I don't watch the reality show. Mostly because I don't have cable; I don't like beards; and I find the whole idea of duck calls really weird. I have nothing against the family. I hear they're swell. But Phil's comments to GQ? Not so swell.
I'm not arguing with his beliefs or his right to express them--though it should shock no one that he's anti-gay, or that A&E wants nothing to do with seemingly bad publicity. My beef with Phil is the way he chose to express his views. Boiling down an issue as prevalent and personal as homosexuality to the simple question of, "Uh, where should I stick my penis?" isn't compassionate. It doesn't relay to anyone that you actually give a quack about their lives and struggles. It's actually incredibly demeaning and hurtful. As a redneck man who quacks for a living, I'd expect no less. As a Christian, I expect much more.
Think about it. How were his words hopeful? How were they respectful of his fellow man? Even more importantly, how were they like Jesus? I can pretty much guarantee you that his offensive comments to Magary brought no one to Christ. No one's mind was changed. No homosexual male thought, "Man, I really should like vaginas. That's what real men like Phil prefer." The people who are rallying behind Phil and his Dynasty already agree with his views, and the people who aren't so gung-ho were left hurt and understandably insulted.
We're all really good at speaking the truth.
We're all just really bad at speaking the truth in love, the actual command.
It's easy for Christian heterosexuals to wag our self-righteous fingers. We belittle. We disrespect. We don't understand. It's easy for us to think, "Just get over it! Choose a different life, or you're gonna burn. The Bible says so." We (like Phil) say things like, "Hey it's not my place to judge" only after we have clearly done so. We condemned the ever lovin' mess out of you, made you feel like absolute crap, tore you to bits for the world to hear, and somehow in our tiny brains... that was sharing the gospel.
In our attempts to love and share Jesus with our fellow sinners, this doesn't mean we waterdown. Or avoid. Or shrug our shoulders in apathy. The truth needs to be heard, and we need to share the gospel as Christ commanded. But friends, slapping offensive statements onto an evangelistic agenda is not love. It's not God glorifying. And it certainly is NOT the gospel. Heck, it's not even attractive. I mean, why would anyone want to be a Christian when our new troop rallier can't even intelligently speak about these issues in a respectful, compassionate way? What happened to hate the sin, love the sinner? What happened to treating people with a shred of decency even if you completely disagree with their lifestyle?
If Phil wants a support rally, he's got one. If he wants a band of followers to wave their Christian flags and march into "battle," he's got that too. But if he wants to be a fisher of men, if he wants to share Christ with "homosexuals, drunks, and terrorists" (as he put it), he (like the rest of us) needs to put love back into the gospel equation.
Otherwise our words will be about as fruitful for the kingdom as those annoying duck calls.