Heather and I, finally, went to see The Dark Knight last night. I say finally like the movie has been out a while, while only at less than a week, but in comparison to the millions who watched the movie before me, it seemed like a while. I was as excited about this movie has I had been about any movie in the past few years. So it was with much anticipation and hype that we went to see Batman. It was worth the wait and lived up to the hype. Now if you had not seen the movie, please stop reading as this will contain some spoiler type information throughout. I used to watch movies to simply be entertained, but here lately I’ve been watching movies and seeing their deeper themes and Christian illustrations. This is a trait that all preachers should have, after all don’t we need great stories to tell the greatest story ever? That’s a blog for another day, but today I want to look at the connection between Joker and Satan. Find out more after the jump.I don’t know how you feel about Satan. My doctrine of Satan and evil is still unfinished, as I have been exposed to both sides of the reality of Satan debate. I tend to side with the opinion that there is a Satan who has real power on earth. Mostly because of the biblical evidence, especially as it relates to Jesus. But if you are one who question the reality of Satan, I can understand that and as I make this comparison just go with Satan a representative of evil, can we handle that? For more of that debate click here and here.
Back to Batman. When I watched the movie last night, one can’t help but notice that the movie is dominated by the Joker. This is not Jack’s joker from the 1989 Batman that got his name from his smile and humor that he saw in every evil situation. Heath’s Joker is not as much of a funny ha-ha joker, but a wild card in the game of life, which is exactly how he sees life as a game. His goal in Batman is not to be a normal criminal concerned about money or power. That can be seen when he burns all the cash towards the end of the movie and does not have any high aspirations for power or control. The Joker’s only goal is chaos. Disrupting the established order is what he does at any cost, as he says a couple times in the movie, he has no rules.
I think this is how Satan works. His grand scheme is corruption and disruption. His goal is chaos. From the beginning, Satan’s goal is to disrupt our lives that are supposed to be oriented towards God. Satan has no rules that he follows and truly enjoys distorting reality. And it works doesn’t it? I’m not a devil made me do it guy, but I think that Satan puts us great positions to sin, tempting us to think that we often have no choice but to sin.
In The Dark Knight, we see two great ethical situations: kill 1 man or save a hospital from explosion, and would you blow a ship of convicts to save yourself and other “good” people. These situations are dependent on chaos, and plays on our bent to survival. (One of the fascinating things about the ship scene was that so many people were willing to vote to blow up the other vote, but nobody was actually willing to push the button.) Here Joker is the master of chaos, hoping that he doesn’t actually have to blow up the ships, but instead counting on the fact that we would make that awful decision on our own.
Like the Joker, Satan will not just draw us to water, but remind us how thirsty we are, how we deserve to get a drink, and how if there was a God he would have nourished us. It is our choice to respond, are we going to respond out of our needs for survival or selfishness, or are we going to choose God’s truth. We know that God interacts with the world with love. I think that Joker epitomized ultimate evil: evil for evil’s sake not for some specified goal, but simply to disrupt society. We should take note of this, and remember to not be overcome with evil, but to overcome evil with good.