T.V and Movies….They Are Not Just for Sunday School Any More…
AND NEVER WERE!!!!
Two of the stories listed in the round up of ‘biggest news’ for 2013: the uproar over Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame’s comments and Martin Scorsese’s film “Wolf of Wall Street”. Two different issues, but same complaint: Somebody on TV or in a movie did or did not teach society the right lesson.
I’m sorry…did I go all Rip Van Winkle and sleep for a couple of hundred years? (Very possible, the sleeping part anyway),,but when did TV and movies become the moral compass of the United States of America and all mankind? When did shows like American Idol and The Voice replace singers and musicians developing their art in basements, dive bars or on street corners to create a ‘real audience’ …play ‘real songs’….play an’ actual instrument’ and maybe even write an’ original song’? And when did we look to reality shows or films to teach us about sin and religion???
I keep hearing day in and day out how this country and the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket and we wonder why…really??? On one side people are losing their minds trying to defend a duck hunter’s opinion and obsession with a few passages of the bible concerning homosexuality and how it is somehow connected to bestiality (because they are mentioned in the same verse….you know…just like adultery and murder is mentioned in the same verse…that means….every single human who has ever lusted in their heart when married… is also gay, a killer and in a relationship with a goat)! On the other side people are ticked off with Phil because he stated his opinion in a magazine article (not even on his ‘reality show’ mind you) and they wanted him fired because he shouldn’t be giving moral opinions in magazines or on TV…then…those SAME people turn around and complain because Scorsese did not condemn greed enough in “Wolf of Wall Street”. ?????????????
I typed a LOT of question marks because I got a LOT of questions. Listen up people…God is not up there keeping a score card on which sin you think is most disgusting. I understand the hypocrisy of movie critics and the media, their job is to talk good or bad about a movie or TV show …for money. It is shallow and worldly and no one expects more. I don’t know why they would throw such a fit over Phil’s opinion then trash someone else for not having one.… but the question remains…if we can get all our ‘lessons’ from movies or TV…why did I spend all those years in school? I think I learned all I needed to know from Captain Kangaroo and Andy Griffith way before first grade if we are rating our morals on programming.
But I can promise you this… I don’t look to “Roots” to teach me about the injustice of slavery. I don’t look to Gone With The Wind to teach me about the Civil War, and believe it or not…I don’t look to Forrest Gump to teach me about the horrors of Vietnam, I had a brother who was there to give me a firsthand account. And I CERTAINLY don’t look to a flavor of the month reality show personality for interpretation of bible verses. I don’t like the media and critics being wishy washy and crazy but they get paid good money to go back and forth about the value of a film or news story and all they claim to be is ‘critics and media’ nothing more and nothing less.
But if we have reached such a low level of intelligence that we have to look to media for our religious guidance…then…I do have a real problem with Christians using a TV show or a fast food restaurant to show how much they love Christ.
There…I said it. Before you burn a cross in my front yard let me say this: I consider myself a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe with all my heart and soul in the gospel, the good news. I believe Jesus is the son of God and died for my sins and through his resurrection I am washed in the blood, fully redeemed and claim the victory!!! I am far from perfect, I fail at being ‘Christ like” every single day, so I am not ‘preaching’ to nobody. I am just stating my opinion…just like Phil.
I LOVE me some Duck Dynasty. It makes me laugh. It reminds me of my own family in so many ways (minus the millions of dollars) and I have to tell you…I agree with Phil on a lot of things. I admire their family. I love the way he loves Miss Kay and his boys and grandkids. But just like my own family, that doesn’t mean I have to agree with him on everything. I am sure some of his family doesn’t agree with him either but they are right to stand up for his freedom to voice his opinion. I stand behind his freedom to voice his opinion and quote scripture all day long. What I will not stand behind is the way he said it and the meaning behind some of the things he said. And his meaning was perfectly clear and it was far from loving, therefore it was far from being “Christ like”.
I have been imagining if Mama Bess was here today and what she would say to Phil. She would have been his elder and if Phil is the kind of guy I think he is…he would have listened to Mama Bess and listened closely. I can’t speak for her of course …but being raised by her and listening to every word she said for most of my life I think Mama Bess would have said something like this:
“Phil, ‘em is some mighty purrty grand babies you got right there! Now… me and you need to have a little talk so sit yourself down right here and let me get you a biscuit. You do know with great power comes great responsibility, right? And you have great power. Your show is watched by millions of people, you proudly proclaim your belief in Jesus Christ and that made a lot of us Christians very happy and proud. You pray at your dinner table and the show ends each week giving hope that families all over can return to a closer relationship with each other and with Christ. That is nice, we really needed that…and son, you have the freedom just like anyone else to say whatever you think…but you also have a greater responsibility because more people are listening and you put yourself in a place to represent Christians. If you are gonna represent me…you need to know what you are talking about before opening your mouth and you need to know the consequences.
