Where were you on October 1, 1968? If you answered “The Fulton Theater in Pittsburgh”, you might still avoid Evans City. With the approach of Halloween, of course I’m referencing the George A. Romero cult film “Night of the Living Dead” (1968). The living dead, or “zombies”, were plentiful in the Evans City cemetery where the movie was filmed. Romero unashamedly admits ripping off Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel “I Am Legend” in which the infected die and become ‘undead” vampire-like creatures. There have been numerous sequels and spinoffs, including the AMC cable series “The Walking Dead”. I don’t have cable, so I haven’t been following the series, but while walking through Wal-Mart the other night, I saw some scary things in a few of the isles. There might be a connection there – Wal-Mart and the walking dead?
Soon we’ll have our annual less scary version of ‘Night of the Living Dead”. Halloween is more like “Night of Cute Little Candy Beggars Dressed-up Like All Sorts of Characters” and invariably, there will be several zombies in the crowd. If any of them get out of hand, I’m ready for them. I’m certified in Zombie Control. I spent an evening playing Risk; the Walking Dead Edition at Two Rivers Artisan Coffee Works. Of course, there were no zombie infiltrators playing the game because drinking coffee prevents one from becoming a zombie.
There are other kinds of living dead walking among us. Do you remember the Invasion of the Body Snatchers movie – the 1978 remake with Donald Sutherland? Humans are replaced with emotionless copies of themselves grown in “pods” by space aliens who are trying to form a conformist, servant civilization. Have you seen any “Pod People” lately? I’ve seen a lot of “iPod people” – walking with head down, looking at a cell phone with ear buds in blocking out the sounds of the world and paying no attention to anything around them. Not paying attention and not caring sure sounds like living dead – or deadened. I’ve also met people who seem to have lost hope. They live like they have no future; like they’re at a dead end.
Speaking of the deadened – or dead ends – the Bible has plenty to say about death and the “un-dead”. In many chapters, people die and stay dead – or at least they’re dead for the remainder of the current age. There are other accounts of people who died and then inexplicably came back to life – for this age and eternity to come. So are we to say the topic of zombies has Biblical correlations? Kind of. The Bible clearly states death doesn’t really leave someone dead forever. “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” – Hebrews 9:27-28. Those who die in Christ will not experience the second death mentioned in the book of Revelation. We each have a choice to make. Will we die to ourselves so we can live forever in Heaven with Christ or will we chose to live for ourselves and spend eternity among the living dead and separated from Christ? The thought of the second choice scares me more than any movie or Halloween costume.
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