I just saw ironman again last week. RDjr’s character is really winsome. He makes the movie. This time, a particular line completely grabbed me. After his ‘conversion’ in the cave, RDjr commits himself to finding ‘my weapons’ and destroying them. Several times he uses the phrase ‘my weapons’. Normally we use ‘my weapons’ to describe weapons that we own, that we will use. What struck me is his sense of culpability and ownership of ‘my weapons’ that were never discharged by him. Whereas before, ‘my weapons’ were a means to a lifestyle that centered on and glorified himself, after his conversion, ‘my weapons’ are a reminder of how he has used the pain of others for his own advancement.
I want to have that much ownership of my shortcomings. RDjr wasn’t using ‘my weapons’ to destroy people, he was just selling them. Yet he began to feel the result of each weapon like he had pulled the trigger himself. Consequently, he needed to track down ‘my weapons’ and stop them. He was not directly responsible for the damage they did, but because he made them and benefited from them, he was carrying the guilt of their use.
Could we all have such a corporate, humble, teachable view of our wrong-doing? For example, as I think about the work of IJM, we might not ever directly own a slave, but if we benefit from products made by modern slaves or an economy propped up by slave labor, could we say ‘my slaves’? We might not ever traffic a person for sex, but if one gives their money to pornographic web sites or to an industry that promotes the objectification of women, might that person say ‘my sex trafficking’? We might not directly discriminate against another person in the workplace, but if there are structures and practices that prevent the advancement of some and the promotion of others based on race or gender, might we say ‘my discrimination’?
For those who follow Christ, the one who never directly sinned, yet went to the cross saying ‘my sins’, what is our corporate and personal culpability for ‘my weapons’?