Is it appropriate to say that Jesus is our superhero?

Hi Jacob,

I have asked below question in other category but would like to know your thoughts please when it comes to faith & culture. thank you in advance.

I would like to ask your views if it is appropriate or Biblical to say that Jesus is our superhero? Is it acceptable, ethical, moral or simply correct for a church to use well known comics characters, their characteristics, their sacrificial saving powers fighting the bad guys (E.g Superman, Spiderman, etc) as a tool to explain or attract or engage them, that, hey, do know that amongst these superheroes, Jesus is the real superhero? What could be the possible impact this may bring to a non-believer using such approach or even to kids in children’s church?

I have also attached below a link of children’s song that is quite catchy whereby some churches use it as a praise song for kids. While the tune is nice to listen, the lyrics are easy to follow, the beat is danceable, should it be a concern knowing that children are vulnerable?

Jesus is my superhero

There are also sellers selling t-shirts where Jesus is sitting together sort of having discussion with comics Superheroes where he said on a callout “And that’s how I saved the world”. See the link below. What are your thoughts about this?

Jesus t-shirt design

Appreciate your views about this. Thank you for your time! God bless!

Hi Sherilyn,

Your question is a very interesting one. I have thought about these comparisons myself and how these comparisons could distort our understanding of Jesus Christ. When Marvel or DC releases a new movie, it is inevitable that I hear a sermon with the hero compared to Christ in some way.

The thing is any comparisons of Christ with characters we read about or watch will be reductionistic. No analogy or allegory can ever encapsulate the beauty or the complexity of Christ. Even Tolkien and Lewis were well aware of this when they put in their Christ-like characters in their fantasy fiction. An important question that we need to ask ourselves is what is lost when we make such a comparison and how is the image of Christ distorted through such a comparison.

I do think there are certain aspects of this endeavor of comparison that can be beneficial. Superheroes point to something deep within all of us. Our need for redemption, a savior who looks beyond himself, a hero who sacrifices himself in order to bring liberation to others, a hero who does not transfer the injustices faced by him/her onto the world but tries to uphold justice despite personal injustice. These are common themes that can be traced in every superhero movie. It points to the fact that deep down inside we all long for a savior with these traits. So if comparisons are done on such thematic levels- it can definitely help enlighten others on the person of Christ and the central message of Christianity.

But where I feel the message could be distorted is wrong ideas of who Jesus based on the perceptions of popular superheroes. Especially when it comes to children and the ways in which they use their imagination. If they start putting Jesus next to heroes like superman and batman on a flat level, then their understanding of the power of Christ, what it means to be omnipotent, the boundaries between fiction and reality- all of these will be affected in some way or the other.

I guess I am not dismissing the endeavor altogether, I am just pointing out the need to be cautious and not put flat level comparisons. There can be a place for it if it is done well.

But thank you again for your question, Sherilyn. I guess every Christian needs to battle this out in their context and see what is appropriate and to whom. I have just expressed my opinion. Hope the pointers help.