Vodcast: What Does the Bible Have to Say About Captain America: Civil War?

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Captain America: Civil War is rolling in much more than cash these days. It’s also rolling in controversy.

Not because of any external conflict, but because of the central conflict within the film itself. You see, people just can’t decide—even after seeing the flick—whether they should be Team Cap or Team Iron Man.

As much as some of us might like to do so, we can’t pick sides based simply on our favorite hero. Their respective perspectives both come with a lot of mess … and tension … and validity! How are we supposed to know who’s right?!

The issue of authority and submitting to it (or not submitting to it) is an ancient question with nearly as many unique answers as there have been unique people to ask it. Steve Rogers and Tony Stark are no exception.

And, apparently, neither are we. Paul and I go head to head on the matter in our most contentious (and hilarious) vodcast yet as we attempt to bring it under the microscope of Scripture. We come away with some interesting conclusions, and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the matter.

[Author’s Note: Paul can think what he wants, but I’m totally right.]

Oh, and for those who’d like to just listen in, here’s an audio link:

Who wrote this?

Jake Roberson is Plugged In’s social media manager and strategist. He’s the father of four children and husband of one wife, and he quite likes life that way. He also likes writing about entertainment, pop culture, dadhood … and food. He’s also a former Guinness World Record holder for participating in the largest hacky sack circle. Catch up with him on Twitter @jake_roberson

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

MBaker More than 1 year ago
I thought I was going to be Team Cap before seeing the movie, but it was so much more complicated than I expected. On the one hand, checks and balances and oversight could help prevent things like Ultron and I agree with Tony Stark's point that "if we can't accept limitations we're no better than the bad guys." On the other hand, I agree with Steve Rogers about the danger of "surrendering our right to choose" and I don't like the idea of forcing all enhanced people to register (brought out in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D crossover).

If I was a character in the MCU I'd probably have reacted much like Black Widow did, initially supporting the Accords and then realizing the truth was somewhere in between Cap and Iron Man's view points. I like Kent's point below about struggling with difficult discussions and searching for truth rather than automatically picking one side as soon as lines are drawn.
kent roberson More than 1 year ago
Thank you for the vodcast.  This is such a wonderful topic, because it parallelss many  real life struggle that we should all be wrestling with, in our daily lives.  

The struggle in "Civil War" is illustrates that often we are comparing apples to oranges. We are comparing religious conviction against accountability for our sin compromised reasoning (or religious arrogance).  I enjoy the banter, so I am not critical of the set up.  But in one sense, the premise is wrong - that you have to agree with just Cap or Tony. 

 There is biblical merit to both, personal conviction and accountability.  And that is where we should struggle in our lives!  Hopefully our struggle will force us to thoughtfully dig into the bible and prayer and a discussion.  Hopefully our struggle with tough issues will push us to in-depth discussion with our christian brothers/sisters who love us and want to further Gods Plans. Hopefully is pushes us to avoid the knee-jerk cultural or political answers while embracing the whole of the Bible's response to difficult questions.  Thanks for stirring up thoughtfulness on these topics in a fun way.
Charles Penchant More than 1 year ago
"Compromise where you can. And where you can’t, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye and say, 'No, YOU move.'"
- Sharon Carter

And that's why this movie is so important-- it shows that conscientious people like Cap can become criminalized (especially since we now have pastors and open-air preachers getting in hot water simply for refusing officiations or disagreeing) for fighting for the freedom of conscience (when it violates the law of the land).

I sincerely think that the main conflict between Cap and Stark isn't one between submission and insurgence. It's that between moral absolutism and relativism.
Vincent Abdul More than 1 year ago
Well...in real life, the choice is often neither one or the other, it's both and.

Scripturally we're called to submit to 'authorities' but never at the expense of submitting to God and His word which take priority.

The way this movie presents the conundrum, it's far from an easy straightforward choice. Either position could actually be 'the right' one! It's often a matter of context.

However, since context DOES apply, due to the endemic corruption and impotence of the UN in general, in this case, I'm with the Cap'n.
Gary Glore More than 1 year ago
I agree with Jake that Captain America is correct.  If you look at our own history, the American Revolution was about taking back rights that the King of England had chosen to take away from the American people.   While many tried to submit, the King eventually stepped over the line when he chose to confiscate all the guns and cannons(yes the colonist were able to possess cannons) and the Americans rebelled. 

I also think back to the rise of Hitler during World War II, the majority of the German people went along with him and followed what the government told them to do.   Look where that led!

