Back in the day, Chris Carter’s The X Files was one of the most successful series on TV, and certainly one of the most honored. It won all kinds of awards. And now that you can watch old TV shows on your computer, Patty and I have been watching X Files episodes.
If you want to know why Christianity is in trouble in America, check out our pop culture.
Last night we watched a 1999 episode called Millenium, a crossover with another series produced by Carter and canceled for the 1999 TV season. Anyhow, in this entry, the bad guys are resurrecting dead FBI agents who committed suicide because they wanted to be resurrected. Yeah, it’s complicated.
In a brainstorming session, Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) figures there must be a lot of necromancy going on. Necromancy is the art of raising the dead and getting them to do your bidding. Mulder describes it as an ancient feature “of the Judeo-Christian tradition.” Uh, not exactly… Necromancy is mentioned in the Bible. There shall not be found among you anyone… that useth divination… or a witch… or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord… (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) It is not part of any Judeo-Christian tradition.
Besides which, all this Scripture-spouting necromancer can really do is make the corpses into zombies.
But my point is, here is a popular TV show, an icon of our popular culture at the time, making use of Christianity, or rather abusing it, for the producer’s own ends. It went on then and it still goes on today. Our “entertainment” industry hardly ever touches on Christian faith except to mock it, distort it, or condemn it.
The X Files frequently touched on Christian themes, Chris Carter sucking it into a mish-mosh of New Age twaddle, UFOlogy, and pagan superstition. It lent “gravitas” to the show’s mythology. I should add that The X Files would have been totally ridiculous if not for the consistently superb quality of the filming, the acting, the background music, and the locations.
For whatever the reason, we Americans have for a long time been using our popular culture to undermine our faith.
If you answer by saying, “Oh, it’s just entertainment! It doesn’t really mean anything,” I think I would have to answer, “But everything means something.”
Study our “entertainment” closely and see if you don’t agree with me.