Can Tony Stark Make Guns and Love His Neighbor?

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Iron Man successfully launches (Where The Incredible Hulk failed…) the Marvel universe on it’s prolific box office tirade.  We meet Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at his snarkiest, firing off zingers as fast as he fires ballistic demonstrations for the military.  Life is fast-moving and freewheeling, until Stark is kidnapped by terrorists.  Total downer.  Talk about a midlife crisis:  Stark must create his greatest masterpiece or face execution.  The Iron Man legacy is born.

Is Tony Stark Negligently Aiding Terrorists?

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In the depths of some dank cave, Tony literally comes face to face with the reality that his weapons have landed in the hands of terrorists.  Ironically, the only way to escape is to make a better weapon than his captors.  Facing the underbelly of criminal activity initiates a business dilemma for the technology tycoon.  Much of his vast empire was built through weapons manufacturing.  If Tony Stark grows a conscience and shuts down weapons development – Stark Enterprises takes a mega hit to their profits.

Hollywood Speaks Through Heroes

Tony Stark shuts down all weapons manufacturing, which isn’t surprising considering the puppeteers of Hollywood are overtly opposed to the existence of guns.  If the world had no guns there would be no gun violence.  Right?  That’s the conclusion of Stark and this film at least.  This conclusion is hypocritical because Iron Man is the world’s greatest weapon, but we’re not going to destroy the suit; it’s too cool!

Intent Gets Neglected

Stark wants to save the world, which magically infuses the Iron Man suit with goodness.

The Iron Man suit is simply a tool, like any other weapon in the world.  Tony Stark gets to keep his weapons and the rest of the world just has to trust that Stark’s judgement is perfect.  Sound familiar?  This is usually what the government tells us about our weapons.  We really don’t need guns because the police and armed forces are here to protect us.

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Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) is the perfect example of how important human intent is when considering weapons.  Obadiah is the typical greedy scoundrel that cares about money more than human life.  Stane uses a robotic suit for evil purposes, but thankfully Iron Man is around to oppose him.  This clash should illustrate that human evil is wielded through various vehicles and the mode used should not be blindly banished.  The Iron Man suit can do tremendous good as Tony Stark demonstrates.  A similar suit used by Obadiah Stane can do equal harm.

Luke 6:45 (NIV)

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

What Does This Mean?

Remember Obadiah, the guy that didn’t care about people?  Would taking away his mechanical suit solve his issues?  No.  It wouldn’t.  Obadiah Stane didn’t love his neighbor, while Tony Stark did (in his narcissistic way).  The hardest command God gives us in the law:

Leviticus 19:18 (NIV)

“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

The human race has always had the same problem:  We don’t love each other like God loves us.

1 John 3:16 (NIV)

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.