UPDATE: A&E has lifted their suspension of Phil Robertson – no surprise here. The Robertson’s released this statement to Fox News:
“The family is excited to keep making a quality TV show for our dedicated fans, who have showed us wonderful support. We will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through Duck Dynasty and our many projects that we are currently working on. The outpouring of support and prayer has encouraged and emboldened us greatly.”
Much has been written regarding the fallout and many good points have been made. Most of us are tired of hearing about it however, this debate is way too important to dismiss.
I submit to you the biggest reason these public squabbles rarely get resolved: we now have a clear cultural, moral divide in America and both sides cannot coexist peacefully any longer. There is too much at stake.
Though I agree with Phil Robertson’s views of the Bible and sin, I wish he would have answered the question on homosexuality with more tact in the GQ interview. Regardless, what did we learn?
In one corner of the public battle are those that believe in the Bible as well as America’s founding principles of Christianity; in the other corner are those who not only oppose us, but claim they are offended (threatened) by the presence of practicing Christians. The minority has the loudest voices and the support of Hollywood, the mainstream media, and government. Because of this ungodly alliance, we sometimes think conservatives and people of faith are now outnumbered.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Less than 4 % of the U.S. population is LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender), and in a recent census of American citizens, less than 1% were verifiable same-sex couples. Moreover, about 73% of the media favor same-sex marriage while over 75% of Americans support Christianity.
This lopsided dichotomy was revealed a few years ago during the attempted intimidation of Chick-fil-A after the CEO had the audacity to say he runs his company on Christian values and believes in marriage between one man and one woman. Gay activist groups cried “hate” and after the intense, media-trumpeted backlash (bullying), millions of Americans supported Chick-fil-A by eating at their restaurants and rallying on social media.
You may also remember in 2009, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was asked a question about legalizing same-sex marriage during the Miss USA competition. One of the judges, homosexual activist, Perez Hilton, viciously attacked Prejean and later admitted she would have won the Miss USA crown had she not answered the question in support of traditional marriage. What an interesting twist to ‘judge ye not.’
In the Duck Dynasty controversy, we again witnessed the political and public pressure by homosexual activists from GLAAD (Gay and Lesbians Alliance Against Defamation) and the Human Rights Campaign to not only force suspension of family patriarch Phil Robertson, but also insist he undergo sensitivity training and tolerance education.
Often ignored when discussing Robertson’s interview is the fact he also referred to many other sins even heterosexuals commit (1 Cor. 6:9-10). We all sin and fall short of God’s glory, and every one of us needs forgiveness. To Robertson, sin is sin no matter who you are, but opportunistic activists cried fowl.
The LGBT community claims it’s all about love and equality, but if you don’t agree with or approve of their lifestyle, they often resort to hateful attacks and refuse to permit speech that opposes homosexuality. This is totalitarian intolerance.
If we love someone, we’ll tell them the truth. If we believe Jesus is the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12) and we fail to warn others, we don’t really care about them. The way Christians demonstrate their love for non-believers is by addressing sin so they can repent and receive the grace God offers which leads to everlasting life (Ephesians 2:8).
One major issue at stake here is the First Amendment: Do all Americans, including Christian conservatives, still have legal speech protections or not? I purposely mention “conservatives” because there are far too many liberal Christians as well as those who profess Christianity and fail to accept the Bible’s authority or strive to live in obedience to its precepts. Some of these folks don’t think we should speak openly about our faith or quote certain Scriptures. Thanks to the emergent church, Christianity has been watered-down.
The foundational issue is whether or not the Bible is a divine source of inspiration and truly God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16). Are there moral absolutes or not? God’s truth never changes and cannot be altered or adapted to a compromising culture.
The reason sin has become such an explosive topic is many Christian and religious leaders don’t teach or preach the undiluted gospel – the whole counsel of God – as much as they used to and therefore, many Christians don’t talk about sin; especially homosexuality.
How selfish of us who believe the Bible if we don’t share with non-Christians the only good news that can save them! Ironically, sin is the reason God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be sacrificed for us. He was brutally tortured and crucified and we don’t talk about WHY He had to die? Sin separates all mankind from a holy God.
Did you know originally, A&E’s plan for Duck Dynasty was for viewers to laugh and mock a family of ‘backwards’ Christian rednecks? Instead the show became the most popular cable program in history averaging 14.6 million viewers. The very plan that backfired ended up making them millions. A&E knew what they were getting with the Robertson’s.
Sadly today in culture, evil is considered good and good is considered evil (Isaiah 5:20), and activists will no longer tolerate those who say their behavior is sinful. Some believe we’ve reached a tipping point.
As for the media in America, they freely give liberals a platform, but rarely report the whole story. For example, are they not being hypocritical by refusing to mention the intolerance of Islam toward both gays and Christians? Muslims hang homosexuals. They also burn Christians, and destroy their churches & villages; and gay activists are bent out of shape when someone warns them about their sinful behavior?
We cannot remain neutral any longer. The lines have been drawn in the sand. This present darkness is not about Duck Dynasty, A&E, the Robertsons or Hollywood. It’s not even political, it is spiritual and the battle has just intensified. Take up your positions or hide under a table.
Author Michael Brown suggests:
“Those of us who agree fundamentally with Robertson make clear that: 1) We are unashamed of our belief in Jesus and in biblical morality. 2) We stand against the mistreatment of all people, including gays and lesbians. 3) We will not support the radical redefinition of marriage, regardless of the cost involved, nor do we see cultural capitulation to gay activism as inevitable.”
This never would have been a debate 50 years ago, so what changed? God, or America? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We’ve reached the point where activists are forcing conformity and calling it tolerance. I believe this is good for a comfortable Christian church.
Know this: God is at work orchestrating events and warning us to understand the times.
The problem has been diagnosed. The moral decline in America is evidence we cannot rely on church leaders because people are obviously not getting the message. If Christians fail to speak about the Bible, Jesus Christ, and the issue of sin; our society will only grow worse, the battle more intense, and the hostility more volatile.
One thing is certain: silence never saved anybody.
David Fiorazo is the author of ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA