Monday, December 23, 2013

Not Ducking the Homosexual Issue

To get a certain disclaimer out of the way, I've never seen a Duck Dynasty, so I'm not a fanboy.  I'm not even interested in watching.  I do have a beard, so perhaps there is a latent follicle prejudice.

However, I do watch clips from news shows on Real Clear Politics.  I've done that for several years.  I often watch the panel discussions on the Sunday shows, which are available on RCP on Sunday afternoon.  Sometimes I watch them Sunday night.

The issue is what society tolerates and what it doesn't.  It's true it isn't a first amendment issue per se.  Here's what he said that caused the brouhaha.  It was GQ magazine, an article on Phil Robertson.  He was asked, "What, in your mind, is sinful?"  What has been targeted, mainly, is the following:

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.”

And a little earlier, he said,

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.

Douglas Wilson writes about this:

The memorable words of T.S. Eliot in the Four Quartets come to mind — “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” This goes particularly for toney producers of reality shows, who are unaccustomed to having one of the swamp people emerge from the fens to inform them, denizens of a sophisticated and urbane cosmopolis as they are, that the human body was given just one sex organ and the poochute is not it. They got a little too much actual reality from one of their reality stars and so they went all Eliot on him.

Several reactions occurred, that made news.  A & E, the producer of Duck Dynasty, kicked Phil off for these things being reported in GQ.  Certain stores decided to stop selling Duck Dynasty things, like Cracker Barrel, which has now decided it would be better to keep selling them.  Would you say it is no great mystery that more Duck Dynasty fans go to Cracker Barrel than do homosexuals?  Do you wonder what made them remove the items in the first place?

OK, now to the issue.  It's not first amendment, because Phil can keep saying those things.   The issue has two parts:  (1)  Tolerance, and (2)  What We Should Be Free to Say.

There is a lot of bad behavior and language that doesn't stop people from being fired.  We're expected to tolerate that.  We're supposed to put up with public displays of intimate contacts between the same sex.  However, when we say what we think about that, we can be fired?  The issue here is what is tolerable.  Certain behavior should not be tolerated by the public?  It once was outlawed.  Homosexual behavior was once part of the intolerable behavior.  Now criticizing that behavior is intolerable behavior.  This was a good comment from Michael Brown on the Piers Morgan show:

It's not bigoted to say that God designed a man to be with a woman. It's not bigoted to say that sexual acts outside of male-female marriage are prohibited in Scripture. We can debate that. It's not bigoted to say it. To me, what's bigoted is that he gets fired. Look, you have reality TV shows celebrating polygamy, celebrating polyamory, celebrating teen sex, gay kids losing their virginity as teenagers on Glee, that's fine. That's not a problem. That's to be celebrated. When he says, you know, I'm a Bible thumper, I hold to Biblical values, I believe a man was made by God to be with a woman, and I hold to these things, how is that bigoted? How is that basis for being fired from his show?

What I have kept hearing in interviews and panel discussions is that if Phil had just supported traditional marriage and opposed same-sex marriage, he would have been fine, but that he was disgusting and offensive.   He elaborated some on his opposition.  What is disgusting and offensive is homosexual behavior.  Phil was much more delicate than Hollywood is about these matters.  He didn't use foul language.  Vagina and anus are fairly scientific words.  I would agree that these were at one time inappropriate, but the people "offended" use much worse.  His words are not profanity.  He could have been profane, if he was profane, but he was not profane.  He used the least offensive words to describe those body parts.  It really is just a matter of not tolerating biblical beliefs in the public square.

I read Andrew Sullivan's post about it, and he defended the continued employment of Phil, but said that Phil reduced everything to sex.  No.  Phil got the rebellion right where it was.  The rebellion is against design and he represented the basics of it perfectly.  Andrew Sullivan didn't know what he was talking about, because he doesn't know what he's talking about.  The rebellion, not retaining God in the mind, turns the mind reprobate.

Professing Christians are upset, because they (however many this is anymore) already don't like putting up with homosexuals.  They expect tolerance.  The tolerance of homosexuality is already a problem.  They feel guilty about tolerating it.  If they are going to tolerate it, they want tolerance.  That's how I read it.

