There are very few TV shows that my husband and I enjoy together. Namely, “The Office”, “The Blacklist”, and “Parks and Recreation.” Shortly after I gave birth to Baby J, I was up at 4am with his early morning feeding, flipping through our channels on our TV in Lima. Just that week, a variety of good friends had posted something about some show called “Duck Dynasty” and I randomly came across it that day. My laughter woke up my husband and we watched it together and were hooked. Our last few months in Peru and the first few in the States were highly stressful and Duck Dynasty became our outlet – we could watch it, relax, laugh, and feel the stress melt away for that oh-too-brief half an hour.
It is no secret among our friends and family that Duck Dynasty is a big part of our lives. Even my co-workers at our church are all into the show; the youth pastor has even tried to get one of them to come speak…. but of course that won’t happen! They are in kind of a big demand. 🙂
Because we’re such big fans, when this whole controversy about Phil hit the airwaves like a bomb, I wanted to be informed and figure out what was happening. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs, articles, opinions, and Facebook statuses about the issue and have been slowly formulating my own opinion. I want to see if I can word it here, for whatever it’s worth, in a loving, hopefully tactful, calm way, for those who care to read it.
I am not a debater – I do not enjoy it, do not want to participate in it, and reserve the right to delete any comments I do not personally care for. This is my blog, my space for my opinions. I am not here to persuade you or debate with you, just to share with you what I think.
One of the many things Brian and I have been discussing lately is the hierarchy of sin that Christians seem to have come up with over the years. It seems like sins like homosexuality, divorce, and sex before marriage are very high on an imaginary, yet somehow very real, list of sins. We tend to shun those who are caught up in these sins. We say hurtful things, become quite derogatory, and eventually become extremists — you know, the ones who bomb abortion clinics and hold violent protests. We feel so strongly that God hates these sins that we push these people away completely instead of drawing them back in.
But, then there’s the other side. There are some who think, “We can’t be extremists! We’re pushing everyone away from Christianity!” And I would tend to agree. Extremists in any direction kind of miss the mark, wouldn’t you say? So, then, they err on the side of love. Yes, err with love. See, instead of “shunning”, they “love.” Instead of speaking they truth, they “don’t judge.” What God says is sin, they say, “Oh, but they don’t know any better. They’re carnal.” True…. but….
Phil Robertson said what many of us Christians would like to have a public podium to say. He said that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God (among other things – I’m not going to quote him here). True. They won’t. Neither will liers, murderers, disobedient to parents, rebellious, adulterous, promiscuous… the list continues. “Homosexuality” is in the same list as many sins for a reason. Some of those sins we consider “heinous” and some we consider “not so bad.” That’s us – we have created our own hierarchy of sin, remember? To the face of Almighty, Holy, Infinite Creator God all sin is sin. If I lie once to my parents or if I have sex with another woman, it’s all the same to God Almighty. Both of these acts, even if just committed one time and I never did anything else the rest of my life, would earn me eternity in hell.
God does not hate “homosexuals.” He hates homosexual behavior. He created us how we are – man and woman – for a reason. With a distinct purpose. We were created to worship Him, subdue the earth, and multiply. We cannot multiply if we all choose homosexual relationships – it’s impossible. To fulfill mankind’s purpose that was laid out in Genesis, we need a male and a female – just like plants and animals.
We live in a sinful world. A world where Satan has stepped in and wants to destroy everything good that God has ever done. His first target? The home. If he can decimate a home, he has won because everything in life stems from the home. If he can ruin you there, he’s ruined you completely. What’s the best way to decimate a home? Make it the opposite of what God intended it to be. Make it literally nonfunctional. It’s a battle. The book of Romans lays it out so well. Please take a moment to click here and read Romans 2:21-32 in its entirety. When you’re done, come back. I’l wait.
