Over the last several years, with the ongoing improvements in computer animation, there have been a rash of superhero movies. As I have watched some of them it has been as though the Holy Spirit puts a special pair of goggles over my eyes and all that I see when I watch them are beautiful illustrations of Biblical truth, to the point of tears. Then someone tells me about this “Jesus Camp” movie and I’m in tears for a different reason.
Now, I don’t want to get into whether or not it’s ok for Christians to go see movies that are above G thing. Let’s just skip that for now, please?
When I went to see Spirderman 2, I saw a brilliantly clear illustration of a Christian flipflopping between living a carnal life and a Spirit-led life. I think I really got it for the first time. It was amazing (like Spiderman).
When I went to see Superman Returns, I saw and equally clear and brilliant illustration of a believer who tried to live life with one foot in the world and one foot in the Lord. Another angle of it is what happens when Superman is exposed to his old world (he gets weak) and when he is exposed to the sun (Son) of his new world (he is strong). And when that hunk of kryptonite gets stabbed into his side (the old world is in him) it almost kills him. All kinds of amazing Biblical truth for the believer.
Yesterday I went to see Spiderman 3. I was once again blessed with those goggles. Spiderman is finally accepted as a hero by the city. Things with his woman are going well. The only bummer is his friendship with Harry. Then things start to fall apart in everone elses life but Peter’s. He is so consumed with his own life that he doesn’t help his friends. Then this icky black stuff from space gets on him. It’s a symbiotic lifeform that feed off of and strengthens bitterness, selfishness, agression, etc. It changes one of his Spidey suits to balck, but he still has an extra clean one in his room. When he wears th black one he is extra powerful, but he is also hurtful, selfish, vengfull. It takes him over. he loses his girl, he loses his friend, but he gets his dream job at the expense of hurting others. He eventually hurts enough people that he realises it’s wrong and takes the suit off. Unfortunately it lands on someone he screwed over and that guy now wants to kill him. In the end, friendships are restored, and the good guys win. but more than that, everyone forgives eachother. Spidey even forgives one of the badguys.
The illustration I saw in this one was the black goo stuff from space. It’s a great illustration of temptation and that passage from James about temptation giving birth to sin which leads to death. Once that black stuff gets on you and you let it stick, you choose to give into it (as all believers have a choice now that we are free from the power of sin), that’s when sin abounds and lives are mesed up. But when you choose to keep temptation away from you, it’s all good. So all of that, in addition to all of the forgiveness (and grace extended) at the end of the movie which in itself is a shocker for this kind of action film), was very very cool.
Then you have a movie like Jesus Camp (DVD). It isn’t a Hollywood production but it’s just as scary and full of nonsense as any Hollywood film. I’ve seen bits and pieces and that’s enough for me. Watching 10 year olds being slain in the spirit, being taught to take America back via politics for Jesus so He can come back, it’s very, very sad. When Godless Hollywood can get it right without even trying, and a church can get it so wrong, there is something terribly, terribly wrong.