The Duck Thing: Is There Another Way?
by Jen Hatmaker on December 21st, 2013

I know. No one needs to spill any more ink over the Duck Dynasty Debacle. I’m barely online these days, and even I was saturated with the crazy. A quick scroll through Facebook revealed about an 85% DD preoccupation in my feed, whether it was for, against, or that uber cool other response: “I don’t even care.” (But I will go ahead and make that my status...sic.)
 
Maybe just bear with me for five more minutes, mkay?

As many have mentioned, this is clearly not a First Amendment issue. Phil had every right to say whatever he wanted. He could take issue with any people group or demographic on earth, right into a microphone. This isn’t North Korea where the wrong public statement lands you in prison. Or dead. Freedom of speech means you are free to speak. The end.
 
It does not mean you are free from consequences. Isn’t this obvious?
 
This swings both ways, folks. I’ve been unhired from an event for things I’ve said publicly, because they made a Christian organization uncomfortable. Those things were well within my rights to say, and that group had every right to can me for them. That’s how things work. If you are getting paid to represent a church or network or brand, then the First Amendment does not protect your contract, only your freedom to speak your mind.
 
In light of this Duck stuff, here is my little hope for our Christian tribe: May we be peacemakers, because Jesus cast blessings on that role. To me, that means making peace within the church and making peace with those outside of it. I think folks will know us by the love we show others, because the Bible is OBSESSED with that concept apparently. I hope we use our public words to build bridges, not reinforce caverns, because peacemaking is truly a blessed business, my favorite thing.  
 
Specifically with issues that have caused such heartache and damage already like gay marriage and racial inequity, we should refuse to contribute to someone’s pain by speaking about them abstractedly, distantly, as if they aren’t real human beings whose lives bear actual repercussions of our casual public conversations. The sterile public sphere outside of the protective confines of relationships is not a safe place for such weighty discussions, and we should not add to the pile of condescending, degrading comments about real human people. These precious, fragile conversations belong among people who love one another, who've earned the right to be heard, who can look each other in the eye and listen with grace and humility.
 
We are not judges, because how could we possibly be?? How dare we? What right do we have to cut someone to the quick when we are nothing but sinners saved by grace? Sanctification is Jesus’ territory, and we can safely leave Him to it; He can handle the human heart. Our only sane offering to our fellow man is mercy.
 
Why are we here? I teach often about the Last Supper in Luke 22, when Jesus broke the bread and poured the wine and commanded: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” A close study of the original language reveals a better translation: “Constantly make this real.” This sacrifice, this gospel, this love that saves the world…make this real for people.

Do you know how many people are starving for real love? Real hope? Real mercy? This world is dark and lonely and suffering, and Jesus seemed to think the best course was to send disciples out who were willing to constantly make the kingdom real for people who were searching for something true.
 
Jesus didn’t tell us to make the gospel right.
 
He didn’t tell us to make it law.
 
He told us to make it real.
 
For me, this is the most extreme obedience to “biblical truth” I can imagine. I think of my gay and black friends watching the outcry this week, and I can’t help but think the gospel yet again feels like a bludgeon to them, not a real balm, a real grace, a real sanctuary. And the tragedy is, Jesus is the most real source of mercy in the history of time, and He loves us all with a fierce, indescribable love, and none of us deserve it any less than anyone else, and THAT is the shocking headline we should be proclaiming.
 
I don’t think God needs any of us to defend Him…I believe we are here to represent Him. I’m not worried about the kingdom, since Scripture seems to think it is “unshakeable.” God has managed to stay on his throne all this time, so we can go ahead and just let him be God. (For the record, I don’t think Phil fancied himself some valiant defender either…I think he was just being Phil. And these were just a few sentences taken out of a greater context, but in a viral world where every word matters, well, every word matters.)
 
As for me, I care deeply for all the watching eyes, waiting for something real, something that heals instead of wounds. I dream of a faith community that demonstrates a love so scandalous and embarrassing that only the foolish and the rejected and the misfits and the cynics will find any solace in it. My heart’s cry is that someone far outside the sphere of Christian endorsement might whisper, “Even me?” and be stunned by Jesus’ answer: “Always you.”
 
Because if we are only good news to each other, where will that leave the gospel in our generation? I know exactly what moral issues to declare so Christians will take up my cause and Defend Jen, but I don’t want your spiritual energy…I want us to care about this suffering world more than we care about our Christian rights. Our rights were secured on the cross; the discussion is over. No one can steal from us what Jesus already won for us. Rather, let’s take all our victory, our hope and love and share it. That’s the hill I’m going to die on, friends.
 
I’m going to choose love.
 
This is not a gray area. I’m telling you now that I will find a way to preach the scandalous love of Jesus in the face of any issue, demographic, or debate. I will insist on jerking a door open for dialogue with people who’ve been previously maligned by my faith. I will not reinforce the notion that anyone is less than, condemned, or left out, because if that is true, then my salvation is a lie. Because I love mercy for myself, I can’t help but love it for everyone else, and I won’t cheapen it by imagining that my grace is free but someone else’s must be earned. Jesus is the best news in history.
 
Not one heartache on earth will be solved with more judgment; this world needs more love. It is what saved us and still sets us free. It is the magic balm that soothes tensions, crosses divides, and creates safe spaces. Love is the only answer. May we become beacons of it, Church.
 
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Jesus



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1134 Comments
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Kristi - December 22nd, 2013 at 11:27 AM
While I agree with what she has written, I think that in the spirit of love, forgiveness and tolerance of each other and the fact that every one sins and who are we to judge because it's what Jesus would have us do, we have lost ground in losing the fight for our basic Christian rights and views, which is what this country was founded upon. Too often, we just say 'just let it go' to be peaceful and tolerant. But meanwhile, the gay community have become much stronger because they HAVE said we're not going to take it anymore and they have fought back, leaving those with more conservative and traditional values saying, "what in the world happened? How did we become the ones that have no say in anything?" I think we have to start fighting back just like everyone else does or we are totally going to lose everything we and our forefathers have stood for and fought for for hundreds of years.
STAN - December 22nd, 2013 at 11:45 AM
WHILE JESUS SAID WOMAN ,"WHERE ARE THINE ACCUSERS ? "
SHE ANSWERED , THERE ARE NONE AND JESUS SAID , " NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE , GO AND SIN " NO" MORE .. "
WE ARE FORGIVEN BY CHRIST NOT TO CONTINUE IN SIN BUT TO TURN AWAY FROM IT .
Susan - December 22nd, 2013 at 11:47 AM
"Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease."
Fran - December 22nd, 2013 at 11:50 AM
I agree with much of what is written. However, the translation of the original language of Luke 22 does not in any way mean "make it real."

The Greek word anamnesis means to remember. Nothing more. It is the exact opposite of amnesia - to forget. We are to remember His self-sacrifice as the Lamb of God who takes away our sin.


Randy - December 22nd, 2013 at 9:21 PM
Amen. But, haven't you heard? The hidden meaning is in the verb. That's what makes it "real". But, don't worry. The major bible translators missed it too.
Peter W Moon - December 23rd, 2013 at 2:48 AM
The Greek word anamnesis actually means far, far more than just to remember. It means to bring the past into the present to live again in our midst. It is exactly what the Passover seder means when the text says, "We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt," not "Our ancestors way back when. It's the experience of the disciples on the road to Emmaus when their eyes were opened as the previously unrecognized risen Christ broke bread.
Randy - December 23rd, 2013 at 8:55 AM
"We were" is a memory. And, the last time I checked it's in the past, not the present. Placing yourself (collectively) in the past is not the same thing as making it come "to live again in our midst" in the present. In fact, it's the EXACT opposite. Besides, he wasn't calling a past memory to the present. He was creating a new memory. The bread of life (literally and figuratively was sitting right there before them, handing them bread to eat). No sense (or need) of conjuring while he was sitting there before them. We still do the same as the Israelites at the Seder, when the Lamb of God atoned for our sins on the cross.....once for all. We keep taking the Lord's supper, as Paul says, until He comes again. We don't conjure Him in the present like a ghost.

You have a profoundly Roman Catholic idea of what's going on that's not based on simple grammar, logic or the meaning of words.
Peter W Moon - December 24th, 2013 at 4:10 AM
Randy. I don't appreciate your condescending tone. It seems contrary to the civil, Christian dialogue that Jen Hatmaker appears to be encouraging.

If, by "Roman Catholic idea" you mean the stereotype of "re-sacrificing Christ" on the altar, then, no, I don't have a profoundly Roman Catholic idea of what's going on. Otherwise, is being anti-Catholic some sort of litmus test? I'm not RC, but an ordained Protestant clergyperson with a master's and doctoral education.

You appear to be captive to the black and white thinking that is a legacy of the Enlightenment--a literalism that is the flip side of the coin of bankrupt liberalism and is profoundly unbiblical and corrupted by the Greek concepts we are heir to.

Question: By Bread of Life do you mean Jesus or the communion bread?
Answer: Not either/or but both/and.
[Cf. Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."] If the bread is "just a symbol," then so is your flag, and you won't mind whatever I do to it, right?

The model is not the penitential medieval Roman Catholic mass and its attempted Protestant reforms which kept it a penitential rite. Nor is the model only the "last" supper of the synoptic Gospels, or 1 Corinthians 11 (where Paul is dealing with the Lord's Supper in the context of a love feast in which the rich are bringing their food and drink but not sharing it,) but also Luke 24, which reveals the Word and Table pattern of worship of the early church, as described by Justin Martyr and Hippolytus.

BTW, no one should "take" the Lord's Supper but receive it, as we do the Holy Spirit.

Holy Communion is not merely a "memorial meal for the poor, dead Jesus" as so many have made it, but it is God's self-giving and our giving of ourselves in a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving in return.

Eucharist (what the first Christians called it) is at a minimum: (1) a thanksgiving remembrance of the mighty acts of God's salvation in the Hebrew Scriptures and Jesus Christ; (2) a prayer petition for God's transformation of the gathered people and the loaf and cup, so we may be the Body of Christ for the world, redeemed by his blood; and (3) an anticipation of Christ's return in glory in the fullness of time when he will gather all his people at his table in the New Creation in fulfillment of God's promised reign in righteousness, justice and peace.

We settle for so little, focus on the wrong things, and turn Jesus into whatever we want to bless our prejudices. It's sad that we've lost the understanding of corporate and individual confession and reconciliation as a prelude to coming to the table (see Matthew 5:23-24)

"For he who said, 'This is my Body' is the same who said, 'You saw me, a hungry man, and you did not give me to eat.' Feed the hungry and then come and decorate the table. The Temple of your afflicted brother's body is more precious than this Temple (the church). The Body of Christ becomes for you an altar. It is more holy than the altar of stone on which you celebrate the holy sacrifice. You are able to contemplate this altar everywhere, in the street and in the open squares." - John Chrysostom


P.Hoover - December 22nd, 2013 at 12:00 PM
So much more to the "incident".... Robertson was being Robertson. We all have different personalities and approaches to regurgitating the truths God has given to us. His words were dissected and spewed unfairly. He attempted to clarify. Bottom line ~ he was set up and then sliced up. Must we turn on our own in a time of attack from the outside??? Words are dangerous tools. His heart and your heart Jen, are the same. Love you.


