Arkham Origins: Your Enemies Will Define You
Sorry for double dipping in the Batman pool, but the previous chapter was comic related, this one is strictly game centered, promise. So arguably The Arkham series is the best superhero game franchise of all time (I only say arguably because some people are just dumb). The games are not only great superhero games, but just fantastic overall. In the recent chapter of The Dark Knight’s thumb guided world, the tag line for the marketing campaign has been, “Your enemies will define you,” which makes perfect sense because Batman’s rouges gallery is as notable if not more so than Batman himself at times. Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler, Bane, etc. These guys make some serious stories worth telling. More so than just making it entertaining, one of the reoccurring things in the games/comics is that Batman either creates or furthers these characters psychosis by his own presence and actions. Would these guys be dressing so elaborately and dramatically if it wasn’t for the Bat? Would the crimes and evil in general be so over the top if it weren’t escalated by the detective? That’s a whole other book, but so often you know who you are by who is against you.
This concept is equally true in a Christian life. People are going to be against you, people are going to judge you, and oppose you. Maybe if you look at who your enemies are, you will have a better picture of who you are as a person. Most of us don’t have “Enemies” in the traditional sense. None of us wake up in the morning and device plan to crush those who oppose us, or at least I hope not. Who stands against you? What do you stand against? I think one of the biggest problems
Christian’s face is that we make people our enemy, when in fact, they aren’t.
Ephesians 6 lays it pretty clear that our real enemy is what’s behind it all “12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.”
While our enemy may be of the spiritual nature, we clash more often with people who are living out the fruits of their spirit. In Origins, Gordon treats Batman like an enemy, and Batman treats the police force like they are just another branch of crime family. Both of these situations boil down to a misguided view of who their enemies are. When they come to the realization that there is more at work than just what’s visible, they start to move in a better direction. We make the mistake of thinking that people affected by sin are our enemy as opposed to the sin and its nature.
We forget that until we know Christ and have the Spirit of God within us that we are incapable of fighting that battle to begin with. We could benefit by perceiving people bound up in sin as less of an enemy and more of a hostage. When you look at a scene of someone with a bomb strapped to their chest, you automatically think they are the bad guy; problem is they aren’t the ones with the detonator.
We are all made weapons by our sin nature, but there is a darker force with their finger on the trigger. Now if this were the Arkham world, Batman would click over to detective vision, find the guy with the trigger, pry open a ridiculously large heating vent, crawl through, pop out, and in one suave motion crack that dude’s skull. In the real world, people need Christ to be freed. So maybe we need to realize what it took Gordon/The Bat some time to come to understand. Stop treating people like they are our enemies.
We are all sinners, just because someone sins differently than you, doesn’t make them the bad guy. Even if you want to consider a person or group of people your enemy, look at what scripture actually teaches us about enemies; “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” – Romans 12:14.
Can you imagine an Arkham game where The Bat blesses the Joker?
Luke 6 “27 But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. 31 Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.33 If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”
Arkham aside, can you imagine how different the world would be if WE did this? I love Arkham games because I get to be Batman and when I have issues I can pummel those issues into the ground in a fury of free flow combat. In the real world our enemies need grace, love, forgiveness, and to be shown that there is a better way.
So often people reject the gospel because they think we view them as our enemy. Sometimes they think that because of false concepts, but it’s because we treat them like they are the Joker. Jesus states that people will know we are His disciples by how we love. Maybe we should extend that love to the people we don’t like as well. Let the love for your enemies define you.