A&E’s not to blame for kicking Phil Robertson to the curb. We are. The Church. Sure, A&E wrote out his checks and signed him to contractual agreements, but the real reason for Phil’s retribution lies on us, the Church. Somewhere along the way, the Church joined the rest of our Country in the “wussification” of America. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means, “the trend of becoming an increasingly wimpy society.”
Over the last several years, there’s been a movement to make the Country more soft. Little boys can’t bite pop tarts into shapes of guns without stern reprisal. In the Fall of 2013, Fox News reported, “An elementary school in Nashua, NH has reminded parents and students that playing “tag” violates the school’s longtime “no contact” rule for recess games.” And the no contact rule now extends into the adult world. In football, players are limited in their methods of tackling; Major League baseball plans to ban home plate collisions beginning in 2015. Soon, spectators will fill arenas to watch professional athletes in marathon pillow fights or playing tag….well, maybe not tag. Little kids can’t even play “Cowboys and Indians” because of the offensive nature of the “I” word. America’s becoming too soft.
Sadly, the “wussification” movement has crept into our churches as well. A couple of centuries ago, pastors pounded pulpits and loudly warned of “hell, fire, and brimstone.” In 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon entitled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The message depicted the realities of hell so clearly, the hearers could smell the sulfur burning. Fast forward to the early 1900’s and to the evangelist, Billy Sunday. NPR contributor and author Steve Inkeep wrote of Sunday, “The “muscularity” and movement of his sermons was meant to counter the view by some that Christians were docile and fragile.” Finally, over the last 50 years, Billy Graham spoke plainly about the hell awaiting those without Jesus. Unfortunately, many churches today shy away from sermons about God’s Judgment or the text Phil quoted in his GQ Interview. I Corinthians 6:9-11 states,
“ Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a]10 nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the
kingdom of God.”
Tough words but none more true.
Soon the executives and A&E will crowd around a conference table wondering how to keep their proverbial ship afloat, and some will ask why did we allow 5% of the population to dictate this decision. None will think to blame Christians. If the Christian voice resonated with as much volume and fervor as GLAAD, Phil Robertson wouldn’t be out of a job; the rest of the cast wouldn’t be facing tough decisions about their television future. But we needn’t worry. Duck Dynasty will land on their feet with even greater success. God blesses faithfulness.
In the meantime, Christians today need to “man up.” Phil Robertson transported America back to the days of Jonathan Edwards and A&E’s response to Phil’s comment proves that in 250 years, this Country’s grown soft…too soft. And so has the Church.
I stand with Phil Robertson.
More importantly, I stand on God’s Word.