Jack Bauer is my Hero. really? Is that good?

The following thoughts were originally written for my own blog a few years ago. With the start of 24 just a few weeks ago, I think they are salient for today as they were back then. Images_3

I know he’s everybody’s hero. I watch the show. Like most soaps, you can miss a few weeks and pick up right where you left off. I know, I did. I missed numerous episodes throughout the season for various reasons, and I picked up without problem easily. I’m not here to bash him, in fact I understand why he’s so appealing. Truth be told, when I took the “which 24 character are you?” I wanted it to come up Jack Bauer. But he’s not new. In the 90’s there was Nash Bridges, and before him there was Rambo, Miami Vice, and Dirty Harry. Again, all shows/movies that had suspense, drama and a bad bad man as the lead character/hero. Here’s the thing, for the Christian, Jacks the wrong guy for us to want to be. I’m not saying we should all be Greg from Yes, Dear. but Jack has some serious character flaws that should be huge problems for the Christian. ****Side note here I know that we all have character flaws, and that no one’s perfect. Furthermore, I know that in most likelihood the show is created by people who do not claim to be followers of Jesus or the Way and I don’t expect them to produce shows/character/movies that reflect those values. Still, the values that are presented are worth examining. End Side Note****
Back to Jack. Jack is a dashing guy who is vulnerable in his flaws. Not perfect. His family life is a mess, his love life is unresolved. He’s anti-establishment and willing to go against the flow. He’s strong and he’s willing to risk. He’s courageous, and perhaps, most appealing of all is that he comes through in the clucth. When the chips are down, and someone needs someone to come through he does it. He bags the bad guy inspite of all of his flaws he gets the job done.
But the problem I have with Jack is his relative morality. He’s the classic example of what God intended for masculinity gone awry. He’s willing to break rules to get the job done. You have to kill someone because the law won’t be able to punish them? No big deal… a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. People who play by the rules are probably weak, and certainly not as able to get the job done. While this makes for great, compelling T.V. it’s not Bible, which I realize would make not so great, compelling T.V.
As we (maybe I should just be addressing myself here) watch this for show for entertainment it’s important to remember that I don’t want to be Jack. Yes, I want to come through in the clutch but Jesus’ teachings go directly against the Jack Bauer code of conduct. If you think I’m taking this too far, consider Jesus’ direction to us regarding how we should treat someone if they (a.) hit us in the face, (b)take our shirt or (c) or how we are to deal with our enemies. In (A) he says we are to turn our other cheek, in (B) he says we are to give them our coat, in (C) he says we are to love our enemies!!! See Matthew 5
That is real toughness. Jack, Nash, Harry and the fellows from Miami Vice will never know. There is much that is good about the show 24 from a teachable example, the idea of sacrifice for the good of the others, the idea that there is something bigger and more important than us, but the great danger is that we will somehow think Jack is cooler than Jesus. LIke almost all of Satan’s lies, this one has enough truth in it that it looks good and desireable, it looks ready to eat, but too many men have swallowed the idea that Jack is what a real man should look like, maybe because we’ve neutered real men in the church and in so doing we’ve neutered the church. Maybe because Jack just seems cooler than anything the Bible has to offer. The problem then, is not with Jack or T.V. but with us the church.


About Joe

I am a simple guy. I live in West Michigan and have a counseling business. I also do public speaking. I'd love to hear your story.

2 thoughts on “Jack Bauer is my Hero. really? Is that good?

  1. Joe, you are exactly right.

    I am of the opinion that a man can be a Christian and still be strong. I have a book that I read entitled “No More Christian Nice Guy” by Paul Coughlin, and he pointed out the same thing that most Christian men have become paralyzed wimps, afraid to do anything for fear of appearing not meek enough, therefore…not Christian. PUHLEASE!

    I don’t care what anyone says…from what I have read and understood in scripture, Jesus was no wimp!

  2. I like 24 as well and I appreciate your thoughts on the show. This season started with the “torture” hearing. I believe that torture is wrong and yet if someone was holding my family hostage and there was someone with information, I might have second thoughts. To me that is the scary thing about what is portrayed on the show. The question is still “Does the end justify the means”?

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