Lex Luthor, Kahn, and The Joker.
If there’s one unifying theme purposefully captured and propelled through the culture by these wildly popular mythological figures, what might it be?
Is it darkness?
Not that these fictional folks aren’t known for being openly and proudly dark and evil. They are indeed, and appropriately so. They’re rightly understood to be “bad guys”, with heavy emphasis on the bad.
Even so, the most persistently emphasized vibe or theme promoted through these Bad Guys is not that they are bad, but that they are cool.
They get all the best gear. They wear the coolest helmets, wield the coolest weapons, and have the coolest lines.
They know exactly what they want and how they’re going to get it.
They plan meticulously, they plot relentlessly, and they are always on the move. They love being on offense.
They engage. They attack. They advance.
So it is that they move people and worlds in their direction. They pursue and accomplish all of this because they believe.
They have a worldview and they take it very seriously. This is what makes them cool.
Oh sure, the light sabers, trench coats, capes and awesome headgear help, but the thing that most distinguishes and attracts us to the baddest of the bad in our favored pop-culture myths is the clarity, passion, and purpose with which they ceaselessly strive to advance their self-serving, self-centered kingdoms.
They actually believe. They have a very real faith…as evidenced by their actions.
And what are we typically fed as hero figures assigned the task of “fighting the good fight” against these organized, faith-driven antagonists who are actively striving to change and mold the world into conformity with their worldview?
Well, we get…nice.
Captain America nice, even, which is extra special niceness to be sure but, at the end of the day, fairly vague and fluffy.
Purposefully vague and fluffy.
Captain America and friends don’t tend to be about the business of actively advancing the cause of a clearly defined worldview . No, they’re mainly about undefined, subjective notions of things like “liberty”, “freedom”, “justice” and “the American way”, whatever they mean- which is pretty much anything that you want them to mean.
“Freedom”, “Justice”, “Liberty” and “Love” tend to inherently inspire warm, happy thoughts, but the actual meaning poured into these most treasured terms is very important to understand and protect from perversion. Allowing for the redefinition of fundamental word concepts has played a large role in our presently unfolding decline into Orwellian oblivion. When the likes of NABMLA, NARAL, and Hollywood homosexualists are given the power to redefine “love”, “choice”, and “tolerance”, we are begging for serious civilizational darkness.
Our culture is undergoing this slide into darkness and death because we as Christians have fallen for the “passive good guy” lie that we’ve been (and are even now being) fed for generations. We’ve been told to do little, if anything, beyond our comfort zone.
Bad guys build kingdoms. Bad guys are on offense. Bad guys are aggressive and focused and zealous and committed.
Good guys are…well…not.
They’re not into kingdom building, they don’t like offense (or even running the risk of offending anyone), and they think of aggressive, zealous action as inherently suspicious.
Or so we’ve been told, sold, and programmed to believe.
We have no appetite or desire to vigorously advance the Kingdom of God in every realm of His creation right here and now. That sort of thing has been left to the enemy. The territories of this part of God’s creation – art, science, economics, law and education – have been ceded to the enemies of Christ, often in the name of Christ and Christianity.
After generations of vigorous programming through State-controlled “education” and corporate-controlled pop-culture, we have come to embrace one of the greatest, most destructive “switcheroos” in history: We’ve surrendered our role as aggressive, life- and world-changing agents for the Kingdom of Christ the King right here and now through His Great Commission, and we’ve handed the reins over to the enemies of Christ so that they can dictate the pace and direction of art, economics, law, education, and everything else. We’ve given them every opportunity imaginable to conquer territory for their kingdoms(s), and they have seized those opportunities.
We’ve preemptively surrendered. We’ve given up without a fight, and have been in this sad rut for so long now that we’ve become convinced that even beginning to fight seriously and aggressively the Kingdom is itself a bad and dirty idea.
Worse still, we’ve been conditioned to refuse to seriously engage the enemy on the field of battle. We are much more prone to flight and surrender than we are to anything resembling an active campaign aimed at victory for the Lord in the realms of art, politics, economics or law.
We’re so whipped and weak that we can barely even conceive of coherent Christian engagement of the enemy in these realms, much less victory.
Dominance, dominion and kingdom building are for bad guys…and insofar as we’ve embraced these thoughts, we have enabled the enemy to build and dominate.
Just look around us: Who is bold and dominant, and who is cowering and fearful?
And what is the antithesis of faith?
So what does the fearful, cowardly state of Christianity and the bold, aggressive approach of its enemies tell us about who has actual faith in practice and who does not?
What if Christians were as enthusiastic about the pursuit of biblical (aka “Christ-centered”) law, economics, and education right here and now as the enemies of Christ are about advancing anything but a God-centered approach to these things?
What if the love of the Lord by His people was such that out of sheer adoration they constantly strove to better understand and actively apply His nature as revealed in His Word?
What if the fear of the Lord was such in the people of God that they diligently defended the innocent and disciplined lawlessness as commanded by God in His perfect Word?
What might real world bad guys think then?
How might they act? (Or not act?)
What would change for the better if we were to actually take up and pursue the Great Commission (See: Matthew 28)?
How would people and cultures change? How would fiction and art and good guys and bad guys in fiction and art change? How might heroes become more truly heroic and villains reflect the consequences and nature of sin more clearly?
How might God be glorified in all of these areas? And how might His people benefit?
Here’s an idea: Let’s find out!
Let’s strive to correctly define heroism, villainy, love, and everything else in light of the living Truth, Christ the King.
Let’s take up His Gospel-fueled Great Commission and aggressively, joyfully, and lovingly do some damage to the enemies of the Kingdom of God.
Let’s tear down enemy strongholds.
Let’s faithfully proclaim the whole, undiluted, supernatural Gospel.
Let’s actively, boldly, and clearly campaign for the explicit Lordship of Christ in every detail of art, science, economics, education, law and everything else.
In short, let’s be true heroes as Christ defines (and empowers) such things.
Wouldn’t that be really cool?!
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© 2014 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.