My facebook feed is one Phil Robertson post after the other, and fact is: my facebook feed says more about me--my particular circle of friends, my interests--than it does about society. (Everyone's facebook feed is unique.)
Many of my facebook friends love Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty (if you don't, I beg your patience just a moment longer), and no surprise. I've lived in the south most of my life, and many of my people are camo-wearing Baptists. The Robertsons are reality stars to whom my people can relate, and many of them are riled up over Phil's suspension.
They're posting about the First Amendment. They're criticizing writer Drew Magary, GQ, and A&E. They're wondering why it seems like people in the LGBT community can say whatever they like without consequence. They're wondering why it seems like Pat Robertson (of The 700 Club) can say whatever he likes without consequence. They're wondering all sorts of things, and I had to walk away because my head hurt. I felt like a bunch of people were yelling in there.
Here's what I think. Again, wherever you stand, I beg your patience. I think--just like every other Christian I've ever met, including myself--Phil is a sloppy servant of Jesus. Jesus has used Phil, anyway, and will likely continue to do so. Phil will be able to reach people whom others can't.
Phil may have just rendered himself useless in terms of reaching unsaved African Americans and unsaved people in the LGBT community. At least, if I were African American or of a non-heterosexual orientation, I can assure you: it would be over between Phil and me.
I can almost hear some of you saying: "But Phil was just speaking to his experience in Pre-Civil-Rights-Era Louisiana." Okay, but Phil's experience was pret-ty durn limited to have made such a blanket (ignorant) statement about an entire group of people to which he doesn't even belong.
And I can almost hear some of you saying: "But Phil was just speaking out about sin, and a sin is a sin." Okay, but what I know for sure is that--even if a sin is a sin to God--a sin is not a sin in society, or among people. People are comfortable comparing one sin to another (homosexuality and bestiality, for example) so long as they're guilty of neither, but are you personally willing to place yourself in the same category as a baby rapist because you experienced a fleeting moment of jealousy over your sister's new purse? Be fair.
Perhaps you're thinking: "But Phil wasn't comparing. He was just listing sin." Okay, but I can see easily how people in the LGBT community would perceive differently. Can't you?
Regardless of Phil's intentions--and I'm willing, personally, to give him the benefit of the doubt--he was sloppy. He allowed the interview. He said what he said. And you know what? People will and should be held accountable for what they say and how they say it. Phil's neither dead nor in prison. He has a lot of money, a loving family, a huge fan base, and (regardless of his sloppiness) the love of the Lord. Phil's First Amendment rights don't guarantee his permanent reign as a reality star, but you know what? He'll be okay.
And I'll tell you something else: if Phil loves the Lord as much as he says he does, he doesn't want his predicament to detract from your celebration of Jesus's birth. Get Phil off your pedestal and put Jesus up there; He won't let you down. A human will, and every time.