This article is a companion piece to Episode 9 of the Pop Culture Coram Deo Podcast. Subscribe for more engagement of pop culture in light of God’s glory (iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Tune In, acast, Player.FM). You can watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on Amazon.
Alert: Spoilers follow, proceed at your own peril!
The god in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was carefully chosen. He is meant to be a portrayal of the “worst qualities” of the various fictional god(s) of human history, including Yahweh. But Yahweh possesses none of the qualities of Ego. Ego sounds more like the false gods of Rome or of the Ancient Near East. You don’t want Ego; but you do want Yahweh. Here’s why. . .
Ego, a little “g” God vs. Yahweh, the big “G” God
Ego is a god, Peter Quill’s father (Star-Lord) in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He claims to be a little “g” god, but he has the power to create. What makes him a little “g” god is that he cannot create ex nihilo (out of nothing). He can only manipulate matter to form his creations, similar to how man creates works of art or machines. Ego’s plan, due to being bored with his immortality and with the inferior life that he’s created, is to remake all planets into extensions of himself.
Yahweh is Creator. He creates ex nihilo (out of nothing) (Gen. 1:1). Our God is Trinity. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These Three Persons are One God (Matthew 28:18-20). Thus, the three Persons love one another and are in relationship with one another perfectly from eternity past into eternity future. There is no love without an object to love. The three Persons are One Another’s Beloved forever. Therefore, only our triune God can claim that He is love (1 John 4:8).
Furthermore, our God is in need of nothing. Our God created because He freely chose to create out of the overflow of His triune love, holiness, and glory, not because He was “lonely.” A God in perfect relationship among the three Persons of the Trinity cannot be “lonely” or He ceases to be perfect and ceases to be God. Moreover, God cannot create an “extension of Himself” since anything created by definition is not self-existent and is not God.
Ego is Selfish vs. Yahweh is Holy
Ego is selfish, creating things because he has need of them. Since he is selfish, he is evil. And when his creations no longer meet His arbitrary needs, he destroys them and rebuilds. Since Ego has needs, he is a contingent being. He can’t even activate the “seedlings” of his new creation without the help of another god, his demigod son, Star-Lord.
Yahweh, on the other hand is in need of nothing (Acts 17:25). He is self-existent, self-sufficient (aseity). This means that he does not create out of his need and he does not destroy out of his need. Instead, Yahweh creates, judges, blesses, etc. from and for His own glory. Since Yahweh is all good and self-sufficient, the most morally appropriate thing for Him to do is to seek His own glory. He does not share his glory with any one or any thing because it is morally inappropriate for God to share His glory with anything that is not God.
Ego knows Little vs. Yahweh is All Knowing
Since Ego is a little “g” god, he only knows a little, much like man. He does not know the future; he is not all knowing. That’s why the Guardians of the Galaxy could destroy him. The only reason the Guardians were in a position to destroy Ego is because Ego brought them there.
Yahweh on the other hand is all knowing (1 John 3:20). He knows all things that can be known and all forms of knowledge that are possible. Yahweh doesn’t need to become human in order to learn something about being human. If Yahweh can create it, He knows it. Yahweh knows all that can possibly be known about all things, times, places, and even possibilities. Yahweh is truly all-knowing.
If you watch the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, you will leave thinking that Ego is reprehensible. And you should. Who wants to worship a selfish, arbitrary, evil god like Ego? I don’t! However, don’t confuse Ego with Yahweh, for they couldn’t be more different. Ego looks more like man than god. He is merely a counterfeit Yahweh, and a poor counterfeit at that. A cursory glance at Scripture exposes Ego’s false claims to deity. True deity can only be associated with Yahweh. Any little “g” god is not god. Any god who has a beginning is not god.
In light of these realities, consider now the amazing reality that Yahweh became Man to save sinners. In Christ, we have the 2nd Person of the Trinity uniting to a human nature, meaning that He is fully God and fully human. He lived the life we couldn’t and died the death that we deserve, so that we might glorify God though we are sinners. He promises to forgive those who come to Christ, to clean us up, and to re-make us in the perfect image of His Son, God the Son Incarnate (Rom. 8:29). God became Man so that we might enjoy God’s glory for all eternity!
This piece was originally published on our Patheos site.