“Would You Kneel?” *Spoilers for The Avengers*
Recently I saw Marvel’s “The Avengers” in 3D with my little sister and brother. Let me just say first that it was a great movie and my brother and I are totally up for seeing it again! (Fair warning: if you’re a comic genius who doesn’t like anyone messing with characters and backstory in order to make a movie, then this one probably isn’t for you. Also, I would highly recommend seeing both “Iron Man” movies, “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” before seeing this movie. Things make more sense this way.)
But there are, of course, bigger themes at work in the movie. Most of us are familiar with the theme of humanity fighting against alien enemies, but The Avengers are no ordinary humans. Certainly not like the teamwork and unity of purpose found in movies like “Independence Day.” What we have here is completely different: a group of superheroes who are used to doing things their own way. You can guess how it ends, but I won’t spoil it for you.
I do want to concentrate on one particular theme: the subjugation of the people.
Loki, Thor’s brother, wants to dominate the human race and believes that is our purpose as human beings, to serve. That we don’t truly want freedom, that we would rather be ruled. Once we learn to let go of the “myth” of freedom, then we will truly be free.
The first scene that really hit this point home was when Loki revealed himself in his regalia to a scared crowd in Germany. He commands them to kneel and proceeds to give his speech on why humans will always kneel.
I thought to myself, “Isn’t that just like Daniel in the Old Testament?” He is the subject of a king who wants others to worship him. Daniel refuses and is thrown into the den of lions as punishment. His faithfulness is rewarded as an angel of the Lord keeps the lions from devouring Daniel. Truly he had been faithful, but that faithfulness could have cost him his life. (You can read the full story in Daniel 6.)
People throughout history have given their lives for what they truly hold dear: family, country, values, God, etc. The question is, if the time comes for us to make that choice, stand up for God or kneel in fear, what will we do?
I judge no one in the past, present or future for the choices they make when your life is on the line. I can’t truly understand how that feels because of the relative religious comfort we enjoy here in the United States. Christians in other countries don’t have it so easy.
So when Loki finishes his long-winded speech, one man stands up and refuses to kneel any longer. He says to Loki, “I will never bow to men like you ...There will always be men like you.” And before Loki can kill him as an example, Captain America (Chris Evans) arrives just in time.
This man is right. There will always be someone who wishes to be worshipped by other people. Before hitting the ground in Germany, Captain America tells Agent Romanov (Scarlett Johansen) that there is only one God and he’s pretty sure he doesn’t look like Loki. I agree, Captain America!
Would I have the courage to stand up and fight? Or would I kneel in fear? I would like to think that, if challenged, I would think nothing of sacrificing freedom or my life for my faith. I can only pray for the courage to act appropriately if I find myself in that situation. But what it really calls into question is the complacency many of us have with our faith. We are so used to being able to have our Christian holidays and do as we please, most of the time, without too much restriction on our religious expression. That’s great if you live in the United States, but what if we lived in China? What about the countries where being Christian isn’t popular and can be illegal?
I think it’s time we pray for those who find themselves in such situations. As for me, I look forward to the day when God says to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
One of the closing messages of the movie is that the human race has fighters and cannot be subdued. This message is received in worlds outside of Earth. Will there be another enemy who thinks he can rule the Earth? Probably. After all, I want a sequel! Will there be people in our lives and in this world who desire to rule us? Yes. But we put our trust in the Lord and serve no one but Him.
Pretty deep for a comic action hero movie, right? What do you think? Did I read too much into this or do you have a story of a time when you were challenged and stood up for your faith?
5/7/2012 5:16:29 PM
By Wendy Stewart