The Marvel Studio juggernaut keeps on a chuggin’ down the track and it’s latest engineer is Captain Marvel, a super-powered lady that’s been a powder keg for explosive conversations about gender roles.
Greg Morse is a writer for ‘Desiring God’ (a conservative Christian website) and he used the release of Captain Marvel as an opportunity to lament the blood-thirsty feminist movement leading more women into military service. Tyler Huckabee is a writer for Relevant Magazine (trendy progressive Christian website) and wrote a piece expressing shock that people like Greg Morse still exist in today’s enlightened society.
The problem with all of this verbal sparring is that neither party has spoken truth with eternal weightiness. The Bible has either been absent or quoted out of context. Let’s get to the issues…
Are Men Really Better Suited for War?
Greg Morse advocates that war should be left to the menfolk so women can be spared from the atrocities of war. There’s a whiff of ‘Men have been made with the capacity to battle, so men embrace your civic duty. Man up!’
This may be true? I’m not sure. No statistics or studies were cited that reveal men are more adept for the grotesque business of ending human life.
The National Center for PTSD reports that up to 20% of veterans returning from battle have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). God did not create us to murder our fellow man. War produces crippling results regardless of your gender. I don’t want my son or daughter heading off to war.
The Bible repeatedly speaks to the wisdom of avoiding war and loving your enemy. Man or woman, it’s clear how God would have us approach our neighbor.
Romans 12:14-21 (ESV)
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I know some are screaming out, “We can’t wear rose-colored glasses and ignore that evil must be forcibly stopped at times!” I agree. There is a place for “authority to bear the sword.” I simply want to dispel the notion that war is more tolerable for men than women, or that God thinks it’s manly for males to do battle. God’s desire is that we love Him and others – even our enemies.
Woman Can Kill Too! The Bible Says So…
Seeking to empower women, Tyler Huckabee from Relevant Magazine cites Judges 4 as an endorsement from God that women should be on the battle field impaling evildoers with spikes.
When you read Judges 4 in its context, it’s not promoting that women head to the battlefield. Unwittingly, Tyler Huckabee pointed people to a passage that supports Greg Morse’s desire for men to do all the fighting.
God had summoned Barak (a man) to take 10,000 men into battle, but Barak would not go to war without Deborah (a woman). She was willing to go with Barak, but it’s clear Deborah wanted Barak to understand God was calling him.
Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” 9 And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.”
The glory of battle was supposed to be for the Lord and Barak, but cowardice led to the honor being given to a woman. The reality is that God wanted Barak to lead the battle and Barak then delegating leadership to Deborah was shameful.
The enemy eventually ends up in the tent of Jael (a woman) and she does what Barak failed to do. Jael uses a tent peg to kill the enemy king.
Yes, women are intelligent, cunning, and physically able to kill. Chapter 4 of Judges isn’t a recommendation that all women carry spikes around to kill evil kings, purse snatchers or vampires. It speaks to a loving God that uses a wide variety of people to bring deliverance to Israel from her oppressors.
Men & Women Both Need Salvation
More important than deliverance for one nation is the salvation of the entire world.
Two talented writers (Greg Morse and Tyler Huckabee) invest a lot of time talking about something that doesn’t have eternal significance. Should men rescue women or should women rescue men? The answer is a moot point…
Men and women both need Jesus to save them from sin!
All this hero talk and no one is going to talk about the great Savior? Are we afraid of being “too preachy”? It’s good news! I need to be reminded of the victory Christ won everyday.
Jesus Christ is the only one who can rescue miserable sinners from inevitable destruction and eternal damnation. Captain Marvel, Thor, Hulk, Batman, whatever masked, spandex wearing hero you like, all of them are fictional shadows of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. That’s the most valuable conversation that can be sparked from all these superhero movies.
1 John 1:8-10 (NIV)
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
John 16:33 (NIV)
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
If you really want to be saved, look to Christ. Any hope of rescue from men or women will fall flat.
Read and Decide
If you’re late to the party, like I was, here are the links to the original articles:
Greg Morse: Desiring God
Tyler Huckabee: Relevant Magazine
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.