I am a Christian and I am obsessed with The Walking Dead. Now, some of you “super Christians” are going to denounce me as just another tare, wolf in sheep’s clothing, believes in all grace, nominal at best believer. You are probably thinking, she probably says she’s a Christian, but believes in that faith with no accountability doctrine and I’ll bet has a lifestyle to match. So let me qualify what I mean by Christian. I study the Bible daily, spend a lot of time with God and do my best to live a life dedicated to serving Him. I even study from a Hebraic perspective and take my faith seriously (though myself – not so much.) I believe in praying, tithing, fasting and that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. I believe He loves me and has endless grace and mercy, but I also believe he is my judge and not some beatnik hippy throwing me the peace sign when I sin (Which I do sometimes.) I don’t believe in leading people astray or mindlessly spouting things that could cause someone to stumble. So, this article has been well thought out and not just a hasty piece to pass along. Side note: This is in response to Christians who sit around bad mouthing others for their decision to watch this show. I am not talking about Christians in general.
Having said that, I am a die hard, obsessed, wishing I could get the expensive tickets to Comic Con, totally immersed TWD fan! I actually get a twinge of excitement Sunday nights as show time approaches and go into full on show hole when the season ends. My kids know that unless they are going to die before the end of the TWD at 10PM, don’t make your presence known in any way, shape, or form. I dote on my children tirelessly, but if they interrupt this time – well they don’t. Now, I am not an obsessive person nor do I have an addictive personality. I am quite disciplined and could care less about most of the material things this world offers. I don’t watch a lot of television and when I do, it’s usually reality TV or educational (as a writer, I’m fascinated with studying people.) TWD is the only fictional show I watch.
Now, before you get your holy oil out and pray for my deliverance, let me ask you a question – have you ever watched the show? I know what you’ve heard – but remember, you are the same people that say the media isn’t trustworthy and is full of fake news. It took my family members years to get me to watch this show because I thought it sounded stupid. When my Catholic ‘Type A’ cousin who also made fun of it suddenly found himself immersed – I thought I would give it a shot.
But it’s bloody, gross, and glorifies violence. Well, let me ask you another question. When you read the Bible, particularly the parts about war, killing entire groups of people, babies under a certain age being brutally murdered, David slinging the stone at Goliath’s face, stoning, rape, adultery, orgies etc. what do you think these real life occurrences documented by the Lord himself looked like? Do you envision a Christian movie version where there is no blood and ‘oh dear’ language when that sword cut someone in two? When Jezebel’s body was torn to shreds and eaten by dogs as God allowed, were there no limbs torn, blood splattered about etc.?
Here’s the thing. Too many Christian’s in the west have completely checked out of reality and choose to live in a 1950s version of faith where everything, including Biblical accounts, are neat and sanitized. Do you realize if the Bible was made true to form in a movie that it would probably be rated beyond NC-17?
The Walking Dead (TWD) is not even really about the zombies i.e. walkers. They are the catalyst that plunges us into a story of survival in a world that has devolved into anarchy where there are no longer rules, morals and beliefs are tested, and the worst in humanity can reign unchecked. It shows us when there is nothing to restrain a person, who they really are. No government, no consequences except for maybe revenge – who are we when we are desperate to eat, to keep loved ones safe and alive – to survive. Who are people at their core? Who would you be? Would you be a decent person who fights to maintain a certain moral code like Rick, Maggie, Daryl, Carol, Morgan, Michonne, and the others? Or, would you be a Negan –who strangely has a moral code of no rape, but bashes people’s heads in that cross him – because there is nothing stopping you?
Before you put your righteous crown on consider this. You say for certain you have morals and your Godly beliefs would make you the good guy in a similar scenario. Okay, what do you do in the privacy of your own home when nobody is watching? Do you have gluttony issues? What about your mouth? Are you judgmental and do you gossip? You know, those sins you rank way down from homosexuality and fornication, yet, fail to realize God did not list your sins in sequential order of rank. If you don’t have enough self-control to put a Twinkie down, would you really be able to hold yourself to a higher standard when you’re actually starving? You clearly love food and have problems not eating incessantly with easy access to healthy food – would you in desperation rob that person who has the food you desperately want? What if your kid was down to skin and bones and you happen upon unarmed people who refuse to share their food? Would you kill them to keep your crying and starving child alive? This is what TWD is about.
