i wanted to see hellboy when it came out about 4 years ago. it came to and went from the theaters and i never got around to seeing it. well, i saw it last week and must say it had a profound impact on me. for those of you who don’t know the story, hellboy came to earthly space/time through a portal as a baby demon (from hell) to fulfill a destiny integral to the destruction of the earth. he was adopted and raised by a roman catholic paranormal scientist working for the fbi nicknamed broom.
“what is it that makes a man a man? is it his origins, the way things start? or is it something else, something harder to describe?”
under broom’s fathering, hellboy grows into the role of monster hunter. lots of bad stuff happens, and ultimately hellboy is about to bring forth the apocalypse. his father deceased, hellboy’s new fbi “keeper” throws broom’s old rosary and cross to him. “remember who you are,” as the cross burns into and brands hellboy’s palm. “you have a choice.”
so, downtrodden and at the point of greatest deviance, completely giving himself over to the forces of evil, about to say f*** it and bring about an end to the human race, a simple cross and a reminder of his true identity change the course of events for mankind (well, it is only a movie). but it begs the question asked above.
when i was initially seeking help for getting out of porn, a great man, mike babb, was willing to meet with me weekly. he gave me a sheet of verses to go over daily–verses that affirm the true identity of those in christ. it took several weeks for them to start sinking in. this was stuff i had read about a million times, but had never really applied to my own heart.
i think lots of times we just want give in and believe that we’re fallen souls, ultimately incapable of living apart from our broken down selves. we act saved around other christians, but we’re not really buying the deal about being a new creation–forgiven, blameless and all that jazz. i was so deep in this that i couldn’t even accept compliments or affirmation from others. i would shrug and think, “whatever, i’m not really worthy of your praise because i’ve got this part of my life that you don’t know about, and it’s pretty bad and i can’t control it–i don’t even want to control it anymore– which completely negates any positive thing you or anyone else could say about me.”
if you feel this way, all i can offer is that you read the following verses each day for a while. it’s hard. it’s positive stuff about you. and it’s true–yes, even if you have a porn addiction and you lie about it to those most important to you:
yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of god
for he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins
for in christ all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in christ, who is the head over every power and authority
therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in christ jesus
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of christ jesus
2 corinthians 1:21-22
now it is god who makes both us and you stand firm in christ. he anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 corinthians 5:17-21
therefore, if anyone is in christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! all this is from god, who reconciled us to himself through christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that god was reconciling the world to himself in christ, not counting men’s sins against them. and he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. we are therefore christ’s ambassadors, as though god were making his appeal through us. we implore you on christ’s behalf: be reconciled to god. god made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of god.
because those who are led by the spirit of god are sons of god. for you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. and by him we cry, “abba, father.”
a bonus question for those who are still reading: hellboy held his father’s cross many times before, and the cross had never burned itself into his hands. what does it mean to you that his identity was not so strongly revealed until that point where he had conceded to evil and was about to do something really, really bad?
*disclaimer: yes, i understand it is a movie. a movie based on a comic book, no less. that’s why i think it’s so great.