Monday, November 19, 2007

Monsters In The Pew (archived from October's newsletter)
Victorian literature has more original monsters that any other literary period. Modern tales, even those written by the likes of Stephen King, lack the never-before quality that you find in the nineteenth century. And while, they're quite numerous, most movie monsters are alike in some way. They're demons, or angry ghosts, or vampires, or mutants. Where are all the one-off, one-of-a-kind creatures that were written about before the turn of the century? Frankenstein was nothing like Dracula; Dracula nothing like Mr. Hyde; Mr. Hyde nothing like the Invisible Man except that they both drank an elixir of some sort. In celebration (yes, celebration) of the Halloween season, I'm having a little bit of fun with the monster theme.

I've just mentioned four famous monsters from four very popular, very unique tales. These undesirables paint all sorts of simple and complex symbols for us to dissect. To keep this essay managable, I'm only going to point out four types of Christians that resemble these creatures.

#1. The Frankenstein Christian
Here is a man with a living heart, surrounded by bits and pieces of death. Many Christians have invited the King of kings to live in their heart, but still fashion for themselves a body of death, comprised of bone and sinew of this corrupt world system. Their decaying worldliness is tied so intricately into their life that the two can no longer be separated.

#2. The Dracula Christian
Some Christians choose to be the living dead, except with eternal life. They sit motionless, as though dead, in their pew. Nothing stirs them from their complacency, not shouting, not hellfire or brimstone. Oddly enough, there's a second attribute which marks them as well. Not only are they the living dead, but they often feed off those who share their congregation. Instead of biting necks, however, they stab backs.

#3. The Mr. Hyde Christian
First, apologies go to anyone named Mr. Hyde. That's something that's bothered me about this tale. The other monsters don't have anyone to share their name. To the general populace, this guy is known as the "Christmas & Easter Christian." They have two faces for two very different groups of people. This isn't despised by Christians alone, but by the whole world, under the term "hypocrite."

#4. The Invisible Man Christian
Evangelically speaking, you wouldn't even know that these people are Christians unless you confronted them directly. If he were a doctor, rather than a Christian, he would be content to go unnoticed, even as he held in his hand the cure for what ails you.

This isn't an essay heavy with theology, and that's good sometimes. I wanted to put a new spin on something we could all stand to hear (even me).

3 comments:

Pete Aldin said...

This is great, man. I'd like to see an extended post including the Wolf Man and Zombie Christians ... oh wait ... I think I'm the Wolf Man ... forget it ...

Ann said...

Jeremiah,
That was a great post! Keep on posting, I'll come back for the latest installments. I spent 30 years in the christian church... most of which was wonderful. I think all of us can relate to each monster in ourselves! I'm jewish and so now I go to a messianic temple... Monsters everywhere, not just the christian church!
L'Shalom
Ann

Jeremiah said...

Nice to meet you Ann. Thanks for dropping by.