Of all the nerdy movies released this summer, Captain America was one of the ones for which I was most excited. I’ve never really been a fan of the Captain himself, but the trailers looked good and my excitement for The Avengers fueled my excitement for Captain America. I loved Captain America and thought it was a perfect summer action blockbuster. Below are some thoughts on the movie from a Christian perspective. I’ll try to keep things spoiler free, but I did like when Captain America gave his shield to Stephen Colbert.
Do Not Consider His Appearance
One of my favorite stores in the Bible is Samuel’s anointing of David. Samuel goes to the home of Jesse to anoint Israel’s next king. When Samuel sees the eldest son, he is sure that the strong, handsome man will be Israel’s next ruler. However, God tells Samuel this:
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
This idea sits at the heart of Captain America. The United States government is looking for the perfect candidate to inject with the experimental super soldier serum. There are plenty of candidates who look more the part than the spindly, weak and sickly Steve Rogers. But it’s not what’s on the outside that makes Rogers Captain America, it’s the man he is on the inside. In a culture obsessed with physical appearance, it’s great to see a story communicate the value of our heart and character.
If Steve Rogers communicates true ideas about character and heart, then his nemesis, Johann Schmidt, communicates true ideas about the pursuit of power. Schmidt wants to conquer and rule the world; there’s nothing more super villainous than that. Humanity has always been plagued by the pursuit of power. From the people of Babel to the oppressive kings of Israel to modern-day CEOs and dictators, people have always wanted more and more power. That pursuit, however, is completely contrary to the way of Jesus. Jesus taught and lived out the idea that the last shall be first and that true life is living as a servant. Most super villains and a lot of normal people wrestle with that reality. But if we want to live the best life possible, we need to forgo the pursuit of power and take on the attitude of a servant.
I definitely have reservations about Christianity being too closely linked with any political system or party. I don’t think that God is a democrat or a republican; I’m sure both parties align themselves with ideas that God wouldn’t support. Just because God doesn’t wave the red, white and blue, though, doesn’t mean I can’t feel a little patriotic watching Captain America. I felt a little swell of national pride as Steve Rogers donned the stars and stripes, took up his shield and brought the pain to some Nazis.
I loved Captain America. I thought Chris Evans did a superb job of portraying Steve Rogers, the man, which led to a great portrayal of Captain America, the hero. He really showed that there’s more to who we are than what others can see. This is encouraging to all of us, with our self-identified faults and flaws. And it’s even more encouraging knowing that we have a God who will work through us in spite of and because of our faults and flaws.
What did you think about Captain America?