But, the gore. The gore is so over the top, it’s disgusting and unnecessary. I agree, sometimes shows use gore for the sake of it and TWD definitely has its fair share. But, this is not one of those shows that does it for the glory of gore. They show it because it’s a realistic depiction of what life would look like in a similar situation. Let me ask you this – when was the last time you were outraged and actively involved in speaking out against what is happening in the Middle East? I mean to the point of actively doing your part to stop it via donations, missions trips, taking in refugees etc. Do you not think there is daily gore in these places people are fleeing? It’s real. People see beheadings, rape and torture of the worst kind, and torment. What TWD shows is a reality of what is actually happening in other countries on a large scale. Sorry to break the bad news, but this world is not Leave It To Beaver or Happy Days.
What about what God says is going to happen in the end times? Men’s hearts will fail them for fear. Men will seek death and be unable to find it. Billions of people are most likely going to die. Blood up to the bridle of a horse is going to flow. Times will be so violent and horrible, The Bible says it will be a time such as the world has never seen. Sounds worse than The Walking Dead.
But there are gay people on the show – they are promoting that lifestyle. Yeah, and there are gay people in your neighborhood, at your store, in your town – you’re surrounded! Of course there are gay people in an apocalypse show. Deal with it – again this reality. I know many gay people I would much rather be in the company of than some of the “Christians” I know. And guess what? There are some overweight people on the show too. So, according to you guess what else they’re promoting – gluttony. I am a healthy person. I believe in feeding my body the right foods for the most part. Should I treat you and talk about you the same way you talk about and treat gay people because you are a fat glutton? Sounds harsh doesn’t it? Feel offended? Don’t like people pointing out that you’re fat? How about those lustful thoughts, porn you watch when nobody is looking, gossiping about that neighbor, or worse yet, the hate you have for people who love Barack and Michelle – gasp! Well, maybe you should love people like God told you to. I don’t recall him giving a list of those who you should hate. In fact, he said to even love your enemy. If they ask for your opinion and want to know your thoughts from a Christian perspective – by all means – tell them. Tell them it’s because you love them you just need to let them know the truth about what the Bible says and you love them too much to not at least share it with them. Then sit down, share your fries with them, and watch TWD.
There’s sex. Not really. In the 7 seasons of this show, there are maybe four “sex” scenes and it was easy to know it was coming and change it for the 5 seconds they showed it. This is not a show that focuses on sex. I mean really – they are too hungry and trying to focus on not dying for romance. But it has happened a few times. For a show like this, that’s a pretty good track record.
Here is why I love the show. After a while, the walkers take a backseat to what is really going on – the fight for survival and order. Sure there are occasional herds of walkers that cause chaos – but it’s really about the core of humanity. It gives us a glimpse into how the psyche operates under dire situations. It gives us an interesting look (aside from walkers) about what life could be like if we were suddenly faced with no access to healthcare, food no longer was produced with easy access, water ceased to flow from faucets, and people had to fight to stay alive.
The characters are so well developed, relatable, and likeable – even the bad guys like Negan have a weird appeal. That’s how well they are written. They have diverse backgrounds including people of different faiths, cultures, races, and lifestyles all working together, or fighting one another, for survival.
Another benefit – you can get some interesting ideas about how to navigate certain survival situations. From finding sources of food or preparing yourself for an adverse situation with people etc. This show definitely gives one a little insight. Of course some of it is unrealistic and over the top – but some of it is actually helpful.
I’m not a fan of celebrities for the most part. I wouldn’t be one of those people geeked to meet most in entertainment because I’d be afraid they’d suck up all the oxygen in the room to keep their egos alive. However, there are a few diamonds in the ruff and from what I have seen from endless interviews, articles and lifestyles of this cast – I have yet to see one that I wouldn’t be honored to meet or love to hang out with. They appear to be salt of the earth types – regular people who have really cool jobs.
I’m not trying to convince you to watch this show. If your conscience bothers you to not watch it, then don’t. But, just the same, some of us are not bothered watching it. But if you are freaked out and offended by the realities of an apocalyptic world of violence and bloodshed, you are wholly unprepared for what your own God tells you to be prepared for. As for me, October can’t come fast enough.
Jamie A. Hope is an author, contributor and screenwriter. To follow her and read more, sign up for updates on this page. Please feel free to comment, she loves to connect with people.