I don’t know how many of my readers have seen the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s epic story arc spanning twenty-three films, and more are in the pipeline.
The main story is that there’s a bad guy called Thanos, who wants to collect the ‘Infinity Stones’, which will give him the power to destroy half of the population of the entire Universe, for the purposes of ‘balance’. My friend Mo Thomas wrote an excellent piece using Thanos as an illustration, which I wanted to share with you here. He followed it up with a quotation from the great A. W. Tozer, too; can’t go wrong! 🙂
Here you go:
Thanos – Compassionate Supervillain?
Did you watch Avengers: Infinity War? Consider the character of Thanos the villain – his “noble” desire was to collect the stones, and then wipe out 1/2 the population for the greater good of the world. Agree? If you haven’t seen it, imagine Hitler wiping out 6 million Jews, and many other evil, sadistic dictators throughout history who kill off portions of humanity in the name of progress.
What would you say, if you had no familiarity with the Bible, and you heard the following about God:
1 He wiped out the ENTIRE world’s population – including women, children, and babies – except for saving 8 people to start over (Noah and family), all for the greater good of the world.
2 He directly caused rape and infants being bashed against rocks. (Isaiah 13)
3 He authorized that virgins should be kept as spoils of war after a victory against another people group.
4 He will sustain most of the world’s population in excruciating torment for billions upon billions of years, without hope of repentance, for NOT loving Him in response to His unconditional love.
As an “unbeliever” hearing this unfiltered truth, what image of God would come to your mind? What is the essential character of God that you’re being asked to believe, and follow???
Is this a biblical case of both terrorist/rescuer residing in the same deity, like…
Jekyll and Hyde?
Thanos and Ironman?
Hitler and MLK?
God the Father and God the Son?
What we need to be saved from is our counterfeit, distorted views of God. Don’t confuse the Abba of Jesus with a Marvel terrorist villain or an evil human dictator, which can easily happen when one reads the Scriptures using the distorted lens of dead-letter literalism without any aid from the Spirit of Christ.
The portrait of God we have in our mind and heart is an important and powerful indicator of one’s perspective towards life, and towards others made in Their image – we become Who we behold.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. … Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.
We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church.
Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech…”
– Mo Thomas, used with his kind permission