Does Lucifer Have Something to Say to Christians?
I get it. It is really irritating that Christians (particularly clergy) rarely show up on television, even in places like emergency rooms or disasters sites where (in real life) clergy can always be found. (Yeah, I’m talking to you Shonda Rhimes and Dick Wolf.) When Christian characters do show up on television at all, they are either buffoons, predators or overbearing, judgmental haters.
To add insult to the injury of the poor portrayal of Christians in the media, the devil himself, Lucifer, gets his own primetime television show on (where else?) the Fox Network. Although, to be fair, credit for Lucifer Morningstar’s character goes far more to Milton’s Paradise Lost than it does to The Bible. And the character originated in the world of DC Comics, which, although it offers up some good theology at times, makes no claim to scriptural authority.
As Christians, our impulse is to turn away from and openly denounce anything having to do with the Prince of Darkness, but what if, in looking, we could learn something?
Close to the beginning of the pilot episode a young, up-and-coming singer tells Lucifer, “God, I’m a mess.” His quick reply is, “God has nothing to do with your mess.” Later he tells another accuser, “I have no power over people’s sins. I get a bad rap for that. I have the ability to bring out people’s hidden desires. But the actual sins? The sins are on you people.” Lucifer quickly debunks the cop-out of the-devil-made-me-do-it, and puts all evil-doing back on humanity.
But humanity may be putting something back on him. By the end of episode one, he has sought justice, saved a life and endeared himself to a child. The pilot wraps with a bartender (who seems to be some sort of watchdog for Lucifer on earth) saying, “I’m worried the humans are rubbing off on you. Stop caring. You’re the devil.”
Not that I recommend taking up regular viewing of this show. Lucifer is fairly misogynistic (but then again, it’s hard to find much on TV that isn’t), and it’s certainly not a family show. But, the show does make one wonder…do we defeat the devil by rebuking him or would we do better to start receiving him and showing him how the other half loves?
Could Lucifer be a pop-culture experiment in trying to use quasi-Christian characters to communicate the words of the Bhudda? “In this world, hate never dispelled hate, only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and exhaustible.” More likely some Fox execs simply thought a show about the devil in the devil’s playground would be just enticing enough for people to tune in. But then again…