These Are Not Ordinary Times
In normal times we have people being born, marrying, having a family, and dying – or situations more or less like that. When things are quiet and peaceful, we go about our business, and we do not exert too much energy. But in times of crisis, or times of war, then everything changes.
When our very culture is threatened, then things change. Then we no longer just go with the flow; then we no longer live ordinary lives, but we then start living extraordinary lives. These times demand that we make changes, make adjustments, and start living in a much more radical fashion.
That has been true of every time of war, and it is true now. You see, we are now in a spiritual war, a cultural war, and a civilizational war. Things are no longer the same, so we can no longer be the same. We must change, we must become fully involved, and we must leave behind the old way of living.
We no longer can just get by with ordinary citizens in such times. We desperately need a different class of people in such situations: we need heroes. We need men and women who will rise to the occasion, and perform valiantly in the name of their God.
Today we have plenty of anti-heroes – those who are famous and in the news for all the wrong reasons. We have far too many negative role models – those who are leading an entire generation of young people astray. Such anti-heroes are a dime a dozen today.
But we now very much need men and women who will stand up and be counted. We need heroes who will bravely fight the good fight when everything is at risk of being lost. One American writer has recently penned a great piece on this very thing, and is well worth citing here. I refer to Melissa Moschella and her excellent article, “A Time for Heroism“.
She says, “If we hope to protect the unborn, promote sexual integrity, preserve the truth about marriage, and defend the freedom of religious conscience in our country, we cannot simply live good lives—we must live heroic ones.” She continues:
Unless we stay engaged in the broader culture and keep up the fight for the truth about marriage, our future generations may not be allowed to teach their children the truth about marriage—they may find their children taken away from them if they refuse to teach them that there is nothing wrong with a homosexual or otherwise sexually permissive lifestyle. It may sound far-fetched, but it has already happened in states like Massachusetts. Even ten years ago, the prospect of legal recognition of same-sex marriage throughout the country sounded far-fetched as well.
In these circumstances, just being “good” is impossible. We inevitably will be faced with situations in which we must either give in or stand up for our convictions even at great personal cost. There is no “middle way.” Our times call for heroism, and we must be prepared to respond to that call. Many people have done so already.
She highlights a number of modern day heroes, and then says this:
We must be prepared to live not just good, but heroic lives. We must be prepared to risk popularity, reputation, professional success, economic well-being, and—it may yet come to this—perhaps even our lives, in order to defend the dignity of human life in all its stages, the value of sexual integrity, the truth about marriage and family, and the right to live in accordance with one’s beliefs in all spheres of life. If, and only if, we are willing to make these sacrifices, we will resist the forces of the culture of death in our own lives, and, with God’s help, transform that culture into a culture of life. May we all heroically rise to this great challenge of our time.
She is exactly right. So powerful are her words that I will conclude with more of them, without comment. Let these words sink deep into your soul as you consider what you will do to stand for that which is right, in a world filled with that which is wrong:
Perhaps there are times and places in the history of the world in which it is possible to go through life as just an ordinary, good person—a faithful spouse, a loving parent, a concerned citizen, a regular church-goer, an honest and industrious professional—leading a normal, quiet life, not making waves or standing out in any way. Perhaps. But the United States of America in the year 2014 is not one of those times and places. Rather, in our contemporary society, the only way to be good is to be heroic. Failing to act with heroism inevitably makes us complicit in grave evils.
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