The Gospel According to Zombies



One of the great mysteries of 2011 is that there has been a form of entertainment that is amazing. People seem to be totally fascinated by the mental thrill of interacting with people who have died by some kind of problem and then come back to life. When these dead come back to life, they seem to have a rather fixated approach to life and they want to attack “normal” people and infect them with their saliva, virus, or infection. As a result of this, they make “normal” people just like themselves, a rotting, decaying, angry, lonely, decomposing, aggressive person. This phenomenon is called Zombieism.


It is interesting that in the “scientific” culture of America in 2011 that fictional creatures like “Zombies” can be so attractive and so financially lucrative in the movie and TV industries. Ever since the movie “The Night of the Living Dead” came out in 1968, we have seen all kinds of variations of the subject of Zombies and it has proven to be so profitable that in 2010 HBO had a weekly series called “The Walking Dead”. This seems to indicate that Zombies have become a cultural mainstream idea.


I have copied the following interpretations and history from the internet to show some of the connections with Zombieism’s past and its connections with various religions. Notice the connection between West Africa, Haiti, and the southern United States – primarily New Orleans. This connection is through the religion of Voodoo. Please feel free to skim through this brief list of materials which I highlighted in several areas in bold print to facilitate the understanding of the concepts related to Zombieism. My discussion continues at the bottom of these inserts.


Definition of Zombie

zom·bie  (z m b )


1. A snake god of voodoo cults in West Africa, Haiti, and the southern United States.


a. A supernatural power or spell that according to voodoo belief can enter into and reanimate a corpse.

b. A corpse revived in this way.

3. One who looks or behaves like an automaton.

4. A tall mixed drink made of various rums, liqueur, and fruit juice.

[Caribbean French and English Creole, from Kimbundu -zumbi, ghost, departed spirit.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

zombie, zombi [ˈzɒmbɪ]

n pl -bies, -bis

1. a person who is or appears to be lifeless, apathetic, or totally lacking in independent judgment; automaton

2. (Spirituality, New Age, Astrology & Self-help / Alternative Belief Systems) a supernatural spirit that reanimates a dead body

3. (Spirituality, New Age, Astrology & Self-help / Alternative Belief Systems) a corpse brought to life in this manner

4. (Spirituality, New Age, Astrology & Self-help / Alternative Belief Systems) the snake god of voodoo cults in the West Indies, esp Haiti, and in scattered areas of the southern US

5. (Spirituality, New Age, Astrology & Self-help / Alternative Belief Systems) the python god revered in parts of West Africa

6. (Electronics & Computer Science / Computer Science) a piece of computer code that instructs an infected computer to send a virus on to other computer systems

[from Kongo zumbi good-luck fetish]

 Zombie (Haitian Creole: zonbi; North Mbundu: nzumbe) is a term used to denote an animated corpse brought back to life by mystical means such as witchcraft.[1] The term is often figuratively applied to describe a hypnotized person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli. Since the late 19th century, zombies have acquired notable popularity, especially in North American and European folklore.

In modern times, the term "zombie" has been applied to an undead race in horror fiction, largely drawn from George A. Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead.[2] They have appeared as plot devices in various books, films and in television shows.


Current Cultural Interpretation of a Zombie

The figure of the zombie has appeared several times in fantasy themed fiction and entertainment, as early as the 1929 novel The Magic Island by William Seabrook. Time claimed that the book "introduced 'zombi' into U.S. speech".[10] In 1932, Victor Halperin directed White Zombie, a horror film starring Bela Lugosi. This film, capitalizing on the same voodoo zombie themes as Seabrook's book of three years prior, is often regarded as the first legitimate zombie film ever made, and introduced the word "zombie" to the wider world.[11] Other zombie-themed films include Val Lewton's I Walked With a Zombie (1943) and Wes Craven's The Serpent and the Rainbow, (1988) a heavily fictionalized account of Wade Davis' book.

A new version of the zombie, distinct from that described in Haitian religion, has also emerged in popular culture in recent decades. This "zombie" is taken largely from George A. Romero's seminal film The Night of the Living Dead, which was in turn partly inspired by Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend.[12] The word zombie is not used in Night of the Living Dead itself, but was applied later by fans.[13] The monsters in the film and its sequels, such as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, as well as its many inspired works, such as Return of the Living Dead and Zombie Flesh Eaters, are usually hungry for human flesh although Return of the Living Dead introduced the popular concept of zombies eating brains. Sometimes they are victims of a fictional pandemic illness causing the dead to reanimate or the living to behave this way, but often no cause is given in the story. Although this modern monster bears some superficial resemblance to the Haitian zombie tradition, its links to such folklore are unclear,[12] and many consider George A. Romero to be the progenitor of this creature.[14] Zombie fiction is now a sizeable sub-genre of horror, usually describing a breakdown of civilization occurring when most of the population become flesh-eating zombies – a zombie apocalypse.


