Month: December 2013


    The Real Problem With Anti-gay Comments from Duck Dynasty's Daddy Phil

    First, why is Phil Robertson in GQ Magazine?  Anyone take a look at how Phil dresses and grooms (or more accurately, 'doesn't' groom) himself?   I've been reading GQ for many years and 'Redneck Sheik' has never been acceptable for GQ, so why now?  It just goes to show you that GQ is more likely to appeal to guys who are, well, into other guys sexually.  Sure there are the few guys who really are 'Metrosexuals', but I've always believed, and have seen ample evidence, that for many the prefixes, "Metro" and "homo" are more likely to be interchangable.   But before opening that can of worms further, let's get to the point...

    Is Phil Robertson being true to the gospel of Jesus Christ or is he simply another in a long line of hateful religious jerks?   Technically, Phil is absolutely right.  Homosexuality is called a sin in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments.   Telling the truth about sin is one things, but we're told in John's gospel the law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  (John 1:17).   Am I just bantering semantics here or is there something really different between what God brings through Moses, and what Christ brings when he comes on the world scene as the God/man?

    It isn't simply a matter of semantics there is a vast difference between the Law of Moses, and the " of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus..." (Romans 8:2).   With the Law of Moses comes death.  The only answer the law gives for sin is death.   In Leviticus 18:22 we're given perhaps the most damning of all pronouncements against homosexuality in the Bible.   "You shall not lie with mankind as with woman kind: it is abomination."  (Leviticus 18:22, KJV).   The proscribed punish for breaking the law spelled out in Leviticus 18:22 and again in Leviticus 20:13, is death.   "Do not pass 'GO', do not collect $200, go straight to Hell."  All the law can do, through Moses, is kill.  The Holy Spirit, through St. Paul, explains it to us... "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Simply put, "No one, having sinned, can expect good from the Law of Moses.

    Now if we stop at the Law of Moses then Phil Robertson's comments would be perfectly acceptable.   Well, Phil's comment would actually be wrong, because all his comments do is  cause God's judgment to come upon Phil.  Phil by merely pointing out the sin of homosexuality condemns himself.   Phil is calling out sin, by pointing to the Law of Moses, but we know that Phil is a sinner himself.  Phil even admits he was a sinner, before coming to Jesus Christ for salvation.   Was Phil saved by keeping the Law of Moses?   He was not saved by through the Law of Moses.   Phil plainly confesses that he is a sinner, and alluded to Jesus Christ being his savior.   The problem with, or for, Phil is that he's a hypocrite.  He points to the Law of Moses when speaking of the sins of LGBT persons while at the same time saying he was saved by Jesus Christ.   Either we all live (and die) the law, or when offered, we accept salvation and the lordship of Jesus Christ.  Christ followers can't have it both ways.   We go with the law or we go with grace and truth.   There cannot be grace and truth, through Jesus Christ, for Phil, while Phil pulls out the law on LGBT persons.   If Phil gets grace and truth, then so do LGBT persons.

    Now someone will say to me, "Yes, but Phil is only pointing out the truth, that God condemns homosexuality."   That sounds good and proper, but in the end it doesn't work.  First, let me reiterate, the Law of Moses only has one answer for sin: DEATH.   Where is the grace in the Law of Moses?   There is no grace in the law.   Second, we're told in John 1 that in addition to grace Jesus brings truth.   Now  many will argue that the Law of Moses is truth.   How can anyone argue that the Law God gave Moses isn't truth?    The Law is for law breakers, that's why God gave the law through Moses.  The Law of Moses is sent not to task humans, but to show humans that they are past, present and future law breakers, and completely enslaved to sin, without hope of ever being anything else.

    The grace and truth of Jesus Christ are the new law, The Law of the Spirit of Life.   The grace and truth of Jesus Christ is eternal life, eternal freedom, and eternal relationship with the triune God, and his born again children.  These children are born of the same Spirit who created Jesus' body in Mary's womb.  (Jesus has always existed as the second person of the God head, but only as spirit with the rest of the God head).

