Duck Dynasty is the highest-rated reality series in cable television history. It highlights the lives of a self-described "redneck" Louisiana family who own the multi-million dollar hunting-accessories company Duck Commander, which was built on a popular duck call device the founder invented in 1972. It is a true life "rags to riches" story. Duck Dynasty began airing on A&E in March 2012 and the wildly popular program has become a multi-million dollar brand with its own line of camo clothing, t-shirts, iPhone games, birthday cards, bobbleheads, blankets, Segways, recliners, sunglasses, headphones, cookbooks, you name it--1,200 items altogether! Duck Dynasty merchandise sales have reached $400 million, with about half of that sold in Walmart stores. Universal Music teamed up with A&E to produce a holiday music album entitled Duck the Halls, Hallmark has Duck Dynasty greeting cards, and the 2014 Duck Dynasty cruise is already sold out. Duck Dynasty has been A&E's most financially successful venture. The heroes of Duck Dynasty present themselves as backwoods rednecks, but family patriot Phil Robertson has a masters' degree in education and his son Willie has a business degree.
Unlike most television fare today, there is "no cussing, no meanness," and the family represents conservative, patriotic American values. In his autobiography, Phil Robertson says, "Our founding fathers started this country and built it on God and His Word, and this country sure would be a better place to live and raise our children if we still followed their ideals and beliefs," to which we say a hearty Amen. The unlikely stars--Phil and his sons, their wives, and other relatives--are outspoken Christians. They are strong in their beliefs.
The problem--a very serious problem according to God's Word--is that their gospel is the false baptismal regeneration gospel of the Church of Christ. Phil and his oldest son Al are elders at White's Ferry Church of Christ in West Monroe, Louisiana. They add baptism to the gospel, believing that water baptism places the candidate "into Christ" ("Jase Robertson Baptizes 'Duck Dynasty' Fan," The Christian Chronicle, March 2013). Phil told The Christian Chronicle that he and his sons Alan and Jase preach the same message of faith, repentance AND BAPTISM wherever they're invited. Speaking to Harding University student body on Nov. 28, 2012, Willie Robertson told of how that he baptized a sports star "into the Lord." They also believe that a born-again child of God can lose his salvation, which means that they don't really understand the gospel. This is not a light matter. The apostle Paul said that a false gospel is cursed of God, and the gospel that Paul summarized in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 has no baptism.
Of lesser importance, but still an issue that should not be ignored if we want to be faithful to God in all matters, is this: The Robertsons despise the Scripture which says that even nature itself teaches that it is a shame for a man to have long hair (1 Corinthians 11:14). This is the verse that the Spirit of God used to convict me to cut my long hair 40 years ago even though I thought it looked good. On my cross-country hitchhiking trips before I was saved in 1973, I thought my success was due to the fact that I "looked like Jesus"! I was deceived then, but I thank God for the light of God's Word to shine godly wisdom into every area of life.
(Friday Church News Notes, December 27, 2013, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)