Why I’m over it and so should you

I should begin this post by saying I have never once watched an episode of Duck Dynasty nor do I intend to. Yes, I know what the show is about and know I do not need to prove it to you, and yes, I am still a Christ follower (just kidding, though for some of you I not kidding at all).  The news of Phil Robertson’s comments came across my screen and left just as quickly as it appeared but I did understand what was coming next and I just braced myself.  It is in these moments that I dread social media and its ability to give everyone a public voice (but this is a post for another day).  After some of the Facebook posts I saw over the last few days, I have decided to say my 2 cents and then let the debate rage.

I wish [Christians]would care this much about poverty & abuse & slavery & caring for the marginalized and oppressed then the kingdom of God would be so much better reflected in this dark crazy world.

I am completely for anyone’s Constitutional right to free speech, people can say what they want to say and believe what they want.  What makes me sad is that these moments represent Christians to the world.  The internet is powerful, Social Media is powerful because it is distilled.  The things we say and do reflect what we truly believe and from the looks of things we care more about:

  • Guns
  • Duck Dynasty
  • Gay Marriage
  • Conservative/ Republican/Libertarian “values”
  • the Constitution
  • the United States and so much more

Even though we make very concerted efforts at connecting these things to the Kingdom of God, though they can not be connected.  I have met so many amazing people who live out their faith in such beautiful, humble, and brave ways.  They are opening the doors to the kingdom of heaven for people instead of wasting time defending positions for millionaires who can take care of themselves or TV stations shooting themselves in the foot.  They are outraged about things that Jesus is orphans, poverty, oppression, slavery, abuse, advance of His Kingdom and His Gospel, people dying and going to a real hell and the question is are willing to do something about these real issues.  So many people commenting, writing letters, starting petitions, but can not articulate the last time they shared there faith.  You might be fighting for the wrong kingdom.  The amazing people I mentioned, they reflect the incarnation of Christ and that’s what we’re supposed to be celebrating this season.

This is the Advent season that affords us the reality that Christ came for us and in that truth we are supposed to be turning the world upside down, our lives are supposed to be centered around.  It is for this reason [and others] I am over this “debate” and so should you too.

Let me know what you think by liking the post, commenting below, and/or sharing it and thinks for listening.

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About Jon Nelson

I am just a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody [Christ Jesus]!

Posted on December 24, 2013, in ...from Jon, Christian cliche, Life, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I think I share your perspective on this, but I also think this entire fiasco has been a good thing for spreading the gospel. It has exposed the philosophical hypocrisy of our cultural elites in a way that wouldn’t have been easily accomplished before.

    I think the average unchurched person can see, for perhaps the first time, that Christians are discriminated against and are shamed for their religious beliefs. The rules of respect and tolerance that apply to other world religions are cast away when a Christian is involved. It is a powerful ah ha moment for those that normally sit on the sidelines. When you look at what Phil actually said, he was pretty respectful of people, but called out sin.

    While I agree with you that the Robertsons need no defending and that our energy is better spent elsewhere, I can’t help but voice support for them because I believe God has placed them in this position for such a time as this. Yes, they are wealthy and will continue to be no matter what happens. I like to think their wealth is a blessing from God for their service to His kingdom. Like it or not, they are perhaps the only “real” example of what Christianity looks like to millions of people. Despite their redneck ways, people can relate to them because they are “normal” and not some perfect guy in a suit talking down to them on TV. Their faith is simple and concrete.

    For better or for worse, I also believe they serve as an example of what a functional family is supposed to look like. So many people I know have no idea what it is like to have a family patriarch. They don’t even understand the concept. The concept of the family in general has eroded to the point of cultural destruction.

    My point in all of this is that we may not have chosen the Robertsons to represent us to the world, but I believe God has done so in a big way. How can I argue against that?

    • Jason,
      Thanks for the comment. I think you and I agree on the basics which is great! It’s just the way we choose to engage this debate that we disagree on, thus the reason I wrote this post.
      I think as long as we are worried about the “philosophical hypocrisy [of the] cultural elites” we are missing the point. In that moment we are more focused on winning the [cultural] argument than spending our energy on what Christ asked us to. I have personally been in those shoes, winning my argument but not the person, in the end we just lose ground,
      Furthermore, Christians have always thrived in persecution so what are we so scared of? I would submit that once again we are fighting for the wrong kingdom.
      While the Robertson family in some sense are propagating the Message, mostly to a subculture and not the majority of the US, the Gospel itself in the US is not thriving but dying.
      Recently, my denomination realized this and began a strategy that they have called Send North America (http://www.namb.net/cities/) in which they identified 32 metroplexes in North America that are desperately unreached. Check out the link, some of them might surprise you. They realized the importance of spending energy on actively spreading the Gospel.
      Additionally, I do not disagree with what Phil said but I do not want to spend more time than necessary quarreling across social media in order to win an arguement. Christ never said in His high priestly prayer for us to win the argument and thus bring people to the Kingdom, He asked the Father to make us “one” (Jn 17:21), unified, together.
      In the end we are not losing he culture because we are being discriminated against, the Robertson’s can’t speak their mind, the Bible’s not in public schools, or people say “Happy Holidays” instead of Christmas. We are losing because we are not unified in the Gospel like the Father is with the Son. Until we do that, we will continue to lose valuable ground, time, and [eternal] lives.

