Part 2 of Bill’s challenging message on Courage to Stand Alone was recorded live at a national youth convention. It has inspired thousands of teenagers and adults to resist the peer pressure and dare to be different. Just like Daniel who was used by God in an incredible way to accomplish feats of heroism, faith, and courage that inspire us to this very day, so too, you can have courage to stand alone and impact your world.
Gunnery Sergeant Michael Kaufman
recently coordinated a group of 35 Marine Recruits (from the Pittsburgh,
Hermitage, New Castle and Cranberry areas) and four other Recruiting Sergeants
to bring them to the Bill Rudge Ministries’ Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course.
Bill Rudge led them through two hours of intense training, challenges and
competition for the recruits. Helpers Teenie Blystone, Dick Hetrick, Joshua
Lozier, Ken Ridgley, BJ Rudge, Lucas Rudge and Moriah Rudge aided in various
ways . The recruits, some soon to leave for boot camp, were under the watchful
eye of the five Recruiting Sergeants. The participants enthusiastically rose to
the challenge of the course.
Bill Rudge has run this
obstacle course free of charge for many youth and adult groups and
organizations such as high school athletic teams, church groups, Boy Scouts,
Cub Scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Army, Navy, Marines and Mission
Teams. Bill adjusts the level of intensity for each group’s specific goals and
Part 1 of Bill’s challenging message on Courage to Stand Alone was recorded live at a national youth convention. It has inspired thousands of teenagers and adults to resist the peer pressure and dare to be different. Just like Daniel who was used by God in an incredible way to accomplish feats of heroism, faith, and courage that inspire us to this very day, so too, you can have courage to stand alone and impact your world.
Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy (Proverbs 27:6).
Those with strong biblical convictions will not participate in activities and conversations which dishonor our Lord. We will not sit by in silence as Jesus Christ is maligned and ridiculed. We will not compromise our standards to please others or refrain from witnessing while people around us wander in confusion – dying before our very eyes. We will not just sit there passively and watch our loved ones be seduced by the spirit of this age. We will – we must – speak up and say something – even if it offends. It is better to offend others and be disliked now, than to be praised for conforming to the world and compromising convictions, but to be hated later for not warning them and telling the truth.
The Word of God calls us to be loving, gracious and non-judgmental to those without Christ, but to rebuke and correct those who claim to know Christ yet deny Him with their words or behavior, thereby leading others astray. When conversations become unprofitable, photos become crass or behaviors become licentious, we will excuse ourselves. Likewise, when professing Christians flaunt their supposed liberties for alcohol consumption … or display immoral conduct – all in the name of freedom – we will quickly depart.
Tolerance is not compassion and being non-judgmental is not the same as love. In the face of potential disaster, love compels us to warn of impending consequences. Our hearts are troubled and grieved as the moral values and lifestyles of our culture drift further and further from God’s standard. At the risk of seeming antisocial, we will not participate in unprofitable and degrading conversations or involve ourselves in behaviors and lifestyles that dishonor the Lord, even though our culture accepts them as normal.
Through Christ we will stand strong in the midst of accelerating apostasy and intensifying persecution. We will not compromise our biblical values or commitment to Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that we remain faithful to the end, being powerful and effective witnesses to those who have ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to receive what the Spirit and Word are saying to this end-times’ generation.
Bill Rudge surrendered his life to Jesus Christ on May 23, 1971 at the age of 18 after hitchhiking across the country. He has never wavered in that commitment – the wisest and most courageous decision of his life. His walk with the Lord has proven that it takes more strength, determination and self-control to live for Christ than any other lifestyle available. And it has been the most exciting adventure imaginable!
This is one of these fundamental questions, I believe, that we should not only ask ourselves but know how to answer. In fact, this is the very question I ask the students in my ethics class at a local university, pointing out that they must identify what they believe and why they believe it.
The concept of conviction in our
culture today seems to have given way to the “virtue” of compromise. While
compromise in certain contexts is needed, the idea of following the crowd,
doing what everyone else is doing, seems to be the mantra of our time! But our
culture is desperate for leaders who will rise above the rest and live with
Conviction creates a clear path for
how to choose to live our lives. It is an every day reminder that certain
things must never be compromised; that we must stand for certain core values
even if it means we have to stand alone.
The story of the sacrifice of Riley
Howell is an example in point: When the gunman entered his classroom at UNC
Charlotte, rather than run or hide Riley charged him. An act – not surprising
to those who knew him – that reflected the way he lived his life. Although this
decision would cost Riley his life, it saved the lives of others. Conviction
does not yield to consequences but lives by principle: doing what one knows is
the right thing to do.
The Christian world needs men and
women of conviction: Men and women who, like Riley, will stand for what is
right, regardless of the cost. Men and women who will not seek the comforts of
compromise, but out of a love for Jesus Christ and others will stand for what
is true; men and women who, despite the pressures of popular opinion, are
willing to stand alone for their faith.
So, let me ask you the same
question I ask my ethics students, what are your convictions? What do you
believe and why do you believe it? May we be ready every day to give a reason
for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15, 16).