Walter White from Breaking Bad. Don Draper from Mad Men. Frank Underwood from House of Cards. Dexter from Dexter.
Those are just a few of the bad men we’ve fallen in love with as a culture. It seems like we’re obsessed with the antihero – the guy who’s only slightly better than his villainous counterparts. We actually root for these bad men to succeed, even though they hurt others to get ahead. The only redeeming quality in most of them is that they do have some semblance of a moral code – though small – that keeps them from crossing certain lines.
It would be easy to see this infatuation with the antihero as a black spot on our culture. It might be proof that our society is going to hell in a hand basket.
But lately I’ve begun watching a new show that has me thinking a bit differently about this antihero concept. Yes, this new show has some delicious antihero action. There are tons of characters you can’t help but root for. One is a cheater. Another is a murderer. And another betrayed his friend, then stabbed him in the back.
Oh, so, delicious.
What is this new show, you ask? It’s The Bible on the History Channel. I hear it’s based on a book.
Yep, there are countless antiheroes in the Bible. Abraham. Moses. David. In fact, the vast majority of our heroes in the Bible were scoundrels. Only Jesus and Joseph come to mind as truly good.
Here’s where our cultural and Biblical antiheroes get it right. We love them because they are all helplessly flawed. And despite that, there’s redemption. God can redeem anyone – no matter how depraved – and that’s a hope worth DVR-ing.
So how does your church handle the antihero? Do you sweep him under the rug? Or do you encourage the antiheroes in your congregation. Do you show them the hope and redemption available to the antihero? After all, there’s a little bit of an antihero in each of us.