Over at Reclaimer 105 this week I’ve been writing about zombie stories in scripture and how the Bible intersects this pop culture phenomenon. In Part 3 yesterday we identified Jesus as a good, super-powered zombie whose post-resurrection state is a glimpse of what we might physically be like when God redeems his creation. However, the parallels between Jesus and zombie lore have immediate spiritual implications aside the picture of what may literally happen in the future.
I was very involved in my high school church youth group and many of the adult leaders were ACU alumni. This meant that we took many trips there for various events (it’s no surprise I ended up going to school there). On one of these trips I bought a CD from the campus store, because that’s the hip thing to do. I bought Audio Adrenaline’s Some Kind of Zombie single. This made me an instant Audio A fan and pointed my musical tastes towards Christian rock for the next few years.
The song Some Kind of Zombie is a bit cheesy for a rock song, but it conveys a very powerful concept. The obvious spiritual parallel of zombies is that we are like zombies in that we appear alive, but are actually dead and decaying due to sin. (I have made a similar point in the game reviews for Halo and Dead Space.) God’s work then is to cure us of our sinful zombie-ism (zombism?) and return us to our “normal” living state. We start as zombies in a sinful state and God saves us to be normal-functioning individuals.
But Some Kind of Zombie turns this idea on it’s head. (I recommend you read the lyrics here.) The song describes temptation to sin as an attacking enemy, while we are the zombies. In the theology of the song, we start as dead in the grave, and then God brings us back from death into a zombie-like post-death state. Our becoming zombies is something we’re saved to, not from. This song is an illustration of what it means to be dead to sin, but alive in Christ.
Jesus used ideas such as baptism and rebirth to talk about how he moves us from one state of living to another. Our cultural fixation on zombies provides us with a new and unique symbol for describing God’s amazing work of transformation. When zombies are brought back from the death, their sole desire is to consume brains and wander around aimlessly. But when God raises us from spiritual death we are engrained with the desire to follow God alone.
We Christians tend to make things very complicated with our rules and doctrines and squabbles. But the truth of salvation is quite simple: God raised you from death without your help or permission. Your sole purpose afterwards is to follow Him who gave you new life. You cannot be distracted or bothered by the “living” world of sin around you because you are dead to that world…like some kind of zombie.