The news is sobering this week. Another mass shooting, a girl who was bullied and a barrage of political news bent at exposing the weaknesses of our government leaders. As I mute the television news, I miss Roy Rogers, John Wayne and James Arness. They wore white hats and no one ever had to wonder if they were going to do the right thing. Were those guys in white hats just a product of Hollywood, or were those men symbolic of a higher set of standards that we have allowed to slip away? One thing is certain, we need more guys in white hats.
Marcus Aurelius, the famous Roman emperor, once said: Life is neither good nor evil, but only a place for good and evil. Aaron Alexis lost his job on Friday, bought a gun on Saturday and shot as many people as he could the next Monday. But another news story shows a building on fire in New York City and a bunch of men who chose to risk their lives to save a man from that fire. Good and evil, each represented in the same news broadcast.
We don’t get very far in Scripture before seeing the conflict. Genesis chapter three is labeled “The Fall of Man” and Genesis 4, “Cain and Abel.” Marcus Aurelius was speaking the truth when he said this world is a place for both good and evil.
So what is the good news? Roy Rogers was a great man and he deserved to wear that white hat. John Wayne and James Arness, who played Marshall Dillon, probably needed to wear “beige” hats – if you know what I mean. Not even Roy Rogers was perfect, although he came closer than most! The good news today has been the good news for a very long time, and his name is Jesus. Roy Rogers had a strong faith in Jesus and his life was a product of that faith. Think about the people in your life that could wear the white hats. Aren’t most of them strong Christians?
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Jesus was careful to point out the very real battle between good and evil that this world has always, and will always, be fighting. But Jesus encouraged us to know that his purpose was to give us the best life, life eternal. Are you willing to wear a white hat, on stage and off?
Roy Rogers was a hero to most children when his television show was popular. The real story is that his image was only strengthened by his “real life” choices. We need more people like Roy Rogers for our kids to look up to. Unfortunately, the television and movie screens are probably not going to help at that point. We need powerful people of influence who will choose to wear white hats – and choose to keep them clean.
I know that the culture seems to have grown very dark in the recent years. There is a growing sense of hopelessness and helplessness. But don’t forget who wants us to believe the words of discouragement. Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy – but Satan isn’t who will win. Jesus wants us to have a full life, here on earth and ultimately in heaven. I think the brightest news is this: light always shines most brightly in the dark. In a sea of black hats, won’t that white hat be more noticeable?
So, to all my readers, consider following the example of Roy Rogers. Wear a white hat and keep it from getting dirty. We will absolutely make a difference in this world if we do. The old movies had it right and we have this promise: the guys in the white hats will always win!
Note: Today, our ministry is participating in North Texas Giving Day. This is a great way to support your favorite nonprofits. We have a generous donor that has agreed to match the first $25,000 of the gifts to the Denison Forum on a dollar for dollar basis. The Denison Forum exists to teach God’s word and provide a biblical perspective to the cultural values of today’s world. If you would like to help us fulfill our calling, you can do that easily today between 7am and midnight CT by clicking this link. We are very grateful to each of you who share in the work of our ministry and your gifts are tax deductible.