by Mike Pyatt
Hopefully most value “Well done’s better than well said.” Millions claim they do. In that context, how often has someone told you, “I’ve got your back!” Anyone navigating this orb for any time has likely heard that idiom. In the cyber realm of Mozilla Firefox, this likely means protecting users from security breaches, unwanted pop-ups, and malicious attacks that compromise browsers. “Having one’s back” means someone to look out for another’s welfare; someone to rely upon who looks out for one’s best interest, as a good parent or ally does. Someone who’ll vouchsafe for another. Law enforcement and firefighters “have our backs.” Wouldn’t one “have the back” of those most beloved?
My Pillow inventor and CEO, Mike Lindell, is backing a Pro-life movie titled Unplanned. He donated $1 million to a movie that pillories Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider. The movie’s based on the experience of a former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director, Abby Johnson, who left the killing fields of the abortion industry, and converted to the Pro-life agenda in 2009. She now operates a Pro-life ministry, Then There Were None. Lindell has a cameo appearance in the film. The movie’s slated for release in March, 2019.
Hollywood Reporter columnist, Paul Bond, covering the story, asked him if he was worried about losing customers or advertisers, Lindell replied unhesitatingly, “I’m pro-life and glad to do it.” Lindell’s support for faith-based and pro-life causes, unsurprisingly, draws criticism from the left-wing, progressive activists, some who’ve advocated to pull his ads from conservative shows. Lindell’s recently appeared on Fox’s Tucker Carlson show, and remarked, “I’ve got Jesus’s back, and I don’t worry about losing anything. God will take care of me.” He’d told the Hollywood Reporter, “I don’t do things for the money: I get into them if the message is right.” He continued, “I can pretty much go on any channel and talk about Jesus or Donald Trump, and I don’t get attacked like you would think because I’m straightforward and I tell it like it is.”
Lindell’s not without his critics regarding his remarks. Some call it “irreverent.” Others, with all doctrinal purity they could muster, chided him, “Jesus doesn’t need anyone to have His back.” Some of us understand Lindell’s statement. Considering the vernacular of our day, one might phrase it, “He can count on me! I’m there for Him!” A true friend will always have one’s back. Few of we unremarkable followers of Christ are trained theologians. However, we do comprehend our role in this majestic eternal drama. We have the same authority that Jesus gave to His early disciples. The last time we looked, our commission hasn’t been revoked.
While few grasp esoteric theological nomenclature, we’re percipient that Old and New Testament canons, from the law, prophets and apostles, are sufficient to be committed to “Having Jesus’s back.” There’s a somber reminder. One member of Jesus’s inner circle, Peter, in Matthew 26:35, bragged he’d always “Have Jesus’s back,” then folded like a lawn chair. Our flesh is subject to similar ignoble behavior. Peter’s fiery sermon at Pentecost, that launched the early Church, featured a transformed, Spirit emboldened Peter, who definitely “Had Jesus’s back.” The phenomena of God’s inspired word was preached by common men, in all their humanity, the disciples “Had Jesus’s back.” It was evident to those around them too. Doctor Luke’s account in Acts 4:13, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Scripture doesn’t mask our foibles, or obviate casualties of His wayward disciples, confirmed in John 6:66, “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” It’s not for the faint-at-heart.
Whether it was Paul of Tarsus infiltrating the Arepagus, preaching to thousands of Greeks, who were clueless about the One, True God, telling them, in contrast to the altar that was dedicated to the “unknown god,” ready to proclaim to them the “God who made the world and everything in it,” or the itinerant, solitary street-corner preacher, both “Have Jesus’s back.” There’s a dearth of those willing to set forth their case for Christ. Notice the stark difference between the disciples who appeared in the Gospel narratives, to those who appeared in the book of Acts. Our secular culture will not arbitrarily suspend its prejudice and hostility to Christianity to fairly examine evidence for Biblical verities. However, for multitudes of mankind it’s not so. Their irrational absurdity will fracture upon the rocks of the Gospel, proclaimed by those willing to “Have Jesus’s back.”
It’s high time for Evangelicals to restock the arsenal of Christian evidences and confront our contemporaries with a cogent message of transforming Biblical faith, reclaiming a world that’s increasingly alienated from the body of Divine revelation, seemingly impervious to the Gospel. It’ll take those from all walks of life, willing, and prepared to invade the sundry disciplines, and “Have Jesus’s back.” Evangelicals have, with few exceptions, surrendered the academy, abdicating their station in the field of the arts, cinema, philosophy, history, anthropology, and the social sciences to the secularist who are committed to eviscerating our claim of absolute Truth. At times, we’ve grasped at carnal methods and tactics, to mollify the stigma attached to the authentic Gospel, sent from a God who tells us the unvarnished Truth about ourselves. Small wonder the unredeemed have not found our message credible, when our lives are inauthentic and shallow, fewer will embrace our message. What’s the cost of “Having Jesus’s back?” Willingness to engage others with Truth, compelling conviction, obedience, tolerating discomfort with Joy, while unflinchingly trusting Him who promised to always be with us.
The inexorable, logical direction of secular humanism tilts toward the humanly insoluble dilemmas, yet their options are barren, and relativism bankrupts them at every turn. Scripture forbids us from loving this world, but demands we understand it. We’ll desperately need a new generation of committed Christian scholars, who aren’t intellectually intimidated, and adamantly refuse to relinquish Truth to secularism and recrudescent scientist. Evangelicals understand that the residue of Scripture satisfy the heart and mind. Twentieth Century French existentialist Paul Sartre, captured the abject hollowness of his own bankrupt moorings when disconnected from the Living God, “All kinds of materialism lead one to treat every man including himself as an object-that is, as set of predetermined reactions, in no way different from the patterns of qualities and phenomena which constitute a table or a chair or a stone.” C.S. Lewis observed, “When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
What’s our postscript? We’re still called to be salt and light. Enthusiasm’s insufficient. It requires the emergence of a generation of bare-knuckled Christians, with a dose of humility, and raw honesty, willing to respond in the affirmative to Isaiah’s ancient penetrating question,“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Tentmaker or Pillow maker. Thank God for those willing to “Have Jesus’s back?” It must be forged in the crucible of His Truth. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org