When Push Comes To Shove

Yesterday I enjoyed an amazing ski day at Big Sky Resort all by myself.  It was an introvert’s dream.  Thanks to my iphone I was able to follow Facebook, and unless you live in a hole in the ground, you know that everyone was talking about comments made by Duck Dynasty’s patriarch Phil Robertson in an interview with GQ.

The Duck Dynasty controversy, in my opinion, is not so much about A & E vs. Phil Robertson,  as it is about relative  vs. absolute truth.  Phil was backed into a corner and asked questions about where he stands on a specific topic.

Those who stand on the side of relative truth believe truth is defined individually.  It is up to each person to decide what is true for them.  Those who believe in absolute truth believe something outside of themselves defines truth.  Phil is in the later group.

If you follow the “truth is relative”  line of thinking consistently you have to take anything off of the table as “wrong” because if it’s up to an individual to decide right from wrong, then anything can be morally right.  And by anything…I mean ANYTHING.

Those who hold to a belief that there is such a thing as absolute truth believe that something outside of our own feelings or opinions defines truth.  Most in this group look to the Bible as a guide for defining what is right from wrong.

It comes as no surprise that I am in this later group.  I love the Bible because it is more than just a book.  It is a living word.    The very best part is that the word came in the flesh as Jesus.  He is the word, and I have access to Him!  I can talk to Him and He talks back.  His presence is felt in increasing ways as I grow in intimacy with Him.  I will live with Him for all of eternity because He came and took my place in death.  Forever and ever  I will worship Him face to face, and He will sing over me, in an eternal exchange of affection.

Whatever your opinion was about yesterday’s Duck Dynasty controversy,  you must now recognize that a line has been drawn in the sand.  Our culture has been approaching this moment for years and now there is no turning back.

I wish  Phil had said things in a different way, but I can not disagree with his stand about what is right and what is wrong.

His follow up comments brought clarity:

 “I myself am a product of the ’60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.

“However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and, like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

The topic of homosexuality is a prime target for those who want to bring persecution against the Christian church.  It’s  a hard issue to address because it’s so deeply personal.  If we say murder is a sin,  few people will argue or be offended.  But when we say that the act of homosexuality is a sin we are suddenly hateful.

I have wrestled with this for years.  My husband and I have had hours and hours of conversation about this topic.  We have friends who are homosexuals.  We love them, and we have shown that love in very tangible ways.  I have ministered to gays and lesbians.  I have counseled and prayed with them.  They know exactly what I believe about homosexual acts, and they know that I love them.

It is VERY VERY difficult to say in one line “I love the GLBT community” and “I believe that their actions are morally wrong.”   Oh how I wish it were easier.  The good news is that there are homosexuals who do get it.  Some even spoke out yesterday in Phil’s defense.

The GQ interview was a push comes to shove moment for the Church.  When push comes to shove, what is our belief?

Misunderstanding and persecution are the same thing.  Jesus was completely misunderstood by the religious leaders. Those who backed Phil into a corner did so because their intent was to bring persecution.   I feel a boldness that is increasing in my heart to proclaim the truth in love.  I do not want to fear persecution because I believe  when persecution hits, there is  an increase of boldness and kingdom expansion.

My prayer for those who hold fast to absolute truth, is that we will   recognize this  increased freedom and favor to share Christ’s love and truth in humility this season.  God is by nature a redeemer, and I am confident that He is going to take this controversy and use it for His utmost good.

phil

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