I knew this day was coming.
Duck Dynasty has achieved something no one would have thought possible a couple of years ago. It is a show about a down-t0-earth country family that eats together, prays together, and hunts together. They are a no-frills group whose wholesome outlook on life seems like a trip back to a long-forgotten time when parents actually taught their kids that “right” and “wrong” are not just personal preferences, and sex ought to happen in marriage.
Duck Dynasty is the anti-“Keeping up with the Kardashians.” And millions and millions of people are loving it.
Thus, I knew it was only a matter of time before the Duck Dynasty phenomenon would run into the progressive culture of the American left. Sooner or later the left would learn that these folks were Christians. Sooner or later they would learn that they think homosexuality was a sin. Sooner or later this was going to blow up.
Yesterday it did. Phil Robertson, the head of the Duck Dynasty family, in an interview with GQ declared homosexuality to be a sin. Gay-rights groups complained and called for him to be fired. And A&E effectually fired him (what they call an “indefinite hiatus”).
Now, it should be noted that Robertson offered some graphic descriptions of body parts that were not necessary nor helpful. It definitely didn’t serve his cause (nor the cause of Christ) to speak in such a crass manner. However, the objection from various homosexual organizations was focused not on such language, but on his belief that homosexuality was sinful.
Of course, expressing religious views ought not to get a person fired. It didn’t have to happen like this. In prior generations, when someone expressed their religious views, those who disagreed would still acknowledge that a person had a right to hold those views without being prosecuted and persecuted by the state or by anyone else. It is a little thing called the freedom of religion.
My how things have changed.
Now, if you happen to express your own religious views, and happen to disagree with the radical homosexual agenda of our modern world, then you are threatened, intimidated, attacked and your livelihood is destroyed.
And ironically, all this bullying is done in the name of “tolerance.” For a group that seems to use this word in every other sentence, it is remarkable that the homosexual community cannot see how intolerant they are being of anyone who might disagree.
The desire is not for dialogue. The desire is to eliminate anyone who opposes them.
I might suggest an alternative response from the homosexual community that would embody the tolerance they say they value:
We here at GLAAD were disappointed to hear that Phil Robertson thinks homosexuality is a sin. We disagree. However, we acknowledge that he has the right to hold and proclaim these views, just as we have the right to hold and proclaim our views. If we want Americans to be more tolerant of homosexuality, we could hardly accomplish that goal by being intolerant of others who disagree with us. So, we want to say that we respect and tolerate Mr. Robertson’s views, even though we disagree with them. We hope this attitude of mutual respect can allow for more dialogue and conversation about these important issues.
Unfortunately, I fear we will never hear a response like this ever again from the homosexual community. Why? Because they don’t just want the freedom to be homosexual. They want approval of homosexuality. And they will never feel that approval as long as people are allowed to disagree with them.
So get ready. As the federal government embraces the gay agenda, and the intolerant attitude that goes along with it, then we will no longer be living in the America we know. The only way the government will be able to squash all dissent is to change from a country that loves freedom and to become a country that is totalitarian.
But there are always patriots in such circumstances. Phil Robertson is one of them.
Behind the Mask (@TheMaskBlog1) says
As a fellow believer and member of your denomination (not to mention a current student at a sister Reformed seminary) I have a lot of respect for you. I even agree with you on this…mostly. I agree that the response you suggested from GLAAD would have been far better. I also agree that Phil Robertson should not have been “fired.” But Dr. Kruger, I beg you to think about this from a different perspective. You see, I’ve struggled with same-sex attraction my whole life. Like you, I believe homosexual practice is a sin. However, it’s only been within the last couple years of my life that I’ve felt any kind of freedom to talk about my story. I struggled in silence for so long, deeply afraid that I would be rejected by my friends and loved ones if they knew. When I hear men like Phil Robertson make comments like he made (and let’s face it, they were incredibly crude, ungracious, and unloving), even though I technically believe the same thing about homosexuality that he does, I feel deep hurt. When I see the Church get up in arms to defend his rights to express himself, I wonder where the Church has been to defend my ability to share my struggles and my story. Dr. Kruger, I respect and I agree with you on so much, including homosexuality. But when I see you write an article defending Robertson without any consideration of the hurtfulness of his words, without any concern to the ways the Church has silenced and ostracized her SSA children…when you call Phil Robertson a patriot for the “stand” he took…it hurts. It hurts deeply. I know you would love me and tell me Jesus loves me if you could. I know that, but when I read this…no matter what I know…it makes me wonder if the Church is more committed to a political agenda than to her hurting children.
Please don’t read this as an attack. I love you as a brother in Christ. I just wanted to let you know that this article left me feeling sad and hurt. I know you didn’t mean it, but that is how it read to me.
Blessings to you and your family this Christmas season,
Grace & peace
Michael Kruger says
Thanks for the comments. I appreciate them. However, I am admittedly confused on what Phil said that was so hurtful to you. He basically just declared homosexuality to be a sin, and even quoted the Bible. I agree that the descriptions of body parts were unnecessary and a bit graphic. But, the gist of his comments were basically the biblical position. You also mentioned that my post made you wonder if the church is more committed to a political agenda than to her hurting children. Not sure where you got that idea since my post was not about politics. I never advocate any public policy positions in my post (other than the broad theme of freedom of religion). Does our denomination need to do a better job addressing those in our midst with SSA? I am sure that it does. But, I was not addressing that issue (nor was Phil Robertson). He was simply declaring publicly what he believes about the morality of homosexuality.
