From Duck Dynasty to Deliverance

Most you you know about Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, the comments he made in GQ magazine about homosexuality, and the decision of A&E to suspend him from taping the show.  The controversy obviously reflects the growing divide in our culture between secularists and those who take the Bible seriously. As one who takes the Bible seriously, I have a growing concern beyond whether or not Duck Dynasty remains on A&E or not.

Here is the concern:  Is Phil Robertson going to represent Biblical Christianity to our culture?  Do the sarcastic put-downs and institutionalized adolescence of Duck Dynasty represent well Christ’s love and character? If our culture comes to identify and stereotype conservative, Biblical Christianity with Duck Dynasty, is that how God is going to advance the gospel?  Heck, maybe it is.  God is way smarter than me.   He uses the foolish things to confound the wise. God bless Phil Robertson, and God bless his ability to speak his mind.  The simple wisdom that is often reflected in his life and words does speak to this culture powerfully.

But obviously, there is more to following Jesus.  But why doesn’t our culture see it more often?  Why doesn’t our culture get to see the transforming, loving, healing power of Jesus that radically changes circumstances and lives?

Why did A&E choose to broadcast Duck Dynasty?  Because the Robertson family is somewhat exciting.  They take risks and say plainly what most of us keep to ourselves.  They take otherwise non-interesting events (like sitting around a warehouse not working) and make them interesting and funny.  And it satisfies our suburban voyeuristic desire to see how people like the Robertsons live.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I walk around with the creator of the universe living inside me!  I have the love of the Father flowing through me and the power of His Spirit pouring out of my heart!  Shouldn’t that be more exciting than a group of bearded men sitting around a warehouse acting like adolescents? But sadly, so often it’s not.

One reason that us Christians are pretty boring today (so therefore our culture’s attention is grabbed by sensationalized adolescent representations of Jesus) is we have abandoned the ministry of Jesus.  Jesus wasn’t boring.  People fought through crowds, tore holes through roofs and tried to walk on water to get to him.  When Jesus sent out his disciples, he gave them authority to cast out demons and heal the sick (Luke 9:1).  Yet what percentage of American Christians have ever done either of these things?  If, when we went out in public, we looked for opportunities to do these things, would we be needing Phil Robertson to represent us to the culture?  Even if we just prayed for people out in public regularly, wouldn’t our culture have a different view of the church?

In Acts 4, the Jewish religious leaders had a political problem when they wanted to punish the disciples.  Why? “Since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.”  As our culture turns against Bible-believing Christians, may the same be said of us.

Advertisements

Overreaction

“Whenever you experience a response on your part that is way out of proportion to the stimulus, then look out.  You have probably tapped into some deeply hidden emotional hurt.”

David Seamands, quoted in Two Hours to Freedom by Charles Kraft, p. 70

I have worked with some who came for help because of precisely such an event.  A blow up, sometimes that the person doesn’t even remember, and they are left somewhat in denial, but part of them knows something is wrong.  And with much courage, they ask for help.  And invariably (at least so far), there are significant emotional wounds and demonic attachments from which Jesus wants to heal and deliver them.  Watching Jesus at work defeating the enemy in someone’s life, right before my eyes, is one of the greatest thrills in life.  And taking courage from them, cooperating with Jesus to bring healing to my own issues, is one of the greatest challenges.  Helping people get greater levels of healing and freedom, and then turning around and admitting that you need it also, is humbling.  Thanks be to God, who does even more than we can even imagine!

Strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:3-6:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

From the study notes of The New Spirit-Filled Life Bible:

Strongholds are first established in the mind; that is why we are to take every thought captive.  Behind a stronghold is also a lie—a place of personal bondage where God’s word has been subjugated to any unscriptural idea or personally confused belief that is held to be true.  Behind every lie is a fear, and behind every fear is an idol.  Idols are established where there exists a failure to trust in the provisions of God that are ours through Jesus Christ…

Here is an example:  If we make an idol of financial security, we have fears over not having enough money, and we believe the lie that we must abandon other priorities to earn as much as possible.

Or, if we make an idol of our spouse (believing they will meet our most significant needs), then we are afraid of being unhappy when they can’t/don’t meet our needs, so we believe lies like we have to manipulate them to get them to behave like we want them to.  Or we believe the lie that if they aren’t “making us happy” that we can never be happy, and believe that we face a choice of only divorce or unhappiness (as opposed to finding our joy in the Lord and his provision for us).

One of the greatest joys of doing deliverance ministry is forcing demons to tell their hosts what lies they have been feeding them over the years.  Watching the realization in the eyes of those being ministered to that they are not worthless, or it wasn’t their fault—that the tape recordings that have been playing in their minds all that time were lies of the enemy—is priceless.  To watch them get freedom and know they are loved by God is one of the greatest treasures in this life.  Thank you Jesus.

%d bloggers like this: