As many of you know, I am an avid fan of the Godzilla franchise. The King of Monsters has been ravaging Tokyo for sixty years now and despite terrible lip synchronization, sometimes laughable translation from Japanese, at times painful special effects, campy plots, and Godzilla 1998 (which, for the record, is not a real Godzilla movie), I have enjoyed Godzilla for many years.
Sometimes the best relationships are the ones where everyone is clear about weaknesses in the relationship. I am acutely aware of Godzilla’s awful movie moments (if you need a recap, here are the Top Ten WTF Moments of Godzilla), but I think that the mythology of Godzilla is so compelling that it fully overcomes the weak stories told within it. Godzilla is so good, the I love him despite his bad moments.
It was this past January that I found out that a new Godzilla movie was going to be released on May 16th. There remains some bitterness in my heart that no one told me about this before then, but I am slowly forgiving all of you. My impatience for the release has been difficult to contain and now I am a mere three days from seeing Godzilla again.
The astute among you will see that I am releasing this post on Monday the 12th and will assume that I wrongly said the I only have three days left. I am a blogger after all and precision really isn’t our thing. In this case, you should know that I have tickets to see Godzilla 2014 the day BEFORE it comes out. I shall pause a moment while you overcome your envy.
Godzilla has such a grip on my imagination and affections that it has caused me to pause and ask an important question: Does Godzilla hold a higher place in my affections than God himself?
It is the nature of idolatry to love something God made more than I love God. Martin Luther once said that the heart is an idol factory and mine is no exception. Could I have allowed a fictional character to supplant the all powerful, all knowing, supremely delightful God? I know there are times that the great radioactive beast feels more desirable to me and that is a serious concern.
This led to a bit of a crisis in conscience for me. Should I really indulge a movie that I risk idolizing? I was very relieved to see that there is no nudity or sexuality in the film because I would have had to let it pass then, but what if there is a more sinister sin in my heart than lust.
You can imagine the concern this brought me. I really, really, really, want to see this movie but I do not want to dishonor God in seeing it. How can I enjoy this good thing without making it a God thing? Then I read the passage below.
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. 1 Tim 4:4,5
Paul seems to say there is a catagory of good things (like Godzilla) that is NOT to be rejected but “recieved with thanksgiving.” Then he gives the reason we should accept it, because it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
Godzilla made holy? Godzilla created by God? I think so!
The fact is that Godzilla is a part of God’s good creation. God’s image bearers became storytellers (like God) and made a story which I am to enjoy and thank God for. God is not a curmudgeon in the sky who says we are not to enjoy his good gifts but rather we should not love them and ignore the giver. Jesus is a better gift than Godzilla, but that does not mean that Godzilla is not a wonderful gift.
In fact, the nature of idolatry is not that I love Godzilla too much, but that I love Jesus too little. If I loved Jesus more, I would enjoy his gifts even more than I do now. Far from rejecting his gifts as evil, I need to recognize what is really evil, me.
But I am not just evil, I am also loved by a God who lavished such sweet and tender affection on me. He took my evil and punished his own son for it. He then took Jesus goodness (and his reward) and gave it to me. He is a far better God than I ever would deserve. In addition to all this, God then appointed Gareth Edwards to direct a movie from Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers where an enormous radioactive beast destroys San Fransisco.
That right, God is so good that he even made an awesome movie for me to enjoy. Not only is he shown to be kind beyond words by giving the gift but he is honored by my enjoyment of it.
So I will go and see the movie and I will enjoy it deeply.
Also, to answer the question you are all asking, who would win Jesus or Godzilla. Jesus would walk on the scene and Godzilla would bow to his maker. Jesus wins every time!
The image above owned by Warner Brothers and is used under Fair Use