A Few Thoughts & A Letter To Phil Robertson | Duck Dynasty | Conversation

Seeing that everyone else in the Christian community has posted their thoughts, the vast majority being “outraged” I STAND WITH PHIL! hoopla, I wanted to offer a few thoughts/questions before people get crazy and start “preaching” via Facebook and really do some damage to the world’s perspective on the Christian community and I also wanted to write a quick letter to Phil.

Looking at this from a logical perspective – should Phil have been asked to step away? Possibly.  We don’t know what is written in Phil’s contract but apparently A&E has the right as an employer to do what they did.  Remember Phil has a college education and he knew what he was doing.

Do I love Duck Dynasty?  Yes. I’m a huge fan.  At the same, I am one of those “hipster” types he often references for how we dress and what we like to do or don’t like to do out in “yuppieville”. Hell, I’ve been vegetarian for almost 5 years and vegan for most of that.    Regardless of what Phil may presume I do or don’t do is not important and if that makes me less of a man in his eyes, who cares – I still love him.  That’s potentially my sensitive side coming out.  I’ll tone that down until my letter to Phil later.

Is what Phil said about homosexuals accurate? No. If you think it is, you may want to go meet actual people who are gay and stop assuming you know their moral compass. Just becuase a person is attracted to the same sex doesn’t make them detestable or unnatural. You also might discover that homosexuality doesn’t lead to beastiality or sexual promiscuity.  From a Christian perspective, we are born into sin.  It’s not homosexuality that causes further sin.  I’ve never heard a promiscuous guy say, “I used to be really good, then I had sex with this guy and it all went out the window.  All I wanted to do was have sex with anyone and everyone and everything.”  I realize that Phil is not being completely literal but he is making a bold statement by putting homosexuality at the top of the “sin tree” and branching other sins down from there.

For my Christian brethren out there – If you believe homosexuality is a sin let’s process a few things.

Is it worse than…

being the “rich man/woman” who lives a selfish life while ignoring the hungry and the homeless?

the person who feeds off the innocence of children for their own satisfaction?

treating someone as if they are inferior because of the pigment of their skin color?

adultery?

physical abuse of children?

eating food that you know will kill you but you don’t care?

lying to protect someone?

neglecting your kids because you work too much?

addiction?

heterosexual promiscuity?

peeing in public?

getting drunk?

having someone murdered?

enjoying pornography?

spending more time watching TV than investing in the lives of others?

You may answer “yes, it is worse.” or “no, it’s not worse.” to some of the questions above.  I ask you all of these questions because I want to know why we are, as a Christian community, banning together to support statements that homosexuality is the dealbreaking sin?  It is one that will send you straight to the pits of eternal hell. That it is in your mind a terrible thing.  I recognize that we want Phil to be able to speak his mind, but is this what you want a representative of the faith to say?  Does it sound remotely educated and well founded upon deep study of the ancient scriptures?

If you agree with Phil, which is fine, a question… or two…

How much time have you actually spent studying and breaking down scripture to arrive at this conclusion? I’m assuming you spent hours with books written on church history, historical writings from outside the church to give you a perspective on the world of the time. You must have lived for months with Greek lexicons open and poured through countless words to help you break down the Greek that the text you’re studying was written. And after all of that I know you sought counsel much wiser than yourself, sat down and talked.  These were both women and men in and out of the Christian community with an array of beliefs.  And you did ALL of this so that you could evaluate such a sensitive topic and then DECIDE FOR YOURSELF.  Please note sarcasm here.

I’m attempting to make the point that 99% of us don’t approach life this way.  We want our preacher, or father, or someone we deem to be more “biblical” than we, to tell us what to believe about homosexuality.

We do this and it’s dangerous.

It’s dangerous because we don’t spend the necessary time in the scriptures or on our knees talking with the creator nor do we seek the face of God through discussions with other people.  We, countless lazy believers (myself included), take the word of another man or woman and hope that they climbed the mountain to talk with God while we hung out at the bottom and danced the night away.

We need to stop sending our pastors up the mountain to talk with God because we are scared of what He might say and how that might change us. The times in life my faith has been rocked the most were when I was on the mountain talking with the Divine.  He shook me and it was ridiculously hard to change.

*Don’t tell this secret to non-believers, but sometimes our pastors don’t even climb the mountain, they go listen to other pastors and then regurgitate that information to you.*

Is what you believe about Christ, God, the way you live based off of your own conclusions or those given to you by someone else.  For people who grew up in the church or have been walking with Jesus for a while, when was the last time you really searched your heart about your beliefs rather than believing whatever you preacher or parents or whomever taught you?

Before you throw something out on Facebook you may want to process how it will impact others, especially those outside of the Christian faith or even those inside the faith looking for a reason to walk away.  Am I suggesting you not stand on what you beleive?  Not at all.  I am suggesting you think about how you say what you are going to say.  It’s easy to be an Impulse Status Updater and hurt your reputation with the world around you.  In Christian terms, don’t screw up your “witness” by being a jerk.

Is what you are about to write help bring peace to the world and display love or will it cause destruction and fuel those with hate in their heart?

Here’s the crazy thing, I believe in my heart that Phil would welcome a homosexual couple into his home to eat with he and his family. Call me a dreamer.  Would he be a little “preachy”? Probably. Not probably, yes he would. At the core of his being, does he love them?  I think he does.

Is he loving them in such a way that helps them feel loved by Jesus?  I’m not so sure. Let’s pretend you were a gay person who follows Jesus with all of their heart.  What you feel after reading Phil’s thoughts from the GQ interview?

Love?

Understanding?

