But I've read the GQ article and I'm not cheering him on for his crass comments.
Before I explain why, I want to be crystal clear: I believe the Bible is very clear that sex and marriage are for one man and one woman. If you ask me my opinion my answer will be clear. It is not easy for me to state my beliefs because there are people I love dearly who are gay and/or believe it's okay and that the Bible is irrelevant on its teaching about homosexuality.
My disgust isn't because of his stance on homosexuality. Did you read that? I do not disagree with his interpretation of the Bible nor his beliefs. And I agree that he has his right to "freedom of speech" and can state his opinion. So, just to re-cap, I agree with his biblical stance on homosexuality and condone his freedom of opinion/speech. We're clear on that, right? Good. Then I can continue.
My problem is he was vulgar. He was distasteful. His words were more along the lines of being "of the world" than being "in the world." Read the article for yourself. It's the quote about male and female anatomies that turns my stomach.
We know, from other quotes, that Phil reads his Bible and quotes it. He paraphrased 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 and Revelation 21:8. And his paraphrase is not incorrect. The Bible indeed condemns sexual sins as well as deceit, idolatry, greed, slander, pride, hate, murder, gluttony, sloth, jealousy and more.
The Bible even condemns vulgar talk. Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 3:8, Ephesians 5:4.
And, I'm sorry Phil Robertson fans, his talk was vulgar, crude, and obscene. That I cannot endorse.
So, some of you reading this are thinking, "Well, Kristy, yes this was offensive. But Jesus was offensive. So it's okay." I'm glad you said that. Yes, Jesus was offensive. He was quite off-putting. To whom? To the Pharisees, to the religious leaders, to those taking advantage of and abusing the citizens they were supposed to be serving, leading, loving, protecting, guiding.
Let's take a look at the interaction Jesus had with an adulterous woman. Adultery is also a form of sexual immorality according to the Bible. John 7:53-8:11 gives us the story of the Pharisees presenting an adulterous woman to Jesus hoping He would condemn her. Jesus answers them, "Let you who has not sinned throw the first stone." Then when they all left, presumably humiliated or infuriated, He said to the woman, "Neither do I condemn you. Now go leave your life of sin."
Let me ask you, who was offended by Jesus in this passage? Was it the woman caught up in sexual sin? Or was it the self-righteous who'd hoped Jesus would make them feel better about themselves by condemning someone else?
Now you're thinking, "Okay Kristy, you have a point, but 'love the sinner, hate the sin.'" This idea is likely founded in the interpretation of Jude 1:22 which says, "Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt. Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren't pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners."
The words that stick out to me here are: "help them to find the Lord," "being kind to them," and "being merciful." Did you read help, kindness or mercy in Phil's vagina-anus comparison? No. His response to A&E's resultant suspension which you can read here is more in line with the command to help, be kind and show mercy. And perhaps that is the statement he should have made to GQ in the beginning.
You see, Phil Robertson, like all of us, has the right to freely express his opinion according to the U.S. Constitution. I support him 100% in that right. But he has the responsibility, according to the call given in the Bible to all Christians by Christ, to love others. To love them as he loves himself. That responsibility does not come with the right to condemn or to judge. It includes the right to exhort someone who is sinning, but it does not come with the right nor the freedom to condemn. Jesus himself did not condemn the adulterous woman. He told her not to sin anymore, but he didn't call her names, he didn't tell her how evil she was. He didn't say she was illogical or point out how silly and defeating her sins were.
In his vulgar comparison Phil pointed out how illogical the practice of homosexuality is and he said that sin is not logical. Correct. Alcoholism is not logical. Stealing is not logical. Lying is not logical. Gluttony is not logical. Sloth is not logical. Jealousy is not logical. Adultery is not logical. Pride is not logical. Murder is not logical. Hate is not logical. Boasting is not logical. Hypocrisy is not logical. Slander is not logical. And yet we are all sinners and we all do some of these illogical things.
Logic does not explain why Christ, ruler of the universe, Savior of the world, was born in a trough so that He could die on a cross for all those illogical sins you and I commit every day of our lives. Logic would have let each of us pay our own price for the sins we committed. But God LOVED us too much to let logic rule the world. So He illogically sent His son as a baby who offended the self-righteous religious and political leaders and then endured torture and death so that we could be SAVED from our sins forever.
The world around us already knows what the Bible says is wrong. They already know we Christians have a long list of things that we are against. They already see us saying one thing and doing another. What they don't know is that we are just broken, screwed up sinners ourselves who have found mercy and grace at the foot of the cross. They don't know that they can find that same mercy and grace in the same place because we're too busy telling them how messed up they are. We're too busy hating the sin. We haven't spent enough time loving the sinner. So they don't know. They don't know. And that, is just illogical.
So, I don't condemn you for sticking up for Phil. I don't condemn Phil for speaking his opinion. I don't think he should be suspended from A&E. I don't think he should be forced to stop praying. I don't agree with people who think his interpretation of the Bible is wrong. I think you should write letters to A&E if you feel led. I think you should defend your beliefs.
I'm just not sure how much of this has won hearts to Christ and introduced a broken person to mercy and grace.