Alan - December 22nd, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Jesus loved the women at the well, unconditionally,with grace and privately so as not to embarrass. He then told her, "go and sin no more". There was no discussion of why she did what she did; nature or nurture, motivation, etc.

--As God of the universe, I love you, accept you and forgive you. You will be talked about for thousands of years whenever people examine my grace and love. Accept what I am offering, but stop doing what seems right in your own eyes.

I think that's a pretty good model for all of us.
bob - December 22nd, 2013 at 12:45 PM
How can being with someone of the same sex be filed under the same category as theft, murder, adultery etc. Also known as "sin"? This is one of many reasons I never understood religion.
Andrea - December 22nd, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Jesus is all about love. But he is all about righteousness too. None of us are totally righteous. But when asked what is right and what is wrong, I'm going to go with the Bible. Period. Every time. You can't sugar coat it. Or make it more loving than it already is. It is arrogant to think you can. And secondly, this is a free speech issue because it is a slippery slope from this situation to speaking out on what you believe being called a "hate crime" which of course would be punishable by law. Show God's love while preaching truth.
Bruce Horace Robinson - December 22nd, 2013 at 1:23 PM
I am gay and an African American and I think that Phil's comments were totalIy vicious. He is clearly not a Christian as you interpret that concept in your blog post. What disturbs me about your post is that while you seem to mildly dislike what Phil said and that he will have have to suffer the consequences for his comments, you also seem to create a lame apology for his comments by stating: "(For the record, I don%u2019t think Phil fancied himself some valiant defender either%u2026I think he was just being Phil. And these were just a few sentences taken out of a greater context, but in a viral world where every word matters, well, every word matters.)." I do not believe that Phil's words were just a few words taken out of a greater context. Plato said that "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." I feel that your quoted comments about Phil are making an argument for us to be indifferent to what Phil said and just be quiet and nonjudgemental and say Phil is just being Phil. If we went down that route, Blacks would still be slaves in this country, as Phil seemingly wants to happen. I also shudder to think what the world would be like if good men had not stood up and judged Hitler, condemned him, and fought against everything he stood for. Another way to state my reaction to your comments about Phil is by asking this question: "Aren't you asking us to turn the other cheek and not say anything at all about good ol' Phil's vicious comments?" How is that tactic going to solve anything? Are you asking me to get down on my knees and scream out "I hate what you said, but I love you, Phil?" Hell will freeze over before I do that, if there is a Hell. Finally, you state: "This is not a gray area. I%u2019m telling you now that I will find a way to preach the scandalous love of Jesus in the face of any issue, demographic, or debate. I will insist on jerking a door open for dialogue with people who%u2019ve been previously maligned by my faith. I will not reinforce the notion that anyone is less than, condemned, or left out, because if that is true, then my salvation is a lie." In my opinion, you are not really opening the door for dialogue with people who have been maligned by the Christian faith or preaching the love of Jesus in the face of any issue when you are making excuses for Phil and refraining from categorically condemning everything he said.
Deb - December 23rd, 2013 at 3:10 PM
Yes. I hear you, Bruce. Defend the oppressed or be the oppressor. I agree. We can not be silent. Speak in love, yes. Silent? No way
Pat Weaver - January 3rd, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Bruce, I'm sorry your feelings have been hurt. But Jen can't condemn "everything Phil said" without specifically condemning Scripture - specific prohibitions in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. As a Bible believer - an inherent part of Christian belief - that's something she isn't free to do. You are entitled to your opinion, but neither you, Jen or any of us is entitled to tell God what His opinion is - specifically on subjects where His Word speaks very specifically. It's always interesting when non-believers pontificate on what makes someone a "good Christian."
Muriel Romero - December 22nd, 2013 at 1:48 PM
While reading all of the postings, from and to Phil, I was very upset. You just put my thoughts into words......... Thank You..........It all comes down to LOVE & JESUS
Jon - December 22nd, 2013 at 2:54 PM
Everybody loves the noncomdemming Jesus. The Apostle Paul would be painted as unloving by contemporary Christians. Unfortunately that is preaching another Jesus.
Tray - February 17th, 2014 at 10:12 AM
Hmmmm. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. That's the Good News.
Lucy Hansford - December 22nd, 2013 at 1:55 PM
I just sent the link to this article to my friends in lieu of a Christmas card. Thank you so much for bringing all the maelstrom down to the still, quiet voice that has always whispered "Love."
Peggy - December 22nd, 2013 at 2:07 PM
Oh WOW! How I love this. I've never read your blog before, but this is so Right on! Awesome! Thank You!
Karen - December 22nd, 2013 at 2:14 PM
Phil never judged anyone. If anything he is one of the first in line to admit his own sins publically and stated because of Jesus he is forgiven and saved. He gave his own personally opinion along with scripture that it is sin to be homosexual along with other sin. He did not personally dome anyone to hell for their sin. The magazine ask him his views and he openly stated his personal opinions and scripture from the Bible. He was rough and raw about his opinion but he didn't judge anyone for their sins.

charlie - December 22nd, 2013 at 2:20 PM
When Jesus dealt with the woman taken in adultery the last thing he said to was go and sin no more. He did not tell her that what she did was ok. and he did not forgive her until she acknowledged him as LORD. The homosexual of to day do not want to be called sinners and this will land their soul in hell no mater how much you love them. They need to repent and trust Jesus like the rest of us sinners.


Kari - January 20th, 2014 at 2:42 PM
Amen, Charlie!
Jaris - December 22nd, 2013 at 2:28 PM
Ya know as I sit here and read all these comments. I sit and think about the conversation me and my wife had concerning this subject. As Christians we are all sinners, and have been saved by the redeeming grace of God. He loved us in the middle of our messy disgusting sinful ways. Then he turned around and asked us to love each other in the same we he loved us. So to put this into action, we are to love the liar, murderer, child molester, adulterer, and yes the homosexual. That being said, we are not to expect the sin in their lives, just like we are not to expect the sin in our own lives. But we are called to love, and that my friends is what I will do. If you truly love someone, you will speak truth to them.
John - December 22nd, 2013 at 2:31 PM
Jen, it is not an and or mutually exclusive option. You can Honor Christ by sacrafficially loving homosexuals and opposing organizations like Glaad/A&E in their efforts to punish Christians proclaiming scriptural truth by emailing them and telling them their fascist actions are not acceptable. Silence is complicity.
Tabitha Fletcher - December 22nd, 2013 at 3:10 PM
Jen,
I realize that amongst the comments are multiple opinions and a lot of repetition, but there is no way I could not respond to your response. My words come from a heart that longs to see a generation shaken by the love of Christ, and transformed with true communion. I want to thank you for your Courage. Your willingness to be a conduit of God's grace and mercy is inspiring and foundation shaking. Your words, not only here, but in other writings, present the questions 'Are we (am I) standing on the firm sand of the Pharisees, entitling ourselves with pointing fingers and law upholding?' or 'Are we (am I) standing on the unshakable Rock that withstands the rains and invites others in to experience the protection, and safety of the only One who knew us before we were born and set us apart for His appointing?'
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
1John 4:8
In prayers for a Nation that Seeks His Face,
Thank you again,
cmc - December 26th, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Amen.
Lestra - December 22nd, 2013 at 3:20 PM
I keep thinking as Christians we are oftentimes much more merciful to those who aren't Christians and much less merciful to those who are. Quicker to be judge mental towards our own family, so to speak, even if they made a mistake or even if they belv they did the right thing with the right motives. I don't ever remember in the bible Jesus telling one of his disciples they did the wrong thing (in so many words) publicly but yet we do see Him doing that privately. I think Jesus majored on mercy to His own, too, and we should follow His example.
Karin - December 22nd, 2013 at 3:51 PM
I totally concur!!! There has been all this outpouring of love, mercy and understanding from Christians to - well, anyone but Phil. It struck me as well. Interesting. My knee jerk reaction is always to side with a brother (or sister) in the faith. Must be that people are overcompensating.
Tinneca - December 22nd, 2013 at 3:59 PM
I'm confused. Please clear this up for me because the responses leaves me questioning the 'Christianity' of many of you posting. Could some of you please answer these 1 by 1 for me?

