This blog is devoted to discussing the pursuit of eternal life.
Discussion and participation by readers is desired,
but contributions should correlate to the book,
The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology
of Perseverance & Assurance

Thomas R. Schreiner
& Ardel B. Caneday

Thursday, December 19, 2013

This Is Worth Quacking About

I've restrained my pen many times over many embarrassing things that others with whom I've associated have said, taught, preached, or done. Today, I'm embarrassed again, and this time I'm not holding back. I am speaking out. My friend Dr. Peter Jones has also spoken out about this. In fact, it was his piece that brought the matter to my attention, including the piece I engage below.

Today, on the Desiring God blog (see below), David Mathis posted his response to the firing of Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty." See David's piece: "This Is Not Worth Quacking About." Oh, indeed the title is clever and David sprinkles a number of cute little sayings and barbs throughout his blog entry, including division headers: "No Time to Cry Fowl" and "Pass on This Decoy." He ends his piece by stating, "Let’s lay down the weapons on this one. There will be other ducks to shoot. Pass on the decoy. There are so many good avenues for expending our righteous energy. It’s time to change the channel."

Well, I don't need to change the channel because I have never watched "Duck Dynasty." I have no interest to watch the show, either. This is not about the cable television show. This is not about commercialism. This is about the truth. "Lay down the weapons on this one"? What? When is the right time to take up the weapons of the gospel, David? I'm quite astonished that you write the following.

"Here’s a call for sheep in the midst of wolves to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16). Wisdom isn’t picking a fight whenever we can, but picking the right fight. Yes, we must beware: “they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake” (Matthew 10:17–18), but this is not that day. This is not the issue.

"There will be real battles to fight — real courts and real judges and real presidents, governors, and legislatures that will continue riding the societal wave of the LGBT agenda. As the seemingly unstoppable train barrels down the tracks at us, we will continue to face excruciatingly tough decisions about when and how to hold our ground and when and if to dive out of the way and live to fight another day."

Hmmm! Many of us are wondering when the right time to engage the battle will be for many of us desired earnestly in 2012 for our pastors to engage the battle when the real battle was being fought with real legislators and with real voters in Minnesota when we had the opportunity to pass a Constitutional Amendment that would have defined marriage as entailing the union of one man and one woman. Yet obviously the time to take up the weapons of the gospel against the encroachment of the radical homosexual lobby was not then. No! That wasn't the right time to take up the weapons of the gospel, either, so you and John Piper told us and modeled for us by not engaging the battle. Instead of having that Constitutional Amendment endorsed by the citizens of the state, as soon as Leftist Activist Legislators and a Leftist Activist Governor took over the state government in January 2013, they picked up the cause of radical homosexual lobbyists and crammed down our throats their marriage redefinition law, so that now our state embraces their bastardized definition of marriage that includes the bastardized union of same-sex partners. And the fact that it is now the law of the land poses innumerable potential and plausible occasions of state-sponsored persecution of anyone who resists this horrendous law, including our church.

In this one matter you're right, David. If this were about the A&E show called "Duck Dynasty," it's not worth quacking about. But it's not about "Duck Dynasty." The issue is truth, truth indelibly imprinted by the Creator upon every male and every female. It's the truth of Romans 1:18-32. It's about the idolatry of our society. It's about the wrath of God upon humanity for their idolatry. It's about homosexuality as testimony of God's wrath against humanity for idolatry. Here is an occasion that cries out for solidarity among Christians to stand with a fellow Christian to cry out against wickedness and against persecution. So what if you and I do not spend any time watching "Duck Dynasty"? What does it matter that a Christian brother has been earning his livelihood by way of an entertainment contract with A&E? Would it be more to your liking if Phil Robertson were a plumber, a carpenter, a physician, or in some other vocation more to your liking? Would you then "quack about it"? Would you then "cry fowl"? Would you then not "pass on the decoy"?

"Lay down the weapons on this one"? No thanks, David. Your advice is wrong, and someone needs to say it. So I'm saying it, and saying it as a member of the same congregation. Step aside. Lay the weapons of the gospel down, if you so choose. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord by picking up the weapons of the gospel in this matter, because it's about the indelible truths imprinted upon us by our Creator.

Now, where's that petition? I'm going to sign it. Signed!

Now, you go sign the petition, but do be convinced in your own mind that it is the right thing to do.

P.S. David Mathis's, "This Is Not Worth Quacking About!", took quite a lot of heat from FaceBook readers who read John Piper's FB tweet of the blog entry here.

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