Discussing
Captain America: Civil War and living in spiritual community

Abby Olcese

Abby Olcese
May 19, 2016

In many ways the Avengers function as an intentional spiritual community: individuals living and ministering together with the goal of becoming something greater.

JKana
May 19, 2016

This is a thoughtful take on the Avengers franchise, Abby. Thanks for sharing.

There were some poignant moments in this movie, to be sure. I think the hardest scene for me to watch was the climatic final moments between Cap and Stark...but it wasn't lost on me that in the moment when Cap had a clear chance to kill Stark, he only disabled his suit instead.

In the church, we get into some pretty bitter feuds over ideological things, too. How to deal with homosexuality in the church, for instance, or the question of divorce and remarriage, or the role of women in ministry. One of the things I admire about Cap's character in this film is the way you see Rogers wrestling with his ideals and his own flaws. You never get the sense he doesn't "get" where Stark is coming from. But when given the choice to use lethal force, he opts not to. I wonder whether all of us who are 100% persuaded we're in the right on a particular theological or ecclesiological issue are so charitable when we deal with our brothers and sisters in the church who disagree with us.

Mike Poteet
May 19, 2016

I like your article's comparisons of the Avengers and the church. I think your takes on the first two films are spot-on. I'm not convinced, though, that the "Civil War" movie ends on a note of unity (he said, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose <g>).

Sometimes in the faith community, too, separating after intense, sustained, unresolved disagreement may be the best way forward for everyone -- think of Paul and Silas parting ways after their "intense disagreement" over John Mark, for instance. Although the two men no longer did mission work together, they were both in the mission field, advancing the Gospel.

Which, come to think of it, maybe isn't that different from how "Civil War" ends, either.

Thanks for your very insightful (and fun) article! I think it's always great to see Christian reflection on how and why superhero stories matter.

Laird Ballard
May 19, 2016

I don't really see how massive and graphic violence whether for good or evil promotes a strong Christian mindset.

Scott Bayles
May 19, 2016

Very nice. I wrote a similar blog about Civil War and division in the church at www.holyheroes.org

Scott Bayles
May 21, 2016

In Reply to Laird Ballard (comment #28283)
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Really? First off, I wouldn't classify the violence in Civil War as "graphic" by any means. Secondly, the Bible is full of some very graphic, violent stories, yet those stories are full of moral and spiritual lessons.

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