World War Z and Christianity
Now then – if you watched “World War Z” you are probably wondering what a movie with a rifle carrying Brad Pitt trying to save his family from man eating zombies has to do with Christianity?
But hear me out. The movie could shed light on the struggle for life faced by today’s Christian.
The very title “World War Z” seems to imply a finality – a final war where humanity struggles for its very existence. This existence is threatened by flesh eating zombies, who turn anything bitten by them into another flesh-eating zombie.
Within minutes of the outbreak entire cities and countries begin to be overrun by the virus.
According to a scientist helping Brad Pitt’s character search for a cure, the virus has a weakness.
“Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one’s better. Or more creative. Like all serial killers, she can’t help the urge to want to get caught. What good are all those brilliant crimes if no one takes the credit? So she leaves crumbs. Now the hard part, why you spend a decade in school, is seeing the crumbs. But the clue’s there. Sometimes the thing you thought was the most brutal aspect of the virus, turns out to be the chink in its . And she loves disguising her weaknesses as strengths.”
She loves to disguise her weaknesses as her strengths? This little clue will turn out to be the Rosetta Stone in the movie. It is the clue that will give Brad Pitt’s character an insight into the fundamental weakness of the virus.
The virus – the zombies – feed on the strong and the healthy. This strength or visciousness of the virus, turns out to be its weakness. It completely ignores those who are sick, infirm, and terminal.
Now you can see the connection being drawn here. There is a paradox present in Christianity. One that is begun in the Hebrew Scriptures and carried through into the New Testament.
Our God is a God who loves the poor. This love of the poor is manifested with greatest clarity in the person of Christ who brings life to the Samaritan woman, the tax collector, the weak, the infirm, the blind . All these people are sick – and these are precisely the people to whom the Gospel is revealed.
This then raises a question. Are these people inoculated through their weaknesses so that they can somehow put up a fight against the evil one?
Paul in Romans says that he is content with his weakness, for when he is weak, then he is strong. What if then our weakness, our infirmities, our terminal illnesses are our basic strength against the darker forces present in our lives?
This may seem an odd hypothesis. But I think it is one that is born out in experience. It is when we experience our failures, it is when, we are struck by illness – that the light of the Gospel is most felt in all its power.