After watching 5 seasons of Criminal Minds this summer (yeah really… I had been off TV for the previous 2 years, and I’m not sure how this happened… maybe it was my back injury… maybe it was sloth… regardless, I’ve gone cold turkey again), I’m now planning on preaching the show on Sunday.
As usual, the first exegetical question I’m asking is, ‘What is it about this show that so intrigues viewers/me/made-in-the-image-of- God human beings?’ Like all crime shows, our innate yearning for justice, is a big motivator. We live in a messed up world where bad things happen and we long for someone to take control, make sense of it, solve the mystery, to stop the bad guy, and to restore peace and safety again. “Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.” G.K. Chesterton, Season 3, 7 Seconds. God is a dragon slaying God.
But what in particular does this show teach us about ourselves? Criminal Minds is unique in terms of it’s deep exploration of the human psyche. What does it’s unique formula say about who we are? About who God is? One answer that comes to mind, for me, is that we’re all a mix of good and evil – even heinous evil… that caught in the right circumstance , any one of us could do terrible things. To me Criminal Minds allows us to explore our deep dark side, to better understand how alive sin is within us, and how powerful it can be. By looking evil straight in the face, we see things we’d rather not know, and yet need to know. “Nothing is easier than to denounce the evil doer; Nothing more difficult than understanding him.”Fyodor Dostoevsky, Season 3, 7 seconds
I think this will be one of the angles I take on Sunday. But what do you think? And as you consider the show/genre, what Bible stories/ scriptural truths come to mind? How does the truth in Criminal Minds connect to the Bible’s truth? And lastly, what does the truth that Criminal Minds exposes about who we are, teach us about who God is? Big questions on the nature of evil for this weekend – the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.