General Ministry
Tony Myles

Tony Myles is a youth ministry veteran, conference speaker, author, volunteer youth worker and lead pastor of Connection Church in Medina, Ohio... and he really likes smoothies.

imagesWe had an amazing dialogue yesterday around Phil Robertson, duck calls and sound bytes. (feel free to continue to chime in)

As an update, the Robertson family has issued an official statement on the matter:

“While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Phil would never incite or encourage hate,” the Robertsons said in a statement.

The family called into question the future of the show.

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“We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right. We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty,” it said.

Also worth noting is something Phil himself said in his original interview:

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job… We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus – whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later.”

Meanwhile, the Facebook Page “Bring Back Phil Robertson” continues to grow in numbers… one estimate put it at a thousand new fans every minute yesterday.

16-year old Sadie Robertson perhaps said it best: “Prayer is the best conversation of the day. It’s better to go to God before taking it to someone else”

Thoughts? Applications?

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  • Joel says:

    I went back and read the previous article & so appreciate the heart of a peacemaker that your words reflect.
    If all Phil had said was “I believe sexual acts between two people of the same gender are sinful”, then this would be a slightly clearer debate of whether an employer can or should break a contract based on an expression of religion away from the workplace.
    Instead, his words seem to imply that gays – some of whom never have anal sex, and some who are willingly celibate – sin simply by their desires. He seems to say gays’ same sex attractions are illogical, that they just need to realize a woman has more to offer – problem solved.
    The Robertson family statement about coarse language seems to miss the point. Does anyone think this is about the use of anatomically correct terms?

    More offensive to me is the part of the interview you quote above, where Phil puts gays right there with “drunks, terrorists”. While I believe same-gender sexual acts are sin, I consider Phil’s words painful as I consider my gay family members, gay friends, and gay teens attending our youth meeting in an effort to follow Jesus.

    • Tony Myles Tony Myles says:

      Thanks, Joel… you raise some good talking points, and I’d hope that’s what comes out of it. On one hand, we should support a fellow brother who tries to say, “I’m following Christ, and He’s taught me ________ about _________.” Per your point, if he says it in a way that’s Christ-honoring… a peace-maker’s approach, so to speak.

      The article I wrote yesterday also spoke about duck calls vs sound-bytes. We’ve been wooed by the Robertson family for a reason, and we could write endless blog posts about those. I think it’s easy to focus on this sound-byte, and (as you point out) perhaps rightfully so. I’d hope it’s only for a moment, though – that the wording doesn’t wash out the depth of the message.

      Along the lines of your reply, Shawn Harrison has some additional great thoughts to offer. Check it out: http://six11.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/oh-look-another-protest/

  • Christianprincess says:

    I have purposely kept quiet on this debate because two sides of me come up when these stories are presented. The first says “We live in the United States of America which promises us the right to free speech under the Constitution. How can we truly claim that if when tested people are fired and harassed for comments that test that freedom.” The other says “Every word that we say, especially when we have influence, makes an impact on the lives of people and represents a group of people whether we like it or not.”

    When it comes to people publicly speaking on the issue of homosexuality, very rarely is it condensed to “I believe that same-sex relationships or sexual acts are a sin against the Word of God”. It usually is wrapped in more words with more emotion and sayings or phrases that are either not true or overly exaggerated. When it happens, after going through the above tug-of-war, all I can think of is that someone is going to associate Christ with what that person just said. They are going to associate my faith, which is much larger than this one issue and this one sin, with statements that are full of fear. They are going to associate the God who stands for truth and love, to the point of commanding His followers to speak the truth in love, with words that are filled with lies and disdain if not hate.

    I wonder, if in our efforts to hold up the “moral integrity” of our country or to support Christians who are bold enough to speak about their faith, that we lose the fact that scripture does not just hold us accountable for what we say but how we say it (we will have to give account for every deed and action committed in our bodies) and how that message is perceived if not wisely given (do not let you good be evil spoken of). I don’t believe our position should be silence, unless that is what is appropriate, but I believe we need to be cautious in defending or standing by people who do not take seriously the need to have our words “seasoned with grace.”

    I found an article that I believe highlights and sums up some things in this particular story that need to be seriously considered no matter which side you are on in the Phil Robertson debate. I pray that God continues to give each of us wisdom as to how to speak the truth in love, how to be lights in a dark world, how to love Him, each other, and His people, and also how to speak to each other honestly about how to engage the culture and dialogue concerning the world we live in.


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