Godzilla – Movie Discussion

Godzilla-2014-Movie-Poster1

Movies where mankind is united against a common enemy which threatens to wipe out humanity have some common themes.  You can pretty much always find examples of bravery, character and sacrifice.  There will be people who are willing to risk their lives for the good of others (which is an easy tie in to Jesus’ sacrificial love and death on the cross).  Often you will find a prophet or two, those crazy guys who sound like crack pots to the masses, warning them of the coming destruction.  They are rarely heeded, except for maybe by one or two key characters (usually the heroes) who, by their willingness to listen, are able to act in a way that brings salvation to others.  This too has some significant and fairly simple connections to Biblical themes and stories.  Both of these archetypes are in Godzilla.  But there was another connection to spiritual truths which I really wanted to focus on that was more specific to this Godzilla tale.

This movie is a little different, as you may have heard or seen, from the previous Godzilla movie(s).  Godzilla isn’t the enemy this time.  This time, two other creatures (imagine a cross between a preying mantiss and a gargoyle, but Godzilla sized) are the real danger.  They were “awakened” from their slumber deep beneath the earth’s surface, seeking food (which, in a bizarre and convenient plot twist, they feed off of radiation) and preparing to breed.

Mankind comes up with a number of ideas about how to kill the MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism)—all of them involving guns and nukes.  You can see how this might not be effective.  The MUTO feed off of radiation so they eat the nukes before the nukes can explode and harm them.  Man’s attempts to kill them with nukes only made them stronger and significantly (recklessly even) endangered humanity in the process.  The most laughable scenario, though, was when a soldier was facing one of the giant beasts and pulled out his tiny little handgun.  The magnitude of the beast with his (or her?) apparently impenetrable armor pitted against this man’s inconsequential handgun—it was an effort in futility.

One of the scientists, a Dr. Serizawa, realized that they could not wage war against the MUTO with the weapons of man.  These beasts required a different kind of weapon…something much bigger than man could do himself.  The only thing that could kill the MUTO was something of a similar nature, similar origin…Godzilla.  He was the predator and enemy of the MUTO.  He wanted to kill them and was able to kill them.  Man just needed to get out of the way and let him do so.  That meant they had to quit fighting him (which took some convincing—we fight the things which look dangerous and intimidating and foreign), and give him room to “work”, to fight against the MUTO.

Dr. Serizawa proposed this early on, but the military leaders weren’t ready to trust their fate to an unknown monster.  They still preferred to bet on their own abilities and devices.  Only when it was clear that there was no other hope did they finally turn to Godzilla for help.  When he was finally allowed to fight the MUTO unhindered, he won rather quickly and then returned to the sea, leaving the humans in peace.

What does this have to do with the Christian life?  A lot, actually.

Man has an enemy, but it’s not of this world.  It’s not like us.  We try to fight against him with will power and discipline.  We try to outsmart him.  We try all kinds of things, things that might work if he was human, but he’s not[1].  Sometimes our meager attempts to fight Satan and his forces are like that soldier holding his handgun to the MUTO…utterly futile.

Our enemy, like the MUTO, isn’t one of us.  Our enemy isn’t flesh and blood, he’s spirit.  If we are to fight him, we must fight with spirit.  In Godzilla, they had to let a monster fight the monsters.  In our lives, we have to fight our spiritual enemy with another Spirit – one that is more powerful.

The good news is that the Bible tells us how to fight against this spiritual enemy.  There is a story of a demon possessed boy in the Bible.  His father brought the boy to Jesus and told him that he had already gone to the disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.  Jesus cast out the demon and the boy was healed.  The disciples wondered why Jesus had been able to cast the demon out but they hadn’t.  His answer was that some demons only come out with prayer.[2]

Why prayer (or prayer and fasting, see below)?  Because prayer petitions and unleashes the power of God into a situation, against an enemy.  I heard someone recently talking about how whenever you hear gunshots fire, you drop to the floor so you are safe and out of the way of flying bullets.  Well, when you pray and prostrate yourself, in some ways it frees God up to shoot at the enemy because you are safely out of the way.  I heard Priscilla Shirer tease and say something similar—that as a wife, sometimes she has to kneel and pray for her husband so that when God swings to get his attention (in response), she’s out of the way.  When she prays, she is also ducking.  It was the same way in the movie—mankind simply needed to get out of the way so Godzilla could go fight the battle for them.

God is our champion.  He is our victor.  He fights on our behalf.  Sometimes though, we get in the way.  Sometimes we fight against Him, for any number of reasons—pride, fear, ignorance, rebellion…  Sometimes we make ourselves the enemy and God has to fight us when all He wants to do is fight the enemy.

So what can we learn from Godzilla?  We need to recognize who is our enemy, and who is not.  Then we need to be aware that our normal, fleshly weapons and defenses are useless when the enemy is not flesh and blood.  When it’s a spiritual enemy, we have to fight with spiritual means.  To fight against the spiritual realm we need to pray (and possibly fast).  Prayer not only asks for God’s help (who is the only one who is strong enough to defeat our enemy), but it also gets us out of the way so God can fight the enemy, free and unhindered.  We can learn more about spiritual warfare from the Scriptures, of course, but the basic principles in Godzilla are actually a pretty good start.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What are the examples of sacrifice (sacrificial love) that you see in Godzilla?  Do you know how that connects to the Bible and to Jesus and what He did for you on the cross?
  • Who are the “prophets” in Godzilla?  What was their message?  How does that relate to the prophets in the Bible?
  • Why did man think that Godzilla was an enemy at first?  Have you ever mistaken who your enemy was?
  • Why didn’t man’s attempts to fight the MUTO work?  Have you ever tried to fight an enemy with the wrong weapons?  Explain.
  • How did mankind make it difficult on Godzilla to fight the MUTO at first?  Have you ever hindered God from fighting against the enemy in your life?
  • Why do you think prayer is an important part of spiritual warfare?

Click here to read quotes from Godzilla.

 

[1] Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

[2] Matthew 17:14-21 and Mark 9:14-21.  Some manuscripts say that “this kind only come out by prayer and fasting” (emphasis added)—others simply say prayer.

*Reposted from Shepherd Project Ministries*

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One Response to Godzilla – Movie Discussion

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