A Different Perspective on the Persecution of Duck Dynasty

 

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My news feed exploded yesterday with high emotion concerning Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty. His comments about gay people really angered his employer A&E who seem to be huge supporters of the gay community. That didn’t surprise me. What surprised me, or saddened me, was the huge emotion this evoked from Christians. So many were livid about their freedom and rights to believe that homosexuality is wrong being trampled on.

I have been back in the US for a month now and I have only seen the same emotions on a mass scale in churches applied to one other thing: Obama Care. Leaders and others are very upset about this unconstitutional bill. I hear about it in church everywhere we go on furlough.

So maybe I am in danger of appearing un-American. I realize that. But let me say that I have been living with and serving along side brothers and sisters in a Muslim country for 7 years. They have a Muslim dictator as their king. They have no freedom as Christians guaranteed to them by their constitution. They don’t have the freedom to evangelize or to congregate. Their taxes are high and their income is low. Their health care is completely socialized and very poor…but we never talk about any of that.

What impresses me is that they are mostly concerned with reaching their friends, family, and country with the Gospel. They are excited about their little church that meets in secret in homes. Don’t get me wrong. They aren’t perfect. There is a lot of misplaced passions there, too. But they are under no delusion that their constitution or their government is failing in its role of Savior.

Phil Robertson may be fired by a secular, private company and will need to return to his Christian mansion outside of the public lime-light. Others around the world are still dying without Christ or, in some cases, are dying because of Christ. Maybe you didn’t know about it. I didn’t see many American Christians post anything on Facebook  about it.

So here are a few other Christian brothers and sisters who deserve our emotion maybe more:

-There is a refugee crisis in the Gwoza region of Nigeria. Muslim militants have burned 55 churches and their homes. Many of these thousands would be born again Christians.

-Many born again Christians in the village of Sadad, Syria have been tortured and murdered for Christ by the US backed rebels. They are still under siege.

-There are many Christians in prison in various places all over the world. Including the American Pastor Said Abedini.

-There are maybe 2 billion people who haven’t heard the Gospel at all, yet.

My point is that we are distracted from the Great Commission by lesser things. We have misplaced our love for God with our love for country. We have made idols of our freedom. Maybe we believe in the US constitution and hold fairly loosely to the Bible. My husband says often that nationalism is the enemy of the Great Commission. I wonder if our love for Christ could grow if it wouldn’t push out lesser affections. The difference between a wasted life and an eternally useful life is the object of our affections.

I want to say in closing that I feel compassion to my fellow American believers. Possibly our comforts and security have blinded us. Our blessings of freedom and material possessions may sometimes hold us back. I do find my eyes still tearing up when I hear the national anthem and I love to read about our great history as a nation. I sometimes sit and just contemplate what if I hadn’t been born an American. Would I have ever heard of Christ? So please understand though my words may seem harsh I truly write this with love. I realize not all have had the privilege to see these former Muslim believers serving the True King under the reign of a Muslim Monarch. They are  great examples to me and have really helped me put things in perspective.

I understand that side of these issues mentioned. I am not trying to say we should not say anything because Christians in other countries have it worse than we do. I just would love to see excitement for reaching others with the Gospel to be like what we have seen over these issues. I have seen people almost obsessed with these issues. Extremely fearful about our freedoms being taken away. The defeated attitude of so many believers is very sad and very contagious. My intention for this post was to encourage us that WE WIN! No matter the road we go down, no matter how hard. When I hear things like this issue with Phil Robertson, is does upset me like it does most believers. I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that no matter our situation we can live victoriously though Christ! I just would love to encourage other believers to see a bigger picture. Pray for the world, sure stand up for our rights here in the States of course, but be encouraged that persecution will only draw us closer our Savior and that is something we all want! So either way there is victory!

Jillian

 

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  • 37 thoughts on “A Different Perspective on the Persecution of Duck Dynasty

    1. I can always count on you to push my thinking beyond what I see here…to consider those who are suffering for Him around the world and those who have never heard! Love you for it! We must not stop at simply thinking of them, but also remembering them in prayer as bound with them.

