I like Duck Dynasty. We watch Duck Dynasty together as a family often....but not for reasons that people would think.
I allow my kids to watch Duck Dynasty because it's probably one of the "safest" television shows on TV today. We typically do not watch it straight from satellite or cable because I seriously can't handle the bombardment of garbage inappropriate commercials. So we wait until the show is up on Amazon Prime and watch episodes without commercials.
We watch Duck Dynasty because its a safe, funny wholesome show. We don't watch it because the people on the show are Christian. As a matter of fact, sometimes I end up having to use some of what we see on the show to teach "what not to do if you are Christian" to my own children. Not a lot...but sometimes.
Apparently, Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family, was recently put on indefinite hiatus for some inappropriate comments he made in a GQ magazine interview towards homosexuality. There will be no link to the GQ interview comments here because I felt they were crude. I have also noticed that really good reputable Christian online supporters are not posting the crude remarks either yet are focusing on Phil's comments that line up with the "persecution angle" that Christians are being penalized for saying things against homosexuality. Fact of the matter is....Phil Robertson said ALOT.....probably more than he should have. Some of it had to do with being against homosexuality.....some of it was just crude and disgusting.
Don't get me wrong.....I think its wrong to not be able to speak against homosexuality WHEN ASKED!!
BUT.....I also think we...as Christians...need to be careful with our words. It has nothing to do with "free speech" or "speaking our minds". It goes deeper than that.
I read the GQ interview comments....ALL of them...not just the "safe" ones that the Christian machine is using....and I felt they were inappropriate too....and here's why:
1) Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (ESV)
2) Mathew 15:11 " it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” (ESV)
This morning, my Facebook feed is filled with post after post of fellow Christians supporting Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson...claiming free speech, Christian persecution, intolerance, etc etc.
The ONE post that I agreed with was written by Albert Mohler. He also expressed his concern for the state of our country towards Christians and Christianity as a whole, but he also said some other things that I agree with....100%
Here is what he wrote:
Phil Robertson would have served the cause of Christ more faithfully if some of those comments had not rushed out. This is not because what he said was wrong; he was making the argument that homosexual acts are against nature. The Apostle Paul makes the very same argument in Romans 1:26. The problem is the graphic nature of Robertson’s language and the context of his statements.
The Apostle Paul made the same arguments, but worshipers in the congregations of Rome and Corinth did not have to put hands over the ears of their children when Paul’s letter was read to their church.
The entire Duck Dynasty enterprise is a giant publicity operation, and a very lucrative enterprise at that. Entertainment and marketing machines run on publicity, and the Robertsons have used that publicity to offer winsome witness to their Christian faith. But GQ magazine? Seriously?
Not all publicity is good publicity, and Christians had better think long and hard about the publicity we seek or allow by our cooperation.
Basically, what Phil Robertson lacked was discernment. The Bible has a lot to say about having discernment and how, as followers of Christ, with the help and conviction of the Holy Spirit, we should be growing in discernment as our faith matures (a.k.a - sanctification). I didn't see that in the GQ interview comments. I often don't see that on the show with the other personalities when dealing with each other and/or the parents dealing with the older children.
I know, I know...the show is seriously edited and the possible positive encouraging Biblical behavior and conversation that occurs between the people on the show is probably ending up on the editing floor.
With that said.....here is my rhetorical question.
As long as they include Jesus in prayer at the end of the show, does that make them Christian?
Or....as long as WE put Jesus at the end of OUR day does that make US Christian?
Or....as long as we go to church every Sunday does that make us Christian?
Or...as long as we read our Bibles regularly, does that make us Christian?
Or....if one of our family members is a pastor, does that..by default...make us Christian?
Ok..that was more than one question...but the premise is the same throughout all the questions posed.
What makes us Christian? Can we live, dress, talk, eat, drink anyway we want every day of the week...but then put all those things away on Sunday morning so we can present ourselves as shiny Christian pennies at church?
At what point does "freedom in Christ" take things too far and it begins to jeopardize our witness in Christ?
I am very well aware that there is a flip side to this issue.
I am very well aware that we might very well be doing the right things, saying the right things, dressing the right way... showing all the outward signs of being a Christian yet our hearts are filled with pride and self righteousness.....Yes...i know that side too....its called morality...and being an upright moral person does not make you right with God either. I am not advocating that Christians need to become more moral in order to be a "good "Christian".
My hope is that we don't jump on the Christian bandwagon and promote crude behavior or crude talk just because the people involved are "fellow Christians". We need to look at all the details of a situation before we start supporting or boycotting or what ever else we can come up with to show Christian camaraderie.
I also wanted to share the article written by Albert Mohler because it was good "food for thought" for me.
It helped me see that we....all Christians....need to have discernment.
We are representing the King of Kings...are we not? That is not something we should be taking lightly....or self righteously.
P.S. Here is another good article from the Gospel Coalition on the Duck Dynasty "persecution" that posted after I published this post. It's also good "food for thought".