11 January 2012

Walking Dead or Walking Wounded?

Over the holidays I stumbled upon a series that Netflix thought I would like: The Walking Dead (zombie alert, don't click if you're a siss..er... faint of heart). I like science fiction, especially when it flirts so shamelessly with reality that it makes you forget the event you're watching isn't occurring just outside your front door. It's the potential of its veracity that evokes the fight or flight mechanism we all share. I scared the scoobies out of myself watching the first season and as providence would have it, there was a season two marathon on AMC the very next day. Alone on the top of a hill, wind making the nekkid crepe myrtle branches rub on the vinyl siding, I sat transfixed in a sort of HDTV induced sensory overload. You should picture me in my recliner with my Winchester across my lap, eyes wide open and mind on high alert. I didn't really have my rifle across my lap but I kept thinking about getting it. I didn't only because I didn't want to stop watching long enough. OK, I am exaggerating but only to demonstrate to you just how involved I got in this series.

This is a well written program. It absolutely follows an age old formula but manages to make it work. It also poses some great ethical and moral questions. (Yes, Virginia, there is a difference between ethics and morals. Ethics are absolutes and morals are arrived at by consensus of opinion by the majority.) I don't really want to go into the details of the series because I don't want to spoil the program if you're like me, a little twisted, and might want to watch it. If you've seen the movie 28 Days Later, it is very similar. Besides, this isn't a review of the program. If this was meant to be a review I would give it thumbs up, five stars and a big heck yeah! What I mean to write about is the difference between being one of the walking dead and one of the walking wounded, a question posed by the series in the season two finale.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about what differentiates the walking dead and the walking wounded and decided that time is the only thing that distinguishes the two. The walking wounded are the walking dead. They just haven't ripened yet. The second important question the program asks is what kind of person are you? Are you one that sees the walking dead as walking wounded and want to cure them? Or are you one who sees them as one more way you might become infected with their incurable disease; dead already and a threat to your safety? Do the wounded get put down before they have ripened or do you wait and hope that they won't ripen before a cure is found?

What kind of girl am I? I wasn't having you picture me with my rifle across my lap for dramatic effect. If you're wounded you're dead. If you're going to try and take me or anyone else with you, you're going to suffer from some lead poisoning. I am going to survive you and your contagions. I am going to make certain the ones I love are going to survive you and I wouldn't have a sleepless moment for pulling the trigger in order to protect them or me.

Then I began to think about sin and how we are all enslaved to it. Some of us, by God's grace, will be set free from the law of sin and death through faith in Christ. As I considered my response to a television program and my response to knowing that real people, people whom I love, will slip into a Christless eternity, I would have to confess to there being a huge disparity between the two reactions. I'd have no problem defending someone I love from an outside threat, the inside threat they face is more important and I am afraid at times to warn them. I am afraid to pull out my high-powered doctrine gun and dispense the gospel to them. It might not be the right time or place. I may not have the right to speak of the things of God because of my sinful behavior, I don't want to seem offensive, I want to be more winsome, the list goes on and on.

It's really easy for me to listen to be critical of other Christians. I expect sinners to act like sinners and I expect Christians to be different. How is it that I missed those expectations for myself? I have to stop watching television. It's too convicting.


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