Well, they’ve released another zombie movie. It seems to me that zombies are everywhere these days. I’m not a big fan of zombie movies; I think it’s because of the cannibalism angle. Don’t get me wrong, I like scary movies. Take the movie “Aliens,” now that was a pretty scary movie. However, watching dead people eating other people, that’s a little over the top for me. That’s the reason that I’ve only seen a couple of zombie movies. But at least zombies in movies aren’t real. However, church zombies really do exist. What is a church zombie? They are not hard to identify, and you’ve probably seen some yourself without realizing it. Below are some unmistakable signs that will help you know if there are church zombies in your fellowship.
Church zombies don’t sing. I’ve never seen a zombie sing in a movie. That’s why you don’t see zombie musicals; at least not yet. In a similar fashion, there are people in your congregation that just refuse to sing. It doesn’t matter that the scriptures are filled songs, as well as exhortations to sing joyfully to the Lord in praise and adoration—it doesn’t matter because church zombies just don’t sing. Ohhh, they have their excuses: such as, “I don’t like the style of music,” or, “I don’t think I sing well.” For some reason, they think it’s about them. Consequently, they think their excuses legitimize their lifeless attendance during the worship services—that’s because they are church zombies, and everyone knows zombies don’t sing.
Church zombies always wander wherever they go. They wander into the church on Sundays, and when church is over they wander out of the building and into their cars where they wander to a nearby restaurant. When they wake up on Monday morning they wander off to work. After 7 to 10 hours they wander home and collapse in front of a TV. After a couple of hours they wander off to bed. And so it goes throughout the week. They wander everywhere they go. They wander because they have no purpose in life. They wander lifelessly throughout their days, simply going through the motions, and nothing ever seems to change for them. That’s because they are church zombies.
There is one slight difference between regular zombies and church zombies. Fictional zombies eat human flesh, whereas church zombies feed their carnal flesh. Regardless of what was said during the Sunday morning service, church zombies feed their flesh during the week by watching some porn, or gossiping about other church zombies, or lying to those they work with, or stealing from their employer, or getting a little tipsy during their Thursday night bowling league, or spending $20 bucks on scratch-offs. They do these things because they think it makes them feel alive, but none of those things bring true life. Of course they don’t see any problem with feeding their flesh because, hey, they aren’t hurting anyone, so what’s the big deal?
And just like fictional zombies, church zombies are very easily distracted. Have you ever noticed that in movies it’s not hard to distract a zombie; all you have to do is wave your hands. They may be on the verge of catching a victim, and all you have to do is wave at them and they will lose their focus. The same is true with church zombies, all they need is for anyone to text them during the worship service, and immediately they are texting back; then they are updating their Facebook page; and then they are trying to get to the next level of Candy Crush; etc., etc. Before they know it, the service is over and they get to leave. It seems that church zombies just can’t focus on trying to hear from God or discover his will for their lives.
Another way to identify a church zombie is to see if they are mean. It’s common knowledge that zombies are not nice or pleasant. Similarly, church zombies are always complaining about something. The church is too cold. The church is too hot. The sermon is too long. The music is too loud. The music is not contemporary enough. The music is too contemporary, and on and on it goes. Church zombies aren’t just mean in church, just like fictional zombies they’re mean everywhere they go. Consequently, no one likes being around them and it’s not hard to understand why. They’re mean. They never smile, and they’re never happy. Why? It’s because they are zombies.
Also, church zombies never think. They never contemplate the really important questions of life. Questions such as why am I here? What is God’s plan for my life? How can I share with others the love that God has for them through Jesus Christ? What can I do to stop suffering and end injustice? What about those who never hear the gospel. It just never seems to cross their minds. Why? It’s because they are zombies, and zombies never think.
And lastly, church zombies just seem to keep on coming. You would think that at some point they would realize that they aren’t having any fun—ahh, but that gets back to the previous point, which is zombies never think. Consequently, church zombies just keep coming to church. They wander into the service, they don’t sing, don’t think, quickly become distracted, and when it’s all over they complain. Then they wander out into the parking lot and drive to the nearest restaurant where they begin to feed their carnal nature—and so it goes throughout the week until next Sunday. They just keep coming back. Heaven only knows why.
Did you know that Jesus dealt with some zombies in his day? The particular species of zombie that he dealt with was the very common legalistic zombie. His interaction with them is found in Matthew 23.27-28. He described them as nice looking on the outside, but inside they were dead, unclean, hypocritical, and full of lawlessness. And so it is with church zombies. They look really good on the outside, but inside they are dead, unattractive, and void of any spiritual life or vitality. They may look alive on the outside, but if you could see inside them they would look just like fictional zombies.
What should you do if you find that your church is infested with church zombies? Wow! That is not an easy question to answer. Should you invest your time in trying to bring revival to your church, or should you seek to plant a new church that rejects church zombieism in favor for the Spirit-filled life found only through the grace offered by the Lord Jesus Christ? I can’t answer that question for you, only the Lord can tell you what he wants you to do. However, I do remember what my seminary prof once told to me, which was: “It’s always easier to produce new life than it is to resurrect the dead.” Those are some heavy words deserving of considerable thought.
Contributed by Dr. Monte Shanks