Sin impacts all men. Understanding our particular bent will lead us more deeply into the Gospel. In what ways are you like Iron Man? In what ways are you like the Hulk?
Comic Heroes, Alter Egos, and the Gospel
All men are affected and damaged by sin. As a result, we as men have sought to become our own heroes. We attempt in our own power to save ourselves and engage our world, thus becoming unbalanced caricatures of who God would have us to be. Like popular comic book heroes, some of our perceived strengths are actually weaknesses that have grown out of control and have become alter egos.
God has sent help for men. He sent Jesus to relieve us of the burden of being heroes who have to bear and fight our extreme fears and pains. In Christ, God offers us the freedom to be his restored, restful, and rescued sons.
Profile 1: IRON MAN
The Iron Man is the successful, driven and conscientious man. His work and ability to put on the face, the uniform, and wear the job description is his saving grace.
The Iron Man is outwardly strong and successful but is rotting unknown, and hurting in his private world. His non-business relationships are on the brink of disaster. He doesn’t trust and hasn’t trusted many people to get close to him.
Profile 2: HULK
The Hulk is the man with undealt with, and hidden anger, fears, and passions. These passions, fears, and anger are triggered in pressure and desperate situations. The Hulk—which can be hidden in the dark sinful passions and pain living within each one of us—if found out or given control, can and will destroy our whole lives. The Hulk will destroy our families, our children, our professions, and everything that we may have worked hard to build and achieve and what God has blessed and called us.
We all have “in the closet” sins, addictions, and emotional and mental struggles that are bound to break through. The Hulk is living in a world where he is trying to cover-up, run from, and hide from what cannot be controlled. The Hulk is an overgrown manifestation of a history of deep hurt and neglect. The Hulk ironically serves to get us through hard times, loneliness, emptiness, and provides much needed release in a troublesome and hard world. The Hulk lives in solitude with his issues. If he has already lost his deepest relationships, he does everything he can to keep those whom he loves and cares for away from the “otherside” or struggle. Inevitably trouble, sorrow, pain, and triggers will come and the “real” other us will emerge. The hulk needs the power of God’s gospel and grace to change and keep him.
Friday, April 3
6:00 Dinner & Fellowship
7:00 Profile 1: IRON MAN
7:45 Discussion & Prayer
8:30 Bowling/Dodgeball (with enough interest)
Saturday, April 4
10:45 Profile 2: HULK
11:30 Discussion & Prayer
12:15 Lunch & Fellowship
About Howard Brown
Howard Brown has worked in full-time ministry for 20 years. He currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Christ Central Church PCA, in Charlotte, NC. With the vision of establishing a multiethnic church, he and his wife, Kellie, moved to Charlotte to plant Christ Central in 2003. Previously, Howard was the pastor of Forest Park Presbyterian in Baltimore, MD and the Assistant Pastor of Church Planting at Redemption Fellowship Presbyterian in Fayetteville, GA.
Howard holds a Master of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary and an English degree from Clemson University. Howard is a contributing author in the books Heal Us Emmanuel: A Call For Racial Reconciliation, Representation and Unity In The Church and Keep Your Head Up: America’s New Black Christian Leaders, Social Consciousness, and the Cosby Conversation. Howard is on the board of trustees for Covenant College and serves as an advisory board member for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Charlotte and Reformed University Fellowship.
Howard is a Charleston, SC native who loves Clemson football, fishes every chance he gets, and enjoys watching movies and TV with Kellie. He and Kellie have two boys, Harrison (17) and Clark (15).