Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Captain America and Hipsters

I'm going to go ahead and say that I really enjoyed Captain America. (the movie) I liked the explosions, I liked the good acting, and I liked the special effects. I say this knowing full well that really cool people will say that big Hollywood blockbusters like that are too "mainstream," or "formulaic." And to that I say, "Go back to watching 500 Days of Summer, you hipster!"

But yeah, I really liked Captain America. In the movie, Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers, your run-of-the-mill weak guy. Now, the guy has a lot of heart and courage, but simply doesn't have the physical prowess to fight with the best of 'em. Insert Dr. Erskine, who magically scientifically transforms our bite-sized friend into an Ahnold-like crime-fighting machine.

I'm pretty sure you didn't come to Kingdom Eyes to get a synopsis of a movie that came out last year, so I'm going to make this simple: at one point of the movie, the good doctor tells Steve, "The weak man knows the value of strength."

*Pause for effect.*

Did you get the heaviness of that? 'Cuz I'm pretty sure I heard that quote drop heavier than a Skrillex base line. Why is this profound? Because it carries over into real life.

"What do you mean?"

I'm glad you asked. James 2 says the following:
"For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man."
As sinful people, we tend to elevate those who are rich and successful because they're the ones who can do something for us. If we treat them better, they might give generously to the church, and that way we can expand the Kingdom of God, right?


If your Manifest Destiny is based on growing by treating poor people as less-than-human, than what is it that you're trying to expand? Injustice and selfishness? That's not the way we're supposed to go about doing things. At least in this area, we are to be counter-intuitive and counter-cultural. While the world would immediately put the rich (or famous, or popular) on a pedestal, the church is supposed to lift up the person who is poor (or uncool, or a failure) because they are the only one who can truly appreciate kindness.

This is my philosophy when it comes to reaching out to the kid at church who is sitting down in the back row, wondering if life is worth living because no one values him. Or the kid who's coming because it's the only opportunity to get out of the hell-hole that his house is. Or the kid who can't look at someone in the eye because every eye he's ever looked into has responded with mockery and hatred.

Those are the only ones that know the value of being treated well.

So let's start lifting up the poor, weak, lonely, and and uncool. Because it's just like Jon Foreman from Switchfoot said in the song "Beautiful Letdown", 

     "We are a beautiful let down,
     Painfully uncool,
     The church of the dropouts
     The losers, the sinners, the failures and the fools;
     Oh what a beautiful let down."


Greatly said. I finally understood the words of the song.

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