No, you move!
In the excellent Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War, 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). During the speech Sharon Carter says these words:
“Compromise where you can, but where you can’t – don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong, is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye and say ‘No! You move!’“
We live in a world where what was once considered to be wrong, is now considered to be right.
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 right, and what was once considered to be right, is now considered to be old fashioned, out of touch, intolerant and 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 once considered to be bad and wicked, is now considered by society to be good.
When the world tells us to move, we need to say “NO! In the name of Jesus, you move!”
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, refusing to compromise by accepting the world’s constantly changing moral standards. Our morals and our standards must be founded on the Rock that is the Word of God, which never changes and cannot be moved. 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 “.
Be guided by what the Bible says, rather than by what seems to be right.
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 knows 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, rather than by what seems to be right.
There are no grey areas with God.
There are many issues which the world considers to be controversial, but which for Christians should be black and white issues. If you are in a church that needs to debate this issues, it may be a good idea to seek God as to whether you are in the right church. We often hear talk of grey areas, but with God things are either right or wrong, there are no grey areas with God. There would be no confusion for us as Christians, if we based everything we believed on the Word of God – whether society liked it or not. Among Christians there should really be no argument concerning issues such as Jesus being the only way to heaven, homosexuality or abortion.
Grey areas are a deception of the devil.
“Oh but Matthew, the abortion issue does have some grey areas – what if the woman’s health was at risk or something like that?” This sounds like a valid point, but 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.
The blood of Jesus provides forgiveness for every sin.
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 point out however, that the blood of Jesus provides forgiveness for every sin, including the sin of abortion. There are other areas in which we need to take a stand too, 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 as though it came from our own thoughts and that it is something 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 – if we don’t sign for it, he has to leave.
So no matter what the circumstances – whether it be resisting temptation or standing against what we know to be wrong, regardless of who says that its right – we need to plant ourselves like trees and absolutely refuse to move.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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