Up until just a couple of weeks ago I had never seen an episode of “Duck Dynasty”, the mega-hit cable channel A&E’s “reality” show. Stands to reason, as we don’t have cable, or satellite TV. It’s just something I can’t get good with; paying for television reception, subscribing to radio programming, and having a phone that can more than my desktop computer. Ok, maybe my wife has a little influence on some of those things, but she’s a “pioneer woman” and makes “Miss Kay” look like a pampered city gal! Yep, I could tell you some stories, but she reads this, so…yeah.
Anyway, some friends loaned us the first season of “Duck Dynasty” on dvd and we watched the entire season in about three settings. Halfway through the 2nd episode my wife looks at me and says, “This could be you and the ‘Williams boys’!” I smiled, picked up the remote and turned up the volume. I must admit, she has a good point.
The reason myself and the “Williams boys” didn’t play sports in high school was it got in the way of hunting and fishing, and part-time jobs. Someday I’ll write a book…
The boys and I were, admittedly, unchurched, irreligious heathen who would consider spending an hour in church on Sunday morning sacrilegious, or at least a poor time management decision. A boy can shoot a lot of squirrels “still hunting” in one hour. Little did I know, even with that attitude, I was getting an education in the finer points of theology. There are endless applications in nature of theological truths. Things like:
*If you need to drink out of the creek be sure it’s moving and follow it downstream for a ways to make sure no dead cows are layin’ in it! (Ok, not advisable to normal humans.)
*A copperhead snake will chase you, especially if you’re screaming. (So, I was 5 years old…Obviously, it made an impression!)
*Your dad may be throwing rocks in your direction and yelling “Shut up!”, but he’s not trying to stone you… He’s trying to stop the copperhead snake that is chasing you with intent to kill!
*Don’t let your coonhound swim after the racoon which is trying to lure him into the deep water, unless you’re willing to join him in the fight to save his stupid canine posterior.
*Hunting seasons are in place to advance the propagation of game animals, and are enforced by the state for the protection of species. (Many laws of man are complimentary to the laws of nature.)
*Bucks like doe’s…and…doe’s like bucks.
I know, these are, for the most part, fairly obvious. But there is a national debate which has gained a larger audience just in the last week or so, which wasn’t quite so obvious to many until the “Duck Commander”, Phil Robertson gave his honest answer to a question from a GQ Magazine reporter, who may, or may not have had an agenda. Had we not just watched several episodes of the popular show, I may have just sat this one out. However, I have watched the story unfold on a daily basis since it broke last week, and, having previously established a position on the subject that drew so much fire, I feel somewhat negligent if I fail to make a few comments, most of which I have published before.
As I perused the comments of many of the stories accusing Phil Robertson of “homophobia”, “hate”, “bigotry”, “racism”, “hate speech”, and other vile names which will not be printed here, I came across one particularly interesting story where a Methodist pastor was advocating for same-sex marriage. Said preacher had recently been “defrocked” by his denomination when he married his “gay” son and his “significant other”. I made a few respectful observations on various stories and was immediately the target of LGBT militants/advocates. One story on a CNN blogsite asked the question, “Does Phil Robertson get the Bible Wrong?”. You can read it but to save your time and keep you on my blogsite, I’ll just sum it up as a liberal reporter finds a couple of liberal’s with a seminary degree to do some “scholarly” gymnastics to say the Bible doesn’t really say what it says, particularly concerning homosexuality. Somewhere amid the over 5K comments (so far) I made the statement to the effect of, “Do what you must to justify your behavior, this is the most acrobatically obtuse foray into Biblical exegesis I have ever witnessed…” and immediately was challenged that “Jesus never mentioned homosexuality”, and if I were a true Christian I would not make such “hypocritical” statements.
I have also been told by these “gentle spirits” and “true Christians” that the Old Testament passages (such as Lev. 19:22-23 forbidding men to lay with other men and inter-species copulation, e.i. bestiality) are null and void since Jesus cancelled out the Law. I am assuming they also mean to say that murder is no longer forbidden, and you should be able to take whatever you want from your neighbor’s house, including his wife…eh?
[As a point of clarification, the New Testament begins at the ‘death of the Testator’, Christ, according to Hebrews and every estate judge in the land. Jesus walked the Earth in an Old Testament economy. Yeah, I know…it’ll take a minute to grasp that one!]
At any rate, these arguments are often used as “proof” that Jesus never condemned homosexuality and thus Christians, who refer to the Bible when opposing these types of moral issues, are just wrong.
