BEWARE SPOILERS FOR ACE COMBAT 5 BELOW!
Today it seems that doing the right thing is subjective. Each group has its version of the “right thing” that they believe. The Bible, however, clearly shows us the difference between wrong and right, as God gives instructions to us—such as the Ten Commandments, and loving your neighbor as yourself—through the Old and New Testaments. Thus, the right thing becomes what Jesus wants us to do, not what our in-group wants us to do. The Wardog Squadron of Ace Combat 5 points toward this truth; the group participates part in an immoral war, yet when they find out what is happening behind the scenes, they take a stand and do the right thing.
The Wardog Squadron
Ace Combat 5 takes place in the fictional world of Strangereal and follows the fighter pilots who comprise the Wardog Squadron, a pivotal force for the nation of Osea in their war against Yuktobania. Eventually, however, the Wardog Squadron learns that spies from the nation of Belka orchestrated the war for its own geopolitical gain. These spies told the superiors of the Wardog Squadron that Wardog were the spies. After the spies shot the squadron down, Wardog quickly regrouped with other military members who knew the truth about the war and even changed their name to Razgriz, the name their true enemies had given them the whole time.
The squadron then fights against the Belkan spies to stop the war between Osea and Yuktobani, teaming up with other defectors who wish for peace. This small force comes under fire from both Yuktobania and Osea. The Oseans declare the Razgriz squadron as traitors, while the Yuktobanian forces still see them as the enemy. The story exemplifies the reaction of the two nations towards the Razgriz squadron in a climactic sea battle. Near the end of the campaign, the Razgriz fleet comes under fire from both countries while carrying the Prime Minister of Yuktobania and the Osean President.
Choosing the Right Action
The Razgriz squadron pilots did not continue their path of ignorance just because they invested time into it. When they found out what was happening during the war, they resolved to help end the conflict and preserve both nations. The Razgriz squadron and their allies decided to do the right thing no matter what happened. The Apostle Peter told a body of Christians to do something similar in his letter to their church. His letter’s recipients were Jew and Gentile alike, much how the Razgriz force contained both Osean and Yuktobanian people.
“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.'” 1 Peter 3:13-14, NIV
Peter called the church always to do what is right, regardless of the consequences. He stated that God would bless you even if people attack you for doing the right thing. How do we know what is right? The Bible lays a solid foundation on what is morally acceptable and what is not. The Ten Commandments listed in Exodus 20:1-17 are an example of what is moral and amoral in the Old Testament. Jesus’s sermon on the mount in Matthew chapters 5-7 further details what God declares morally right. The Bible holds numerous examples of God’s wishes within its pages. You can learn more about the will of God and how He wants us to behave by studying both the Old and New Testaments closely.
Seek Out the Right Action
Christians must always seek to do what is right in the eyes of God. When we must account for our actions, we will not be held accountable to our group leaders, the president, or our idols. We will be held accountable to God and His standard. The Holy Spirit pushes us to do what is right. My brothers and sisters, we all must resolve to do what God wishes, regardless of who may attack us for doing so. Sometimes this means we must stand up against a group of friends or acquaintances, or even against a political party you identify with or people who have similar ideologies to you.
Where does one begin to do the right thing? The easiest place to start is with people close to you. Be nice and courteous to all you meet. Help your fellow humans to the best of your ability and stand firm in the words and promises of God. Please do not continue in amoral ways or ideologies because you have invested time into it. The sunk cost fallacy states that people are more likely to continue actions if they have invested a lot of time or money into them, even if it isn’t the best thing to do. This process is tough to break, but it is possible!
Do What’s Right, Even When No One Knows
Making a stand to do the right thing is not only to be done when you are in public or interacting with others. We still have to resolve to do good when we are alone or when nobody else would know what we did. God knows the very depths of our hearts, and he knows our will and intentions. Matthew 23:13-38 lists seven woes of the Pharisees and teachers of the law. People of the day considered Pharisees to be the holiest of people, and they generally were very public about their following of Jewish law. Jesus was able to see past the pious front the Pharisees had to their evil core. Jesus knew their intentions and what they did when they weren’t around anybody.
Let’s look at a modern example that could occur in our lives. Say I come up short on the word count for an essay I am writing for school. Instead of expanding on ideas and doing much more work to complete the assignment, I elect to type a bunch of random words at the end of the paper and turn the font color white. The word counter at the bottom of the word processor tells the professor I have the required number of words. This action seemingly has no victim and no one may find out. God knows what I did, however. This act is not moral according to God because I cheated the system to falsify the number of words in my report. Instead of writing random words out, I should have put in more research and time to do the assignment properly.
Razgriz and Us
The Razgriz squadron did not continue to fight for the Osean military after realizing the truth about the Circum-Pacific war even though they fought bravely in the war on the side of Osea. They did not worry about the time they spent fighting against Yuktobania or what either side of the conflict felt about their actions. They knew they had to do what was right. This is not easy to do. Standing for what is right, especially if it goes against your in-group, is exceedingly difficult. Facing friends who may insult you or hurt you is no simple task. Remember, God blesses us for doing the right thing, regardless of who attacks us.
My brothers and sisters, I continue to pray for you. I hope that you guys continue to live with Christ and continue to do the right thing. I pray for you all to stay safe in the times we find ourselves today.