Dec 19, 2013

My thoughts on the Duck Dynasty Dilemma

Duck dynasty is a great show.  Ratings prove its popularity.  I think the show has been a great window into the reality of right wing Christian southern lifestyle.  I laugh at it so much of it because I see my family through the different scenes and scenarios.  I love the faith, family, and ducks worldview that the Robertsons adhere to.  That’s been the unspoken motto of the home I grew up in and the home that I am raising.  It’s a good show that has broken many records and, in my opinion, that’s because it’s a rare TV combination of humor, silliness, redneck living, family values, and faith.  You just don’t see many shows like this one anymore.  There aren’t many shows anymore that an entire family can sit on the couch and watch together without worrying about whether the content will be appropriate for everyone sitting and watching.

I had Phil Robertson preach for me when I pastored in Louisiana.  He’s genuine and down to earth.  He, his wife, and entourage stayed until 1:00 AM signing autographs and talking with people. After everyone else left He and I visited for about an hour.  The man is on a mission to preach the gospel.  He’s also someone who thinks.  He has a lot of opinions.  He is one who is outspoken with his wide range of opinions.  The night he spoke for me he covered topics ranging from duck conservation, duck call styles, hunting methods, homosexuality, manhood, alcohol, crawfish boils and the gospel.  I loved his insight and candor, but I didn’t agree with everything he said. What mattered to me was that we agreed on the main thing, Jesus. He gave a compelling and convicting presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and several men were saved.  I’m grateful he and his family have been given the opportunity to preach the same message he shared that night in Milton, Louisiana to millions of Americans.

The truth is, there are a lot of Phil Robertsons out there, I am one of them.  Millions of viewers and evangelical Christians agree with what he said, maybe not the way he said it or the magazine he said it to (I find GQ to be an incredibly immoral and offensive magazine), but none the less, millions believe homosexuality is a sin.  The Bible is very clear on what sin is and homosexuality is one of them.  There a lot of us out there, and we are not going away, nor are we changing what we believe.  As a result, things like this will happen.  We should not be surprised, it's happened before.  It happened to Jesus, Peter, Paul, and in one way or another over 2000 years to every disciple of Jesus that radically seeks be light in a dark world.  Hollywood is a tough dark place for the Christian, but I’m proud of people like Phil and his family who still give it a shot and use the avenue that God gives them in Hollywood to tell people about him. 
Certainly this has caused pressure and stress on this family and on Phil himself.  I hope Phil and his family will stick together, trust in God, and continue to show grace and love through this while at the same time not back down or compromise.  I want to encourage his fans  who are outraged, like myself, to pray for him and his family.  I want to encourage you also to keep the mission and message of the gospel at the forefront of your discussion.  Protest, boycott, rant, or whatever, but don’t forget that Jesus called us to reach the lost with His gospel.  We should stand up for what we believe in, be salt and light, don’t back down, but don’t be unloving as you do.  Use this event to have friendly debates but do it with the purpose of winning the lost to Christ.  Don’t treat them the way Phil Robertson has been treated.  Our mission is not to bring a TV channel down because they messed with our favorite duck hunter.  Our mission is to build the kingdom of God by making disciples (Matthew 28:16-20).

We are told to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).  Both the truth we share and the way we share it is important.  You must do both, too many do one without the other.

All of this has reminded me of something that Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18

I close with this: 
The Bible is also very clear on this:  God loves sinners.  God loved us all so much He sent His own Son Jesus to die for our sin and to free us from our sin.  To forgive and save people who practice the same sins I do and people who also practice the sin of homosexuality.  I think that's awesome.  That no matter who you are or what you do, God loves you and Jesus can save you.