Sorry for the title pun. However… I do have a few thoughts of more serious nature.
First… Christians should not expect unbelievers to conduct themselves like Christians. To do otherwise is a massive misread of Bible doctrine, Christian history, culture, and Jesus’ example.
Second… Too many Christians seem to be conducting themselves like unbelievers in their attitude and comments. Seems to me believer’s comments and demeanor should be gracious and merciful rather than contentious. As it is written…
1 Tim 2:1-4, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people… that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Col 4:6, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Third… The flap from the LGBT group and other like minded individuals is NOT persecution! Persecution is being run out of town, stoned almost to death, beaten with rods, whipped, attacked during a riot by a mob, thrown into prison and placed in shackles. Real suffering is this from 2 Cor 11:23-27, 29…
With far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
Yet Paul didn’t complain, he uses his experiences as proof of being a Christian. He doesn’t attack… even verbally… those who sought to kill him. He put himself in those situations because his attackers needed Jesus. The suffering he went through was a small price to pay for them to hear about Christ and salvation! Are we willing to suffer so those persecuting us can be saved? Sounds more to me like Christians are making enemies of the very ones they are called to tell about Jesus.
Fourth… Christians should not expect anything less than opposition when the faith is spoken in the public square. Actually, it should be expected for things much worse to happen if/when the Christian goes public with beliefs. The question is not why is this happening to Phil Robertson, but why isn’t it happening to more Christians? As it is written in 1 Peter 4:12-16…
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
Suffering in this manner is far from how Christians in America react when they are nudged just a little bit regarding the faith. My advice… learn how to suffer in a manner that honors God rather than is contrary to how Jesus and early Christians suffered. Think over that for a moment or two.
Last… it will take Christians being willing to suffer graciously with integrity and honor for Christ for unbelievers to come to Christ. Unbelievers will NOT come to a Jesus who’s followers are militaristic, antagonistic, argumentative, and angry. When Paul was in prison after being beaten for speaking for Christ, he sang with his friend Silas. Unless Paul and Silas had been beaten and thrown into prison, the jailer wouldn’t have been saved! From Acts 16…
22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God… 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”
All the fussing, whining, and hand wringing coming from Christians is the result of believing an entitlement faith (“Your best life now”) and weak preaching from the pulpit. Personally, we all could use more persecution because of being a Christian. Then all would know who is and isn’t a genuine believer. As Jesus said in Matthew 13:20-21…
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
1 Peter 4:17, “It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
I am still absorbing your message, Br. Ron and how powerful a message it is. You shared points that I had not thought of and described my reactions to the Duck Dynasty flap perfectly. Thank you for this message. I plan to keep it, study and pray more for you have made me realize my Christianity hasn’t been the example it should have been. Thank you for these points of truth.