Friendly Fire: The Hunting Of Phil Robertson

Phil Robertson is under attack. Sure, there’s the obvious attack from the gay lobby because of his comments in GQ. But he’s also being attacked from a rather unlikely source.

His own brothers and sisters in the faith.

It happens often. Some regular guy makes a theological splash in the deep end of the pool. Maybe it’s a college student with a spoken word viral video regarding religion. In this case, it’s a Louisiana duck hunter with an opinion on homosexuality.

In either case, a group of Christian celebrities waits to pounce. It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing particularly wrong with what the person said. The Christian Celebrity Police still deem it necessary to remind us of a few things.

Here’s a basic summary of their thoughts regarding the untrained spokesman, in this case, Phil Robertson.

“Phil Robertson didn’t do as good of a job at representing Jesus as, oh, I don’t know, maybe… Me!”

The thinking here seems to be that only those people with lots of initials after their names, a few books published under their name (even if they didn’t write said book) and a winsome personality are qualified to speak when culture and theology cross paths. Heaven forbid someone with grease underneath their fingernails engage the culture with the gospel.

The Christian Celebrity Police don’t stop there. They have another reminder for us when something like this starts grabbing headlines. Here’s how it goes.

Step One: Phil Robertson gets censured by A&E for his views on homosexuality.

Step Two: Fans of Phil Robertson are outraged.

Step Three: The Christian Celebrity Police step in to remind us that, “people in a war torn village in Afghanistan could not care less about this scandal” or “people died and went to hell while you were upset about A&E.”

This is John Acuff’s Jesus Juke on steroids. Where does it end? Surely they know that people died and went to hell while they were reminding us that people died and went to hell during our outrage at the Robertson situation. Should we, therefore, not worry about other non-theological issues because they distract us from those who are going to hell and the indifferent people in Afghan villages?

“Man! The neighbor’s kids busted out my front windshield again. That’s the second time this month.”

“Get over it. Do you realize how many people went to hell while you were worrying about your non-gospel-centered windshield? Besides, do you think that the people in war torn villages in Afghanistan care about your windshield?”

Phil Robertson is not perfect. Far from it. But God, in his sovereignty and for his good purposes, chose to give Phil this platform. He has done it to other imperfect men and women before. People like Abraham, Esther and Peter. And, until the return of Christ, he will allow other imperfect men and women to represent him.

In the meantime, Phil Robertson is living what he believes. He’s not shying away from the parts of the Bible that are a bit too difficult for our hedonistic culture to digest. Maybe that’s something the qualified experts can learn from Phil.

Sometimes, we can be so winsome in our engagement of cultural issues that we cease saying anything worth listening too. All because we’re afraid of being viewed as being homophobic or insensitive.

But, as recent history has shown us, all one has to do in order to earn themselves a scarlet letter is simply to restate what the Bible says about homosexuality. The gay lobby is sure to fire back.

Sadly, so are some of our own brothers and sisters.


Click here to see comments made by Al Mohler and Russell Moore in the wake of Robertson’s comments. Both men appeared on CNN and both did an excellent job of representing Christ and defending their brother.