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Holy Heroes

Author Randy Alcorn makes a penetrating observation which, sadly and painfully, speaks to the moral and spiritual state (or perhaps better, the immoral and unspiritual state) of our society.  In a book entitled Money, Possessions and Eternity, he observes, “Much can be determined about a nation’s ideals and future welfare by the character of its models.  Who are the most admired people in America?  Spiritual leaders, civil leaders, altruistic social reformers?  Hardly.  The heroes and idols of America are actors and actresses, jet-setters and yacht owners, entertainers and rock stars.  With a glass of wine or a joint in one hand and somebody else’s mate in the other, they prance, jiggle, curse, and swindle their way into the hearts of Americans.  Our homage to such celebrities tells us as much about us, and our probable destiny, as it does them.”  (p. 75).  America’s pop culture is in many ways a perverse one.  Matters of personal character and conduct often seem to be of no concern.  The only criteria required to be a hero seems to be one’s ability to become a celebrity.  You don’t have to be good or do good to be a hero anymore.  You can rap about rape, sing about sex, act out adultery, and major on the material side of life and still gain a huge number of fans.  All you have to do is look good (as in modeling), sound and sing good (as in the music industry), act good (as in a movie), or be good at hitting, passing, dunking, catching or kicking a ball of some kind.  There are notable exceptions, of course, but many of America’s cultural heroes are an unholy lot.  Psalm 12: 8 reminds us there is a price to pay when we honor unholy people and practices, “The wisked prowl on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.”

The church of Christ has an alternative to the unholy heroes the world esteems.  Jesus, of course, is to be our first and foremost hero.  He left us a perfect example to follow in morals, love, and service to God and man (1 Peter 2: 21-22).  To those who believe He is precious, yea priceless (1 Peter 2: 7).  But there are human heroes in our midst, too, if we take time to look.  Men and womsn whose lives are noble and kind and good.  People who, like the Lord Jesus, live high and holy lives of service to God and their fellow-man.  Epaphroditus risked his life for the work of Christ, and Paul told the first century church at Philippi to “receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem.”  Paul wants Christians to make sure our heroes are holy.  Who is your greatest hero?  Is he/she holy or unholy?

Dan Gulley, Evangelist
Smithville church of Christ