1. Does the Bible tell us to hate people?
2. Does the Bible tell us to hate peoples actions?
3. Do you believe that Jesus would have spoken hateful and hurtful words to a gay man or woman....or a prostitute, or a drug user?
4. How did Jesus win over the hearts and minds of sinners?
Trey - December 22nd, 2013 at 6:55 PM
1. Jesus said greatest commands are to love the lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself.
2. Proverbs 6:16-19 -- There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Also Leviticus 18:22 (in reference to homosexuality) You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And Proverbs 17:15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
3. 2 stories come to mind. John 8 Jesus and the prostitute and John 4 Jesus and the samaritan woman at the well. In both stories Jesus does not condemn them (and He is God and the only one with the right to judge their actions). BUT he does not excuse their behavior or say they were born that way. He says you are forgiven, go and sin no more.
4. I believe he exposed their sin and in front of almighty God we cannot excuse our sin or hide, just like Adam and Eve could not hide in the Garden but God seeks us out and forgives us because he loves us and wants us to be forgiven and live a life that is good and whole.
Terri - December 22nd, 2013 at 3:59 PM
ONE thing Phil did was point out the similarities between fundamental Christianity and the Muslim faith. Bet he doesn't know it though! He and some others who have posted here, might be surprised at what they have in common with Muslims. Ha! Thanks for your thoughts, Jen Hatmaker. They make sense -- a rarity these days.
Shalle - December 22nd, 2013 at 4:29 PM
Why do people always put me in the same category as someone's sexual preference? Why is racism equated with ...sigh.
Ashley - December 22nd, 2013 at 4:32 PM
Christians, maybe if we were just as fired up about our own idolatry, gluttony, greed, gossip, lust, impatience, etc. as we are about homosexuality we would not be having this discussion right now.
I think Phil is s great guy and I will watch his show should it continue on another network. I have grace for him, BUT he listed greed along with homosexuality in his Corinthians paraphrase. I heard from a pastor friend that his son Willie charges around $130,000 to speak at a church. If that is true, then that doesn't sit well with me. Greed and pride, also an abomination to the Lord. We are ALL in need of grace and mercy.
Love God, love people. I think that is what paves the way for hearts to be opened to receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It's the Holy Spirit that draws the hearts of men. And like Jen said, you need to earn the right to be heard and to do that you need to love other struggling sinners where they're at. How many homosexuals have you loved, Christian???
For the record, I would love to give Phil a big hug right now! I bet he had no clue of the fire storm he was about to set off.
J - December 22nd, 2013 at 4:53 PM
The problem comes down to the definition of sin. No one wants to define homosexuality as sin anymore because they say it's love between 2 people. The bible does difine it as sin...
That said we are all sinners, we all fall short of God's glory.....no one gets in except by the blood Jesus shed and his grace.
We are to love our neighbors as ourselves....so we are sinners, we are to love our sinning neighbors.....but not their sin. Love the sinner hate the sin.
LMP - December 22nd, 2013 at 5:13 PM
John the Baptist preached repentance, Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:15 The problem with practicing homosexuals is they want the Church to accept them as they are because they don%u2019t think of themselves as sinners. God would not have said homosexuality is a sin if He had made men and women to be homosexuals. Get real people, the only ones who will enter the kingdom of heaven are repentant sinners for we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The Church should be preaching repentance not hate, repentance not acceptance. If you truly love your neighbor as yourself, you will call him on his sin and tell him of the cleansing power of the shed blood. By accepting the sins of the homosexual you are condemning them to eternal damnation.
Pam - December 22nd, 2013 at 5:19 PM
Jen, so if you are asked in an interview, "What do you think of gay marriage," what will your response be?
Trey - December 22nd, 2013 at 5:40 PM
Jen,
I love your heart and your motivation to share the gospel in love. Amen. There are a few issues going on with the DD debate.
1. Can an employer fire or suspend you for your religious beliefs?
2. Did Phil Robertson say offensive things? If so, define what the offense was and let's debate the offense and the proper consequences. Much like a court and judge decides the proper punishment for different offenses.
3. The gay debate and how christians believe and respond.
#3 is what I feel your article has dealt with the most, and deals with the church in general and less with Phil Robertson -- his comments are the catalyst the greater conversation.
While I applaud your heart I feel you are neglecting truth from your position. You dream of a love that "heals instead of wounds". Absolutely the gospel of Jesus is the manifestation of God in flesh proving his love for us by dying on the cross for our sin. The word sin and what constitutes a sin is what is "wounding" to the gay community. The church believes and even martyrs of today and old continue to show the radical love to sinners -- "no greater love than this than a man lay down his life for his friends." Yet many will reject Him says the scriptures and most if not all gays are offended by christians simply because they accept Christ and follow the Bible's teachings that homosexuality is one of the many sins that Christ showed his radical love for. So it hurts my heart to see fellow believers in Christ bash other believers for being insensitive when they simply claim they believe what the Bible teaches. We are not claiming hate or judging. It is speaking truth in love.
KC - December 23rd, 2013 at 11:19 AM
1) No. They CAN fire you for saying crude or explicit things publicly, particularly to the press. He was hired and employed as an outspoken Christian. They did not fire him as such.
2) Yes. Crude language to describe both the female and male bodies, as well as sex. I was offended as a straight, evangelical woman.
3) It is not persecution to be fired for saying stupid things. It is not persecution for people to have a problem with your opinion as a result of your faith in God. It is persecution to be arrested, tortured, harassed or murdered for your belief in God, faith in Jesus and refusal to worship false Gods. PR was not fired for any of those things, nor was he arrested, tortured, harassed or murdered. American Christians need to have a good, long discussion about what is and isn't persecution, the make-up of the international, multi-cultural body of believers, and how we can love God and others intelligently and passionately. And we need to make room for brothers and sisters on the other side of the aisle. We are all there. And we love and worship Jesus as the one true Son of God same as you.
Alison - December 24th, 2013 at 2:33 PM
He used the words vagina and anus, both of which are anatomically and politically correct terms. What words would you have preferred he use in place of them?
Joe - December 22nd, 2013 at 5:55 PM
Leviticus 25:44-46 says that it's OK to own and sell slaves and to treat them like property. If Phil had said he believed we should go back to the times of pre-civil war because the bible endorses slavery, would anybody bat an eye if A&E were to suspend him for a statement like this? The company has a right to protect their image and let people know what they stand for even if not everyone agrees with them.

I see so many of you saying that everything in the bible is absolutely right because it is the word of God. Are you telling me God endorses slavery? Really?

How many gay people does God have to create before we realize he actually wants them here? Homosexuality is not a choice but a natural condition. When did you choose to be straight? Why would someone consider themselves a sinner when they don't feel the love between them and their significant other hurts no one, but does enhance their own happiness? Wrong is anything that hurts someone else intentionally or out of purposeful neglect. One doesn't need religion to have morals. If you can't tell right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion.
Lorrie - December 22nd, 2013 at 5:58 PM
I agree with Doug and Stan! You both are right on. Very well said!
Maria - December 22nd, 2013 at 6:14 PM
Jen,
I have read some things from you... I have a book you wrote.... Thank you! :)

I sincerely wish, however, that you would have chosen not to write on this issue. I got here following a rabbit trail (that started in a place that is usually "safe", so I ventured forth). I read your words, and while I do think there is more than one way to analyze what has become a very complicated controversy, I do not disagree with anything you wrote here. Your words were carefully thought out and I appreciate that. :)

But then I read the comments. Jen, I do not have to tell you, you have a very popular blog. But herein lies the limitation of blogs: they are not safe places, where people love each other and can discuss topics such as these. This was your very own arguement for where Phil strayed from good sense-- and you were right! This is my great grief over social media.... that people want it to be more meaningful and purposeful than it will ever be able to be.

The pot has been well stirred here... and for what? What have we gained, what have you gained in it? For the readers that felt encouraged by what you wrote.... there were others who were alienated... and then each voice is trying to be louder than the one before it. If I had your email, or your number.... I would call you and tell you these things privately..... but your quite the superstar -- so not sure how to contact you other than through a comment (which with the comments nearing the 1,000's I doubt you will ever read these words I am writing.) It is not my intention to hurt your feelings or be insensitive--- again I WAS and AM encouraged by what you wrote-- just not the venue you chose to do it. Perhaps you could have turned the comments off? I don't know--- I don't pretend to have the answers--- I just really don't believe that this post was ultimately helpful-- and on the off chance you do read this, maybe you'd want to know.

Blessings to you and your readers-- maybe we can quit hashing this for now? I don't think we are hearing each other, I think we are making a bigger mess this way. Can we stop or figure out a better way?

Maria
Amy - February 10th, 2014 at 10:39 AM
Good words Maria
Lauren - December 22nd, 2013 at 6:26 PM
Jen,

I love your heart for mercy and caring for the least of these. This is true religion. However, I would encourage you to remember that although *you* would rather focus on mercy rather than our American rights, you would not be able to express your Christian views so freely if someone out there like Jay Seculow or Janet Parshall, weren't being *very* concerned with your rights.

Please remember that we are One body with many members.

21So the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" Or again, the head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you!" But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary.

*******And this is the important part....******
25so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other.

It is easy to say you are not concerned with your rights while someone else is fighting so hard for you to keep them precisely so you can keep talking about the mercy of Jesus, because make no mistake about it. It is His that name offends. Period. And they will not be quieted until all talk of Jesus and a Holy God is stopped. It would be more helpful if the hands of Mercy didn't assume that they were more Christlike than the the feet fighting to defend the hands. And vice versa.

So many people are under this mistaken impression that if you just say these things lovingly, than it would be accepted. Yes, we are commanded to speak the truth in love, but obviously that doesn't mean it will be accepted. Case in Point: Louie Giglio. Is there anyone *less* judgmental of the world?? Yet....."They" were outraged that he would be allowed to pray at the the presidents inauguration because of comments he made against homosexuality IN THE 1990s! "They" were not happy until the president finally chose a gay "pastor." Seriously. The 90's.

Am I defending Phil's word choice? No, but I also consider the source. Is he any more refined on the show that makes this behavior shocking? He was set up. Just like the owner of Chik Fil A.

It's a bit on the naive side to think that this is about the *way* he said it. This exact outrage happened over Chik Fil A....but how loving, calm and NOT crude was Dan Cathy?

The only way for you to be accepted by the lynch mob is to either agree or agree. And the time will come where they will set you up, and you will hope that your brothers and sisters, the other members, will come to your defense.




Trey - December 22nd, 2013 at 8:06 PM
Well said Lauren.
Kristi - December 22nd, 2013 at 9:17 PM
I agree, very well said
Lindsay - December 29th, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Lauren, you have stated this very wisely.
Karen - January 4th, 2014 at 8:51 AM
Wisdom, right here
Bill - December 22nd, 2013 at 8:16 PM
I find it rediculous that the very group that preaches tolerance (Gay and lesbian community) are completely intolerant towards Phils comments. Dont preach tolerance when you cant practice it youself
Andrea - December 22nd, 2013 at 9:46 PM
Love? Yes! May I really get this one right--loving a person, not just loving the idea of them feeling loved by me. Peace? Oh my, yes! But any of our sin slashes that--and so may I really care enough to help those living in sin (of any kind) to become pure and blameless before Him and know the peace of God instead of letting them find peace in me. I'm afraid--could we be causing so many to miss God's grace and peace by handing them a counterfeit. I think Phil loves people enough to long for them to have peace with God and is willing to get some stones thrown at him if it means helping build lives on our Rock instead of the sandy stuff..
Robert Branch - December 22nd, 2013 at 9:47 PM
Remember people Jesus died on the cross for all of us even the gay people
Ryan Miller - December 22nd, 2013 at 9:52 PM
I'm just going to say something that Mugatu (from Zoolander) would say. How can the Christian Right NOT see the harm in Phil's statements? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills....
Kyle - December 22nd, 2013 at 10:02 PM
This was interesting. I clicked on it, because I enjoy reading the different perspectives (both Christian and non-) on the "hot button" issues, and Phil's words have brought out plenty of opinions. However, this post really seemed like an article full of flowery language about the Gospel.

My only critique would be that I think you have softened the real affront that sin is against God. It is THE obstacle to a relationship with Christ. Without a knowledge and recognition of sin, we have no need of a Savior. While it is not our job to "be the Holy Spirit" in people's lives, I think we cannot send a message of acceptance to these sins either. We are called to love people, not actions.

