Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Your New False god

While Supernatural has some very out-there theology, it also sometimes makes very good points. In the first episode of season seven, "Meet the New Boss", Castiel introduces local churchgoers to their "new god".

This new, false god is young and sexy. He's open to alternate lifestyles. His first decree: "I am utterly indifferent to sexual orientation."

He stands up for "tolerance" and against hypocrisy (or, at least, the hypocrisy he sees in others).

Hell exists as a threat to hold over people to make them behave. "I need a threat to hold over my enemies."

He says things that sound scriptural (enough so to fool his listeners). "And he who lies in my name shall choke on his own false tongue and his poisonous words shall betray him, for I am the Lord your God."

He proclaims loudly his goodness: "I'm cleaning up one mess after another -- selflessly."

He is a new god for a new age - a post-Christian era of self-worship. I am god. What I want is what god wants. You are a hypocrite; I am tolerant. Death - in Supernatural, a wise, if indifferent, old man - calls him on it.  "I know God, and you, sir, are no God."

Castiel knows it too. He cannot bear the sight of the true God, and when he sees an image of Jesus in a stained glass window, he alters it. He changes the image of Jesus to the image of himself. To himself, he is Christ. His will be done.

That is possibly the greatest modern heresy - not that God is one person instead of three, or that Christ is only human or only divine, but that God is me. Replace the stained glass windows with mirrors. Replace the Word with the whim. And each man bow to his new god.

4 comments:

Aimee Rhodd said...

Wow, this is an amazing take on the show. I'm watching that episode now for the first time and I found your article by doing a search for the "scripture" Castiel spoke in the church. Great perspective. Thank you!

JuzzyPotter said...

That's how I came to this, too. I thought that what Cas said was "scripture", too. The writers really know how to make something sound legit. This was a really view to come from "GodCas".

Joe Wetterling said...

Like Shakespeare, we know what Scripture is "supposed" to sound like. It worked in Pulp Fiction, and it works here.

The problem comes when we do it in real life, when we hear something "Bible-y" and take it uncritically, or gloss over those stories we've heard over and over without really *reading* and thinking on them. There's a lot to miss!

James Christopher Hill said...

As a Christian that loves the show, I know that it's obviously a different fictional universe where what they say is clearly not the word of God, but like Dante's Inferno, which they pull many references from; the writers get the viewers to think about God when they never would before. I see the show make references that could be construed the wrong way. The writers do take the time to make fairly clear that the show is fiction and not the word of God. Bobbie makes it clear on one philosophy "I figured when I died, I would just die, and that would be the end of it, imagine my surprise as he found himself in Hell." Those words hit home to me. Sometimes when they do quote the Bible correctly, they will say "That is the word of God" like a Priest states in one episode and another Priest in another episode explains that angels are to be feared and respected by quoting Luke. There are some very poignant scenes that could be shown in churches. What got me personally is Dean's self-loathing and doubt over God's existence. Castiel says it perfectly. "What's the matter Dean?" while looking at him with bewilderment "You think you don't deserve to be saved!" "That's your problem Dean, You have no Faith!" In a following episode, Dean is arguing over the actual existence of Angels, and the possibility that there is a God that "Gives a #$#p about him personally. Sorry, I'm not buying it! I mean I get freaked out being called out in a party let alone this!?" to which Bobbie replies, "We'll like we've just witnessed personally, I'd say the money is on the fact that God is real and he want you to put on your party hat!"; to which Dean replies, "Why do I deserved to be saved?!!!?" How many people in this day and age avoid God for that very feeling in their hearts? Those scenes would speak volumes in churches across the world to tell people that 1) There is a God, 2) He loves all of his children, 3) None of us deserve salvation 4) We are graced with Salvation with the Blood of Christ. While Supernatural is a show that Christians and non-Christians should watch but with careful consideration of what is said is true and what is not in scriptural context (chapter and verse), The writers do a great job showing how Lucifer deceives, twists the truth and they fall for it every time. The irony of the show is about to reveal itself that God has been there the whole time, allowing things to play out, allowing people to step into the puddles because they insist on following their own hearts and lies instead of his truths; only in the end for them to find out that he was right the whole time. I get more reverence, fear, love and understanding of God from watching this show that I know clearly a lot of references are made up, but the scripts do say things like "it's from a very obscure version or it's not mentioned in the bible". This show has never claimed to be an alternative belief system of Christianity or feel-good Christianity, but that it's a different universe, a different world where we can safely ask those hard questions we grapple with. Why? Why does God allow evil, famine, disease, death? Why do some that deserve death live in the limelight while Good God-fearing Christians suffer in poverty and sickness? Why? The answers usually tick off the characters, but like it or not, that's God, his choice not theirs. Whenever they choose their own way, it always fails which is why the show always says in the beginning of each episode "The Road so far"; most likely referring to the old saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." It's a great show that is getting a lot of people that would never follow God, to star learning about him. By watching it over and over, just like reading the scriptures over and over, I hear new words, new meanings that push me closer to God and force me to look at myself.

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