Behind the Mask (@TheMaskBlog1) says
Thanks for your response! In the light of a new day, I realize I may have spoken too broadly and thus inaccurately. I apologize for that. My problem with Phil’s comments are not so much with the content. It’s true; he stated a biblical position. However, I’m not sure we should be so quick to dismiss the way he made those comments. He also reduced homosexuality to that of base sexual urges (interestingly enough, in doing so, he also seemed to degrade his own marriage with his discussion of anatomy.) I agree with him on what the Bible says about homosexuality, but insinuating that all gay people are after is sexual gratification (and that such relationships are equatable to bestiality) is quite hurtful. Although I never intend to be in such a relationship myself, the insinuation is that my struggle and my desire for intimacy is equatable to someone who has relations with an animal. Despite his claims to love everyone (which I believe is his genuine desire!), I guarantee you I would never feel comfortable sharing my story with Phil Robertson after reading his comments.
Also, my main concern lies not with Phil’s comments, but it lies more with the response of Christians. I expressed myself poorly when I said your post made me think the church was pursuing a political agenda. That wasn’t accurate, and I apologize. What I should have said is that it makes me think the Church is more committed to preserving her rights than to loving people well. You’re right. The PCA could do a lot better job in addressing same-sex attraction. I know you weren’t addressing that issue, and that’s fair. Maybe I’ve missed where you’ve addressed it before, and if that’s the case, I apologize again! However, I think that’s part of the point. The response of Christians rushing to defend Phil Robertson’s free speech wouldn’t hurt quite so much if there was also a history of the Church standing up and creating safe spaces for those struggling with homosexuality. Where was this outrage when my celibate gay friend was fired from his job at a Christian school simply because a parent found his blog about life as a same-sex attracted Christian…a blog that was anything but scandalous, I can assure you. That’s why the response hurts so much, I think.
I believe Phil Robertson has every right to express his opinions about homosexuality. I certainly don’t think he should have been fired, but again, that’s A&E’s right too. As an entertainment company, they have to make decisions about their programming and their audience that they believe are best for them. I disagree with their decision, but it’s theirs to make…in the same way that it was Phil’s decision to make those comments.
I just wish the outrage from Christians on this issue of seeming injustice would be matched by a desire to, as you said, do a better job addressing those in their midst with SSA.
Thanks again for your response, and I do apologize for the sloppiness of my initial communication. I made some unfair statements.
The Janitor says
Maybe we should stop being so sensitive… I see little substance to your complaints, though I don’t have time to get into it now.
The culture will never recognize us as loving on this issue, so long as we say homosexuality its sin. We live in a culture where the greatest sin, maybe even the only sin, is to offend someone and we are always on the ready to be offended. Sad thing is, Christians are often the most hyper-sensitive of the lot… from dress, to music, to not being flowery enough in you GQ interview.
Behind the Mask (@TheMaskBlog1) says
It seems to me that the only time Jesus stopped being so “sensitive” was when he was addressing the religious leaders, who always seemed to be upset that he was associating with and defending the wrong people.
If people are offended by our message, let them be offended by Jesus and not us.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
The Janitor says
There is a difference between being offensive and being offended. I’m suggesting you need to stop being so easily offended. Your response to Flagrant Regard its a wonderful case in point. He/she nowhere indicated that every gay person shares thus agenda…test you didn’t fail to read that into it and get hurt. Grow up, bro.
Hi Behind the Mask, I do think that one important clarification is in order. Respectfully, I think that you have misread part of Phil’s comments. Phil doesn’t equate homosexuality with bestiality or anything else. In the GQ article, he initially makes a comment that the lines of morality have been so blurred that now all sorts of sin are acceptable. The reporter then asks him what he believes is sin and he responds (quoted from the GQ article),
“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.”
He’s not saying that someone engages in homosexual activity and then his behavior morphs out from there; no, he’s saying that if you want a glimpse of how culture has substituted sin for what’s acceptable, then start with homosexual activity (perhaps because it’s such a hot button issue), and then go to any sin you want, bestiality, fornication, and the list from 1 Corinthians. His commentary (at this point) isn’t about some slippery slope of sexuality but about the scope of sins that the culture deems appropriate.
Behind the Mask (@TheMaskBlog1) says
Hi Trey, I appreciate the comment, but I do question your conclusion. First of all, in context, I’m not sure that the slippery slope argument isn’t what he’s saying. I know he’s not insinuating that each person will naturally move to bestiality from homosexuality, but he’s insinuating that acceptance of bestiality is a natural conclusion from an acceptance of homosexuality. I don’t agree. I think there’s a fundamental difference there. Homosexual unions, while not ultimately honoring to God, can be consensual (at least) and self-sacrificial (at best). There is an intimate relationship between two human persons that involves far more than sex. None of this is true with bestiality. There is no comparison. You can make a “sin is sin” argument here, but I prefer to look at this on the personal level. Telling someone their relationship is just another step closer to bestiality is 1.) not entirely true and 2.) certainly not loving or gracious or wise. I appreciate Phil’s paraphrase of 1 Corinthians, but nowhere in this chapter does Paul mention bestiality. Connecting those two sins is extremely unhelpful and insensitive, and yes, it’s actually pretty dehumanizing. I can see the point you’re making, but I can’t say that I agree.