For those of you who don’t want to read the whole passage, let me quote the end out of the New Living:
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
But wait – the best is yet to come! Check out the beginning of Romans 2:
1 You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
The rest of Romans is filled with “But God.” But God… But God… But God…
7:24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
See, to God, sin is sin. Call a spade a spade – it’s SIN. It doesn’t matter what labels society and culture have put on a sin; the fact is, it’s sin. No matter what it is, it keeps us away from God. We all have it within us and but for the grace of God, we could be locked in any number of inescapable pits. BUT GOD stepped through time and eternity and entered His own creation for the sole purpose of pulling us out of this miserable life of sin and suffering by paying the ultimate penalty – God Himself died for His own creation so that our sin can be snatched out of our lives for all eternity and we can go live with Him.
Back to Phil’s statements. What he said, no matter how coarsely or tactlessly worded (because he is, after all, Phil Robertson!) was truth. It hurt. It was harsh. It was culturally inappropriate. It was raw. It offended.
Well, guess what. That’s what truth does. Didn’t Jesus Christ Himself say that He came to divide? To bring a sword? To split up families? That He Himself is an offense? When has it ever been or will it ever be culturally appropriate to speak the truth about or into someone else’s life? No one wants to hear that they’re a sinner! I’m not immune to that and neither are you. It’s sandpaper rubbing on our conscience. We hate it! We are repulsed by it!
That doesn’t make it any less true.
We have gotten so concerned that we don’t become the bomb-blowing, crazy protesting, fanatical Christians that we have erred on the side of, “I’m just not going to say anything about their sin and let God convict. It’s not my job to judge; I’ll just love them for who they are and God will eventually convict them if I pray hard enough for them.”
Love has a place and we are never, ever to judge someone nor are we to shun them out of our lives. I’m certainly not saying that! What I am saying is, if I were about to drive off a cliff and you knew the cliff was around the next bend, I’d sure appreciate you telling me it was coming and save my life instead of letting me believe my GPS was leading me correctly. Even if I got mad and argued that you’re a know-it-all and don’t like my modern equipment and I get offended that you don’t trust my driving skills — at least I knew that you loved me enough to tell me I was headed in the wrong direction.
We have a job to do, brothers and sisters. Our job is not merely to proclaim the Gospel itself, but to remind people that sin is sin, even if it’s culturally inappropriate to say so. Phil Robertson is just the first one in a long time to have the platform and the courage to say it where he did. Did he say it as tactfully as he maybe should have? I don’t know, that’s not for me to judge. That’s not the point, though. The point is – he said what most of us are too afraid to say. It’s sin. God hates all sin and any sin keeps us from Him. Period.
We need to stand with Phil. Do I think he’s being persecuted or his constitutional right to freedom of speech is being taken away? Not really. He still has his money, his fame, and his company. He’s not in jail nor has his platform for speaking been revoked. We will hear from the Robertsons again, I assure you, even if it’s not on A&E. He’s not being persecuted. You want persecution, visit this site, they can tell you what persecution truly is. Their Facebooks (and I’m sure their Twitters, though I don’t follow Twitter) have not been removed, therefore his freedom of speech is still fully in tact, I assure you.
However, we still need to stand with him. We need to stand behind him and say,
“I agree with Phil. No matter what my country and my government may say and no matter what ‘laws’ they may come up with, in front of God Almighty, homosexuality is still sin and unacceptable. You can be freed from it – just like any other sin – but only with the help from God Himself. Because we care about your eternal destiny and how you will answer when you stand before the Great White Throne, we choose to remind you that this is still a sin.”
And but for the grace of God, we’d be there with you. I struggle with my own sins – anger, jealousy, pride, selfishness – the list goes on, trust me. Just because I don’t struggle with homosexuality doesn’t mean I’m any less of a sinner. I have, however, been saved by grace.
I stand with Phil. I choose to say that homosexuality is a sin and no, God doesn’t like it. But, God loves you. He died for you. He cares for you.
Romans 3:22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.