CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR: Outside the Law is Love | FCC 111

In CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR Steve Rogers and Tony Stark both want to save the world. Tony doesn’t want innocent blood on his hands. Steve knows that the Avengers can’t give up their own freedom. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more on the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap
  • 00:02:54 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:30:14 – Christian Themes in CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR
  • 01:04:48 – Listener Feedback
  • 01:09:41 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:13:19 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:14:45 – Upcoming

Tony Stark and the Civil War

After delivering a speech at MIT, Tony Stark is confronted by the mother of a humanitarian student who died in Sokovia. The student died when Ultron attacked, and the mother blames the Tony. This has been Tony’s fixation since the first film, that he does not want innocent blood on his hands. That’s why he stopped making weapons of mass destruction and became Iron Man in the first place.

When Tony can no longer live with that guilt, he feels like he has to do something to make himself worthy again. He thinks the solution can be found in the Sokovia Accords, and others on the team feel the same way. The Accords are the United Nations’s plan to keep the Avengers in check. “Whatever form that takes,” Tony says, “I’m game.”

This image from CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR shows Tony Stark with a gun in his face.

Tony then teams up with Secretary Thunderbolt Ross so as to enforce this new law on the rest of the team. While half of the team is compliant, the other half goes out on their own accords (heh). Tony is continually brought to points where he has to decide whether or not he’s going to stick with Ross or go after the others by himself. He ultimately leaves Ross and goes after Captain America himself because he finally realizes how ineffective the Accords are.

Let’s say that saving lives and making disciples are the same thing. Tony has decided to lean on a program and an agenda to save live and makes disciples for him. He doesn’t want that innocent blood on his hands, and he wants the program to make him clean again. But just like the Apostle Paul told the Galatians that the Law cannot make you clean, Tony cannot be made clean by the Accords. Both Tony and the Galatians were hoping that the Law would justify them, and both were proven wrong.

Captain America and the Freedom of Grace

When Tony tries to persuade the rest of the team to agree to the Sokovia Accords, Steve Rogers simply cannot do it. Such an action would not rest his soul. This is because Steve knows the truth: that saving lives – and making disciples – means having a close and personal relationship with others and being present with them. That way, when tragedy strikes, he can be with them for whatever they need. To agree to the Accords would be to give up the freedom to move at their own volition, and that’s not something Cap is willing to do.

So when Bucky becomes the target of the team behind the Accords, Steve has to step in and try to save him. If anything, he wants to make sure Bucky is treated fairly – something else the Accords would not do. Even if it means standing between Tony and Bucky, Steve is willing to do it, and that is what ultimately happens.

This image from CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR shows Steve Rogers listening to the proposal.

But Steve would not have been there to save Bucky from Tony had he remained at an objectively safe distance from the situation. His proximity was always close enough to be the buffer between Bucky and his adversary. Acting outside the law, then, became the only way to save Bucky – even if it meant becoming a kind of vigilante (and who wants to do that, am I right?).

The lesson here is that Steve wants to serve everybody and therefore save everybody – even those deemed as criminals. Just like Jesus who came to be a saving servant (or a serving savior, however you want to put it), Steve had to go to where the mess was and embrace the consequences. That’s just what it takes to save lives, and that’s furthermore what it takes to make disciples.

Key Texts

Mark 10:45 NLT

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Galatians 5:18 NASB

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a way to use good stories to soften people's hearts.
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  • Philip Heard

    Great job on Civil War, guys! We were all seeing much of the same thing, and you both covered well the contrast between Steve and Tony and walking in grace versus the law. I especially like how you spoke of the selfishness of legalism, and how it focuses inwards, while walking in the freedom of Christ focuses on others and loving them. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that of all the attributes listed there, the greatest is love. I think legalism is fool’s gold, giving us a false sense of security and righteousness. Perhaps it’s really a form of idolatry that seeks to please the flesh, rather than God. Which brings to mind Matthew 9:13 “Go and learn what this saying means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”(NET) Maybe making mental lists of what we don’t do and are giving up “for God” is not what we need to focus on, but being merciful and loving to those around us. I also get a David and Jonathan vibe from Cap and Bucky, and how their relationship is loving and healthy despite crazy and sinful circumstances swirling about them. Cap’s loyalty is a great thing to see, and how he does not misplace it in the context of the story.

    Moving on, I am also a big lover of the first Thor film, and if you don’t already have the score Brenden, you need to get it. And Alan Tudyk is a great comedic actor, Tucker and Dale vs Evil streams on Netflix, and it’s a hilarious take on the horror genre, great for October, maybe not the show.

    As far as future picks, I’m game for anything, but lean towards more classic stuff.

    Love the show guys! #muhweeladgimli

  • Philip Heard

    Oh yeah, another good classic horror film from John Carpenter is The Thing, starring the great Kurt Russell.

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