The Janitor says
Behind the Mask,
>>I know he’s not insinuating that each person will naturally move to bestiality from homosexuality, but he’s insinuating that acceptance of bestiality is a natural conclusion from an acceptance of homosexuality.
Whether that’s true or not depends on the type of arguments same-sex proponents use to justify their position. Fact is, the vast majority of same-sex proponents justify Phil’s insinuation (assuming that is what he is trying to insinuate). They say that two people who love each other should be allowed to marry. Well obviously many animals have something like “love” for their human companions. And we also have people arguing that some animals are persons (dolphins, apes). So it looks like by the logic of these same-sex marriage proponents, bestiality meets the qualifications of marriage.
And let’s be clear, most don’t have a principled argument to begin with. It’s mostly question begging: why do you deny them equal rights?! Or just mushy-mush rhetoric: how can you be so bigoted to two people who love each other? And often it’s both combined.
>>Homosexual unions, while not ultimately honoring to God, can be consensual (at least)
Animals aren’t in the category of things that give consent. We don’t seek their consent when we make them pets. We don’t seek their consent when we take them to the vet. We don’t seek their consent in regard to anything we do with them. So it would be easy for those supporting same-sex relationships to jettison that criterion where it obviously isn’t relevant. Thus, you can’t try to damn the slope at that point by pointing to consensuality.
Besides, one might point out that a dog will quite willing perform sexual acts on a human. What more do you need?
>>and self-sacrificial (at best).
Let’s not pretend that this means homosexual relationships qua homosexual relationships are exhibiting a virtue. A pedophile could sacrifice himself for his child victim. That’s not something virtuous about pedophilia, it’s something virtuous about self-sacrifice.
And before you go and get hurt again, let me clarify that I’m not saying homosexuality and pedophilia are weighed the same on the moral scale. It’s a common tactic for people to jump onto the analogy in a feigned sense of outrage to try and sidetrack the actual point of the analogy, which in this case is to demonstrate that just because someone can be self-sacrificial that doesn’t make it a virtue stemming from some perverted relationship. Of course some people genuinely get confused over analogies, so I’m also not trying to impute nefarious motives to everyone who misses the point.
>>There is an intimate relationship between two human persons that involves far more than sex.
Yes, it involves more than the act of sex. But all of what it involves, in its homosexuality, is sexual in nature. We don’t call to women who merely receive comfort and support from one another “homosexual” or “lesbian”. That’s not homosexual, that’s a normal part of human relationships. What is deviant about homosexuality is that it seeks to gratify sexual desires (or “romantic” desires) in a unnatural way. Put differently, the homosexual’s non-sex-act desires are either sexually (or call it “romantically” if you rather) directed to the same sex or non-sexually directed to the same sex. If it’s not sexually directed to the same sex than there is, simply, nothing homosexual about it. Again, you would be obfuscating a virtue with a vice (e.g., friendship-love with the perversion of homosexuality).
>>None of this is true with bestiality. There is no comparison.
Somewhere a bestiality practitioner (bestialitists?) has a tear fallen down his cheek at these words, you realize? What makes you competent to judge their relationships as not involve this “more than sex” element you think is true of homosexual relationships?
>>Telling someone their relationship is just another step closer to bestiality is 1.) not entirely true and 2.) certainly not loving or gracious or wise.
I disagree. Over at The Gospel Coalition on Joe Carter’s blog Steve Hays made an excellent point: “To begin with, both sodomy and bestiality are contrary to nature. Not every sin is contrary to nature. Premarital and extramarital sex are both sinful, but they aren’t contrary to nature. There’s a reason why so many homosexual men undergo colectomies, in comparison to heterosexual men and women (to take one example).”
>>Connecting those two sins is extremely unhelpful and insensitive, and yes, it’s actually pretty dehumanizing.
Again, as Steve pointed out in the conversation that took place on Joe Carter’s blog, homosexuality is itself dehumanizing. And their comparison can be helpful in other ways. Of course whether it’s “sensitive” enough is a different issue. From where I’m standing, it looks like the “you hurt me” card is overplayed by the homosexual lobby. By over-playing that card they do themselves a disservice, like the boy who cried wolf too many times. And since it’s often used as a wedge tactic, and fits along with their agenda of seeking cultural affirmation, they make it hard for someone like me to play along with it. I’m sure genuine hurt occurs, but the best I can do is worry about not being intentionally hurtful myself and let the other guy or gal worry about keeping her tears under control.
Jimmy K says
Several years ago, I was driving home about 3am and listening to a talk show to stay awake. The show had a known psychiatrist taking phone calls to help people. A man called in to share his habit of having sex with his mares (yes, horses). Long story short, the expert told him to continue the practice since the animal didn’t mind and he wasn’t hurting anyone with this action. Basically, you will feel better when you realize you shouldn’t feel guilty about this because it isn’t wrong. I was quite surprised by this advice.
The general rule by the media seems to be – do whatever feels good as long as you don’t hurt another person. (Although, they don’t hold to this when it is time to insult Christians.)
I completely agree, and am also saddened by the truth of your statements about the “church’s” lack of properly dealing with the reality of those who are SSA and also Christian.
