By now, nearly everyone in America that watches television is familiar with the controversy surrounding Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty empire. For those of you that have been hiding in the hills for the last month or so, let me re-cap:
Phil Robertson was interviewed by GQ Magazine, In the course of the interview, Mr. Robertson, a devout Christian, shared his beliefs regarding the sin of homosexuality. A&E (the network that owns and airs Duck Dynasty) issued a statement, saying they disagreed with Mr. Robertson, affirmed their support of the LGBT community and lifestyle, and subsequently, announced the suspension of Mr. Robertson from the Duck Dynasty program. Immediately following this announcement, social media erupted with outpourings of support for Mr. Robertson. Boycotts of the A&E Network were organized, and shouts of everything from intolerance, to Constitutional rights, to Christian persecution were being screamed across the political and social spectrum. Subsequently, within days, the network announced that it was going to suspend the suspension, and allow Mr. Robertson back on the program. This announcement was met with mixed feelings by the public. Many Christians felt vindicated. Many felt A&E’s “explanation” didn’t go far enough, and felt the network needed to out-and-out apologize. Regardless, America’s favorite camo-wearing family was back, and now – just a few weeks later – most of the furor has died down.
Before I go on, let me be clear about a couple of things. I share the Biblical position of many Christians (Mr. Robertson included) that homosexuality is sin. I dislike any time a Christian is vilified and trashed in the liberal media, simply for stating their beliefs. I am saddened by the fact that public discourse in this nation has been reduced to rabid political correctness and misleading sound bites portraying Christians as “unintelligent and backwards”, while radical leftists are portrayed as “courageous and principled”. The Bible talks about “those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). That is the day we are living in… I get that.
But if we as the western church are going to be outraged, I fear we have chosen the wrong target for our righteous ire. Many Christians in America are very good at “putting on the whole armor of God”. However, once it is on, we have a bad habit of picking the wrong battle to fight. No Christian likes to see another Christian mistreated in the press, however…
Where was the outrage when 80 people were executed in North Korea for “crimes” such as possessing a Bible?
Where is the same indignation for the estimated 50,000 – 70,000 Christians currently imprisoned in North Korean prison camps that we show when we see pictures of WWII Nazi concentration camps?
Where is the outrage for the fact that killing Christians on Christmas in countries like Iraq is practically a “tradition” by Islamists?
Where is the outrage for the fact that the Islamic “rebels” that we so vocally support in Syria are the same people responsible for the wholesale slaughter of Christians in that country?
Where are those voices asking why, as of 2011, two-thirds of the Christians in Iraq (the country America “liberated”) have vanished (believed either murdered or fled)?
According to Open Doors 2014 World Watch List, 9 of the top 10 countries in which Christians are most persecuted are Muslim majority states, with Islamic extremism listed as the driving force behind the persecution.
Wake up, people! Our brothers and sisters in Christ are being martyred on a regular basis in nations like Syria, Pakistan, North Korea, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, Egypt, and many more, and we have remained silent by comparison. By many accounts, worldwide Christian martyrdom has doubled in the last year, yet the church is not discussing it. We have not held our media to account to report on these atrocities, while they are all too complicit in carrying the water of the left-wing agenda, focusing on “hard news” items like “gay-bashing”, “climate change”, and every other politically-correct sideshow out there.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said…
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends.
While the suspension of a popular Christian millionaire from a TV show for espousing his beliefs is objectionable in this free nation, it pales in comparison to the plight of Christians in third-world countries who, for them, a stand for Christ could come at the cost of their next breath. It’s time for American Christians to get our priorities straight. It’s time for us to wake up to the fact that Jesus didn’t die so that we could be entertained… He died to give us life more abundantly – to give us a life that takes up our cross daily, and follows His example.
German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said…
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.
Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.
We must be silent no more.