Continuing our walk through Christian themes in Marvel movies, we get to Doctor Strange. This movie introduces magic and sorcery into the Marvel Universe, which Doctor Steven Strange pursues in order to try and heal his hands which were near destroyed in a car accident (He’s a surgeon so he kind of needs his hands you see).
Strange studies under the sorcerer, The Ancient One, but He and a fellow students become confused and disillusioned when they find out that The Ancient One has been drawing power from the Dark Dimension, a power source forbidden to the good guys. Before dying, The Ancient One tells Strange that he, just like her, will have to break the rules in order to bring balance to the force…uh, sorry wrong movie.
But while Doctor Strange does “break the rules” and everything turns out OK, that doesn’t mean that its a rule to live by. God gives us clear sets of standards and morality which we break everyday. We may make excuses for our sin and “think” everything turns out OK, but does God see it that way? Is it OK to get a divorce because you’ve “fallen out of love” and would be happier elsewhere? Is it OK to lie because the truth would just hurt a person more and it’s easier this way? Is it OK to steal because a person has more than enough and “need it” more than them? Is it OK to get an abortion because you didn’t want to get pregnant and won’t be able to provide for the child anyway? These justifications paint morality as a shade of grey and subjective to each person, but the Bible tells us that God is Good, a pure white among shades of discolored right and wrong.
So what are we to do? The Bible has good advice for living in the world, as prayed by Jesus.
John 17:15-19 - My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
Jesus wants us to be different than the world. While the above examples aim to please the sinner, God’s law is good and pleasing to the Lord. We are living in this world, but it is fleeting. God doesn’t take us out of this world, but we are to be His lights in it. We are to preach the truth, and the whole truth, pure and good.
When we dilute the truth and change God’s law, not only do we dilute His goodness, but we drain the power of the Gospel, which is necessary for us sinners to be saved. There is not justification of our sin. It may seem like we are forced to make a hard choice because the world is not squeaky clean, but this world is not our forever home. Instead, we put our eyes towards Heaven, and we bring a piece of it here, now, on Earth.