Friday, July 17, 2020

"They" Just Don't Get "US"

Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty star and southern evangelical Christian, made these comments (below) in an interview with GQ magazine. They set off a firestorm of controversy and passionate support from fans when Phil was suspended by A&E for upcoming seasons of the widely popular show.

These comments where used at the article's intro, no doubt because of their obvious crudeness and therefore selling power:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

Phil on his perscription for what ails our world:

“If the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

Phil on the state of morality in our society:

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong... Sin becomes fine.” What is sinful? "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “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.”

Phil on judgement:

"We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Phil on the role of Jesus in world peace:

"All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

At this point in the interview GQ's Jeff Riedel interjected his personal astonishment at what he sees as glaring inconsistencies in Phil's religious world view, but Riedel's astonishment only reveals his own ignorance of Christian precept.

Christians believe that upon two great commandments hang all the laws and commandments of God and their order is essential. The first and greatest commandment is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” (Mark 12:30; see also Matt. 22:37) Devout Christians who study the scriptures believe Christ when He instructs us on how to "love God", Christ says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15) Therefore obedience to the commandments of sexual purity, among others, are essential to abiding the first and greatest commandment, to love The Lord thy God.

In order to inculcate obedience to these commandments in the next generation, Christians must exercise righteous judgement related to immorality. For upon this obedience hangs all of our faith and belief. It seems Reidel would have Christians abandon obedience and love of God in order to show "greater love" to their fellow men. Reidel believes that Phil is inconsistent in ascribing to biblical judgments about sinful acts while at the same time speaking of the second great commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Mark 12:31) He misses the fact that Christians encourage obedience to God because of their confidence that the world would be a far better place, and men and women far happier, if we all loved God more and were more obedient to his laws. Therefore Christians do not believe it is consistent with "showing love" to ignore sinful behavior which they believe will certainly lead to misery. Rather, Love of God and obedience to his laws will lead to greater individual happiness and greater love between all of God's children.

Of course secularists, like Riedel, are delighted when a Christian refers to their favorite Bible verse, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." (Matthew 7:1) This one phrase has become a universal excuse for sin without judgement or consequence. It is also used effectivly in silencing a majority of Christians on social political issues. Christ's admonishment that we "judge not" has been cherry picked out of scriptural context. In the very passage Christ clarifies that "with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Which denotes an understanding that we are accountable to the laws of God that we hold as a standard for all.

Riedel would see fewer inconsistencies if he were to take more time to understand the doctrines. Love of our fellow men does not require that a Christian abandon the first and greatest commandment to love God and abide his law. And Phil's comments though crass at points and perhaps lacking the sensitive tact our PC world demands, reflect the night and day clarity of moral law laid out in the Bible and a determination to live a life true to those first two commandments, upon which hangs the whole of the Christian faith.

Full Interview at GQ:

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