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Why I Stand With Phil Robertson

Spencer Traver

Most likely, you have already heard that Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson was indefinitely suspended from the show for his recent comments in GQ about homosexuality. In case you didn't, you can read his story here.

First and foremost, I stand with Phil Robertson. However, that is just grazing the surface of a greater issue to be explored. The persistent issue at stake has little to do with tolerance and much to do with sincere truth. I find it ironic that A&E is suspending a reality TV show star for being real about his faith. Last time I checked, the first amendment grants every citizen the freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Phil's comments followed these lines. While I am not suggesting that Phil's rights were violated, I am suggesting that we reevaluate our definition of tolerance. In Phil's situation, he is not battling tolerance and intolerance but rather the acceptance and promotion of sinful actions and desires.

So what? The general society then is quick to generalize Phil along with the majority of outspoken Christians as "homophobes" and "homophobic". I cannot personally speak for Phil, but as a fellow believer, I would rather be called a homophobe than an ashamed Christian. In fact, I do not believe there is such thing as an ashamed Christian, but rather an ashamed person in their lack of faith in an all-powerful God. We, Christians, are called to courageous lives by the spirit of God placed inside of each of His children {2 Timothy 1:7}.

Phil's situation summarizes exactly how explicit the Gospel truly is. I pray for the same boldness that he has. Furthermore, here are a few reasons why I stand with Phil:

1. He stands up for what he believes in. Christian or not, I do not understand how you cannot respect this man for having a backbone, better yet, a moral one. So many of us lack this in our own beliefs. I'm a Christian, but if I weren't, I sure would be wondering what this man has bought into if he is so sure to put his entire career and status on the line for it. His statements make me wonder, "Who is this God that he claims so strongly to and what makes Him so good?"

2. He doesn't complicate things. This does not mean that he lacks intelligence but rather he is to the point. Like the first point, he doesn't beat around the bush but rather shoots straight to the point. There was no intent to confuse readers and cause debate. He simply yet logically analyzes "the birds and the bees" in a way that is almost humorous to me. I laugh and grin at his comments because they are so straight-forward, yet so very true.

3. He calls a spade, a spade. And when I say a spade, I mean sin. Our world needs Christians who are not only unwilling to remain silent, but unwilling to remain silent about what truly matters. After discussing a list of sinful actions in the apostle Paul's letters to the Corinthians, Phil encourages everyone to not be deceived into a life rooted in sin. However, Phil still expresses exactly what the heart of each Christian should be when sharing truth. The truth should be shared in love, but in tough love that is rooted in truth. He does this when he said:

"My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other." - Phil Robertson

Take it as you will...but regardless of our religious and sexual opinions, I, along with my fellow Christians, can rejoice right now. The apostle Paul explicitly shares this truth in the book of Philippians when he wrote:

"It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

{Philippians 1:15-18}

Thank you, Phil Robertson, for being another prime example of a "116" man. You abide by Romans 1:16 where Paul implores fellow Christians to join him in his unashamed pursuit for Christ, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile." The Gospel explicitly calls each and every one of us, Christian or non-Christian, straight or gay, to response: either to follow Christ or to deny His very existence. As for me, I shall follow Christ and stand alongside Phil in bold, loving truth. God Bless.