It was inevitable.
Several years ago, before anyone knew who “Uncle Si” was, I met Phil Robertson and heard him speak at an outdoor men’s ministry venue in North Carolina. Although I disagree with several of his doctrinal beliefs (he does not believe children are born sinners, for example, but only become so once they willfully disobey God), what was clear to me was that this Christian man speaks his mind. He was raw back then and unashamed of God’s Word. He has not changed.
So, when the plain-speaking Phil and his family became mega-stars, I knew the day would come when an interviewer would ask Phil straight-forward questions and would receive straight-forward, biblically-based answers. And then the real war would begin, or more accurately, the real war that has been raging for several thousand years would reveal itself in clear battle lines. One did not have to have the gift of prophecy to see it on the horizon!
Maybe like me, you are not surprised. Why should it be surprising to anyone that a Christian believes the Bible? The fact that so many in the lost world, be it our neighbors or the media, actually are shocked when Phil or one of us says that we believe the Bible and bend our lives to it only shows how pathetic most who claim the Name of Jesus have become in America. There are so many “non-Bible believing believers” filling so-called churches today that our witness to the world is anemic. How sad is it when tons of people in America really do think Christians are OK with homosexual behavior? How pitiful is it that many in our culture think followers of Christ are OK with the work-discouraging “hand-out” welfare-nanny state that is now America?
These are the very comments that got Phil fired from his hit show. Personally, I am hoping for the Robertson clan to stage a “walk-out” on A&E Network in a show of solidarity with their patriarch. And if they never get their show back, “big whoop.” Who cares? Will Jesus condemn them for not smoothing things over by softening their stance on sexual sins? No! On the Great Judgment Day the King of kings will be the One and Only Mega-Star! Every knee, including the knees of Lady Gaga and Phil Robertson will bow to King Jesus on that day. And the only words and viewpoint that will matter on that day will be His!
Can Bible-believing Christians really even expect to be beloved mega-stars in America today? Gone are the days of Roy Rogers. The culture’s elite now hate Phil Robertson because he condemned a sinful lifestyle that they love and think should be promoted. The reaction of hate, however, is just as bad when a mother I know refuses to tell Santa lies to her kids this time of year. Her lost family members act like she has just done the worst thing in the world by telling her children the truth instead of trying to prop up poor Jesus and His birth with big fat Satan lies!
Why do people hate it when someone gives up her life and rights to live by the words of God in Christ? Why was Phil so beloved right up to the point he expressed his allegiance to not sugar-coat God’s view of sin?
Well, this is what surprises me most – that we Christians are surprised when people hate one of us. We’ve had it good in America for a long time, but we had better wake up and realize the Supreme Court and our lost culture cares not for our Constitution or our Bibles. They are driven by intense hatred that overrides even the American form of government and our long-cherished rights / freedoms. If given the option to keep the 1st Amendment even if it means Phil Robertson can go on TV and say homosexuality is a sin, or to ditch the whole Constitution in order to force everyone to stop all this “sin talk,” it is clear which will be chosen. Our children will not enjoy these freedoms. They are as good as gone and our kids will need to have spiritual spine that far outstrips our own. What will my daughters receive for following Jesus whatever the cost? God only knows, and only He can sustain their faith in the midst of a culture that has an ever-growing hatred for all things Christian.
But why are we surprised by all of this? Why the shock and mass petitions now being signed by Christians? Why are we dumb-founded that one of our “stars” which we perhaps wrongly placed on a pedestal reserved only for Jesus is now being castigated for following the words of Jesus? Why? Have we so quickly forgotten we follow a Savior who was nailed to a cross? Do we now think if Jesus came in our day the American culture would do any less to Him?
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (Jesus recorded in John 15:18-19).
Here’s hoping Brother Phil and his family will relish the love of Christ over the love of the world. Here’s hoping the same for us. And here’s hoping the grace of God in Jesus will grip a sinner’s heart, maybe a sinner enslaved in sexual perversion, through the bold witness of Phil, and that sinner will see the great hope of being set free from sins by the very Jesus Phil follows and the world hates. May God’s truth set sinners free for His glory!