All in all I think that we must be known and characterized, as Christians, by love. However, I think we cannot call ourselves loving when we do not speak truth into people's lives.
Erin - December 22nd, 2013 at 10:22 PM
I support Phil. I think he is a wonderful example of someone who was in the depths of sin (adultery, drunkenness, who knows what else?) and was redeemed by Jesus' blood. Now, he warns people away from sin. He encourages their repentance. He tells of God's love for us all-yes, ALL of that was in that article even though no one mentions that. His life is marked by kindness and patience and four believing children. Rough around the edges? Sure, but isn't that the kind of like the person that God loves to use? How do we not support that message as fellow believers?
Deborah Penner - December 22nd, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Thank you
JP - December 22nd, 2013 at 10:54 PM
I'll JUST DO WHAT ME GRANDMOTHER SAID IF YOU AIN'T GOT NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT SOMEONE ,JUST KEEP YOU MOUTH SHUT .ITS NOT WORTH SOMEONES WORDS TO MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT IT TO MUCK ,SHE ALSO SAID COMMON SENSE AIN'T SO COMMON ANYMORE .... I THOUGHT YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN THOUGHT BEEN BETTER BY YOU HERITAGE .MOVE TO JASPER TX ..
Beth - December 22nd, 2013 at 11:23 PM
I totally love this article... You truly speak to the issue in a way that doesn't make it about his right to voice his opinion (which you explained BEAUTIFULLY), but about his duty as a Christian to uphold the law of "loving your neighbor as yourself". The only thing I wish you would have said is that we also need to show grace and love and understanding to Phil.... We SERIOUSLY need to stop picking and choosing who we show Christ's love to. And that includes other Christians who may have messed up (just like the rest of us). We can expect peace and love in the Christian community if we chastise each other when we mess up or speak out of turn. Just like we can't expect others to see The Bible through us when we pass judgment. We have to love ALL people, and forgive ALL people as Christ has forgiven us.
Mary - December 23rd, 2013 at 1:07 AM
You have said exactly what I have been trying to say, and you say it beautifully and eloquently. It is exactly my feelings as soon as I read the first murmur about this whole DD thing. I was trying to get this point across to others on FB, but fell flat. Wish I had seen this earlier. Thank you for writing this! This is my Jesus, my faith! I'm new to your blog (followed a link from Unfundamentalist Christians FB page) but I will be reading to see what else you write about. Thank you for this breath of fresh air.
Tabitha - December 23rd, 2013 at 2:11 AM
Great article! I wish everyone who called themselves a Christian, actually walked in the love and mercy of Jesus. He may have been direct but He was not afraid to sit with tax collectors or thieves. And he didn't have to convince them of their sin or be angry with them to change, In fact I recall it was the pharasees he was angry with. Their need for being self righteous and condemning others, not understanding the heart of the Father, these were the ones who wouldn't listen.
I'm sad to read so many comments condemning or judging people who reach more people with the gentle love of Christ in one broadcast than all of us on this page will reach together in our lifetimes. There's not glory for Satan in that, so just as Jesus said about the devil casting the devil out, how does that serve the enemy? It doesn't.
I believe some Christians are so afraid of corruption or being corrupted that they become infatic about the little things, or the rules, or just how the gospel should be shared, and what it should sound like. When you know who you are in Jesus and who He is in nature and character, you won't have to convince the world that they should act like Him. You being like Jesus - really loving like Jesus, that will get their attention.
Margaret Watkins - December 23rd, 2013 at 2:59 AM
The more I mull over this article, I keep thinking, "doctrine does matter." That is saying a lot and the logical conclusions must be thought through about what Jen said above. I was raised in a liberal church - the Bible was not the Word of God but just a nice narrative to be only taken seriously in areas of social justice - what the culture perceived as social justice. Personal sin was never an issue because.....it was never an issue. Ah, the slippery slope of playing the game, "Did God really say...?"
Linda Mitroff - December 23rd, 2013 at 4:38 AM
Jen-I appreciate this about you: you get the conversation started. I have my adult kids home, all of us under one roof. We are a mess of soft and rough edges....and we are real, and beautiful....and this is one of those things I can pose and we discuss.....thank you!
Jeff Johnson - December 23rd, 2013 at 6:43 AM
"Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless, a striving after the wind. The rivers run to the sea, but the sea is never full..."

And to think that Solomon penned that without ever having read comments on an internet blog.

The constant arguing exhausts me. All things are wearisome indeed. I read Jen's original post and thought "Maybe I can be a Christian again." Then I kept reading, and remembered why I am not.


Amber Brunck - December 23rd, 2013 at 7:32 AM
EXACTLY!
lindsay - December 24th, 2013 at 4:22 PM
The good news Jeff is that I don't think Jesus came to start another religion. I think you can still enter into a relationship with Jesus and the Father without becoming a Christian. Seek Him and you will Find Him. He may be different than you were taught, or you've thought. I'm finding Jesus to be a great mystery, but very compelling. Best wishes Jeff on your journey.
sonyamacdesigns - December 23rd, 2013 at 7:31 AM
When it%u2019s all dynasty & we can%u2019t find a duck to save a single life %u2026 it just might be yet another american IDOL, family style.
Nancy Jocoy - December 23rd, 2013 at 7:45 AM
Blessed are the peacemakers. Thank you for this blog. For one I do judge or condemn homosexuality or even really know if it is wrong. I think that the loving committed relationship of a same sex couple can't be wrong. But I don't read where you sat in judgement. It is ok for someone to think it is a sin, but please take the log out of their eye before taking the splinter from theirs for them. Simply LOVE them. How simple is that. Let them work it out with God on their own and with their pastors. This hell fire and brimstone has driven more people away from the church than it has pulled in.
Sara - December 23rd, 2013 at 9:39 AM
I never comment on these sorts of things, and to be honest hadn't even read your blog today until someone I know posted the link on facebook. I have to say that last week broke my heart seeing all of the hateful remarks posted through social mediums, and I am still started by the way the church and "those who seek to emulate Christ" acted. I left the church years ago after dealing with situations in which politics and legalism won over treating those who were hurting as Christ would have, and have struggled to come to terms with what the Church has become. This is undoubtedly one of the most encouraging things I have seen on paper and reiterates much of who I believe Christ called us to be. Thank you so much for this post
jay - December 23rd, 2013 at 9:44 AM
The comments section here just reinforces why I hate most of you conservative Christians. You people are sick,and too stupid to understand the real meaning of Jesus' message. I hope you all rot.
Liz - January 8th, 2014 at 11:43 PM
Clearly you understand His message perfectly.
Lyle - December 23rd, 2013 at 9:53 AM
The challenge we have as Christians in our culture today is to resist the temptation to extremes; we should neither castigate and dismiss the culture entirely nor acquiesce to it under the guise of acting in "love".
The Gospel is both Truth and Grace; God is simultaneously Loving and Just - always. The implications of that are challenging but not contradictory. That doesn't mean I agree with the way Phil addressed the topic of homosexuality, but we shouldn't be surprised at the visceral reaction to his comments. After all - the issue behind this "issue" is personal freedom (just read the responses from both Christians and non-Christians); the idol of western culture - one challenged by the Gospel.
Thoughtful presentations of the Gospel will always challenge aspects of the culture which need to be challenged, and affirm those that are in line with the Truth. It seems to me believers should be spending a lot more time thinking about how to do this effectively in a culture that finds Christianity increasingly irrelevant.
Tropical Woman - December 23rd, 2013 at 10:13 AM
"ONE LOVE"... nuff said! Amen!
Julie - December 23rd, 2013 at 10:32 AM
I can honestly say that I've thought about this post for 24 hours. I have some concerns about you "love only" view.
1. Are you aware that there are no uproars from the black community? No Al Sharpton, no Jessie James. Why? They read the article and used their understanding to know that Phil only spoke of HIS experiences. Not of all, but of his. He was working with these people-as a peer. He was broke and down and out. He was not overseeing them. Hence, no argument from those that argue for the black community.
2. That leads to my next point, have you even READ the article. If not, you should. You would be surprised. Phil goes on to speak about the Almighty being the ONLY judge and how he loves all people-OH, but that's RIGHT the MEDIA forgot to say that!!! So, if you are going off what the media has to say, shame on you! The article talks on and on about how Phil is focused on God and nothing else. So, really SHAME ON ANY CHRISTIAN WHO DID NOT INVESTIGATE THIS FOR YOURSELF! If you are listening to the media, you have forgotten the very thing that is happening in the spiritual realm. Wake up American Christians and educate yourselves before we are sucked into the enemies plans!
3. Jesus did not do all in "love", or at least the love you are pointing too. Discipline and instruction is love too! He went into the temple and overthrew tables. He met the woman at the well when no one else would and then he disciplined her. I don't think he put his arm around her and told her it was OK for her to have 5 husbands and the one you are living with isn't. I believe he met her where she was at and then told her to "sin no more". Love in discipline is what we should be seeking. My question to you-How many of your gay friends have you loved in discipline? How many have you told THE TRUTH too? If you aren't, isn't that accepting their lifestyle and telling them it's ok. Jesus wouldn't do that. He'd meet them where they were at AND THEN discipline them. If you are lacking the discipline, you aren't completing the gospel accordingly. It would be like taking your kid to church every week and then letting them party hard in your house! Love without discipline is accomplishing little. How do I know-I'm a sinner still and I need God's discipline to lead and guide me each day or I am a mess! Notice, I didn't say wrath! But, that comes to those who do not know Him! To say just to treat gay people with love is a misdirection that shouldn't come in this form!
Marshall Armstrong - December 23rd, 2013 at 10:44 AM
Interesting though, the first thing that comes to his mind when thinking about sin is male homosexual sex. Not greed or drug abuse or violence, all of which are much more prevelant but male homosexual sex is foremost in his mind. Hmmmm.
Julie - December 23rd, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Please read the complete article-because, if not, you are taking what one person has to say and not the whole picture. Know what was really said! It may surprise you!
Scott - December 23rd, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Wow, Moderated for giving an opinion with no elicit context at all... Shame on you, Jen.
Angie - December 23rd, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Thank you, Jen, for your thoughtfulness and willingness to venture into this fray. All you're calling for is more love, more mercy and less hate and judgment. It's hard to understand what's so controversial about that. Again, thank you for your beautiful words.
Maria - December 23rd, 2013 at 1:12 PM
There really isn't any controversy in what Jen said. But opening the can of worms --- even just to say, "let's love each other better.... grace, mercy...." and then leaving the blog space open for fighting---- it's fanning the flames of disagreement. Someone else could have posted an equally gentle admonition to their "Christian tribe" on this issue and in this setting of social media-- it only instigates more uproar. At least in a blog read as much as this one.

If I could encourage anything here, it is let's DO talk about this and try to understand each other, but let's do it in the context of real relationships-- face to face or on the phone with people we really care about and who we care what they think and what they think about what we think.

