Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's Time To Grow Up, Christian

I thought the recent vampire mania that was mainly brought on by the "Twilight" books and movies was bad enough, luring even so-called "mature" Christians to wait with excited anticipation for the next sequel because of the "romance" that was depicted.   I shouldn't have to point out that it was spiritually unhealthy, demonic and, not to mention, it caused many misguided children and adults to act out the more sinister side of their imaginations by having their teeth surgically altered to reflect pointed fangs, taking on the practice of drinking blood, and actually biting others.

As the old saying goes garbage in, garbage out. 

For the last couple of years, another disturbing fad has been sweeping around the world.  Scores of people, mostly young adults, have embraced a fascination with Zombies, modeling themselves after the gory visage of the "walking dead" who are mysteriously "resurrected" from their graves and, with outstretched arms, stumble through the streets and malls pretending to seek and devour the brains (and other body parts) of the living.  It's a ridiculous trend and large groups of them have popped up everywhere.

To make matters worse, governments in certain countries, including our own, have seized the mania and used it in a tongue-in-cheek manner as a way to prepare society for a national emergency, or a "Zombie Apocalypse."  Precious tax dollars were recently wasted on a campaign initiated by the Department of Homeland Security because of the rash of natural disasters that the United States has experienced in the last decade, enlisting the aid of the Center for Disease Control who jokingly used the phrase to encourage Americans to put together "disaster kits" in the event that another should occur.  Mind you, I see nothing wrong with preparing oneself for an emergency, but when it happens, no one is laughing.

Hollywood continues to pump out low budget, B-rated Zombie movies to "entertain" movie-goers and pad their already bulging pockets with cash from the easily entertained.  Toy store shelves sport Zombie action figures that lure the eyes of children and their imaginations into the occult and darkness.  And there are dozens of websites that shill everything from "Zombie Apocalypse" preparedness books and kits, to the top 10 vehicles that are designed to withstand such an assault. 

Unfortunately, there is also no shortage of the use of the term "Zombie" in Christian literature and Christian blogs whose authors borrow the term "undead" to describe the condition of many of today's churches.  If you're interested in how it's applied to a sermon or exhortation, Google it.   Granted, they are correct in their assumption, but I'm sure that Scripture could provide them with a more eloquent and affective way of describing their sorry state.

On February 11th of this year, a hacker was able to infiltrate a Montana television station and "alert" its viewers that "dead bodies were rising from graves in different counties of the state" and "attacking the living."  It was reported that at least four viewers believed the story and called local police to investigate.
In June of 2012, the Westboro Baptist bunch protested outside Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.  Among those who protested the appearance of Westboro Baptist was a group dressed like Zombies, some holding signs that said, "God loves everyone."  A "bloodied" woman who was interviewed stated, "Jesus wasn't a hateful person.  He loved everybody."   Were their genuine Christians among the protesters?  That's a good question, but it will have to remain unanswered, merely because there was no one there who demonstrated Christ-likeness.  Dressing up like a Zombie and speaking of the Savior is a bit of an oxymoron.  However, if there were true believers present, dressing like a ghoul probably didn't leave much of an impression on Westboro, or alter their ideals, other than to confirm in their depraved minds what they believe and represent.

I could add more of this nonsense, but I think you get my drift.  It's a "brainless" (no pun intended) and Godless activity and I'm not looking forward to the next demonic fad that hits the streets.

Naysayers will tell me that I'm an old stick in the mud, that this new craze is only temporary until the next one comes along, that "kids" are only having fun, and that I should lighten up a little.  I will be the first to admit that as I was growing up, my vivid imagination conjured up various forms of play to entertain me and my friends, and some of it came from the old horror movies we watched at the local theater which, by the way, were tame and almost laughable, compared to the special effects today's Hollywood is capable of producing.  But I was a child then, and what should be ignorant child's play is being acted out in this day and age by adults.  As we physically mature, so should our intellect, reason, and logic.  At least, that's what should happen.  Instead, an alarming number of this coddled and pampered generation refuses to grow up.  They seek after any form of entertainment to fill their vacant lives.  They view the world and their future through the eyes of the Zombie they're pretending to be: fixed, vacuous, mindless, and void of true and meaningful life.  Even professing Christians will say that it's all innocent fun, or that they're able to watch unwholesome television and movies and overlook sinful behavior because, after all, it's just entertainment.  In other words, they are trying to convince us that, while involving themselves in these things, they are capable of separating their hearts and minds from the world and the smut it has to offer.  They must be pretty special, because when I see images and hear things that disturb me, they stick to me like glue.

Is it any wonder that our society and the church is seriously messed up?

If the Apostle Paul was living in the world today, I am confident he would build upon his exhortation to the Corinthians, when he told them, "Brothers, do not be children in your thinking.  Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature."  (1Cor 14:20).  The nonsensical babbling that was occurring in the church at the time, or what is grossly misinterpreted by our charismatic friends as "speaking in tongues," was no less disruptive then us watching today's adults gather to immaturely playact like children.  Their behavior defies any level of maturity, causing me to wonder if they ever will grow up.  Factor in that the source of things like vampires and Zombies rises from the occult, a creation from dark and sinister minds, and have no redeeming quality that can benefit Christians.

When I consider the dire seriousness of mankind's eternal destination, the last thing I want to do is make a joke of it.  The whole notion behind vampires and Zombies, who are the "undead" who rise from their cold, dark graves and are never at rest for eternity unless they are beheaded (or done in by other violent methods), is insidious and flies in the face of the truth of the Gospel.  The trend should be avoided by every Christian who views the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the blessed hope that we also will be resurrected to an eternal life full of rejoicing and peace.  If you don't believe that we should avoid these kinds of fads, check out Google images , and for a real "thrill," these from Zombie fan clubs:  The Last Supper and Zombie Jesus

Pretty offensive for those of us who love Jesus Christ, aren't they?  Do you see the point I'm trying to make?

Without repentance, belief, and faith in the One Who secured reconciliation with the Father and eternal life for us, there are dead men walking the mean streets of today's world, and there certainly will be those in hell who are "undead," and who will stumble blindly in torment for all eternity.  And believe me, it won't be child's play.  There won't be any chance to go home, clean off all the fake gore, and reenter your normal every day routine.  Our departure here in this life means that our souls will leave our earthly bodies, and those who are in Christ will be given a glorified (beautiful, perfect, sinless) body.  But those who remain unbelieving and unrepentant, their bodies will rise from the grave to be reunited with the soul and be cast into utter darkness and torment.  It will be genuine horror, and it will be permanent.  (Rev 20:11-15)

But it doesn't have to be that way.  Jesus Christ purchased our salvation by becoming our substitute and taking upon Himself God's punishment that we deserved for our sinfulness.  He died and then He rose from death.  Not to remain "undead," but to be resurrected unto life so that we also may have true life - and that life, eternal.

"When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."  ~ 1Cor 3:11-12

If you're a Christian reading this, one who still plays dress up, it's time to grow up and forever end your "childish ways."  Stop playacting and start living out your profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

He was serious.  It's time you were, too.



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