New perspectives on the Phil Robertson suspension

With the recent incident with Phil Robertson essentially getting kicked off the show Duck Dynasty, a lot of blame has been thoughtlessly thrown around. For those who don’t know, Phil Robertson made some comments in an interview basically saying that homosexuality is a sin. Previously, he had said that black people were happier before and didn’t ask for the civil rights movement. These comments made A+E come to the conclusion to indefinitely suspend Robertson. (Click here to read the Huffington Post article.)

Some people are siding with the TV network, A+E, while others side with Phil Robertson. Others disagree with Robertson’s comments, but also disagree with the suspension.

I know many people are voicing their opinions on this “issue” right now, so I’m going to try to avoid simply stating my opinions but turn the situation on its head and hopefully share some new perspectives.

First of all, Phil Robertson said that homosexuality is a sin. This is a true statement, as validated by scripture:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

However, it is important to notice that homosexuality is not the only sin labeled as unrighteous in the above verse. Idolaters, adulterers, and thieves are also included. I think that perhaps Phil Robertson singling out the homosexuals like he did was maybe not the most edifying thing to say. His comments about the black people who were “happier” before the civil rights movement was also perhaps not the most tasteful thing to say in light of the readiness of our culture to label such comments and mentalities as racist, narrow-minded, and old-fashioned.

Don’t get me wrong here. I think it’s wonderful when people stand up for what they believe. I applaud those who do. At the same time, I hope Phil Robertson truly believes in what the Bible says, as he claims to, and recognizes that he too is a sinner and just as guilty as those who practice homosexuality. For example, the “off-color” (as Huffington post puts it) language that Phil used to express his opinions were probably not God-honoring, just as the practice of homosexuality is not God-honoring.

I’ve seen some people express their concern that by suspending Robertson, A+E violated his 1st amendment rights. This is incorrect. A company has the right (legally) to fire an employee. The government is not the one standed up against Phil, a private company is. First amendment rights still intact. In addition, he was free to speak, and he spoke. No one prevented him. Now he is just having consequences for his actions, not a loss of liberty. Was it the nicest thing A+E could’ve done? No, probably not. It also was probably not the smartest thing to do, considering that Duck Dynasty is their most widely watched show.

Perhaps if Phil Robertson didn’t agree with A+E policies, he wouldn’t have agreed to be in their show. We need to remember that Robertson is a contracted employee, and the face of A+E. The company wants, and rightly so, their face to represent what they believe. I don’t agree with their policies, and don’t necessarily want to sign a contract with them because of that. But the Robertson family agreed to be on their TV show, and that’s just fine, but they need to be prepared for any consequences that may come with that.

All in all, I don’t think there’s really an controversy to discuss. A+E essentially fired one of its employees because it didn’t like what the employee said. This happens all the time and is fine. Maybe not the most courteous thing to do, but still, fine. Phil Robertson expressed his views on a particular sin and an event in history that are controversial and lots of people didn’t like it. I don’t see how this is any different from any other recent “news story.” Everyone has their sin issues, and I don’t think Christians should become disunified because of people on TV either sinning or pointing out the sins of others. If anything, our constant struggle with sin and our common Savior should unify us, not the opposite.

What are your perspectives on the whole situation?

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Never Forget; Always Forgive

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Lately there has been a lot of disheartening press here in the US. Well, there’s always bad press, but right now especially it seems to be especially prevalent.

First, there was the Miley Cyrus scandal at the VMA’s. I’ve heard of many people who were so completely outraged, that they have forgotten that Miley, more than anyone I know, desperately needs prayer. I feel so sorry for her. She has grown up not knowing the LORD whom I have been so blessed to have known since a very young age. I know what Miley did was wrong, inappropriate, and utterly disgusting, but so is every little sin I do on a daily basis. She is no worse than me. But I do have something that she does not: a realization that I am nothing without God. She seems to think she’s nothing without twerking. I can’t imagine how empty that must feel.

Second, there’s this awful Syria situation. I do have my own opinions on what we should do in Syria, and what the President should have said last night, but I think so many people forget that whatever our political convictions, whether we disagree or agree with our current President, he is our President and someone who needs so much prayer and support. I cannot even imagine the amount of pressure he feels throughout this situation. As long as he is President, I should pray and support him, even if I don’t necessarily agree.

Third, it’s Patriot Day. It’s 9-11. It’s the day the World Trade Center went down. I do not remember exactly what was going on. There is so much hate that can be harbored today. Many people know others who were affected, or even killed in the terrorist attack. There can be hate against former President Bush for not being able to stop the attack, hate against the TSA for not doing a better job protecting the airplanes, and hate against Muslims for what they did to our country. No, we will never forget that day. But can we forgive?

