I recently discovered the show Lucifer. It follows the common misconception that good people go to Heaven and bad people go to Hell to be punished. Lucifer considers himself merely a punisher of the wicked; while he’s not a hero, he’s hardly a villain, according to the show. He partners up with a cop, solves murders, and doles out his own brand of punishment before the criminals get arrested.
One might expect me, as a Christian, to dislike this show. Heresy! Sacrilege! God’s name in vain! But I happen to like it. It’s not a normal cop show, which means it’s actually decent television sometimes. I recognize that the lack-of-Jesus false theology is inevitable in fiction. So I try to enjoy it for what it is, and as a geek I rather like the twist on popular mythology.
There are interesting truths to be found because of Lucifer’s unique perspective. He often reminds people that he doesn’t force them to do bad things. He just draws out their desires; they sin entirely on their own.
The thing I do find a little hard to swallow is that we are rooting for the actual Devil. According to the show, he is capable of becoming a good person. God and the angels are seen as antagonists, because of course from Lucifer’s perspective they did some pretty terrible things to him.
This isn’t exactly a new concept. On Supernatural, most angels are jerks. And while John Pellegrino’s Lucifer is always a villain and viewers are never really rooting for him, he is a fun and likable character, the way any good villain is fun and likable. And he’s played by John Pellegrino, which helps.
Why do we like this sort of thing? Maybe it’s a good thing that we want to redeem traditionally evil people, if only in our stories. But making enemies out of God and the angels, while fun from a geeky perspective, is really unfortunate from a Christian perspective. Viewers might feel antagonistic toward the real God and real angels.
In Revelation, we’re told that in the last days there will be people who straight up hate God and wage war on him. Geeky fandoms, if not viewed with wisdom and discernment, may be contributing to that army’s ranks.
Well that’s a terrifying thought.
Who’s your favorite villain? Why do you like him or her, or love to hate him or her? Let’s Connect!