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.

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