It seems to me that America is engaged in a new Civil War. No, I’m not talking about bullets, battles, or raucous caucuses. I’m talking about our most fabled superheroes fighting each other instead of unifying to fight our real enemies.
Iron Man and Captain America used to be on the same side. But not in Captain America: Civil Warwhich hits theaters on May 6, 2016. Now they’re fighting each other over indictments that seem to have been plucked right out of a political commentary from CNN or Fox News, “A great many people see you [Captain America] as a hero. There are some who prefer the word ‘vigilante.’ You’ve operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That’s something the world can no longer tolerate.”1
Wait. Is this Fox’s “The Kelly Factor” or a Saturday matinee?
Or, consider Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which hits theaters on March 25, 2016. Again, the movie synopsis sounds like it could double for a caucus report, “Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on Superman, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It's up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.”2
Is this art imitating life, or life imitating art? Maybe it’s some of both. The parallels between these comic-book thrillers and today’s America are sobering. They all point to the sad reality that America is engaged in a new Civil War.
As a Christian, I know what Civil War is like. I have one going on inside myself all the time. The Apostle Paul describes it in Romans 7:7-25. It’s maddening. My only hope is God’s declaration at the end of that text, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death (and thus my own, internal Civil War)? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Our only hope – as individuals and as a nation – is the Superheroes of Superheroes: Jesus. Batman, Superman, Ironman, and Captain America, bow to Jesus. Trump, Clinton, Cruz, Sanders, and Rubio, bow to Jesus. Fox News and CNN, bow to Jesus. Blacks and whites, bow to Jesus. Pro-life and pro-choice advocates, bow to Jesus. Christians and Muslims, bow to Jesus. Everybody everywhere, bow to Jesus. Let the Prince of Grace and Truth rule in your hearts. Let us all confess our sins to Jesus Christ, receive His mercy as it is offered to us in His Gospel, and seek Him for lives of joyful obedience. This would be the end of our Civil War. Come, Lord Jesus.