Hi Behind the Mask. I was very overwhelmed with your post. I just started following you in twitter. I can see how much you love God because of your transparency with your struggle. You have confessed and I have prayed for you (James 5:16). I have much to say. First its true that in our faith there is a hierarchy of sin. With homosexuality at the top and lies at the bottom. While everyone will agree that sin is sin it’s true that those issues at the top have a stigma. I can relate because I suffered from depression from my teenage years until my mid twenties. Mental health carries a huge stigma. But God has and will continue to raise up equipped ministers of the gospel who are anointed with long suffering, compassion ,understanding, power, know the word and are non-compromising. In short such ministers comfort others as they were comforted. (1 Cor 1.4). The best we can do is to complete what God has called us to do in the Body. Not everyone is called to be a missionary, not everyone is called to sing, not everyone is called to clean toilets, not everyone is called to pastor. With all respect to Dr Kruger, it’s clear a key gift of his (Ephesians 4:11) is teaching. And I viewed his article in that way and his response to your comment was inline with his calling and perspective. I liked that you challenged his perspective however. I think we have to understand what we are called to do and support financially and through prayers those that are called to do things we can’t. My prayer is that you will not forget the love of God, forgive others that aren’t called to minister to and with you, and that he will keep your stance and your walk. Your stance of honesty and your press toward the mark. All the best to you.
Behind the Mask (@TheMaskBlog1) says
Thanks Zan! I appreciate your kind and encouraging words.
Mary Gray Moser says
Behind the Mask, FWIW: I have been much happier since I stopped believing, as many people do, that the way I see a thing is the way it is.
Mike Gantt says
May God grant Phil and his family the grace to do what is right in each step through this crucible. It won’t be over quickly.
He is being villified for what millions of us believe, even though we probably wouldn’t have expressed it in precisely the way he did.
The most important driver of this turmoil is what you wrote about their wanting not tolerance but rather approval. That should tell us something. For that matter, it ought to tell them something.
Phil Robertson didn’t declare homosexuality as a sin, God did! He just said he agreed with what the Scriptures taught
Donna Elliott says
Thanks for posting this. I shared it on my Facebook. VERY well said!
Dale Tuggy is taking aim at your “Mark teaches Jesus is God” post. Interesting response in the comments section. Might be worth careful response.
Mark G. says
Maybe Phil Robertson would have done more to advance the kingdom by recognizing that an out of control tongue is sin. He wasn’t just defending a biblical position as Dr. Kruger notes.
Flagrant Regard says
Oh, the gay agenda (or gaygenda, as we refer to it) goes MUCH further than just wanting our acceptance, they want our applause and interest!
Case in point, Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford (yeah, THAT Rob Ford) in the year he was elected to office, told the organizers of the gay pride parade that he had a family commitment and wouldn’t be able to be in the parade itself (something which the previous mayors never missed). The FLACK he got from the liberal media – holy cow! He was numbered along with the ‘haters’ and ‘homophobic’ simply because he couldn’t commit himself to that ever-disgusting display of homo-erotica throughout the streets of the city.
We can certainly understand the gay agenda’s focus on tolerance and anti-bullying, but NOT their militancy with regard to acceptance (from all, especially religious groups) and certainly not the expectation that we take interest in their world and activities.
The hypocrisy is truly staggering.
1 Peter 4:3-4
“For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.”
Behind the Mask (@TheMaskBlog1) says
Except not everyone who is gay or same-sex attracted shares this agenda (or “gaygenda” as you so colorfully put it.) In fact, most do not. I certainly don’t. You can rail against this caricature of the gay community, but please realize you are causing a great deal of pain and isolation to many of your SSA brothers and sisters whose agenda actually looks pretty similar to your own.
Flagrant Regard says
Hi there BTH. Thank you for noting that point: that not ALL those in the LGBT community are of the same ilk – that ilk being the desire to flaunt or promote their agenda. Sorry I didn’t clarify that, but I was strictly addressing those in that aggressive contingent. I am probably one of the few Christians I know who has a good/close homosexual friend who lives in the U.S.. He (funny to use this term) ‘prides’ himself in NOT being an ‘in your face’ gay. In fact, he calls himself a homosexual and despises the whole LGBT movement. He believes (as do most heteros) that what goes on in a bedroom ain’t nobody’s business outside of that bedroom.
I reject your notion, therefore, that I am causing anyone a ‘great deal of pain and isolation’. How wrongly (I believe) you have judged me/us. I was strictly addressing – once again – that small, yet powerful group of individuals who have hand over the networks, hollywood etc. and who promote ‘intolerance’ towards Christians who – like yourself, apparently – believe (or have the right to believe) that homosexuality does not fall in line with the natural order/default design of God.
Brother (and this is the first time I have ever shared this publicly), I could have gone in the direction of homosexuality, pretty sure. I was taunted with the term ‘gay’ as a kid because I was the only fat kid in class. How kids associated the two, I’ll never know! I also had a semi-absent father figure in part, and a very dominant mom. Then a friend wanted to play a ‘fondling game’ when my mom was at work. Thankfully, it didn’t progress very far at all. But thank the Lord, I went to my mom (a Christian) one day and asked, “Mom, am I gay?” (I really didn’t know! I figured the kids, with all their taunting, must know something I don’t?!). Lovingly, she looked at me and with a ferocity I’ll never forget, she assured me that I was NOT gay. That I was a young man. If it weren’t for her doing that that day, I wonder where I would have headed?
