Why do we love vigilantes in movies?

A few years ago, several Leftists on the Herald-Times comments were saying that a particularly evil man should be subjected to “jailhouse justice” for his crimes. This of course, means he would be repeatedly raped and beaten by other inmates for years before eventually being murdered. Then these same people became enraged when I said he should be humanely executed by the state, as commanded by God.

So it is fine that a brutally violent criminal be repeatedly sodomized against his will, beaten, tortured and eventually murdered, but the fact that I called for a humane execution makes me a monster. I was taken aback at the time, because if your concern is human rights, the attacks on me make no logical sense.

I understand it now. This is not about human rights or humane treatment of even the worst criminals. It is about our hatred for authority. What angered them was not that I was calling for a less severe punishment, but that I was invoking the authority that God delegated to the civil magistrate for the punishment of the wicked. The issue is they reject God’s authority over this world.

That is why we see characters like Hawkeye from “Avengers: Endgame” and Paul Kersey of the “Death Wish” movies as heroes. We understand that when there is great evil, there needs to be justice. The evil men in these films certainly did deserve to be punished. But we do not believe in authority, especially authority delegated by God. So when a “family man” traumatized by an attack on his family becomes a bloodthirsty serial killer, we prefer that to the rule of law. The key is we do not want to submit to God’s authority.

A vigilante is a rebel against God’s authority. He places himself above God, which is a form of idolatry. The bullets, swords and arrows of a vigilante cannot bring true justice for the oppressed and righteous punishment for the offenders. There is no due process before a vigilante murders someone. There is no presumption of innocence or a conviction by a jury if his peers. There is a reason why the Bible has due process protections for people accused of crimes. While the justice system itself can fail, it is at least an implementation the proper authority structure designed by God. We must submit to this authority, rather than rebel against God.