It is my desire that this article answers several questions about Zombies, and show the concept of Zombies in relation to West African Religious issues and as a twisted theology that has foundational doctrines from the Christian Church. It is my goal that this article shows that a true understanding of Zombieism will reveal the Gospel of the Bible. It is also my goal that this article reveals that there are several factors in the development of Zombies that affects our world view of life and religion. The factors that will be addressed are the connections with religions, how Zombies are infected, how they act, how they are destroyed, and how all of this affects us in our time and those in the future.


First of all, the above information from Wikipedia, and from the Internet dictionary, indicates that the religious ties to Zombieism are very strong. The central theme of Zombieism  is based on the idea that the dead can be “resurrected” by being embodied by a supernatural spirit, sent by the serpent god. This god reanimates the dead allowing them to take the form of an awkward moving, shuffling, stilted person with a malevolent intent to kill, eat, and hurt others around them. This appears to be a sort of twisted, malevolent form of “evangelism”. Because in almost all forms of Zombieism the individual who is attacked, bitten, or harmed will almost always become a Zombie themselves, who has an almost religious experience of wanting to share their experience with other “non-infected” people, (i.e. it wants to bite someone else).


In some movies, Zombies have been infected with a mutant viral strain of a disease. Some are the victims of some world take over plot by the rich, or some secret society, that have run amuck and turns the whole world into an apocalyptic state of despair, neediness, and helplessness. Thus only a Savior can come and deliver the remaining healthy people. This may be portrayed by a saving scientist, or it can be that the rich have finally eliminated the poor and inferior people, or it could portend an Anti-Christ who tries to control the religious views of the world in some sort of strange religious twist of the books of Daniel and Revelation.


Death is the primary underlying theme of Zombieism. The moral issues of death are not considered in the mythology of Zombieism, they just die for the reasons discussed in the previous paragraph. Then the individual is resurrected, by the official mythological party that gives life to Zombies, apart from any moral quality of the resurrecting agency; meaning that there is no change in the thinking of the Zombie, but the resurrection occurs any way. Once resurrected there is no moral quality to a Zombie they just seem to be turned into a one person wrecking machine that cannot, and will not be stopped, by any ordinary restraint. In religious terms, this would be closely allied to the concept of being a Zealot for the god who is sending the person out into the world to evangelize. Only death or imprisonment can stop a Zealot. In Zombieism’s religious mythology there is no re-conversion to the truth, or any moral quality. At best there may be an anti-dote that could be injected into the individual that may bring them around but conversion from Zombieism, in movies, is very rare indeed. On the other hand God has a solution to the Zombieism created by sin. That solution is the gospel of salvation that is open to any person, even a Zombie.


In the Bible, God says that if you sin, you will surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17). Satan stated shortly after this that if you sin you will become as gods and you will not surely die. (Genesis 3:1-5). This sets up the great conflict between the followers of God and the followers of Satan and oddly enough the conflict is about death. Then to make matters even more confusing the issue of resurrection from the dead is presented as a central issue in the Bible. God says that there will be two groups of people that die, the righteous and the wicked, and both will be resurrected, (John 5:28-29). In the Bible resurrection, God says that the righteous will be resurrected and given new bodies with no corruption. (I Corinthians 15:35-54). On the other hand, those who are wicked are resurrected but will not be given a new body. They will retain the old body with all of their defects and diseases still intact. This truth gives us the picture of a standard Zombie movie. On the one hand, there are many Zombies but they all look like they are decaying and diseased. From the Bible’s point of view, these people would be the resurrected wicked. The “normal” people who are not decaying would be the resurrected righteous. This is how Zombie movies proclaim the gospel. They have many pieces of truth but are distorted and twisted. God wants to present His gospel in the best manner possible; but if people proclaim it in a twisted manner; He will still use it any way that He can to accomplish His purposes. 


One of the saddest pictures of Zombie movies is that there is an ever dwindling supply of “normal” people. They are constantly being decimated by the Zombie hordes and the expectation is that soon there will be no more people to be infected. It is never revealed what would happen if all “normal” people were eliminated and that Zombies would be forever walking the earth looking for more people to attack. If all “normal” people were destroyed the fascination of all Zombie movies would end. What a sad commentary for the end to be a world full of diseased people with no constructive goals other than to kill and wound others. This would be the fulfillment of Satan’s kingdom, a world without hope and love and nothing constructive to do.


However, the concept of destroying all “normal” people does bring us to the end product of the twisted Christian theology factor. Many Christians believe the error that Zombieism will happen to all of the unsaved sinners. In the Bible, all people, without Jesus are perceived as the walking dead. Ephesians 2:1-3 (KJV) says “And you hath He quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the Prince of the power of the air (Satan), the sprit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” If all unconverted men are spiritual Zombies, what will be the outcome of all of them? Would the unconverted Zombies continue to wander over the earth looking for people to “bite and devour”? Galatians 5:15 (KJV) What a sad testimony of giving eternal life, the condition of no death, to those who only want to kill, eat, maim, and destroy and there is no one out there to destroy, except themselves. God says that He gives the gift of eternal life to His people not to the wicked. Romans 6:23. No, God will not have a world full of the diseased and wicked when He is done with His plan.


