Walking towards the Light from the cross of a King

A blog by Josh Humbert

Why Your Clark Kent Must Die


Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man.

And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes.

What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us.”

—Bill, Kill Bill Vol.2

And, with equal portions of truth and sadness, this is how it with us as Christians.  We choose to blend in, quiet down, cover up, and put on our own version of Clark Kent.  Instead of reflecting the radiance of Jesus Christ’s great love to others, we settle and compromise till we are just mirroring what the world says we should be like, look like, and sound like.

There’s the old question that goes something like this:  If you were being put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?  Obviously, good works don’t “get” you salvation or prove your salvation, but someone who loves Jesus will want to obey His commands and take that love out to the world, not put on a Clark Kent costume to blend in.  Rather, instead of blending in, we are called to stand out!

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

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Now, surely we are not Superman.  We have faults and flaws.  Sins still happen on the salvation-side of the Cross.

BUT…there is the amazing promise of the Holy Spirit to those who believe and love Jesus as Savior and Lord.  So many passages can be examined here, but let’s just take a small glance at a section from Romans 8:10-14:

10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit is alive because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh–

13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

The Spirit will “give life” and by the Spirit, we can be “putting to death the deeds of the body.”  The Spirit will “lead” us on.  What beautiful and encouraging words!

By the Spirit, we can put to death our sins, our Clark Kent outfits (including the dumb glasses), and boldly live a life that says unashamedly that we love Christ and we want to see His Name lifted high.

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What does your Clark Kent look like?

Where does the world get you to compromise?  When is it hard to be bold?

Where are the places that you are not reflecting the love of Christ?

Take encouragement from Peter.  Peter talked a big game and declared he would never abandon Christ.  Yet, just as Jesus said, Peter denied Him 3 times.  On that night, Peter experienced his own Clark Kent moment.

However, his story wasn’t over.

Jesus restored Peter and put him on mission to proclaim His truth.  When the Holy Spirit came and led Peter, there was no more Clark Kent.  Peter became who he was born to be: a passionate follower of Christ.

Led by the Spirit, Peter brought the message of Christ with power.  The people who heard him had an interesting reaction.  In Acts 4 it says:

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

What they saw was the “boldness” of Peter.  They knew he wasn’t educated or polished or extremely gifted, but what was evident was Peter loved Jesus and would not back down or tone down the saving message of the Cross.

In those moments, Peter was rejecting compromise, shame, and the Clark Kent costume.  In those moments, he was becoming who God designed him to be.  The book of Acts doesn’t mention him changing in a phone booth, but it is clear that, while Peter wasn’t Superman, he was living out his calling and reflecting the Light of God.

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There will always be the call to fit in, to go with the crowd, to wear your Clark Kent costume.  The message of the world is to compromise and not take God seriously.

The high calling of Christian life is to reject that lie and to become who God made you to be.  Clark Kent is NOT who you are.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

You are a NEW person in Christ.  You have the promise of the Holy Spirit and the instruction of the Word.  You have the love of Christ and it is time to put away the costumes and instead reflect the brilliant love He gives to you.

1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God

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And how could such a King

Shine His light on me?

And make everything beautiful?

And I wanna shine!

I wanna be light!

I wanna tell you it’ll be all right.

And I wanna shine and I wanna fly!

Just to tell you now

It’ll be all right, it’ll be all right.

It’ll be all right.

‘Cause I’ve got nothing of my own to give to you

But this Light that shines on me shines on you

And makes everything beautiful, again.

It’ll be all right, it’ll be all right.

–David Crowder, Stars

Thanks for reading.  Comments, thoughts, opinions always welcome.

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This entry was posted on September 12, 2010 by in Blogroll and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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