Super Heroes

(Jennifer Judson) #1

I am always amazed at our contradictory natures (self included) and our failure to see it. A couple of decades ago everything was about angels. People who saw no evidence for belief in the Gospel had no trouble believing in angels. Because there is so much evidence for the existence of angels. (Forgive my sarcasm) Ultimately I came to the conclusion that they saw angels as being there for their benefit and angels did not require any allegiance from them. Sort of a warm, fuzzy spirituality. I may be wrong there, but who knows.

These days you can’t view any sort of mass media (movies, TV, print, etc.) without a wide variety of choices featuring Super Heroes. Characters (often flawed) with supernatural abilities. Marvel must be making billions off of this cultural obsession.

Yet here we are in an age of skepticism and renewed vitality in the voices of atheism and naturalist decrying even the possibility of the supernatural. I find this cultural contradiction to be extremely fascinating.

Literature has always revealed our yearning for the heroic, for deliverance from evil. And here we are in this scientific age yearning for super heroes to save the day.

Is this perhaps a thread an evangelist can tug on with a non-believer? Can we use it to point out our human desire for salvation? Our ability to believe the supernatural? That fictional super heroes are like wisps of vapor compared to the very real and resurrected Jesus.

Food for thought.

(Jim) #2

How insightful and a great way of starting the conversation with those who have a hard time accepting Jesus, He is our champion and redeemer​:muscle::latin_cross:️:fire:

(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #3

I appreciate your imagination @Jennifer_Judson. This is indeed a good suggestion, which is a food for thought we can do to help others in making sense of redemption. (lol it rhymed)

It’s easy for us to find problems in the world, and even in our hearts. There are times that this makes us feel helpless, and we need some saving. Some people will take that saving upon themselves, but will find themselves failing, or maybe they realize that they are part of the problem. Some will run to something outside of themselves, which will prove to disappoint. The good news is that there is Someone who will save those who trust in Him, who does not disappoint, and is not part of the problem.

(Melvin Greene) #4

It’s funny that you should bring this topic up, @Jennifer_Judson. I was thinking about the same thing about a week ago and had written some thoughts in a journal I keep. I was thinking how there are echoes of God’s truth in our stories, legends and fantasies. Here is some of what I wrote:

I was thinking about why the Marvel movies had become so popular. It seems to me that we, (most people, at least) gravitate to and have an affection for heroes with super-human abilities, but yet struggle with very real human frailties and problems. For example, there’s Peter Parker who becomes Spider Man. He was just a nerdy science geek in high school that nobody knew. Then one day, while visiting a laboratory on a field trip, he’s bitten by a radioactive spider, and suddenly he has super-human strength, agility, and can climb walls. With his scientific ingenuity he develops devises that produce a type of webbing and he creates a really cool costume. Put it all together and you have the “Amazing Spiderman”. But, he is still young and immature and he makes a tragic mistake. He had the chance to stop a thief from escaping the police, but with his newly found abilities he had become a bit conceited and decided that he couldn’t be bothered with that. Well, a short time after that, that same thief killed his uncle, who was raising him. The guilt of that indiscretion will haunt him always. What stands out to me was a quote from his uncle before he died, “With great abilities comes great responsibility”.

There’s more I could list, but I think you get the picture. What I’ve noticed is that most of the flaws, or mistakes that Marvel super-heroes make is due to pride. They become over confident in their abilities and end up making tragic mistakes. That sounds like what happened to Lucifer. God had made him the most glorious being and he became prideful and wanted to be God. Well, we know what happened. He was cast out of Heaven with a third of the angels. We see the same tragic mistake in the Garden of Eden. God created Adam and Eve, and they were perfect. Think about it! They had perfectly working brains; probably geniuses. They had perfect human bodies; maybe even “super-human” abilities. We all know what happened there, don’t we? Satan tempts them with the oldest sin, pride. They wanted to become like God knowing good and evil. Maybe we could say deciding what was good and what was evil. So, we create imperfect and fallen super-heroes out of imperfect and fallen humans.

I see another echo of God’s truth in these stories. What is the job of all of these super heroes? It’s always to save the planet from destruction and enslavement from some powerful evil super villain. It seems that mankind is always in need of saving. We create heroes and super-heroes to save us from ourselves and from evil forces outside of humans. Some of our most popular stories and movies revolve around this theme. Mankind needs to be protected. Mankind needs to be saved! We need a savior! It seems that we have this understanding, this awareness, that we need to be saved from something; something that we call evil. So, we invent “saviors” to come to our rescue. And sometimes those “saviors” will give their lives to save the world. These “saviors” will do what we can’t do; save ourselves. Gee, that sounds incredibly similar to what the Bible tells us! And Jesus is our “super-hero”!

You hit the nail on the head, @Jennifer_Judson & @ones2020. This can be a great way to evangelize those who like Marvel movies, or any other stories like these.