Marvel films are a bit like Marmite, people do either really love or hate them. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is in cinemas now and whether you can’t wait to see it or if you would rather watch paint dry, you might be interested in this brief thought about a key theme in the Marvel universe.
One of the problems that the script writers are faced with when they bring together a team of superheroes is that they need to create an enemy that has the ability to win. An individual superhero faces a super enemy but a team of superheroes needs to face an enemy that seems impossible to beat if the plot is to work. I’ve not seen the new film yet, but the impression that the trailers have given is that Ultron and his assembled army look like they will be more than a match for earth’s mightiest heroes.
One of the images that has been released to promote the film is of Captain America’s shield that has been broken. The broken shield symbolizes the might of the enemy, that they even have the power to destroy what was always thought to be indestructible.
The promotion of the film is trying to convince us that the Avengers are unlikely to win and even if they are victorious that it will be against all the odds. We are being sold the belief that good and evil are equal forces that are battling each other and that sometimes one triumphs over the other but it could as easily have been the other was around.
I really enjoy Superhero movies, but the idea that evil is stronger than good goes completely against what I believe.
Christians believe that God is all powerful and that whilst the spiritual forces of evil are more powerful than humans, that they are insignificant compared to Almighty God.
Christians believe that God is at work even when it looks like evil has won. When Jesus died on the cross it looked like he and God’s plan had failed when in fact his death was God’s greatest victory.
I intend to go and see the film and to enjoy it as some (I hope anyway) entertainment but as I watch it I don’t want to be conned into believing that evil has the capacity to win. Things in this world can seem dark but that is not because God is powerless, rather it is because he is allowing us the freedom to turn to him if we choose. Some people make evil choices and that leads to terrible things happening but God is still all powerful and he still reigns and one day he will return to this world and say enough is enough.
If God can end all suffering and evil, then why doesn’t he do so sooner. The Bible gives this answer:
‘He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent’ (2 Peter 3.9).
God will end all evil one day and on that day he wants as many people as possible to have turned to him so that they can be saved.
God wins and we have the opportunity to be on his side but how will we respond?