There is a great uproar today over A & E’s suspension of Phil Robertson from their hit show, Duck Dynasty. The suspension comes after Mr. Robertson was interviewed by GQ magazine. In the interview Mr. Robertson was asked about sin and homosexuality and he shared his view of sexual sins rooted squarely in the Bible. When A & E learned of the interview and Mr. Robertson’s response to the questions, they took action by stating that Mr. Robertson’s views did not reflect A & E’s views and he was suspended. There are plenty of places you can go to read all of the details.
The result is a Christian uproar. The shouts are, “Freedom of Speech,” “Christian Bashing,” and more. Oddly I have even seen attacks from Christians against Phil Robertson because he didn’t express the theology behind the behavior sufficiently. What a crazy world we live in!
The truth is, Christians have already lost their battle against homosexuality. It is all but over. What we see in all of the events related to Mr. Robertson’s dismissal is evidence of that. In the not so distant past, an actor who “came out” as gay or perhaps even who openly supported homosexuality would have been suspended from their series and perhaps terminated. The tables have been reversed! Now it is acceptable and applauded to be gay on TV or in a movie and making any statement perceived as a negative toward homosexualality is seen as hateful, narrow minded, and cruel. Christians have lost their battle against a homosexual-free public world.
But many Christians have been wrong in this fight for quite some time.
You see, Jesus (who is our Lord, our Savior, and our perfect Example) never simply sought behavior modification, nor did he seek to simply instill Christian virtues on the culture in which he lived. Jesus was concerned for the hearts of the people around him – harlots, thieves, murderers, and clean cut, morally upright, goody-two-shoes Pharisees. When the hearts of people are turned to love and worship him, behaviors are changed to align with him.nnWhat am I saying?nThis isn’t really about Phil Robertson or A & E. It is a reminder that we may be fighting the wrong fight. Rather than whining, protesting, picketing, and even posting support for Phil Robertson, maybe we should pray for and seek ways to proclaim Jesus. Maybe we should work to make sure our agenda is his agenda – to seek and save the lost, to serve and not be served. Maybe we should focus on loving our neighbor better as we join Jesus on his mission of redemption and reconciliation, instead of the mission of many – moralism and behavior modification. Peter said it this way… “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Maybe we should, as a way of life seek to proclaim the beauty and glory of Jesus, who redeemed us and makes us whole – who calls us into his glorious light – and in doing so, reach the hearts of those who are far from Jesus.
How do we do that?
* Tell your story. Share with others what Jesus means to you and how the gospel of Jesus has changed your life!
* Tell THE story. At New City we often tell the story of the world as seen in the Bible – Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. It is God’s story of redemption and reconciliation in Jesus. It is our story of brokenness, redemption, and healing.
* Invite someone to church or to your small group… to witness what gospel-centered community is like. It has been said that many come to Christ by “belonging” before “believing.”
* Invite someone who doesn''t know Jesus into your life. I am amazed that most Christians have no non-Christian friends. Don’t make non-Christians your project. Make them a friend. Get to know them. Go to lunch with them. Play sports with them. Love them. If you do, you will get numerous opportunities to proclaim Jesus in love, and they will see what he has done in your life.
What are some other ways that we can reach those around us with the good news of Jesus?
Remember the mission, his mission.