A genuine want to know you at your core?

or

Would you feel as though he wouldn’t be interested in your heart unless you “changed your ways” and “came to Jesus” so He could “make all your problems go away”?

If it’s the later, is that a desire for people to transform and follow Jesus so they can bring peace and restoration to the world or is it a Christian man with his best laid plan and pitch to get you to heaven?

There’s nothing wrong with desiring heaven, but if heaven’s your focus Jesus is just a man on a throne somewhere off in the glorious distance.  Be careful, only wanting heaven because you fear hell might cause you to never walk with Jesus because your running to get in the gates before they close.  And if you’re gay, don’t bother running at all – apparently those gates are locked up.

Here’s the thing, I’m totally fine with people being on either side of the fence when it comes to your stance on homosexuality. I understand that people will always believe differently.

But, the minute you declare homosexuality the deal breaking sin of a person’s life you might want to also declare the misuse of finances a deal breaker and murder and lying and rape and a deceitful heart and idolatry and apathy toward injustice and this list could go on and on.

We all have sin that we don’t want to let go of because secretly we love it more than we love Jesus but we can keep it hid.  Before you start calling people cowards for being “tolerant” or praising Phil for “standing up to those liberals”, you possibly need to realize that their view on sin isn’t the same and that’s okay.

If a person is seeking God with all of their being and they don’t feel the need to sell all of their possessions and serve the poor as “Christian H”, would you tell them they were wrong?

I didn’t think so.

Why not?

Possibly because we don’t like to equate giving all of our possession away to the poor as a “firm Biblical belief”.  It’s a personal conviction.

So “Christian H” was convicted by the Holy Spirit to change that part of her life.

Perhaps a person who is gay isn’t convicted about the same things you are. Perhaps the Holy Spirit doesn’t move in them the same way it moves in you.  Perhaps they don’t have the same convictions you do.

Perhaps what you call sin is what they call Love.

Other people aren’t wrong simply because a they don’t believe exactly like you and interpret the scriptures as you do.

Believe or not, but I know quite a few people of the LGBT community. Some are Christian. Some are not.

This is a chance for ALL CHRISTIANS to talk with people of the LGBT community. Please talk with the members that love Jesus and those who don’t. We need a dialogue to happen. A FACE TO FACE DIALOGUE, not the cowardly Facebook status updates that do nothing but allow the reader to read whatever preconceived notions he/she may have toward the post.  We are pushing people further away from the faith and for some reason we’re good with that because we would rather “speak truth” than show love and learn something from the life of another.  The more I’ve been blessed to know people in the LGBT community, the more my heart has been opened. As Christians, not as LGBT or heterosexual, but as Followers of Jesus, we must sit down together, break bread and share our lives with one another.  We might discover what walking as a community of believers truly looks like.  We might even could change the world.

 

Dear Mr. Phil Robertson,

I want to say Thank You Phil Robertson for saying what you said, because now I can open up and stand on what I believe. I can have discussions with people about Jesus in a way that displays the redemptive power of his love. I can share my support of those in the LGBT community that have been hurt by Christians and non-Christians.  I can stand for injustice when I see it and offer love for those hurting.

I also want to say something else to the beard that I envy to grow –

Phil, you have a platform to change the world’s perspective on Christianity. You have the privilege unlike any of us will ever get to share light and hope and peace and grace and mercy and above all Love. You have an opportunity to say how much you love people and then actually display it.

But I’m fearful that you’ve not only missed it but that you squandered it in dramatic fashion and sadly many people will think of you as a “hateful, close-minded man” even if you are the farthest from such descriptors.  You had the chance to reach out to a journalist who has a different view on life and talk with him intimately. You could have learned something from him. You could have taught something, but instead you needed to proclaim your beliefs in a way that only confirms his suspicions of “Bible Thumpers”.

I realize this probably doesn’t bother you but it bothers me as your Brother in Christ. It bothers me because I’m tired of spending 90% of my conversations about the church and christianity apologizing to people for how they have been hurt and attempting to explain that what they’ve seen isn’t really Jesus but a bad representation with His name used as a driving force to an agenda.

Yes, you will most likely chalk that up to people being too sensitive living in this yuppie filled world but it’s not that the world is too sensitive.  It’s because words are like arrows, once you release them – they’re gone. They can be arrows of love, empowerment, grace, mercy, peace, kindness, or they can be filled with destruction, hate, ignorance, selfishness. You may believe that speaking your convictions is what you must do at all times and I agree, but I would like to pose this question before I wrap this letter to you – are you sharing your convictions with a heart of love?

I know you love Jesus, as do I, but are you using his name to get others to believe like you and have a conversion experience like you so they don’t “go to hell” or are you telling people about Jesus so they fall madly in love with Him and desire to live as He did?

You see Phil, we must talk as a community of believers and be willing to hear what each other believe with an open heart to the movement of the Holy Spirit.  If we can’t do this our faith is doomed to become stagnant, never growing.  You as any good outdoorsman knows what happens to stagnant water – life in it dies.  Our growth, our hope for generations to come, depends on our willingness to learn from each other.

Phil, I love your heart. I love the way you view the world. I love the fact that you want to live off the land. I love that you eat what you kill. I love that you love Jesus as much as you do and you have the passion to say it.  From what I’ve seen and read, you are a good man, a good father, a good husband, and a good grandpa.

Thank you for your thoughts on things. These were mine. I hope we can keep talking form here. I would love to come hunting.  I would love nothing more than to sit in your home and have a cup of coffee with something delicious that Miss K cooks up.

With great love and respect,

Rustin Klafka

 

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