There's nothing to lose for individuals in this format (the blog comments).... nothing at stake, really. And it's too easy to misbehave, or simply just be forgetful and thoughtless of the fact that the other people reading this are human beings and NOT idiots even if they don't agree with you. AND I am saying that as someone who has no horse in this race.... if I have any cards to show at all, I will not be showing them here. Why? Because NOTHING good will come of it. I read hundreds of the thousand comments left here.... and while there certainly were some good thoughts expressed from various sides of the issue.... no body is leaving this space understanding anyone any better. That's because real dialogue can't happen here. It just can't.
But there's plenty of opportunity for feathers to get ruffled and for people to think they have even more reason to hate "the other side" even more.
Sigh.
Jessica - December 23rd, 2013 at 12:43 PM
This is fantastic. Absolutely the best commentary I've read on the situation(s). Thank you.
joshua - December 23rd, 2013 at 1:26 PM
I find nothing wrong with what phil said. you know what i find wrong is that millions of christians and the ones that posted here have been desensitized by society over the years. we can no longer just tell it like it is we have to soften up our message so we dont have "hate Speech" towards those who dont agree. The GLAAD and LGBT people blew this way outta portion. i dont like the gay lifestyle cause it doesnt agree with God, Jesus. i dont have to love that about a person to love that person. the more desensitize society becomes the thicker the gray line becomes. the black and white lines no longer exist. thank you gay community for beating it into our brains for the last 40yrs. phils racist comments are a joke. seriously people not ALL farmers beat their black workers. he may have worked for a farmer who didnt do those things. many farmers did but not ALL. black community just wants to promote racism by constantly brin ging it up and claiming racism to every unfair injustice that happens to them, as if the color of their skin is the sole reason.
Harold - December 23rd, 2013 at 2:05 PM
I am NOT the judge, but I do say that if the Bible points out sin and the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, it is sin.. The pain you hear from this man is coming from a convicted heart...
Jesus deals with sinners out of compassion, but He does not infer SIN can be overlooked...The step to HEALING is REPENTANCE! Unless a person acts on their being convicted they are in denial...(Jas 4:17 -- "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. Additional Reference: Luke 12:47;)
Jesus is the answer for all mankind regardless of their sin(s). There is NO COMPRMISE for SIN.
God Bless All People and my desire is to see everyone go to be with our Heavenly Father...
Erin I. - December 23rd, 2013 at 2:07 PM
Jen, I hope I am wrong but what I hear you saying is that the Jesus of love and acceptance is your guy. You love that guy. I do too! In fact, that is who I try to model myself COMPLETELY on. But didn't Jesus also tell an adulterous woman to go and sin no more? Didn't he call religious leaders "serpents and brood of vipers?" Did he not allow himself to be nailed to a cross because of the ugliness of sin? What my honest question to you is, when is sin addressed?
If the world sees us as loving and accepting of all things, what makes us different from just really nice people?
I hope this question isn't coming off the wrong way because I've been praying and thinking and reading the bible trying to resolve it all. If we are asked, in a very public way, what our position on sin is, how are we called to answer? Jesus didn't do his preaching and and calls to repentance only behind closed doors. It seems to me that part of love-whether to your kids or spouse or friends or strangers-is answering in truth. And it hurts sometimes. But you can't be released from your wrong doings unless you know they are wrong. We cannot find salvation if we don't know we need it.
Jinger - December 23rd, 2013 at 2:41 PM
Love, love, love this piece Jen! So nice to find someone else who really gets it.
Samantha {Wild Maple Wool} - December 23rd, 2013 at 4:30 PM
Wow! I just stumbled upon your amazing blog and I am sitting with my tea and catching up! "Hi" ! My name is Samantha Disch and I am a fellow mama of many (four almost five bio babies) and we are just starting our adoption journey! I really love all that you have to offer here in this blog and I thank you for taking the time to write here for us to read!

Blessings!
Samantha {Wild Maple Wool}
Chas - December 23rd, 2013 at 4:34 PM
"We are not judges, because how could we possibly be?? How dare we? What right do we have to cut someone to the quick when we are nothing but sinners saved by grace? Sanctification is Jesus%u2019 territory, and we can safely leave Him to it; He can handle the human heart. Our only sane offering to our fellow man is mercy."

Actually, we are called to be judges, particularly in the church.

Conversion is Jesus' territory, too...but you are steady evangelizing people. It's called 'second causes' or agency. The Body of Christ, the ekklesia, the community of faith is an important means wherein God sanctifies His people.

"A close study of the original language reveals a better translation:"

'Do this as my memorial'...that's the better translation. A memorial reminds God to keep covenant.

"Jesus didn%u2019t tell us to make the gospel right.

He didn%u2019t tell us to make it law.

He told us to make it real."

I think maybe you're misappropriating the word 'gospel'. We typically render the Greek word 'evangelion' as 'gospel' or 'good news'. The tendency is to hear the words 'good news' and ascribe to them a meaning having little to do with the original intent. When you hear 'good news' you seem to be thinking more about warm fuzzies than about the theopolitical import of the biblical co-opting of imperial cult language.

I honestly wonder if a man who was a member of the same church you are a member of were having sexual relations with his father's wife if you would just slather him up with some of your greasy grace 'gospel' and go on.

When the early Christians said 'Jesus is Lord', they were co-opting a line from imperial cult devotion, rife with theopolitical import; they were declaring in a non-violently subversive way that Jesus is God...and Caesar isn't. 'Evangelion' (translated 'good news' or 'gospel', the heralding of an imperial announcement, typically of a new emperor at birth or coronation), 'parousia' (translated 'visitation', '[court] appearance' or 'coming', an imperial court appearance), and even 'pistis' (translated 'faith' or 'fidelity' as in to the emperor, or the emperor to his subjects) are other examples of this sort of plundering of imperial cult language.

While Jesus is an Emperor unlike the emperors of this world, he is nonetheless an Emperor. And He judges every man according to his works.

So how do you intend to show fidelity to your Emperor? I'd suggest you start by obeying and promoting the rules or laws of the basilea. That begins with loving God and neighbor, and includes, when necessary, a public affirmation of sinful offenses which disqualify one from enjoyment and participation in the empire or 'kingdom'. You can start with 1 Corinthians 6.

How should you prepare for the parousia of your Emperor? The people of God have always prepared with repentance. I'd suggest you do the same. You'd like for people to stop with their public musings, but maybe it's you who needs to stop. GQ asked Phil to comment, you've invited your readers to comment on your blogposts, but who asked for your comment? Straight up.

You said you wouldn't be surprised if the whole speaking, writing, teaching thing went away. Maybe this is your next assignment: Be a faithful wife, mother, and member of a local congregation. Stick with your knitting. And I think you'll find you are better serving Jesus.





Joy - December 23rd, 2013 at 6:33 PM
The voice of the enemy. Right here.


Chas - December 23rd, 2013 at 8:18 PM
Joy,

I'm not sure if you're referring to yourself as the enemy or me.

Perhaps you'd like to clarify and elaborate.
Stan M - December 23rd, 2013 at 4:39 PM
Where are all you "Don't Judge" people when the Democrats demonize anyone who disagrees with the current policies coming from the White House????

You are being hypocritical because you are judging Phil Robertson when you do not know the heart of this man!

Liberal/Progressive Christians and non-Christians tend to focus only on the second part of the quote "Hate the sin, love the sinner"
Damion - December 23rd, 2013 at 6:43 PM
Your version of Christianity is do much "nicer" than Biblical Christianity. You must think Jesus never offended anyone or commanded "go and sin no more. " The mattwalshblog says it best:Jesus wants you to judge

