On Friday, March 18th, 2016, Netflix blessed its users with a second season of their popular show Daredevil. Were I actually caught up on the show, I would rejoice with the fans. However, I’ve been focusing my attention on Gotham, so I can’t say anything. And I put aside Arrow to watch it. Also, Batman Vs Superman comes out soon. I thought it would come out in May, alongside Civil War.
It’s worth mentioning the obvious: Superhero movies are everywhere these days. The heroes who once lived in obscurity are now household names. Because they’ve been going strong since the 60’s, they’ve been setting the trend for what it means to be a hero.
Of course, no self-respecting screenwriter would use the word “superhero” in casual dialogue. Instead, the word that is tossed around is “vigilante.” I believe it is a much better word. “Vigilante,” by definition, is someone who takes the law into his or her own hands. This is all good and fun, until that person starts using a corrupted form of justice. In fact, it’s because of this that a lot of comic book adaptations either have the hero being a target of the police or correlating with them.
So, with all this talk of superheroes and vigilantes, I’ve been asking myself, “What does it mean to be a Christian vigilante?”
I did my usual digging through the Bible to find verses and passages about being in relation to the law. I found quite a bit in the book of Romans, no surprise. While my concordance lit up Chapter 7, I was drawn to Chapter 13. It opens with Paul saying, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”
Well, that answers our question. Work in line with the authorities, and you too can be a Christian vigilante.
But that’s not the end of it. In writing that last sentence, I thought of the book of Judges. It’s basically a hundred years of average people going in and overthrowing the authorities, often by killing them. But what did those authorities have in common? Well, it was time for them to go. And they were not under God.
I guess, in the end, being a Christian vigilante boils down to Micah 6:8. “Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
That said, I’d like to see who you think best exemplifies the traits of a Christian vigilante (or superhero) in the comments or on Twitter (@Isaac_Trenti). Let’s connect!