Tuesday, June 19, 2012

God and Jesus in Comic Book Movies

Aliens are pouring from the sky as heroes whiz by the foreground of the movie screen.  An explosion takes out an attacking enemy, careening his ship into a city skyscraper.  Glass is falling towards the panicking bystanders below as the alien craft teeters precariously above.  You hear a small child cry out for their mom.  A superhero gets to ground level just in time to save the innocents from a deadly shower of shards.  As he takes off to save others, blasphemy pours from the movie theater's surround sound speakers. "Blankety blank, that was close!"

Obviously the above is a generic example of a typical action flic but you see God's name being misused more and more in comic book and superhero type movies.  This is so strange to me.  You see, this is a chance for the writer or director, who more than likely are not believers, to leave God completely out of the equation.  This is the movie maker's opportunity to help people forget for an hour and a half that there is a God who has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness and that every lie, theft, lustful look and blasphemy will come into play when that day comes.  Instead, the choice in creative development goes towards reminding movie goers of the Creator, meanwhile heaping judgment on themselves in the process. These people obviously do not understand what God tells us in His Word that, "the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain."

Now, am I saying that I think God should be forgotten about in or removed from works of fiction? Not at all. Nor am I suggesting that in non-comic fiction it's ok that there's blasphemy. But, with movies that are supposed to take place in a realistic setting you will obviously be hit with things like this because we are all sinners and "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." It makes more sense in those types of movies because the language used is an extension of the world the writer lives in. In comic book movies however, blasphemy just stands out so much more because you have a completely fictional world filled with outlandish characters and locations yet they misuse Christ's precious name out of nowhere. How does God even work within a fictional world of heroes dressed in spandex?  It just doesn't seem to fit. Or does it?

There are times, even in works of comic book fiction, when God can be used effectively and in a way that makes reasonable sense.  Take for instance the picture at the top of this article(Thanks to http://www.depravedwretch.com for permission to use it).  The director of the Avengers, Joss Whedon(who is a humanistic atheist), masterfully used Captain America to actually stand up for God.  As Cap goes to chase after Thor, Black Widow says something to the effect of Thor being a god.  Of course Captain A says, "There's only one God ma'am and I'm pretty sure He doesn't dress like that."  I get chills just thinking about it.  It was an epic line and it made sense because Captain America has supposedly come from a time, WWII, where God was way more prevalent in American thinking and culture. Even though this scene was done by a non-believer I rejoice with Paul and his take in the book of Philippians. "Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice." Sadly, even though there is the occasional chance to rejoice,  the good uses of God's name are far outweighed by the bad ones.

So why is it that God's name is so abused in these types of movies, games, etc? I mean, I understand geek culture. I've been a gamer all my life.  I love comic books and I thought the Avengers was amazing. Unlike me, a lot of gamers and comic book fans aren't interested in the things of God however.  It makes more sense that fans and makers of these movies would want to not be reminded of Him at all.  Like I said, this is your world director.  Do with it what you will.  This is your chance to create a world without God so what do you do with it? You ask Him to damn things or you slander His Son's name. But why?  They know God exists. That's why. The Bible says that, "what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them" and to try to do away with God is to suppress the truth in unrighteousness like the Bible tells us in Romans chapter 1.  It's also because the unsaved person is against God from birth. These are the reasons why they not only acknowledge Him in their fictional worlds but are abusive towards Him as well.  Romans 8:7 says, " For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot." Sure there are some that leave God out completely in an effort to put their head in the sand about Him.  They can try to run from Him but He has written His law and eternity on their hearts.  He is everywhere.  We can not escape His sight.  Hebrews 4:13 says,  "And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

All that being said, every one of us(geek, gamer or otherwise) will be held accountable to God on Judgment Day and we will be without excuse.  This is a day when Thor, Batman, Spidey or even all of the X-men will be of no use to anyone. Those fictional heroes can not help you when you stand before a Holy God as a liar, blasphemer, adulterer, murderer, thief, fornicator, or idolator. Only Jesus can help you on that day because like the Word tells us, " there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” and that"for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."  And that is what we need in the end.  Righteousness.  None of us have that on our own.  We are guilty and deserve Hell which is the price to pay for sin.  Either you can pay for the penalty yourself for an eternity in torment or trust that Christ paid the penalty for you.  The Bible also tells us that, "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed."  Christ, fully God and fully man, was tempted in every way we are yet without sin.  He lived a perfect life and died on a cross.  He took the wrath we deserved for our sin upon Himself.  Jesus got off that cross and 3 days later He rose from the grave defeating sin and death forever.  If you would repent and trust in the only true superhero, Jesus Christ, your sins will be forgiven and you can spend eternity in Heaven. I pray that you trust in Him today, then read your Bible daily and obey what God's Word says.  God bless,  SaulBecomesPaul/Virg.

Psalm 139:7-10

English Standard Version (ESV)
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
     If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link today, Virgil! Nice blog entry! God bless!