A reflection of today's Society
The 2017 new top hit, selling out the box office, Xman capping stone of the past 17 years, Logan was long awaited for and just recently released March 3rd, 2017. The movie Logan was a great wrap up of the Xman series, in my opinion. It stared the famous Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (professor X), and a new addition Dafne Keen (Laura). Dafne played the roll of Jackman’s (unknown to him) daughter, Laura. She was genetically engineered to be half human DNA and half of Wolverine’s DNA. She played an intricate role of pulling the old and new together. If we look at it honestly, she is used as a symbol of the way this world is going really. At one point in the new film she said a quote that is very impacting and most certainly will be remembered for a while. She said:
“There’s no living with a killing. There’s no going back from it. Right or wrong, it’s a brand, a brand that sticks.” -Laura
A brand that sticks, how relatable is that? Have you ever felt like you were given a “label” so to speak, for one reason or another, and you just could not shake it?
Has that label ever had unwanted repercussions with it?
This is a result of social groups. Depending on your designated or recognized status and role, you are automatically lumped into a “type” or “group”. That type has certain stereotypes that will be applied to you and I, no matter if we actually fit into them or not.
A prime example of this is from my own life actually. I am as of 9 years ago, a pastor’s kid. However, I am 21 years old, so majority of my life I have not been a pastor’s kid. I have grown up in the Church and have been a Christian for the majority of my life. However, I would not say I fit into the typical stereotype of a pastor’s kid. One of the main stereotypes people think of is that pastor’s kids are either complete saints and always well mannered, or the “wild child”, very rebellious and the parents have no control over them. This is in fact why the television show “Preacher’s Daughters” was popular. It followed a group of girls that are pastor’s kids and fall into the rebellious side of that spectrum.
As a human, I am not a saint at all, those two aspects complete contradict each other actually. As a human, I am sinful and can have moments of rebellion or selfishness, but majority of the time I am more of a “good kid”. Therefore, I see myself more in the middle of this assumption placed on the group of “pastor’s kids”. Now, sometimes there are the kids that lean more to either end or extreme of the spectrum here. That is not to say that majority of us do not fall into either end of this.
With all that said, I do face certain pressures and expectations as a pastor’s kid, no matter that I do not fit under that stereotype. Due to my status, I am expected to play out a certain role depending on the circumstance I am involved in. I am more often to be involved in the church outside of service times. I am expected as the pastor’s child to be around and help out a lot more than any other 21 year old in the church. I like to say I am volunTOLD, rather than volunteered.
Another big pressure on my group of association, is the expectation to go into ministry. Now for me, a senior at Lancaster Bible College studying family and children ministry, it just so happens that my heart aligns with this pressure. However, a lot of ministry kids are not called into the same vocation as our fathers are.
One Pastor’s kid says, “A child doesn’t know the call of his pastor father. All he knows is the effects it has on his life. He doesn’t feel moved to ministry, because he’s not. Yes, it is the call of the child to honor his parents, but that is not the same as a call to vocational ministry.”
This is just one example of a label that may or may not be fitting, yet still impacts a persons life dramatically. Now to take it back to the movie Logan we were talking about previously.
Not only did the movie reflect culture today with the frequency of strong language, gruesome violence, and certain scenes of excessive alcohol consumption and partying, but the whole premise of it was to protect themselves and Laura from the people calling them outcasts and wanting mutants to go extinct. That is where the many infamous battle scenes and violence comes in really.
This movie was all about social groups and classes. It made me think back to the historical reference of Hitler. In this film, it was one group against another. One trying to better humanity, by getting rid of imperfections, and the other just trying to coexist and survive another day. Just like in the past, Hitler was trying to (in his opinion) better humanity by getting rid of the sub-par Jews, while the Jews were just trying to protect themselves and make it through another night. It was an unfair label that they were given, and it had obviously very very serious repercussions that came with it.
In society today, we have many many social classifications and sub-classifications. They all come with a result we might desire or not. For example, Bill Gates lives a life of utmost luxury. He falls into the well known label of wealthy, or very rich. He is generally respected, and holds a wealth of power! He is given these things because of his status and it is how people expect to treat him, as well as he expects to be treated.
Another label we see today is addict. People tend to look very negatively on people who are addicted to certain things, just because it is not something they personally struggle with. People are less likely to help them, and tend to actually avoid them. They need help and attention, just like any one else, if not more to help change their ways. However, this is not the way society views it or normally acts toward this group of people.
So what should be the Christian response to this?
Matthew 22:36–39 tells us the greatest command. It says, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
This shows that the Christian response should echo that of Christ Jesus, Love! It does not matter the label, the social pressures, the expectant responses we “should” have towards an individual. Ultimately we are called to simply love them.
Furthermore, Matthew 7:12 tells us, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. We need to stop and ask ourselves if we would want to be treated the way we are treating the people around us. If not, maybe we need to reevaluate our actions and thoughts towards that individual. This is a lot easier said than actually done. There are certain people we inevitably will just not like or get along that great with, but ultimately we are to love. That may look different than loving say your close family member, or best friends. It might just be in little ways of not lashing out at them, or being cordial when nothing inside of you wants to be. It might even require the harder things of forgiving them even when they do not deserve it, ask for it or change their ways.
These things take a lot of practice and prayer! However, if God calls us to something, He will equip us to do that. As Christians we are to not look at people the way the world does, based on their labels, mistakes and social groups or status, but rather as a fellow child of God made in Him image and loved by the same God we are.