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December 19th, 2013
01:49 PM ET

CNN Exclusive: Family pastor defends 'Duck Dynasty' star

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - While controversy swirled around Phil Robertson Wednesday evening, the "Duck Dynasty" patriarch was at his longtime church, praying for a young woman who suffers from cancer, the TV star's pastor told CNN in an exclusive interview.

"Phil led us in prayer," said Mike Kellett, senior pastor of White's Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, Louisiana. "There were greater things on our minds than the firestorm of controversy about this article."

Asked how Robertson is taking the fierce criticism of his remarks on homosexuality, Kellett said, "He's very calm, and very confident that if he serves the Lord, God will take care of everything."

Robertson, 67, was suspended by the A&E network on Wednesday after the publication of comments in GQ magazine. Citing the Bible, the outspoken Christian called homosexuality sinful and compared it to bestiality and drunkenness.

Robertson's remarks were a rough paraphrase of the New Testament, in which Paul catalogs a list of vices, including, in many Bible translations, homosexuality. Scholars and pastors disagree, however, about whether Paul's remarks should apply to modern gay and lesbian relationships.

Gay rights groups were outraged, calling Robertson's remarks "homophobic" and "hateful." A&E said it was "disappointed" by the comments, "which are based on his own beliefs and are not reflected in the series 'Duck Dynasty.' "

But Robertson, who looks a bit like an Old Testament prophet,  says conservative Christian beliefs and values have permeated every corner of his life ever he gave up his self-described heathen lifestyle as a honky-tonk operator in the 1970s.

"I myself am a product of the '60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom Savior," Robertson said in a statement on Thursday. "My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together."

‘Duck Dynasty’ reactions debate: Free speech or bigotry?

Robertson is an elder at White's Ferry Road Church of Christ, a nondenominational church that gathers around 1,200 worshippers on Sunday mornings. That means he offers spiritual counsel, helps teach the faith, hosts Bible studies and offers charity to the poor, Kellett said.

"He has literally helped bring hundreds of people to the Lord," the pastor added.

Robertson's son, Alan, co-pastored White Ferry with Kellet for eight years before joining the cast of "Duck Dynasty."

The show, which A&E says drew nearly 12 million viewers to the premiere of its fourth season in August, is enormously popular among conservative Christians, many of whom defended Robertson on social media Thursday. A online petition called "I Stand With Phil," garnered nearly 10,000 signatures by midday.

Opinion: ‘Duck Dynasty’ suspension doesn’t violate First Amendment

As Robertson's fame has grown, so has the size of his pulpit. He has preached at megachurch Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in California. Publishers peddle "The Duck Commander Devotional" and churches clamor for guest appearances by the Robertson family.

“We’re kind of the John the Baptists of the 21st century," Alan Robertson has said. "It’s how you imagine, with the wild hair and the locusts."

Kellett said his church backs Robertson, whose family is nearly royalty in West Monroe, a city of 13,000 in northern Louisiana. "We support the Robertson family, and strongly believe in our Bibles and in Jesus Christ as lord."

The pastor said he agrees with Phil Robertson's comments about homosexuality and is concerned about his critics' treatment of Christianity.

"I think it's unfortunate that when you quote the Bible people get upset about one particular sin that always seems to get a lot of attention," Kellett said. "But sometimes the Bible is going to rub folks the wrong way."

Palin and Jindal weigh in

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Celebrity • Christianity • Culture wars • Discrimination • evangelicals • Faith & Health • Gay marriage • Gay rights • gender issues

soundoff (2,092 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    At this time of the year, I send out a reminder to all my friends:

    Jesus wasn't born, he was written!

    December 23, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Russ

      @ Dyslexic: even Bart Ehrman debunks your position here...
      (a self-proclaimed "agnostic with atheistic tendencies", and one of the most liberal biblical scholars in the world)
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/30/the-historical-evidence-of-the-existence-of-jesus-of-nazareth/

      December 23, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Right!!!!!!!! Did you think a Gospel Coalition would maybe say jesus wasn't born?? Even if he was, he was a mere man...kind of like you, nothing special.

        December 23, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • Russ

          @ truthprevails:
          Gospel Coalition happens to be the link, but they are no friends of Bart Ehrman. you are showing your lack of awareness of the scholarly spectrum here. Ehrman falls on the opposite end. they are purposefully quoting someone in the opposite camp (i.e., eliminating room for such claims).

          December 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
      • doobzz

        Unless he can come up with something better than Josephus and Tacitus, I'm not impressed.

        December 23, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Russ

          @ doobzz: the link is just to the forward. there's a whole book – though, again, he's not someone i would recommend in general.

          for a thorough reading on the topic, read "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" by Richard Bauckham.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
        • doobzz

          No thanks. Been there, done that for fifty years.

          Eyewitnesses? LOL!

          December 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
        • Russ

          @ doobzz: that's a 500 page book. a) it hasn't been around for 50 years and b) it not only compiles a ton of the relevant scholarship in one place but also includes recent scholarship (we've only had the capacity to do since the internet allowed compiling statistical data.

          so what you're really saying is: "no, i prefer to ignore the scholarship in favor of my predetermined preferences."

