No apology needed for standing on truth
January 20th, 2014 / By: Jim Richards | Executive Director / comments
During the recent Christmas break there was a tremendous controversy about Phil Robertson, star of a cable television program called “Duck Dynasty.” If you have never seen the show, it is about the lives and antics of a poor family that became wealthy by selling duck calls to duck hunters.
I have to be honest with you: I am not a rabid fan of the show. My hometown is Monroe, La., just across the Ouachita River from “Duck Dynasty,” which is shot in West Monroe. I don’t watch “Swamp People” either. It is a reality TV show about South Louisiana alligator hunters. When I watch the shows I am reminded of my life experiences growing up in Northeast Louisiana and pastoring over 20 years in my native state. Many of the characters remind me of people who were either my relatives or former church members. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve waded in swamps to frog gig. I’ve eaten nutria. I’ve done other things I won’t confess in a public forum. My neck is just as red as some of those guys. My love for the Cajun is deep. Believe me, the programs are not as entertaining when you have lived it.
I appreciate Phil’s stand for traditional marriage. While Phil should not be known as the spokesman for Evangelical Christianity, I am grateful for his boldness. It seems many American Christians have lost their spine. It appears we have lost the culture war to the secularists. There are numerous factors why I believe we will never see the return to a dominant Christian influence on the culture. Of course, God could send a sweeping spiritual awakening that would make it possible. I am praying for it every day.
We have a generation today that has no memory of a church culture. Many are saying it is not worth trying to bring about societal change. Preach the gospel. Live out the life of Christ before others. Bring the kingdom in one person at a time. I affirm all of those statements. However, we have a wider mandate.
January is the ignominious anniversary month of the Roe v Wade decision. Abortion is a blight on America’s soul. Same-sex marriage has become the cause celebre. If you are opposed to homosexual activity you are a hater. Marijuana is now legal for purchase in some states. Is it really worth the effort to engage the culture? I answer emphatically, “Yes!” Lovingly, kindly but courageously we must speak prophetically. Sadly, it appears that most Southern Baptists have lost interest or heart in trying to salvage a godly culture in America.
Article 15 of the Baptist Faith and Message Statement (2000) is about “The Christian and the Social Order.” Current hot-button issues are mentioned. We are told Christians are to oppose racism, vice, sexual immorality including adultery, homosexuality and pornography. The sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death is honored. The Southern Baptist Convention can forget being culturally acceptable when our confession says we believe in a monogamous marital relationship between one man and one woman. Most of the other areas of morality mentioned in our confession are also countered by the current purveyors of so-called tolerance.
Article 15 tells us how to be salt and light in a hostile culture: “Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth and brotherly love. In order to promote those ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.”
This means I can stand with Phil, a Catholic priest and even a Mormon when we are trying to bring influencers under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth and brotherly love.
We should never apologize just because our convictions are unpopular. We may not win America. We may not win the world, but I’ve read the last chapter of the Bible and we win. I will continue to stand with Phil and others who believe in biblical morality. I will lovingly preach the gospel of our precious Savior and stand for truth!