“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
That’s the quote “Duck Dynasty’s” Phil Robertson gave in a recent recent interview with GQ magazine, which has heads spinning today.
While most of my Facebook timeline has been filled with friends applauding Phil’s take, I’m not going to lie, it has bothered me.
In fact, when I first read it Wednesday afternoon, I cringed and the more I read it, the more I hate it.
It’s not that I think Phil’s overall view on homosexuality and the Bible is inaccurate. In fact, I agree with most of the dude’s take on it, as well as the scriptures he later uses in the article to back it up.
Like Phil, I think the Bible is very clear in saying homosexuality is a sin, just as it is very clear in saying gossip, lying, adultery, gluttony, coveting, and a host of other things you and I fall prey to everyday are sins.
My frustration doesn’t stem from a disagreement on what is or isn’t sin, it stems from a disagreement on how Christians should approach people, both Christians and non-Christians, struggling with sin.
Just because a person is struggling with a sin I don’t struggle with, doesn’t mean I should blast this person as illogical. It doesn’t mean I should call into question their thinking process just because I don’t get it. And it doesn’t mean I should act as though their temptations or desires are any more foolish than my own.
I mean, re-read Phil’s quote. It comes across as, “What’s wrong with you that you’re into this? How stupid are you?” Whether he meant it that way or not, that’s the message received.
Is there any chance a homosexual non-Christian reads his vagina over anus line and says, “You know, you’re right. Tell me more about this Jesus who led you to believe this?”
Honestly, there may be nothing worse you can say to a person struggling with any type of sin than, your struggle makes no sense.
I should know, I’ve been there, and if you think about it, you probably have too.
That message devalues you, it makes you think you have something innately wrong with you, and even if you were hell-bent on fighting your struggle, after hearing that, you’re likely done putting up much of an effort.
No matter who you are and how hard you’re worked to climb out of whatever dark place you found yourself in, that message knocks you down at least a few notches.
I mean, just imagine if Jesus had taken Phil’s tone when the Pharisees brought him the adulterous woman. Imagine if rather than standing up for her, he said, “What are you doing sleeping around, lady? Being slutty don’t make no sense.”
What if rather than offering the woman at the well living water, Jesus said, “What do you want with five husbands anyway? That’s just illogical.”
And when Zacchaeus was up in that tree, what if rather than offering to hang with the tax collect, Jesus said, “Dude, why are so greedy? You can’t take it with you. That’s just dumb, man.”
When we see Jesus approach sinners, we don’t see him call into question their logic or devalue their temptations. Instead, we see him befriend and accept them no matter what their struggles.
That’s not to say he wouldn’t encourage them to overcome those struggles, but he darn sure didn’t go down that route until he showed them he genuinely cared about them.
For whatever reason, we Christians have a really hard time doing this when it comes to homosexuality.
Rather than meet folks dealing with this issue with the same acceptance and understanding we would a habitual liar, someone struggling with stealing, or even unfaithfulness to his or her spouse, we tend to want to draw a line in the sand and demand people instantly choose one side or the other.
Perhaps it’s just easier to deal with such a tough issue in this manner or perhaps it’s because we Christians love to march on things with the mindset we’re standing up for what’s right. I’m not sure.
But I am sure that we too often find ourselves attacking those whom we should be embracing and too often we find ourselves building up walls between us and others when we should be helping tear down the ones that already exist.
Again, I’m not saying we’re supposed to be tickling people’s ears, throwing parades and celebrating sin.
I’m just saying that when we start building up walls between us and those who are different from us, it’s going to be a lot harder for them to hear us when we’re trying to share the truth with them.
The line has already started to be drawn over Phil’s comments and walls are already going up.
Amidst his ban from “Duck Dynasty,” hundreds of thousands of “likes” have flooded Facebook pages stating, “I stand with Phil” or “boycott A&E until Phil’s back.”
Already an “us verses them” mindset has set in, pinning Christians and gay rights advocates on opposites sides of a battlefield. People on both sides are clearly angry and you can see the verbal bullets beginning to fly.
Now, I don’t know Phil, and while I don’t like “Duck Dynasty” at all, I’ve always admired he and his family’s openness when it comes to their beliefs.
He seems like a genuinely good dude, but I just think this time, he’s mixed what’s right and what’s wrong together and created a mess, one which could put us as Christians further from the people we should be reaching, rather than closer to them.
Honestly, I’m not sure if we should choose to “Stand with Phil Robertson” or not. I’ll leave that up to you.
But I am sure we should choose to stand with Jesus and we should attempt to afford others the same grace and understanding I hope they will afford us in return.