So I truly empathize with those who have struggled (and continue to struggle) with sexual issues. (Heck, who hasn’t in one way or another? Any variant of ‘sexual sin’ is sin.) I pray you’re doing well and will do even better as the days grow on. Sounds like you got your head in a good place, however difficult. Passions (whether it’s the desire to get drunk, gamble, download illegal software/songs/movies, anger) ALL have to be under the thumb of Christ’s Spirit/control. We all have them and in God’s eyes they’re equal. Only Paul does make a distinction about sexual sin being ‘outside a man’s body’ because of the joining of souls – something God regards as sacred and holy. Makes a ton of sense.
Hope you have heard my heart and we are glad to have heard from yours, most certainly.
In Him Who Is True,
Flagrant Regard says
Sorry, meant to use the acronym BTM. My apologies. 🙂
Behind the Mask (@TheMaskBlog1) says
Hey FR, I apologize for my hasty judgment of your intentions. That was inappropriate, and I appreciate your clarifications. However, I would still gently challenge you to consider that you may still be causing pain whether you realize it or not…or whether you mean to or not. Perhaps I’m being “too sensitive” as another commenter above suggested. That’s possible. Perhaps I’ve grown up hearing Christians say terrible things about gay people and how we must fight the gay agenda, and I’ve been confused about where I was supposed to fit into all that, as someone who is both a Christian and attracted to his same sex. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. So again, I apologize for making assumptions. I should not have done that. However, when I read your first post, I read anger. I read fear. I read disgust. I couldn’t help but read myself as a target. Maybe I’m being too sensitive. I could tell myself that I should just get over it. But that’s kind of the point…Christians who struggle with homosexuality rarely have a voice, rarely have a safe space to express their struggles. If they are hurt or offended by someone’s actions or words, they are expected to get over it…they’re told they’re being too sensitive…they’re told that of course the words weren’t meant to hurt, so they shouldn’t be hurt. I’ve spent my life trying to get over the hurtful words of friends who didn’t realize they were hurting me, but after a while, it has an effect. Maybe that effect has been to make me too sensitive.
This is where I’m coming from. I’m a brother who’s asking to be heard. And yeah, I’m a brother who wishes his fellow believers would stand up for his ability to be heard in the Church like they stand up for Phil Robertson.
Sky Daddy says
Hey, I’m an atheist, I don’t believe supernatural entities exist, I probably have little or nothing in common with you, and I’m straight, but…
I hear you. I’m sorry for your torment; External and internal.
My humble opinion is that your recognizable intellect and empathy are being ignored and squandered, and I’m sorry fellow human, but you’re not going to get what you need from these people. Ever.
You’re not one of them. They are not going to risk eternal life in heaven for you. They just aren’t allowed to care about you.
Time to wake up fella.
Flagrant Regard says
Hey again BTM, glad you had a chance to read my reply. We Christians have to remember that it’s people like yourself – who struggle your struggle – that are heroes of the faith.
We can often laud missionaries who go to foreign lands to bring the faith to others living in horrible conditions spawned by corrupt governments or destructive religious ideas. But we often fail to give praise to those individuals who literally ‘fight the good fight of the faith’ in their own quiet way. You are one of those souls and because of that, you have my complete admiration, support and respect. The atheist who posted here did what a lot of atheists do – make sweeping generalizations about Jesus’ followers – that we’re all out to ostracize those who struggle with sin they cannot personally related to.
When fully extrapolated, the atheist figures you’re a fool for wanting to stay connected to God and the morals associated with Godly living as outlined in the Word. I and the other Christians here (I hope) see you as a faithful servant who is gaining a rich reward for not allowing your passions to define you or defile you. Christ in you defines you. And if you make a mistake here and there, in thought or in action, we know that we have a God who will forgive us of all our shortcomings upon repentance. Our God is the ONLY god who gives us a ‘reset button’ every morning we awake. So cool. 🙂
I cast no stones. You would be welcome in my home and in my church. You are a hero of the faith to keep on keeping on. God bless you richly. May your sensitivity be used by God to do great things – great compassion outweighs everything on the scale, because it’s love in action. Stay active in Him.
(And for the atheist who posted here, I strongly recommend you put down your broom used for sweeping generalizations, lest you become a hypocrite – accusing all of Christendom of doing the same thing: painting everyone in a particular group with the same brush! I would respectfully suggest that you go online (youtube) and find the movie ‘Lord, Save Us From Your Followers’. It may serve to widen your perspective somewhat. And we all need that, don’t we?)
Best to you and yours this Christmas and New Years,
In Him Who is True
Mike Gantt says
Jesus taught us in the Sermon on the Mount that sexual sin, like all sin, begins in our thoughts. How then do we manage our thoughts? Many Christians today talk about “accountabiity” as a means toward this end. They suggest that being accountable to each other, having a group or someone to whom you can be held accountable. This is aflawed strategy, for no human being can see our thoughts. The only thoughts we have that they know about are the ones we tell them.
The effective way to gain mastery over our thoughts is to think them before the Lord. That is, we refuse to think anything which would disappoint the Lord. We think as if He can really be aware of every thought we have…because He is that aware.
This commonly-known but seldom-practiced way to keep a heart from lust. It is really just another way of describing faith – practical faith.
