The Intolerance of Phil Robertson

This morning, America is an uproar over the suspension of Phil Robertson from the hit show Duck Dynasty because of his answers on his beliefs while being asked about them in an interview. There are many petitions, on-line comments and media buzz flying as it appears the two sides of an important discussion clash in anger. However, if anyone cares, I’d like to throw out some random thoughts.

Christians, I believe we are right to call this intolerance and be disturbed by it. However, I think we must be cautious on our approach. This level of intolerance against our beliefs is somewhat a rubber band effect of the intolerance that certain Christians and churches have shown in the past (and still today). I am not advocating a politically correct gospel or watering down the truth but I am advocating grace and love when we share those truths. People will still be offended by the truth but we don’t need to be as hurtful as certain areas of the church have been in the past.

That said, let’s also assign the intolerance to the right sources. It is one thing to call attention to those who are making the noise (A&E, GLADD, and the like) but be cautious of blanketing all those who have a different view than you on the topic of homosexuality. If you read through the comments on a lot of these threads, the great majority are calling “foul” on this one including people in the GLBT community.

In other words, this is not as polarized as it appears. It seems that as of this morning, there is a heightened awareness on an important issues that is begging for conversation not only on TV but in your home, work and schools as well. How we as Christians carry ourselves in these talks in many ways will determine if the conversation is long or brief with those around us.

I’m not too worried about Phil. He has his family, his business representatives, and (once they can get it figured all out) probably a new network. However, I do ask you to prayerfully consider how God would use you in this conversation and what heart you will bring to it.

About Tom Hypes

Tom Hypes is an ordained Pastor who has served in churches and the camping ministry for over 25 years. He currently leads at The Shepherd's Fellowship and volunteers at Leapin' Outreach (clothing ministry), Marion County Citizen Circle (helping clients with transitions from prison to community), Kirkpatrick Food Pantry, and ministers in the local nursing homes. He has also contributed to Group Magazine, CBA Marketplace, and Youth Worker Magazine. He serves in his ministry in the partnership with his family; wife Jenni, son Ryan, and daughter Emily.