Posts Tagged ‘proverbs 18’

    A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24 ESV)

I did not have high expectations for this latest X-Men film. The previous 3 movies have been pretty bland focusing on too many characters and special effects and just trying to be pleasing to the eye. No doubt this movie does some of the same, but James McAvoy (Charles – Professor X) and Michael Fassbender (Erik – Magneto) take it to another level and left me emotionally affected by this film, haunted by Charles’ selflessness and compassion and Erik’s inability to escape his past. McAvoy is simply stunning. These actors took this movie seriously and in doing so elevated it for me.

The 2 Paths

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. (Matthew 5:38-40 ESV)

It’s a similar running theme with the X-Men comics and movies. Do they join and unite with the humans or band against them? There is good reason to team against them – the mutants are feared and hated by the very people they would seek to protect and live with. That theme is in First Class as well but I felt it more than the other films. In the previous movies, the characterization is poor and the characters are set and surface level established. In First Class, you see the choices clearly laid before them that will shape their destiny, their struggles and wrestling. You know (if you’ve seen the other films or read the comics) what is going to become of these men and women but I still had this hope that maybe it would be different. McAvoy and Fassbender bring this struggle to life.

This is the first part of how Charles (McAvoy) struck me. He knows the choice – risk his life for those who would kill him the first chance they get or use his power for merely the mutants and choose his own path. How can someone lay down his life for his enemies? Yet that is precisely the choice he makes, even at the cost of everything.

We Need a Friend Like Charles

This is what hit me the most about this film: the compassion, love, and friendship of Charles (McAvoy). The way he empowers those under his leadership is tremendous. His shear selflessness is infecting. His genuine love for Erik (Magneto) moved me deeply. His gift is to read minds but he uses it mostly to empathize and encourage those who most need it. My first thought was how much I wanted to be like that, to disciple and pour into others like that. He fights for people. He takes joy in seeing these teens become men. He believes in them. Erik attempts to have the same effect, for good even, but has not the love that Charles has. Erik can’t get past the brokenness he has. He would have control and safety but not freedom. I want to be like Charles.

But you know what I thought about as the credits rolled and I walked out of the film? I thought about how much I need a Charles and how blessed I am to have certain men like that in my life. I am thankful for the men who encourage and build me up and believe in me even though I’ve given them a multitude of reasons not to. But primarily I am thankful for a friend who is better and more empowering than Charles. A friend who knows me better than I know myself, who not merely seeks to heal and give me hope, but one who truly loves perfectly with no flaws and who ultimately laid down his life for me.

The Best X-Men Film by Far

I truly loved and enjoyed X-Men:First Class. McAvoy and Fassbender are tremendous. I was stirred and convicted by my lack of love. I was moved to gratitude to know I have friends like Charles and a God who is better. I am sobered by the choice before me daily that these X-Men face. Lay down my life out of a love for God and thereby others or choose the self-focused self-righteous safe and loveless path that my flesh so easily veers toward? I want to be Charles but have to accept daily that I am Erik – unable in and of myself to break free from the things that enslave me. I daily need a friend a billion times greater than Charles in order to walk in freedom.

    His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Peter 1:3-7 ESV)

A heads up: There are far too many scenes in this film with women shown with suggestive or very little clothing. Definitely a downer in how the female characters are portrayed and used. Be aware, men – that part is no different than the previous X-Men movies. 

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