"Perhaps we’re too familiar and comfortable with the current state of the church to feel the weight of the problem. But what if you grew up on a desert island with nothing but the Bible to read? Imagine being rescued after twenty years and then attending a typical evangelical church. Chances are you’d be shocked."
This is a Francis Chan quote from Crazy Love but it’s also pretty much the plot of Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman grows up on an island, isolated from the rest of the world, until Chris Pine shows up and lets her tag along with him back to World War I. There’s a lot of goofs once they get off the island around how sheltered she is and how she doesn’t know how to act in “normal society.”
One of my favorite things to see happen in a story is when someone has to be taught how to be a “human.” I love it because there’s a moment that always happens. Whoever is being taught how to be a person turns out to be better at it than the one teaching them BECAUSE they haven’t yet learned how to compromise their beliefs.
Wonder Woman grew up being taught justice, fighting for what’s right, and protecting those in need. She doesn’t know about how we all are willing to add a “yeah but some times” to the things we know are right to do.
Wonder Woman hears a lot of “slow down,” “that’s not how things work around here,” “you can’t just do that” and she never listens to any of it. She still pursues what she knows is right and she always succeeds. She proves them wrong.
And the people trying to stop her aren’t the bad guys. These are her allies, those closest to her.
When we read the Bible we see people do some crazy stuff for Christ. People gladly go to jail for preaching the gospel. Others sell what they have to take care of the poor. It really sucks that some times when we try to follow the example of the New Testament church we hear a lot of “slow down,” “that’s not how things work around here,” “you can’t just do that” and we listen.
Last year the first season of Stranger Things premiered on Netflix and we were all obsessed with it because it’s such a great show. I loved it especially because it has this same element as Wonder Woman.
A major aspect of the plot is how this group of jr high boys find Eleven, a girl kept locked away, isolated from the rest of the world, for sake of scientific experiments. She escapes from captivity and her time with these boys is her first experience with the rest of the world.
The boys have to teach her how to be a person. They teach her about family. They teach her about school. They teach her about “mouth breathers.”
Eleven is taught that “friends don’t lie” and she takes it to heart. In her mind, if this is true then it’s ALWAYS true no matter what. Even when you’re scared. Even when you’re embarrassed. And she calls one of the boys out when he’s trying to lie to her! Why would he lie if "friends never lie?”
After watching the show I got a little obsessed with this. If I found Eleven, what would I teach her? And then how long would it take for her to call me out for being a hypocrite? How long until I don't practice what I preach because I'm too scared to fully commit and I'd rather take the easy way.
What if I found Eleven and I told her what a Christian is? How long until she calls me out?
I don’t want to keep compromising. If I read Jesus say “take care of the least of these” I don’t want to listen to the “slow down,” “that’s not how things work around here,” or “you can’t just do that.” I just want to do it.