Should the philosophies behind the stories in Marvel and DC Comics and films be promoted by Christians? According to Good Fight Ministries1MCOI does not necessarily agree with or endorse all of the positions of this ministry in their documentary, “Marvel & DCs War on God: The Antichrist Agenda,” many of the actors in these movies are “admittedly involved in Satanism and the occult.” The creators of Marvel and DC comics can be best described as Gnostics who deny the deity of Christ.
Through these comics and movies, a very subtle, Gnostic message is informing and reshaping your child’s worldview. The God of the Old Testament is portrayed as one who must be fought and rebelled against as a jailer of innocents and a tyrant. Jesus is portrayed not as the second person of the Trinity but rather as the first superhero who uses universal love to fight against the wrath and legalism of Yahweh. Therefore, our goal as humans is not one of holiness but the pursuit of esoteric knowledge (gnosis) and power. The goal is to realize our own divinity.
Parents should be very cautious of introducing these comics and movies to their children without first explaining the underlying worldview of their creators.
I recently watched the outstanding video documentary Marvel & DCs War on God: The Antichrist Agenda produced by Pastor Joe Schimmel of Good Fight Ministries, which exposes how the creators of superhero movies and comics have a secret satanic and Gnostic agenda to influence children and adults away from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Disturbingly, these writers are followers of the occultist Alistair Crowley and have been secretly sowing an anti-Christ agenda within their comics and movies.
For the purpose of this article, however, we will focus on the Gnostic philosophy being promoted in these movies and comics. It is vital that Christian parents explain to their children the underlying messages behind these comics so that their children do not fall into a worldview that promotes rebellion against God our Father.
Stan Lee’s View on God
“Have them Fight God.”2Mark Evanier, Kirby: King of Comics (New York: Abrams, 2008), 138. As quoted by Kripal, Jeffrey John. Mutants and Mystics (p. 161). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition. Four words from Stan Lee to Avengers Co-Creator Jack Kirby
Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, who died in 2018 at age 95, revolutionized the comic book world with superheroes who were imperfect, apprehensive, and prone to evil. He also helped bring these comic books out of the niche nerd world into mainstream pop culture.3“Stan Lee On God,” Meagan Clark, Religion Unplugged blog site, November 14, 2018; accessed 11/9/2022
What most people do not know – including me until recently – is that the underlying religious and philosophical inspiration behind Lee’s Marvel Universe is based on Gnostic heresy. Central to his characters is “an idea that God, if he exists, struggles with and sometimes bends to evil just like humans do.”4“Stan Lee On God,” Meagan Clark, Religion Unplugged blog site, November 14, 2018; accessed 11/9/2022 According to Jim McLauchlin of Wired Magazine:
Stan saw God not as perfect, but as a flawed being, just like man. Stan loved to quote Omar Khayyám’s Rubaiyat line, “Did the hand then of the potter shake?” To Stan, it meant that just as the hand of a potter could make an imperfect jug because the potter is flawed, so too is God flawed in his creation of an imperfect man. . . Stan believed in God, but thoroughly enjoyed the notion that God was far from perfect.5“12 Things You Learn Over Two Decades of Lunches With Stan Lee,” Jim McLauchlin, Wired, Nov. 12, 2018, 2:44 PM, accessed 11/9/22
One of the most famous stories within the Fantastic Four series appeared in issues #48–50 (1966), a three-part series that has come to be known as the Galactus Trilogy. According to Jeffrey J. Kripal of Rice University, one version of the Trilogy has it that the plot began with four words from writer Stan Lee to artist Jack Kirby: “Have them fight God.”6Mark Evanier, Kirby: King of Comics (New York: Abrams, 2008), 138. As quoted by Kripal, Jeffrey John in Mutants and Mystics (p. 161). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.