Finally many people do not understand that our country is not a democracy, it is a representative republic.  The politicians all represent us, the American people.   They work for the American people, not the other way around.  While I haven't seen the movie yet, I would view "The Sokovia Accords" very similarly to things going on in our country today, and politicians appealing to people to "just be reasonable."  I think the American people have been more than reasonable, and now need to start being educated.
Christine Francis More than 1 year ago
captain america is right he said the safest hands are still our own, correct. You see, we are not subjects to the federal government, we are its master
Debra Szentgyorgyi More than 1 year ago
I agree that both sides have merit. Like what we all face in life, there is only one clear cut path, and that is to Jesus. Iron man made valid points and because he knows his own short comings, he understands that they shouldn't call the shots. Captain America also sees the shortcomings  of all people, therefore knowing that there would be no one without shortcomings (only Christ)who would be able to make decisions for them.
Xavier Golden More than 1 year ago
As a comic book reader, I've got a pretty firm stance on this matter. The Sokovia Accords are not specifically for superheroes like Captain America or Iron Man, who both have experience and wisdom. The Accords are for young, reckless superheroes who make rash decisions and don't have experience. If everyone signed the Accords, it would force new heroes to fall in line and get proper guidance. I'm guessing the UN has no problem if Captain America doesn't sign on, because he's smart, wise and responsible. But if a new hero (let's call him Extremo-Man) finds out he has the power to shoot electricity out of his face, decides to put on tights, and goes out to fight crime, the situation could very well dissolve into something like the Zimmerman case. He thinks someone's up to something, he electrocutes them into a coma, and it turns out the kid was just walking home. But that's small scale. Let's take a super strong, super fast, invulnerable guy with laser eyes. He's raised in a household to believe that all Muslims are terrorists. So, as soon as he develops his powers, he's going to think to himself "hey, since I know this one group of people are all evil, and I have the power to blow them to hell, I'm morally responsible to blow them all to hell". An hour later, the middle east is a crater and we've lost millions of people. If he was pressured to sign the accords, or even given the option to sign, that scenario wouldn't happen. He would go off to destroy all Muslims, and then the Avengers would show up and stop him. Anyways, that's why I believe in the Accords.
Mario Morales More than 1 year ago
Avengers show up to stop laser eyes whether or not he signs the accords. The only thing changed is whether the avengers have to wait for an oversight committee to OK the mission. 
Tracey Martin More than 1 year ago
Team Captain! Both had valid views, but I felt Captain operated with more wisdom. 
Stephenie Kessock More than 1 year ago
Team Captain! 
Also, Iron Man submitting to the UN makes NO sense for his character anyway!
Caleb Van Nice More than 1 year ago
I'd argue that it actually does. It wouldn't have made sense in earlier films, but as the films have gone on, he's grown and simultaneously regressed as a person. In Age of Ultron, he gave into his control freak tendencies, and in this film, he tried to relinquish that control in the most controlling way possible. He's got a very interesting arc throughout these films, I think. 
I'm still Team Cap, though. Even though Tony had Spidey and Panther, Cap's idealogy won me over. Also he had Hawkeye. 
Nicole Butler More than 1 year ago
Team Cap.  My reason isn't even based on this movie but on one of the previous movies.  Captain America said, "Ma'm there is only one God, and He doesn't dress like that."
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Jim Alderman More than 1 year ago
Why the heck are all the crazies always obsessed with the Illuminati and the pope and Roman Catholicism and all manner of other garbage?
Francisco Torres More than 1 year ago
Is easy response. All cartoons are reflection of the illuminati or secret knowledge . The cartoons get children into black magic and to see the demon as a friend doing good for humanity. Even the fallen angels fight among each other! Iron man is a demon and captain america is a demon!
Jim Alderman More than 1 year ago
Dude, you need some serious help. the crazies are always obsessed with Satanic conspiracies and see demons everywhere and it's really bizarre, unhealthy and weird.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whoa!
Christopher Cherrone More than 1 year ago
I believe that in MOST cases you submit to authority but NEVER EVER to the UN.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Posted by First Comment Guy


This movie in many ways mirrors the events of our world with the Gun Control law. Some people believe that we can handle and police ourselves without the government interfering (Team Cap). Others believe that the government are the ones who should simply worry about using guns to protect us and keep guns out of the wrong hands (Team Iron Man)


On the one hand, gun control prevents other people from getting hurt and lets us feel safer. On the other hand, we just want to be able to carry our own sidearm and be wise enough to not do something dumb with it.


All in all, your discussion was very good food for thought Jake.


Bill Jones More than 1 year ago
The terrific thing about comics and superhero movies is that commentary that you usually wouldn't see gets involved. Over 25 years ago I can remember reading about how psychiatrist and psychologist were discussing whether The Batman had a mental disorder. Now Tony Stark And Steve Rodgers, opposite poles if ever, are being referenced for biblical discussion. Me, I'm Team Hulk. Hulk, as Banner, has to deal with the consequences of his jolly green friends actions, good and bad, once he changes and strive to be repentant. That's usually what happens when l act solely on emotion. Team Iron Man and Team Cap reflect the daily struggles of home, work, and even church goers. In each of these instances we may have had to submit to someone's authority at one time or another. It's often a case of how much we are willing to submit. In my case, if I submit to authority and feel abused...HULK SMASH!
Tiffany Erickson More than 1 year ago
So I love the debate here, on concept that if any government were in fact infallible then Ironman would be correct. That said Jesus healed on the Sabbath and picked wheat grains and ate them while out for a stroll among numerous other times where he went against the rules set by the establishment. That said the one debate I wished was introduced to the film is that this came about due to collateral damage. If these heroes hadn't acted there wouldn't have been a planet to argue on. The fact is that these dangers were brought about by villians which are out of the governments league, and the heroes are being held accountable for the villians attempted actions. Every moment they are held back from quick action creates more collateral damage when armies are invading and masterminds are hoisting cities into the air to creat a meteor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Team Cap!!!!  Loved your thought provoking, and fun comments.
Hudson Finn More than 1 year ago
I wanna see this movie so bad! Looks awesome!
James Rivera More than 1 year ago
You guys are BOTH right but have the final message by Marvel wrong. While Iron Man is right on the accountability(like us Christians)[Ironman says], unfortunately accountability is NOT what the Solvkia Accords offers[Cap says]. Because the Nation is just as corrupt and short-sighted as they are. So does that mean, they can't have accountability because NO ONE is perfect? Of course not! The fact is......they already do! Themselves! Just like us Christians, we have each other to hold ourselves accountable. Sure there can be some legal guide-lines. But NOT they was the Accords are. So in the end, Cap is right.....and it makes sense...it's a Captain America movie.  #TeamIron-Cap all the way!
AsayPaul More than 1 year ago
Oh, Jake. Poor, poor, delusional Jake ...

jake_roberson More than 1 year ago
You must be referring to Jake from State Farm, because I know there's no way you can possibly be referencing me and my finely-honed Forensic Speech and Debate skills.