Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gnosticism in Supernatural

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester
One of the hardest things is when you realize that one of your top favorite shows is based on a cult. There was a reason I stopped watched Supernatural during the 4th season. I just had that gut instinct that something wasn't right, and it turns out, I should always listen to that "gut" instinct because I think it's more spiritual than anything else.

What troubles me about Supernatural is not the demons and the ghosts and the overall creepiness of an anti-Claus. This may shock you, but I'm not scared of ghosts and fake demons. That adrenaline rush is fun! What worries me are the angels.

Supernatural brought in the Godsquad (Dean's nickname) in the 4th season and they are about as un-angelic as you could possibly imagine. They're arrogant, manipulative bullies that don't mind one bit that humanity is caught in the middle of a war between angels and demons. God is non-existent (or the angels haven't seen Him in forever).

So, what I'm left with is a show I still love that headed down the wrong religious track. Until today, I never realized gnostic theology is included in my beloved Supernatural. I mean, I knew it was heading towards Crazyville, but I didn't realize it had gone quite that far.


Gnostic Basics
  1. Gnosticism emphasizes the evilness of the human body. The physical body is putrid to gnostics, all that matters is the spiritual element. 
  2. Another belief is that there is God the Father (a good if non-existent entity) and the Creator who is an evil bully.
  3. Jesus was a man who was possessed by the spiritual entity, Christ.

Supernatural Basics
  1.  Demons have to possess humans in order to have a physical form.
  2. ANGELS have to possess humans in order to have a physical form.
  3. God is non-existent, resulting in some angels who don't believe in Him period and others determined to find Him.
  4. The angels and the demons are in the middle of a family feud because they are the SONS of God.
Are you seeing any similarities? If I were to dig deeper into gnosticism, I wonder what I might find regarding angels and demons and their relationship to God. In this show, God is non-exist, but when He wasn't non-existent, He didn't care or He was a bully. How dare He cast his favored son Lucifer (SON???) out of Heaven. You have the occasional angels who still believe in Him and are on this absurd quest to find God, but then you have the others who have ceased to believe at all and are going to put a stop to the battle regardless of casualties. Only the spiritual self matters. The physical body is putrid and disgusting to Gnostics, which explains why the demons and angels both only spiritual entities with no physical form. It's . . . crazy.

Whatever happened to my television show? I look back at the beginning, when it was just Dean and Sam charging from one ghost sighting to the next, fighting vampires and werewolves and evil spirits, and I miss that. It was less complicated and I never suffered guilt pangs by watching it, not once. Now I'm left with a decision to make. Do I watch the show up until it went nuts in season four? Do I watch those first three seasons with a sprinkling of sporadic episodes throughout the later seasons? Or do I give it up in its entirety? Because the idea of giving it up ties my stomach in knots, but I'm equally uncomfortable how Kripke is leading his viewers astray. If I continue watching, where does it stop? Is it acceptable to watch a show based on gnosticism (one of the most damaging Christian cults of ancient times)? I don't know, and it's tearing me apart inside. Lord, give me wisdom.

4 comments:

  1. Hi--*wiggles fingers in a wave* I've seen your comments over on Charity's posts, and was like, totally flattered that you said you'd been wanting to meet me! I checked out your blog and saw you were awesome, and can only apologize that illness kept me so long from returning your greeting! * bows *

    Although I was reluctant to see Supernatural, mainly because it looked like one of those shows people watch entirely for the "hawt guyz!", but I decided at last to give it a try. Mostly because several people whose taste I respected kept recommending it!

    The series turned out to be better than I expected, I enjoyed (though I know not all episodes were filmed on location) the "slice of Americana" episodes set in different states. The idea of "our heroes" doing the right thing, no matter how dangerous--or how crazy everyone thought they might be! Sam's wavering and Dean's flirtatiousness were a bit annoying, but hardly enough to wreck the show. Even the later episodes--I thought that Ruby might offer an interesting story arc of a demonic creature seeking redemption--then they brought in the whole angel thing and--no--just no!

    When I read "Kripke", my brain initially went "Krupke! Officer Krupke I'm down on my knees....oh wait--wrong story."

    Gnosticism huh? I never thought of it--although I am slightly due to gnosticism due to my love of Ancient Egypt. Nope, the Ancient Egyptians weren't gnostics, but there are some modern new agey types who sometimes try to link certain Egyptian beliefs, with certain aspects of Christianity, and then sorta mix them all together and write books about on this theme and the "original origin!" of Gnosticism.

    That said, I don't really get what the point was of tackling a very Biblical subject, like angels vs demons, Heaven and Hell--if it was going to be so DIFFERENT from anything in the actual Bible! At least previous shows, like Touched by an Angel, made an effort to be respectful of Christianity/Judaism.

    The same thing with some upcoming films, like Noah (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959490/ ), or the one in the works based on the Exodus ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/14/christian-bale-moses-exodus_n_3754540.html ) Hollywood has hardly ever been the mostly godly place, even back in its golden age, given some of the behind-the-scenes stuff. But nowadays a so much of what it turns out is inherently ANTI-Christian, in terms of support for gay marriage, a careless attitude toward sexuality, and the profanity and violence kinda goes without saying…So why continue to draw on the Bible for…entertainment-related inspiration???

    As for whether or not to continue watching Supernatural, I quit after the fifth season, but I know how hard it can be to struggle with a favorite TV show. :( Ultimately—I just don’t know—there’s been cases where I’ll stop, then give something a second chance, others where I stopped cold turkey! Sometimes I’ll continue reading a book with morally objectionable content because it has other worthwhile elements. It’s a tough question—that we Christians rarely know how to answer!

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    Replies
    1. Whoops, I knew I misplaced your comment! My bad!

      I confess, I was hooked on Supernatural first because I adore Jensen Ackles. He's gorgeous and my crush on him still hasn't abated almost 10 years later! I just, well, can't watch the show anymore. By watching episodes from later seasons I ruined the original seasons for myself. Now I know where a story arc was going and hate that knowledge because the arc sucks.

      I've pretty much given up my interest in anything supernatural at this point, even Biblical-related movies. I'm one of a very few number of Christians that didn't like The Bible Miniseries. I thought it made too many changes to actual Scripture which will only serve to confuse non-believers all the more. And the actually important events they totally skimmed over, like Solomon? Umm, he was sorta crucial! And what about Ruth and Boaz? Esther? To me, it was a waste of my time and actually offended me in some ways because it just did not do the awesomeness of scripture justice.

      I think the only movie about a Christian leader that I actually love is Amazing Grace, but even that sort of skims over Wilberforce's very devout faith. Still, it was better than nothing and they gave enough information for the audience to understand the choices he made.

      Anyway, yeah, I quite watching Supernatural. As much as it pained me to do so, I resold the 1st and 2nd season I just bought (I shoulda thought twice before hitting that purchase button). There's other stuff I can watch that won't irk my Christian sensibilities so much. I just wish the writers hadn't gone down the roads they chose! I will always ask myself WHY!

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  2. Just watch the first three seasons. Until then, it was fine.

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