By Caleb Bobrycki
Image Credit: Marvel Studios
In this second installment to the mega-hit franchise, director Joss Whedon brings back the beloved super hero team for a fight against the forces of evil, but this time the stakes are higher and more personal. In an attempt to shield (pun intended) the earth from future villains, Tony Stark teams up with Bruce Banner to build protective artificial intelligence, but his plan backfires when the program grows into an almost undefeatable foe, with an agenda to annihilate human life.
Though some of the camera shots were a little too close for comfort, Age of Ultron had great action sequences, similar and superior to the first film. Unlike its predecessor, however, was the missing pieces. Rumor has it that the film was chopped up in post-production, and many scenes were missing, explaining the off-pace. The film was an enjoyable installment of the series as the audience gets more character, a deeper delve into this large universe, and an satisfying setup for oncoming danger in future films.
The Avengers begin to experience the shaky ground of disunity in the fight against Ultron. But, what could disunity mean for the team when Ultron is Kindergarten and the bigger villains come? Audiences everywhere are ready to see the terror of Thanos; yet, if the Avengers are not united, they will fail to defeat him. This beloved group cannot afford afford a Civil War amongst themselves with inconceivable threats on the horizon. Does this not remind us of the church vs. her enemies?
United by the Truth
All of the pastoral epistles, are crucial to consider concerning how the church ought to stand firm against her enemies. These are the letters on how, practically, the church will victoriously promote truth against error. Interestingly, Paul warns Pastor Timothy that first danger is within the church: there are some who are “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 ESV). The danger is members within the church quarrels over true things, yet failing to understand Truth.
We often mistake true things for Truth itself. Usually these arguments turn into mindless semantical quarrels rather than pursuit of actual Truth, since true things stem from truth. What’s important to understand is that arguing over words and phrases for “unity’s sake”, as some say, has the appearance of unity and godliness, but it actually can create disunity. In the third trailer of Age of Ultron, our villain says the way to defeat the Avengers is from the inside out, which almost brings me to tears. Is that not exactly how the devil works? Oh, he is coming with full force, but he knows that the best way to weaken the defenses of the church against the heresy he is bringing is to form heresy on the inside by instigating arguments over truth.
How the Avengers are going to survive when Thanos brings the real party in Infinity War (projected 2019). Not surprisingly, arguing over the best ways to be super heros is counterproductive and will lead to defeat. The remedy to such dissensions is a reminder of the end goal of their heroism. The great end and purpose of justice in the world is a sufficient to clear the dust of division. Focusing on shortcomings will be the Avengers downfall, and ours as well. Often, the way to fix error is not to quibble over falsehoods or sins, but behold the Truth together. Loving the Truth together, not arguing about true things or who is more right, will push out error in due time. The Kingdom come on Earth is cannot be forgotten. Our eyes fixed on ultimate goal, by God’s grace, will keep us to the end. Friends, I pray that we will look to Jesus, who is truth; if our sight terminates of true things, forgetting Truth himself in our hearts, we will lose against our enemies.
I am not saying theology does not matter. I love theology. I love correct theology. I want theological purity in the church. I am not saying we should not care about theology and purity. In fact, the opposite. I am simply suggesting that if our joy terminates on the arguments for correctness and not Christ himself, who is our joy, we will not ultimately achieve said purity. Firstly, the terrible enemy against the church is the church is herself; therefore we must be diligent to focus on the great end for which we have assembled, Christ and his Kingdom on Earth, that we may stand against outside attacks.