Monday, May 6, 2013

wearing the white hat

I grew up in a day when the good guys wore the white hats.  The good guy then, always won out over the bad guy with the black hat.  Every episode of a television Western, good always triumphed over evil...until the sixties came along.

I did not grow up to look at the world as grey.  I was not taught to have a grey worldview.  I was taught that there was a right and that there was a wrong.  I was taught to do the right thing and not do the wrong thing.  I was taught not to steal.  I was taught not to hate.  I was taught The Golden Rule.  
I wanted to defend the helpless.  I wanted to stand for what what's true and just.  I wanted to be a good example.  I wanted to emulate the actions of the white hat wearing roll models I once knew.  I grew up wanting to be the good guy too.  It was that boy's desire to become a good man.

Not too far along the trail I realized that I was a flawed individual.  I  realized I needed help to be good.  I realized I needed Jesus.  There have been times of selfishness and fear...that  I should have been made to wear the black hat.  But Jesus isn't like that.  I can still pursue the high trails neath the blanket of his righteousness.  It is not by our own goodness that we are saved.  It's by our faith and his grace.

"I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."
-Isaiah 61:10

What I see around me is what has always been stated in scripture.  The world is fallen, the world is black.  We are salt.  We are light.  The world hates us.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."
-John 15: 18-19

“The Christian has a great advantage over other men, not by being less fallen than they nor less doomed to live in a fallen world, but by knowing that he IS a fallen man in a fallen world.”
-C.S. Lewis

The world calls good evil and evil good. The world puts darkness for light and light for darkness.  The world replaces bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.  The older I get, the darker this place seems to be to me. The world would have us be quiet, passive and above all ~ tolerant.

"Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions."
-G.K. Chesterton

We live in a post-modern world, a society that is detached and rejects
 moral absolutes, detached from the true source of goodness.  We know that morality isn't a matter of individual choice.  We must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that we each may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1:9)

The world would like to define for us what is 'the right thing to do'.  The world says that the the voices of my youth, the roll models of my youth, even my parents were wrong.  The world would like to define for us 'what Jesus would have us do'.  The world will twist scripture just like the devil does.  There is no coincidence that they sound so much alike.

As the good guys, as Christians, we are not to hate men.  It is after all that which is evil that destroys man.  I can love man, but hate the cancer that eats away at him.  We are to abhor that which is evil and cling to what s good.  All that is holy, all that is true, all that is good and all that is right ~ will never change.  Our compass is in good working order, and our course is true.

I guess the greatest things that have changed since coming into this world is that the darkness seems all the more stark, society all the more polarized.  I don't see few true good guys on the screen anymore.  The good guys don't wear hats.  The good guys have no code.  The good guys in real life are vilified and targeted by the world.  Jesus is the ultimate good guy, and he was crucified for being good.   No matter how the world mistreats the good guys...we must take up that cross.  We must be the good guy for our times.

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