    2. Amen! And again I say Amen! Americas path is heading down hill. ….we have forgotten what this GREAT country was founded upon but….mostly we have forgot the Saviour for whom sooo many have traveled here for to worship freely! We have forgotten His sufferings and His wonderings so that we coukd go free!
      I have long been angered(with a righteous anger) with my American brethren who tear apart churches over paint colors and carpet WHILE THOUSANDS OF OUR BRETHREN AROUND THE WORLD DIE OR SIT IN PRISON …..and heres the kicker….THEY STILL SING PRAISES! THEY STILL REJOICE! Miss Jillian I greatly appreciate this article and your boldness! I believe it is high time we had bold compassionate Christain women who speak of eternal things! I loved it! And even though im sure you do not remember me ( I met you at the first baptist camp for world evengelism) I love you and your family! And you are often in my prayers!
      Thanks again for this!

      1. Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement for believers to make our faith real! I agree that many times we fail to live out our faith and it’s easier to become passive in this area when we aren’t faced daily with persecution like the suffering of so many believers around the world.

        I do believe that wherever we live, whether in America or overseas we need to seek justice, protect the innocent, help the needy, but most importantly share the gospel around the world (just as you said). It is not wrong to speak out against socialism or homosexuality or abortion, but we need to have right motives and do so in love. As Christians, we are called to stand against sin. We are not called to be doormats. We are also called to be wise and discerning ALWAYS acting in love. So no, I do not feel it is wrong to speak out against Obamacare if it doesn’t seem to be what’s best for America. We are to pray for our nation and we should be concerned about these things.

        I often hear different people put down Americans, and as a former missionary myself, this greatly alarms me. Yes, Americans have been blessed with much and materialism is a stumbling block for our nation, however there are MANY American believers who are very generous, have a passion for missions, and are actively sharing the gospel with others. SO yes, we must stand for what is right, give generously, share the gospel, and be aware of the needs of others around the world.

    3. What a wonderful message you have and God bless you for sharing it!! I have never reposted one of the support Duck Dynasty messages right now and didn’t know how to put into words just what you DID!! So am sharing this!! Thanks for a wonderful ‘out-of-the-country’ view that I think those of us who work outside of the USA trying to reach others for Christ can fully understand more than others!!

    4. A heartfelt post Jillian!!! I get it and thank you for the needed reminder in my own life. I pray for you and our brothers and sisters in Christ where you serve. Thank you for putting yourself our there to communicate such a needed message. Love you my friend!

    5. Thanks for sharing your heart, & for your willingness to be an adventurer. This was eloquently stated. ~~ Cindy S.

    6. Thank You! we needed that – wish all our Sisters in Christ could read this , much better live the life we should for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

    7. Thanks for putting things in perspective concerning the fact that yes there are thousands dying around the world without Christ and we should be more concerned about that and the fact that others in the world do not have the same privileges we do BUT, my freedom is not my idol!! The freedom we enjoy is because people stood up for what was right. While not perfect, our founding fathers gave us a great document called the Constitution to go by. It has been misread and, certainly here more recently, abused and misused by many in our government. I believe the passion you are seeing in those churches, of who I suppose many support you and your work, is the fact that a lot of this has built up over the years. So thanks for you understanding the frustration we feel concerning the issues that face us. NO we do not have a dictator king, and have had better days concerning the taxes and fees we pay before Obama and will have it better afterwards than any of the third world countries. Still you should be and I should be more concerned about the lost yes, but don’t diminish the freedoms we have and don’t be to hard on us for standing up for freedom and voicing our freedom just because we have it “better” than others in countries with dictators and false religions!

      1. Hello Dean,

        As Jillian’s husband I’ll reply to you to make this an even playing field.

        First, you may not make your freedom your idol. Her post said, “We MAY have made freedom our idol.” Remember when John reminded the brothers, “Keep yourselves from idols.” The point of John’s and of this post would be to examine ourselves. I really hope that you have not.

        Here is how I can know if we make money our idol, for example. I use this test on myself all the time: When God providentially removes my money from me, what is my emotional reaction? If it is despair or excessive anger (excessive I admit is subjective), then I might have an idol in my life: something that I value more than Christ.

