I Reckon Not
March 9, 2019
Toby Grater

As a kid I was never as impacted by movies or exposed to as much TV as a lot of people my age, but I do remember watching a few movies with my dad. I particularly remember being struck by the character of Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales. Here was a man who found himself unwanted and unwelcome in his own homeland and in his own day who struck out to find a place that was a little bit closer to tomorrow or a little bit further away from yesterday. Image result for josey walesOn his journeys, as he encountered a number of seemingly absurd situations and was continuously confronted by a world that appeared to have gone mad, it was relied on that he would fall back to his  trusty line of “I reckon not". Anybody who's seen the movie can understand the emotional impact of him saying to Chief Ten-Bears, “I reckon not". One of the striking things about those scenes and about that character is that we don't have very many men today who are willing to take such stands; men willing to stand up to the absurdity of the world gone mad around them and simply say, “I reckon not”.

If we look to the Bible, Jeremiah the prophet spent most of his ministry saying, “No”. The Lord called on Jeremiah to say “No" to the kings of Israel when they foolishly thought that they could challenge the Babylonian kingdom. And then after the fall of Jerusalem, when they believed that they should go down to Egypt to try and restore some of their political clout, the Lord sends Jeremiah forth to simply tell them, “No". 

When Jesus Christ is tempted by Satan in the wilderness, His response to Satan is “No”. 

It is important to be able to look the world squarely in the eye, to stand up straight, set your shoulders back, plant your feet, and say “No".  Image result for noOne is oftentimes called a hater, a bigot, a stick in the mud, a racist, backwards, etc., or any number of pejoratives that can be thought of for simply facing our world and its craziness and saying “No”.

Failure to manifest this courage, particularly failure on the part of husbands, fathers and men in general, has led to the breakdown of our families and communities.  When the world wishes to beat down the doors and expose the ones we care about to its vileness and corruption, we must have the courage to look it steadfastly in the eye and say “No".

~ Robert Hoyle

Article originally appeared on Mid-Atlantic Reformation Society (http://www.thinkandreform.org/).
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