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God, Zombies, and Star Wars

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and suddenly seen God or a passage from the Bible in a whole new way?
| Apr 12, 2013 | No comments

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I watched an episode of “The Walking Dead” a couple weeks ago at the suggestion of a friend. “The Walking Dead” is a story centered on a handful of humans trying to survive in a world that has succumb to a disease that turns people into zombies.

It’s graphic. It’s gory. And, strangely for me, it was very sad.

Half of me was horrified of the zombies. Their decayed bodies, their thirst for living flesh, their pack mentality. The fear that once you are bit, you will become one of them.

Yet there was a part of me that felt sympathy for them. They had no say in becoming zombies. Mothers, wives, children, brothers, husbands. They were people who once had lives. Now they were reduced to shambling undead whose only impulse was to prey upon the living. Chained to a horrifying existence.

I can’t tell you how many times I have read this verse: “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…” Ephesians 2:1 NASB (emphasis mine). But actually seeing the undead on this show made me realize just how bad off we are. We are zombies. We are walking around, talking, eating, breathing, living. And yet we are dead. Corpses. Living and dead at the same time. Shuffling around, searching for life, with no clue how destitute we are.

“The Walking Dead” made me see God’s Word in a whole new way.

Maybe I’m just weird, but I see God’s truth in speculative stories all the time.

A couple years ago I was reading a Star Wars series. While reading about Luke and his interaction with the force, I thought, “That is how the Holy Spirit is in my life!”

Now don’t get me wrong: I believe the Holy Spirit is the third person in the triune God and not just some spiritual force. And the Force is generally a neutral power in the lives of the Jedi.

But in this particular story, the way the force guided Luke, comforted him, strengthened him, and counseled him was exactly how the Holy Spirit works in a believer’s life.

A Star Wars story showed me a glimpse of how God works in our lives.

Red-WikiPillOr take the Matrix. The human race is enslaved to a computer program and deceived into believing the world they live in is real. A handful of humans have broken free and are working toward the freedom of all mankind. But in order to be free, a person must make the decision for him or herself. Choose between the pills. Red or blue. Stay in the system or be free.

Blue-WikiPillThe irony is that the fake world generated by the computer seems so much more beautiful and enticing than the real world. In the fake world you are attractive, with stylish clothes and delicious food. But the reality is your life is being sucked from you. You are a slave and don’t even know it.

I also find it interesting that those who are outside the system are desperately trying to free their fellow man. They could turn around and head to Zion and leave the human race where it is. But they don’t.

And their lives are not very appealing. They live on a dirty ship, constantly on the run, wearing drab clothing and eating tasteless mush. Yet they won’t give up on mankind. They will keep trying to free the human race with their last breath.

Same with us. Our world is enslaved to sin. But our world doesn’t know it. All it sees is wealth and beauty and power. However, none of it is real. It is simply an illusion that keeps people enslaved to sin, which eventually leads to death.

And like those people who are free of the computer, the Christian life is not a glorious life. It is one of serving, pain, and giving up what we want now to gain something so much better later. But it is worth it if we are able to help others find freedom in this life.

So how about you? Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and suddenly seen God or a passage from the Bible in a whole new way? Share with us the story and what you discovered about God.

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MBusse_003Morgan L. Busse writes speculative fiction for the adult market. She is the author of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth, the first two books in a series from Marcher Lord Press. Morgan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at her blog, Facebook, or Twitter (@MorganLBusse)

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16 Comments on "God, Zombies, and Star Wars"

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Dawn
Guest

Yes! This is why I love SFF so much!

Dawn
Guest

Yes! This is why I love SFF so much!

Kerry Nietz
Member

Great article, Morgan!

Kerry Nietz
Member

Great article, Morgan!

Galadriel
Guest

I loved the scene in Let’s Kill Hitler where the Doctor tells the Tesselecta crew to leave River alone. It’s one of the most amazing examples of mercy and grace I’ve ever seen, with a helping of predestination/free will.  Someone commented here that the Doctor’s speech boils down to “I’m the one who was injured. And I have chosen to extend grace, so you have no right to punish her.”   Which is just a hint of “If God is for us, who can stand against us?”

Teddi Deppner
Guest

Yes, Galadriel! Me, too!

Teddi Deppner
Guest

Yes, Galadriel! Me, too!

Galadriel
Guest

I loved the scene in Let’s Kill Hitler where the Doctor tells the Tesselecta crew to leave River alone. It’s one of the most amazing examples of mercy and grace I’ve ever seen, with a helping of predestination/free will.  Someone commented here that the Doctor’s speech boils down to “I’m the one who was injured. And I have chosen to extend grace, so you have no right to punish her.”   Which is just a hint of “If God is for us, who can stand against us?”

Janeen Ippolito
Guest

I love your Matrix reference!  I’ve read things about Matrix symbology before, but that was a fresh spin on it–I never connected what the “outsiders” were doing as selflessness, even though it was.  Hmmm…

I’m a fan of “Once Upon a Time” and I love their new story arc.  A major character, who has always been ‘good’ and made the right decisions and brought people to justice, fell prey to the desire for revenge and bloodshed.  What was convicting was that I understood her reasons–the writers made such a good case for why it was time for her to strike back at those who had taken so much from her.  The system had failed.

And yet, all the right reasons don’t excuse murder.  In later episodes, instead of just giving her a clean slate, the character is having to deal with the emotional and psychological ramifications of her actions.  There seems to be no redemption. 

It seems a telling portrayal of the imperfections of humanity–that in our own strength, even the best of us fall so short of true Goodness–which is only found in the One True God.
 

