Greetings in the name of Jesus, Mr. Robertson. Let me say as I begin this open letter that I have enjoyed Duck Dynasty. The primary reason I enjoy it is because of the values that are expressed regularly in between the antics of a family that truly deserves the title of “redneck.” What brings me back to your show again and again though, is the depiction of a family that loves the Lord and loves one another. That being said – please allow me to say a few things to you today.
First of all, Phil, you were set up from the start. Last time I took a good look at GQ magazine (which was probably back in college) it was not even remotely a magazine friendly to the type of Christian you are. The fact that they questioned you about homosexuality should have set off every alarm in you the Holy Spirit has. I am grateful that you expressed yourself according to what the Bible teaches. It may shock some that homosexuality is listed among the more horrific sexual perversions in the Scriptures – but it does not shock me - because I’ve read it numerous times. By the way, brother, I applaud you for not just speaking about the sin of homoseuxality, but also stating that heterosexual immorality is sinful too! What does shock me just a little is that you thought you’d be well-received by GQ or any other worldly publication for expressing Biblically conservative views on these things. I do not fault you at all for your comments, because I agree with you completely. Both homosexuality and any sex outside of marriage (i.e. heterosexual immorality) is called sin by God in His revelation to us. No one was born this way. These are sins people choose to do. They are also choices that continue to be embraced when confronted by God's Word that they are sin. That being said - it shouldn't shock us that the entertainment types and news media freak out when such things are said in any worldly open forum. You were set up, brother - and all this was probably intended to be the result.
Second of all, Phil, I just want to remind you of something Jesus Christ said in Luke 6:26. "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.” For about 4 years most have spoken well of you and your family. I realize that in the last year or so that has begun to change. That is because they will speak well when they think you represent rednecks who hunt and who act funny. They will no longer speak well of you when you have the audacity to speak openly of your faith in Jesus Christ. Your boldness, which is to be commended, has led you to express that you believe what the Bible says about moral issues. That, dear brother, is what led to the current situation – and the outcry about supposed hate speech toward homosexuality. You did not express hate - just truth. Remember though that the world, "can't handle the truth." Just wanted to remind you that we were not promised smooth sailing in a world that runs after sin and sexual immorality.
Third, I’d like to comment on A&E’s decision to remove you from the show. They have every right legally to do this – just as Christians have every right to boycott the network. BUT . . . let me say that I always chuckled a little that your show was on this network anyway. I would say that I am going to boycott A&E – except that if I no longer watch Duck Dynasty. the only time I will come across that network is when I click over it to get to something else on TV. Can we both agree that A&E has never been a bastion for godly or righteous programming. I actually hope that this leads to Duck Dynasty moving to another network where you will have greater freedom to be who you are as Christians. I honestly felt that this was eventually coming because if your family was true to who they truly were – more problems were on the horizon between you and the A&E network.
Fourth, I want to encourage you Phil. As I’ve heard you on the show and read of your statements elsewhere I have quickly learned that you are a man who is going to speak the truth regardless of the consequences. Brother, you are not exactly a wall-flower who shrinks from addressing the moral issuesof our day! I am not calling you a prophet – nor do I figure you fancy taking that title either - but – I do feel like the things you say are said in a prophetic manner. Do these things need to be said? Yes they do. But realize brother, that when you do say such things, you will receive a prophet’s welcome. You will not receive the welcome of a TV star and on-air personality. That is reserved for those who know their place as a TV star– and are willing to sacrifice everything to keep it. You, my brother, are not such a man (halleluijah!). So, do not be discouraged that this has happened. Let me remind you of the words of Jesus once again. "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. John 7:7 (NASB) When you choose to align yourself with Jesus – and with Biblical truth (especially when that truth speaks to sexual immorality of any kind – heterosexual or homosexual) you should NOT expect the world to embrace you or thank you for your comments.
Let me say one last thing to you – because I love you as my brother. In a way, I am glad this is happening. One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a Christian family is what has happened to yours. I am not referring to the current attacks that are being made on you and your beliefs. I think you will see that this will prove to eventually be a blessing. I am however referring to the dangers of being wildly successful in the public eye. Am I against success? No – but I do know that you will never face a greater trial than being successful - and still loving Jesus more than anything else in life. When I look at Jesus Christ and His disciples in that first generation of Acts – I see something much different. Although they were successful at times, they never embraced success - they embraced Jesus and gospel ministry. Every single one of them was persecuted for the gospel and for the truth. Except for John the apostle, every one of them was martyred for their faith – and for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. For at least a year I’ve been concerned for you and your family. This is not because I’ve seen any kind of ungodliness of which I am aware. I am a head of a family much like you. That means I am watching my children and grandchildren navigate their way through a wicked and ungodly generation. My greatest joy is that they walk in the truth – and love the Lord Jesus Christ passionately. None of my family is famous – even remotely – and yet it is hard for them to walk in this world and remain faithful to God. I feared for your family only because of the pressures and pitfalls that come with fame and fortune. I did not want to see them fall prey to what worldliness and a desire to please the world could bring. It is my hope that all that is happening now will serve to refocus your family – and even you as well – upon eternal things.
May this trial draw you even closer to the Lord in your walk with Him. May this do the same for your family. Honestly, I hope that your entire family walks in unity on this matter, even if it means shutting down the show immediately. There are things far more valuable than “network ratings” and “pleasing advertisers.” There is the joy of knowing that we are walking with God – loving Him – and loving others by preaching and speaking the gospel to them. There is the reality that those who are involved in sexual sin need to be confronted, shown that their lifestyle IS a choice, and that as with all sin – it leads to death. There is also the reality that all sin can only be remedied by turning to Jesus Christ, Whose death on the cross is the ONLY way to pay the price that God demands for it. And there is the reality that even God's church needs to be reminded that standing for such things will cost us in the world's opinion polls. So, as reality shows go – there is a much greater reality men need to grasp. All the kingdoms of men, all governments, and yes – even all dynasties will one day answer to God. May your answer continue to be that you are not ashamed of the truth – not ashamed of the gospel – and not ashamed of being willing to suffer for the sake of His name!
God bless brother – and – I’ll be praying for you!