Tuesday, May 25, 2010

LOST comes to an end...but what does that mean?

It all came together on Sunday night. After five seasons, many questions, and many confusions the series LOST came to an end. But what in the world just happened?

My wife and I have followed LOST from its beginning while rarely missing an episode. Actually, it is kind of emotional in a weird way because it is literally the only show we still watch and one of the last things Amy and I did together before kids that we still do (although many of those things we did pale in comparison to our children)! Yet, I think we all were left with more questions than were answered. And for me, appalled at the horrible theology and it implications on religion in America.

The ending basically told us that the island was a kind of "mini-god". The island had the power to call all of the main charatcters to the island because their lives were a mess and to evaluate if they would end up being the protector of this island. The island had a main source of life right in the middle and there was an evil force that wanted to destroy it to get off the island. The ending showed all characters realizing that they were in essence a purgatory state, not able to get out until they realized they could enter heaven by their own accord.

At the very end, they all realized that they were dead. They meet in a church, Jack's father tells them that they were a special group that were called together as special people, and now were ready to enter heaven. They could choose to stay in "purgatory" OR enter heaven with all of their friends. It made for a fun story.

Some might say that it is a nice story that has no implications on our society, families, or theological world. However, as one can not swim in sewage and expect to not be affected, we have to address some concerns over the views portrayed on LOST and it affects on faith. This is vital for everyone to be able to discern, since LOST is one of the most popular and idolic shows of all time.

Here are a few issues:

1) There is no Scriptural support for a purgatory state between life and eternity. As Christians we understand a few things after we die: 1) Our spirit will be at rest, 2) Our spirit be with Jesus, and 3) Our spirit will yearn for the fulfillment of everything in the resurrection. LOST portrayed what many people want to believe; we will still have many choices after we die. The Bible simply does not indicate that.

2)Not everyone just goes to heaven. In LOST you have Sayid who is a Muslim, Charlie who is Catholic, and various forms of other religions all sitting in a Christian church walking into heaven. You have murderers, liars, cheaters, and swindlers all looking to the heavenly doors of eternity. I am NOT saying that heaven will not have those kinds of people, because it is all by the blood of Jesus. However, there was no sign of repentance, no sign of any kind of faith statement, and just the assumptions that everyone (like dogs) goes to heaven.

My Old Adam loves this theology. You are good, I'm good, we all are good. When we die, no worries we will go to a heavenly place. Get your freak on and don't worry about anything. Yet, even if I like the taste of rat poison, it does not mean it won't kill me. There is only one way to salvation, Jesus Christ (John 14:6) and the life of any believer is one of repentance and faith.

3) Feelings are not always a good guide for truth. The most common line in LOST was, "Nothing has ever felt more right than this." All characters used it at various times to justify making decisions. Most of the time they were wrong.

We love emotions, feelings, and thoughts to drive our every move in life. LOST captured what is already going on in our society. If it feels totally right in our heart, therefore it must be right. It does not matter if external matters or understandings differ, it must be right because my "spirit/feelings" are always right.

This is a minor form of what is called, "Gnosticism." Gnosticism believes that the body is BAD and spirit is good. Therefore if you are able to find out what the spirit is doing, even it is counter external means, it must be right. Give you a modern day example: If a person feels it in their heart, feelings, and thoughts that they love a person of the same sex so much as to have sexual relations, then it must be o.k. because their feelings led them to that decision. Even if the "plumbing" doesn't work, it is still the right thing due to feelings.

The flaw in this mentality is that we have a physical God, who created our bodies in His image, and He has external laws to govern his creation. When we go against these boundaries, the implications are horrendous if not deadly. Feelings are a gift from God, however, when it is the main means by which we make decisions we end up forgetting that both our spirit and body are fallen and needing Christ.

I become very concerned on how well people are discerning shows like LOST. I love LOST, it was my favorite show, and I will continue to buy the seasons on DVD. However, are people thinking about the Christian viewpoint while watching these shows or are they becoming so influenced by their theology that they are in serious threats to question and/or lose their faith.

May the Lord guide all of us as we live in the world, but not of it.

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