As Christians, I believe it is of utmost importance to pray for our leaders, celebrities, and especially for our enemies. If we cannot forgive, how are we any better than those who rammed those airplanes into the Twin Towers?

In every bad situation that our country gets into, and we all know we will encounter more situations, I think we need to never forget, because there are lessons to be learned from our mistakes, but always forgive, because who are we to throw the first stone?

Pray on,

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Guilt

“Our culture has declared war on guilt. The very concept is considered medieval, obsolete, unproductive. People who trouble themselves with feelings of personal guilt are usually referred to therapists, whose task it is to boost their self-image. No one, after all, is supposed to feel guilty. Guilt is not conducive to dignity and self-esteem. Society encourages sin, but it will not tolerate the guilt sin produces. But the answer to dealing with guilt is not to ignore it-that’s the most dangerous thing you can do. Instead, you need to understand that God graciously implanted a powerful ally within you to aid you in the battle against sin. He gave you your conscience, and that gift is the key to bringing you joy and freedom.” ~John MacArthur

This explains everything. Why do celebrities perform such scandals? Why does the president make poor decisions without confessing his mistakes? Because they can, and they can without feeling guilty, because society has driven out every trace of a conscience in their minds. 

 

Is our Labor in Vain?

It’s Labor Day weekend, everyone! The official close of summer is here. (Rest in peace, dear summer 2013.) But is that all that constitutes Labor Day? Or is there more to it?

Sure, there’s football, a nice day off from work and school for most people, and lots of neighborhood get-togethers. But Labor day was founded in 1882 with an eye towards labor unions. It is said to be founded by Peter McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, in order to celebrate American workers. (US Dept. of Labor, 2013)

I find the whole thing ironic. First of all, giving people a chance to sit on their butts and do absolutely nothing is an ironic way to celebrate the American workforce. Secondly, labor unions today are basically synonymous with loss of liberty, a very un-American concept. Labor unions back in the 1880s weren’t much better either. It has always been about class division, bureaucracy and of course, loss of freedoms.

The thing that strikes me as most ironic, however, is the current lack of an American workforce. The employment rate is plummeting, but we Americans just have to stop and give ourselves a holiday to do more couch-potating.

Yes, I can blabber a lot about irony and America’s issues, but the underlying problem is this: God created us to work, and he gave us a holiday EVERY WEEK. It’s called the day of rest, and it occurs every Saturday or Sunday. By creating a Labor Day, what we’re really saying is ‘We need more holidays than what God designed.’ Or, our workforce is so whacked out that most people have to work 7 days a week, and they actually need a Labor Day to get them a day off. Sad state of affairs we have here.

Freedom to Love?

I’m sure you all have heard that the Supreme Court has deemed the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. I would have posted about this sooner, but I’m afraid I was too infuriated to say anything without being completely sarcastic and, well…not very kind in my words. So I have taken this time to chew on my words a bit.

What do you make of this picture? I’ve seen similar photos all over facebook since the Supreme Court’s ruling. This struck as particularly odd, since as far as I am concerned, no law can ever limit the freedom to love.  In addition, the ruling doesn’t really make a difference in the freedom for marriage between any gender. The states still have to legalize that. Even without the ruling, plenty of people have at least acted “free to love” whomever they like. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t understand the whole uproar of support against DOMA.

Plus, when the Constitution was written, marriage between one woman and one man was tradition. It was expected, and there was no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If the Founding Fathers had seen the movement towards marriage for all, I’m am sure they would have put something in the Constitution about that. Even though they didn’t, there is nothing in the Constitution that makes the defense of traditional marriage unconstitutional!

In logical debates, a negative team or debater will often question if the affirmative’s plan goes against tradition. If it does, the judges are less likely to vote for that plan. Normally, no one wants to go against tradition. Most people hate change. Why the sudden change in the definition of marriage?

In addition, in the midst of all this “freedom to love” nonsense, people are continuing to turn up their noses at Christians and often be right out rude to them, because they are Christians. So…gays are now free to love because the Supreme Court says so, but Christians are looked down upon because they want to be free to openly love their Creator?

So, those have been my thoughts on the matter.

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My definition of tolerance

Tolerance is not acceptance.

Tolerance is not agreement.

Tolerance is agreeing to disagree.

Tolerance is peaceful living, even though you don’t agree with everyone.

Tolerance is not believing that someone is right, but that they have the right to have their own opinions.

I think it’s kind of interesting that so many people today have zero tolerance for bullying etc but they are totally tolerant in abortion and homosexual issues. More than a little hypocritical? I think yes. 
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