Another issue is, how can Zombies be helped, if at all? In the fictional issue of Zombies there is the constant hope of a serum that could reverse the disease and protect people from turning into Zombies. But, in spite of hope, no Zombies have ever been reversed and brought back to normal. There are some stories like the movie “I Am Legend” where a serum is developed to help others from turning into Zombies, but in the movie mythology once you are a Zombie you are always a Zombie.


In the Bible the closest we get to a real Zombie is someone with Leprosy. These people are presented as decaying and walking around with no hope only sadness and despair. One man comes up with a beautiful thought in that Jesus might be willing and able to help the Lepers. He helped others with all kinds of diseases, would He, and could He help the Leper? This Leper came to Jesus with this hope and by faith asked to be healed. Jesus immediately reached out and touched the man and he was healed completely. This is one of the foundational stories of the Bible – Jesus has the power, and the willingness, to heal any disease – even Zombieism.


Another facet of Zombieism addressed in the Bible is how to get a Zombie to hear and respond to the good news of hope in Jesus. In the mythology Zombies can not, or will not, hear anything that would dissuade them from attacking their next victim. This is somewhat along the lines of persuading a Hyena to not attack its food source. Yet in the Bible this mysterious act is accomplished by the foolishness of preaching. God says that when He sends a preacher, one who has had an experience with Him, to someone, even a Zombie, that there is a supernatural act that happens to all who choose to respond to His call. This is called Evangelism. Some people respond to the gospel – the good news of God’s love – some, choose, by God’s help, to change. Both sides of the picture are actively out in the world trying to influence others to choose a way of life. One way is to bite and to consume others (Galatians 5:15) another way is that people go out preaching and living out the gospel message so that the Zombies can have hope. (Matthew 28:16-20).


Lastly, in all Zombie movies there is a progressive push to a final confrontation between the Zombies and the “normals”. The energy of the movie is to see how this crisis will turn out and if there will be anyone we can identify with after the Armageddon of this event occurs. We know that if the Apocalypse turns out for the worst there will be no “normal” human beings left on this earth. God also addresses this theme in the Bible. He tells us in Revelation 16:12-16 that the spirits of demons gather all of the people of the world to “the battle of that great day of God Almighty” to a place called Armageddon. This is the final confrontation between God’s people and Satan’s Zombies. The outcome of this battle will determine if there are any living beings left on this earth. The Bible says that Jesus will come with the angels to fight this battle. (Revelation 19). He will deliver His people from harm, and He will take them away to a special place, heaven, for a thousand years and then He will return to earth to deal with the resurrected Zombies once and for all.


The Bible tells us that God has a way of dealing with the spiritual Zombies and this is what makes the story of the Zombies a gospel story. God knew what would happen to mankind once infected with the disease of sin. He knew that they would surely die spiritually and eventually they would lose their lives forever. The Bible says that the wicked are eventually destroyed, burnt up, and turned into ashes. (Revelation 20: 9,13-15; Matthew 25:31-46; Matthew 13:36-43; Malachi 4:1,3; Psalms 37:9-10). To save sinful mankind, the man-God Jesus Christ of Nazareth came to earth while we were all yet sinners. The Bible says it like this, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly (Zombies). For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,(still actively being  Zombies), Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8. It is this act by God that gives all of us Zombies hope. We need a transfusion of His love and His blood to bring us to being active children of God.


In summary, God says that He created the earth to house His people in a special way – with no harm or death in His holy mountain. (Isaiah 11:1-9). But Satan, a fallen angel formerly named Lucifer, was on hand to tempt God’s people and entice them to disobey the simplest of commands – do not eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When they disobeyed, the event that God had warned them about happened. They rebelled, ate of the fruit, and set in motion the disease/addiction called sin. As a result of this disease God’s people would surely die. Yet even in the midst of suffering and shame Jesus promised that He would come, at a special time, and would take the disease upon Himself, die for all of mankind, and then offer all gifts of safety to mankind so that all, who chose, could be saved.


Jesus knew how deadly this disease would be and what it would cost God to take care of the problem. Yet Jesus was still willing to go through the experience because of His love for His children. The mystery of God’s love, as revealed through Jesus and His people, is the antidote for the disease of sin, the real Zombieism of this world. God wants us to see it, experience it, and share it with others so that they to can be healed, if they choose.


It is our opportunity to recognize that the mythology of Zombieism is simply a fairy tale so that people can experience the sensuousness of fear of the unknown and still be safe.  Everyone thinks that they know that there are no mythological Zombies. But God uses the issues of life to bring an awareness of the truth to mankind. God knows that there are real spiritual Zombies – sinners – and that He has devised a means to help every single person on this planet who has been infected with sin. It remains up to us to share the truths of the Bible with sinners. We know that most sinners will not respond to the gospel. Even though God requires us to share with every nation, kindred, tongue, and people until the whole world is fully aware of the problem and the solution. One day God will bring this whole experience to a close and He will take those who have responded to Him to heaven, and will bring them back to Earth to see Him resolve the sin problem once and for all. He will recreate the Earth and all who have chosen Him will live forever in His presence. Soon there will be no more Zombies forever. May God bless you and keep you and protect you from all scary things.