Moses VS Kick-Ass

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6

Pretty harsh words don’t you think?

Maybe there’s another way to look at it.

There has already been much discussion about the character of Hit Girl in “Kick-Ass” and whether it is right that a twelve year old girl should be portrayed in that way. Surely giving a girl a gun is dangerous? Well yes, it is. But I think that’s the point.

Big Daddy is hell bent on revenge. The gangster Frank D’Amico took everything from him. And he wants payback. His way of getting this is by training his little girl into the perfect killing machine.

In the context of the exodus passage, Big Daddy has committed idolatry. He has taken on the role of God and in seeking revenge is ultimately saying that he thinks God isn’t doing his job. God should have punished this man. But he didn’t. So now I must. He has replaced God with vengeance and his whole life is ordered around it. He eats, sleeps and breathes revenge.

And in doing so he has robbed his little girl of a childhood. Her innocence has been taken away. This is how I believe the exodus passage is worked out.

I believe we have evolved from the primitive view of a vengeful God who punishes anyone who steps out line. Jesus showed us that.

The punishment that is dealt out for Big Daddy’s sin is that his child no longer gets to be a child. Her playfulness and innocence have been stolen.

The text points to a truth in how the world works. It’s not about God punishing people. There is a natural cycle to everything and if we fall out of the right cycle, then it will come back to punish us.

Take for example a drug addict or alcoholic. Why is it that children of drug addicts or alcoholics are more likely to follow in their parents footsteps? We are connected spiritually to our parents and if they choose to live destructively and turn drugs into idols, filling their lives with them, shaping their lives around them, then that punishment will come our way in one shape or another.

Salvation is the only way to break that cycle. We need freedom from that. We need a freedom that tells us we don’t need to follow the path of our parents. It sometimes doesn’t even have anything to do with our parents. There are young people I work with who are stuck in a cycle because of where they live and the friends they hang around with.

SPOILER ALERT. In the film, Kick-Ass is the salvation that Hit Girl needs. He frees her from the shackles of revenge and allows her to live a normal teenage life (for now).

Are there ways we are living right now that are off kilter? Are there things that we do and say that need to be dealt with so that that cycle of punishment is broken? Are there people are know that are trapped in that cycle? Will you be the salvation that they need?

Maybe that verse isn’t so harsh after all.

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