I%u2019ve always been a pretty big fan of the Ten Commandments. My favorites is the one that says %u201CThou shalt not judge.%u201DOh, that one isn%u2019t in there, you say?Sorry, it%u2019s easy to forget nowadays, especially in this country where many Christians carry on as though the entire Bible could be summed up by the phrase, %u201Cit%u2019s all good, bro.%u201DIn actual fact, there are a lot of urgent truths and important moral lessons in the Bible. Interestingly, almost all of them have fallen out of favor in modern American society. Here are just a few verses that aren%u2019t particularly trendy or popular nowadays:(WARNING: Politically incorrect truths ahead)%u201CWhoever harms one of these little ones that believes in me, it would be better for him if a millstone where tied around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the ocean.%u201D%u201CBefore I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.%u201D%u201CBut I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, unless the marriage is unlawful, causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.%u201D%u201CDo you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.%u201D%u201CFor even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: %u201CThe one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.%u201D We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.%u201DStrange as it may seem, enlightened, progressive Christians rarely attempt to wrestle Ephesians 5 or 2 Thessalonians 3 into a conversation. Yet, while the bulk of the Bible has ended up on our civilization%u2019s cutting room floor, the warnings about %u201Cjudging%u201D are quoted and repeated incessantly, by Christians and non-Christians alike.Apparently, the rest of the Book is outdated, outmoded, antiquated and fabricated, but the verses about judging %u2014 that stuff is gold, man.Here%u2019s a fun experiment: post something on your Facebook condemning any sin %u2014 notsinner, butsin. Maybe write a few paragraphs about why we shouldn%u2019t kill babies, or why marriage is sacred. Write something defending truth. Write something combating popular cultural lies about morality. Write something where you call out anact%u2014 not a person %u2014 anact, and then sit back and wait for the responses. Statistically speaking, it will take only 4.7 seconds before a self identified Christian rushes in to insist that you must never speak out against any evil, ever, for any reason, lest you be guilty of %u201Cjudging.%u201DAnd then the %u201Cno judging%u201D chorus will begin:%u201CWe%u2019re not allowed to judge.%u201D%u201CChristians shouldn%u2019t judge.%u201D%u201CJesus said to never judge.%u201D%u201CYou%u2019re not a real Christian because you are judging.%u201D%u201CYou%u2019re judging so I%u2019m going to judge you and tell you that you%u2019re a piece of garbage because you judge so much!%u201D%u201CJudger! You%u2019re a big fat judge-face, all you do is judge all day like a judging judge McJudgePants!%u201DAnd so on.Now, here%u2019s the thing: they%u2019re right %u2014 well, almost. Unfortunately, they left out an important word. It%u2019s not that we shouldn%u2019t judge at all %u2014 it%u2019s that we shouldn%u2019t judge WRONGLY. The idea that we shouldn%u2019t judge at all is 1) absurd, 2) impossible, 3) very much at odds with every moral edict in all of Scripture. It%u2019s also hypocritical, because telling someone not to judge is, in and of itself, a judgement. Any time you start a sentence with %u201Cyou shouldn%u2019t,%u201D whatever comes next will constitute a judgement of some kind. Saying, %u201Cyou shouldn%u2019t judge,%u201D is like saying, %u201Cthere are no absolutes.%u201DTranslation: you shouldn%u2019t judge%u2026 except when judging people for judging. There are no absolutes%u2026 except the absolute that there aren%u2019t any absolutes.Yet, have you ever noticed that these %u201CDon%u2019t Judge%u201D folks are nowhere to be found when the conversation turns to the Westboro Baptists, or domestic abusers, or the Nazis, or Republicans? I guarantee I could write a post condemning gay marriage opponents as bigots and homophobes and not a one of these pragmatists would swoop in to tell me not to %u201Cjudge.%u201DBehind the Bible, my second favorite book is the dictionary. Let%u2019s consult it, shall we?Judge: To form an opinion of; decide upon; settle; to infer, think, hold as an opinion.When you tell someone not to judge, you%u2019re telling them to stop deciding things, to stop forming opinions, to stop thinking, and to stop inferring. Brilliant bit of philosophy, Plato.%u201CStop thinking and deciding!%u201DDo you really think Jesus meant THAT when he told us not to judge? Well, I guess you can%u2019t think about it one way or another if you%u2019re adhering to this whole %u201Cnever judge%u201D schtick.I know we live in a sound bite culture. Everything has to be condensed down to 14 syllables or less, and every concept must be communicated in under 12 seconds. Entire elections are decided this way. And while this strategy doesn%u2019t work well in the democratic system, it%u2019s an absolute catastrophic heretical disaster if you try to utilize it in the realm of theology. Yes, Jesus said %u201CJudge not,%u201D but you have to read the rest of that passage, and thenthe rest of the Bookto put those two words into context. Once you%u2019ve done that, you%u2019ll understand that what He meant is precisely the opposite of how it is translated by modern cowards who are looking for any excuse to shrink away from the task of standing up against our culture and its many lies.We must judge. We must exercise judgement. We must be discerning and decisive. We must expose evil and identify sin. Only we must do it righteously and truly. Judge, but judge rightly. That%u2019s the point. We are to judge the sin, not the sinner. People seem to love the latter part of that phrase, and then selectively forget the first portion.We can not condemn a man to hell. We can not see inside his soul. This is an important point, but it doesn%u2019t mean we can%u2019t speak harshly about the atrocities of a particular individual. If a guy commits adultery, I%u2019ll call him an adulterer. That%u2019s not an insult or an evaluation of his soul; it%u2019s a true and accurate judgement based on the fruits he has produced. If a guy steals, he is a thief. If he murders, he is a murderer. If he commits tyrannies, he is a tyrant.Jesus stopped a bloodthirsty mob from stoning a woman to death for adultery. Famously, he said%u201Clet he without sin cast the first stone.%u201DThis profound Biblical event has since been contorted to mean that nobody can condemn any (popular) sin, or speak out against any (popular) evil, because nobody is perfect.Nonsense.Jesus wasn%u2019t telling the crowd to chill out and be cool with infidelity; he was telling them that they don%u2019t have the authority to pass final judgement on another human being for their moral shortcomings. In the immediate sense, he was also stopping them from brutally killing a woman. This can not be construed into him strolling in with a shrug and saying,%u201CHey, live and let live, dudes.%u201DIn fact, after he forgave the woman%u2019s sin, he commanded her to%u201Csin no more.%u201DLet he who is without sin cast the first stone. That doesn%u2019t mean that we must be without sin before we can call a sin a sin. Just because we make a judgment does not mean we are throwing rocks at a helpless woman. Sometimes, it means we are shedding light into a terrifying darkness.Remember, this is the same Jesus who told us to separate the wheat from the chaff and the sheep from the wolves; the Jesus who called his opponents %u201Csnakes%u201D and %u201Cvipers%u201D; the Jesus who made a whip and violently drove the money changers out of the temple; the Jesus who said he came to bring a sword and drive a wedge between families.He was loving and peaceful, but He was also manly, strong, courageous, outspoken, decisive, and commanding. He wasn%u2019t a hippy. He was, and is, a King and a Warrior. Our culture has an agenda, and the agenda has nothing to do with following Christ or His precepts. Flimsy modern weaklings have taken the %u201Cdon%u2019t judge%u201D concept out of context %u2014 twisted it, perverted it, and used it as an excuse to sit silently while all manner of unspeakable evils happen in their midst.They%u2019ve tried to turn Christianity into a religion of apathy and permissiveness. I certainly make judgments about their slander of my faith. I judge it to be sacrilegious, evil, and despicable.And I judge it rightly.So, don%u2019t judge? Wrong. Judge. We must judge. The Bible exists, in large part, to shape our judgement and to tell us how to judge. We must teach our kids to have good and moral judgement. We must equip them with the spiritual tools to exercise it publicly, without fear. We must show them how to be discerning, critical thinkers.You can not raise your children without judgement; you can%u2019t function as a civilized human being without judgement; and you certainly can%u2019t be an obedient Christian without judgment.I am a sinful person. If you would ever consider accepting and celebrating my sins for the sake of being %u201Cnon-judgmental,%u201D please do me a favor and stop doing me that favor. I don%u2019t want to be made comfortable and confident in my wrongdoing.I%u2019d rather have you hurt my feelings as you help me get to Heaven, than protect my feelings as you usher me right along to Hell.****
Pete - December 23rd, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Speak the truth in love, in relationship when all possible, but always speaking the truth and always (and only) in love. It's not difficult to understand. That is what Christ did. He didn't tickle ears, he didn't water down the truth, neither did he condemn, but opened the door for healing and relationship. Yes, we should be careful that the world will use us for their bully pulpit as has happened in this case, so be "wise as serpents" and decide to NOT give Esquire magazine or whoever it was the interview, knowing they'll take your words out of context and use them to attack the gospel and the church. I would also say that folks should open their eyes however when we say "This isn't North Korea..". No it is not, not by ANY stretch. But it's also not the Good'ol USA anymore either. The governmet is openly anti-Christian and persecution is just getting ramped up. What an exciting time to be a follower of Christ! The world doesn't need religion and it doesn't need luke-warm or American "churchianity" which is just another man made distortion of the Gospel. The world needs us to be Jesus and speak and act in love, risking, loving, giving sacrificially of everything that we have to give. I love all people, all races, all colors, all backgrounds, all sinners (that's me !). That also means I love you enough as a friend to tell you that homosexuality like lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, pornography...etc is sin and a separation from the loving god who fashioned you perfectly :-) But no, your sin is no darker than mine and i'm no better than you. In fact eternally thankful that someone was honest with me and helped me see my need. Praying we could have that same bond, friend :-) Much love.
April - December 27th, 2013 at 1:46 PM
I love what you have to say here. You explain exactly what I wanted to say but you do it with much more grace that I would be capable of.
Brian Larson - December 25th, 2013 at 7:35 AM
Can you be a Christian if the fundimentals you live with/by are sins?
Rollie - December 26th, 2013 at 1:10 AM
My quick take on this (as a Bible-believing Christian-meaning that I read the Bible and try my best to objectively understand and communicate it when opportunity arises) is that Jesus most certainly wants us to "Spread the Gospel" - Spread the Good News-

None of us can debate that- The Bible and Jesus clearly state that we as Christians are to do this- Jesus also states that the Gospel will eventually reach the ends of the earth- And THEN the end will come-

So again, clearly, SOMETHING is supposed to be communicated to others, about the Gospel, about Jesus- The question is, WHAT exactly are we supposed to be communicating, and probably just as important, HOW are we supposed to be communicating it?

The Bible is CLEAR (I'm not saying anything about what a person believes, or interpretations of the Bible, or anything, just taking the actual verses themselves)- And it is very clear in both the Old Testament, the book of/from the Jewish people, and the New Testament, that homosexuality is, as the Bible calls it, a "sin," or wrong, or "misses the mark," etc.

This has nothing to do with what I believe, or what anyone believes really- Just looking at some objective statements in a book, it is clear, in the book of Leviticus (Old Testament), Romans Chapter 1 especially (New Testament) and the Book of Revelation about homosexuality, and other sexual sins-

But I am not here screaming against homosexuals, or carrying an insanely offensive poster board talking about how God HATES homosexuals- What really matters here is what is the objective truth of the matter, and if what the Bible says is true, then what is the best way to communicate these truths (and ALL of the truths, if you believe the Bible anyway, that are in there?)

Or should we just shut up now and forget about all this sin stuff and offending others and remaining as politically correct as we can so as not to hurt anyone's feelings or enable those who want to continue to exist in a world where nobody is offended or challenged?

Is that what God wants from any of us who believe in Him and the Gospel?

I'm not defending Mr. Mallard in any way, his rather graphic off-the-cuff remarks did make me twinge a bit and long for a more subtle expression of his sentiments- But you know what, I still believe that if a homosexual were to come knocking on his door and asking for some water and a little bread to quell the ache in his vacuous stomach, Mr. Mallard would invite the person in and at least break bread with the man-

At least that is what he would do if Jesus were really living inside of him-
LS - December 26th, 2013 at 2:28 AM
You are right in that we need to extend mercy and grace to the lost just as Jesus has extended mercy and grace to those who have received Him. How do we do that? How do we show this great love to the lost world? How are we to become peacemakers? Matthew 5:9 says Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called Children of God. Peacemaking is a difficult task to say the least. I find it hard to always get along with the family that I love and care about. Turmoil abounds everywhere. It is a wonder anyone gets along. Romans 12:18 says If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. It is almost a concession to that fact that it may not be entirely possible! Nonetheless, there is a lost world around us carries a weighty burden of unrest in their souls. They are like lost sheep aimlessly wandering in the darkness not knowing what it is that is tearing away at their souls. Our society abounds in sedatives to numb this pain.

How do we as believers in Jesus offer peace, true peace to them? Romans 5:1,2a says Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. Wonderful! I want this peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Then, how am I justified through faith? Rewind to Romans 3 and we find that we are all under the power of sin. There is no one righteous. Romans 3:20 says Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God%u2019s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. Colossians 1:21 says Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. We are under the power of sin and alienated from God. Sin and evil behavior are not common words in our culture%u2019s vocabulary. We all have a tendancy to measure our behavior and attitudes against those of friends, family, and the %u201Cbad guys%u201D we hear about in the news. Yet, that is not the measuring stick God has given us. Romans 7:7a says What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. Further, Jesus said in Matthew 5 in the Sermon on the Mount that he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill the law and went on to explain that not only should we obey the 10 commandments or Moral Law in deed but also in spirit. Later, in Matthew 22 He says to Love God and Love others. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.

I would posit to say that if cannot show others how to have peace with God through our Lord Jesus, then we are not being true peacemakers. The world needs Jesus. Why? Because our evil behavior alienates us from God! Thank God that according to Romans 3:21-26 the righteousness of God is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

Shortly after Jesus ascended into Heaven, the disciples now empowered by the Holy Spirit, heeded the call of Great Commission. As you study the book of Acts, Peter begins sharing the message of Jesus. The very people he was speaking to he accused of crucifying the Messiah. People who responded were cut to the heart. They asked Peter what to do. He responded in Act 2:38-41 by telling the crowd to repent in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.

Thank God that Jesus does not only save us from the symptoms of our sin but from the disease of sin itself! Romans 3:19 says Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Real hope and mercy can only be obtained when a person repents of their sin and puts their faith and hope in Jesus as their Savior. We need to show unbelievers from the Word of God that the root cause of their suffering is sin. Not from a place of self-righteousness, but from a place of a grateful recipient of that grace. Finally, Colossians 4:5,6 says 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Easy to quote. Hard to Live!

