Hazbin Hotel: An Inspiring Story of Redemption and Rehabilitation?

By John Cloud | Posted February 19, 2024

Hazbin Hotel became Amazon Prime Video’s “most-watched new animated title globally” only days after its January 19 debut, reports IMDb. Produced by studio A24, the show is an adult cartoon and musical comedy with an 18+ rating due to violence, substance use, foul language, and sexual content. Despite this, the series has been highly acclaimed by critics and viewers alike, with many praising its supposed themes of “redemption and rehabilitation.” Is that what the show is truly about, or is something more sinister going on?

The Backstory

Not only does Hazbin Hotel feature vulgar humor and graphic violence, but it also presents a twisted, confusing tale of good and evil that is a corruption of the biblical story of redemption. Here’s the backstory in a nutshell from episode 1 …

The angel Lucifer was “a dreamer with fantastical ideas for all of creation.” Threatened by his way of thinking, the other angels marginalized and rejected him. Then, they created Adam and his first wife, Lilith. After Adam demanded that Lilith submit to him, she refused and fled. That’s when Lucifer found her, and the two fell in love. They sought to “share the magic of free will with humanity, offering the fruit of knowledge to Adam's new bride, Eve, who gladly accepted.”

For this “single act of disobedience,” the earth was cursed with evil, and “Heaven cast Lucifer and his love into the dark pit he had created.” “Ashamed, Lucifer lost his will to dream. But Lilith thrived.” She helped to grow and empower the population of Hell. “Threatened by this, Heaven made a truly heartless decision.” Every year, they send down an army to exterminate vast numbers of the occupants of Hell to ensure that Hell and its sinners can never rise against them.

A Few Problems

The backstory makes Lucifer out to be a misunderstood hero, portrays Adam as an overbearing buffoon prior to the fall, and presents Lilith, the fictional first wife of Adam from Mesopotamian mythology, as a female role model. According to Lucifer and Lilith, free will comes by disobeying God. This sympathizes with the serpent’s lies in Genesis 3 that God is unfair and controlling. 

Our heavenly Father isn’t interested in controlling us. As the architect of all creation, He has put in place parameters for the flourishing of life. He doesn’t want automatons but free-will beings who choose life. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

God is not mentioned directly in the show, but the vengeful attitude of the angels toward sinners implies that God delights in doling out punishment. The emphasis on Eve’s sin as a “single act of disobedience” hints at it not being such a big deal and that the sentence was unfair. And since when does Hell have the power to threaten Heaven? It’s doubtful that people are flocking to Hazbin Hotel to learn biblical theology, but nonetheless, this skewed depiction of the Bible narrative subconsciously warps viewers’ understanding of God’s character.

A Perverted Plot

The core premise of Hazbin Hotel revolves around Charlie Morningstar, the Demon Princess of Hell and bisexual daughter of Lucifer and Lilith, who plans to open a hotel to rehabilitate sinners and get them into Heaven. She, along with some friends, hopes to solve Hell’s overpopulation problem and avoid the yearly extermination inflicted by the angels, which she terms “Heaven’s genocide.” In the Hazbin Hotel world, demons, not angels, want to help sinners. 

On the contrary, the Bible says that angels rejoice when a sinner repents (Luke 19:10) and that Jesus is our Redeemer (1 Timothy 1:15), not the demon daughter of Satan. Not only that, but the plan of redemption was laid out before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and is far more than a haphazard attempt by a band of demonic misfits to save from Hell those whom God neglected. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11).

Hell is Not Forever

In the premiere episode of Hazbin Hotel, we meet the first human, Adam, who is now the leader of the angels in Heaven. How did Adam get there? The Bible doesn’t teach that humans go to Heaven at death but instead await the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:52); neither does it teach that we turn into angels.

Adam is depicted as a foul-mouthed, misogynist angel who enjoys tormenting sinners. He laughs about the destruction of human souls while Charlie attempts to get him to see their value. In a song, Adam sings, “Hell is forever, whether you like it or not, had their chance to behave better, now they boil in a pot, cause the rules are black and white, there’s no use in tryn’ to fight it, their burnin’ for their lives, until we kill ‘em again!”

Again, this attitude of the head angel implies God also delights in the destruction of sinners. This couldn’t be further from the truth! God declares, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3). Only those who resist His love will experience hell, and it will not last forever. Even Satan will not have to endure eternal torment but will be turned “to ashes upon the earth” (Ezekiel 28:18). Hell is better described as an event than a place. It is the time when God’s fire will end sin, those who cling to it, and death once and for all (Hebrews 12:29; Revelation 20:7, 13–15). Hell is not God’s eternal torture chamber.

The last thing God wants is for anyone to suffer and perish. “‘For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘Therefore turn and live!’” (Ezekiel 18:32).

A Sign of the End

The colossal success of Hazbin Hotel shouldn't surprise us. Its filthy language, crude humor, and twisted narrative all appeal to the sinful human heart (Jeremiah 17:9). It’s also not the first popular series to feature such perversity and won’t be the last.

There's nothing redemptive about Hazbin Hotel, and it’s much worse than vulgar entertainment. It’s an attack on God’s character that clouds minds and leads them away from the truth. Jesus warned, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26). Just before the flood, God “saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

More than ever, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). And “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19). Jesus is coming soon!

John Cloud
John Cloud is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Arkansas. He is passionate about Bible study and family.

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