A&E has suspended Phil Robertson from the reality series Duck Dynasty, and the Internet is blowing up. It has nothing to do with anything said or done on the show, but remarks he made in an interview with GQ magazine. Here is part of what Phil said:
“Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
The Chicago Tribune, reprinting a wire story from the LA Times, said that despite the Robertson family claiming to be Christian Phil’s lies “fly in the face of what true Christians believe.” What we have here is a case of someone that has not read the Bible telling us what Christians are supposed to believe. Compare Phil’s statement above with 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Paul goes on to say that the Corinthians themselves practiced many of these but have now been sanctified and justified by the Lord Jesus Christ. He is after all preaching the Gospel. The Bible is clear: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Jesus loved us while we were still sinners, and took on himself the due penalty of our transgressions. We are commanded to have the same mind in us that Christ had. We are to think of others more highly than ourselves. It is not a message of hate. Consider Jesus asking God to forgive the very people that were nailing him to the cross. He came to seek and to save, and carrying that “good news” to every corner of the world is our great commission. That is what true Christians believe.
Of course we must keep everything in perspective. GQ, Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazine, was in the Louisiana bayou interviewing a bearded man wearing camo. They sought out an outspoken conservative Christian, who built an empire on duck calls and hunting, and were offended by his conservative views on our culture. As much as I respect the Robertson family, I have a long standing policy against all reality programming. I watched the first two seasons but tired of the show because each episode is just more of the same. And this business currently making the circle on the interwebs? It’s all part of the circus of unreality television. Social media is taking about it, and there is an old saying about no such thing as bad publicity.
I posted the above quotes to Facebook before writing this, and one of the commentators mentioned a war between Christians and the world. We are fighting a war, but the enemy is not the world. The enemy is Satan; the people of the world are the mission field, not the battlefield. Our greatest commission is to preach the Gospel.
I just signed a petition on change.org called: “A&E Network: Bring Phil Robertson back!”
Steve Deace wrote this opinion column for USA Today, which I’m a little surprised they published: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/12/19/duck-dynasty-bible-religion-palin-robertson-column/4124181/