        For example, I was sitting in traffic in a large Muslim city last month where we live when my phone was stolen from off my lap. My friend in the passenger seat took off after the thief. We didn’t catch him. We thought about filing a police report and would have done so if I were in the US. I wasn’t “happy” with the man. I was sinned against. The government did fail in protecting me so much that I didn’t feel it was even worth it to file a report. So there are some things worth speaking up about. But the issue is in how I felt about it. I felt that my emotional reaction about this phone revealed a hidden idol of love for stuff and money. I had to repent of that and rejoice that the Lord let me live for him and suffer in this small way in this fallen world.

        Now, going back to our freedoms. We value them. We want to protect them. Whether Phil’s freedoms were trampled on or not is not totally clear since he was working for a private company who have the right to promote whatever they want. However, what my wife observed was an emotional reaction to this that the same people do not have to Christians REALLY suffering or lost people whose eternal destiny is in peril. Now, this may not be true of you. Maybe you have an appropriate reaction to ObamaCare in relation to the Great Commission and the lost world. ObamaCare does deserve a reaction. We also ought to support Duck Dynasty in some appropriate way since we agree with their expressed views. BUT a good thing (country, freedom, good constitutions, flags, languages, etc) can become idols for any of us if we are not careful. This is a call to be careful, for each person to check themselves.

        Many Christians we have met back in the US since our furlough are discouraged and totally focused on the political problems of the US. That unbalanced level of focus IS a problem for some. American Christians can easily confuse America to be “God’s people” or “God’s country” in the sense that Israel was. This is a problem at least for some. God hates idolatry so much that it is, in the lives of those who have the problem, so serious that they need jolted awake by having their idols pointed out.

        For example, I have a friend who wanted to go to the mission field. His fiance at the time responded, “I will never leave the country that my forefathers fought and died for.” This is nationalism out of control in the life of a Christian. He thankfully dropped the idol-worshipping young lady and is a missionary in North Africa today. The fervor of some people concerning their constitution exceeds their fervor for Christ and obedience to what He says is important.

        We serve God the same way with or without freedom. What we learn from the Christians in North Africa is that we don’t need freedoms guaranteed to us by our government to live an obedient, Christ-centered Christian life with the same joy and focus as the first Christians did who, by the way, didn’t have freedom nor did they fight for it in the political realm. They just preached the Gospel in obedience to the Command.

        So maybe you are doing that. I’m not sure that I know you so there is no way I can know. I also don’t know your heart. SOmetimes, though, I have noticed that those who have the greatest reaction to their idols being attacked are the ones who actually have the idol that they have such a great affinity to that they will lash out if you try to pry it from their fingers (think Gollum from Lord of the Rings).

        Love you brother and I am sure my wife feels very bad for making you feel personally falsely accused. Believe that her intention was not to do that to you personally.

    8. Thanks for sharing your perspective! As a pastor, it saddens (and somewhat sickens) me to hear that you have heard complaints about Obamacare at every church you have been in during your furlough. It’s not that I agree with Obamacare, but how sad that churches have missionaries in their midst who have been laboring on the field for 7 years, and have so much fascinating, challenging information to share, and greatly need encouragement and refreshment, yet despite this setting, the subject of Obamacare makes its way into conversations. It certainly shows where our hearts are. Luke 6:45

      1. Hello Drew,

        As Jillian’s husband let me say that we are so blessed by the churches we’ve been in. Though we have heard about ObamaCare in each church it has come from many different channels. Sometimes it has come from the pulpit and sometimes from individuals in conversation. It is not necessarily wrong for it to be mentioned. It is an unconstitutional bill. However, some passions of some individuals are misdirected, we think.

        That being said, we are supported by American churches and are Americans ourselves. We desire America to stay free for the good of us and everyone. We are very thankful for our supporting churches. I hope it doesn’t appear that we are being critical of the hand that feeds us. We love and appreciate you all. I wonder, though, if we’d be afforded this liberty to speak a word of gentle rebuke into the lives of a few?

        Thank you for allowing us to do that.

        In Christ,
        Haroun

    9. Thank you for speaking out. I am also an American woman living outside of America and serving the Lord. We serve in England, also surrounded by Islamic culture. I do appreciate what you say about not allowing our evangelistic focus to be overshadowed by lesser distractions. However, our passion must be to do right and speak the truth while doing God’s work and His will, wherever He uses us. America does not have a patent on freedom. England is a country that still enjoys some freedom but is several years farther down the road of socialism than is America. It’s considered ‘bad form’ (non ‘PC’) here to express a view that goes against the mainstream. Bible believing Christians are portrayed as buffoons living in a fantasy world. It is for this very reason I chose to speak out about the Duck Dynasty incident. If we don’t expect to keep our freedoms, if we don’t speak up when they’re threatened we cannot hope to remain free to minister or share the Gospel. The persecuted Christians we remember and pray for (maybe not visibly on FB but daily in our prayers) would be the first ones to tell us not to let our freedoms be stolen from us.

