May 24th, 2010
09:22 PM ET

'Lost' ends on a spiritual note

For six seasons, there was a lot on the series "Lost" that was open to interpretation. One thing pretty clear, however, was that the final moments of the series on Sunday night - with many of the characters "moving on" from a kind of purgatory inside a church - were intensely spiritual.

One man who has been interpreting the show as having a very Christian point of view is Chris Seay, pastor at Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas, and author of the book "The Gospel According to Lost."

He believes "Lost" took a big step in a spiritual direction during a final season that saw episodes where the island was described as hell, or a gateway to hell, and a place where all the light of the world must be protected.

"I think they embraced a spiritual identity and told a spiritual story," he said. "The spiritual commentary is so rich that even 'Lost' itself commented on it, as Desmond told Kate that they were waiting on the body of a man named Christian Shephard. Her reaction was to say 'Christian Shephard? Seriously?' The finale kept it going full force in that vein."

In the finale, as Desmond was lowered down towards the "source," he faced a blinding white light, which was drained and replaced with something that can be best compared to lava from a volcano. It came across an awful lot like classical descriptions of hell.

"It fit very well with the description that Jacob gave in 'Ab Aeterno,' my favorite episode," according to Seay. "He said that the island is this cork that is holding back the forces of hell and malevolence. It was similar to what Jesus would say to Peter, that my kingdom would hold back the gates of hell."

Even though one of the closing scenes took place in a church, an array of different religious symbols could be seen on the stained glass walls there.

"Christianity has been the dominant narrative here, but I thought they might hedge their bets, and they put every religious symbol ever known to man all over the place," Seay said. "This was a deeply spiritual path to redemption. This show is saying there is a spirituality to how you live, and seeking redemption and atonement for your sins is important."

Even so, he felt "disappointed" with some of the "gaps" in the finale. "The 'flash-sideways' as purgatory felt a bit like a copout to me."

Despite this, Seay has a lot of respect for what the show accomplished.

"One of the great things about the show is it gets people reading and talking," he said. "The 'CSIs' of the world don’t get you reading books to make you understand them. And unlike most feature films I've paid $10 to see, what they did was pretty remarkable."

- CNN iReport Associate Producer

Filed under: Culture & Science • TV

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Amaan

    Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been tnhmos for me. Well this text that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this text to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic together with your article. Thanks, great share.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  2. WaWalawa

    J.J. Abrams and the show's directors and producers say that they explicitly are not writing about purgatory or limbo, or the transmigration of souls – thus not being religious in any way – Christian or otherwise. Personally, I think that means that the life after death theme is written as a dramatic examination of the philosophical query of life after death.

    June 10, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
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  3. fred

    So funny...the comments of people on here that thought LOST was only about science for the past 6 years only to find the finale too spiritual...give me a break–these people never even watched the show. How could you not notice the Spiritual side of this show. I mean season one had Charlie in confession, Claire gets baptized by Mr. Echo who is a priest, Charlie and Mr. Echo recite Psalm 23 while burning a drug plane, Desmond was a monk for a short time, Rose went to a faith healer and prays regularly for different characters, and on and on and on...to cry foul now is absolutely absurd. The show was true in the end to what is always was about...the conversation of Faith vs. Science, fate vs free-will, and that it takes community of people to make life have value.

    May 31, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.