(Disclaimer) If you do not profess a faith in Jesus, feel free to read on, but bear in mind I am really talking to fellow Christians here.
Ok, so it seems that the new Marvel movie ‘Deadpool’ has created quite a stir and not just in terms of it’s runaway popularity (which we’ve come to expect from marvel). The internet is filled with examples of people who took their kids to what they might have thought was ‘just another superhero movie’ only to then tweet, blog and share comments like “man, that is so not a kids movie.” In some places it seems that it’s even rated R.
As usual there’s the often maligned conservative Christian response on-line essentially warning people against seeing this movie. But you know what? They’ve got a point. Especially this time. Here’s a pretty good article from Piper:
From what I have heard so far and even simply looking at the ‘small print’ under the rating sign, I’m not even going to take my 31 year-old self to see it let alone recommend it for kids. Now, before you say “ugh, not the fun police again,” and switch over to another channel, just stay with me for a sec.
Firstly it actually pains me to say these things. I’m a huge fan of superhero flicks. In fact, (I’ve just checked) I’m even wearing my funky ‘Marvel Avengers’ belt as I sit here typing and if you think you’re looking forward to the release of ‘Dawn of Justice’ soon, trust me, you’re not looking forward to it as much as I am!
So, let me say that I really, really, really wanted to see Deadpool. But I’m not.
Is this because I’m trying to ‘jump thru hoops’ and ‘follow the rules’ like some begrudging goody two shoes? No.
I want to see Deadpool, but I’ve realized I want to be close to God more.
It’s not about what I can and can’t do. It’s about what I want the most. So if it seems like this is a particularly savage and vile movie (which it does) I’m out.
Let me also be clear that I am not perfect. In my life I have let myself see/experience many things that I deeply regretted later. I’m not simply talking about images, but also themes and language that just made me feel…..yuck.
But even worse, some things have made me feel distant from God.
I guess what I’m saying is that sooner or later we have to choose if we are going to learn from such mistakes and realize that Jesus isn’t kidding when he said stuff like: Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. And: Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
Jesus is not talking about what we have to do/not do, but what we want to do/not do. Let me say that again:Jesus is not talking about what we have to do/not do, but what we WANT to do/not do.
He’s not talking about the rules, he’s talking about our heart.
The question we have to ask ourselves is, do we want to fall more in love with Jesus, or do we want to fall in love with the worst things that this world has to offer, because one thing we know for sure is….we can’t have both. If you think you can, you’re living a delusion.
This is why when I get to do baptisms, I say “do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord, Savior and your Treasure?” Where is our treasure?
Jesus knows we make mistakes, but given an informed choice, what are we going to choose? We can tell ourselves all the encouraging platitudes of grace we like, but we will know where we really are, where our treasure is, by what we choose.
So why Deadpool? Aren’t there worse movies out there? Probably yes. but this is the one at the moment, and it’s going to have to be the ‘representative’ for about the million other dodgy things we can let into our head space over our lives.
But what’s also making me feel uneasy is that this one in particular seems to be such a hit with the kids and young people that I am seeing on a day by day basis, even Christian ones. It’s not just violence, but the sexually crass material and themes that are disturbing.
Moreover, according to some of the comment streams on sites like kids-in-mind.com and rotten tomatoes, many people have been caught out with the whole, “It’s just a superhero movie,” thing.
……Or they’re using it as an excuse.
Let me be really, really honest for a moment. I am a Christian. If I did go and see it, that above excuse would have been the one I would have used to justify it to myself.
Isn’t strange how much effort we go to to justify stuff to ourselves and then act all shocked when afterwards we feel terrible?
Believe it or not, you don’t have to go along with the crowd.
I’m not saying that you need to wrap your life up in glad wrap until you get to the point where you are too ignorant, boring, distant and holier-than-thou to be able to have a meaningful conversation with anyone. But what I am saying is what ever the movie/game/book/website is…..does it trump your love for Jesus?
So, what if you have seen it?
Well, was it really that great? Take note of how you feel, if you feel it’s necessary, tell someone about it. Record, remember and repent. Use this experience. The grace of God covers all sin, but we’re not really experiencing true grace unless with it comes a resolve to do something about it.
Repent. Receive the grace of God, (this also includes the refusal to bash yourself up over and over again) and lastly Recommit, ask the Spirit to help you everyday in the journey to treasure Jesus in your heart about all else.
So there you have it, probably the worst post I’ve written because it was in a rush, but I hope you get the idea and I’ll see you in the cinemas when the next Captain America movie comes out!