My best recommendation for a book on this subject is “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence. He doesn’t talk about lust per se, but he doesn’t have to. His prescription works for all sins of the heart.
This little book has been a classic since the 17th Century. It is still in print, available in libraries and book stores. You can even find the text on line for free if you simply google the title and author.
To focus on the kind of lust we have is to actually give the lust more power. True deliverance is thinking before a living Lord and thinking of that Lord.
Behind the Mask (@TheMaskBlog1) says
FR…thank you for this. It really means a lot, and I appreciate it deeply. So often we can miss one another in online communication (especially anonymous communication). I know if you and I could sit down over coffee or a beer, we would find so much in common, most importantly, our beautiful Savior.
And to my friend, Sky Daddy. I appreciate your support. I really do. It’s important for all us to feel heard, and I appreciate you hearing me. It’s true, many in the Church do not. But I do hope you’ll hear me here too, when I say that I most certainly am “one of them.” St. Augustine said the Church is whore, but she’s also our mother. That’s why Jesus had to come die to save her, because she was and is hopeless to save herself. On our own, we backbite, we divide, we devour, and seek our own gain. It is Christ alone who can unite those who would only be natural enemies otherwise. For all the hurt I have experienced at the hands of fellow believers, my own hands are anything but clean. I have caused considerable pain myself.
I will agree with you that I’ll never get what I need from these people. I can never give them what they need either. We all need Jesus. Phil Robertson needs Jesus. FR needs Jesus. Angry Christians defending Phil Robertson need Jesus. Slightly over-sensitive bloggers like me need Jesus.
But here’s the thing, other Christians will never give me what I really need (Jesus already has), but one of the ways Jesus has provided for me is by giving me the Church. I’m part of a beautiful fellowship of believers, far from perfect, who loves me very well. I have many brothers and sisters who will sit with me, listen to me, laugh with me, cry with me, embrace me…whenever I need them. I will always do the same thing for these brothers and sisters. Sadly, we hurt each other too, but because of the power of God’s forgiveness, we can forgive each other.
SD, I humbly pray that you may one day see this side of the Church. I pray that you may one day experience the beautiful, supernatural communion of the Church of Jesus Christ, and the power of his unconditional love.
I’d love to chat more if you ever do…shoot me an email. [email protected]
The Janitor says
Your talk about Behind the Mask’s “needs” not being met in Christianity overlooks the fact that Behind the Mask could have independent intellectual reasons for thinking Christianity to be true.
And what could atheism possibly offer Behind the Mask, unless he has a need for a world devoid of ultimate meaning, purpose, and hope? And in relational terms, the internet atheist crowed doesn’t exactly have the reputation of a friendly support group…
(P.S. Is it just me or are these sensitivity guns only pointed one way? Where is the pooh-poohing over Sky Daddy’s insinuations about Christians??? Behind the Masks’ intellect is being squandered amongst Christians, Christians aren’t even allowed to care about him, we wouldn’t risk “eternal life” for him (granted I’m not sure what this means, I doubt it’s flattery). In light of all that some people around here are getting hurt over, how does no one manage to get hurt by these insinuations?)
Sky Daddy says
Devoid of ultimate meaning? Truly, you are a prime candidate to follow.
It always amazes and saddens me how shallow and uninspired the faithful must be that there can be no meaning of life for you without having it written down.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re effectively saying that mortality puts limits on what we should bother doing with our time? To the contrary I believe that a time limit places infinitely more importance on our chosen path.
Also, to clarify, your position is that the ultimate purpose of existence can only be spending eternity on your knees? I would not ask eternal subservience of a complete stranger, let alone my own children.
What kind of mind sees this fit?
As to what an atheistic world view could offer?
TRUE LOVE AND COMPANIONSHIP
To speak to your comment regarding apparent intellectual reasons for believing in a deity… Well, let’s be honest, there are none. The only reasons driving a need to believe are emotionally based, specifically based in fear.
Without fear of death, or a life without meaning, etc… They’re are no reasonable arguments left on which faith can be based.
It can be said that most of you have put more time, research and effort in to your next automotive purchase, than your particular brand of subservient self loathing.
The Janitor says
>>It always amazes and saddens me how shallow and uninspired the faithful must be that there can be no meaning of life for you without having it written down.
Let’s not forget that I’m talking about an ultimate (and objective) meaning. I suppose you’re also saddened by how shallow and uninspired the faithless must be since many of them agree with me (e.g., Dawkins, Rosenberg, Russell)?
I do agree that we can pick and choose a subjective and ultimately insignificant meaning for our lives under atheism. But it is just that: subjective and ultimately insignificant. Hitler can choose the extermination of Jews as the meaning to his life (or what he will live for) and you could choose the collection of Pokemon cards for the meaning of your life. There is no transcendent values or criterion by which to measure his or your or my chosen “meaning” to be any better.
>>Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re effectively saying that mortality puts limits on what we should bother doing with our time?
No. I’m saying that a godless universe in which everything will eventually meet the same life-less fate holds no room for ultimate purpose or significance for our lives now.
>>To the contrary I believe that a time limit places infinitely more importance on our chosen path.
