When Monsters Come Out
Updated: Jan 4, 2019
One of my favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone is “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” ***Spoiler Alert*** In this episode, a group of aliens use a simple power outage to transform a quiet suburban neighborhood into a murderous in-fighting mob.
The episode shows how quickly and easily mankind can be moved to violence, fear and hatred. This story, like many Twilight Zone episodes actually, illustrates the Biblical doctrine of total depravity. On this whole block, only one man acts as the voice of reason as the neighborhood begins to tear itself apart.
As Christians, we are always to be that one voice of reason. Total depravity is a reality. In short, the natural inclination of every single person is inherently selfish and wrong. Ever since Adam, humanity’s default setting is one of misguided self-interest. To put that another way, the human’s “heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.” (Jeremiah 17:9, NASB)
However, one beautiful result of the Gospel is that, as born-again believers, we are given a new heart (Jeremiah 24:7). This is what is commonly referred to as being born-again. As Christians, we are made new. Our desires are different, the way we think is different- everything is new!
This new heart comes with a responsibility in our daily lives. We, as Christians, are never to be fear or hate mongers. We are never to denounce a group of people as beyond salvation; we are never to act in vengeance; we are never to act out of hate or fear.
When the rest of the city block begins to destroy itself, let us be the ones that are there in love. Let us be the ones that speak kindly, even when we’re being hit over the head. Let us be faithful, even to the point of death if need be.
There is always a temptation to label our fellow image bearers of God as “enemies.” However, as Paul says “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, NASB) In other words, our enemies are not other people. Our message to lost persons should always be Gospel-centric; not one of fear and hatred.
Peter is very clear about how we are to engage with the unsaved world when he said that “even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:14-15, NASB)
When those “monsters” come out on “Maple Street”, let us be the ones responding in love, patience and with the Gospel on our hearts and tongue.