      1. I appreciate your comment Connie, and understand what you are saying. I would like to add that I’m a DD fan and support what Phil said. The problem I have is finding a New Testament example or command or insistence that we are to speak up for our religious freedom. Now I’m certainly not against anyone who does and appreciate when they do, but I don’t believe I can find scriptural backing for spending my time in those efforts. Since that isn’t the example given in Scripture I don’t really believe that’s the most effective way to accomplish what we are supposed to. My husband challenged me with this question: What are we commanded to do as Christians? Stand and fight for our rights, or go and preach the Gospel and make disciples? I believe if we did more going, the other would take care of itself. We think standing and fighting is going to bring about the change we want, but it has the opposite effect in the end. Looking through the New Testament I see a bold group of believers who were busy preaching the Gospel and making disciples. They faced religious persecution more than we could imagine. They weren’t instructed to stand and fight for their rights to preach. Their boldness grew and they continued to spread the Gospel. Maybe too many times we’re not using the Bible as our guide and instead following our patriotism and national rights. We have maybe bought into the idea that conservative politics is the answer to save this country when in all actually our job was never to try and save the country from the wicked, but to try to see the Gospel go to everyone in it, including the wicked. Our fighting I believe has hurt our voice to share Christ. People look at us more as a political wing than a person who has an important message to share.

        1. I don’t think that anyone is necessarily fighting for Phil’s rights. I know that I have shared the stories because it upsets me to see what our country has become. And where its headed, well that’s one of the scariest things for me. I’m not idolizing my country or my freedom, but I’d say that America is going to be a true example of the end of days coming. When our freedoms are being stripped away and so many people are blindly following a leader that has made stands against what God’s word says it scares me, and I feel I need to speak out so that other Christians and the Lost will see what is happening around us. The day will come in America that freedom will be an illusion. And based on what we’ve been seeing in our media, that day isn’t far off. We must abide by man’s law until man’s law goes against God’s law. And when the day comes that Bibles are banned and my freedom to worship my Savior is taken, I will still worship. I will still pray. See I think most American Christians see our freedoms being stripped as a sign of the times. America has prided itself on being a country of freedom and when that freedom is gone, where will that leave us American Christians? I’m scared. I’m scared for my children and future grandchildren. Because I am human. I know to trust my Lord, but I still get scared. I pray daily for our missionaries and will be adding a couple families from this post to my list. I pray for the Lost. And I pray for those Christians living under dictators. But I pray for my country also and I speak out about the wrongs being done to Christians in my country, because honestly, I don’t want to live under a dictator and I don’t want that for my children or my neighbors. Just felt I needed to say something. Again, I will be praying for you all!
          Love in Christ!

    10. I think a lot of conservative Christians feel that if the Robertsons are taken off the air, then who is left – especially with that amount of influence – that will speak the truth directly from the Bible, in love, unapologetically. In America we have had lots of pop stars, politicians and pastors who proclaim the name of Jesus but then make foolish mistakes or apologize for the way they believe. The Robertsons have stuck to their guns from day one and it’s been a huge encouragement for many Christians to live out their faith in Christ, standing up for what’s right. Personally, I see and hear of persecution in other countries (and will post on Facebook about it), and when I see things like the backlash on Phil Robertson, I become concerned that proclaiming truth could one day land Americans in jail, much like Pastor Abedini, if we don’t stand in support of those like Phil Robertson.

    11. The point is that we do know that there is persecution and lack of rights for Christians in other countries. If Christians don’t stand up to preserve ours rights, we will have none. First our rights,
      then all Americans. Never think that it won’t happen here, because it can.

