With God in a zombie apocalypse

Mike Sanborn explains how we are a culture of zombies in one of the workshops Thursday morning.


Mike Sanborn, pastor at Granada Heights Friends Church in La Mirada, discusses how technology has made our culture into zombies. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

James O'Hearn, Writer

Zombies are a current obsession in pop culture. This is probably due to some complicated cultural metaphor where zombies are communism or maybe capitalism. Or was it vampires who were capitalism?

What is it about zombies, though? The first zombie film was made in 1932. There have been 642 total zombie films that were greater than 45 minutes long, and 430 have come out since the year 2000. Zombie Women of Satan. Zombiegeddon. Zombie Honeymoon. Zombie Ninja Gangbangers. Zombie Cheerleader Camp. Zombie Vegetarians. Punk Rock Zombie Kung Fu Catfight. And of course, the ever popular title The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-up Zombies.

Thursday afternoon’s Torrey speaker Mike Sanborn asked if we are prepared for a zombie apocalypse — and then asked if maybe we’re living in one right now.

Now, he’s got to be talking about the brain. Most of what we think, of what we say, of what we do — it’s all on autopilot. We’re just letting go and living inside our minds. We are the Walking Dead.

But there is good news, Sanborn reminded us, and it’s that Jesus came to raise the dead. He comes to us and says, “Wake up. Walk with me, and I will give you life and life to the fullest.”

The way we think, act and speak is so often triggered unconsciously by other people. Just watching someone else eating will make us want to eat. When you see someone embarrass themselves, we feel the embarrassment and cringe. When someone smiles at us, we’ll just start feeling better about ourselves. But, said Sanborn, we affect ourselves unconsciously as well. We influence our own behavior by what we choose to think about.

Sanborn explained that we let “zombie routines” into our lives, putting ourselves on autopilot. It’s quicker and easier than giving deep thought to too much — and it’s learned through repetition and practice.

This is so important, Sanborn reminded us, because sinful patterns can become instilled in us — bad habits of thinking, having biases against groups of people, hanging out with the wrong crowd. We need to root these things out because they don’t give us life, they don’t give us peace. Only Jesus can bring the dead back to life, can give us that peace.

We are searching for that knowledge, that truth — the truth which will set us free. The freedom is freedom from sin, which is life and peace.

Sanborn concluded with John 8:12, a verse I have always found to be a comfort in times when I feel dead on my feet:

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

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