Now it's new, so I have a lot of wonder and questions that are yet to be answered that only time will tell, so (as is the prerogative and point of a blog) I'm just sharing my thoughts, perspective and still forming opinions over the matter.
First off, I don't disagree with Phil's evaluation of homosexuality - deep breath, about to anger the liberals - here it goes, homosexuality is a sin.
I will grant you there are probably no small children reading GQ, but one of the things we get in trouble for as Christians is when we compartmentalize our words, actions and attitudes. The unbelieving world likes to point us out and declare "HYPOCRISY!" when we do that, and so we shouldn't do it.
OK, so I can imagine the stirring that statement just caused in all the Christians who are making this a "freedom of speech" issue. First off, I call "Bullshit" on a big chunk of you Christians who are trying to make it about that. We are no better than the liberals who want to silence us - we'd be just as happy to silence them.
But OK, let's make this about "freedom." I've got news for my fellow Christians - your freedom isn't from the American government. The bible tells us that "It's for freedom that Christ has set us free...." CHRIST has set us free. Your freedoms are not from your government they are from the Lord, and even if they are "infringed upon" by the good Ol' USA, it is not apart from the filter of God's mighty (mightiER) hand.
And while we are on the topic, your freedoms aren't even supposed to be about you. The Bible tells us we have them, but we have to keep in mind how our exercise of them affects those around us. Exercising our freedoms has to be about how we impact others.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33
This is where I think Phil really blew it. Did he have the right to say it? Yes. But did it need to be said? No, not really. This is a man who has been gifted with this great opportunity to influence millions of people. And unfortunately with one foolish interview he may have lost the opportunity. Yes, lots of angry Christians will rally behind him and boycott A&E, but we were not the audience he had the power to influence anyway. We were not his mission field. He's now run the risk of losing that opportunity.
No one was surprised by his beliefs. Honestly, I can't help but wonder if GQ didn't have an agenda moving the conversation in the direction that they did. (I have not read the interview but I have a hard time believing that Phil said, "Hey I want you to know what I think about homosexuals.") I think they asked the question knowing his answers and then relished the poor way he expressed them. Phil could have just as easily kept to the less quoted part of his statement "I love all humanity... made in God's image..." (bad paraphrase) He could have even said, "I believe what the Bible says about homosexuality and it wouldn't have erupted in the firestorm that is now blazing all over social media.
At the end of the day that's the part that makes me the saddest. "The I stand with Phil" eruption all over Facebook and Twitter does absolutely nothing to reach out to the lost people whom Jesus loves. Yes, that's right folks, the fags and the homos and the lezbos that so many of us Christians have dismissed as lost causes and threats to our way of life? Jesus loves them, dearly. And He wants nothing more than for them to know that love and when we get all fired up and politicized about a TV show, we, His representatives just push those people away, and the "love of Christ" that is supposed to be pouring out of our lives is drown out by our words.
We say "love the sinner and hate the sin," but when all you're talking about is your right to hate their sin, and the right to do it publicly, well, they no longer care, much less believe, you give a damn about them as people. That Jesus of ours wouldn't have thought twice about hanging out at the gay bar getting to know these folks in hopes of telling them about the Creator who loves them. He certainly wouldn't have been giving interviews to talk about the biblically correct choice of vaginas over anuses, and because Phil did, he dropped the ball on representing Jesus.
Yes, I know, we ALL do that. We all do that EVERY day (I'm willing to guess a few/many of you are pretty convinced I'm doing a lousy job of representin' right about now too)- and honestly, I am not condemning him for his mistake, but to whom much is given, much is required. He has a huge platform and with that platform comes a greater responsibility with his words and where and how he speaks them. And I think he blew it. And that's a real shame.
I still have a lot of curiosity about how things will play out from here. Two hours ago I was a little irked by the so far silence of his family. I wondered if they would be willing to put their money where their faith is and back their father, but the more I chew on it, maybe they need to preserve their opportunity to maintain the platform for the rest of the family. It will be a difficult task, but I hope they figure out a way to do that without compromise. It won't be easy.
I wasn't watching the show a whole lot in the first place (though my family does) but I have to say I will not be boycotting A&E - not that I think it will be some hugely successful endeavor anyway, but even if it was, why would you punish an entire network of people for the decisions of a few bigwigs at the top, that was what I never understood about the "as Christians let's come against" mentality. Not all their shows are pro-faith and pro-family before this incident, in fact I think there have been some pretty questionable and risque programs, where was the moral outrage then brothers and sisters?
At the end of the day the Bible says we are known by our love - and our time in this world is supposed to be a lifetime of a missions trip. That needs to be our first and foremost direction and purpose. Your opinions and your right to have them and express them isn't the point. Jesus is the point, and He did not come to condemn the world but to save it. So let's get about the Father's business.