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. It is available at
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 regular 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.
while on mission, 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 with 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 from Washington.
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 daily 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 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.