Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus.  
We went in the wrong direction.

Current Blog   Home

Who wants to be Superman

There is no denying the financial reward to be had by making a movie based on a comic book superhero. The reason is that most people either would like to be a superhero or believe that they are already one. Mutant movies are popular because they hold out the possibility that at any time anyone could suddenly develop a super power. Even though the number of mutations required for even the most meager of super abilities exceed the odds of wining the lottery everyday for a thousand years.

What high school boy hasn't dreamed of being a football star or what teenage girl hasn't dreamed of being so popular that everyone would adore her. If only they could be smart enough to confound their teachers or able enough to live without parental shackles. The imagination is a place of refuge for the teenage proletariat. We have paraded before us an endless number of supermen from Tarzan to Sherlock Holmes and from Bill Gates who was rewarded for harnessing the power of lawyers to Obama who was rewarded for harnessing the power of the press. Who else has received a Nobel prize just for being.

Many laugh at a Trekie clad in costume attending a convention ala Galaxy Quest, where his dreams of exceptionality can be sustained for a few days. However, what about those further up the corporate food chain. Having a big salary, expensive car, and luxurious apartment may be "proof" to someone that he has indeed achieved superhero status. His "costume" may be more conventional, but he is living the dream. However, "exceptionality" does not require proof. There are many more people who see themselves as "super" with just the confidence of the self-deluded to sustain them.

Dreams of superpowers are not limited just to the imaginary or secular. Religion has had its fair share of those who would soar to new heights in a "balloon" filled with an unhealthy amount of self-esteem. We need not consider just the crusader or jihadist. Religion often finds ways to feed the desires of people who just want to feel special, superior, and show contempt for others.

Religion attracts many who want to tell everyone what to do. However, even more are attracted to show how good they can do. In a way the tellers and doers have a symbiotic relationship. Like a drug dealer and a junkie, each supports the other. When Christianity is administered as just another religion, it quickly conforms to the the "I'm better than you" model. However, instead of the, "I can blow up more people than you can" phenomena, you often get the, "I'm saved and you're just a sinner" declaration. While generally maintaining a lower body count than Muslims, Christian "supermen" are often just as blind, arrogant, and contemptuous.

If we look at ourselves in a mirror of truth, we should not see a superman, we should see a "failureman".

Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Truth brings humility. Humility opens the door of God's grace so that he is able to work in us to make us more like Jesus. Every time we want to pick up our cape and soar like superman, we need to remember that we are shutting the door to God's work in us and flying off to fantasy land.