Saturday, February 16, 2013

ABC's "Zero Hour"

So I watched the first episode online last night - can't resist me an X-Files-ish hour of television.  The show definitely kept me interested, and believe me you will not see the revelation at the end of the first hour coming.  I will tune in again to see where this is going.

Like many historical conspiracy theories of late, Zero Hour, plays fast and loose with history and its writers are clearly not making any attempts at accuracy regarding the beliefs of Catholic Christians or others.  They're simply grabbing religious terms that people have probably heard, filed away in the back of their minds, and the show's writers are able to throw in to add an air of the mysterious/spiritual to the telling of their story.  I'll give you a few examples:

The Rosicrucians are the secret society at the heart of Zero Hour.  They are portrayed as a group within Catholicism, especially interested in mysticism and the End Times, dating back to the second century.  Alright, historically Rosicrucianism dates back to the early 1600's, and it was actually quite anti-Catholic.  

Zero Hour goes on to reveal that during World War II, "the Church ... without the knowledge of the pope," ordained "twelve new apostles," to save the world from the Nazis.  "The Twelve" were entrusted with guarding some relic hidden beneath a Bavarian cathedral that, if discovered by the Nazis, would set in motion the end of the world.  "The Church" in this case seems to refer to the Rosicrucians within the Catholic Church. (As I finished typing that sentence I realized how completely crazy this show sounds; should I give another hour of my life to seeing where it goes?)

Quick theological reality check:  Within Christianity "the Twelve Apostles" is only and ever used to refer to those men who encountered Jesus after His Resurrection and were established by Him as the unrepeatable foundation stones of His Church (Rev. 21:12-14) - and Peter in an utterly unique way (Mt. 16:17-19).  So any talk of a new group of the Twelve is simply an impossibility.  And "the Church" ordaining without the knowledge of the pope?  What does that even mean?  This transformation of the Rosicrucians into an ancient religious order within the Catholic Church makes for some interesting story telling possibilities, but it it also creates a Christianity with only a passing resemblance to the actual Faith.  Keeping all of this in mind, I was still left scratching my head when a Rosicrucian Catholic priest (in Nazi Germany) lamented, "Not even God can save us now ... only the Twelve." Clearly, not a well-catechized guy.  I don't know what they are teaching in that universe's Rosicrucian Catholic seminaries, but it's nothing I would devote my life to.


  1. Why is the 'Catholic Church' ALWAYS involved in films (series, etc.) like these? I find that to be 'frightening' and very disturbing to say the least. God/Jesus are NOT looking for 'denominations', it's about the Savior but folks don't seem to care about that though. These truly are the 'last days', just like the Bible said. Jean K.

    1. Jean,
      I agree that it is disturbing that it is the Catholic Church that is always singled out in these films and series. My own conviction is that this is because it is the most recognizable form of Christianity and, prior to the schisms in its second millenia, the only Christianity. I would not characterize the Catholic Church as one "denomination" among others, but as the Church founded by the Savior Himself. And because of that, among all the different Christian groups that exist, the Enemy has marked it (the Catholic Church) out especially for attack.