Christopher Reeve was not the goofy and clumsy man like the character he played, Clark Kent, who wore Coke bottle glasses, and ran into walls and closed doors. Everything that Reeve did, he conquered, just like Super Man (the other character he played).
After learning to ride a horse for the film Anna Karenina, he took up horse riding and began training to be a competing athlete at Martha's Vineyard. Reeve took horse riding, like everything he did, very seriously and was recognized within the sport's community.
On May 27th, 1995, everything would drastically change for America's Superman and actor Christopher Reeve. This particular day Christopher would participate in his last competitive horse jumping competition. The story goes that at the last second Reeve's horse was spooked and aborted the scheduled jump. Reeve held on to the bridle and bit with all his might as the reigns were ripped off the horse. The reigns began to twist around his hands, cuffing them together, as the horse stopped just short of the obstacle, violently ejecting Reeve from his horse, headfirst to the ground on the other side of the fence. The blow instantly shattered his first and second vertebrae upon impact. Paramedics reported that Reeve quit breathing for a whole three minutes before they could reach him. Reeve spent five days in a coma before regaining consciousness. This is when he learned that he had sustained a cervical spinal injury that paralyzed him from the neck down. He was told that he would never walk and possibly never move a body part ever again.
The Washington Post reports in an article entitled The Role He Can't Escape, May 3rd, 1998:
Reeve considered suicide. He mouthed to Dana (his wife), "maybe we should let me go." She tearfully replied, "I am only going to say this once: I will support whatever you want to do, because this is your life, and your decision. But I want you to know that I'll be with you for the long haul, no matter what. You're still you. And I love you." Reeve never considered suicide as an option again.
How can Superman wrestle with suicide and hopelessness? Hero's don't get paralyzed, they don't doubt, they don't even have fears.
How can Christians wrestle with hopelessness, Christians don't have doubts, they don't have fears. They are happy all the time, they are more than conquerors.
Have you ever had to pretend to be a superman, or a superwoman: the S flashing on your chest, a cape whipping in the wind behind you, as the gravity of people's expectations leave you feeling secretly bed-ridden? Maybe you can relate to this hopelessness, this motionless, the inability to fly, incapable of fighting, weak, unable to earn an income, and handicap of the ability to offer a hug in response to love.
Dualistic Nature of the Superman Complex
The pressure to be an alien-like super-Christian, who's mystically perfect, infallible, and capable of saving everybody, all the time, is a manifestation of a superman complex, and it is common within Christianity. This complex materializes in two distinct ways.
There can be a pressure to be bullet proof, to always have the right answer, and the ability to never get hurt or wounded. Being superman requires a super appearance.
And there's also the Messiah aspect of being a hero; our obligation to right others wrongs, punish injustice, and preach the sin out of others. In a nut shell, we take on the occupation of being the Holy Spirit: I'm going to take away people's sorrow's, I'm going to empower people, I'm going to convict people of their sins, etc…
Where does this pressure to perform come from?
The root of a self image crisis is essentially, you guessed it, pride. It is not that we are deceived into believing that we are bullet proof, and indestructible, it's that we appear to be. Pride is extravagant self esteem, excessive self-regard, and showy appreciation for one's own abilities and achievements.
Egotism is the fruit of pride. It is the gaudy satisfaction of being one's own functional savior. Textbook narcissistic egotism can be seen through self-glorification, or worship of one's self above God.
4 Reasons why a believer with a Superman complex is dangerous
- Relationships become dispensable
- People become projects
- Money becomes the motivation
- Ministry becomes the mission
So what should our response be?
So should we be paranoid, clam up, go introverted lest we be seen as an egotistic super-Christian? By no means!!! Nor, should we be ignorant. A super-man complex is preventable within the context of honest accountability. Super-people don't need accountability, real people do! If you don't have accountable relationships, you might think you're a super hero… you're not!
Our response should not be ignorance or paranoia, it should be a reminder of the importance of being alertly watchful especially to avoid danger; vigilant. Vigilant in restoring love and honor to our spouse's, and steadfast faithfulness within all our relationships.
You Are Invited
You are invited to take off the mask, cape, and utility belt; you are invited to be you. You were the reason why Jesus Christ died. He died for the present, imperfect you, not the future super you. Even if you think that people want for you to be super, they don't, nobody relates to super, everybody relates to that which is genuine. There is a war for your authenticity, because it will determine whether you are Christ-like, or religious.
Have you ever had to pretend to be a superman, or a superwoman: the S flashing on your chest, a cape whipping in the wind behind you, as the gravity of people's expectations leave you feeling secretly bed-ridden? Maybe you can relate to this hopelessness, this motionless, the inability to fly, incapable of fighting, weak, incapable of earning an income, and unable to offer a hug in response to love.
How badly we want to hear these words,
You are still you and I love you!
What is this kind of acceptance worth? What would you give to hear these words of unconditional love?
Who Are You?
You have never had the weight of the world on your shoulders – Jesus has. You have never been sinless – Jesus has. You have never washed away anybody's sin with your own blood – Jesus has. You have never healed anyone with your power – Jesus has... Jesus does.
Indeed, Jesus is the true and perfect Super Man, so let him save you.
Wed, October 6, 2010
by Darren Stott filed under