Kirby’s resulting story was a little different than what Lee had originally planned, but the Galactus Trilogy is very much of a gnostic tale. For instance, “Lee wrote of the Silver Surfer as a kind of semidivine being ‘trapped’ on the planet as a punishment for nobly refusing to do Galactus’s will.” According to Kripal:
“fighting God” and “being a Gnostic” are more or less the same thing. What the Gnostic is really fighting, of course, is a lower god pretending to be the real God. What he seeks is the God beyond god, the cosmic truth of things beyond all the religious bulls**t.7Kripal, Jeffrey John; Mutants and Mystics (p. 166). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition
Gnostic Dualism and the Rebellious Cosmic Christ
Gnostic cosmology may differ from sect to sect, but it always includes a creator who is impersonal and removed from his creation; “a clockmaker God who put things into motion, and who may or may not be watching, but who doesn’t intervene.”8“ Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022 Even more significant than the creator is the Demiurge, who is lower than God but higher than man. “The demiurge is he who created this world, designing it as a trap for human souls.”9“Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022 According to the Catholic blogger Leo M.J. Aurini:
to the Gnostics, the God of the Old Testament was the Demiurge, and the world is completely, absolutely, and irredeemably evil. All things which come of this world – physical strength, erotic love, shared meals – are evil. Everything physical is a snare to entrap man’s soul. The God who demands obedience but also showers us with love, is our jailer; and only through spiritual rebellion will we become free. Christ is nothing more but the first of the rebels, and we can become like him by rejecting the Logos, and becoming our own gods.10“Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022
This Cosmic Christ’s rebelliousness against God is everywhere in DC Comics’ The Invisibles. The Invisibles was published by DC from 1994 to 2000 and was created and scripted by Scottish writer Grant Morrison.11The Invisibles, Wikipedia The Invisibles:
team includes “leader King Mob; Lord Fanny, a transgender Brazilian shaman; Boy, a former member of the NYPD; Ragged Robin, a telepath with a mysterious past; and Jack Frost, a young hooligan from Liverpool who may be the next Buddha. Their enemies are the Archons of the Outer Church, interdimensional alien gods who have already enslaved most of the human race without their knowledge.”12The Invisibles, Wikipedia
According to Kripal, these Archons and demiurges are taken, at least in name, straight from ancient gnostic texts, as well as lines like this one:
“The greatest lunacy is to believe in a creator. . . . By doing so, we deny our own divinity. Broken to the yoke of religion, we forget who made our burden and set it upon us (I 1.128).”13Kripal, Jeffrey John; Mutants and Mystics (p. 44). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition
Kripal goes on to describe an encounter that Morrison had with the Gnostic Jesus:
In December of 1995, Morrison lay dying of an advanced, undiagnosed staph infection that had collapsed a lung. A “Gnostic Jesus,” “a kind of slightly savage, bearded firebrand,” appeared to him in a giant column of light and said this: “I am not the god of your fathers; I am the hidden stone that breaks all hearts.” The writer put that line in The Invisibles (I 3.189, 5.144).14Kripal, Jeffrey John; Mutants and Mystics (p. 44). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition
“We deny our own divinity?” “I am not the god of your fathers?” This is right out of Satan’s playbook of lies. It has the echo of Genesis 3 coming down the generation working to deceive humanity into believing we are god and always have been. However, the Apostle John warns us about Satan’s scheming in his first epistle:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this, you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)
“the goal of the Gnostic is to become an Illuminatus: one who is preferred above all others thanks to his secret knowledge. One who throws off the shackles of this prison-world, who recognizes it as a grand lie, and who rises above the God/Demiurge which is trying to enslave him.”15“Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022
Within Valentinian Gnosticism,
“you start with the assumption that 1) the world is an ugly, meaningless prison, and 2) that Christ is a perfect divinity of redemption, then it naturally follows that 3) you should engage in every concupiscent pleasure of the body, to prove the redeeming ability of Christ, while thumbing your nose at the Demiurge who created such things.”16“Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022
Marvel and DC heroes are imbued with esoteric power, which can be employed by them and them alone; “and although they protect the people, they are above the people, and above the law.”17“Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022 The story of Ironman is the epitome of this esoteric power where:
his super power is a mechanical suit which he built for himself, and nobody else can replicate. This makes about as much sense as Henry Ford inventing the car so that he could win at horse races, but for the fan of Marvel it fits, because being a hero in that universe is all about being an Illuminatus: one who is lifted above the common folks, who gets to be a demi-god directing reality, answerable to no-one.18“Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022
Marvel and DC Promote Human Importance, Not Human Holiness
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 NASB)
Our society today is evermore encouraged to put number one, ourselves, first and to seek out the most successful job opportunities and be the most important person in the room regardless of how one gets there. Marvel and DC comics and movies promote a gnostic and elitist mentality which can be seen in its superheroes.19“Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022 However, scripture tells us to:
not be called leaders; for only One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest of you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. (Matt 23: 10-12)
The Incarnate Word
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. (1 John 1: 1-4)
In his first epistle, the Apostle John was writing in response to the Docetism heresy, an early form of Gnosticism prevalent in first-century Christianity. Docetism was an early Christian heresy that promoted the false view that Jesus Christ only seemed to have a human body like ours.20“What is Docetism?,” Got Questions However, the apostle makes it clear in his gospel that Jesus is the Creator God and Yahweh in the flesh; therefore, if you fight against Yahweh, you fight against Christ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. (John 1: 1-3 NASB)
The message of the historical Christ was never for man to become an Illuminatus, but rather for man to accept Christ as our penal substitutionary Savior and to humble ourselves before the Lord as a son does before his Father. The night before his crucifixion, while in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ did not curse the Father or shake his fist at Him. Rather He humbled Himself and prayed on His knees that the will of the Father would be done on earth (Luke 22:42). Our Heavenly Father loves us as a father loves his child, and He wants to protect us from Satan’s lies and wrath.
Therefore, as the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Colossae:
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” (Col 2: 8-9)Ω
Stephanie Potts and her husband, Jim live in Dayton, Ohio, and have been married for 21 years. She worked with the federal government for 15 years as an intelligence analyst and then entered full-time Christian service in 2015. She first joined Haven Ministries in Denver, Colorado, in 2015 and then transferred to Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc in 2021. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in Political Science and International Relations and received her Master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems from Penn State University. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Christian Apologetics through Southern Evangelical Seminary. She specializes in evangelizing to people involved in the New Age, to Muslims, and Native Americans. Stephanie’s personal website: rainbowapologetics.com
© 2022, Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc All rights reserved. Excerpts and links may be used if full and clear credit is given with specific direction to the original content.
|↑1||MCOI does not necessarily agree with or endorse all of the positions of this ministry|
|↑2||Mark Evanier, Kirby: King of Comics (New York: Abrams, 2008), 138. As quoted by Kripal, Jeffrey John. Mutants and Mystics (p. 161). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.|
|↑3, ↑4||“Stan Lee On God,” Meagan Clark, Religion Unplugged blog site, November 14, 2018; accessed 11/9/2022|
|↑5||“12 Things You Learn Over Two Decades of Lunches With Stan Lee,” Jim McLauchlin, Wired, Nov. 12, 2018, 2:44 PM, accessed 11/9/22|
|↑6||Mark Evanier, Kirby: King of Comics (New York: Abrams, 2008), 138. As quoted by Kripal, Jeffrey John in Mutants and Mystics (p. 161). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.|
|↑7||Kripal, Jeffrey John; Mutants and Mystics (p. 166). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition|
|↑8||“ Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022|
|↑9, ↑10, ↑15, ↑16, ↑17, ↑18, ↑19||“Gnosticism in Contemporary Culture,” Leo M.J. Aurini, Stares at the World blog, May 11, 2019, accessed 11/9/2022|
|↑11, ↑12||The Invisibles, Wikipedia|
|↑13, ↑14||Kripal, Jeffrey John; Mutants and Mystics (p. 44). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition|
|↑20||“What is Docetism?,” Got Questions|