(This is my take on the Phil Robertson ordeal. I know I am a bit late, but one of the members where I preach asked for a way to share my article from last week’s bulletin. So, here it is.)
Phil Robertson spoke the words, but the idea was around long before Phil. You have probably heard by now that the Duck Commander himself, Phil Robertson was recently kicked off his own show by Arts and Entertainment Networks (A&E). The occasion was spurred by an interview that Robertson had with GQ Magazine. In Robertson’s interview he listed homosexuality in a class with a list of other sins such as bestiality. The reaction has been that “Phil Robertson” called homosexuals sinners. The point being ignored is that many years ago Paul left us a similar list in 1 Corinthians 6. Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit stated the following, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10).”
I want to make two observations before getting into the nuts and bolts of this fiasco. First, the Duck Dynasty crew being in partnership with such a liberal group as A&E was probably a mistake in the first place. The second mistake is being involved with Gentleman’s Quarterly. Aside from these things it is curious that comments such as Robertson’s are labeled as hate speech. Consider this, if a person loves his children will he discipline them or allow them to run wild? The answer of course is discipline. Children must be taught right from wrong in order to develop into something descent. It works the same way with Bible teaching. If you love a person, then you are not going to want that person to go to hell. Therefore, if you remain silent you allow the person to continue on untaught in sin. In contrast, if you teach the person the gospel then that person has opportunity to make it to heaven. The late Johnny Ramsey said that he sometimes believed that we want our neighbors to go to hell in a good humor. If we condemn sin we will eventually step on someone’s toes (cf. Rom. 3:23).
Unfortunately, Robertson was a little too brash with his language (you will have to investigate for yourself). Brash language throws open the door for the “hate speech” label. Toe stepping is okay, but there is no sense in stomping. There is no doubt that homosexuality is a sin, but there is a way of going about making that point. We must condemn sin, but let people know we love them just as God does (Rom. 5:8). We must let them know that if they are willing to change, God is willing to forgive (Acts 2:38). Hopefully this fiasco will cause someone to evaluate their lifestyle, and recognize that they are living in violation of the Holy Scriptures. Let us always take Paul’s advice and speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).