I saw the movie "Crimson Tide" not long ago. The movie
stars Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington and is a
gripping story of interaction between a famed submarine
Commander who has made his name by acting while others
philosophize, his Ivy League and Annapolis-educated
Executive Officer, and their crew.
Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman) is Commander of the
USS Alabama, a nuclear submarine with enough fire power
to destroy the world. Lieutenant Commander Hunter
(Denzel Washington) is chosen to replace the Alabama's
Executive Officer who is ill at the time the Alabama
departs. It is an emergency departure necessitated
when rebel Russian troops capture nuclear missiles of
the former Soviet Union and threaten to launch them to
reestablish Russian military might.
A preliminary launch order is received by the Alabama,
but radio contact is lost before the confirmation or
abort command can be received. In the absence of the
required confirmation, Captain Ramsey directs a launch
of nuclear missiles. To be carried out, the launch
order must be concurred with and repeated to the crew by
Lieutenant Commander Hunter. All are aware that
nuclear submarine protocol requires confirmation of all
launch orders and concurrence of such orders by the
Commander and the Executive Officer. But Hunter has
had no battle experience and is new to the Alabama,
while the entire crew is loyal to Ramsey who has
commanded the Alabama on several victorious campaigns.
Hunter can ingratiate himself to Ramsey and his loyal
crew by acquiescing to his decision to launch, or he
can maintain proper military protocol and insist that
the launch be delayed until confirmation is received
Lieutenant Commander Hunter faces the same dilemma you
and I face each day--to ingratiate ourselves to those
who represent an established way of doing business
which butts up against what we know to be right, or
standing for what is right. In those daily situations we
have the opportunity to take the correct action,
despite the opposition, and benefit all, including
those who oppose us.
It is a great movie, and of course Hunter makes the
right decision. But that is only the setup for us.
The question before us is whether we will stand when
faced with such future dilemma.
The world has become a strange place, where God's word
is no longer considered the standard for our lives.
Many in authority, many we respect, have taken the
wrong course. Propping-up one another, they move boldly
in a direction that can have but one outcome. They
boldly ridicule those having and acting on the
knowledge of God, considering us less strong or wise.
And there is much pressure for us to acquiesce to their
foolishness that we might obtain their favor. After
all, by some great mystery they have reached a desired
goal or status--positions of power and respect, often
affecting the lives of many.
But you and I who have been called to show the way. By
the shed blood of Jesus and His resurrection, we have been given
the power to affect those around us for good. And the
mystery is that the world remains in the hands of those
who oppose Christ only as long as we fail to act. We
cannot allow their rule to continue. As it says in
Matthew 15:14, they are "... blind leaders of the
blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall
into the ditch." We cannot let this happen. As we
study Scripture and get to know more and more of God
and His role for us, we realize that we've not been
called to be mere players in the productions of others.
We've been called to produce the show!
In the fourth Chapter of the book of Acts, the rulers of
the city order Peter and John not to teach in the name
of Jesus. Their response is simple and direct: (Acts
4:19-20) "... Whether it be right in the sight of God
to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For
we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and
heard." Our response must be similar. Our show is
playing. We cannot let it go on without us.