Friday

Truth, Love, and Duck Dynasty




All this attention on Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty has got me thinking.  For those who are unaware, Phil is a Christian backwoods kind-of-guy whose life was a mess until he “got saved” and who eventually landed a reality show that became wildly popular due to its raw honesty and morals, recently did an interview with GQ magazine in which he was very candid about his beliefs and experiences and what the Bible says about sin (as well as love), and offended gay rights groups which likely put pressure on A&E, and resulted in his suspension from the show.

As I’ve been discussing things with my husband, I’ve been struck especially by how the message of Christian beliefs gets stuck at the point of naming sin.  It’s not necessarily what is coming out of Christian’s mouths (although, sadly, it is sometimes the case), but it’s what gets through.  The rest of the story, which Phil talked about openly in his interview, gets missed.

For, although the Bible tells us that sins like greed, stealing, abusiveness, adultery, and practicing homosexuality will keep us from God and end in death ultimately (1Cor. 6:10), there’s more to the story.  That’s not the way it has to end.  In fact, the next sentence in this letter to the church people in Corinth, said this, “Some of you were once like that.  But you were…made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 6:11).

What’s missing is the rescue.  No one needs to stay stuck in things that aren’t good for them, things that destroy trust, contentment, health, and safety. Things that rob people of hope, peace, joy, and love.  

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus], so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (1John 3:16, NLT).  That’s the well-known Bible verse, but there’s one following that speaks even more plainly to the issue at hand,

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world,
  but to save the world through him.”  (1 John 3:17).  

Jesus didn’t come to condemn.  He came to save.  A Christmas carol says it well,

“Light and life to all he brings
  Ris’n with healing in his wings
  Mild he lays his glory by
  Born that man no more may die.”
(Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Charles Wesley)

I wish I could say that Christians have lived this out well, following Christ’s example.  Too often, we have proclaimed the truth of our beliefs without love.  Love is what sent Jesus to save people from destruction and death.  That same love should motivate us, as his followers, never to stop at pointing out sin, but to give of ourselves sacrificially in love, prayer, and effort in order that people may be saved from their sin into a full life, un-separated from God and lasting on into heaven.

As our culture gets farther and farther from God, the Bible's words sound more and more foreign, while at the same time, political correctness and so-called tolerance become the norm.  I applaud Phil for his bold honesty and for proclaiming a message of love.  

I hope the world’s eyes will be opened to Jesus’ purpose when he came as one of us: to save, not to condemn.  He gave up his position and power to show us he understands us and has our best in mind.  He had compassion on those who were in bondage to disease and demons.  He was hard on the hypocrites and pious religious figures.  He spent long nights in prayer.  

I’ve written two songs about Jesus’ life in the last couple of years.  Go have a listen if you like.  One is more a Christmas-y song that I've not taken into the studio yet, and the other I released this year.


It’s getting harder to speak openly about God and what He says.  Some of my friends (Christian or not) may not like that I agree with Mr. Duck Dynasty.  I believe that when the whole truth about God is revealed, it is the most loving thing that could be said to anyone.  For we’re all messed up, but there is hope for us through Jesus.  That is the message I want to proclaim this Christmas.

https://soundcloud.com/sonyajoy/this-is-jesus/

P.S.  I've never watched Duck Dynasty before, but now I'd like to...

1 comment:

Shayani Turko said...

THANKS FOR SPEAKING OUT. ALTHOUGH IT'S HARD WE STILL HAVE TO. GREAT INSIGHT ON JOHN 3:17.
PERHAPS IF OUR CHURCHES WERE REAL WE WOULD BE ABLE TO OPENLY TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS NOT IN A PRESCRIPTIVE MANNER BUT AS ENGAGED LISTENERS, EMPATHETIC AND OPEN TO STRUGGLES OF PEOPLE. I KNOW CHRISTIANS WHO STRUGGLE WITH HOMOSEXUAL ORIENTATION. AND I KNOW A LOT MORE WHO STRUGGLE WITH GREED, ENVY, LUST, SELFISHNESS, IDOLATORY...
PERHAPS IF WE COULD FIND A SAFE PLACE TO SPEAK WITHIN OUR CHURCHES WE WOULD ACTUALLY KNOW HOW TO SPEAK OUT SIDE OF IT.
WE NEED TO ARTICULATE WHAT IS INSIDE SOMETIMES TO UNDERSTAND SOMETHING BETTER.
I ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT CHURCH WAS GOD'S IDEA OF TRAINING GROUND BEFORE WE GO INTO THE WORLD.
BUT IF WE ARE NOT GIVEN THE SAFETY TO TRAIN IN SIDE, WHEN WE GO OUTSIDE, NO WONDER WE ARE SEEN AS A DISTORTION OF THE TRUTH OF GOD'S SAVING MESSAGE OF GRACE.