How do you handle it?

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How do you handle it?

Postby Wowboy on Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:16 pm

I was thinking about this question the other day...

A lot of the traditional "nerd" franchises in the realm of sci-fi and comics have really taken a hard line against Christianity. You really can't flip through a comic or watch a sci-fi movie without at least a one line dig against Christianity.

With just how extreme Marvel and DC have gotten, I have recently struggled with whether or not I should be financially supporting them. I stopped reading comics 15 years ago when I first started getting the sense that stories were getting more anti-traditional values than ever, but after hearing about what they are doing now, I question whether I should support the company at all by buying Marvel Universe figures or even going to Marvel movies.

Another thing, a lot of the "digs" against Christianity are pretty subtle and just serve to tug someone's worldview away from a Christian one and to a more worldly one. How do we succesfully protect our children from this? I'm not a father yet, but I'm not even sure I trust my children to watch basic cable without me in the room to point out what philosophy is being touted in every single program on TV and how it flies in the face of what our family holds to be true. For those of you with families, how do you deal with this?
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Re: How do you handle it?

Postby Matthew on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:31 am

Good topic. Obviously all of us on here are nerds to some extent, so we see these types of things in comics, sci-fi, etc. But it really is everywhere.

Leslie and I recently re-watched the entire series of Friends, and man oh man, the amount of sin and worldlyness that is in that show. Ross talks about evolution as a scientific fact. Joey claims his manhood by the size of his porn collection. But it's funny and lighthearted, and we (as a society) are saying that it is okay. And because the society says it's okay, the general American Christian thinks it's okay too.

As a whole, we are unfortunately too much a part of the world. I don't think boycotting Marvel or DC is the answer...I think it is much bigger than that.

But, as a father of a 2 year old, I know that I can't be with her every second explaining what see is seeing to her. So I think of it the way my relationship is with God. I think God wants me to be righteous, but not because He is on my right shoulder telling me every right decision to make, but because I trust in Him and what He has taught me to help me make those decisions. Same with my daughter, I want her to make righteous decisions based on what I've taught her through both my words and my actions. And hopefully, she will see righteousness through me (that I've learned from my Heavenly father) and she follows suit.
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Re: How do you handle it?

Postby Wowboy on Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:07 am

You are absolutely correct. It's incredible at just how much sin has infiltrated everywhere... you can't even watch commercials in a baseball game without some sort of portrayal of sinful acts.

While it is certainly true that portraying people who sin with no regard for their actions does indeed espouse a Godless worldview, I am referring more to the use of analogy and allegory to very directly take a side in the Christianity vs Aitheism debate.

Some examples I have recently seen of some light "jabs"

In Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, he routinely mocks God, even referring to an intergalactic best seller "God's Greatest Mistakes."

In Dodgeball, one of the announcers at the end refers to the competition as being "truer than the bible itself."

In the episode of Dr. Who "The Satan Pit," when the demon identifies itself as the devil, the Doctor pretty flippantly asks which religion's devil it is.

And many many more...

Also consider entire episodes or movies with major plot points designed to turn people away from religion.

Recall the episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where Captain Picard is spotted by a primitive culture that Starfleet is observing and he becomes thought of as a deity. Picard gives a very impassioned speech condemning religious belief and the need to directly interfere to prevent these beliefs from spreading.

Heck, I was reminded how annoyed I was at Frank Miller when I was watching 300 the other day by how he changed the character of the Spartans. Recall how Leonidas had to go and consult the oracle to get permission to march to Thermopylae. THIS IS ABSENT IN HERODATUS' HISTORIES. This whole scene was contrived to further the idea "religious superstitious fanaticism = EVIL" vs "logic and reason, love and compassion (love that no deity needs to be part of) = GOOD"

I guess I am just sick and tired of how so many people now are buying into the idea that religion and reason are opposed to each other. This perception is being fueled by academia for decades and has bled into the more mainstream comics and sci-fi for the past 25 years or so.

