Most Christians are quite dismissive of the movie industry, As pointed out in a previous paper, Both movies and video games are controversial among Christians. Some condemn them as worldly or childish and some see them as harmless but exercise caution in what they see. Me, I myself am a movie fan and fit in the latter category: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/what-christians-can-gain-from-movies.html
Lord Willing, there may be more articles made on more movies but we'll see what happens.
Doctor Strange is the 14th installment in a movie franchise called The Marvel Cinematic Universe, a film series based on comic books as made by Marvel.
The series has made an incredible $11 billion at the box office and is currently unadjusted for inflation is the highest grossing film franchise in history, with James Bond and Harry Potter following behind. If you are wondering what my opinion of Dr Strange is, it's actually a really well written movie, pretty good overall.
Let me make one thing clear before I continue, I am aware that in the movie Doctor Strange, the characters engage in practices that the Bible condemns and warns people to stay away from such practices, make no mistake about that.
The characters use energy from other dimensions to cast spells, whether it be magical weapons, astral projection or drawing on dark power from another dimension. Witchcraft is something that must be repudiated, it mustn't be embraced (The same principle can be applied to Harry Potter if you can find anything in that franchise that agrees with and contradicts the Bible.)
That being said, Because there is an interesting message found within Doctor Strange that I think we can take aboard, but first, we need a quick run down of the story, spoilers if you have not see Doctor Strange.
Story and what we can learn
For those not in the know, Dr Stephen Strange was a brilliant (but egotistical) surgeon who is involved in an accident that ruins his hands and his career. He is forced to seek a cure for his affliction and in desperation tries various methods of healing to restore his hands to no avail. He learns of a man who was involved in a serious accident who was able to walk again and learns of a person known as the Ancient One whom he believes can help him.
Long story short, he is caught up in being involved in super heroics and is forced to become a sorcerer to defend the world from evil forces, including Dormammu, an evil demon from another dimension. There is a conversation that takes place in the movie where the Ancient One gives Dr Strange a choice, either go back to the life of being a surgeon or be something more and help more. There is more to just fame, there is more than just demonstrating incredible talent in an area.
Strange himself had a "friend" named Christine whom he didn't realize he didn't treat with a greatest respect until it was too late. Despite Christine trying to help him, Strange pushes her away and while the two reconcile and Strange is helped in recovering from wounds he sustained in a battle, that doesn't change the damage that has been done as a result of his selfishness.
There is something here to take from the film, that restitution has to be made, whether it's criminal, civil or other ways, some compensation or a lot has to be made, even if it's being punished for a crime accordingly or restoring a relationship. Sometimes however, it may not be possible to restore a broken relationship between two people or several, it may be too late, but it's worth giving a try.*
The villain, Caecillius, also suffering trauma of his own, lost his family and came to the Ancient One for help in the hopes of reviving his family, which she doesn't teach and feels betrayed by her. Stealing the Book of Cagliostro, a dark magic book, which would connect him to Dormammu, and grant him eternal life, seeing death as an enemy as well as time and that the only way to escape death is to become one with Dormammu and become part of the Dark Dimension. In fact he criticized the Ancient One for drawing on the power of the Dark Dimension to sustain her life.
This is where another interesting point comes into play, namely hypocrisy.
Baron Mordo, one of the Ancient One's loyal students looks up to the Ancient One as the one who helped him confront his demons, but is horrified when The Ancient One is using the Dark Dimension despite her prohibiting everyone else from doing it. Hypocrisy is damaging in any given situation but think of a case where the pastor of a church criticizes his congregation for engaging in sins that he himself is guilty of. Is it any wonder that the congregation is disillusioned with him and cannot trust him, ending up going their seperate way. They even feel this way possibly when one of their own breaks the rules without any remorse or regret that leads to repentance. Baron Mordo is disillusioned with the Ancient One and later Doctor Strange using the Eye of Agamotto, one of the Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (despite his success in saving the world) that the sorcerers are not following their rules and thus walks away.
Interesting considering when hear the story of a person who has left the Christian faith because they have been let down by people in the church and in many cases this is quite possible. Shadid Lewis' disillusion with his church and Mundane Matt's frustration with organised religion or other persons who have been hurt in some way, not knowing what Jesus is really like. It's not quite the same as Baron Mordo's story, but it's similar in concept.
Despite the fact the characters use spells to accomplish good or evil (Biblically its inconsequential what magic is used for because it involves using a source that's not God), there are many things you can take away from Doctor Strange that can resonate with us as Christians.
Lord Willing, there may be more papers similar to this, but you'll have to wait and see.
*Let me bear clear I am not denigrating a job such as a surgeon or any lawful and right career, if anything Christians should be diligent in that work and do it as if Jesus himself is running the company or is a customer to whom you are providing a service.
David Pawson has even said regarding God "He'd rather have a conscientious taxi driver than a careless missionary".
The point is, would you rather go back to a life that goes well and ok for you and helps others or do you want to serve others with a higher purpose and a greater good? In a Christian's case, doing his job in such a way it glorifies God, loving him and loving your neighbor. One could just be content with living his life out, but what does it amount to in the end?
You don't need a college degree to serve God, he can use anyone, be it a housewife, a construction worker, a surgeon etc. Even cleaning your workplace can be done in the name of Jesus.