Blessings!
LT - December 28th, 2013 at 9:39 AM
Jen, this, in combination with Rollie's above should be the ending of your original blog post. Just as with reaching out to those without faith or not knowing the faith, you advocate grace and love, at some point the salt of the Gospel message needs to come into the discussion. You are well known and your message is out there and so many who follow you should have moved past your original overall thesis of 'grace, mercy and love for all' to where salt in your books, site and posts needs to appear so that those that listen to you can see the other part, and some may say the balancing part, of the Gospel. I appreciate LS's and Rollie's measured and thoughtful contributions to this discussion and look forward to how your message can expand beyond where you are to tackle those tough issues. As someone who gave up their faith in another message above said, the church should be "an irresistibly welcoming place. A beacon. A community outsiders will be drawn to because of the ridiculously loving and happy people that make it up. Then I have faith that, drawn into our company by the love, outsiders will be as moved by Christ's words as I am, that they will come to understand God's proclamations on sin, and that they will seek to lead a life free of that sin." I feel like you are at that crossroads in your message. You have achieved the first part of that statement. Your message is warm and inviting, but at some point, the salt needs to be added to your equation to complete the Great Commission: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.%u201D The part I hope you get to is the 'teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you'. Blessings to you as you continue to grow in your faith and help others recognize the saving power of the Gospel so that the Holy Spirit can work in their lives to bring them to faith or continue to bolster the faith they already have.
April - December 27th, 2013 at 1:35 PM
I'm ok, you're ok....we're all ok. The bible says do this but you don't really have to. You'll be ok and get to go to heaven no matter how you live. ....these are the sentiments that I find in your blog post.
Just a girl - December 27th, 2013 at 2:08 PM
Stephen wasn%u2019t stoned because he tried to keep from running someone off (Acts 7:51-60). Preaching the Gospel is about telling people what they need to do to be saved (Acts 2:37-41). When you tell someone they need to be saved, you are telling them that they are lost! Some, maybe even many, will not take kindly to being told they are in need of a Savior (John 8:32-37). Nevertheless, while some may be offended, it is our work to take the word of God to them wherever they are (Acts 5:42; Acts 20:20). As we look at the examples in the New Testament and see the many reactions to the preaching of the word of God, our question should not revolve around whether or not we will %u201Crun someone off%u201D. Our question should be, %u201Cwhy we are not pricking the hearts of individuals with the Gospel enough to get a reaction out of them?%u201D
Just a girl - December 27th, 2013 at 3:20 PM
I just can't shake this article. You are basically saying we shouldn't point out homosexuality as a sin. Right? Or am I wrong?
If you husband cheats are you going to just love him? Don't ever call sin, sin. That might offend him and his lifestyle.
This is what Satan wants for us to all just shut up and let him take over the world. Do you not know that the bible says the end times with be like the days of Noah and Lot?
Jesus hung out with sinners, that's what I hear all the time. Yes he did... Sinners who had taken up their cross to follow him and left their lifestyle behind.
So what are you telling Christians? What are you basically saying?
Basically it's sit down and shut up
Chris - December 28th, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Nope....she is saying "Act like Jesus". Thats all.

Jesus very rarely publicly condemned sin in the way that you are describing. Generally the only folks he treated with open disdain and condemnation for their sinfulness were...self righteous religious leaders who liked to judge others.

He DID of course point out the sinfulness of the people he encountered. HOW he did it is just as important as the fact that he did it. Look at the example of the woman at the well. Jesus does confront the sins of this woman...she is more or less the town whore. But FIRST Jesus sits down with her and SPEAKS TO HER. A jewish man sits and gives value and honor to a samaritan woman that he is supposed to hate and ignore. He spends time...he gives her value...and then he points out her sin. He does the same with Zacheus, a hated swindler. He goes to his house and spends time with him. He values him by doing this. It is only after this that his sin is confronted and dealt with.

THAT is the model. Love them FIRST. Value them FIRST. In our culture it is not so quickly done. We don't have to hide our values. We DO however have to make it completely clear that we do truly and completely value all others as people. This can't be a tactic either...it has to be reality.

So YES we should be calling sin, sin. But if you want to call homosexuality a sin and you wish to confront it in those that live that lifestyle then you better be willing to FIRST invite to your house for dinner, invite them to your church for worship, invite their children to have playdates with yours, become their best friends, and generally show them ridiculous amounts of value and love that has zero strings attached and exists because you actually love them unconditionally. If you can't do THAT....

...than yeah...sit down and shut up.

...because you are just a pharisee and Jesus words for you are far less kind than they are for anyone else.
Just a girl - December 28th, 2013 at 7:31 PM
The last sentence in your comment doesn't make sense because you are essentially doing the same exact thing. This article is about Phil being asked a question and answering it. Right?
just a girl - December 28th, 2013 at 7:21 PM
I can do all those thing. I don't have a problem with the person. I have family and friends who choose same sex partners. What I have a problem with is ppl saying we have to treat them like fine china and treat Christians who when asked a question about marriage like a horrible person. I would never treat anyone with malice. As a Christian I can say exactly what the bible says. That is what Phil did...he quoted a scripture.
Jesus is the word , the word became flesh so all those scriptures are what Jesus has said. That's why they call it the "Living Word"
Chris - December 28th, 2013 at 9:49 PM
Well...let me back up a second...I came across as accusatory and well...mean...no excuse there. I apologize. My wife says I should follow up all statements with "What I just said...but nicer!" Again...sorry.

As for Phil...I don't have an issue with a christian answering a question with an honest answer. I think the coarse language bit is an obvious issue...i will leave that. i think Phil made a tactical error. We as Christians must understand...and high profile Christians more than anyone...that we are living in a hostile world. In many cases a person who asks you a question about sin is looking for an argument and not an honest answer. Phil should have known the hostile environment he was in and acted accordingly. With this said...I am not Phil. I can only answer as to the way I would answer if put in his shoes.

If someone asked me about sin in an interview I would be very honest about my distrust of interviewers in general and non-contextual quotations in specific. I would then happily talk about sin...but only about mine. If we were to have a conversation about sin and Gods view of it in an on-the-record capacity it would be completely defined my own sin and how God views it. Thats it. If prodded I would use it as an opportunity to discuss the things i put in my earlier post...the personal nature of conviction...the example of Jesus in giving value to the person and meeting needs while confronting sinfulness in their character. I would always point the conversation toward my sin and Jesus redemption.

I view it similarly to the traps laid for Jesus in the public square that he so deftly sidestepped as to avoid controversy. It is what I wish Phil had done.

Now...neither I nor Phil are perfect. Were i a public figure I would likely fail a time or two at this mission. Part of the irony of this whole controversy is that the Robertson family by all accounts is a very loving and accepting group of folks. Accounts from folks that know them (I have some Louisiana ties and went to college with several folks that grew up with them in school) are that they ARE the very type Christians that DO love everyone unconditionally and are not the knee-jerk "they're all going to hell" types at all. I wish that THAT would become the story.
Crista - December 29th, 2013 at 9:55 PM
Wow. Sister in Christ, all of our words do have consequences, but also power. May He continue to anoint your words so that His truth stirs up every mind who is open to Him. You, have such a mighty purpose, let Him guide your every thought and breath. No weapon formed against you will prosper......
SK - December 30th, 2013 at 4:31 PM
I think God is big enough and wise enough to know who his children are. That's not my job.

He left His word to tell us how to live, what our priorities should be, and how to treat one another. That's my goal, every day, to treat those He puts in my path with the love and mercy He has shown me. Regardless of their views, sexuality, etc. I try, and I fail. Once in a while, with the Holy Spirit's power, I succeed. When I fail, I get up and try again.

I do think we run the risk of not respecting the fact that God has standards that are unchanging. He does not allow sin in His presence. Not mine, not anyone's. He has one way for us to be right in his eyes and to enter fellowship with him: accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

I struggle with my own set of sin. No, I don't struggle with the big ones that get the headlines. You won't see me drunk, sleeping with a man other than my husband, stealing money, etc. Mine are harder to spot--an unkind word about someone, a judgmental attitude, not taking care of my body.My list is no better, no worse.

I am working on calling my list what it is--sin. The only antidote for my sin (and the sins everyone is guilty of committing) is the mercy and blood of Jesus.

We can't call sin anything other than what it is--falling short of the glory of God and His standards.
Hope - December 31st, 2013 at 9:34 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you Jen for putting into words what I've been struggling to do for weeks. You nailed it. Love. Mercy. Grace. Yeah, that.
Hezzie - December 31st, 2013 at 10:25 AM
Anyone actually read the GQ article? Anyone give any thought that the writer had already labeled Mr.Robertson before he interviewed him? Anyone suspect this was a set-up so a public christian might be branded? I mean seriously the writer (I loathe to use author since it seems to classy a word to describe certain things printed) painted a very stereotypical picture of someone from a culture he knew nothing about. Love and truth, truth and love as christians you can't have one without the other.
Kmac - December 31st, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Agreed that judgment is left to our Almighty God. We are called to love God and love people. Love God is the greatest commandment. Love people is the 2nd greatest commandment. We show love to God through our worship of Him, our service for Him, and our obedience to Him. Our Christian family is held to our Father's standards. We can and should through love (I Corinthians 13): reprove one another, encourage one another and hold one another accountable to scripture. We need to question (with humility and love not spite and anger) the behaviors and actions of our brothers and sisters in order to build them up in their spirit, not tear them down. However, it seems that in our American culture, any reproof or correction is taken as judgment or discrimination. No one likes to have their toes stepped on, I know this better than anyone. However, I am resolved now to accept godly correction from my brothers and sisters, and hope to give godly reproof to them as well. Iron sharpens iron, but keep it in the family. That being said, the 2nd commandment to love people unconditionally is a calling to be all things to all people so that some might be saved (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Outside of the family of God, my neighbors as Jesus called them, need mercy and grace not reproof or correction. They live outside the umbrella of salvation. Love them with compassion and hope they come to know our Savior. Forgiveness is granted to all, but we as Christians are called to be a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). Speaking from a spiritual nature, love your family with encouragement and godly discipline and love your neighbors with grace and mercy. Above all, love God more.
Sarah Saoit - December 31st, 2013 at 1:56 PM
Hi Jen,

I wholeheartedly agree with your post. What is frustrating to me is how few Christians took the time to "fact-check" Phil's comments regarding I Corinthians. Had they bothered to do so, they would have realized that Paul's letter was written to THE CHURCH. Paul was doing exactly what an apostle was expected to do. He was holding his dear ones accountable for THEIR behavior and THEIR choices. Why? Because we are to be salt and light to a lost and dying world, not the other way around. Paul was grieved to see the believers in Corinth living in a way that wasn't attracting anyone to the Gospel, and he had a perfect right and responsibility to do so.

Phil Robertson's comments were judgmental and hurtful. And they did NOTHING to encourage the world to seek Christ and His kingdom. But most of all, they were unbiblical - because Paul was holding Believers accountable to the standard of holiness that was modeled by Christ. When we demand that the lost straighten up and "be good," we deny the power of the Gospel. As you yourself have said many times, Jesus didn't come to make us "good." He came to seek and save that which was lost.

The Church would do itself a great good to stop worrying about the media, pop-culture, GQ Magazine (don't even get me started on why Phil felt it necessary to stroke his ego by giving an interview to GQ) and start preaching the Gospel. The rest is just adding to the noise...
Marcy - January 22nd, 2014 at 9:19 AM
Hi, Sarah!
I almost responded to your comment last night but thought better of it. But your comment is so disheartening to me I can't stop thinking about it - now we have people not only criticizing a man for having the audacity to express his own personal beliefs, we are slamming him for quoting scripture as the basis of those beliefs?

