When I was a kid, Superman was my favorite comic book hero. I never imagined I’d see a picture published by DC Comics in which he kisses another man, but that was then and this is now: Jon Kent, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, is officially bisexual. Monday’s announcement of the news was timed to coincide with “National Coming Out Day.”
Dean Cain, who starred as Superman on television in the 1990s, pointed out that this is nothing new: Robin was already bisexual, the new Captain America is gay, and his “Supergirl” daughter in his TV series was gay.
Of course, targeting children and youth with the message of LGBTQ normalization is nothing new, either. Last June, the Walt Disney Company unveiled the Rainbow Disney Collection featuring T-shirts, Mickey Mouse ears, mugs, and even baby apparel adorned with rainbows. Three years ago, Cartoon Network featured a same-sex wedding proposal on the animated series Steven Universe.
Earlier this year, the Nickelodeon series Blue’s Clues and You! unveiled a song teaching children the alphabet while promoting LGBTQ advocacy. The series also released a Pride parade video narrated by an animated version of drag performer and activist Nina West. Kellogg’s introduced LGBTQ-themed cereal for Pride Month; the children’s cartoon Rugrats now features a lesbian single mom.
And a new California law requires retailers to have “gender neutral” toy sections. A critic warned that the legislation will “impose a de-gendered ideology and viewpoint on retailers.”
Ninety rattlesnakes beneath a house
Some problems have obvious solutions. For example, when nearly ninety rattlesnakes set up a den beneath a California woman’s home, she called a reptile rescue team to remove them.
Other problems are more intractable. For instance, capybaras are swarming a wealthy gated community in Argentina. They are the world’s largest rodent, reaching 140 pounds in size. They are destroying lawns, attacking pets, and colliding with people. No one is quite sure what to do.
Several asteroids larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza will approach our planet in coming months; fortunately, none are on a collision course with us. However, a meteor may have exploded over New Hampshire last Sunday, causing a prolonged boom that shook homes. And a small plane crashed into a San Diego neighborhood, killing two people and demolishing a home newlyweds had just finished remodeling.
When we face intractable problems, we can ignore them, worry about them, or try to solve them ourselves. Or, as with the California woman whose home was infested by snakes, we can seek help from those who can do what we cannot.
Yesterday we discussed Satan’s temptation strategies and the importance of seeking God’s power over our Enemy each day. Today, let’s focus on a very practical way to do so.
Kicker defeats Alabama, glorifies God
Seth Small kicked the game-winning field goal for Texas A&M last Saturday in their upset win over No. 1 Alabama. However, he told reporters after the game that this did not top his list of best moments: “It was probably the third-best moment of my life, right after I accepted Jesus into my heart as my true Lord and Savior, and then after getting married to my wife this summer.”
Before his kick, Seth said, “I was just repeating Psalm 23:1 to myself all night, which is ‘The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not be in want.’ That kind of comforted me.”
According to Gallup senior scientist Frank Newport, 55 percent of Americans say they trust themselves, while only 37 percent trust the legislative branch. Author and speaker Jordan Peterson is enormously popular in large part because he calls us to take accountability for our lives, friends, families, and community through what one reviewer calls “heroic responsibility and self-sacrifice.”
By contrast, when the greatest example of “heroic responsibility and self-sacrifice” in history faced his wilderness temptations, he responded to each by quoting God’s word (Matthew 4:1–10). When Peter faced skeptics of the Pentecost miracle, he quoted the prophet Joel to the crowd (Acts 2:14–21). When he faced critics of his ministry with Cornelius, he quoted what the Lord had revealed to him about the Gentiles (Acts 11:1–18).
God has a word for you every time you face temptation and trials. This is why memorizing Scripture is so important, as this discipline gives the Spirit tools he can use in our minds and hearts. And it is why turning to God as soon as we face difficulty is so vital. His Spirit will empower us, lead us, and use us to the degree that we are willing to be empowered, led, and used.
“Heroic responsibility and self-sacrifice” may well be required in defeating our spiritual enemy, but their ultimate source is in the One who said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
What William Shatner got wrong
Those of us who believe in biblical morality are becoming more countercultural with each year that passes. From comic books to toys to TV, movies, and social media, unbiblical messages surround us all day, every day.
The good news is that we can look up for the strength to look around. We can choose the vertical in confronting the horizontal. We can find in heaven the resources we need to live authentically and victoriously on earth.
In this sense, William Shatner got it exactly wrong yesterday. After making history as the oldest person ever to go into space, the ninety-year-old actor was ecstatic upon his Blue Origin flight’s return to earth, telling Jeff Bezos: “Everybody in the world needs to do this. . . . I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. I just, it’s extraordinary, extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this.”
Shatner was especially impressed with the atmosphere through which he traveled: “This air which is keeping us alive. It’s thinner than your skin. It’s a sliver. It’s immeasurably small.” Speaking of the sky into which he traveled, he said, “Fifty miles and . . . you’re in death.” Then, referring to our fallen planet that “lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4), he said, “This is life.”
Where will you point to for life today?