Summary: Is Superman really an allegory of Jesus? Is the superhero's battle cry an echo of what Jesus came to do? Find out in the next exciting episode...
The title of this old George Reeves Superman is “Superman On Earth”
When playing, start fading about the 1:05 mark)
(after the video was played, I assumed the “Superman” pose – with my hands on my hips)
“So do you see the resemblance?” (They laughed at me!)
“Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot.” (At this point I took off my glasses and resumed the pose… and they laughed at me again).
I always enjoyed that old TV series about Superman. And the opening sentences of each episode were thrilling to a young boy like me. “Superman… fighting a never-ending battle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”
Is that cool, or what?
In that summation of Superman’s mission on earth, we’re told 3 things about this hero.
• He stands for truth.
o More than that, Superman defends truth.
o In fact – he is someone who will TELL you nothing but the truth.
o He will NOT allow falsehood or betrayal to exist around him.
• He stands for justice.
o He has a sense of what is just and right.
o He’s always stopping the “bad” guys.
o He knows WHO he needs to fight… and WHO he needs to defend.
o He embraces righteousness with everything that’s within him.
• And he stands for the American Way
Now, in our culture, that’s not something many people seems to want to say anymore. The idea of “the American Way” being a high ideal is an embarrassment to the “intellectual” and influential of our society. Those in the media and in Hollywood mock and laugh at that as old fashioned and out of date.
But back in 1973, Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian TV commentator got angry about that thinking. This is just a portion of his comments that were in the Congressional Record at that time:
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.
As long as 60 years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtze. Who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did, that’s who.
They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Mississippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help.
Germany, Japan - and to a lesser extent - Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the US.
When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries in to help. So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.
The Marshall Plan, the Truman Policy, all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now, newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent war-mongering Americans….”
And Gordan Sinclair went on for another few paragraphs and ended with these words:
“I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? … I'm one Canadian who is tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."
Stand proud, America!”
Now, I don’t want to give you the impression that I believe America is a perfect nation. It isn’t perfect, and there are many things that our nation should be embarrassed about.
But, Gordan Sinclair pointed to a characteristic of our nation that sets it apart from all other nations on earth. It was the difference that summed up the idea of “the American Way” that Superman so proudly stood for.
That difference? That America has almost always felt driven to show compassion and mercy to those who are defenseless and hurting. Compassion and mercy. Traits that distinguished a fundamental principle of who we are as Americans. And these were traits that America has always tried to show because our nation was built on Christian principles.
This sermon series is inspired by the newest Superman movie –entitled “The Man of Steel”. That new movie is unique from all the others because Paramount (the company that filed it) deliberately marketed this movie to the churches. They tried very hard to identify this Superman with the Jesus of the Bible (more about that later).