You know that kids’ song, “Jesus, you’re my superhero”? Some time ago I commented on YouTube that it was one of dumbest things I’d ever seen (admittedly, not my strongest review). Yesterday I came across the only comment on my impoverished YouTube channel, dated 3 years ago:
Well, no wonder you thought that “Jesus is my superhero” song was garbage! You’re one of those stick-in-the-mud Catholics!
Despite being hilarious and maybe a bit worrying in calling me a Catholic (I hope it’s obvious that I’m not), it led a dear friend on FB to ask me what it is I find so wrong with it. So here are the arguments I gave, which I would also argue for a multitude of other so-called “Christian” songs:
- It diminishes the biblical status of Christ.
- It arises from and promotes a misrepresentation of Christ’s identity.
- It distorts the relationship of the Christian to Christ.
- It distorts the image of Christ before the world.
- It diminishes the substance of music/singing in the context of worship.
- It epitomizes the spiritual shallowness and feel-goodness that currently plagues great portions of modern Christianity
- It diminishes and confuses the work of Christ
- It confuses who Christ is to children.
- It implies that biblical material and truth is not adequate to make Christ “relevant” to us
- It has no obvious edifying and teaching purpose to those who sing or hear it.
- It propagates the already rampant notion that Christians are idiots who’ll try any cheesy practice to keep their atrophying religion going.
Of course, the counter-arguments are that:
- such songs “relativise” Christianity to the young and make the gospel more accessible to certain age/cultural groups
- they help children (not adults, I hope) comprehend something about God given their cultural context
- they are an innovative/creative way by which we can express our worship and understanding of God
- those who would come up with 11 reasons about why “Jesus, you’re my superhero” is wrong are simply elaborating on a personal dislike and shouldn’t put God in a box.
I have absolutely nothing against any of that, but there is the Bible, and I believe that it sets some beautiful standards which we can worship God in song and music. They always come from and lead to a correct understanding of God – something I think this well-meant ditty fails to do.