On the Subject of Heroes: Man of Iron VERSUS Man of Sorrows

Went and saw “IronMan” a few weeks back.
Like an updated “RoboCop” really, but not TOO bad for an American action film. This movie got me thinking about the following topic:
Just what makes a hero anyway?
The North-American audience (and world audience even) love the idea of a hero who is MADE OF IRON and invincible. This is the kind of Messiah 1st century Jews were looking for when Jesus appeared on the scene. They were hoping that he would be the One to protect them and destroy their enemies without. Instead, he revealed that we are our own biggest enemies and wars, hatred and all sins come from within each of us in our sinful nature. He revealed an even greater hero that the world has trouble accepting. One who feels our pain. Who hungers. Who thirsts. Who cries. One who cries out to the Father above instead of relying on one’s own strength. One who instead of making himself invincible to overcome evil, in His wisdom became “weak” and died for the sins of the world. Now that is a hero worth living for and yeah, even dying for!

The Undying Died so that the Dead may Live.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. but he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
(Isaiah 53:3-6)

What kind of a hero is that?!” some would snort.
They want to be just like Tony Stark: the Bill Gates or Brad Pitt of their generation. Someone who has a snappy one-liner for anything said, who can bed who he wants and when he wants and maybe as a side-thought does “nice things” on the side.

“So, you are a man who has EVERYTHING but yet has NOTHING.”
Looking at the people of Hollywood is good example enough of people who seem to have everything but have nothing. Even the perfectly chosen actor for this role, Robert Downey Jr., and the choices and actions he has made in life should tell us that fortune and fame are not enough to “be happy” and content in life.

“Let’s face it. This is not the worst thing you’ve caught me doing.” The audience laughs! Yes, we try to imagine what kinds of things he has wickedly enjoyed and many people thought it was fantastic to see his air-stewardesses who doubled as strip dancers. Airplane compete with stripper’s pole. Yes, a hero to the world indeed.

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…”
The one Bible quote in the movie and the entire verse is not given. “…and unto God the things that are God’s (Matthew 22:20-21)
The world is like that. They have knowledge of the Bible to some degree but they do not have the whole picture or saving knowlege.
They quote the Bible frequently (even like some of my co-workers) but they take the verses out of context and say things like “Keep the Faith” to mean “Keep your chin up” rather than the original meaning which is about keeping one’s faith in Christ.
“Don’t waste your life. Use it.”
A dying man’s last words (who he barely knew) are supposed to be what motivate him. How much more should the Words of the Always-Living-But-Has-Entered-Time-And-Space-And-Died-For-Us-God-Man?! Tony Stark is supposed to have found “his purpose” through those words. We (every human being) are TOLD by GOD HIMSELF what our purpose is in Acts 17:
“And hath made of one blood of all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, AND FIND HIM, though He be not far from every one of us:” (Acts 17:26-27)
The Bible says we find God in Christ alone. (John 14:6)
We are then told what our life purpose is after that most important first step in Ephesians:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
God has made (real-born-again) Christians (not necessarily just those who go to a physical church!) to be His ambassadors:
One of the trailers I say online reads,
“Heroes aren’t Born, They’re Built.”
Au contraire,
“Heroes aren’t Built. They’re Born Again.”

“What happened over there?” someone asks Tony Stark.
“I had my eyes opened.”
The Bible tells us that in “this war zone” earth, the enemy (Satan) has pulled the wool over the eyes of the world and that only in turning to the Lord is the veil removed and we can see. “but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”
(2 Corinthians 3:16) God alone opens eyes. No event, in and of itself, will “cause your eyes to be opened”. It is God alone, through His grace. God, in His sovereignty, mercy, grace and love has provided the means of salvation through the cross. It is our choice to accept or reject it. “He who is not with me is against me“, Jesus declares in Luke 11:23. There is no neutral ground. Neutrality is impossible with the Lord. “..he that gathers not with me, scatters“.

2 responses to “On the Subject of Heroes: Man of Iron VERSUS Man of Sorrows

  1. >Hey, this is Seung-Hoon. Looooong time no talk! Thanks for the impressive pictures and stories! Good to know that you’re STILL doing God’s work! Keep up the good work. Today, one of my friends bought a motor bike. Do you know from whom? Prof. Victor Tchor! I already have one of the same model as Victor owned and my friend got one, too, so we can travel to Kangwon province together this summer! Yeah! It will have been 1 year in 2 days since you left. I miss you and your bible study SO MUCH. I’ll send you soon my recent photos of me and my bike through your e-mail account(andydbrown@hotmail.com). I’m supposed to graduate after summer semester and thanks to God’s grace and prof. Becky, I was offered an English teaching position(or just a position where I do administration stuff) at Handong International School. I got a call from the chief of the school and he said nothing’s confirmed yet about the specific position where I get to work but I’ll be working anyway from Fall semester. I’m going to meet him again for detailed arrangement for my payment and position next Tuesday. Please pray for me to be well-prepared for any position that will be given to me. And I was so glad to hear that you and Che are engaged!!! Is that true!? Wow, CONGRATULATIONS! God bless you two and your walk with Jesus. Talk to you soon!

  2. >HHEEYY, Seung-Hoon!GREAT to hear from you!Wow! Thanks for the comment!I can’t believe you remember, to the day, when I left. I only remember that my last working day in Korea was June 1st. You know how hard it was for me to leave and under such terrible circumstances…I really thank you for all your selfless assistance with so many last minute things that needed taking care of. Congrats on the upcoming new job! Awesome! Good to see Professor Becky is still looking out for you. Please give her my warmest regards (and thank her for me for helping you out)!I really miss you and our Bible study as well.Your life has been SO transformed (unlike many people who say they know Christ…) and your life is an awesome testimony to new life in Christ. MANY, MANY blessings & I’ll look forward to hearing from you through email!

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