Heroes of Old
We all stand up and cheer for the heroes of old who stood up to a bully. Audie Murphy (1945, WWII), David vs. Goliath (I Samuel 17; 21:9), Jesus (trial/cross, Luke 23), William Wallace (Braveheart, 1297-1298, Scotland), George Washington, (1787 – 1797), Martin Luther King Jr. (1955 – 1968), Opie Taylor ( The Andy Griffith Show, Season 2, Episode 1, 10/2/1961; Season 3, Episode 14, 12/31/1962). The list can go on and on.
Each era in history has had its bullies to contend with, and God’s people to do the contending. What are we called to contend with today? What bullies do we face that God has called us and equipped us to stand up to? Here are a few of the many we can name: abortion, transgender males in girl’s/women’s sports, COVID-19 lockdowns, sanctuary policies for illegal immigration, Black Lives Matter organization, defund the police movement, etc. What can we do as individuals and churches? We can stand up to the bullies. We may expect to receive some injuries and losses, but it has to be done.
Constitution vs. the NCAA
Let’s look at one example: women’s/girl’s sports and states’ constitutional authority vs. the NCAA. Many states have been passing or considering the passing of bills to save girl’s sports, banning transgender boys from participation. The result has been the NCAA bully – driven by GLAAD, LGBT, HRC, and others – coming in with huge threats to move their events out of state. This would cost each threatened state millions of dollars of income.
Save Women’s Sports
In a surprise turn-a-round, more and more states are standing up to the bully and calling their bluff. What changed? “One thing did…the states that are passing these laws ‘are no longer outliers.’” This is forcing the NCAA to reverse its decisions. In Florida, the NCAA Softball Championships will now remain in the state. “I guess the NCAA boycott of Florida is over after two weeks,” said State Representative Chris Latvala. It appears that as each new state passes such laws, other states are considering the same. Beth Stelzer, president of Save Women’s Sports, said it well: “We need to do the right thing and stand up for females. People over profits. Facts over feelings.”
Facing the Oppositions
Leading the way should be God’s people, the church. Nehemiah gives us a strong model to follow in Nehemiah 4. He and the Israelites faced several forms of opposition: ridicule, 4:1-6; intimidation, 4:7-9; discouragement, 4:10; and fear, 4:11-23. Nehemiah knew he could not stop the work at every opposition, so they all moved ahead until “…I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it” (Neh. 6:1).
“The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall…Our God will fight for us!” (Neh. 4:19-20). We each need to find our place along the “wall” that God is building today. Find your place (individual, family, church), learn what needs to be done, and trust God as you work.
Pray & Support
Do not be deterred by ridicule, intimidation, discouragement, or fear. Get busy, pray consistently, and support your brothers and sisters in Christ. Charles Spurgeon said, “ Nehemiah is a record of combat with sin, and labor for the Lord.” Dr. Alan Redpath also commented on Nehemiah. “The people had a mind to work, a heart to pray, an eye to watch and an ear to hear. This gave them the victory.”
“Therefore…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).