The Delightful Way

The Appeal of the Superhero
November 21, 2006, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Last night, we watched “Batman Begins” which made me wonder why such movies strike a chord with us modern humans. When you think of it, the “superhero” genre is a well-established part of human culture. From Homer’s Illiad to the legend of King Arthur to the popular works of our day, culture through the ages has always had a desire for a man who is more than man, an individual focused on ideals and battling evil.
I was struck with how closely “Batman Begins” followed a storyline set forth by my good friend Peter J about a set of evil-fighting warriors called the “Archangels.” Peter’s story attempts to make the reader engage philosophically with the paradox of what a true man should do when justice is not being done. In many cultural works, this situation is resolved by the individual tackling the evil and slaying the wicked.
Should this be our response?
I think not. I think that this motif appeals to us because we desire someone who is greater than us. We are looking for someone who can take down corruption and remove criminals. But if we try to be that person ourselves, we will fail, because we are fallen, fragile human beings. We need someone who is more than a man.
We need Jesus.
In Isaiah 59, we read a description of a “superhero”:

He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the LORD drives. (Isaiah 59:16-19 ESV)

This describes the Lord, acting in His might to defeat evil.
When we see evil people doing evil deeds and escaping justice, we should pray for God to intervene. We must be careful and cautious in taking matters into our hand “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) ” For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4) Ultimately, God is in total control, and uses His weapons (be they governments, nations, individuals or the elements of nature) to accomplish His purposes. Will these actions always be pretty? No, but they will always be right and perfect.
With this perspective, we must each search our souls and be sure of our standing with the Lord of hosts. We must be sure that we are walking in the fear of the Lord. We must be sure that we are seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. As we focus on Christ, we can trust in His actions and be available as His instruments.
And when we see evildoers succeeding, we would be wise to review Scriptures such as Psalm 73 and remember that God will even allow evil to accomplish His wise and good purposes.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Bro! Good stuff (Both Batman and the folowing content). I agree indeed.

December…9th? Have a most enjoyable time, bro. Touch base if ya can…


Comment by Sam

Yep, I’ll be coming home Dec 9, late afternoon.

Comment by Samuel Kordik

Wow, insightfull, yeah that is great. You described the mindset of what people want to the point. I saw that movie and all the others like Spider man and such and really that’s what the people want. This blog is great but whenever you get a little less busy,(yeah right) have you ever thought of a news e-letter?

Comment by R. Sinteff

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