          December 24, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  2. Phil

    Friends,

    I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    December 23, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • igaftr

      They don't use pig leather anymore for footballs, so go right ahead.

      December 23, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Russ

      @ Phil: you are clearly not reading the article... so here's the full cut & paste...
      Tim Keller (whom Newsweek called "CS Lewis for the 21st century") on the Charge of Inconsistency

      ************

      I find it frustrating when I read or hear columnists, pundits, or journalists dismiss Christians as inconsistent because “they pick and choose which of the rules in the Bible to obey.” What I hear most often is “Christians ignore lots of Old Testament texts—about not eating raw meat or pork or shellfish, not executing people for breaking the Sabbath, not wearing garments woven with two kinds of material and so on. Then they condemn ho.mo.se.xuality. Aren’t you just picking and choosing what they want to believe from the Bible?”

      It is not that I expect everyone to have the capability of understanding that the whole Bible is about Jesus and God’s plan to redeem his people, but I vainly hope that one day someone will access their common sense (or at least talk to an informed theological advisor) before leveling the charge of inconsistency.

      First of all, let’s be clear that it’s not only the Old Testament that has proscriptions about ho.mo.se.xuality. The New Testament has plenty to say about it, as well. Even Jesus says, in his discussion of divorce in Matthew 19:3-12 that the original design of God was for one man and one woman to be united as one flesh, and failing that, (v. 12) persons should abstain from marriage and from s.ex.

      However, let’s get back to considering the larger issue of inconsistency regarding things mentioned in the OT that are no longer practiced by the New Testament people of God. Most Christians don’t know what to say when confronted about this. Here’s a short course on the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament:

      The Old Testament devotes a good amount of space to describing the various sacrifices that were to be offered in the tabernacle (and later temple) to atone for sin so that worshippers could approach a holy God. As part of that sacrificial system there was also a complex set of rules for ceremonial purity and cleanness. You could only approach God in worship if you ate certain foods and not others, wore certain forms of dress, refrained from touching a variety of objects, and so on. This vividly conveyed, over and over, that human beings are spiritually unclean and can’t go into God’s presence without purification.

      But even in the Old Testament, many writers hinted that the sacrifices and the temple worship regulations pointed forward to something beyond them. (cf. 1 Samuel 15:21-22; Psalm 50:12-15; 51:17; Hosea 6:6). When Christ appeared he declared all foods ‘clean’ (Mark 7:19) and he ignored the Old Testament clean laws in other ways, touching lepers and dead bodies.

      But the reason is made clear. When he died on the cross the veil in the temple was ripped through, showing that the need for the entire sacrificial system with all its clean laws had been done away with. Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice for sin, and now Jesus makes us “clean.”

      The entire book of Hebrews explains that the Old Testament ceremonial laws were not so much abolished as fulfilled by Christ. Whenever we pray ‘in Jesus name’, we ‘have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus’ (Hebrews 10:19). It would, therefore, be deeply inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible as a whole if we were to continue to follow the ceremonial laws.

      The New Testament gives us further guidance about how to read the Old Testament. Paul makes it clear in places like Romans 13:8ff that the apostles understood the Old Testament moral law to still be binding on us. In short, the coming of Christ changed how we worship but not how we live. The moral law is an outline of God’s own character—his integrity, love, and faithfulness. And so all the Old Testament says about loving our neighbor, caring for the poor, generosity with our possessions, social relationships, and commitment to our family is still in force. The New Testament continues to forbid killing or committing adultery, and all the s.ex ethic of the Old Testament is re-stated throughout the New Testament (Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; 1 Timothy 1:8-11.) If the New Testament has reaffirmed a commandment, then it is still in force for us today.

      Further, the New Testament explains another change between the Testaments. Sins continue to be sins—but the penalties change. In the Old Testament things like adultery or incest were punishable with civil sanctions like execution. This is because at that time God’s people existed in the form of a nation-state and so all sins had civil penalties.

      But in the New Testament the people of God are an assembly of churches all over the world, living under many different governments. The church is not a civil government, and so sins are dealt with by exhortation and, at worst, exclusion from membership. This is how a case of inc.est in the Corinthian church is dealt with by Paul (1 Corinthians 5:1ff. and 2 Corinthians 2:7-11.) Why this change? Under Christ, the gospel is not confined to a single nation—it has been released to go into all cultures and peoples.

      Once you grant the main premise of the Bible—about the surpassing significance of Christ and his salvation—then all the various parts of the Bible make sense. Because of Christ, the ceremonial law is repealed. Because of Christ the church is no longer a nation-state imposing civil penalties. It all falls into place. However, if you reject the idea of Christ as Son of God and Savior, then, of course, the Bible is at best a mish-mash containing some inspiration and wisdom, but most of it would have to be rejected as foolish or erroneous.