      • I think I agree with you more than you realize. I’m not necessarily concerned with winning the culture war, although there are some battles within it related to our children that I think are worth fighting. I do think it is advantageous to capitalize on rare opportunities within the war to spread the Gospel. I think this is one such opportunity. How convenient that the I am second testimony is available for all the world to find as they work themselves into a frenzy over this unremarkable event. I am excited that there may be thousands and I pray even millions that come to a personal relationship with Christ through their testimony. I am probably being overly optimistic, but what an incredible opportunity to share the Gospel!

        My perspective on this is broader and I think yours is much more personal. Your perspective strikes more to the heart of the problem of why we are in this situation to begin with. Only hours after news of this broke out, I got an invite to a Facebook group to support Phil Robertson. Will putting our energy into Facebook groups do anything to advance the kingdom? Of course not. I agree with what you’re saying in this regard. If every Christian poured that same energy into caring for the poor or personally witnessing to others, we wouldn’t have to attach ourselves to media figures such as Phil Robertson to take up our cause for us. The world would already know what it means to be a Christian and they would see our good works more than they see our hypocrisy. The Gospel would not be dying in large metropolitan areas because it would have an army of personal ambassadors. In your words, we are not unified in the Gospel.

  2. Jon! Thank you so much for this post! I totally agree. I even go farther and say that supporting Phil’s comments here (not talking about the show in general; that’s a blog post in itself) is not being a good witness. Phil’s comments were crude, and they actually mocked gay men. His comments were not taking a stand for Scripture– they were a “good ol boy”‘s joke about people whom he doesn’t understand. These words completely undermine his later claims about loving everyone regardless of their sexual orientation. Besides those comments, he also made ridiculous comments about segregation in the South and other topics. In my opinion, supporting these comments is actually working against having a Christian witness. There are ways to talk about these issues respectfully, and I don’t think that Phil contributed to that discussion. I don’t think that Christians who are rallying around Phil are just not being effective; I think they’re actually harming the cause.
    I also think that there are many WAY more important issues for Christians to rally around! So thank you very much for this post. I really enjoy reading your blogs! 🙂

  3. Dear Bro. Jon,
    As you know, the Christian Bible speaks seriously about sexuality, marriage, the sanctity of human life, and other issues now sadly no longer politically correct to even discuss lovingly. Likewise, many powerful autobiographical writings demonstrating the power of God to effect life transformation written by people like Joe Dallas are now off-limits. Civil rights for all must now include moral approval for all. It is no longer satisfactory to say ‘I love you’ and mean it. Now we must say ‘I love you and approve of every behavior in your life.’ But the Gospel says we ALL fail to meet God’s moral standards and desperately need Jesus.
    If the Bible can no longer be shared or trusted with regard to some moral issues, how long until it can no longer be shared or trusted with regard to any moral issues? If we can no longer discuss what the Bible calls sin, how effective will our Gospel be? Who needs a personal relationship with Jesus if we are all morally OK? The Bible declares itself to be the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). It warns us not to add to it or take away from it (Dt. 4:2; Pr. 30:6; Rev 22:18-19).
    I wonder if God is over this issue? Does He have a side He favors? Does He care which issues I am concerned about? Does He expect me to favor what His Word says on every moral issue … regardless of the details? I wonder?
    Bro. Tim

    • Tim,
      Thanks for the comment. As I told Jason who commented earlier I think you and I agree on the basics which is great! It’s just the way we choose to engage this debate that we disagree on, thus the reason I wrote this post.
      Unfortunately, the idea that we are forced to do something that rails against the Gospel proclaimed in God’s Word is one that is propagated in the Christian subculture of the West but it does not match the reality of those in closed [to Christians] societies of the East. We some reason we have decided to decided to buy this lie from our enemy and let it stop us while our persecuted brothers and sisters deal with real problems. Furthermore, we Christians have always thrived in persecution so what are we so scared of? I would submit that once again we are fighting for the wrong kingdom.