Indeed it does, in a certain sense! The clock is ticking down and we have a very short time to accomplish what we want. The few years we have to exist should be focused on those wants. But that’s a subjective value. And since the time resource is so limited it it makes perfect sense to get all of our wants fulfilled with all the gusto we can muster. And if some people desire a short life of drugs and illicit sex none can object. If others want to add a few more years to their short life by abstaining from drugs, sex, and any other activity none can object. What matters to each individual is that they get what they want. In the end whether we spend our time following a shallow and uninspired faith because we want to assuage our fears of death or if we spend our time following a shallow and uninspired atheism because we want to assuage our fears of judgment, who can object? In the end it will all amount to nothing either way, for we can only build our lives, as Bertrand Russell put it, “on the firm foundation of unyielding despair…” (A Free Man’s Worship). The “importance” your view places upon is a sense of impending, unyielding despair.
>>Also, to clarify, your position is that the ultimate purpose of existence can only be spending eternity on your knees?
As the Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
>>I would not ask eternal subservience of a complete stranger, let alone my own children.
Good, because you’re not worth it.
>>What kind of mind sees this fit?
A mind that is fit for it.
>>As to what an atheistic world view could offer?
If you mean a simplicity stemming from it’s pointlessness or stemming from it’s lack of “any rhyme or reason” and lack of “any justice,” as Richard Dawkins put it (God’s Utility Function), then I agree. But why should anyone find that desirable?
>>TRUE LOVE AND COMPANIONSHIP
I’d love to see how you think *atheism* offers these things.
>>To speak to your comment regarding apparent intellectual reasons for believing in a deity… Well, let’s be honest, there are none. The only reasons driving a need to believe are emotionally based, specifically based in fear.
I must admit that when I read your response I really wanted to wait and see what Behind The Mask would have to say about your post, if anything. One would think that if he holds his identity in Christ to be more precious than his identification with his sin (to whatever degree he identifies with it) he would be even more deeply hurt and dehumanized by your caricature of him here. And what about the other secular sensitivity police that were quick to jump on Phil Robertson’s comments? Off on more important errands we can be sure.
Besides that, I have don’t have much to say about your caricature except to point out that it ignores all the reasons presented by apologists throughout Christian history under the pretense of “honesty”. And since you offer no support for your psychologizing I feel no need bother with it.
>>It can be said that most of you have put more time, research and effort in to your next automotive purchase, than your particular brand of subservient self loathing.
I don’t know whether that particular comparison is accurate. It is true that most Christians don’t spend as much time as they should examining their views and the views of others. But the same is true of atheists, in my experience. I’ve talked to many atheists who have obviously never given their atheism much reflection and couldn’t defend it. Shallowness is not a peculairly Christian predicament or atheist predicament. Most people, period, don’t give a close examination to their views.
Hell is really a doctrine of grace. It should be comptemlated.
I think many see this as payback time for the church which has had much influence in western society over the years, the blame game continues. Often full of zeal, rebuke & sentimentality but as you point out contradictory. Many find liberty in what the Bible calls immoral. God doesn’t call us to come out of sin for no reason & He makes it clear that persecution will follow.
The born that way just doesn’t cut it as you have pointed out previously.
Rejoice in the Lord always…
If I might say a little more…the gay movement is much like a church with a set of doctrines & discipline & the government of the day appears happy to embrace this new belief system. Church & state… take 2. Francis Schaeffer observed this many years ago also…”How should we then live”.
What about the ignorant assumption that African Americans were happier in the past. He lost ALL credibility with that comments/ belief.
His comment regarding that was strickly from a *personal* perspective. He made that clear when he noted that as far as *he* knew, looking around within his own tiny corner of the world growing up, he did not observe unhappiness. Context of his comments are important if you are going to make your own statement about them. Accuracy counts.
Carolyn Wilson says
It’s like I commented earlier on another site…yes, we have “freedom of speech and freedom FROM religion in the government” Separation of Church and State. Just because you CAN say what you feel, based on your beliefs, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. There are a lot of PC peeps and people who feel the need to chime in, and make judgement on others. Phil should have been a bit more cautionary and perhaps used a lot of discretion in how he worded his beliefs. It’s called diplomacy. There are those who will be very reactionary to what he said, and will try to use him as a scape goat. I don’t HAVE to make a comment on something I find offensive!! It would take me quite a while to make that kind of judgement. The HUGE question I want to ask a major player in heaven some day…”WHY does God create people who have ALWAYS KNOWN within themselves from an early age that they were “different”…that they preferred same-sex relationships??” This has been an issue for centuries. When one sees the painting inside the Sistine Chapel, do they automatically think, “That Painter was GAY!” I would love to study what the Bible REALLY means when it talks about homosexuality. I have had lots of friends who were gay since I was an RN in the medical field. I have 3 relatives who are, and have always been, gay or lesbian. I had a husband who’s brother was gay, and a step-child who, in her teens was in turmoil…she didn’t come out until after she had married and divorced. But I SAW her angst, her turmoil, before she would even talk about it. She is now a very skilled, brilliant “MD – an Intensivist, who is in a long-term committed “Marriage”. So, being a Christian, I know what the Bible says, but I have a LOT of questions! Like, in what context were homosexuals condemned? I would like to ask Phil Robertson if he has questions or not, too…or were his remarks tinged with a bit of homophobia? As for his comments on racial issues, maybe the isolation he lived in kept him from seeing what was really going on in the nation, re: civil rights. I’m not defending him…but he sure needs to do some serious reading on Black History. Judge not, lest you be judged. But Phil could have used some finesse in stating what he believes. And people who are so eager to censor him need to back off as well. He could have used a LOT more discretion. IMHO. Peace.
