Tony Elder

Tony Elder

Recently I heard someone refer to the movie “The Poseidon Adventure,” not the remake but the original film that I remember going to the theater to watch in my early teens. As you may know, this disaster flick is about a passenger ship that gets capsized by a huge wave. The story follows a group of passengers who try to survive this ordeal by making their way up away from the rising waters toward an area where they might be rescued. The odd aspect of their journey is that as they were moving upward, they were actually getting closer to the bottom of the vessel due to its inverted condition.

Maybe some of us today feel like our world has been turned upside down. Long-held Christian values are no longer esteemed by our society. Right is often considered to be wrong, while evil is sometimes celebrated as good. Truth is blurred, ignored, or even considered to be irrelevant. A rushing river of spiritually murky, dangerous water is rising to fill the vacuum created by a society that has forsaken God and His Word. What do we do as followers of Christ who find ourselves living in these topsy-turvy times?

I believe we need to do what those passengers were forced to do in that movie. We need to rise to the bottom. We need to move upward and toward a solution by intentionally moving in the direction that we normally would think of as being downward. Maybe that sounds contradictory, however Jesus spoke in similar terms. He said that in order to save our lives we need to be willing to lose them. He also informed His disciples that the path upward toward true greatness was found by taking the low road of humble service. He also indicated that it’s those who willingly accept the lowly place in life who will eventually be exalted. The way up is the way down.

I believe that principle still holds true for us today. How do we successfully make our way through the winding, strange corridors of this upside-down world? We rise toward the bottom. We humble ourselves in prayer and repentance. Instead of seeking to gain earthly power, we look to heavenly powers to win these battles. Instead of angrily raising our fists, we meekly bow our knees. Instead of cultivating a spirit of rebellion against man, we encourage a spirit of submission to God. Instead of taking up arms in an insurrection, we take up the spiritual armor God has provided for us. Instead of fighting by means of violence, hatred, and vengeance, we do battle through faith, truth, prayer, and righteousness. Although there’s a place for us to be involved in politics and social action, as we do so we can’t let ourselves get caught up in the conventional wisdom of a worldview that doesn’t allow for the intervention of God and doesn’t value His guiding principles for living. In this upside-down world, we need to keep conducting ourselves like people who truly believe in Jesus and who are seeking to be like Him in our actions and spirit.

The early followers of Jesus were accused of turning their world upside down. The truth is that they were actually making progress toward getting it right-side-up again. If we can rise to the bottom, maybe we will not only survive this crazy world we find ourselves living in today, but we might even help right the ship. A capsized society needs those who can turn it upside-down. Instead of primarily pursuing a political or social revolution, let’s focus even more on seeking a spiritual revival. That could really change the world.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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