    • “…[H]ow long until [the Bible] can no longer be shared or trusted with regard to any moral issues? ” I think really soon! The world is not a friend of God but one that seeks its own glory. It doesn’t surprise me (nor should it surprise you) that the Bible is seen as antiquated and silly, but this has NEVER stopped us before but seems to be pausing the American church now.
    • “If we can no longer discuss what the Bible calls sin, how effective will our Gospel be?” Extremely because my God is sovereign and Holy. His Gospel has, and always will be, effective and efficacious in the end.
    • Additionally, I agree with you (in implication) that we are to favor His word and side with Him morally, but the way that you and I would choose our surrounding culture, depending on where you are. In other words I do not expect our non believer culture to adhere to God’s standards and follow them because of there intrinsic hate for Him. As i said in my post,”

      [We are] wasting time defending positions for millionaires who can take care of themselves or TV stations shooting themselves in the foot. [we should be] outraged about things that Jesus is orphans, poverty, oppression, slavery, abuse, advance of His Kingdom and His Gospel, people dying and going to a real hell and the question is are willing to do something about these real issues. So many people commenting, writing letters, starting petitions, but can not articulate the last time they shared there faith.

      Again this my opinion on the subject and you are welcome to yours, thus the reason for this forum.
      Soli Deo Gloria

  • Bro. Jon, I love you, man. Please do not take my comments personally. And thanks for the additional comment. I think I understand your position a bit more clearly now but perhaps not fully. The Lord calls each believer to their own unique role as a member of His church. I cannot fix everything but the Lord can use me in a Christ-like manner somewhere to make life a bit better for someone. But since all of the moral issues contained within Scripture are non-negotiable (God does not compromise His moral values or change His character) … I hope all believers everywhere will be grieved in their hearts and quick to pray with fervent prayer every time they see or hear any of God’s moral values mocked, belittled or attacked by our culture. For example, if God’s moral values with regard to sexuality or the sanctity of life for the unborn, aged and disabled are easily ignored because of who, what, where, when … then God’s moral values with regard to poverty, slavery, oppression and abuse can just as easily be mocked, ignored or belittled, if not now, later. The portion of your position that I am having the most difficulty ‘getting past’ is when you say that you are ‘over it and so should I’. Whether a person is wealthy and maybe not so gentle in their conversation about a sensitive moral issue does not seem like good reason for me to ‘move on’ so quickly. If God judges nations and raises and takes down rulers, I feel the serious need to pray for and ask God to forgive our nation and our leaders every time a moral law is being openly desecrated by what appears to be an increasing majority … regardless of the financial status or personalities on stage. Jon I love you in the Lord … but I am just concerned about your advise for us all to ‘move on’ to other or more important issues. Our nation needs God’s blessing and protective hand. I say we give every moral issue the same fervent prayer and concern. God may call you to focus on different issues than He calls me to focus on. But while I cannot find in Scripture where Jesus made light of poverty … I cannot find where He made light of sexual sin either. In fact He said that if I look on a woman to lust after her I have committed adultery in my heart. That makes the widespread practice of lust another major issue in our culture for me to be praying about. The issue Mr. Robertson spoke about is truly a hot-button, sensitive subject. And I must … with love and respect for every person … because we are all made in God’s image … I must linger on this issue and pray for our nation because I am concerned that the moral direction appears to be away from God’s values and that cannot be good. Civil rights for all … yes … but moral approval for all … no … not even for myself, when I lust after a woman in my heart. Moral laws come from a higher pay-grade … God … and He has spoken in His Word … and signed His name is red … the precious red blood of His Son Jesus … and authenticated that signature by raising Christ from the dead. I cannot change God’s morals no matter how much I love the person involved. If I ‘move on’ have I not surrendered to the way the nation is going? Must I not at the least pray my heart out? I do not feel God gives me the freedom to value poverty above sexual or sanctity of life issues. They are all extremely important in God’s Word. I’m sorry but I just cannot ‘move on.’ I must pray with a broken heart as our nation moves even further from God … and plead with the Lord to be merciful and bring revival. Jon, I love you, brother. If I have spoken poorly, please forgive me. Thanks for the opportunity to comment. No need to respond. Trusting in Him, bro. tim

    • Tim,
      As I sat here reviewing your comments I realized that there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what I am trying to communicate. Given your comments you seem to think that I stand in opposition to the sexual sin that was sparked this controversy. The absolute opposite is true (I would site multiple posts on this site), my issue is not the homosexual marriage subject but the faux controversy surrounding a multi-millionaire and a TV network. This is only a controversy because we have made it one and not because it’s a true one. As Christians, instead of engaging the culture we jump onto a controversy that we should have been engaged in for years. Additionally, simple messages through social media communicate so much to the outside world. Our post on Facebook and Twitter, etc. are interpreted through a lens that ultimately communicate hate and not the love of our God. We must use more wisdom in how and when we do engage those who stand opposed to Christ and His message. In the end, I am so glad to read that you feel led to pray for our nation’s forgiveness, and I pray that each Christian realizes this need and joins you on our knees. Please do not ever stop in that endeavor.
      Soli Deo Gloria

      • Dear Bro. Jon, thank you so much for clarifying further. I am tracking with you now. : ) I will continue to pray, and may the Lord continue to bless you, your family and your ministry. God bless you brother. bro tim

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