What Christians Can Learn from Captain America

July 29th, 2011

Superhero stories are modern day morality tales. They are the myths of these past few generations.

And this is why I liked the movie Captain America. (I’m trying not to nerd out on you.) Captain America tells the story of one man’s character, integrity, and courage. He didn’t inherit his powers. He didn’t earn them by being the strongest, the wisest, the fastest, or the best looking. He was chosen based off of his integrity. Some may argue he was always “Captain America”.

When asked if he was ready to go kill some Nazis, he replied, “I don’t want to kill anybody. But I’ll stand up to a bully no matter where he’s at.” This scrawny guy from Brooklyn refused to back down from any injustice. To test Steve Rogers' (Captain America) moral fiber prior to him receiving the super soldier serum, someone threw a dummy grenade into a group of soldiers. Steve Rogers willingly offered to sacrifice himself for others by falling on the grenade, while the others ran for their own safety.

What Captain America says to this generation is that your heart matters. Your character matters. The way you treat others matters. The way you deal with injustice matters.

Christians don’t distinguish themselves enough from culture. We so easily fall prey to the idea that muscle, beauty, and money make a difference. Not true. Even Samuel in the Bible fell victim to this logic. In choosing the next king of Israel, he was looking for the biggest and the strongest. But God said, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b) God led Samuel to choose the youngest of 8 sons… the sheep herder… David. Not for his brains or brawn, but for his heart. David went on to do mighty things in battle and was known as a “man after God’s own heart".

See a theme?

Captain America teaches us to value things not like the world values things. This movie teaches us what the Bible has been saying all along… but either we forget or we don’t fully buy it… that integrity matters…that injustice ought to be fought against…that personal character makes the man (or woman). If God values a person’s heart, shouldn’t we? Forget the perfect body, forget the designer clothes, don’t worry so much about your good looks; let’s find important what God finds important.

Go see this movie. Superheroes teach us truths about ourselves. And any truth is God’s truth.

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