If I walk into a movie theater, odds are I’m going to watch an action movie. And the best action movies often times have one thing (more or less) in common: explosions. For those who have been Marvel fans since the beginning, you remember watching the first Ironman movie; the movie that started it all. It’s still one of my favorite movies, and not just because it opens with AC/DC’s Back In Black. If you remember the movie, you remember it as the explosion that lit the Marvel world on fire.
Who doesn’t like a superhero like Ironman? It was a story about pride, about love, and about coming to term with something that bears a striking resemblance to chronic illness. But, that’s a blog for another day!
No one knew what exactly had changed when Robert Downey Jr. donned his suit and fired it up (yeah, my puns are bad). But, anyone who watched that movie knew that something had begun. Since that movie, I have always loved Marvel. I have friends who are die-hard fans of Marvel. They will fight anyone who says D.C. comics are better. Personally, my favorite superhero is Superman, but even I can admit that Marvel’s movies are better. In fact, recently so many people are a part of the MCU (Marvel Comics Universe). The fandom is huge. I love comics, but they aren’t my life. I know people who are consumed by Marvel, and they can tell you every fact there is about the movies.
Then, there are the Potter-heads. It’s been twenty years, and Harry Potter has definitely proven the test of time. It’s Harry Potter weekend every other week on Freeform or Syfy. Everyone knows what Hogwarts house they’re in (go Gryffindor). It’s a fandom that has consumed the lives of so many people. I have watched people fight over whether or not Severus Snape was actually a good guy. I love these books, and they will always be my go-to books when I’m feeling down, but they don’t consume my life.
And finally, we have the Super-Who-Lock fandom. Admittedly, I only watched Doctor Who to be a part of the trifecta, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the show. For those who think that sounds like the most ridiculous thing ever, it’s Supernatural – Doctor Who – Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes has been around forever (and this is another Robert Downey Jr. character). I honestly never know what to think about Doctor Who, but it’s a good show. Then there is Supernatural. I cannot in good faith recommend this show to anyone because it’s theology is so warped, and the portrayal of ‘God’ is horrible. But, I’m a Sam girl and I think Jared Padalecki is awesome. One of my friends was talking to me about it, and she is Catholic. She told me that people told her she was going to hell for watching the show. The comment she made to me was, “It’s not real. I get that. I mean, it’s basically Bible fan-fiction. This is someone’s view of religion.” Albeit, their view isn’t exactly biblical, but it is their perspective.
There are so many fandoms that can be a part of our lives. These fandoms touch us in a way no other story quite does. I love this about my shows, books, comics, and movies. But, it was this comment that really got me thinking. I want to be a writer, but more than anything I want to write Christian novels with conviction and grace. I want my books to be fiction. In reality, I’m writing Bible fan-fiction. That’s what I want to do with my life. There isn’t a lot of Bible fan-fiction out there; C.S. Lewis’s Narnia is one of the more well-known stories. The Bible fandom is the Christian church, and I really think that it’s time we start advertising that. Because, if we start advertising favorite characters, stories, and books of the bible, maybe we can light a spark in a new generation of fangirls and fanboys for the gospel.
“John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” – Luke 3:16
Setting this story up for you, John the Baptist is at the Jordan river, and he is preparing the way for Jesus to come as the Messiah. It’s what John was sent to do. As he was baptizing the tax collectors and the soldiers, people began questioning him about the Messiah he proclaimed. And this is what he answers them with. This is a guy who is baptizing people by the thousands. I mean, they flock around him just to hear what he has to say. His title is John THE BAPTIST, and he claims that the one who is coming, the one he is proclaiming, is far greater than him. He isn’t even worthy to untie the straps on his sandals. And this one won’t baptize you with water; no, He will baptize you with fire and the Holy Spirit. Imagine showing up to your baptism, and finding a furnace in place of the baptismal. You walk in and say, “where’s the water? Isn’t this a baptism?” and your pastor just looks at you and answers, “Nah, we’re doing this baptism with fire.” I don’t know about you, but I would run in the other direction. I’d run out of that church faster than the Road-Runner running from Wiley Coyote.
It’s a terrifying image, but think about Pentecost. Acts 2:3 states, “Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.” This wasn’t normal. I think we read these things in the Bible and think times were different, but trust me this didn’t happen every day. I cannot imagine the conversation in the room when this happened. “Did you just see that?” “Only if you did.” And, at this point, the disciples didn’t have the New Testament. It wasn’t like they could just flip through their Bible to Luke 3:16 and say, “Ope, look at that, this is what John meant.” They had no idea what was happening, and yet, it ignited a fire inside of them. After this, Peter went out and preached a sermon. After that sermon, 3000 people gave their lives to be baptized in Christ. This started a fire, a burning passion for Christ. This spark is what started the fire we know today as Christianity.
A pyromaniac can also be known as an arsonist. These are fire-fanatics, or people who start fires for fun. My mom told me a story about a pyromaniac at her college who went around starting fires in the dorms. This is a serious offense in our world; you don’t go around setting things on fire. But, if Jesus is the light of the world, and if when we accept the Holy Spirit into our lives and allow God to baptize us with His fire, then aren’t we called to go around starting fires with that light inside of us for Christianity? Aren’t we called to be a part of the Bible fandom? Are we not called by the Word of God to be metaphorical pyromaniacs for Christ?
Start A Fire by Unspoken
“Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me.”