I saw the Avengers for the second time the other day and I have to say, “it was totally worth it.” I’ve been a comic collector since I was eight years old and The Avengers stays true to the original form. The greatest heroes in the world and each of them come from different backgrounds. Every character has their own story and in the film they come together to tell an even bigger story.
I will warn you now, if you haven’t seen the movie yet this may spoil a few parts. Just thought I’d share a few connections to our spiritual lives that I noticed during the film.
Story telling is one of the most important tools used in the Bible. Specifically, Jesus used it in the form of parables. I have realized that all the stories we tell are layered with similar representations. Even though it may not be intentional, when we tell stories somehow God seems show up. I think there is still a pull to Christ’s truth in every story because we naturally long for him. So, I think every writer and story-teller always ends up giving God at least some mention.
Today I’m going to point our some moments that I saw representing our walks with Christ in the Avengers. (Again, SPOILER ALERT)
The devil is very real in our lives. He tempts and deceives us on a regular basis. He plays with our thoughts and minds in the hopes that we will become discouraged and turn away from God.
In The Avengers, Loki can represent the devil. He has power over people and his character revolves around the theme of “freedom”. Loki is trying to become the ruler of the world, just like the devil tries to rule our lives. Loki wants to be the ultimate decider and he tells characters, like Nick Fury, that, “freedom is a lie.”
The devil is doing something very similar in our lives. God gave us free will. The only destiny that we follow is Christ’s ultimate plan for salvation. Everything we do in between is a series of choices that we make. That is why love is such a beautiful thing. When we chose someone it matters, but if we are forced to love it doesn’t hold any meaning. That is why Christ asks us to choose him and to love each other.
The Devil wants to make those decisions for you. He doesn’t think you should have a plan for salvation. He wants you to end up just like him. The devil may have power now, but on a long enough timeline he is just as damned as every person that denies Christ.
So, celebrate your freedom and do not let the devil have an influence over your choices.
DIVIDED WE FALL
One of Loki’s plots is to divide the heroes and pit them against each other. An easy thing to do when every character is so diverse from each other. It doesn’t take long before Loki has all of the The Avengers at each others throats and all he really did was influence them with lies.
The Devil does the same to us, too. God wants us to stay untied as Christians. Philippians 2:2 says, ““Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose,” When we invest and uplift each other we create an army for Christ. That is the last thing the Devil wants, so he feeds us lies in the hopes he’ll be able to separate us.
So, we must be prepared for those attacks and stay united with each other. If you don’t have a christian community, I highly recommend you find one. If any of the Avengers acted solo in the movie, then Loki would have won.
NOT ANY GOD I KNOW
The Avengers have the norse god Thor apart of their team. In the movie he is less of a god and more like a powerful being from another world. Either way, he was viewed as a god because of all the powerful things he could do. So, when Thor shows up on the scene, he makes a pretty big ruckus.
Then Captain America has a great line, “there is only one God, and he doesn’t dress like that.” It’s interesting to find some old school theology in a super hero movie, but the Captain is right. Any image we may have of God isn’t going to right. He doesn’t look like Thor and certainty isn’t an old man with a beard wearing a white robe.
God is more majestic than anything we can imagine. When Moses saw the burning bush his hair turned white. Imagine what would actually happen to us if we physically saw God. I doubt you’d survive seeing his majestic glory. So, don’t limit God by thinking he looks or dresses like anything. He is more beautiful than anything we can every imagine.
VENGEANCE IS MINE
The Avengers is a great movie, but it’s not theology. There are some good themes and one liners in it, but overall it is just a super hero film that’ll leave you feeling good when you walk out of the theater. I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet.
The characters of the movie have it wrong, though. It is nice thought that there can be extraordinary people who can avenge us in our darkest hour, but Jesus already did that for us on the cross. No one needs to save us now. The battle has been fought and won for the sake of every person that has ever lived.
We don’t need to avenge anything. Romans 12:19 says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord”. I think that sums things up nicely. Whenever you feel wronged, do not take it into your own hands. That is not what we are called to do. Christ asks us to forgive and love one another. Remember that he is the ultimate Avenger and justice will be done by him and him alone.