Monday, July 29, 2013
SMALLVILLE THEOLOGY - BLAME GOD
Having grown up reading Marvel and DC comics, I have a natural affinity to comic book heroes, especially Batman and Superman. Up until recently, I either ignored or was oblivious to the blatant similarities between Superman and Jesus Christ. Much has been written on this topic and I will not take the time to rehash it all here, except to point out one major device used in the Man of Steel film. At least twice, Superman is referred to as the son of El, once by his mother and once by General Zod, the film's villain. "Big deal!" you may say, well El is the Hebrew, shortened version, of the name Elohim, the very name used for God in the first verse of the Bible. Genesis 1:1 reads "In the beginning, God (Elohim) created the heavens and the Earth." Here are just a few references from scripture where El is used in referencing God:
1. EL SHADDAI - God all sufficient
2. EL ELYON - God most high
3. EL YESHUATI - God of my salvation (notice the Hebrew name of Jesus, Yeshua)
These are just a few of the references to God in scripture where El is translated God. Clearly the filmmakers knew what they were doing as the Messianic references were numerous. Also referenced throughout this film was the television show Smallville. The first episode of Smallville purposely portrays Clark Kent as divine in at least 2 scenes. The first, Clark Kent is in a cemetery where he steps in front of a statue of an angel seen here:
The second is even more blatant as it depicts Clark Kent as being crucified:
This is all fine, except,(as I finally get to my point) in as much as Smallville portrays Superman as a savior of mankind, it also goes on to make the point that the only salvation man needs is from the mess Superman has created in the first place. Upon his arrival to earth, in Smallville, Superman's space pod arrives amidst a meteor storm that kills numerous people. This results in many adventures in which Clark Kent must use his super powers to undo the negative affects of his arrival. It seems that every villain he fights is made a villain due to exposure to Kryptonite, brought here along with his own craft. The inference is that if Superman had not come to earth, there would have been nothing to save mankind from in the first place. This is classic "Blame God" theology.
So often, we hear people ask, "why does God make bad things happen to good people", or "if God is so loving, (or good) why is there so much evil in the world." The real question people are asking, what is really in the heart of those questions is, "If God is all powerful, the world would not be in this mess..." or even more personally, "If God is so loving and powerful, I would not be experiencing this pain in my life." We want to blame God, and then ask Him to fix it.
Before we blame God, we have to look at the origin of sin and suffering. In the first chapters of Genesis, we see that God created a perfect world and called it "good." It was not until man decided he would like to be "as God" and rebeled against God that the world began it's descent into chaos. Once we begin to entertain thoughts of blaming God for problems, global and/or personal, we diminish His character.
We live in a society where personal responsibility has been all but vanquished. We are led to believe that there are no, nor should there be, consequences for bad behavior, especially since we cannot necessarily judge anyone's behavior as bad anyway. We are told that people should be free to choose to live however they please and that a Biblical view of sin and the consequences of sin is antiquated at best and downright mean and hateful. Society wants us to believe that the only thing holding up progress is the narrow minded few who take a literal view of the Bible.
While society wants to blame God for all the ills of the world, those of us who have been born again understand that God is the solution. The evil intent of the hearts of men is the problem, we, as humans, are naturally selfish and greedy. God offers us regeneration through Jesus Christ, the true Son of El.