Monday, December 23, 2013

Speak For Yourself!

Many people have made many comments regarding the dust-up involving comments by Phil Robertson of Ducky Dynasty fame in an interview with a reporter from GQ magazine. Many of the comments, in my opinion, have correctly framed the issue.

What I haven't seen, is anyone addressing the larger issue: How was Phil Robertson chosen as a cultural spokesman for Christianity and what, if any, is our obligation to defend him?

A&E is a company that is friendly with (if not sympathetic toward) the agenda to "normalize" homosexuality.  They were well aware of the Robertson's religious beliefs when they signed them on for the show "Duck Dynasty". Some might say they did so in SPITE of their beliefs, but I think that maybe they signed them on in some part BECAUSE of their beliefs.  Not because they wanted to reach out to Christian viewers, because there isn't much that A&E can do to increase Christian viewership without backing away from their embracing of the homosexual lifestyle.

I think that the Robertsons' religious views were a selling point for A&E because it reinforced the stereotype those who oppose Christianity want to perpetuate: backwater, uneducated, unsophisticated, anti-science, hicks who lack the intelligence to understand and communicate the nuances of a situation.  How many of the items on that list are applicable to the Robertsons is open to debate, but on the surface they certainly seem to embody that stereotype perfectly.

So many Christians are so starved for representation of their Christian worldview in popular culture that anyone who professes to be a Christian is embraced and defended. I've seen it with President Bush, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Tim Tebow, the Duggars, and the Robertsons, just to name a few. Those people aren't held accountable to the standards set by Scriptures but are defended and "given a pass" because, in the words of the special people of Tod Browning's film "Freaks", "gooble gobble, gooble gobble, one of us! one of us!"

The problem is this: the world is against the cause of Christ. Popular culture does NOT have Christianity's best interests at heart. On the contrary, they will ignore and overlook those acts by Christians that accurately reflect the commands of Scripture and focus on those who claim to be Christians that DON'T abide by God's Word and then point to those people and say, "See! This is why we don't embrace Christianity!" (Which is a complete lie, it is because of their rebellion against Almighty God that is at the root)

So when a Phil Robertson quotes the Bible, even in context, but shares the truth crudely and unkindly, that is bad enough. But to then make comments regarding African-Americans:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

What was the purpose of this comment? Was he attempting to refute claims of historical discrimination? I have searched for any additional quotations that would put this extended quote in a more reasonable context. I could not find any.  As it stands, that quote demonstrates a lack of understanding of the plight of those who Phil Robertson did NOT have interaction with. This implies a "well if I didn't see it then it didn't happen" mindset... which, ironically would undermine his Christian faith because he didn't see Jesus die on the cross.

There are calls by Christians to "Stand with Phil". What exactly do they want me to stand with him on? The quotation from the Bible?  His graphic description of sinful acts that shouldn't even be named among us believers? (Eph 5:3) His comments on historical discrimination?

I didn't choose Phil Robertson to be a spokesman for the Christian worldview. A culture antagonist to the cause of Christ did. I'm not going to be manipulated into endorsing things that would harm the cause of Christ.  There is indeed spiritual warfare at work here. But I do not believe that it is what many believe it is (namely a frontal assault on Biblical truth), but a more devious manipulation to control the definition of Christianity... by choosing spokesmen for us. Speak for yourself and I'll speak for me. How 'bout that?!