Sunday, October 11, 2015

Don't Mess with The Duke!

Don't Mess with The Duke!

It was a good devotional about being more Christ-like and I liked what the guy had to say.  Well, I liked most of what he had to say anyway.  It was probably just me and I was reading too much into it, but something rubbed me the wrong way.  He said not to be a John Wayne Christian.  I know the guy meant well and I understood his point.  But you don’t mess with The Duke.

I was raised on John Wayne movies.  His characters were always larger than life, straight-talking, two-fisted good guys who beat the bad guys and got the girl.  The 6’4” actor worked on his signature swagger in front of a mirror until he was satisfied that he walked like a hero.  In the westerns he wore what we in the south call high-water pants to make him look taller and show off his genuine Lucchese cowboy boots.  In the military roles his WWII helmet was jauntily tilted to one side and you could practically see the red, white and blue flowing through his veins.  You don’t mess with The Duke.

As I thought about it I realized that it was more than just messing with my movie hero that was bothering me.  It was the statement itself.  Like I said, I may be reading too much into it.  But why wouldn’t I want to be a John Wayne Christian?  Is the mark of a Christian man to be all alter-ego and never the hero?  Was Jesus always a mild-mannered inoffensive doormat?

In a time before home improvement stores and power tools a carpenter took his prized axe to the hills and turned trees into what he needed.  He then built things the hard way until they were finished.  One particular carpenter at the age of thirty surrounded himself with a mix of the dregs of society, extremists from both ends of the political spectrum, and even the occasional respectable citizen.  As the glue in this unlikely company he roamed the countryside delivering a revolutionary message and challenging the status quo at a time when challenging the status quo would get you dead.  At least once he walked into the nation’s temple and single-handedly cleared out everyone there that had turned the place into a market.  Jesus was no wimp.  He never backed down from what was right.  Never.  I bet he even walked with a swagger.

I think Hollywood usually gets Jesus all wrong.  Rather than casting some soft-spoken, pale hippie like they usually do they should have cast John Wayne.  My favorite movie hero playing my favorite hero?  I would like that on blu-ray, pilgrim!

May God Bless You!
Pastor Tim

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