Who cares about sin? Is it the aethist? Is he worried about whether or not what he's doing is sinning? By it's definition - sin is a going against God's will. Therefore - if you don't believe in God (thus, you aren't a "believer" or member of the "church"), sin doesn't apply to you. Right? I mean - why would you care about what sin is or whether or not you are sinning if you don't believe in God?

The question Phil answered when he was asked a direct question was "What, in your mind, is sinful?"

Your comment seem to be inconsistent with "grace" - Paul's comments were directed toward believers. And Phil's answer - what is sin - could only be applicable to believers. Can you see that angle?

I loved Jen's take - but I didn't read it as a "let's now use the grace platform to bash the Christians who use the bible as the basis for their beliefs." To take that from it saddens me so.

Blessings to you -
Amy - January 1st, 2014 at 8:37 PM
Phil is a pragmatic Christian. He is what we need. That is why he is soooo popular (which is shocking to the "world.") People are desperate for his kind of truth. HE and his family are bringing it to the forefront in the middle of the media. GQ is exactly the place where truth needs to be declared. He is about love and forgiveness and acceptance but not acceptance of sin. (Read his book?) Jesus told the adulterous women, " Sin no more." So, that is our standard. Jesus loves you but you MUST sin no more. You must repent. We have all sinned and fallen short but to pretend in our culture that "it is all good", is not truth. Jen, your post reeks of compromise. I'm sorry. This is a culture of extremes. Compromise won't do it. The primary issue isn't First Amendment rights, it is the truth of God. But, this is where we live and if we can't speak truth out loud in public, how will others hear?
Cristee - January 1st, 2014 at 11:04 PM
I found I had formed an opinion about what Phil Robertson said based on what news media were commentating on. Then I actually read the article. I was with 8 adults discussing it and only 1 person in that group had read the article, yet each had an opinion. He was asked a question and he answered it and I didn't see any where that his words were lacking any biblical truth. The reporter gave the impression he spent a fair amount of time with Phil and narrowed down his article to reach itching ears and to gain negative attention on a man who is on A&E's highest rated show. None of us are perfect in our words not Phil, not Jen and not me either but when we speak what's in the Bible we are speaking truth. "We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check."
Jamie - January 2nd, 2014 at 8:01 AM
We are told in scripture that as far as it depends on us, we should strive to be at peace with all men. However, Jesus said he came not to bring peace, but a sword. The gospel will offend, but we should strive not to add our offense with how and with what words and actions we convey the gospel.
M.E. - January 2nd, 2014 at 2:36 PM
It is possible to speak truth and show love to others at the same time. Those two are not mutually exclusive, although when it comes to speaking Biblical truth, the world would love to have us think so. I doubt Phil Robertson hates anyone any more than Billy Graham or Mother Theresa or any other godly figure who believes the Bible. In Christianity, we don%u2019t make the rules. However, there are righteous acts and there are sinful acts recorded for our benefit in Scripture. It shows real hate to read these truths and keep them to ourselves, as if only we deserve secret knowledge of how to please God. The loving thing is to share His word, to speak truth in a kind manner, with compassion, empathizing with the struggles that others face because we face our very own personal battles against sin.

So, Christians, don%u2019t let the world convince you that speaking the truth of the Bible is evil. Calling sin by its name is the only way for us to point each other to Christ, to demonstrate our need for a Savior, and to build an authentic relationship with those around us. It shouldn%u2019t be so shocking to us when the world hates what we say. Jesus told us this would happen. The Bible is full of hard truths, for stay-at-home moms, for grandpas, for prison inmates, for eight year old cuties, for pastors, and for prostitutes. God is holy. We are not.

The truth hurts.

Speak truth in love. It%u2019s sharp enough without our added jabbing. But, don%u2019t stop speaking truth. Even when television executives panic. Even when it would be easier to be quiet.

Even when it hurts.


David - January 3rd, 2014 at 2:14 PM
God, deliver me from Christians. Amen.
Mel - January 4th, 2014 at 7:28 PM
Hit the nail on the head. Thank you.
Tracie - January 6th, 2014 at 12:58 PM
Jen:

Do you happen to have any articles you have written for new moms who are stuggling with having to work and be a mom at same time? I absolutely love reading your articles a s am so inspired by the way you write and speak truth to women. You are definitely rocking the gifts God gave you!!!
Robert - January 6th, 2014 at 3:38 PM
Yes, let's set a good example. Let's put each other down and fight among ourselves that will show the lost how good we are. Sounds like the author is doing a little judging herself. Oh I'm sorry, I'm judging too aren't I?
colleen from alabama - January 6th, 2014 at 7:24 PM
wow. i am amazed that kingdom people have this much time to comment. wow.
Dana - January 7th, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Is it even possible to love and speak truth without offending someone? Even truth spoken and wrapped up with grace and mercy offends. So loving is our priority. Speaking the truth is our priority. Standing strong, both feet firmly planted against the repercussions of our attempt to do exactly what He calls us to do....be salt and be light!
Jenny - January 7th, 2014 at 3:10 PM
I wanted to share this blog with a gay friend who is I believe is desperate to love Jesus, but he just can't. He can't get that Jesus would love him because the word "Christian" makes him shudder due to rejection and shame. Jen, This is so convicting and spot on and I got chills. This is not a grey area%u2026goosebumps. It makes me sad that I don't want to share it after reading some of the comments. The ones that make him think that Jesus is not for him in the first place. Darn. Thank you Jen for saying what I cannot formulate, but what I believe to be true with every bone in my body. Thank you to people commenting who are spreading this kind of love. It's so personal and it matters so much. This is the kind of love I want to spread.
Kara - January 24th, 2014 at 12:37 PM
This is a great blog, as a gay christian I was encouraged and inspired by Jen's perspective on this issue. The comments section is regretfully full of the usual hateful statements and ignorance I encounter on a regular basis.
I've also found a LOT of love and support on gaychristian.net. It's a great site and there is an essay that may help your friend at http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php I spent most of my life feeling unaccepted and unloved by God, until I read this.
Bless you for reaching out to your friend, praying for you both.
Pam - January 7th, 2014 at 3:53 PM
Yes!
Liz - January 9th, 2014 at 12:13 AM
As a believer in Jesus Christ, having accepted Him as my Lord and Savior; I am called to live in the Kingdom of God. Be the Kingdom of God in the world; bring the Kingdom of God to the world. The world does not understand the Kingdom of God; it is my role as a believer, though the aide of the Holy Spirit, to show the world the Kingdom. God is the one who will change the heart of the person. Guess who designed the Kingdom...yup, its the ruler of that Kingdom. God. Its all there in His Word, called the Bible. The world, which by the way is NOT ruled by God (though He is sovereign over it; a grand mystery which does not bear explanation because guess what the King doesn't need to explain Himself), doesn't like what His Word says and tries to put their own spin on things, change what God's Word means, purposefully set out to twist it. Does this sound familiar? (Hint: Genesis 3) . I may be the only person on earth who didn't actually read or hear the media report of this Duck Dude, but it sound like the media took something he said, twisted it around, chopped some of it off, and made a report. All in an effort to destroy and malign the Kingdom of God, I mean THIER king must be so happy with them; his followers are just like him. Sound like a battle of some sorts? Well it is. In the Kingdom of God we are called to Spiritual Warfare and it looks from where I'm sitting that the opposing army dropped a bomb that has divided God's army. How can God's army be divided; I mean if we all have the Holy Spirit? Looks like the warriors are weary of the war, seem to have lost the big picture. What is the big picture? Eternity with God in His Kingdom or eternity in a place of damnation (which the world does not want to hear...in their kingdom damnation is made to sound sexy and they are told it is what they want or that it really doesn't exist). Why are we still fighting the war? There are people that need to know about the Kingdom of God; they will be saved from damnation as they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It could just be one more person and YOU could be the one who shows that person the Kingdom; and God changes their heart.
Mandelina - January 10th, 2014 at 3:05 PM
A sin is a sin. Whether you are a cheater with just eyes or thoughts, or a chronic liar, or uncontrolled anger temperaments - it needs to be addressed in love but followed by repentance out of love for God. Anyone who knows God knows His love for us but also in return want to do what is pleasing in His sight. I think Phil did a great job not promoting any sin is okay. I believe it's a heart thing to want to change what God is working within us to do it for Him. I'm glad Phil doesn't brush aside the power of Jesus's death or take advantage of God's grace. The gospel is is great to know who we belong to but first, you have to believe the whole gospel not just what you want to hear.
Name - January 15th, 2014 at 5:44 PM
Type comment here...
Cathy - February 1st, 2014 at 10:08 PM
Thank you for your comments, Jen. Nailed it!
Jessie - February 5th, 2014 at 12:08 PM
The issue is not free speech, it is truth. When asked, Phil stated what the bible says regarding homosexuality. He did not attack anyone, but was being salt and light, as we are instructed. If we only talk about the warm, fuzzy parts of the Word and fail to expose the sin (with love), we leave people to die in their sin. Suppose he had been asked about pedophilia. Is it ok to condemn that sin? I am puzzled by the number of Christians who are piling on Phil for being bold enough to proclaim what God says in the bible. Where is the love in that?
Jenny - February 22nd, 2014 at 9:43 PM
I am so thankful for the words you have written. The statements you make resonate with what is deep within my heart, and has been. I have grown up in and been very blessed by the church all of my life but I have seen all of these weaknesses you call out in so many of your refreshing, painfully honest, and bibilcally based blogs. Thank you for using the gift God has given you with wordiness (wink) to say things that are true--even though they aren't popular. I am often so concerned with being a people pleaser and making everyone like me that I do not express what you do. I am so thankful God has given you the words to say through His Holy Spirit and the platform to speak these truths to so many. I will pray for you now that you are blessed, protected from the enemy's attacks, and able to continue ministering in the bold way you do. Praying now...
Tabby Chapman - March 5th, 2014 at 5:29 PM
It is for this post that I, a lesbian-oriented woman who once had faith but lost it because of the hate it encouraged me to force upon people like myself, among other reasons, will subscribe to your blog.

I believe in Love. Nothing is greater. Nothing is more powerful. Nothing is easier and yet harder to share.
Marcia Hall - March 6th, 2014 at 11:42 PM
Sooo...the whole original point, which wasn't really about Phil, but about grace, and about active love vs religion, was sort of lost by everyone who wanted to be sure to get their licks in. Jen, please don't grow weary in well doing! Yes, concrete relationship, not abstract discussion which is neither loving nor constructive. Thank you for calling us to mercy and civility. I would have been able to read it better if t hadn't been for the giant log in my eye...
donna - April 12th, 2014 at 6:01 PM
Just have to say this Phil ROBERTSON was in.any way hateful about what he said they asked him about sin and he answered truthfully. He is a preacher preaching on sin is not hate you tell it like it is about sin out of love and phil will tell you that .
donna - April 12th, 2014 at 6:17 PM
Love the ROBERTSON family!!
donna - April 12th, 2014 at 7:32 PM
If you don't repent of that sin then.all of this is pointless!!
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