Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you’ve heard about the comments that Phil Robertson of the Duck Dynasty family made in regards to homosexuality. The homosexual community, those that support it, and non-Christians are very upset about his comments. If you haven’t heard the news, you can read the story here. Be mindful that the author is very opinionated and also uses quite a bit of foul language (but what else would you expect from a magazine such as GQ?) and the website has many inappropriate ads and suggested articles. After reading the article in its entirety, you might realize that the quotes that are causing a stir are taken out of context. But does what Phil Robertson say misrepresent Christianity and Jesus?
Sex, Sin, & Logic
One of the main quotes by Phil from the interview follows:
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
The language is a bit rough. Even the official statement from the Robertson family admits that Phil’s language was “coarse.” You can find the official statement from the family here. However, this coarse language technically is Biblical. The Bible may not say those words, but if you have read Song of Solomon then you should know that there is a lot of imagery around the act of sex between a man and a woman. In fact, Song of Solomon uses so much imagery that Jewish boys aren’t allowed to read it until they are considered men. In modern terms, Song of Solomon would be considered “awkward” and not a book you would want to hear a sermon on while sitting next to your parents. Phil’s comment on pleasure in sex is definitely demonstrated in the book Song of Solomon. Certainly a female also has more to offer a man. There’s more pleasure involved between and man and a woman than with two men or two women. Further, women are necessary for children. So not only does a woman offer sexual pleasure to a man, but her body offers the gift of children. With children a man can become a better husband and learn to be a father and learn how great the love of the Father is. With children a man can raise his family and following generations in God’s word and can greater witness the love of Christ to those who don’t believe.
Phil also touches on another point: sin. I know some homosexuals. They have taken this comment to mean that Phil considers them dumb or stupid. That’s not necessarily the case. Sin seems okay to people. People continue in their sins. It’s part of the flesh. Sin makes us do things that are wrong. Sin is deceptive. Sin is so deceptive that it causes us to believe that we aren’t sinning! In 1 John we read:
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1:8)
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (1:10)
Not only is sin deceptive but the though that we are not sinning means that we do not have Christ within us. We call God a liar. How blasphemous it is to call God a liar! Thankfully if we confess our sins to God, because of Christ’s death on the cross, we can be forgiven of those sins, no matter how bad they are. Sin is deceiving the world. So many call themselves Christians but promote sin or claim that their actions aren’t sinful. Maybe they’re homosexual. Maybe they live together and are having sex before marriage. Maybe they get drunk often. Maybe they flirt with drugs but don’t do the “hard core” stuff. They claim that they’re just living life but certainly aren’t sinning. They may call themselves a good person because they don’t steal or aren’t rude to people who don’t deserve it. Maybe they gave that homeless person a McDonald’s meal last month or put a little change in the Salvation Army bucket last time they went to the mall. Maybe they helped the little old lady cross the street that one time. It’s too bad that works cannot save us:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
In Romans 3 we see:
But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just. What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.” (vv. 5-12)
No one is considered good. Many claim to love Jesus and be a Christian and believe that Jesus is their “Hell insurance.” Certainly Jesus is. However, those people take Jesus’ blood and believe that they can continue to sin and Jesus justifies this. The can live in sin and when they die, well, they believe in Christ so everything is all good. However, do they really believe in Christ? They believe in the concept of Christ that He will forgive them of their sins. However, they don’t believe in the Biblical Christ that they must believe and then repent. They would rather roll around in sin than repent of the sin that they love.
Sinners Won’t Inherit God’s Kingdom
Many were offended by Phil claiming that sinners wouldn’t inherit the Kingdom of God. Surprisingly, the author of the interview told readers that Phil paraphrased Scripture from Corinthians (although he didn’t state whether 1st or 2nd). However, the media failed to state that Phil was quoting the Bible and instead made it seem that it was a random view of Phil’s such as, “Hey, this is simply what I believe about sinners.” Here is the quote directly from the article by Drew Magary:
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
As with the previous quote from Mr. Robertson, this one too has caused quite the stir. Many have viewed this as saying that homosexuality is equal to or causes homosexuals to turn to bestiality. What is meant by Phil’s statement? I believe that from the context of what was said (and do we really know the context since it could have been manipulated by Mr. Magary?) that Phil was saying that sinful behavior morphs into more and more sinful behavior until it takes over a person’s life. He didn’t necessarily mean that a homosexual will attempt to have sex with animals. This view doesn’t really make since a gay man wouldn’t chase after multiple women. However, a man that chases after multiple women will eventually commit other sins. A gay person will eventually become a slave to more sin. A woman who goes after multiple men will eventually deal with other sins. Those sins most likely will continually get “worse” according to societal standards. Lust is powerful no matter what kind it is and lust can eject a person into more sin. It seems that in many cases lust is like marijuana. It is the gateway drug. It’s easy to fall into but continues to get worse and continues to lead a person deeper into their habit or to darker sins.
Phil quotes 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived;neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
This verse specifically calls out those who have sex outside of marriage, idolatry, those who have affairs, homosexual rape, homosexuality, stealing, those who covet, drunks, those that cause problems, and frauds. None of these people will be members of the Kingdom of God. Phil specifically mentions this verse. In doing so he is not just calling homosexuals sinners. He is calling out sinners of all types, even those who simply have sex outside of marriage! Fornication is “the norm” in America. Many consider it totally normal and acceptable. However, it is right next to homosexuality in these verses. In context of the article, Phil then goes into his own story: sex, violence, drugs, and alcohol. There’s one difference between Phil and those in verses 9 and 10. Phil experienced verse 11:
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Phil turned his life over to Jesus Christ. Phil details this in his interview. However, the media didn’t catch onto the fact that while Phil discussed sin, he also discussed how he was once a slave to sin but then was separate from sin and was washed and freed by Christ.
God & Love
Another quote from Phil ignored by media follows:
“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”
That’s it. If people would turn to God, we wouldn’t have the problems that we do. We would love each other. But wait…He made sure to add that we must repent. Many say that they love God. Many love to quote that we must love our neighbors and that “God is love.” However, they fail to see that if we truly love God, we will repent. That’s not to say that we will never sin again because we will. That’s why we need God’s grace daily.
Phil was a bit harsh in some of his words. We can all admit that. However, God’s truth is the only truth. It isn’t easy to see our sins called out in God’s word and it certainly isn’t easy to hear someone tell us that we are sinning. We must turn to God and repent. We must confess our sins to Him daily. No where in the Bible does it say that life will be easy. No where does it say that keeping from sin will be easy. The more the world changes, the harder it seems to be. Christians must stand up even though it may be hard.
The Bible is being attacked daily. Those who dislike what it says, even though they call themselves Christians, call God a liar when they say that it is wrong and they will be with God despite their unrepentant sin. The world is continually trying to change the culture of Biblical Christianity. This is expected and is being seen. Those who love sin hate God. As the world continues to push Christians from their faith, Christians must learn to stand up, with love, and witness about God’s love as well as His just character.