The brouhaha surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson's statement about homosexuality is a reminder that freedom of speech is dead in America at a very important level. Robertson, the 67-year-old patriarch of A&E's wildly popular television program, expressed his personal views in a conversation with entertainment magazine GQ that appears in the January 2014 edition and was first reported last week. Robertson said that homosexuality is unnatural and sinful and that it morphs into other things. "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men." Robertson paraphrased 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 as follows: "Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers--they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
Predictably, homosexual rights groups went berserk, charging Robertson with hate and ignorance. Assuming a ridiculous stance of righteous indignation, GLADD exclaimed that Robertson's remarks were "some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication." GLADD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) seeks to "shape the media narrative" and "change the culture."
A&E immediately issued a statement condemning Robertson's remarks and putting Robertson "under hiatus from filming indefinitely."
I am glad for Robertson's outspokenness and I am glad that his family is standing with him against the blatant discrimination ("Duck Dynasty Family Stands by Suspended Patriarch," CNN, Dec. 20, 2013). More power to them. Millions of Americans believe exactly what Robertson believes, and at least a couple million of them have risen up and stated their support for Robertson on sites such as Twitter and Facebook since his firing by A&E.
The problem is that this doesn't change anything of substance. Just as with the Chick-Fil-A brouhaha earlier this year, this type of private speech is currently allowed by the speech Nazis (only because they can't yet stop it). The massive support that was shown for Chick-fil-A didn't change anything, and the support for Duck Dynasty won't change anything of substance. What is not currently allowed is for public figures and anyone in the employ of the government to speak out against homosexuality by calling it sinful and saying that it is under God's judgment and comparing it to other moral perversions. Many have been fired and otherwise disciplined for this.
That is the freedom that has already been lost, and it is a great loss, and it is only the first step. Homosexual activists have demonstrated that they are seeking to silence all publicly-stated opposition to their "lifestyle," and they will not settle for anything less. They are winning significant battles toward this objective and unless there is a massive spiritual revival in the churches, they will eventually win the war (in this present place and time, though not in eternity).
America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave (some shining exceptions notwithstanding). And it is not the fault of GLADD. Radical homosexual rights organizations represent a relatively few people with a loud voice. Why can a few dictate what can or cannot be said in public places? Why are the courts siding with the few against the U.S. Constitution?
The fault lies at the door of America's compromising, worldly, and apostate churches. The removal of liberty and the replacement of bravery with cowardice are judgments of God. The same thing happened in Israel of old. The prophets were the source of the "profaneness" that had "gone forth into all the land" (Jeremiah 23:15). You won't hear the fear of God and repentance and holiness and separation and warnings of God's judgment thundered from the pulpits of the more than 1,300 "megachurches" in America. And the vast majority of the smaller churches are no better. In the midst of times that call for affliction, mourning, and weeping, they are partying (James 4:4-9). As a result, children are our oppressors and women rule over us (Isaiah 3:12) and two can put ten thousand to flight (Deut. 32:30). When God's people refuse to hearken to His voice and instead follow their own hearts' lust and walk after their own counsel, He removes His blessing and "the haters of the Lord" become their oppressors (Psalm 81:11-15).
It's all very sad and disturbing, but the Bible says this present wicked world is passing away (1 John 2:15-17). It will soon be but a faded dream. My business is not to fret because of evildoers (Psalm 37:1). My business is to fulfill the Great Commission of gospel preaching to every nation and the planting of sound Bible churches while it is still day, and that is exactly what we are doing. The hour is very late, friends, are you ready for the Lord's return.
(Friday Church News Notes, December 27, 2013, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)