I know that some Christians are highly opposed to watching any movie related to zombies, vampires, witches, ghosts, and demons. I typically avoid these types of shows and movies as well. Most of the time they seem to be filmed for shock value and have what I consider to be excessive and unnecessary sex, gore, and violence with little to none redeeming value.
However, I have found a lot that I enjoy about AMC’s The Walking Dead, which is based on the Image Comics series with the same name.
Here’s what I enjoy about the show – the moral dilemmas.
If one of us must die to save the rest, who should it be and why?
When is it appropriate to kill someone else? If you know letting the person live will likely lead to many more deaths, murders in fact, murders within your own family, do you let the person go! An entire episode dealt with essentially a debate about this topic with arguments from both sides.
The show raises questions about government authority. If our entire governmental system were to crash, who makes the laws, who enforces those laws, what laws from before still apply and which ones no longer do?
All of this is connected to the value of humanity. The one character in the show who has consistently fought for the intrinsic value of all humans as being equal has been the Christian pastor, because he of course knows that we are all created in the image of God. He again and again calls people to look to the good that God is working out through the zombie apocalypse.
As fictional as a zombie apocalypse might be, the scenarios come down to what we all face in our day to day lives on much smaller levels – provision and safety for our families – are we selfless or selfish – do we seek to love God and love our neighbor – or do we seek to save our own lives?
Spoiler [this paragraph break only] Once the Christian pastor is removed from the show, the group quickly begins to dissolve into us first, and kill everyone else mode. Maybe rightfully so in the scenarios presented thus far, but there is no hesitation any longer!
And there are of course some really good quotes one can pull from the show. Here’s one that stuck out to me:
“That’s the fear, right? People who are living are haunted by the dead. We are who we are; we do what we do, because they’re still here – in our heads, in the forests, the world is haunted now, and there’s no getting out of that. Not until we’re dead.”
Isn’t this true for us, here, in this world, our very real world not overrun by zombies. We are who we are and we do what we do because of those who went before us – the dead if you will. Why do we sin? Because Adam sinned and his sin has been passed on to all of us (Romans 5). Why do I do the things I do, why am I the way I am? Largely, it’s a result of my ancestors (the dead). I am in very much the same way as my father and mother, and I’m sure they are very much who they are because of their father and mother, and it can keep going back down the line. Genesis shows this from the very beginning – just look at the patterns that flowed from Cain to his descendents compared to those that flowed from Seth down to his. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – if you will.
Also, aren’t we haunted by the dead? It’s always in front of us, death. Those who have died that we have known, are always in our heads, in our thoughts. They remind us of our own mortality.
This world is truly haunted! Is it not? At least, as it is now, in its fallen state due to sin! And there is no escaping it. Not until we die. At which point there is an escape, but that escape only comes to those who have died in Jesus Christ our Lord.