Monday, January 20, 2014

Why I Stand Behind the Duck Commander

I know the big flurry over the comments made in a quote by the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family to a writer for GQ magazine is nearly a thing of the past (you can read the full article here). At least nothing has popped up on my Face Book feed for the last 2 or 3 weeks which means that most people have moved on.

After reading a few blog posts by authors I have enjoyed (you can read this one here and this one here if you would like) and reading a few news articles, I feel like chipping in some of my own thoughts.
You are free to skip this post if you don't want to hear it. 

I would first like to establish for those of you who do not know me, that I am not a Biblical scholar, theologian or even sometimes a good human being.  In fact I rank right there in the middle of the average category in just about every aspect of my life.  
Except for one thing,
I am a daughter of the King.
And that makes me exceptional to at least one person. 

This fuss over Phil Robertson, or the Duck Dynasty Debacle, as I have heard it called,  caught my attention because I have been a fan of the show. 
In fact, Phil happens to be my favorite member of the Robertson family. 
(At least what I know of him from the skewed perspective that the TV producers feed through the show.) 
I also know that Phil professes to be a son of the King. 
Which is one of the reasons that our family has been drawn to the show. 
But that's beside the point.

Papa Phil  took a lot of heat from a few statements he made to this particular GQ interviewer. 
I don't think he was ignorant of the fact that what he had to say would light a fire in parts of the world.  He knows that the Bible is contradictory to popular world view in most things. 
But I feel like Phil hasn't really been supported by some of the people in the Christian community either.
I'm not feeling the love, so to speak, from some Christians.
I have even heard some people say "I don't care". 
This makes me sad.

I agree that Phil made some crude and even inappropriate comments.  
Regardless, I am still going to stand behind Phil and this is why:

What if, in all of his redneck glory, Phil Robertson was in that moment speaking the truth of God's love with all the eloquence, grace and love that he could muster?  What if he was giving that GQ interviewer his very best attempt at sharing the Gospel? 
What if the words that Phil used were his best?
Can I stand behind Phil and support his imperfect effort at spreading God's love if I believe that he did it with the best of motives? 
Yes I can.
The way I see it, Phil did what he could. It is similar to Mary who broke open the alabaster bottle of  pricey pure nard over Jesus' feet in Mark 14:3-9.
She simply loved Jesus in the best way she could at the time.  
She too received criticism for her actions from her friends. 

When I think of myself and my own attempts to go out  into the world and blunder my way through sharing God's love with someone who doesn't know Him, I would sure hope and pray my brothers and sisters in Christ would support me in my efforts.

Here is something else I can commend Phil for; he didn't back down. When an opportunity arose to share his faith - he did it.  
Knowing it could be written down and put out there on the World Wide Web, he didn't hem and haw and try to say things in a way that wouldn't upset anyone.  He just spoke the truth as he knows it.
And, his truth is grounded in the word of God, the Bible.

Thinking of myself again, how many times have I had an opportunity to share my faith in public, yet I have been too afraid to speak up?

Am I cool with everything that Phil said?  No.

But, I believe that  God is big enough to cover and work with Phil's crude words. And mine.

Do we as Christians, doubt that God can and will use an imperfect man like Phil to reach souls with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 
We shouldn't. 

Do we think that sharing God's love has to be perfectly done with no words that will offend, or else the sinner will not see their need for the Savior?
It doesn't.

Do we so easily forget that the Gospel is offensive?
We can't.

Remember, Jesus, the only perfect man to walk the earth, the Messiah,  the son of God, lived out his Gospel message in such perfection that it offended the masses so much that they nailed an innocent man to a cross.

The perfect, Holy, Grace filled and loving Gospel of Jesus -

Who am I to judge one man who willingly stood up for his Jesus?
So he used imperfect words.
So he used an imperfect platform.
So he was imperfect.

It wasn't the best attempt, but I know that the God whom I serve is able to use that offering and bring something good that will glorify Him out of it.

And I am so thankful.

Let's not forget this: God does not need us to complete His work.  
He chooses to use us. 
He uses imperfect, backward, scared, wrong-word-using people to spread his message of love and hope and grace.

He uses me.
The queen of average. 
If I am willing.

It's all about Jesus.  

Do we need to love better?
Do we need to use better words?
Do we need to utilize better judgement?
Do we need to give more grace?

But when we screw up, as I know I will, 
                    God doesn't. 
God does not make mistakes.  
Not even in his choice of using a backwoods redneck as His ambassador.
Or maybe even an ordinary, average, stay at home mom. 

Please remember, I am no scholar or theologian. 
I'm just a simple woman, who tries to love her God and love others.
And I fail miserably in my attempts.  

I know that some of you, who read this, whom I love, will have a problem with my words. 
My words might offend you. 
For that I am sorry. 

Can you see my love through the offense?  More importantly, can you see God's love through the offense? 
I would urge you, don't look at me and my messy attempts.  
Look at my Father.  

Before I end this stream of thoughts, I would also like to bring up a few other quotes from that specific article. Quotes that didn't get as much press time as the famous ones that started this whole debacle.  Which, might I add, were published by a magazine that has no problem with their writers sprinkling four letter profanities throughout their articles.  Classy literature it isn't. 

Anyway, in case you don't read the whole article for yourself, I found these quotes interesting as well:

Phil says, “We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

Or what about this:
"It’s the direction he would like to point everyone: back to the woods. Back to the pioneer spirit. Back to God. “Why don’t we go back to the old days?” he asked me at one point. But now, I’m afraid, I must get out of the ATV and go back to where I belong, back to the godless part of America that Phil is determined to save."
One of the things I like best about Phil?  He doesn't try to be anything other than who he is.  Scraggly, wiry beard and all.

So there you have it, for what it's worth. 
Those are the reasons that I'll stand behind the Duck Commander.
After all, he is my brother, one of God's sons. 

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