Superhero gripes

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:

  1. It diminishes the biblical status of Christ.
  2. It arises from and promotes a misrepresentation of Christ’s identity.
  3. It distorts the relationship of the Christian to Christ.
  4. It distorts the image of Christ before the world.
  5. It diminishes the substance of music/singing in the context of worship.
  6. It epitomizes the spiritual shallowness and feel-goodness that currently plagues great portions of modern Christianity
  7. It diminishes and confuses the work of Christ
  8. It confuses who Christ is to children.
  9. It implies that biblical material and truth is not adequate to make Christ “relevant” to us
  10. It has no obvious edifying and teaching purpose to those who sing or hear it.
  11. 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:

  1. such songs “relativise” Christianity to the young and make the gospel more accessible to certain age/cultural groups
  2. they help children (not adults, I hope) comprehend something about God given their cultural context
  3. they are an innovative/creative way by which we can express our worship and understanding of God
  4. 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.

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