    What does this new law mean for me, a person guilty of abomination, according to Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.   The Law of Moses means death to me, but bring the grace and truth of Jesus Christ to this  life ending law and suddenly what once gave death becomes something new.   Before God drew me to his Son, and the Holy Spirit convicted me of sin, righteousness, and the judgment to come, I was a hopeless and helpless lawbreaker.    But when God found me, and by his prevenient grace enabled me to make the first freewill choice I'd ever truly made in my life.  When I'd accepted God's forgiveness and grace by faith, then God made me born again, transforming me from a dead lawbreaking slave to a new spiritual creation in the likeness and image of Christ Jesus.  The truth of God in Jesus Christ always frees; the truth of God in Christ always brings eternal life; the truth of God in Jesus Christ always brings eternal relationship with God and his new creation children, the  Church.

    When I was a dead slave to sin, what we might call a zombie today I was an object of destruction.  I treated other men as objects of my lust, and objects to be used sexually.  I also accepted that  I was a thing to be lusted for and used sexually.  And like mere objects we were meant to be thrown away after being used up.   With the salvation and Lordship of Jesus Christ, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).    In Christ The Holy Spirit has made me alive to God.  In Christ I am not a thing of lust, I am a beautiful humanized creation enabled to love and serve God.  I am free to turn away from lust and the abomination I'd created with my sexual immorality.   No longer does Leviticus 18:22 give me death.  Leviticus 18:22 is now a continual reminder that God has made me free, that God has overcome me, my sin, my sin nature, and the power of the world to conform me to the life of a slave to sin.   There is no death in Leviticus 18:22 for me, now there is the joy of being made new, clean, and free by God.

    I cannot agree with Phil Robertson, Duck Commander, or not.  Papa Phil isn't telling the truth of God in Christ.  For the truth of God in Christ is freedom from sin, not judgment and eternal punishment.  Anyone who gives the Law of Moses without the truth and grace of Jesus Christ, is not telling the truth at all.   When we give law, but not grace and truth we  cover the face of Christ; we bury the truth under a pile of rules none of us can keep; when we give law we deny the slave the face of the merciful, loving, and gracious master who frees slaves and then adopts them into the very family of the only true God.    The Law condemns but the grace and truth of Jesus Christ always brings life, hope, peace, and eternal relationship with God.


    I'm not talking about the holiday season, of course, that has just begun. I'm talking about the current season of my life. The call of God is an incredibly beautiful call. Counseling, men's ministry, theater and arts ministry for mentally/physically challenged youth. But perhaps the most important is working in God's call for the Church to take up the most broken among us, the sexually broken. The Church must take up the sexually broken.

    I've written and talk for years about my dealings with hookers, and most specifically about "Lilly". The truth is Lilly didn't need me at all. I was just one more religious preacher guy who offered her nothing but condemnation. I was of no use to her, but what is most important of all, I was no use to God. Lilly didn't need me I needed her. Someone may come up with the argument that God didn't need Lilly at all, but God did need Lilly to teach me his ways. The very fact that God did such an incredible transformative work in my life through Lilly is all the evidence I ever need. God worked through Lilly therefore God needed Lilly, for my benefit. When God gave me the understanding that I needed Lilly along with that understanding came a very clear message: "The Church, God's Church, needs the sexually broken. When the Church steps up and embraces God's call to the sexually broken, which is really just the fruit of the breakdown of relationships in their lives, then the Church will learn.

    What is it the Church needs with sexually broken people? The Church needs to see their reflection. When Christians reach to minister to the sexually broken and immoral one of the first things which will confront them is the breakdown of their own relationship with God. Without Lilly I would never have seen how badly broken down my way of relating to God was. When God opened my eyes to truly see myself I saw that I was exactly like Lilly. I've been asking leader and laity alike for over 20 years now, "Why can't the Church minister the life giving relationship with Jesus Christ to hooker people, LGBT people, porn addicted people, fornicating people, and etc.?" The truth is the Church can't give what it doesn't have. The reason the Church has the most difficulty with LGBT people is because they don't want to see that homosexuality is to physical relationships what the Church's spiritual relationship is with God. The Church doesn't know what to do with LGBT people, because they can't do anything about how we've broken faith with God.

