Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Captain America: Civil War - Our Reponsibility

One coooool retro poster
by Punmagneto on DeviantArt.
This third film of the Captain America trilogy has been wisely called "Avengers 2.5" by Robert Downey, Jr. Anthony Mackie for its large cast and continuing storyline from Avengers: Age of Ultron. In fact, it is almost its flaw; we get so many scenes without Cap, the fact that this IS a Captain America movie is often forgotten.

But Cap wears big boots, and Chris Evans does such a knockout job as the anachronistic super-soldier I am loathe to complain. It is amazing to watch the younger fresh-faced Evans play against the idiosyncratic older Downey and believe immediately that he as Cap has the cool wisdom his generation earned by suffering not only the Great Depression but a world war. He's the old guy; Tony is the punk.

We are introduced to the Black Panther, our new Spider-man and a lovingly mis-cast Aunt May while moving forward with the newly minted Ant-Man and the Scarlet Witch/Vision romance.

It is a great Marvel movie. It has plenty - and I mean plenty - of clever and powerful action that does indeed remind me of reading Marvel Comics of the 70s. From balletic web-slinging and quips by Spidey to Cap's astounding physical prowess and nearly magical shield to the Panther's glorious African voice and agility, it is clear the Russo brothers and their creative team did their homework.

But the reason for the conflict struck me as partially false: who would expect any group of metahumans who had saved the entire world twice to be agreeable to being ruled by a super committee of 117 nations of the United Nations?

I mean, that's the entire point: it's the Avengers vs. the World they've saved. The saviors are all supposed to be under the control and command of the very people they have kept alive. If that seems ridiculous to you, trust me, it is a timeless truth.

We all want our savior[s] to obey us. We hate someone more powerful. We fear them.

As for the historical truth of this, let me show you how Christ was feared for saving someone:

Luke 8:26-37 (NASB)

The Demoniac Cured
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. 28 Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. 
30 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. 31 They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.
32 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. 33 And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. 
34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and reported it in the city and out in the country. 35 The people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened. 
36 Those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well. 37 And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat and returned.

We Christians are often working so hard to show the love of Christ, we are truly hurt when someone hates us and we blame ourselves. Then, in the midst of that, some idiotic pastor who spent too much time in seminary guilts us: "Are you showing others the LOVE of JESUS?!" they demand.

My response: "Yeah, pastor. I cast out some evil crap. Cost them a buttload of money. They all asked me to leave. Funny that."

It really is enough for a disciple to be like his master.

One of the most telling scenes in Captain America: Civil War is watching Secretary Ross [played by William Hurt] show ONLY the collateral damage of the Avengers' conflicts, laying the guilt of the dead at their feet.

But when Steve tells him, "Alright, that's enough." I read that as our Captain seeing through the tactic to beat up brave men and women who risked their lives. It is wrong.

Steve says this later when he says "Yes, people died. We cannot save everyone. But if we stop trying, we don't save anyone."

If you are feeling the burden of guilt for failing others, let me tell you, you are only guilty of your sins - not theirs. And certainly not for being imperfect.

I caught this in myself years ago: my self-hatred for being imperfect. I had a friend say about me "He's so uptight, that you could put a lump of coal up his tail and it would come out a diamond." I have changed a bit, even he would admit.

The truth is, if we do it perfectly, we scare people or intimidate those who are far weaker. Christians full of the Spirit used to intimidate me, they were so kind and measured and patient.

I cannot tell you how freeing it was to learn of grace and how God only wanted me, not my performance. It is the world that demands performance at all times. That we be perfect and never fail their expectations.

Oswald Chambers called it "The Discipline of Disillusionment" and said it like this:
The refusal to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering in human life. It works in this way — if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give.

There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark that well. It may save your soul. Not just after you die - way before that.

The day you realize that you expect humans to be God may be the day you realize what a cruel and vindictive fool you have been.

And, like me, perhaps you too shall repent.

Amen.

4 comments:

Patric Rogers said...

That was awesome. In addition to being a nice spiritual message, that was just crazy impressive how you blended the Avengers and Jesus, and made it work. Well done, old friend :)

darkmark said...

"when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give."

I can relate to that.

PonytimeGlover said...

Wow Justice what an amazing article thank you so much I hope you don't mind if I share this

Justice said...

Please do. I am truly glad you liked it.

Post a Comment