TONY ELDER: God's idea of right and wrong is clear-cut

Tony Elder

Tony Elder

So which football team will you be pulling for in this weekend’s Super Bowl?

I’m in somewhat of a quandary this year. During the postseason, I’ve been supporting both of these teams which have made it into the championship game. This is the match-up I had hoped for.

So now which do I pick? It would be much easier if there was one team I disliked and another that was my clear favorite, such as if the Yankees were playing the Braves in the World Series. But that’s not the case this time. I think I know which one I prefer to win, but it wouldn’t greatly upset me if the game goes the other way.

Sometimes there’s not a clear distinction between the so-called “good guys” and “bad guys.” I’ve noticed how certain television shows seem to be blurring the lines between such characters.

No longer do you recognize the heroes by their white cowboy hats or the capes they wear. The faults of the good guys are often showcased. Or they end up taking some actions just as bad as their evil counterparts.

Additionally, the backstories of the bad guys are often emphasized, generating sympathy for how they got to be so evil. Or sometimes those wicked characters do something good and manifest some admirable qualities.

In some ways, such a picture is closer to reality than the comic book or fairy tale depictions of a clear-cut distinction between the pure, innocent Dorothy Gales and the notorious Wicked Witches of the West. Even the best of people have their faults and can commit their sins. Likewise, the worst of people may show some signs of compassion or goodness.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some clearly defined lines in our world. We need to be careful that we not erase all distinctions between the actions and characters of different people.

Let’s not allow society to deceive us into thinking everything is gray and that there are no black-and-white issues.

There is still good and evil in the universe. The Bible instructs us to “abhor what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).

There is still right and wrong, along with actions and attitudes which can still be characterized as either godly or sinful.

Those determinations are not based primarily on popularity, common practices, man’s laws or society’s changing standards. They are based on God’s revelation of what He determines to be proper. We can simply choose to accept what He says about those matters or reject it.

There is still truth and falsehood. There are objective realities and absolute truths — not everything is subjective.

There is still a holy God and an unholy devil. The Bible warns us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

There is still one road that leads people to heaven while all others lead people to hell.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

So while some lines are indeed blurred, don’t make the mistake of thinking they all are. Some of us may not see a clear-cut “good guy” to pull for in the Super Bowl, but in life let’s always seek to come down on the side of God, truth, and what’s right.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at revtelder@aol.com.