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The Real Side | Commentary by Joe Messina
| Monday, Dec 23, 2013

joemessinamug“Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson was recently attacked for basically quoting scripture, albeit loosely, and talking about his beliefs in an interview with GQ magazine.

He talked openly about his experiences of working alongside black workers back in his day – and you would have thought he’d been caught skinning cats alive in the public square.

Phil also spoke to what the Bible says about the “natural use of the body.” It’s what his belief system teaches. And yes, it’s the Christian system, although his explanation was certainly Phil-ified.

My Christian friends are quick to say they would not have said it the way he did, but they never said whether they would stand behind the spirit of what he said. Christians retreat, hide under a rock and don’t openly support Phil, even though they do agree.

I could explain what Phil meant by his comments about the black people with whom he picked cotton, but some people are just dead-set on hating him, and people like that don’t really care for an explanation. I even polled some of my black friends about Phil’s comment. None of them took offense.

In actuality, Phil made no mention of Jim Crow laws, as far as I saw, yet the left infers he did. Shame on them for assuming.

Former MSNBC host Martin Bashir made direct slavery-related comments toward Sarah Palin, and there was not a word from any of those left-wingers. Shame on them for being hypocrites. Still no support for what Phil Robertson stood up for.

I spoke to a few people who know Phil. All said he hasn’t changed from when he was flat broke, to when he was making money with the duck-call business, to what he is now making on A&E. He hasn’t changed. The money and other resources he has given to those in need, the poor, the sick and the homeless have increased as God increased him. (You Godless don’t need to try to figure that out; it could hurt your brain.)

Phil has stuck to his beliefs and let the whole world see them through the “Duck Dynasty” TV show, even when the network pressured him to downplay his beliefs on the air. Now he’s being attacked because he had the audacity to state his beliefs to a reporter.

They’re the same beliefs he’s been stating all along. His story hasn’t changed. And where are my Christian brothers and sisters on this issue? The sound of 80 million Christians should be deafening.

My anger at the people who quickly came out against Phil was tempered by my belief in God.

Three scriptures came to mind. Jesus said, “They will hate you for my sake,” “I never knew you,” and John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his Son” to us for salvation.

The first is self-explanatory. Basically, if you love Jesus and keep His commandments, people know it and they will hate you. Look at the persecution, not simply people complaining, but the persecution that goes along with being a Christian. In the United States, we have it easy compared to other parts of the world where Christians are executed, maimed, raped, tortured and beheaded for their beliefs. In the good ol’ U.S. of A., we simply have to fight (with words, not fists) to be able to live out our principles.

Businesses that are Christian-owned are not allowed to refuse to provide service to gay or lesbian couples. The cake baker and the photographer who believe those lifestyles are sinful to God are not allowed to practice their religious freedom in America by refusing to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies. They must either go against their God or close their business. Freedom of religion? Nope, not really. Try being a Christian in other parts of the world where a piece of paper with a scripture written on it is a death sentence.

The second scripture, “I never knew you,” refers to religious people of the day who were outwardly doing things that made it look like they were following Christ, but they didn’t really love Him and didn’t really understand what He was teaching.

Many people today are Sunday-go-to-meetin’ Christians. It’s easy to look like a Christian when you are in the herd, but it’s a whole different story when you are by yourself. Phil has no problem with this. He is who he is, whether he’s at home alone or in front of cameras.

He’s not the only one. There are other well-known people and brands that are willing to stand up for what they believe their God wants them to do as written in scripture – Tim Tebo, Philip Anschutz of Regal Entertainment Group, Mr. & Mrs. Chang of Forever 21, David Green of Hobby Lobby, Kathleen Marie Ireland of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Samuel Truett Cathy of Chik-fil-A and Harry & Esther Snyder of In-N-Out Burger, just to name a few. None of these people has an issue with who they are, and they make sure God gets the glory for their wealth.

The third and final scripture, John 3:16, is for my Christian friends. Are you pleasing to your God? Are you doing what God has asked you to do? Are you ashamed to be a Christian? Now, I don’t mean that you are an “in your face,” “you’re going to Hell unless you accept Christ”-type of Christian. I mean a Daniel and Joseph kind of Christian.

Do you do what God’s word expects you to do? Do you feed the poor, take care of the sick, the widows and the orphans? If you do, great. Do you proclaim God’s word? Do you share God’s love? Are you willing to risk it all in order to defend what you believe? Are you willing to give it all for Christ? Tim Tebo was. Sam Cathy was. Phil Robertson was. And Jesus Christ did. God gave His best for us. Are you giving your best to Him? Are you willing to defend your belief to new or potential clients at the risk of losing them? Jesus never backed down. He was willing to tear up the temple area when the merchants turned it into a flea market of thieves.

It’s all well and good to be running around buying gifts and saying “Merry Christmas,” but are you really willing to live, share and defend the best gift with the true meaning of love … that is, Christ our Savior is born?

Merry Christmas to all!

 

Joe Messina is host of The Real Side (TheRealSide.com), a nationally syndicated talk show that runs on AM-1220 KHTS radio and SCVTV [here]. He is also a member of the Hart School Board. His commentary publishes Mondays.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Christ never said anything about homosexuality, one way or the other. He did seem to enjoy hanging out on the fringes of society so he was probably accepting of individuality.

    The early bans on activities that waste “seed” were based on the “science” of the day, which proclaimed that a man has a finite amount of “seed” and to “spill” same deprives the society of future consumers (much like the Pro Life movement).

  2. Marilyn Boron says:

    Black Friday and even Thanksgiving Day are examples of Christians ignoring the Reason for the Season which is the birth of The Christ, the son
    of God, sharing His Divinity with Humanity. The stores, Westfield Mall in particular, are so politically correct in omitting Merry Christmas
    from advertising in any store and from the music
    they play. Yet people flock to them without a thought of their own Christian beliefs! When
    did this begin to occur? Who decided that Christmas is a Holiday and not a Holyday? My fear is that many will hear the words, “I do not
    know you” and won’t even realize why. Be Christian, Be Bold!

  3. Joe Messina says:

    Actually Dave, you need to do more than read the bible you need to study. Gods word speaks out many times about men having sex together, does it use words like homosexual, gay and so on.. No it doesn’t.. He was so accepting of individuality that he told the woman committing adultery to stop sinning… Maybe her individuality was multiple sex partners.. hhhmmm. Frankly follow Christ or don’t. He has rules and guidelines for your life, Christians follow Christ and not what feels good. and just because many Christians dont hold that homosexuality is wrong doesn’t mean much many of them cant explain the trinity.. or many other basics of the bible.. and to you Marilyn it has became what it is because of people like Dave, because Christians wont hold true to what God has taught them.

  4. Dave says:

    You can believe anything you like but once you start getting public accommodation and tax breaks you must follow Man’s law to a certain degree. Nobody is impeding anyone’s freedom to say stuff.

    No one is being persecuted for their beliefs. A lot of people are getting persecuted for being themselves. When these giant corporatios declare one in 16 Americans to be flawed and worthy of execution how do you think it makes these people feel? What did they do to deserve the public derision, justified by ancient rules based on faulty science?

    The Bible says wool cotton blends are a sin, as is a cheeseburger. These Old Testament rules are silly. You can’t cut your hair. You can’t beat a slave to death, unless…

    We have serious geopolitical and ecological matters staring at us. Name one “issue” that religious persecution and judgemental thinking is going to help. Please try to operate on a physical plane, as opposed to somewhere on an astral one, at least during the work week, will ya?

  5. Mandy says:

    Thanks for being truthful and standing up. I appreciate it.
    Jesus is my Savior and I pray I live it everyday.

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