Ok, a Biblical response:
Firstly, Jesus Himself declared in Matthew 5:17-18 that He did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets (Old Testament) but to fulfill it. Then He goes on to say that until “heaven and earth pass” not even a punctuation mark will be changed in the Law till it is fulfilled. He further states that if you break one commandment you have broken them all (v.19 and James 2:10, [he was half-brother of Jesus]), and that not only the actual doing of the thing, but the very thought of the sin is enough to condemn you. “If you look upon a maid to lust after her, you have committed adultery in your heart already.”(Matt 5:21-28)
As a matter of fact, Jesus does speak against fornication (sexual intercourse outside of marriage) which includes not only homosexual activity, but also extra-marital heterosexual activity, pedophilia, incest, bestiality and so forth. While Jesus does not specifically name “homosexuality”, neither does he specifically name “incest, pedophilia, or bestiality”.
Does lack of specific mention codify or legitimize sexual intercourse with a minor child or animal, or even necrophilia (with the dead)? I would hope that you would agree that it doesn’t. I would allow that certain individuals may have a predisposed propensity for homosexual attraction, but so do pedophiles, and zoophiles. Alcoholics also have a predisposed propensity for their weakness. If these could not be controlled there would be no “sober” alcoholics, just as there would be no “former” homosexuals. Obviously there are many who have overcome these predispositions.
The question of sexuality is not even necessarily a simple “religious” question concerning morality but is as much a scientific or biological question and environment plays a huge role in development. What is the purpose of copulation in nature? In nature every species “mates,” only at specific times, for one purpose: Propagation of the species. Ours is the only species (except one) that is capable of spontaneous copulation, or “recreational” intercourse (for mutual pleasure), propagation of the species notwithstanding, and the only one who can look into the eyes of our mate while engaged. (The Bible says the “eyes are the window to the soul”; thus for humans, sex is a spiritual act of communion as well.)
Nonetheless, the baser “natural” lust of mankind, becomes tempered by morality; a philosophical if not religious attitude that contains our urges, lest we succumb to our “desires” in every public venue. So then, there are advantages to societal limitations (moral guidelines, if you will) on what behavior is ‘acceptable’ and where, especially when you consider public viewing of these activities, age of consent (pedophilia), interspecies copulation (bestiality) and so on. Everyone lives according to someone’s morality, even if they claim to be amoral. Society demands it.
Statistically speaking: After a quick check via Google, a United Nations website, unaids.org, netted some startling facts. In North America, parts of Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe, 70% of all AIDS cases are transmitted by male on male intercourse. (The remainder of cases are attributed mostly to injection drug use .) As many as 56% of those (70%) are suspected of bisexual activity, which then calculates into 39 of 100 women engaging in intercourse with bisexual men can be exposed to HIV. The average life expectancy of a homosexual male is early 40’s. Not only does HIV/AIDS weigh in heavily but a myriad of other sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) create health problems along with drug usage, which more often than not is a factor. It is a very destructive lifestyle and when Kinsey was doing his infamous sex studies, less than 1% of his homosexual men were 60+. A 2008 published study shows the overwhelming majority of deaths in homosexual men occur between ages of 25-45.
The logical conclusion to the matter is that open sexual activity which is harmful to society therefore is, and must be regulated; if not by law, then at least by some moral principle which has been established by that society in order to maintain a social order which will preserve and propagate the society.
The problem beginning to emerge here is not that LGBT’s want to do what they do, but demanding that the rest of society embrace or condone it. I don’t care what you do in the privacy of your bedroom. I just don’t want government telling me I have to embrace it by providing you that bedroom to do it in, condone your sexual behavior by being forced by a judge to make a cake for your gay wedding reception (in a state which doesn’t even recognize same-sex marriage), or photograph it by court order.
These court actions are in direct violation of the United States Constitution’s guarantee of “Freedom of Association” and the right of “Free excercise of Religion“. These rights are delineated hand in hand with our ‘Freedom of Speech” in the First Amendment because they are fundamental, and the Founders foresaw a time when Government would attempt to curb those rights necessary to maintain a free and moral society. We are not far from the point that Christians will not be allowed to run for certain offices (violation of Article VI) or hold some government positions. Yes, Apartheid is coming to America; mark it down!
Yes Phil has it right, and he has the right to say it. And if you study those 6 theological lessons I learned from the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”, you’ll find more Biblical truth than you might expect!
Hearkening back to “What would Jesus Do?” I can’t help but pose the thought that those practicing homosexuality and refuse the call of Jesus to “go and sin no more” are no different from those people who refuse to repent of any other sin, be it another “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, or the pride of life”. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Experiencing God is not just for the afterlife; it is for this life. This is the “abundant life” that Jesus spoke of.
A person who refuses reconciliation with God either thinks himself too great, or God too small.