I’ll be the first to admit that I love a well written comic book story, let alone my blatant adoration for the fun escapism of comic book movies. They’re a blast, and typically, they have loads to talk to the kids about.
I believe in using stories and well crafted mythologies to illustrate our walk and struggles with out God. This is a great tool, and honestly, it’s been used since the dawn of time. We, however, get the benefit of seeing it on TV and big screens.
But Warner Brothers has crossed the line for me with their new film, Man of Steel.
Have I seen it? No. Will I? Probably not anytime soon. I’ll wait for the redbox and watch it sometime later. I’m not blowing $50 on this flick.
That’s why. Go ahead, click the link. Then come back… I want to tell you how I’m going to use Man of Steel to teach my kids about Christ.
I read an interesting and informative article on TwitchFilm, which I won’t link to for the fact that it’s incredible explicit in it’s language content. But regardless, the article detailed the origins of the Superman mythos. To sum; he was created by two high school Jewish immigrants during Hitler’s rise to power. They dubbed him the Übermensch, inspired by the ideas of Nietzsche. He was the ideal to come forward in the absence of God. God is dead, and we need a hero. We need a Goliath to fight for us. But this Goliath would have a mild mannered persona by day, hiding among us, by night, fighting the fight for justice and dealing with evil.
Such a wish, as you could imagine, was a balm in light of their struggles as a people. I cannot blame them. Elie Weisel put forth similar thoughts when he spoke of how God died as he saw the boy hung. It’s horrible, and in no way am I trivializing this fact. But the reality is that Superman was not meant in any way to be a Christ figure, but more of an opposing figure in the absence of God… God won’t back us up, so we we’ll do it ourselves.
But in our new movie here, we have a massive media corporation doing what they do best. I know, I know… movies are meant to sell. The only reason that they give artists the money to make these huge, cool things is to make more money. It’s the dollar. I get it. But here we have something that Christians should feel offended by. There’s a weakness this movie company is blatantly exploiting. We’re being played for fools here, because we don’t know what our Lord looks like anymore.
Seriously, we should be offended by this load of nonsense. Superman has, over the years, morphed into Christian culture… he’s taken on the poses and people make the goofy parallels. Here, with Man of Steel, Warner Brothers is pushing these comparisons to a completely new depth by launching the website that I linked to above. If you didn’t go, what is is a site for pastoral resources so that pastors and parents can teach their kids about Jesus by taking the kids to see the movie. Pastors can preach from these notes, put out by Warner Brothers, preach about how Jesus was the first “superman” and all that.
But none of this is what you should be offended by. Really? No… not one bit.
The offense lies in what we have allowed to happen to our picture of Christ. You see, this article I read on TwitchFilm also spoke of another film. It’s called “This Is The End.” The film is an exposition on what might happen to Jews after the rapture if the whole Evangelical idea of the rapture that’s come about in the last few hundred years is true. The answer, they’ll be graphically and explicitly abused and tortured by Satan.
Now, this movie is a comedy. And the whole point of it is that there’s some ideas Christians have that are nonsensical and ignore scriptures through and through… for example, many so-called “believers” don’t realize just how much John, in 1st John states that it’s what we do that shows that we’re sons and daughters of God. It’s right there… read it. And this movie also goes on to talk about the same thing, that being a jerk to each other is a bad way to live. That’s decent sentiment.
What does our Man of Steel teach us. Kick the living snot out of your enemies.
Superman is Goliath. He is the mighty warrior. He is the Christ in armor hanging on the rich walls of cathedrals that St. Francis was appalled by and caused him to strip naked and leave it all behind. Why? Because that Jesus didn’t know the real Jesus.
Behold, our king comes riding a donkey. Meek and mild.
“…he was so disfigured he no longer looked like a man;
his form was so marred he no longer looked human
so now he will startle many nations…”
“…he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention
no special appearance that we should want to follow him.
He was despised and rejected by people,
one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;
people hid their faces from him;
he was despised, and we considered him insignificant.
but he lifted up our illnesses,
he carried our pain;
even though we thought he was being punished,
attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done.
He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds,
crushed because of our sins;
he endured punishment that made us well…”
We could go on and on. The picture that the Gospels paint of our Lord, as well, certainly don’t show the chiseled Goliath that is Clark Kent.
Christians, don’t let them come in our doors with their lies. Look at your savior. He takes the victory by opening his arms and absorbing the blows to the point of death. We’ve got a messed up picture of what actually wins.
This is so upside down that we shouldn’t need to even explain it. Put Christ back in our churches. He was no Superman, in fact, he would have been annihilated. He put down Peter’s sword. He showed us a much different way that Kal-El and Warner Bros have to offer us.
Christians, be offended that you’ve let the real Christ escape your view so much that you fall for this.
So, go see Man of Steel. Have fun teaching your kids exactly what Christ doesn’t look like. Show them the Gospels. Compare the teachings of the early church to the behavior presented in Man of Steel. How did Christ deal with evil vs. how does Kal-El deal with evil?
Hmmmm…. maybe I will take my kids to see it. Could be fun.
But people, be the real body of Christ. The world needs to see a Jesus that doesn’t kick the ever-living crud out of things.