Friday, December 27, 2013

Duck Dynasty and homosexuality

There can't be too many people who don't know that there's a programme called Duck Dynasty on American TV, described as "the biggest reality-TV hit in the history of cable television." It's about a family from Louisiana who have a  company which makes products for duck hunters, where all the menfolk have long beards and speak openly against abortion and for the family. Some 14 million people have taken the programme to their hearts and watch each episode.

Says Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family: “I myself am a product of the 60s; I centred my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Saviour. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches." So far so good.

The trouble came when he was asked in a wide-ranging magazine interview what sin was. He said homosexuality, among a number of other things, was sin, and quoted 1 Cor 6:9, 10, which says that fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers and extortioners will not inherit the kingdom of God.

For that, the TV company suspended Phil Robertson indefinitely, which presumably meant he wouldn't be making any more television programmes.

Fallout from the spat has been considerable.

Says Bill Muehlenberg: "Daring to publicly criticise homosexuality. . .  the only crime in the West that will land you in real hot water every single time. Not even being a murderer or rapist is guaranteed to result in so much backlash as being willing to speak against the homosexual agenda.

"This is unquestionably the greatest and most heinous sin imaginable in the West today. Nothing compares with it, and nothing meets a swifter and more hate-filled reaction. With thousands of such cases now at our disposal, we can safely say that there is no greater threat to freedom and democracy than the militant homosexual lobby."

Says Alan Snyder: “Nothing he said in that statement was outside orthodox Christian belief. . . What is occurring in our society is an all-out attack on biblical standards of morality. Those who say it’s a figment of evangelicals’ imagination are not paying attention. The goal will be to outlaw any public expression of Christian belief that directly contradicts newly accepted societal norms." 

Says David Limbaugh: "When he identified homosexual behaviour as a sin, he might as well have robbed a bank on live television. But when he cited the New Testament book of 1st Corinthians as including homosexuality in a list of sins, he had passed the point of no return. 

"As many are now belatedly realising, the option of sitting out the culture wars is increasingly closed to us if we value our liberties, as we conservatives claim we do. Despite all of its sermonising, the militant left will not live and let live. They demand uniformity of thought, and those who dissent from their PC standards are to be shunned and silenced.

"Christians don’t believe they are the arbiters of sinful behavior, but that God is. But we’re approaching that time - we already may have arrived - when the belief in certain Scriptures will be deemed intolerably sinful and the believer outcast as a hater."

As Phil Robertson also said, God loves us all, and wants to forgive all our sins - but He can't forgive sins we won't acknowledge.

People are wondering what will be the effect of this sort of thing on lukewarm Christians. They will accept a form of sexual behaviour which God abhors, or stand up for what God believes and be vilified by the world.

Says Albert Mohler: “The controversy over Duck Dynasty sends a clear signal to anyone who has anything to risk in public life: Say nothing about the sinfulness of homosexual acts or risk sure and certain destruction by the revolutionaries of the new morality. You have been warned.”

So now you know.

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