If we (parents) are “letting our children wear superhero clothing,” we are obviously “letting them read books and/or watch movies about superheroes.” So, perhaps the real question is, “Should we allow our children to be entertained by literature or movies that feature superheroes?” I am reluctant to lay down a hard and fast rule when it comes to issues like this, for we should avoid legalism (laying down laws based on our own personal convictions) which results in forcing our conscience on others. Some believe a Christian should avoid any form of FICTION, and this question surely falls into the realm of fiction. Others believe fictional works are okay as long as there are valuable lessons to learn from them. Let’s consider some of the GOOD and the BAD that may result from superhero books or movies.

The GOOD: 1) Superheroes are in a battle against evil forces. In real life we (believers) are also in a battle against evil, as we see in Ephesians 6:10-12, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand AGAINST THE WILES OF THE DEVIL. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (NKJV). 2) Superheroes sometimes work together to combat evil (The “Avengers” would be a good example of this), and believers should learn to work together against the devil and his minions.

The BAD: 1) VIOLENCE is pervasive in most superhero books/movies and this can lead a Christian to become violent or aggressive. I have read books on the history of the Church and sadly there were times when believers took up arms against unbelievers who were persecuting them. This runs contrary to Scripture, for in 2nd Corinthians 10:3-5 we read, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” This goes right along with what we saw in Ephesian 6 for we are to “put on the whole armor of God” (verse 11) and in verses 13-18 we learn that the “armor of God” consists of “spiritual weapons” (the Word of God, practical righteousness, faith, prayer, etc.). 2) VIGILANTISM is also found in superhero literature/films. We are NOT to “avenge evil”; rather we read in Romans 12:17-20, “Repay no one evil for evil…live peaceably with all men…DO NOT AVENGE YOURSELVES, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance if Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” 3) OBSESSION with superheroes is paramount to IDOLATRY. Yes, we can indeed IDOLIZE superheroes. Scripture tells us, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1st John 5:21). An “idol” is anything (or anyone) who replaces Christ in our hearts. The fact is one can become so obsessed with superheroes that they may come to believe that “mere men” will one day overcome the “evil one” (Satan). In other words, one can make (in their minds) a superhero their “savior.”

In closing, it is good to remind our children that superheroes are indeed a “figment of one’s imagination” and that they don’t begin to compare with our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Superheroes wear a costume to identify themselves; our Savior needs no costume to “stand out in a crowd.” Superheroes have weaknesses (think “Superman and kryptonite”); the Lord Jesus is OMNIPOTENT (all-powerful), as well as OMNISCIENT (all-knowing) and OMNIPRESENT (in all places). Superheroes still SIN; the Lord Jesus is absolutely HOLY and thus SINLESS (see Hebrews 7:26; 1st Peter 2:22; 2nd Corinthians 5:21; and 1st John 3:5). I trust I am speaking reverently when I say that Jesus Christ is the only real SUPERMAN. Let us (parents) be sure to instill this truth in the hearts and minds of our children. And if we do allow them to read books or watch movies with superheroes, let’s be sure we monitor this activity and seek to point out the wholesome lessons while also censoring the bad.  (353.3)  (DO)