The Zombieland Rule

We Christians have something of an uneasy relationship with pop culture.  Some of us pretend that nothing has happened culturally since 1957.  Seriously, a man I know made a Keystone Cops reference the other day.  I had to Google it.  Some of us run for the hills whenever a song that isn't from a hymnal starts playing, and some of us try to emulate what's going on in the secular world only we leave out the curse words and partial nudity, and as a general rule, the artistic merit.  Contemporary Christian Music has been especially bad in this area in recent years.  I can only imagine  a world without MercyMe's "I Can Only Imagine"--it's a wondrous place; we have hovercars (If you haven't heard it, hit up youtube.  I'll wait.).

Most of us, however, make our way in the world consuming pop culture as conscience allows.  And there's the rub-our consciences allow different things.  These disputable matters are addressed at length in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8.

The short version is: if doing something causes you to sin, whether the action in question is inherently sinful or not, don't do it.  Similarly, don't do anything that causes other people to sin--ever.

The best Christian-ish film of the year, Zombieland (yeah, you thought I was going to say Fireproof didn't you?) demonstrates this very well.  In the first half an hour of the movie, Jesse Eisenberg enumerates various rules that he has made for himself in the hope of surviving the hordes of walking dead (i.e. Beware of bathrooms, Stay in Shape et cetera).  These are not universal laws applicable to everyone.  These are rules designed to survive among the walking dead--an enemy that Jesse Eisenberg's character knew well.

Well on some level, we as Christians are in a desperate battle against the walking dead. Galatians 2:20 reminds us:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and  gave himself for me. 
Our flesh is dead, but it's walking dead.  Every day we  fight that flesh and its desires as we strive to be obedient to Christ.   This is where the analogy breaks down.  We're all fighting our flesh, dead as it may be, but the nature of that fight can vary wildly among believers.   On some level, we all live in our own personal Zombieland, and we know the zombies well.  We know our weaknesses--those  stubborn sins and old habits, and we know the rules we need to put in place to survive.  Every one of us should  make media consumption choices based on what we know of our weak spots.  Someone who is trying to stop cursing should not watch Boondock Saints for example while people who never curse might watch Boondock Saints  in clear conscience.  

We're all in this together, and if making it through Zombieland for you means watching PG movies and listening to MercyMe, go in peace.  I'll bring popcorn...and earplugs.

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