Tuesday, July 3, 2018

In Your Anger Do Not Sin (a Hulk fanfic)

A pair of glasses with one lens broken. Image source.
A fanfic where Bruce Banner is an evangelical Christian

[content note: abusive Christian theology, suicidal ideation]


God, why did this happen?

Bruce tried to sit up. His shirt was gone and his pants were ripped. Why? What had come over his body? All he could remember was running away, out of control, smashing. And something green.

He prayed, God help me. God what's wrong with me?

He was in the parking garage outside his lab. There were huge cracks in the walls and pavement, and the car beside him had its entire back end smashed and flattened. This is bad, this is really bad, he thought.

Slowly, he walked back to his lab, trying to ignore all the craters in the walls. The door of the lab was smashed to pieces, all over the floor. Ohhh this is bad.

Bruce grabbed his things- phone, laptop, backpack- and got out of there.


It's because I was too proud, wasn't it? Bruce thought. That's why God let this happen. I've just been so busy, and I haven't been spending time in the Word... I've been acting like I can do it all myself. I started this big experiment, this big important milestone in my career, and I didn't even pray about it.

He sighed. God, I'm sorry. You have to forgive me. You have to help me. I don't know what I'm going to do.

He normally didn't kneel when he prayed, but that night he did. He wanted to humble himself before God. He had seen his sinful nature in a way he never had before- big, green, monstrous. It's always been inside me, he thought, but I didn't take it seriously. A bible verse popped into his head- "If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall."

Yes, Bruce had always known he was a sinner. That his heart was deceitful and desperately wicked. He knew all that- he had prayed the prayer at age 5 like a good church kid. But before today, it had been a cliche, an abstract theological point that people threw around carelessly. Yes, he knew he was a sinner- but now he REALLY knew it.

Yes, he knew- in an abstract way- that his sin had killed Jesus, that every sin is an infinite offense against a holy God, that his sinful nature was a dangerous thing that shouldn't be taken lightly, that it meant he deserved nothing good, he deserved to die and go to hell... but today his sin had literally turned him into a huge green monster. He had smashed the door, smashed the walls, smashed that car. Thousands of dollars in property damage. Because that's who he was. That's who Bruce Banner has always been. Always. A sinner. Totally depraved.

He had always hidden it. People who knew him would say he was a good person. Ha, Bruce thought, there's no such thing as a "good person." But maybe lately he had fooled himself. Maybe he was acting like his sin wasn't so bad. Maybe it's because last week he was traveling and missed church. Whatever the reason, his real self had come out. God have given him over to it. He was a monster.


He went into hiding. He moved to Brazil. He found a job in a soda bottling plant. And he committed to reading the bible and praying for an hour every day.

Bruce flipped to Matthew 5, to the part about anger. "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment."

Well, that was pretty clear. Being angry is just as bad as murder. Hulking out is a sin. Obviously.

God, how can I avoid it? he prayed. How can I fight the temptation and stop myself before I hulk out? God I need you so much. I can't do it. I'm weak. I'm sinful. I'm too weak against this temptation.

It was a slippery slope, he thought. If he ever started to get a little bit angry, he needed to stop those thoughts before they had a chance to grow. Because now, the other guy would be there to reveal his sin to the whole world. Wow, wasn't it just terrible that he had only started to care about his sin because other people were going to see it? Really, all that matters is that his sin hurts God. "Against you, you only, have I sinned." Even before the lab accident, his anger was an infinite offense against a holy God, and he didn't take it seriously back then. Wow, how pathetic that he needed this as a motivator. It meant he didn't really love God; he just didn't want other people to judge him. Yeah, his heart was deceitful and wicked.

He deserved it, though. He deserved to have other people see it, see how evil he was.

God, I'm sorry, he prayed. Help, please help, I need you.


He had hulked out, and he felt terrible.

What happened? He had gotten into an argument with the neighbor from the apartment below his. The guy thought water was leaking from Bruce's apartment, but it wasn't, but he wouldn't listen, and... Bruce didn't want to think about it. He knew he had done a bad thing, he had somehow lost control and hulked out, he had totally forgotten to pray.

God, what do I do? he thought. He knew the right thing to do would be to go apologize to his neighbor. But I won't, he thought, instead I'm going to move. Because now that guy knows about the monster, and he's going to tell people, and I need to be gone before that happens.

He was just making excuses. He knew what the right thing was, but he wasn't willing to do it. He was just going to make this whole thing even more sinful by running away.

He was such a bad Christian. He said he was devoting his life to God, but really he wasn't.

I promise, God, after I find a new place to live, then I'll really get my life back on track. Then I'll pray more. I won't hulk out. I won't get angry. I'll submit my life to you. I'll read the bible every day.

It wouldn't be good enough, he knew. He could never be good enough; the sanctification process would last his whole life, until he was perfect in heaven. On earth, he would always have a sin nature and he would always have to fight it. But someday he would have a closer relationship with God, and it would be easier.

Or maybe he wished he could just die instead. Just take a bunch of pills and ...

No. Don't think things like that. He was going to rededicate his life to Jesus. Surrender all. Let go. Lay it all down at the foot of the cross. It would be hard, but God would take care of him. God loved him so much, and he didn't deserve it- he deserved to die. Surely anybody who saw the monster would agree Bruce deserved to die.

That night, he gathered up his things- only 2 backpacks' worth- and moved out.

To be continued...

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