What’s with the fascination for Zombies these days? They’re everywhere: in movies, games, and podcasts with increasing regularity. It’s like we can’t not watch. But why?
They aren’t lightning fast. In fact, every time I see a Zombie encounter my first thought is, “Why don’t you just run?” But it’s never that easy in the movies, because Zombies have two strengths in their corner:
1. They are unstoppable – I’ve never seen such persistence.
2. They are many – because they’re great at making more Zombies.
Like a slowly expanding fog, they envelope and destroy. That’s scary. But ultimately we know that they aren’t real, and that makes it entertainment… not real life.
But what if I told you that in religious terms, Zombies are real? What if I told you there were people who are unstoppable… good at making more just like them… and dead on the inside?
Don’t take my word for it. Consider these words of Jesus:
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!” For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matt 23:15, 27–28 NLT).
I’m pretty sure if Jesus were using modern words to describe these people he would call them Zombies: spiritually dead on the inside, but still walking around.
And here’s the scariest part of all: they’re a lot more like me than I would care to admit.
There are times when I’m more worried with the outside than the inside. My focus seems to be drawn to towards external rules and appearances versus the condition of my heart and my relationship with Christ.
And we are many….
Do you exhibit any of these telltale signs of “Zombie Christianity?”
- Does your spiritual life feel “dry?”
- Are you constantly looking for meaning and purpose, and coming up empty?
- Do you mention God’s name more during rush hour traffic than in your prayers?
The bad news is, we are many. The good news is we are NOT unstoppable!
The solution seems counterintuitive. If we would truly live, we must die. We must die to selfish desire. We must die to rigidly following rules without relationship. Paul says it best:
“So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:19–20 NLT)
When the outside becomes more important than the inside, we’re in big trouble. People can survive losing an arm. No one survives losing a heart.
Choose well… and truly live!
How do you keep relationship as the most important thing in your life? What are your success stories in “coming back to life?” Share with comments!