Galadriel
Guest

I know which character you’re talking about, but it seems to me that the bad guys’ response to said character’s actions are still way out of proportion. Or to put it another way–the bad guys are getting way too many excuses for the their actions.

Janeen Ippolito
Guest

Oh I agree, the bad guys are definitely taking things too hard–but that’s the nature of evil.  It’s selfish and self-centered, only thinking of it’s own hurt and all too happy to pull down others into the mire.

Galadriel
Guest

And the writers are siding with the bad guys, imo.

Galadriel
Guest

And the writers are siding with the bad guys, imo.

Janeen Ippolito
Guest

Oh I agree, the bad guys are definitely taking things too hard–but that’s the nature of evil.  It’s selfish and self-centered, only thinking of it’s own hurt and all too happy to pull down others into the mire.

Galadriel
Guest

I know which character you’re talking about, but it seems to me that the bad guys’ response to said character’s actions are still way out of proportion. Or to put it another way–the bad guys are getting way too many excuses for the their actions.

Janeen Ippolito
Guest

I love your Matrix reference!  I’ve read things about Matrix symbology before, but that was a fresh spin on it–I never connected what the “outsiders” were doing as selflessness, even though it was.  Hmmm…

I’m a fan of “Once Upon a Time” and I love their new story arc.  A major character, who has always been ‘good’ and made the right decisions and brought people to justice, fell prey to the desire for revenge and bloodshed.  What was convicting was that I understood her reasons–the writers made such a good case for why it was time for her to strike back at those who had taken so much from her.  The system had failed.

And yet, all the right reasons don’t excuse murder.  In later episodes, instead of just giving her a clean slate, the character is having to deal with the emotional and psychological ramifications of her actions.  There seems to be no redemption. 

It seems a telling portrayal of the imperfections of humanity–that in our own strength, even the best of us fall so short of true Goodness–which is only found in the One True God.
 

Teddi Deppner
Guest

Great examples, Morgan. This happens to me all the time!

Teddi Deppner
Guest

Great examples, Morgan. This happens to me all the time!

Pauline
Guest

Amazing how truth worms its way into the secular world. God is amazing! Thanks for the article Morgan!

Pauline
Guest

Amazing how truth worms its way into the secular world. God is amazing! Thanks for the article Morgan!

Jeff Reynolds
Guest

Very good blog, Morgan.
Fantasy and Sci Fi both lend themselves to symbolism, and that makes it a good conduit to sharing a Christian message. Also, sometimes a Christian may see a glimpse of God’s truth in a symbol that the author/director did not intend.
I remember a movie — to call it a B-Movie would be a compliment — called Sorceress. Violent, occultic, and very sensual. But the heroines were told in trouble they were to say the name. When they said it during the climax, an image appeared in the stars, and destroyed the bad guy’s image. The image? A lion. As in Lion of the Tribe of Judah?
One case in point about something that wasn’t meant to glorify God but used by believers for that purpose? There’s a popular new-age composer who wrote music for a movie and dedicated it to the Greek god Pan. His name? Vangelis. The theme? Chariots of Fire, music that inspires Christians as much as the movie does.

Jeff Reynolds
Guest

Very good blog, Morgan.
Fantasy and Sci Fi both lend themselves to symbolism, and that makes it a good conduit to sharing a Christian message. Also, sometimes a Christian may see a glimpse of God’s truth in a symbol that the author/director did not intend.
I remember a movie — to call it a B-Movie would be a compliment — called Sorceress. Violent, occultic, and very sensual. But the heroines were told in trouble they were to say the name. When they said it during the climax, an image appeared in the stars, and destroyed the bad guy’s image. The image? A lion. As in Lion of the Tribe of Judah?
One case in point about something that wasn’t meant to glorify God but used by believers for that purpose? There’s a popular new-age composer who wrote music for a movie and dedicated it to the Greek god Pan. His name? Vangelis. The theme? Chariots of Fire, music that inspires Christians as much as the movie does.

Carol Moore
Guest

Oh yes I see Gods hand on so many odd places….as weird as “Lost” was, I felt the writer had to have spiritual training….but then turned it for the strangeness we all seen to crave. Scary times. But I very much agree we with you. It was strange you mentioned Star Wars. When the first one came out we lived in AK and a friend who was president of a small Bible college went into Anchorage to see the first Star Wars and he said the same thing….he could see God all through the movie. God is just AWESOME in what he can use!!! Even me!!!

Carol Moore
Guest

Oh yes I see Gods hand on so many odd places….as weird as “Lost” was, I felt the writer had to have spiritual training….but then turned it for the strangeness we all seen to crave. Scary times. But I very much agree we with you. It was strange you mentioned Star Wars. When the first one came out we lived in AK and a friend who was president of a small Bible college went into Anchorage to see the first Star Wars and he said the same thing….he could see God all through the movie. God is just AWESOME in what he can use!!! Even me!!!

Timothy Stone
Member

I thought of the Lord while watching the Doctor Who episode Utopia, the first of the three-part finale to season Three of the revived series. I also thought of George Lucas, perhaps unintentionally, doing a story that fits in with the idea of predestination when it came to Anakin in Star Wars. There is so much ways of, as Tolkien might call it, applicability to get from much of speculative fiction.

Timothy Stone
Member

I thought of the Lord while watching the Doctor Who episode Utopia, the first of the three-part finale to season Three of the revived series. I also thought of George Lucas, perhaps unintentionally, doing a story that fits in with the idea of predestination when it came to Anakin in Star Wars. There is so much ways of, as Tolkien might call it, applicability to get from much of speculative fiction.

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