    Sexually broken people are vitally need by the Church. When the Church embraces the broken people, and invite God to transform them, then the Church will, through their involvement with God's work to the sexually broken, find freedom and restored relationship with God. God revealed the truth about the Church, to me, when he revealed the same truth about me, through Lilly. My response to this knowledge at the time was absolute terror. "God!!, I exclaimed, "Why do you keep telling me these things?!?!" But with the knowledge came responsibility and a very clear understanding of God's call.

    All of God's call amounts to the same thing: Giving the worth of Christ to a worthless world.

    For now I'm calling God's call: THE VALUE ADDED TOUR. Be on the look out for tour dates! :-D

    That's a joke. I don't really believe God is calling to tour around like a rock band or something. But I do know that all God calls me to is about offering the overcoming love and worth of Jesus Christ. So until I get a better name, VALUE ADDED TOUR, it is!!


    I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving was perfectly awful. In 7 days, Monday to Sunday, Thanksgiving week I worked 89 hours. Thanksgiving was a 7 hour day, so that was by far the best. The average day was 15 hours, and two days back to back were 16 hours. I feel most fortunate to still be found among the living. I could handle 80 hour weeks when I was 20, but that was 30 years ago! I am incredibly anxious for my life in retail to come to a close. I am burned out beyond even my ability to believe. It is certain that I now have an implacable and deeply ingrained hatred of all things retail. Once I leave retail that door shall be absolutely closed. There will never be a time in my life I will look back on my years of retail torment with any kind of nostalgia or longing. The road ahead of me must be incredibly harsh indeed for God to have placed me in retail. I suppose God needed to put me in a job I would hate worse than whatever he was going to call me to do in ministry.

    Actually I rather like the call of God on my life. I could simply never see myself doing what God has called me to do. I've avoided God's call like the plague not because there was anything wrong with the call, but because there was something wrong with calling me to speak to the Church. Who would listen to the likes of me? The unfortunate thing is I've fairly proved that Christians don't listen to anything that comes from me. God's call is awesome, it's God's people who won't or very probably can't hear. Now that sounds a bit disparaging, but hey, I can only talk about what I've seen and experienced.

    I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that God's people can't hear. When the Bible talks about believers hardening their hearts I never really understood what that meant. I know now what having a hard heart means. Hardness of heart comes from Christians doing ministry their way rather than seeking hard after God's way of ministering. The way Christians minister to hookers, porn addicts, gay and lesbian people has been to strive for laws like DOMA, picketing, marching against, and politicking. God doesn't stand against sin, God overcomes sin. When Christians act like the world it hardens our hearts against God. Instead of reaching out to prodigal younger brothers and sisters we either accept too much or we condemn and reject. God isn't in either approach, and even though the "merely human" approach is doomed to fail, every time, still Christians think "merely human" ways work. The unfortunate truth is "merely human" ways of doing merely serve to harden the hearts of believers, and God is not served in the least. Those who serve God serve a God who overcomes the world, its "merely human" ways, sins, and brokenness. God doesn't need the ways "mere" humans go about ruining and destroying everything they touch. God's ways are the only ways God honors and blesses.

    Do you know when Jesus teaches the parable of the farmer who scatters his seed? In one part of the story Jesus speaks of the ground which is too hard for the seed to sink in. The hard packed ground is the ground which has been used as a path. If a farmer wished to reclaim the hardened ground for planting there was very little which could be done, other than striking the ground to break off the hardened top of the soil. Farmers in the time of Jesus soujourn had to take long and thick poles which they would use to literally pile drive the hard soil to break it up. Once the hard top was finally cracked and broken up, the soil beneath could be plowed up. Pounding on hard hearts will, unfortunately, be the same kind of very difficult, mostly fruitless, work. But hey I've already tried to talk God out of the call, so now I will simply answer and go where he says go. Fruitless? That's his problem, mine is only to obey. I hope my fellow Christians aren't as hard to get through to as I was!!!!!