Monday, April 7, 2008

Zombie Illustration - Sin/Total Depravity and Congregational Polity

So I was watching 28 weeks later the other day, which is a scary and awesome movie. I was thinking about how the virus spreads and people become zombies or 'infected'. Basically the person gets the virus and suddenly they are changed, they look the same, but then they start flailing and screaming and become filled with rage. They vomit up blood and are altogether disgusting, just looking at them is horrifying and they don't seem human anymore. Their only desires suddenly shift and now the only thing they want to is kill and spread the disease.

I think this is a great picture of sin. The way that it spreads throughout humanity, so that in the end we still 'look' a bit human, just like we still have the Imago Dei - that we are made in the image of God, but it is marred and made all the more repulsive in the light of the power of this infection this sin. We become utterly helpless, infected, hostile to everyone. One Quaker Theologian said 'humanity is united together after the fall only in their mutual enmity with God' and I think that is a great description of the infected. They don't work as a team really, they move together but only in their hunger for death and spreading the infection. This is what I think it is like for God to look at sinful humanity. We would never say that killing an infected zombie is 'wrong' or 'unjust' but actually that it helps rid the world of evil. And it's not the fault of God that we've infected ourselves. So I think this view has helped me ALOT in understanding sin and redemption. But the good news of course is that God cures some of us.

I also was thinking, in that situation that all men and women stand equal before God. All equally infected, or cleansed by God. This made me wonder about the way churches are run. Maybe the Brethren have their polity right? As George Fox says "Why should any man have power over any other man's faith, seeing Christ Himself is the author of it?". Bonhoeffer echoes this sentiment a bit when he describes how before God we stand with either one mediator (Jesus) or none, and that there is no priest or pastor between the Lord and us. So maybe a Congregational church polity isn't that far off.

It's also funny to think when you look at the greatest human acheivement or character, and look at God how quantitatively different they are. So much so that who can honestly make up a system of good works to earn salvation. Our finite works are nothing, in comparison to infinite goodness. Once again I feel Luther was right, and as Paul says 'Faith from first to last'.

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