No doubt you’ve probably seen one of the latest Superman movies. “Man of Steel” by Warner Brothers Pictures/Legendary Pictures/DC Comics, has stood out and has been applauded for containing references to Christianity. There’s nothing wrong with that but let’s remember- this is a movie about a fictional character whose creators wanted to symbolize as being like the one true superhero that truly exists- Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.
One article I reviewed cited that Jesus of Nazareth, and Clark Kent aka Superman, share so much in common.
So, just to make a point I’m asking a few simple questions: Do the opening or closing credits cite the Gospel message, or the Holy Bible in general as a resource for the film? I doubt it. When their so called shared characteristics come up do story notes appear to point them out? Probably not. Is there an invitation time after the film inviting the spiritually lost to come down to the projection screen area, or maybe the lobby to meet with and receive assistance in making a commitment to Christ? Not likely.
With the fine actors and actresses in the film, the special effects and just the story itself of a god like being standing for truth, justice and the American way, this motion picture certainly strikes a patriotic cord and is overall probably a wonderfully entertaining movie. But let’s remember it isn’t a witnessing tool to bring a fallen world to the acceptance of Jesus of Nazareth as their personal savior.
See, Superman, a fictional character, is someone who will save you from an earthly tragedy; that is if he comes across you while you’re in the midst of it. Jesus of Nazareth was a real person who was and is available for anyone at any time to redeem them.
Superman was conceived into existence on his home planet by what we call mortal parents. Christ was conceived by supernatural means then delivered by natural child birth.
Superman had to keep his earthly uniqueness hidden but scripture foretold and angels announced Christ’s arrival and where to find him. His true identity was even revealed throughout his ministry.
Superman is someone who wasn’t sure of how he would use his powers in his adopted world. Jesus of Nazareth knew why he came into the world and what he would do.
Superman gives of himself to ransom the physical existence of every one on earth. Jesus of Nazareth willingly died too but he did it to save the eternal existence of every human being who believed in him before his arrival, were alive when he died and even you and me and our future generations. All one has to do is simply heed his call, repent of their sins, accept Him as their personal savior then live our lives like they meant it.
Superman is posed in a scene as if he were hanging from a cross for (technically speaking) 48 to perhaps 96 frames out of 213,120 that a film 143 minutes long contains. Jesus of Nazareth actually endured his last earthly hours being beaten, spat upon, ridiculed and humiliated for hours then suffered an agonizing death that lasted just as long if not longer after being crucified.
Superman comes back to life and eventually triumphs with incredibly, visually stunning feats that are pleasing to the eyes of the audience. Where oh where would we be without those special effects? Jesus of Nazareth, who really rose from the dead, has been working his miraculous victories in quiet, powerful and subtle ways in the centuries since his earthy walk.
Don’t get me wrong this film certainly seems to be entertaining with a good moral to it and the movie people should be rewarded when they do good. But let’s remember, there was a time when Hollywood made films with an overt Christian message.
You may recall “The Bible” series that was released on television not long ago or Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” as releases from the major studios and networks with a positive Christian message. Prior to them you have to go back to perhaps the middle of the last century before finding such similar works. Those films in those days at least insinuated a message to their audiences to respond to Christ’s offer of salvation. They didn’t bury it in vague dialogue, or cloud it over or crowd it out with visual and auditory distractions.
Finally, let’s not lay it all on Hollywood for failing to witness to others. We share that responsibility too. We are all commanded to quietly, calmly guide the spiritually lost to the Master.
Before his ascension Christ told ordinary people, not pastors, preachers, church bishops or cardinals, nor film makers to go throughout the world proclaiming the Gospel message. That means you and me. Do we have to pack our bags, sell all our possessions and relocate to the deepest reaches of some third world country to spread the Gospel message? Not necessarily; though some do, and thank goodness for them. But we can answer that command right where we live, work, or play can’t we?
There won’t much in the way of special effects to it, unless you call a change life something dramatic. You’ll probably never be famous or even receive the proverbial “15 minutes of Fame” here on earth for it but think of the wondrous feeling you will have standing in line waiting to go before the judgment seat for your final reward. You look back behind or ahead of you and see someone you introduced to Christ. You know that you had a small part in their eternal salvation and how that person will enjoy eternity in the presence of the one, true Superman!
So, is the “Man of Steel” enough? No. See, steel eventually rusts and decays. However my friend Jesus of Nazareth “The Christ” who goes by many other majestic names endures forever and his redemptive power will always be available to the unsaved for the rest of their earthly lifetime. All they need do is call on Him. They just need a little help in the introductory phase of the relationship.