Your Heroes Are Dead

We All Love Superheroes:

I love superhero movies, and I’m not alone— I mean, who doesn’t like the Marvel films (other than stodgy critics, I suppose)? Avengers: Endgame got me thinking about our present Golden Age of superheroes. We all love these movies, and it's easy to see why. Marvel films feature themes of goodness, self-sacrifice, and overcoming evil. They feature characters we all relate to, energetic action sequences, and compelling themes.

I can't help but wonder if some of us like these films a little too much. Escaping from reality can be a good thing but can become a problem when our fictional world occupies our thoughts more than real world issues. You might ask, “Who’s doing that?” I would respond, “A lot of people.” American culture is synonymous with superhero fandom. Every single day for the last three months, I’ve heard my co-workers debating the finer points of Infinity stones and how they work. Even in Christian circles, I've noticed people have more knowledge about the Marvel Universe than about the Bible. A few years ago, when it was discovered that I supported Iron Man over Captain America in Civil War, I was nearly tarred and feathered! It’s reasonable to say a lot of us are more defined by our fictional interests than our real-world commitments, creating a real and dangerous distraction from Jesus.

What Does the Bible Say?

Anything that distracts us from God is idolatry, which He hates and forbids. Deuteronomy 5:7-8 says, “You shall have no other gods before Me,” and “You shall not make for yourself an idol.” Is Marvel making idols? No, but we are when we obsess and identify ourselves after our favorite superheroes. If you can’t remember the last time you dusted off your Bible but know every Endgame fan theory, that is idolatry! It may seem small, and it certainly starts that way, but it’s deadly. If we’re spending most of our time, energy, and money on fiction then are we wasting our lives on something that is not real. Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with enjoying superhero movies, but when it goes from enjoyment to fixation that’s a problem. And, ironically, this obsession with fiction has real consequences (see, Psalm 115:7-8).

The reality is that our heroes are dead. They’re not real. A life spent obsessing over things that aren’t real is a life that doesn’t matter. When we live for entertainment, we are spiritually numb and dishonor God.

So what do we do?

We fill that void where the idol was with Jesus. You can start by making time to read your Bible and meditate on what it says. It doesn’t take long, only a few minutes each day to make a real difference. We live for the glory of God. Instead of living in a fantasy, focused on dead heroes, live where eternal life and eternal death are at stake. Live for Jesus Christ who was crucified and rose again! Make Him the center of your life.

JP is a contributor at webasicbible.com as well as numerous other Christian sites. JP holds a BS in Biblical and Theological Studies from Liberty University. He and his wife currently live in Utah.