Monsters vs. Aliens

I just got back from seeing Monsters vs. Aliens. Unfortunately it wasn’t in 3D at the theater I went to. I won’t give away any of the entertaining details, lest I spoil anyone’s enjoyment. But I will share a thought about the message of the movie: we are prone to view those who are too different from us as monsters. Yet often those who are “insiders” with respect to our community are selfish and monstrous on the inside, while those outside can, when we look beneath the surface, be anything but monstrous.

This is a point Paul emphasizes in his letter to the Romans, and yet which many contemporary forms of Christianity seem to have overlooked. In Romans 2:6-11 (NIV), we read

God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.

This passage is so difficult to reconcile with the way many people understand Christianity, that they assume Paul was speaking hypothetically, or in some other way didn’t mean what he wrote.
I suppose we, all of us (including most of us Christians, but certainly neither all Christians nor Christians alone) still have a lot to learn about aliens and monsters…
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  • Yes, we all define our monsters and our aliens, by the communities in which we live or decide to associate with. This determines the standards of measurement and what is “good”, “right”, etc.While there is nothing wrong with identifying with a group of “like kind”, it does sometimes breed attitudes of superiority of some kind, which is, honestly, just human.So, I think the bigger question and need today, is how do we help everyone to respect proper boundaries, which our laws define, in personal, and national ‘rights”? These should always be considered the “monsters and aliens”, those who subvert “order” through agression, subversion, etc. We must protect these boundaries as they maintain security. And without security, none of us are safe to “be” (identity)…