A&E, the cable television station Arts and Entertainment, began producing a reality tv show two years ago called Duck Dynasty. The show centers on the real-life family of the Robertsons. Phil Robertson, the patriarch, is the former CEO of the company he began in 1973 with the famous Duck Commander duck call. The company grew and grew. Eventually, Phil Robertson handed the business to his third son Willie, who “used his business degree from University of Louisiana Monroe to take Duck Commander from a family business to a multi-million dollar empire.” (source).
Because of the shortened rotations of cable television, the Duck Dynasty show began two and a half years ago but is entering its fifth season this January. As each season concluded, the show grew in ratings. The family is overtly Christian, but they are entertaining, intelligent, and just strangely backwoods enough to the NY and Hollywood producers to have kept them on. The show portrays the family in their work and in play, hunting, during holidays and just sitting around goofing. The show always ends with the family around the dinner table, and Phil praying the blessing. There was a minor controversy back along when people wondered why the name of Jesus was rarely mentioned in prayer, and patriarch Phil revealed that he always prays in Jesus name, but the producers and editors always cut it out.
Subsequently, there was some push-back from the Robertsons (as they had gained leverage and negotiating power) and from Christian Americans who watch the show. After that, there were more mentions of Jesus, a show where Phil and his wife Kay renewed their vows and eldest son, a pastor, officiated in Jesus name, and the show grew even more popular.
Their popularity perplexed the brass. They could not figure out why or how this family held such an attraction to so many millions of viewers, especially in the 18-40 year old range (the sweet spot for advertisers). But grow in popularity it did, and as long as ratings held and the money flowed in, the producers let it slide.
Many Christians were happy to see a show which reflected their values: God, family, and country. It was a cultural anomaly, but one that was appreciated by those who enjoy clean entertainment and their own values reflected back at them through the usually evil vehicle of television programs, scripted or unscripted.
That was then.
Phil Robertson was interviewed in the January 2014 issue of GQ, which was released this week. The GQ intro to their story goes like this (and don’t you find it hilarious that camo wearing, plain-speaking, bearded Phil Robertson is in Gentleman’s Quarterly?)
How in the world did a family of squirrel-eating, Bible-thumping, catchphrase-spouting duck hunters become the biggest TV stars in America? And what will they do now that they have 14 million fervent disciples?
In the interview, Robertson spoke about sin. He said, “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.” Robertson then paraphrased 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 from the Bible: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
Phil went on to unhelpfully and crudely describe how and why homosexuality is illogical, naming body parts. He also correctly included homosexuality in the list of sins which also included terrorists and drunkards. Secular folks of course took issue with gays being included with terrorists, but remember, Christian, homosexuals are cultural terrorists. See below regarding GLAAD.
Immediately upon the magazine’s release and Phil’s comments were published, GLAAD erupted in an explosively vitriolic screed sent to A&E and released to the general public. According to GLAAD’s website their history began in 1985, “In response to the New York Post’s grossly defamatory and sensationalized HIV/AIDS coverage, GLAAD is formed with its original name “Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation” to put pressure on media organizations to end homophobic reporting.”
Make no mistake. GLAAD is a lobby dedicated to “changing culture by working directly with news media, entertainment media, cultural institutions and social media.” Keep that in mind.
“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said. “He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans — and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors, who now need to re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.“
On the same day, A&E suspended Phil from the show.
There are many good people weighing in on this. Dr. Al Mohler warned against partnering with secular culture and media and the resultant risk of public life. Denny Burk said “I predicted privately some months ago that it would only be a matter of time before the media sniffed out the views of the Duck Dynasty guys about sexuality. … It means that A&E is yet another sector of popular culture in which Christian views about sexual norms are not allowed.” He predicted that this will be the end of the show.
Dr Russell Moore angled on the view that we all have a remote control and A&E’s suspension of Mr Robertson is ridiculous. He wrote about the issue from the free speech aspect. He rightly said, “And if you don’t like his religious views on sexuality (views held also by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and evangelicals as well as by many Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and the Dalai Lama), you’re free to say why you think he’s wrong.“
I want to examine the spiritual component. Dr Moore mentioned that all those other religious adherents hold the exact same view as Phil Robertson regarding the sinfulness of homosexuality. It wasn’t long before Twitter exploded with this constantly retweeted photo exposing the illogical double standard:
Did you ever wonder why all those other religions hold to the sinfulness of homosexuality, but that it’s only when Christians who declare it get slammed? Because it is spiritual warfare.
Satan owns all the other religions. He has them already. When a Christian declares a biblical truth to a sinful culture, there is dunamis power behind the words. It is only the words of a Christan that pierce like an arrow, splitting soul and spirit, bone and marrow.
Dunamis is a Greek word. According to BibleStudyTools.org, dunamis means in part
–strength power, ability
–moral power and excellence of soul
–power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts
–inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
Dunamis is used 121 times in the NASB and 83 of those mean power. It’s where we get our English word dynamite.
We always hear of how the word of God is powerful. It’s powerful to bring repentance in hearts, to change cultures, to wield a sword that holds back armies. This controversy about Duck Dynasty is an example of how dunamis works and why there is a double standard. When the Pope says homosexuality is a sin, there is cultural crickets and GLAAD snores, because the pope’s words have no dunamis power behind them. When Phil Robertson says homosexuality is a sin, dynamite explodes in the culture because it’s only his words that have the Spirit-piercing power carrying them along. God’s words carried by the Spirit are explosive.
|A WWI soldier silhouetted against an exploding phosphorous bomb. source
Dunamis is not just any power, it is not just raw power, it is not brute power. Note the definition, “moral power and excellence of soul.” Note the definition, “inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth”. The words of the bible are true by virtue of its nature, which is God’s holy nature, and when a Christian puts the words forth, you have the power of God unleashed in a culture.
Look what happened when Paul spoke truth to the culture in Ephesus. It caused a riot. (Acts 19). Jesus speaking truth caused the Pharisees to plot to kill Him. (John 11). Stephen speaking truth caused his own death by stoning. (Acts 6).
Phil Robertson quoted the bible to support his stance, and this is dunamis power. The holy Word alone has the power of truth, because the Word is God-breathed. When Phil spoke those holy words to a sinful culture, coming out of Phil’s mouth was God’s truth, His thoughts, His very attribute of holiness. This always singes a culture and the culture reacts like the Wicked Witch of the West melting under the water. It’s the same effect as vinegar poured on baking soda.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12.In Acts 19 they rioted against Paul because they feared loss of wealth. In John 11 the Pharisees plotted to kill Jesus because they feared loss of government autonomy. In Acts 6, the synagogues of Freedmen disputed with Stephen because they were jealous of his miracles. Greed, pride, power, and jealousy- they were busy protecting their spiritual battleground, the top of which were the aforementioned sins.
Stephen preached to the Council, “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.” (Acts 7:54, KJV)
What do you suppose cut them to the heart? It is the Spirit’s word, carried along in dunamis power! When Phil Robertson spoke biblical truth, the eruption we see is a visible manifestation of the invisible spiritual battle going on all around us. Christians, instead of tut-tutting about the double standard, instead rejoice that the power of God’s word is unleashed on sinful hearts. Rejoice that His word is living and active, and spearing souls. We don’t always see such a powerful explosion, but there is an explosion of some kind every time we speak holy truth from His word to satan’s face.
So that’s why the double standard. There is spiritual power behind the words of God, and there is no power behind satan’s word. His agents speak nothing but empty philosophies to a deluded world. It is why we’re urged to hide God’s word in our heart, so that if a moment comes when we can speak bible verse to the culture, His sword of the spirit will carry them to stopped ears, hard hearts, dead souls.
Rejoice that He has given us opportunity to speak these truths. Do not be surprised at the reaction. If they rioted against Paul when he spoke truth, if they stoned Stephen, if they killed Messiah, they will do the same to us, either killing our reputation, or slaying our very flesh.
|Hamburger Hill, Viet Nam war, 1969.
Satan wants to protect his unholy hill of homosexuality because it is the last stage before a culture dies. (Romans 1:27-32). When an unholy person who does not have the Spirit speaks truth, there is no reaction because there is no power. Did you ever wonder why the culture didn’t react negatively to Billy Graham’s pronouncements of homosexuality as a sin?
Rejoice, I say, rejoice when you see rage from the unholy ones aimed at Christians. It is because the power of the holy Word is active. Active!
It is well that Mr Robertson is set financially and his suspension isn’t one that will ruin him. It will be interesting to see which sin A&E will chose: money or homosexuality. It seems they are tending to homosexuality, but time will tell.
As for us, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)
In other words,
Got Questions: “What is the meaning of the Greek word dunamis in the Bible?”
US Weekly, “Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty Makes Homophobic Remarks, Groups Gays With “Terrorists” and “Drunkards“
Dr Al Mohler: You Have Been Warned—The “Duck Dynasty” Controversy