There is also a big segment of the country that foresees losing the freedom to point out sin.  Phil Robertson can still point out sin, but if he can be fired for this, then sometime soon, he won't be able to say it at all.  I believe people see that coming.  This issue isn't over.  If A & E loses the Robertson show, because they won't let Phil continue, I think this will blow into something even bigger.  My guess is that A & E will relent at some point and try to save face in some way.  The best case scenario in the culture war would be for the show to end, and for people to wake up a little to where we're at.


The Preacher said...

Knowing the minds of a degenerate society and its Christian frauds and fakes, it is possible that all this was done for one reason and one reason only... MONEY! That "reality show" (never watched it) has very little "reality" about it, as any such show. It is made for public consumption and they will set up "any scenario" that increases viewership. That is business and that's all this is about.

Are not sales going up? If he is any kind of Christian at all, he would make a statement that all of this support is making him MORE MONEY and publically announce that he will give $$$$$ to help fight.... (you fill in the blank)

Even a lost Catholic like O'Reilly has more sense than this man.

Anonymous said...

Robertson stood for truth on that. But he failed on the greater issue, that being, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His lifelong association with the "Church of Christ" and its false gospel of water baptism regeneration, cannot save. And when he is questioned about it, he dances around it. It would be so easy to just say, he doesn't believe it. But he won't say that.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Within His Word,

I agree with you on Robertson and the Church of Christ and other ways he's disobedient to scripture. This is talking about the relationship of truth in the larger culture, Robertson just happening to be where this surfaces.

Anonymous said...

"Now criticizing that behavior is intolerable behavior."

This is a small sample of answers students were given to their questions during Gay Chapel Week. The lack of warning or caution continues to disturb me.
Is it possible for saved individuals to be homosexuals?

Obviously, we would believe them to be living in sin and not in proper relationship with God, but if we think of homosexuality as a "life dominating sin," is it plausible to say that some homosexuals are saved and are sincerely wrong?

Answer: It's possible for a believer to commit any sin. If it weren't, the Bible wouldn't warn us to be constantly on guard. Paul's "sin lists" include more than 90 different sins, including homosexuality, and Paul warns his believing readers to resist all of them.

Further, the Bible makes it clear that all of us--save and lost alike--are born with sinful inclinations; in other words, "I was born that way" is not the same as "God made me that way." It's entirely possible that someone might be born with an inclination toward same-sex attraction, later be converted, and never succeed in changing his sexual orientation. All believers retain temptations to sins that troubled them before they were saved (Romans 7). I struggle with all sorts of temptations, and so do you. My temptations don't include homosexuality, but mine are just as bad, or worse (Romans 1:28-31). I'll fight them until the day I die. So the believer with an inclination toward same-sex attraction isn't suffering anything unique or even unusual, and all of us believers can--and should--help one another with our ongoing struggles with sin.


How do you deal with a roommate that is a homosexual or is struggling with same-sex attraction?

Answer: In responding to any situation or person, remember that the answer will never involve adding another sin to the picture. Therefore, you must not respond in pride or fear, which can lead you to ignore your roommate and/or his struggle, to expose his struggle to those who do not need to know, or to presume that he is physically attracted to you. Instead, you must respond to him with love. That will take the form of Philipians 2:1-4, where Paul commands you not to be self-focused but to humbly consider your roommate as more significant than you. When that is your mindset, you will lovingly confront, kindly offer assistance to get help, and cautiously avoid being a source for stumbling.


What is the best way to respond to an unbeliever you interact with on a daily basis who is homosexual (for example, a coworker)?

Answer: You should respond to him or her in the same way that you respond to any unbeliever. Build a redemptive relationship with him or her, recognizing that he or she is created in the image of God. It is most crucial that people see your love for God and your love for others. How would you respond to an alcoholic or a coworker who is openly living in adultery? You would build a redemptive relationship and share Christ's love, and when the opportunity arises, teach what God says about sin and the solution for sin, Jesus Christ. The power of God until salvation is the Gospel (Romans 1:16)!


The week's messages can be heard at: