Phil Robertson was suspended indefinitely from A&E today after comments he made in a GQ interview, creating national headlines, causing a huge uproar, and ironically proving he is, indeed, one of the most fascinating people of 2013.
In an attempt to try to gather the facts before rushing to a decision, I read the full article in GQ. I was disappointed and offended at the author’s frequent use of words like f*$k and god#*$n throughout the article. I understand that in today’s world, foul language is embraced (even by authors who should be equipped with expansive vocabularies) and biblical worldviews are demonized. I disagree with the author’s worldview and understand many disagree with mine. What a world this would be if the story stopped here; that is, with a simple acknowledgement of a difference in worldviews. But in today’s culture, that duck don’t hunt.
One of the things that stood out to me in numerous quotes from the article was that they seemed somewhat random and out of context. There is simply no way to know in several instances what question the interviewer asked or what was said leading up to or directly following the quote.
Further, having read so many blogs and comments today with respect to Robertson’s statements, I find it dangerous how people have misquoted his out-of-context quips. For example, DL Hughley tweeted that Robertson said black people didn’t complain before civil rights, which was a misquote of a seemingly random Robertson statement in which he talked about being poor, working alongside black folks in the cotton fields, and his perception of how those people seemed happy and godly. This completely random statement didn’t tie in to the rest of the article and is read through today’s cultural frame of reference, which is probably intentional on the part of the author. The combination of these two factors leads to possible inaccuracies and misrepresentation as people make inferences from these statements. From this, a firestorm of controversy occurs
Christians Are Hypocrites (The prevailing Postmodern worldview)
I saw Luke 10:25-28 cited repeatedly today, which was quoted accusingly toward Christians who take the biblical stance that homosexuality is a sin. The scripture reads as follows (NIV version):
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Now, here is something I didn’t read in all the coverage of Robertson today outside of the actual GQ article. At one point, Robertson tells the interviewer, “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off…” and “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists…”
A Question For Consideration
Is it possible to both embrace a worldview that says homosexuality is a sin and still love the homosexual?
Stated another way, is it possible to acknowledge the existence of another’s sin without casting judgment and at the same time admitting that I, myself, am a sinner? If so, is this only applicable to certain types of sin? How about certain types of sexual immorality? If it is possible to do so with, let’s say prostitution, why can’t I do so with homosexuality? Why is anyone who labels sexual immorality, in general, a sin somewhat overlooked while those who specify homosexuality as sin are equated to Westboro Church fanatics? (As a side note, Westboro Church has now jumped on this bandwagon and I have to imagine Phil Robertson is appalled by their “support”).
Sexual Immorality in Another Form
I work in ministry with girls who work in the sex industry. Some of these girls do this by choice; they are not trafficked. The bible clearly states that this is a sin. I believe the bible is true and, therefore, agree that their behavior is sinful. Yet, I give my time to love on these women, to provide them with assistance, and to just meet with them where they are at, actively working in the industry or not, because that’s what Jesus would have me do. Jesus loves these women and so do I. While I believe sexual immorality (whether it be homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, etc.,) is sin, I am aware that I am also a sinner saved only by grace and that I must first love God and then love my neighbor.
Open For Discussion
While Robertson’s statements in regard to homosexuality weren’t as polished as Pope Francis’ (see supplemental article here), they were not filled with hateful bigotry. How did we get to a place in our culture where divergent views are ridiculed and shut down instead of openly discussed in a respectful, meaningful way? We may or may not sway one another in our discussions, but why can’t they be had? Why don’t we try? Let’s start now.
What do you think? Is it possible to embrace a biblical worldview in which homosexuality is a sin and still love the homosexual (your neighbor; a human being who engages in homosexuality)?