North Carolina adopted legislation in March 2016 which mandates that in government buildings, individuals may use only restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. Gov. Pat McCrory defends the law as a way to protect young girls from potential predators.
The National Basketball Association and other groups are already boycotting the state because of this law. According to today’s Wall Street Journal, the NCAA has announced that it is pulling seven tournament games from the state for the same reason. This after attempts were made over the summer in California to remove funding from religious universities that defend biblical sexuality and marriage.
As ethicist David Gushee warns, “On LGBT equality, middle ground is disappearing.” Gushee is himself a convert to the LGBT cause and advocate for same-sex marriage. While I disagree strongly with his reasoning, I agree that discrimination against Christians who “discriminate” against the LGBT community will continue to escalate.
As with all challenges, the time to decide we will act with courage is before courage is required. Case in point: “Sully” Sullenberger and the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
Chesley B. Sullenberger III was a fighter pilot with the US Air Force before serving as a commercial pilot for twenty-nine years. Then came January 15, 2009. His actions after birds knocked out both engines of his jet saved the lives of all 155 people on board US Airways Flight 1549.
I recently saw Sully, Clint Eastwood’s cinematic version of that fateful day. Tom Hanks is brilliant as usual in the lead role. I left the movie deeply impressed with Sully’s remarkable courage and calm under unimaginable stress.
In some ways, life prepared him for the fateful 208 seconds that made him famous. His father took his own life. He and his wife struggled for years with infertility before adopting two daughters.
In his book, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, Sully notes: “We all have heard about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. They act courageously or responsibly, and their efforts are described as if they opted to act that way on the spur of the moment. . . . I believe many people in those situations actually have made decisions years before. Somewhere along the line, they came to define the sort of person they wanted to be, and then they conducted their lives accordingly. They had told themselves they would not be passive observers. If called upon to respond in some courageous or selfless way, they would do so.”
Oswald Chambers agreed: “We presume that we would be ready for battle if confronted with a great crisis, but it is not the crisis that builds something within us—it simply reveals what we are made of already. . . . Crises reveal a person’s true character.”
Whether your challenges are public or private, now is the time to choose courageous obedience to Jesus. Such trust positions you to experience his omnipotence. Whether others agree with your convictions or not, they will know that your faith is genuine and your Lord is real.
When religious authorities demanded that the apostles cease preaching, Peter stood tall for his Lord. With this result: “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John . . . they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). Will you choose now to be bold for Jesus today?
Note: For more on Sully, see Ryan Denison’s ‘Sully’ and Why We Tear Down Those We Should Lift Up. For my latest website article, see, I Was Wrong About Terrance Williams.