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Right or Wrong

Editorial by Stephen Lee

“It is fun but challenging to have the steering wheel on the wrong side!” I exclaimed as I was driving down the motorway from London to Lutterworth through many roundabouts.

“It is on the right side,” my wife, Minha, quickly corrected me. “Cars in America have it on the wrong side because it is not on the right side.”

So, who’s got it right? Is it the Americans or the Brits? The word “right” could be a noun or an adjective, referring to correctness; a verb meaning to make straight; or an adverb referring to direction or immediacy.

As I was reflecting on the word, a special sign beside the road greeted me. It read, “Welcome to Lutterworth, workplace of John Wycliffe.” Why was this man who lived nearly 700 years ago being commemorated?

First of all, Wycliffe followed what was “right,” using the noun form. Bucking the traditions of Rome was not only countercultural but was considered treason; however, when he saw that the papacy had forsaken the Word of God over human tradition, he spoke out against it. “Instead of doing what was right in the eyes of men, he chose to “do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord” (Deut. 6:18, NKJV).

Secondly, he used “right” in the verb form. He was determined to right the church, so he wrote tracts against the papacy who were collecting from the poor and living in luxury. He was not fazed by prison or the stake.

Lastly, he used “right” in the adverb form. When he realized that common people were kept in darkness by withholding the Bible from them, he immediately set out to work. Even though it was illegal to translate the Scripture, he believed in the power of the Living Word that transforms lives.

Wycliffe became the first translator of the Bible into the English language, and he finished his task
in Lutterworth, opening the Scripture to England. Was Wycliffe driving on the right side or the wrong side? The John Wycliffe Memorial stands tall in Lutterworth, and on it you’ll find an inscription that reads, “Morning Star of the Reformation.” Venus is the planet that shines brightly just before
the sunrise while darkness is prevailing over the horizon. Wycliffe was the forerunner to
reformation whose influence directly impacted Jan Huss and Jerome of Prague, and later,
Martin Luther.

The Papacy’s anger was so furious that Wycliffe’s bones were dug up 43 years after his death, burnt, and the ashes were thrown into the river Swift. The light he placed
in England would never be extinguished.

God is calling for morning stars in this dark world who will herald that, just as
surely as the sun rises each morning, the Son of God will return exactly as He has Stephen Lee promised. Do you want to right the world, do what is right, and do it right now?

Stephen Lee is executive secretary of the New Jersey Conference.

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