Some interesting thoughts in this article.
My thoughts, the Christians of this country have been taking it on the chin for the past few years. And this from the country that was formed by people who wanted to be able to worship God at the church of their choosing. Christians have been turning the other cheek so long that they are on the verge of loosing the country that allows them to worship without persecution. If Phil Robertson is the catalyst to get the tide turned, then he is a hero and a patriot.
Laura Turpan says
I totally agree with this nice women in this conversation. An attraction to the same sex is a thought not being acted on. No sin has been committed except in the mind. To judge so harshly is so wrong and is a bad generalization on all people. I have been attracted to the same sex at times being a woman. It might not even be an attraction but an admiration for those women who dress nicely and take care of themselves. I have smiled back at me knowing that we are just in common thought in admiration of each other so well put together. These thoughts are not a sin. And finally, I think the church should be, and have a safe place for people to talk about such problems they are having. Why is the church so narrow minded and judging instead of helping. That is my question to you. Thank you for listening.
Romans 1:27 would seem to indicate that God condemns homosexual thoughts/lusts, and that while there are certainly differences in terms of civil polity between a response to a person’s thoughts and their actions, that the thoughts are sinful just as the acts that come to fruition from them are sinful. And why would anyone expect it to be any different? Why would sodomy be sinful, while lusting after the act of sodomy is somehow an amoral matter.
The Bible would indicate that same sex attraction is a sin, whether or not a person ever acts on this desire or not. And that desire, just like hate or greed or lust after the opposite sex, will corrupt a person’s soul if it is nurtured or rationalized.
I think Phil describing in detail what it is that homosexuals are doing is fair game. There is a reason why a conscience informed by the Bible would find that act offensive or repulsive. There is something repulsive and degrading to the nature of man and woman when two people of the gender debase themselves this way. The frequent call for “sensitivity” is very often a veiled way of attempting to mitigate the full force of what the Bible has to say on this subject, and I think Christians should be careful that their sensitivity is not a mask for cowardice.
Karen Gosche says
I am a Christian and “reformed” by denomination in the URC. I am not at all “offended” by Phil Robertson’s “crude” remarks in his defense of Christian beliefs against homosexuality. I see in an article on Aquila that Al Mohler too thinks he was crude and did not help with this kind of defense. I disagree totally. My husband wrote to Al Mohler yesterday. Why do we have to sanitize this stuff. There maybe young people out there that learned a thing or two about what homosexuality really is! It is not just hand holding and kissing someone of the same sex. it is what it is. I think Mr. Robertson educated some people who may be very naïve about this issue. You may disagree with me for sure but I did not blink when I read his description. The issue is constantly in our face…I think he fired a shot back perfectly. I said it is like someone saying nice of you to give the gospel but you could have said it better by saying so and so. That has always held people back, me personally too, because maybe I am missing something when I do it. The Holy Spirit was with Phil I believe and I am tired of the faint of heart Christian attitude. Quit criticizing him please he speaks for me on this one.
Mary Gray Moser says
Karen, I agree with everything you said here!
Karen Gosche says
Mary, we are like minded! I was reading Aquila Report this morning before church. Last week I had read an article by Marvin Olasky that was similar to Rev. Mohler and our host on this site’s opinion about the “crudeness and not necessary or helpful” graphics used by Phil Robertson. Well maybe the tide is turning on that…Marvin Olasky wrote another article including a letter he received – and I am assuming he received similar ones. Take a look.
Mary Gray Moser says
Thanks for your comments, Karen. I read Olansky,
It seems to me that this whole thing has actually benefitted Christianity. We’ve seen that we’ve got to put up or shut up. And we get to know each other. I am convinced that the language Phil used was necessary for a clear message. As for me, blasphemy is the only language I can’t stand!
Here is a thoughtful article by a gay writer on the issue: http://ideas.time.com/2013/12/19/the-duck-dynasty-fiasco-says-more-about-our-bigotry-than-phils/
Encouraging that someone from the gay community is saying this.
Jimmy K says
Thank you LGBT community for making Duck Dynasty more popular than ever before. This “outrage” has provided millions and millions of dollars worth of free advertising for the program (and the network) and has provided buzz that simply can’t be purchased. Viewership will probably go up and the network will profit all the more.
If the current network loses this show, another network will pick it up within a week and enjoy more free advertising. So, thanks again and Merry Christmas!
Larry Poole says
You hit the nail of the head! Thank you for taking the time to write and share this.
I look forward to reading more of your blog post in the near future.
Be blessed and Merry Christmas.
Hi Michale. Am writing from south africa where ur surname is quite famous! Look forward to ur interview with james white today. btw what do you think is going to happen when muslims say the same thing that phil robertson did. Left seems “soft” on islamic views on homosexuality. as usual they pick on Chrsitians on conservative issues and pretend that muslims dont exist. If I am not mistaken homosexiuality is still a crime in some countries.
Gian Monzeglio says
sorry for finger error in mispelling. Just wanted to add in reply to our SSA brother Behind the Mask -must we feel the same sensitivities about people with a particular tendency to … lie, … steal, … fornicate, … commit adulery, … gossip, … murder etc etc when talking about these things being sin? do the scriptures do that? pauline epistles for example?