No, you move!
I recently saw the excellent Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War. In the movie, Steve Rogers (Captain America), is struggling with doing the right thing, because everyone else seems to be against him. It is during this time of inner struggling that he hears a speech given by Sharon Carter, quoting the words of her Aunt, Peggy Carter (who was Steve’s flame in World War II until he became frozen in ice). The gist of what Sharon says is this:
“It doesn’t matter what anyone else says. We need to stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. If the whole world tells you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — No, you move!“
After hearing Sharon’s speech, Steve Rogers becomes immovable. He is determined to stand up for what is right regardless of the cost.We live in a world where what was once considered to be wrong is now considered to be acceptable and even right, and what was once considered to be right is now considered to be old fashioned, out of touch, intolerant and even wrong. In popular slang words like ‘bad and ‘wicked’, which have always had negative connotations have now had their meaning reversed to mean ‘good’. These seemingly innocent expressions reflect the fact that was is bad and wicked is now considered by society to be good.
We need to follow the example of Captain America and stand up for what we know is right.
The Bible warns of this in Isaiah 5:20, “How terrible it will be for people who call good things bad and bad things good, who think darkness is light and light is darkness, who think sour is sweet and sweet is sour” (New Century Version). In the midst of a world that is doing exactly what Isaiah warned against, we need to follow the example of Captain America and stand up for what we know is right, no matter what. When the world tells us to move, we need to look the world in the eyes and say “NO! In the name of Jesus, you move!” We need to be completely immovable. The world’s morals are constantly changing, because they are based on the opinions of Man. Our morals and our standards, on the other hand, are based on the Word of God, which never changes. Numbers 23:19 in the New International Version says, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind “.
Standing up for God’s way of doing things, may involve standing against those that we consider to be our friends.
In the movie, standing up for what is right involves standing against those that Captain America considers to be his friends. This is painful for him to do, but he does it anyway, because he know that it is the right thing to do. Likewise for us, standing up for God’s way of doing things, may involve standing against those that we consider to be our friends. Sometimes it may involve standing against other Christians, just as Jesus and His disciples had, at times, to stand strong against their fellow Jews. The important thing is to be guided by what the Bible says and not by what seems to be right.
Why is it considered acceptable to sacrifice an unborn baby in the place of its mother?
There are many issues which the world considers to be controversial, but which for Christians should be black and white issues. We often hear talk of grey areas, but with God, things are either right or wrong, there are no grey areas with God and we would not have any confusion, if we based everything we believed on the Word of God. Among Christians there should really be no argument concerning issues such as Jesus being the only way to heaven, homosexuality or abortion. “Oh, but Matthew what if the woman’s health was at risk or something like that?” This sounds like a valid point, a grey area – is it though?. If a man or a woman was facing death, would they consider offering up their one year old baby to die in their place? No, for 99.99% of people, that would be unthinkable. So why is it considered acceptable to sacrifice an unborn baby in the place of its mother? Certainly there areas that are difficult, but grey areas are a deception of the devil. A recent BBC news story reported that, worldwide, one in every four pregnancies ends in abortion. That is a shocking statistic, even the evil people of the past that sacrificed their children, never reached the level of one in four.
He makes the temptation seem like it came from our thoughts.
Some of the things that I said in the last paragraph may have upset some people, but I make no apologies. We are talking about the lives of unborn children, so if people get upset, it hardly compares to being killed in the womb. I will say however, that the blood of Jesus provides forgiveness for every sin, which includes the sin of abortion. There are other areas in which we need to take a stand, where the devil’s attacks are much more subtle. These come in the form of temptations. The devil is never to going to announce to you, “Hello! How are you? I have a very nice sin for you today, I wonder if you would be interested in trying it…..“. He knows that if he were that obvious we would resist him like we’re supposed to (James 4:7) and he would have to flee. So instead, he makes the temptation seem like it came from our own thoughts, that it is something that it actually quite pleasant. But that is a lie, the temptation did not originate from us, it came from the pit of hell. We need to treat every temptation the way that we would treat a box of rattlesnakes that a delivery man asked us to sign for – DON’T SIGN FOR IT!!!! REFUSE TO LET IT IN!!!! We need to put into practice the words of James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you“. The devil may not want to flee, but he does not have a choice, it is an automatic reaction that he cannot change. When it comes to temptation, it really is that easy to defeat him.
So no matter what the circumstances, whether it be resisting the temptation to do what we know is wrong, or standing against what we know to be wrong; regardless of who says that its right, we need to plant ourselves like trees beside the river of truth and absolutely refuse to move.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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