Ray Rooney, Jr.: Van Helsing, I Presume
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 9:22 AM

As much of a fan of horror and science fiction as I am, I am not one of the looney tunes who believe vampires really exist.  At least in Bram Stoker/ Bela Lugosi way.  However, the book of Leviticus does ban the consumption of blood with this rationale: “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11).  If then, by vampirism, one means those who drain the life of others away…I’m absolutely a believer.

I’ve been around too many people who metaphorically suck the life out of everything and everyone around them.  They bring angst into the midst of celebration.  They introduce death into revitalization.  They throw a wet blanket on a burning fire of revival, foster division in the midst of unity, and can guide an offhand remark about the beautiful spring weather into an occasion to insult and drag down any who happen to be in their crosshairs.  “Nosferatu” (a term popularized in the early 1920’s by a silent German film about a blood sucking vampire) literally means “disease bearer.”  I know plenty of people who fulfil that onerous task…and I suspect you do too.  They are in fact the living embodiment of the vampire metaphor.

Peter said “they are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you” (2 Peter 2:13).  Jude calls them “waterless clouds, swept along by the winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead…(Jude 12).  And Paul says they “have wandered away into vain discussion…” (1 Timothy 1:6). 

The two areas of life I am confronted by these carriers of ill will the most are faith and sports.  Faith because ministry has been my life for the past 28 years.  Sports because I have a very athletic and talented teen aged daughter who has been heavily involved with sports (particularly fast pitch softball) since she was four years old.  Over the years I have noticed that the same people who drag down churches with their undying negativity and complaining are almost always the same ones who yell and scream at coaches, referees, umpires, and even players.  They’ll even infect a locker room by telling their kids to blame others for losing and instruct their kids to ignore the coach since he or she obviously doesn’t know what he/she is doing.  You’ve probably attended a church board meeting when the church was going through difficult times.  Remember how miserable these people made that meeting?  Try attending a booster club meeting of a losing team with these people.

Whispering, rumor-mongering, back-stabbing, blaming, complaining, until you just want to leave it all behind.  And if you check the attendance at most churches, that is exactly what people are doing.  Leaving in droves so the disease carrying vampires can be in charge.  We do it in religion, sports, politics, education, etc.  Every facet of American life is being overrun by the life draining vampires among us.  A pall of dread and benign resignation hangs over the entire country, if not the world.  We’re all just waiting for our turn to be infected and become disease carriers ourselves.

Unless and until we remember the bane of the vampire: the Cross.  When the symbol of faith, hope, and love is wielded in even the weakest of hands and hearts doom and gloom are forced away while reason and righteousness are restored.  The more that Christianity has retreated into its shell the more darkness has increased and animosity has spread.  “You are the light of the world” Jesus told His followers (Matthew 5:14).  Shine the light.  Wield the Cross.  Jesus promised that “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against the Church that would take His gospel fearlessly into the realm of darkness.  Sometimes that realm isn’t as far away as a brooding castle in Transylvania.  Sometimes it’s in our own churches and on our kids’ own ball fields. 

Ray Rooney, Jr.