    12. I understand your concerns. That saddens me and breaks me heart for those around the world. This is why I am thankful to still have the freedom to be able to attend and support a local assembly of believers who support missionaries around the world. It is a blessing. However, if Christians in America do not stand up for their Biblical beliefs, as little as they may seem to others, the days of assembling together and sharing the gospel could be over. It isn’t Phil under attack, he only said what the Bible says.
      In Matthew, John the Baptist was put in prison and eventually lost his head because he told the king it was against the Law to have his brother’s wife. Jesus had said, there was not one greater than John the baptist. It’s what Christian’s do. They stand up.
      It’s not that I am taking up for good ole Phil. However, homosexuality is an issue here in the US and God said it’s wrong. We all know what the Bible says. That’s all.

    13. Irregardless of the situation, there are always going to be a bigger need somewhere at the same time. Anything that might bring attention to Christ, in my opinion is good, however, you are correct in that we Americans, for the most part, don’t understand what it means to sacrifice.

      1. Amy, I would say that the Apostle Paul’s invocation of his legal rights as a citizen of Rome and Christ’s journey through all the proper legal channels, even when the outcome was inevitable, support the principle of utilizing whatever legal ‘rights’ or privileges we have at our disposal for a righteous cause. Peter exercised his liberty in Christ to speak out strongly in the book of Acts. Stephen had plenty to say even as he watched the crowd being whipped into a frenzy and gathering stones. What is evangelism but our God-given freedom to speak the truth we’ve been commanded to speak? Certainly if we’re asked we should be able to answer with conviction.
        There is a right time to stand and answer. And, as God showed Lot, there are times He snatches us out of the way. Whatever He allows us to do or say, may it truly be for His honor and glory.

    14. I appreciate the fact that living on the mission field gives you a different perspective. I spend six weeks abroad every summer, & I come back so grateful for my country. But God puts different burdens on each heart. For example, although I am adamantly opposed to abortion, that’s not what grabs my heart, my energy, & my purse. Our military is what does that. When I see a person in uniform, I think of him risking his life for ME, just as Christ died for ME. Americans who live here & not abroad see our freedoms being eroded, our God, in many senses, being mocked, & although there are definitely situations worse than having your TV show suspended because of your beliefs, I’m reminded of these words from the movie “Sheffey”: “…One day, when the government finally tells us that we cannot have our religion, we won’t be able to say that our religion was taken from us; it was handed over, bit by bit.”

      1. This reminds me of a quote from none other than Adolf Hitler. He said, “How fortunate for government, that its people do not think.” We have to be smart and see things for what they are. We must stand! I’d rather be a martyr for the cause of teaching God’s word than live my whole life never uttering a word of the TRUTH!

        1. I would like to clarify after reading these comments. I think I may have not explain the fact that I do value standing up for the truth and calling out wrongs! I understand that side of these issues mentioned. I am not trying to say we should not say anything because Christians in other countries have it worse than we do. I just would love to see excitement for reaching others with the Gospel to be like what we have see over these issues. I have seen people almost obsessed with these issues. Extremely fearful about our freedoms being taken away. The defeated attitude of so many believers is very sad and very contagious. My intention for this post was to encourage us that WE WIN! No matter the road we go down, no matter how hard. When I hear things like this issue with Phil Robertson, is does upset me like it does most believers. I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that no matter our situation we can live victoriously though Christ! I just would love to encourage other believers to see a bigger picture. Pray for the world, sure stand up for our rights here in the States of course, but be encouraged that persecution will only draw us closer our Savior and that is something we all want! So either way there is victory!

          1. Jillian, I think you are an amazing lady and addressed this situation in a challenging yet tactful way. You are an inspiration to many, and I’m proud to know you! Your global (and biblical) perspective on persecution was very helpful to me. Thanks for sharing.

    15. As a Christian, I felt a lot of us were putting the emphasis on the wrong thing and while doing that we’ve been missing out on sharing the greatest point of all: In that it’s not sin to be debated over, but that there is forgiveness to be had:
      “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
      Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
      And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:9-11
      “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:17
      “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” I John 4:10

    16. thx jillian sometimes we forget even as blessed as we are that our emotions most times are the worst moral compass.I am actually excited to see what God actually does with this whole phil robertson thing!!and to all you fellow christians out don’t fear God is still on the throne!!!yes we may have the fight brought to our backyards but remember the fight goes on eveywhere,;pray fervently and always and praise God for what he is doing….WINNING!!

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