not knee-jerking over Deadpool (or in general)


what do you think
the “typical Christian review”
of Deadpool?is like?

[Google if you wish?. .
go ahead, i’ll wait]

perhaps you correctly predicted
that many “Christian reviews”
focus?on its rating

Deadpool is?unabashedly R-rated,
prolifically profane,
conspicuously sex-laden,
vehemently violent,
et cetera, et cetera]

in fact,
maybe surprisingly,
not only are
“Christian critics”
focused on?the rating,
so are most other critics
and the film industry
in general,
leading to a
digital deluge
of conversations
and articles about how
Deadpool is
“kicking the door open”
for R-rated superhero flicks

[Google it if you?want . .
go ahead, i’ll wait]

but here’s the thing:

why has this become
the conversation to have
about this movie?

for the larger culture,
perhaps?we can
chalk?it up to just the
basic need?to have a fresh story

i mean,
if the story isn’t
or whatever,
what else is there to say?
the movie itself,
in fact,
sells?itself this way

and just think:
how boring would it
be to have some
conversation just about how
Deadpool is?super well made
and impeccably cast,
even by Marvel standards?
how?Ryan Reynolds nails it?
how the writing is
consistently hilarious
and refreshingly original?
how the action is
viscerally satisfying?
how the meta, fourth-wall-breaking
snarky tone – so easy to mess up –
is spot-on here?

super boring.
that won’t do.
what we’ll do is
focus on the rating.
spin it.
click bait it.

for the “Christian culture,”
the issue isn’t the
focus on rating
so much as it is
the fact that
*you knew*
the rating
would be the focus

we’re used to the
Christian focus
on the rating,
and that’s the point

nevermind that –
if you care to look –
the web is full of
Christian takes
that focus on
redemptive elements
what’s important
is that the
“Christian culture”
has taught us
to expect
takes like?this or this

in other words,
the “typical Christian review”
of a movie like?Deadpool
seen as the
“typical?Christian response:”
to focus on rating,
morality . .
on calling out and
counting up
and valuing according to
sins first

but here’s the thing:
should it be this way?

should the
“typical Christian response”
be to immediately
focus on sins?
to immediately
focus on the negative?

i submit that it should not

i submit that this
(unfortunately) typical,
knee-jerk reaction –
focusing on,
calling out,
counting up,
valuing by
sins first,
as opposed to
focusing on,
calling out,
counting up,
valuing first
redemptive?elements –
needs to change

to be?sure,
as?in the links above,
seeking for redemption
in dark, R-rated stories
currently gets done often
by Christians,
and has for years,
but?the problem is
that it’s certainly
not what the
larger culture expects
from us . .
they expect
sin counting . .
a focus on the negative . .
and unfortunately
we often oblige

and sure,
sin counting
*does matter* . .
it’s important
to discuss the negatives
of a movie like Deadpool,
but not at the expense
of discussing positives . .
and again,
when it’s expected
of us to focus
on the negatives first,
there’s a problem

as most are,
it’s a fixable problem

as usual,
looking to Jesus?is instructive

i notice, when dealing with
sinners like?Deadpool,
Jesus seemed to like to say
things like:
“I do not condemn you, either.
Go. From now on sin no more.”

i notice that he?offered water
before rebuking?sin

i notice that both are present . .
the positive and the negative,
the redemption and the judgment . .

but i notice that one comes first

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