Let’s clarify a few points that seem to get muddled in the conversation:
- The Bible and the Constitution of the United States are separate and distinct documents with very different authors.
- The 1st Amendment of Constitution does not protect Phil Robertson or anyone else against ramifications for “free speech” from a private corporation such as A & E. It protects restrictions on free speech by a government actor. It’s the government that can’t retaliate against free speech, not a marketplace participant.
- The Bible does guarantee that Christ followers are going to be in the minority. As such, why is there such a public outrage every time the Truth of the Word is played out in society?
- Boycotts or other retribution against a perceived injustice is allowable, but the condition of the heart is much more important. What is the heart behind that? Revenge? Pride?
- Christ followers are not to concern themselves with judging those outside of the church (“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” – 1 Corinthians 5:12). All that matters to them is Jesus and He’ll meet them in whatever sin they are engaged in. Just like He met me (and you?).
The outrage comes from unmet expectations. Christians expect to be agreed with, supported, legitimized and validated by the world. It ain’t going to happen so check the expectation against Scripture to determine what needs to change (“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” – 2 Timothy 3:12).
Want to boycott? Go ahead. Want to be angry? Go ahead. Just be sure that you are doing so as a citizen of the United States expressing your free speech rights under the Constitution and don’t believe that you are somehow acting as an ambassador of the Kingdom of God accurately reflecting the Bible. In doing so, be sure to recognize that your growing anger which is being fostered and nurtured makes a way for bitterness to set in.
The standard for interaction outside of the church? Love. Just love.
Jesus knew his disciples (then and now) would encounter sin in the world as He sent them out. That’s why He equipped them (& us) to go out among those that would disagree. He didn’t arm them with theology or boycotts, but He armed them in John 20 as follows: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
Put down your pens and holster your weapons. Receive the Holy Spirit and get in the forgiveness business.