While I have no problem living my life, going to work, and just engaging people in every day conversation and having that debate in a loving way, I am tired of supporting media that directly insults everything I believe in.
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Re: How do you handle it?

Postby Wowboy on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:07 pm

I think I am also reacting in this manner because I have a close friend who has now decided to be an atheist.

He cites the content of Star Trek and Marvel comics as the source of him beginning to question his previously held faith.

I was the one who introduced him to these things.

While I know that there are a whole host of other things at play here, I can't help but feel pretty rotten about myself, because a very simplified way of looking at the situation is that I introduced material that at it's core is anti-Christian to a young Christian man who was immature at best in his faith and that material caused him to steer away from God and inspired him to reject his upbringing and plunge head first into sin.

It's made me really reconsider what I want to openly promote...
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Re: How do you handle it?

Postby RevSears on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:38 am

How tragic that he has departed from the faith :( It is true that Marvel, DC, and even Star Trek have multiple writers, and some of them have an agenda to share things against the gospel. I think when we approach these things we must always be aware that lost people will say lost things, but we should never equate philosophy shared in those things to the weight that the truth of the Bible conveys. Sure I compare and find it interesting both in my own life and in my nerd 4 the Lord blog, but I would never equate the two. Life comes from God, and he communicates life through his word. Don't give up on your friend, prayers and reasoning may be used by the Holy Spirit to draw him back to God. Share with him the illogical equation he is made, comic books and tv are not equal with the Bible. They don't even claim to be! They are fiction based, not reality based, they are set in our past and aside from the willingness to wear strange costumes and make a pilgrimage to San Deigo, comics and TV don't change lives. After exposure to that entertainment, I've no no one to start a prayer life, and to become increasing selfless and full of Joy.
http://nerd4thelord.wordpress.com/ A blog about Nerd topics from a Christian perspective.
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Re: How do you handle it?

Postby Wowboy on Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:06 pm

Thanks for the response, Rev... I'm always interested to hear what you might have to say as a Pastor.

I do think that even though these things are works of fiction, that it is important to take into account the worldview that they express, and not to discount the potential influence they could have. Just look at all the legends and stories that have survived throughout the ages that all impart some moral truth. The entire intent of the first history book was not to simply chronicle events, but to speak to what was good and true in some and illustrate what was improper and flawed in others.

Here are some of the arguments he hit me with...

"Why do we worship the Jewish god? Why not the Greek one? Or the Indian one? Or an African tribal god? If he is the god of the universe, why did he restrict his religion to just the jewish people? Does he not want everyone else to go to heaven? Sure we believe he sent his son 2000 years to be our savior, but why didn't everyone who was born before that have an opportunity for salvation? And how about everyone who never heard of Jesus afterwards, do they go to hell? That doesn't seem fair, and if God sends people to hell for ignorance, then he is evil and I want nothing to do with him."

"Why believe in the bible at all? It wasn't written down until about 3000 years ago, and it's supposed to be about events that go back a lot further than that. How do I know this wasn't all just made up by an ancient priest ripping off other religions to synchrotistically provide his people with a noble and divine history?"

And the classic "God is evil for allowing so much suffering in the world."

And of course a whole bunch of other stuff arguing over things like contradicting histories, evolution, etc.


I had some pretty decent responses for him at the time, many of which he said he hadn't considered or heard before. I am praying that all that has happened to him is that in his heart he still believes, but has been so bludgeoned by an atheistic worldview that he is having trouble holding onto his faith.

I think he had been hit with a lot of these questions about the time he went to college, and when he went home and asked his parents and the church for refutation, they basically just said "they are trying to distract you, just have faith." While they were correct, at the time he was looking for a more substantial answer than that.

Anyways, before I post a lot of the stuff I responded with, I'm curious how you guys would have answered some of those questions?
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Re: How do you handle it?

Postby RevSears on Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:29 pm

Wow boy I am going to get back to you on these questions! Thanks for the explosion in board activity!
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