The answer to that is no! We should not be mad at A & E for “suspending” Phil Robertson based on his declaration that homosexual behavior is sinful. Of course, everything that Phil said was true, but ultimately the problem is not with A & E but with sheepish Christians who have been content for so long to sit on the sideline while Christian values have been pushed to the side and replaced by the values of Naturalism.
What happened to Phil is simply the latest insult in a string of insults that began long ago. It is certainly no worse than the redefinition of marriage by judges, the selective prosecution of laws by elected officials, unlawful legal declarations by the president, the normalization of every kind of immoral behavior by our entertainment industry, the marginalization of Christian groups on university campuses, the removal of expressions of Christmas in school Christmas programs, the insults to Christian beliefs by the news media, the legal acceptance of abortion, the pressure on military chaplains to put aside their Christian faith, the suppression of religions expression by regular members of the military, attempts to remove prayer from public events, … (Have mercy, I could fill up pages with my list).
The Christian Solution
Personally, I think all of this is wrong. But is it A & Es fault? No, they are only one entity. The problem is so much larger than that. What is happening now is primarily the fault of Christians who have not been willing to express their faith in the face of all these non-believers who have been working to force their anti-God agenda on the culture. It is not at all necessary to be ugly in the face of ugliness, but it is necessary to stand for our faith. We do it in three ways.
1. Walk the Walk
If we, as Christians, want to be able to credibly stand strong, the first thing we must do is to be authentic. This means not only living a life which is consistent with the teachings of the Bible, but also becoming faithful disciples of Christ who are willing to make the effort to learn the basics of our faith. We can’t live out or share what we don’t know. Christians have been far too lazy. The Christian faith is not based on mere casual belief. It is founded on an actual, objective, personal relationship with God in which the Christian literally hands his or her life over to God to be his servant and faithful steward. Anything less than that has no credibility with those we wish to reach in the culture, and a lukewarm faith is offensive to God himself.
2. Share Christ
The second way we must stand for our faith is to actively share Christ. Every time we are confronted with someone or some group seeking to put down our Christian faith, we are facing people who are witnessing to their anti-God faith. On one level, why should we just sit back and let non-believers dominate the culture by out-witnessing us? On another level, God is a real person that we know in an objectively real personal relationship. In fact, that is the very purpose of our existence. And since relationship with God is the reason for the existence of mankind in the first place, we are duty bound before God to share the one thing that can give people a change of heart. Sadly, most Christians do not know how to share their faith with people like the leaders of A & E. We need massive numbers of Christians to get up to speed on this front.
3. Be Activist Christians
The third way we need to stand for our faith is to become activist Christians ourselves. Of course, in God’s economy, activism needs to be done in a particular way. In the Christian faith, the ends never justify the means . We must always do God’s will God’s way. But the most pressing problem is that so few Christians are willing to even take their Christian beliefs outside their home and church. The lost world is not in Christian homes and churches – it is in the other institutions of the culture. When Christians see anti-God beliefs being foisted on the culture, we need to counter it with Christian beliefs. Non-Christian beliefs end up destroying lives. It is only Christian beliefs and values which provide for the kind of environment which allows humanity to fully thrive – both materially and spiritually.
Let’s Be Mad Rightly
Personally, I am offended by A & E’s self-righteous declaration that my Christian beliefs are homophobic. They certainly are not! All they have really demonstrated is that they have no understanding whatsoever of what Christian beliefs actually entail. And I, personally, didn’t waste any time writing them a respectful note, but one that let them know in no uncertain terms that I didn’t appreciate their insult to my faith.
But as I said before, what A & E did is not the problem. It is only the symptom of larger problem in the culture. The only thing that will ultimately change things is for massive numbers of non-believers to have a change of heart. And that will only happen when a massive number of believers step out of their mediocrity by getting their own relationship with God right, doing their due diligence to learn how to express their faith in Christ effectively to the culture, then actually getting out and sharing it. When we do that as we ought, then we can point at organizations like A & E and blame them. But until that happens, we need to look in the mirror. There are enough Christians to turn the tide if we will become faithful once again.
© 2013 Freddy Davis