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|2007·05·10 · 10 Comments|
|The Gospel in Spider-Man 3|
Yes, that is the same title as Dan Phillips used. Since he said a lot of what I was thinking (and a lot more), I thought I might as well use it. Dan correctly states that Spiderman 3 contains a lot of good moral principles, but horrible theology. Dan’s objections begin where mine did, with this statement from the movie: “First, you must do the hardest thing. You must forgive yourself.” I've previously written on this subject here. Read Dan’s article, in which he concludes: “Spider-Man 3 is a fun, expertly-done movie. It contains a nice bit of moralizing. It preaches an appalling sermon.”
I only have two things to add to what has already been said.
First, assuming we buy the psychoskubalon of self-forgiveness (as though such a thing as a sin against self exists), it is not hard to forgive ourselves. What could be more self-indulgent? and what is more definitive of human nature than self-indulgence? Letting ourselves off the hook for our sins is as natural as breathing.
Second, in answer to the objection, “Well, you know, it's not a Christian movie. You can't expect them to get it right,” I reply, “You're right. In fact, I should expect them to get it wrong; and when they do, I should be prepared to say so.” You see, whenever anyone, whether Christian, Roman Catholic, Jew, Muslim, or atheist opens his mouth on anything touching on God, theology, or spirituality, he is obligated to get it right. God will accept nothing less. There is only one God, one Way, one Truth, one Life. God makes no allowance for false theology, even due to ignorance.
“But it's just a movie. It's just entertainment. No one came to hear a sermon.” But they did hear a sermon — a moralistic, man-centered sermon. A sermon that leads away from Christ, even while promoting moral character. That is damning, and it needs an answer.
This does not mean you can't go see Spiderman 3 and enjoy it for the entertaining (though mediocre) work of ignorant men that it is. Just be prepared to answer those who praise the good moral of the story with the true Gospel.