Well… this ought to be fun…
Phil Robertson has been suspended from Duck Dynasty by A&E for comments he made in a GQ interview about homosexuality (and more). And now… the war.
Fans of the show, and specifically Christians are “standing with Phil,” flying the “Free speech” banner, boycotting A&E, and pledging to buy as much Duck Dynasty stuff as they can get their hands on.
It doesn’t take much to draw us Christians offsides into a battle. We “war” for Jesus. We “fight” to keep Christ in Christmas. We battle for Chick Fil-A and Hobby Lobby. And now, we will be “armed up” on the battleground of Duck Dynasty and the Bible versus gays and A&E.
Jesus, have mercy.
Nothing sheds more blood in this age than the culture war that is homosexuality and gay rights versus the Christian community. And let’s be real, Christians have approached this “issue” (I refuse to perpetuate “war”) poorly, ineffectively and embarrassingly. Douse that fire with the kerosene of the Duck Dynasty phenomenon and friends, this is WWIII.
I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on the planet following Jesus, who has never seen 1 second of Duck Dynasty (sarcasm). I only know Phil from seeing his face on T-shirts, lunch boxes, bumper stickers… heck, anything and everything that can be branded and sold. I don’t know much about the family or the show, but evidently they like God and talk about the Bible a lot.
And that’s cool. Really, that is awesome.
And I get it – the new rock-star’s of Christianity are being “persecuted” for quoting Scripture – and Christians don’t like that.
So Miley Cyrus and drug addicts and sex and violence and foul language are all ok, but if a Christian expresses an opinion, using the Bible to do so, they get suspended?!!”
If a Christian organization suspended a gay person, they’d be labeled a bigot, but when A&E suspends a Christian for expressing Christian views, they are “progressive.”
This is the predominant refrain.
But doesn’t that refrain miss the mark? Isn’t it a little one-sided and narrow?
With no skin in the Duck Dynasty game, I read Phil’s comments as if he were any other Christian Brother, and parts of them were… crude, arrogant, unloving and nasty. Is Phil “free” to say them. Yes. That is free speech, as he will never be governmentally sanctioned for his words. But, are there still repercussions for words within the freedom to say them?
Amongst all the noise that will resound from this issue now, to me, the lesson is on this point.
Our words, our language, our speech, our actions… far too much and far too long have not reflected that of Christ toward those who we disagree with their lifestyle, especially gays. And while we are “free” to express that disagreement, and thump the Bible in doing so, that freedom does not mean we can say unloving things, make gross leaps of exaggeration (homosexuality to beastiality, terrorism and racism), mix in a Scripture – and think that glorifies and displays Christ. Or, that there will not be ramifications, naturally and supernaturally.
Duck Dynasty is not the Christian mascot, as much as we’d like them to be, and Duck Dynasty does not equal Jesus.
By “standing with Phil” you are standing with hate on this one.
By boycotting A&E you are boycotting Jesus.
By fighting for your right to thump the Bible, you are fighting a war that will ultimately only kill your witness.
Friends – Brothers, Sisters… Stop. Don’t go there. Don’t be that. Let us not be drawn into the mire and muck of this debate and “war.” Not again. Not this time.
Choose Love over hate.
Choose showing the Gospel over thumping the Bible.
Choose not to perpetuate the stereotype that followers of Jesus look very little like Jesus Himself.
I bet that if Phil (and Christians) choose to say something like:
You know, all of us have needed, or are in need of healing from sins. All I know is that Jesus is my Healer…”
…and left it at that – then I doubt he would be suspended, and a whole lot of people would have seen the Lord glorified.
Instead, Jesus is not seen, nor glorified in any of this – ironically, the opposite of what Phil also rightly said,
…where there is no Jesus, evil always reigns.”
Evil reigns, and all “sides” are culpable.
Phil and Duck Dynasty will be fine. Either A&E will reinstate him and all will move on – or the series will change networks. You’ll all be able to cammo up and get beard crazy just as before.
But the words and response of the Christian community in this time will leave eternal impact.
I plea (pray) that our response this time is Jesus.