When I was young, my parents had a very difficult time getting me to read. If the book didn’t have pictures in it, I wouldn’t read it. Knowing that the books on my shelf were just collecting dust, my father bought me a comic book, “The Amazing Spider-Man”.
I do believe that comic-books can tell a redeeming story. Uncle Ben Parker has a powerful message for his nephew in the comic book and the movies. “With great power comes great responsibility.” The Amazing Spider-Man goes a step further, when Uncle Ben says it’s his “moral obligation” to do what is right.
Peter Parker in this movie, however, is a much darker character than the Peter Parker I used to read. Peter in the comic book was a lovable nerd who would sacrifice everything to support his family. This Peter Parker is much more selfish.
In one of the early scenes, Peter is reprimanded by a high school principal for riding a skateboard in the hallway. When the teacher turns the other way, he just keeps on skating.
Even after becoming a masked superhero, his crime-fighting seems self-centered. His motivation is to find his uncle’s killer, not protect the innocent. At the end of the movie, when the teacher tells him not to make promises that he can’t keep, he responds with “But those are the best kind.”
His relationship with Gwen Stacey is very uncomfortable, especially as a Christian. Peter actually shoots webbing at his girlfriend’s rear, as a way to pull her to him and give her a passionate kiss. Later, Peter unsuccessfully tries to seduce his girlfriend in her bedroom, but he does convince her to sneak out of the house with him.
I believe that this movie was so difficult for me to watch, because I have a different standard for morality. As a Christian, I believe the Bible is the ultimate standard for my ethics, and it is my “moral obligation” to follow God’s commandments.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
If Peter Parker listened to his Uncle Ben’s advice, but let the Scripture be his standard, he would have acted a lot different. As a parent of two young children, I find it very alarming how the public schools are portrayed in this movie.
Now let’s take a look at the villain, Dr. Curt Connors.
Connors is working on a genetic project in which animal DNA is inserted in a human host which will give the human race the ability to regenerate lost limbs and cure a host of other ills. His lab shows holographic images of the “Tree of Life”, which illustrates the evolutionary chart of different animals.
Dr. Curt Connors injects himself with the serum, inadvertently becoming a powerful creature, half man, half lizard. With this new-found power, he decides to do what is best for the human race. Humans “adapt to survive”, and he can save the people by forcing evolution if he infects the entire city with the serum.
This story line has been used before. In X-Men, Magneto wants to infect the entire city, turning them all into mutants to save the human race. Syndrome in “The Incredibles” wants to turn everyone into super-heroes. In the video game, “Resident Evil 5”, the villain justifies releasing a virus that turns everyone into monsters by saying it will just help everyone evolve to the next level.
If you believe in evolution and “survival of the fittest”, then what is wrong with this point of view? Isn’t Dr. Curt Connors doing the human race a service by forcing evolution on them? As a Creationist, I am very glad I don’t have to deal with this problem.
As a fan of the old-school comic books, this movie was very difficult for me to watch. Our culture is changing everyday, and unfortunately, I don’t think it’s for the better. My dad gave me some Spider-Man comic books to help me read, but he also gave me another book that changed my life more than Peter Parker ever could. It was an Illustrated Bible. I thank God that my father taught me that all my moral obligations and values come for the Word of God!
P.S. – From Carl Sr.!! I agree with my son that this movie was very difficult to watch. We saw so much false teaching that only serves to push people further from the truth of God and His Word. However, it was also fun for me. It brought back a lot of memories of when my children were growing up. We often watched movies together, and always looked for biblically false teaching.
Something of interest that I noticed in the movie was how often Peter Parker said, “I’m sorry!” but then didn’t do anything to change his behavior. Parents, you can use this as an opportunity to speak with your children about what biblical sorrow is. If we are truly sorry for our actions we will confess and repent! Those are two very important words and children need to understand their meanings.
Explain to your children what it means to confess. Take a look at the definition in an 1828 dictionary. It’s very good, but the biblical definition of the word goes further. It means to say the same thing as God, to agree with God. That leads to a resolve to change.
As for “repent”, let’s look at the definition in the 1828 dictionary.
3. Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life.
Agreeing with God and His teachings, followed by amendment of life. When someone is biblically sorrowful, that’s what they will do — confess and repent.
Consider all the media that your children are exposed to and use it as an opportunity to teach the the difference between what the world tells them and what God says in the Bible. If you’re interested, the book Remote Control: The Power of Hollywood on Today’s Culture has many more examples from movies and TV programs. Also, the DVD, Exposing the Evolution in Entertainment, shows actual video clips and encourages you about how to speak with your children and grandchildren teach about the media they watch — and how to train them to spot false teaching. God bless you!