Tag Archives: anger

The Avengers

SPOILERS BELOW

I loved ‘the avengers” film. And I’ve been thinking over it the last few weeks, trying to figure out what kind of discussion would be beneficial to have around some of its central themes. I hope this will be the first of several posts looking at those different themes.

Focused Anger

Just before the final battle takes place in New York, Bruce Banner shows up to aid the other avengers. He is asked how he can be trusted? How he will be able to control himself when he is angry?

He replies: “I’m always angry“.

What Banner has been able to achieve is to control the hulk. He has managed to focus his anger so that it can be used for good. He is no longer the raging, uncontrollable machine. He has a purpose.

We all get angry. We all have things that push our buttons and make us angry. We see things that are unjust and they make us angry. But if that anger is not harnessed and controlled it can lead to all sorts of damaging results. It may cause us to lash out or hurt people. In the case of the riots last year, our anger may lead us on to the streets.

It’s okay to get angry. Jesus got angry. God gets angry. Its what we do with that anger that we should be concerned about.

What makes you angry? What makes your young people angry? How can that anger be harnessed to bring about positive change?

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The Hunger Games VS The Cabin in the Woods Part 1

It’s holy week. It is the time of the year when Christians enter into the story of Jesus’ last days. It is the time of year when Christians think about sacrifice.

It’s funny then that in the space of 24 hours, I watched two films at the cinema that both deal with the theme of sacrifice: ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ and ‘The Hunger Games‘.

I have already written a post detailing my initial thoughts of “cabin’ here but Ill summarise the plot here: (spoilers)

The film follows five college students who spend the weekend at a cabin and are killed off one by one. What soon becomes clear to the survivors is that they are part of a worldwide sacrificial system to appease the Gods who live underneath the ground.

For many the story of ‘Hunger Games’ is more familiar but here is a quick summary courtesy of IMDB:

Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.

The Hunger Games, the annual event where the young people kill each other, was established after some of the inhabitants staged an uprising. The Games are a reminder of what the people did and why they should never try it again. In some way the fighters are living sacrifices, killed to appease the President.

Both films deal with a worldwide sacrificial system, involving young people, that is set up to appease and entertain. In “cabin’ the young people do not know that they are part of it, whereas in ‘Games’ they do. Both films also end with the survivors choosing to turn against the system.

But there are key differences that mark out the films.

In ‘Cabin’ the Gods are angry. They want death and destruction and so the sacrificial system is set up to entertain them and take their minds off of killing everyone. It is a barter system. If they do not get their sacrifices, their will be bloodshed on a colossal level. Millions will die. What the film seems to suggest is that this is a continuation of the sacrificial system that has taken place since before the Old Testament was written and their are glimpses of Old Testament scenes in the opening credits. To sum it up, this systems primary function is to appease the God’s wrath.

In ‘Games’ the primary function of the sacrificial system is to remind the people of their guilt and through that, subdue them. It is not about appeasing a God or Gods but instead, it is a symbol of oppressive power and authority.

As I reflect on these movies and there sacrificial structures I see some similarities between them and the atonement (the crucifixion of Jesus) as well as some key differences.

In the next post I’ll explore this a little further.