psalmist and say, "O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:1)

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