Phil, I love ya….and I know your reality show is all about entertainment and fun but your remarks were crude and nasty and hurtful and untruthful….a long way from what Jesus would say and I gotta tell ya, I was ashamed of you and embarrassed for you. Jesus never described the intimate body parts of a man and woman and how they were used in a sermon. Actually, Jesus never talked about sex in his sermons. He talked a lot about love but never about sex. You seem a little obsessed with sex Phil…that’s alright…most men are but you can’t go around talking about it in those downright dirty words these days..with all that new fangled digitoreryographay whatever it is called..cause EVERYBODY is gonna read it, see it or hear it. How did you feel when your grandsons heard you describing a woman’s vagina and a man’s anus all over the world? Shame on you…sure it got you ratings and it got a bunch of so called Christians boycotting A &E and calling you a Christian hero…but you can’t have it both ways, Phil…you can’t condemn others for sins you happen not to be committing at the moment… then turn around and make money off committing the sin of judging others (that one Jesus did talk about…a LOT). Do you understand? Let me quote you some scripture ...John 3:17 “For God sent NOT his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be SAVED.” Remember that one? You do a great job memorizing scripture … try some of the ones about salvation… you know… the great commission…to go forth and spread the good news?
We grew up in a different time. You and I remember back when these things weren’t really talked about. Oh, people knew of homosexuals, as a matter of fact I grew up knowing a couple of ladies who lived together all their lives. They loved each other very much. We all knew they were different, but things like that were just not discussed. They didn’t bother anybody and nobody bothered them. No one ever knocked down their door with a message of sin and going to hell. No one did because no one condemned them for loving each other…none of us knew what they did in the privacy of their own home. Just like we don’t know what goes on between you and Miss Kay…you could be swinging from chandeliers for all we know…but it is none of our business. You said in your interview that you were a drunk and a mean man before you found Christ and it turned your life around. So you of all people should know better. If your goal was to get a bunch of ‘Atta Boy’s” from people who think just like you…you succeeded, if your true goal as a Christian was to lead others to Christ…you failed miserably. My Paw used to have a saying…”You can’t feed ‘em till you catch ‘em”. What you were saying was like trying to shove a T-Bone Steak down an unborn baby’s throat. Do you think tons of unsaved people went runnin’ to church after they heard you condemn them screaming…”I just can’t wait to meet that God!! He sounds absolutely wonderful and loving! He only sends non perfect people to HELL whooppeee” ?? You did a lot of stone throwin’, your arm must be plum worn out. So I would give it a rest for a little while if I was you. Listen… I am not about that new ‘feel good’ religion. I know that sin is real and the bible has a lot to say about it but try this for a change Phil….
Let the Holy Spirit and the word of God that is sharper than a two edged sword do the convicting of sins and you stick with making duck calls and being a good husband, father and grandfather. Nobody loves the scripture more than me…but when you had an audience of millions of people…you chose to harp on sin instead of the saving grace of Christ. I think people know a whole lot more about sex and sin than they do about the love of Jesus. So I want you to take some time and think about this Phil…..somewhere out there is a young man or a young lady…several of them….maybe too young to even know what you were so crudely talking about…but they know they are different and they are confused and struggling and now thanks to you they feel doomed for hell and may never even get the opportunity to hear a more compassionate description of Christ who loves ALL people, even sinners such as you and I. And they will be too afraid to even talk to their friends and family or pastor…they will take the bullying and the Duck Dynasty mantra they hear every day around in their hearts and their minds until they finally end their lives before they ever have the chance to hear the message of grace and mercy of a loving heavenly Father. Think about that long and hard and do not be deceived for….'When Jesus saw this he was indignant (that means ANGRY)… He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such “. Mark 10:14
Phil, you might very well have hindered many young people with those crude thoughtless statements. And you didn’t just hurt them… you hurt many parents and family members and friends of gay people all over this country. I pray you never experience that sort of prejudice, hate and pain. But maybe you grew up in a world that taught you to be insensitive to others feelings. Did every black person you grew up around and work with in the fields truly seem very happy to not have the same rights as other humans or did they just hide it really well? I grew up during those same days, I remember my little girl looking up at me and asking why the water fountains had ‘white’ and ‘black’ on them…I said, “Cause folks are stupid, Baby…and it makes God very sad.” I also read in that interview you gave in that fancy magazine that you went to college. I never got to go pass 8th grade, too busy picking cotton, but I had enough sense to know black people were NOT happier before they had the basic rights afforded all mankind, but they might have been a whole lot safer, because many died trying to claim those rights. Think about all of those families and how they suffered just to have a vote, or sit in the same classroom as you and me. Those are some of the things I want you to think about. See, there are lots of scripture in the bible and it would do us all good to read more of them more often and in context.
If you are going to be on a show where millions of people watch you and you are going to loudly profess to be a Christian…you are making yourself a spokesman for all of us and there are so many things that need to be said and said loud! You need to remember all those words too. You did say it was your job to love everyone, but people will not let you love them after you just said they are doomed for hell, have sex with animals and would be happier as slaves. So get back to the real ‘message’. When we know better…we do better. I will expect better from you now because I think deep down you meant well. But in the future…if you and your family want to make millions off of viewers who care more about what is on TV than what is going on in their own home, community and church…please add a disclaimer at the end of the show that says, “ This show does not represent all Christians. Not all Christians cherry pick sins and most do not have time to list the over 600 sins mentioned in the bible and since they can’t point them all out to everyone every day, they just stick to worrying about their own sins. That appears to keep them pretty dog gone busy.” In the words of my Paw…”Son, looks like your barn is a burnin’ down whilst you over here counting the termites in mine”
Thank you and may God Bless you and yours. Tell Uncle Si I said “Hey, how’s your Mommer and ‘em..I got you some sweet tea”!!
P.S. Uncle Si would LOVE Mama Bess…she made the bestest sweet ice tea EVER!