“Duck Dynasty” is the most successful show in cable television history.1 Recently, Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Robertson family and founder of the “Duck Commander” brand was interviewed by GQ magazine. In the course of the interview, he expressed his Biblically based views on the morality of homosexuality. The media backlash was as swift as it was dramatic . A&E announced the Phil was to be suspended from the show until further notice. Cracker Barrel pulled their line of “Duck Dynasty” product and other vendors cautiously navigated the tumultuous waters of the American media, waiting to see the extent to which Robertson’s comments would effect both income and popular opinion.
In the end, the support for Robertson was overwhelming. A&E reinstated Robertson delighting his fans while simultaneously infuriating Gay Advocacy groups.
While the dust seems to have settled somewhat, the firestorm ignited by Phil’s comments bring to the surface a topic that’s well worth examining: How do you express your views in a way that is both accurate and effective – especially when those views pertain to a controversial issue championed by passionate advocates who are openly antagonistic to Biblically based Truths?
This is three part discussion. At the end, there’s a link to multiple choice quiz to help you retain those points that will enable you to better converse with those who require Truth more so than facts.
Here we go…
An Unwelcome Approach
Someone comes up to me, looks me over and then begins to tell me how my approach to fitness is fundamentally flawed. They start with the way I exercise and then proceed to the way I diet and for the next twenty minutes go on and on about how I’m wrong and I need to follow their example.
Now, if this person is someone I respect and admire, I might be a little taken back, but I’m probably going to listen and consider what they have to say. If, on the other hand, I don’t know this person, I’m going to be bit guarded and I may even be a little offended.
But regardless if it’s someone I know or someone I’m meeting them for the very first time, my starting point is going to be their appearance. If they look fit, I’m far more prone to listen to what they have to say than if they’re overweight and out of shape. In other words, they have to earn the right to be heard.
More Than an Opinion
In the absence of honor, a healthy relationship is impossible.2 Whether it’s an adulterous affair or a homosexual union, when your foundation is a self-absorbed insistence that your right to be happy is superior to your responsibility to be moral, you have neither love nor a future. I believe this to be true, not only based on what I’ve seen, but also what I believe in terms of the Biblical Absolutes that apply.
But my perspective isn’t welcome apart from first earning the right to be heard. Especially in the context of a situation where I’m conversing with someone whose moral choices are linked to what they believe equates to their happiness and fulfillment. However offended I may be when the conversation revolves around my supposedly flawed approach to fitness doesn’t even compare to the way I’m going to be coming out swinging if you’re audacious enough to criticize my bride or our relationship. In that moment, you better be equipped with more than an opinion if you want my attention let alone my respect.
The fact that there are some fast food restaurants who are open on Christmas Day tells me that there’s enough domestic disharmony out there for them to expect a sizeable group of people out and about wanting a burger to help make the day go faster. It’s both sad and indicative of a culture whose bought into an approach to morality that doesn’t work.
But if the Truth I would champion is going to resonate, I need to begin by letting my light shine in a way where my approach looks attractive as opposed to obligatory (see Matt 5:16) – I’ve got to earn the right to be heard. And even when I’m being invited to voice my convictions, I’ve got to be wise enough to appreciate the volatile realities of spiritual warfare and choose my words carefully.
Want to see how much you learned? Take the quiz…
1. “Today”, “Duck Nation has spoken: ‘Duck Dynasty’ poised to be biggest cable show of all time”, http://www.today.com/entertainment/duck-nation-has-spoken-duck-dynasty-poised-be-biggest-cable-6C10963174, accessed January 4, 2014