Right before the final fight scene in Rocky 5 (which everyone knows is the worst Rocky movie) Rocky Balboa is in a bar in which he has just watched a boxing match on TV. The winner of that match is a former student of Rocky’s and despite the fact that he just won the Heavyweight Championship he is still in Rocky’s shadow so he comes to the bar looking to fight Rocky. You may be getting a sense of why this is the worst Rocky movie.
Rocky agrees to fight the guy, named Tommy Gunn. But Rocky says, “My ring’s outside.” And they agree to end this movie with a street fight. Tommy goes out and as Rocky is walking out to fight him two very overweight middle-aged guys ask Rocky if he needs any help. Rocky says, “With what? It’s not a pie eating contest.”
As an overweight middle-aged guy myself, I don’t love this moment. But still, the point is clear, Rocky Balboa does not need those guys helping him in a fight.
There is a political yard sign that I keep seeing around. It bothers me every time I see it, and now I have lost my ability to keep it to myself. Still, let me assure you, that I honestly don’t care who you vote for. I know with certainty that the candidate that this sign is supporting had nothing to do with creating this sign. So I don’t feel like I am making a political statement here. I just want to address the statement on the sign.
The sign says, “Defend God. Defend the constitution.” then it says to vote for a certain candidate. This idea is absurd. Only the first part. I told you I don’t care who you vote for. And I believe that the constitution is worth defending. My problem is just with those first two words, ‘Defend God.’
The word ‘God’ is capitalized. They are talking about the Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth. God the Father, who created all things in time and space, including time and space!
Me and all the other people reading that sign are like the big guys trying to help Rocky. We aren’t needed. God doesn’t need anyone to defend Him.
There are things that God has asked and intends us to do in this life. But He doesn’t need us to do them. He invites us to be a part of what He is doing out of a gracious heart that blesses us with purpose.
We could spend our time well defending God’s children. We could spend our time well defending the work of God’s church. We could spend our time well doing the work of growing and learning ourselves how to be more like Jesus in our daily lives. That would do far more good in this world than any vote we ever cast. It would also do far more good than placing any sign in our front yard.
When the election comes and goes this world is going to be just as broken as it is right now (if not more so). And the need for faithful, righteous, loving servants of God who reach out to help meet the needs of their neighbors will be equally great. Let’s be the people that make things better.
Jeremy Alger is the pastor of the New Cumberland church of the Nazarene. For more information please visit