Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Heroes

There's been a rather pronounced trend in our media lately. 

I'm sure you've noticed it. . . 

       Now, don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that superhero movies are "bad" or anything like that. (I'm quite sure I'd be run right out of town if I made that claim :D). At the moment, I'm just observing that there's been a whole LOT of them made, and promoted like crazy. Especially recently. And I don't think that it's been an accident. 

       People have always had an admiration for heroes. Even back in the earliest recorded stories of all time, we have tales of brave men rescuing fair maidens in distress, killing the bad guy, getting the reward. Well, in our culture, where real men are becoming as scarce as...well, about as scarce as snowstorms in South Carolina....what do you expect? In our desperate lack of real heroes, we are groping for any remnant of courage that we can get our fingers on. An underdog, or a geek, or the shrimpy dude amazingly transforms himself into the biggest, strongest, smoothest, most attractive, most courageous, richest guy around, and we embrace that, because I think our culture is wishing that is what real life would look like. We are starved for true heroism, and so we stuff ourselves with what looks, to us, like real bravery, in the form of the superheroes.

I think it's perfectly alright to watch superhero movies.

      But, if we, as a culture, start putting more faith in that sort of heroism, instead of the True sort of Heroism. . . .quite honestly, that's not going to cut it.

      People have shunned our Savior from society, and, so, in our desperate need for some sort of hero, they are half-consciously waiting for Superman to show up if they ever happen to need him.

       It's more comfortable for people to put their confidence in this sort of fantasy hero, than in God. Because if there really was a God, and if He really did create us, then He is most likely going to expect us to give an answer for ourselves someday. And that scares some people very much.

      "Superman" isn't like that. The superman cliche swoops in when he's needed, does what's wanted, looks really cool, and then heads off to help somebody else who's having trouble. He doesn't ask anything of us. We do what we want, he does what he wants, therefore everybody's happy. People like that concept. We'd rather have a "god" like that, who minds his own business; one that we don't really have to put any trust in. This type of "religion" doesn't require much thought, much effort, much faith.

       But "all heroes are shadows of Christ," John Piper once said. And whether the kids at the movie theater watching The Avengers know that, or not, it's true. Any hero that has ever been is only a pale and contrived attempt at imitating the true Hero.

     These superhero movies -- they're only a very slight symptom of the problem. There's nothing innately wrong with them. But I think the entire "superhero" notion is only one more little proof that, as a society, we are lost. It's another sign that people are searching everywhere for the answer. . . except in the one place where they would be sure to find it. Our culture stubbornly refuses to acknowledge their Savior, but deep inside of them there is an intrinsic, built-in longing that can never ever be satisfied without Him; a festering hole that only One can fill up and heal.

       They are certain that if they can only just do enough: if they lead an fantastic life, if they go visit exotic places, if they can make themselves stand out from the crowd, if they can claw their way to the top, if they can make themselves the biggest, the best, the strongest, the richest. . . . if they can do all that, then their life will have been well-lived.

       But as Elizabeth Elliot once said, "God is God...I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will."
No matter where people search...or how hard they matter what they matter who their heroes (or idols) are...if they refuse to fall to their knees at the cross, then they will never be fulfilled. In the words of C.S. Lewis "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that I was made for another world."

       That desire which this world cannot satisfy comes from the call of the Savior.

       That Hero - He is one who gave his life up with love. He's the one with scars in His hands. He's the one that death couldn't handle, and the One whom the grave couldn't hold.

"In the world you will have tribulation," He tells us. "But take heart; I have overcome the world."



  1. Great job. You have absolutlely hit the nail on the head! And given me tons to think about at the same time.

    1. Thank you so much, Audrey! So kind of you to say that :)

  2. You're exactly right, Allie. Great post.

    1. Thanks so much, Lauren! :) And thank you for reading


Comments make my day :)