      So where does this leave us? There are only two possibilities. If Christ is God, then this way of reading the Bible makes sense and is perfectly consistent with its premise. The other possibility is that you reject Christianity’s basic thesis—you don’t believe Jesus was the resurrected Son of God—and then the Bible is no sure guide for you about much of anything. But the one thing you can’t really say in fairness is that Christians are being inconsistent with their beliefs to accept the moral statements in the Old Testament while not practicing other ones.

      One way to respond to the charge of inconsistency may be to ask a counter-question—“Are you asking me to deny the very heart of my Christian beliefs?” If you are asked, “Why do you say that?” you could respond, “If I believe Jesus is the the resurrected Son of God, I can’t follow all the ‘clean laws’ of diet and practice, and I can’t offer animal sacrifices. All that would be to deny the power of Christ’s death on the cross. And so those who really believe in Christ must follow some Old Testament texts and not others.”

      December 23, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Thank you for assaulting us with your stupid book...

        December 23, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • Russ

          @ Lucifer: I'm not the one who brought up the Bible. I'm simply responding to the discussion.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Russ, And it doesn't really give a good answer about the obvious inconsistencies – it just side-steps them.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • Russ

          @ Santa: dying on the cross is not a sidestep.
          1) it fulfills all the OT ceremonial laws for cleanliness (he is our perfect sacrifice, meaning no more sacrifices).
          2) he lived the perfect life we couldn't. he was without sin (so he upholds all the moral laws).
          3) he ushers in his kingdom (thereby ending the judicial laws that were uniquely prescribed to the nation of Israel).

          the problem you are having is that the moral laws continue (the 10 commandments, etc.), while the ceremonial & judicial laws are abrogated. you want to put se.xual morality laws under the same umbrella as the ceremonial laws. some are (woman's monthly cycle, etc.), some aren't (adultery, etc.). how do you know the difference? the NT makes it clear. and the hot topic in question here is consistently upheld as immoral in the NT (i.e., it's part of the moral laws which continue to be in effect).

          December 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
        • Christian

          Lucifer's brother – I thought Lucifer will go to hell alone. He has you now.

          December 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @Christian – You not to bright, are you?

          December 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • Mary Mallon

        So you have to use another person's thoughts because you can't articulate your own?

        And I love that last sentence, which is clearly a get out of jail free card to CHERRY PICK WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO USE IN THE BIBLE AGAINST OTHERS.

        "And so those who really believe in Christ must follow some Old Testament texts and not others.”

        Really convienent.
        I'll remind you Jesus never said a word about gays.

        Stop cherry picking. Using the Bible to be as big a dick as you want to people is horrible.

        December 23, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • Russ

          @ Mary: funny. if someone quotes scholars you like, you'd love it. but quote one you don't like...

          more to the point: it's not cherry picking to read the Bible as a whole. it's cherry picking to lift one OUT OF CONTEXT. that's the definition of reading contextually. it's just basic literature. read for the author's intent. hard to do if you don't finish the book...

          December 23, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Russ, I have "finished the book." Several times. Probably more than you have. When people point out OT scriptures (or NT) that you believers don't follow, they're just doing what they see believers doing when they talk about the bible condemning h0m0s3xuality without mentioning sins of adultery or stoning children who play too excessively on one day out of the week.

          And as to your first sentence, how do you know that Mary "loves it" when bible scholars say something she likes? You seem to assume quite a bit to make a point that's not even sound.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Russ

          @ Cpt:
          1) did i press Mary beyond what she'd said? yes. was it unfounded? i await her reply – but the point generally holds. people who object to authoritarian pleas per se don't normally have a logical basis for doing so. most love the authorities who affirm their beliefs, so objecting to quotes of authorities for 'not being in your own words' is a failure a) to admit we ALL do that and b) to notice that *I* chose to use that quote and not another.

          2) you are making an equally uninformed statement about who has read the Bible more. i have a postgraduate degree in the field of biblical studies. it doesn't guarantee i know more, but i hope it does let you know that i've read it a lot.

          3) so did you read the above article from Keller? he goes directly at your point in his response to the "charge of inconsistency." the Sabbath, dietary laws, ceremonial laws, etc. are all dealt with in the NT in quite a different fashion from lying, stealing or even se.xual morality (the latter of which are all upheld). if you "finished the book," you should have noted that. in which case, the whole "shellfish" argument that keeps getting raised ad nauseam fails to admit that basic distinction.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The point, Russ, is that you cannot deny anyone their interpretation because there is no method of verification by which any interpretation can be proved more aligned than another interpretation. It's all just rhetoric and argument based on rhetoric. There's no way to test any of it....not one bit of it....none. You can SAY your interpretation is more correct than Fred Phelps's, but neither of you have anything more than rhetoric and argument based on rhetoric. Neither of you two can DEMONSTRATE with some verifiable measurement that either of you are more correct than the other.

          Because you have read the entire book, you know I'm right. But it's you and Phelps who've got to deal with the reality of the fact I present, here.

          December 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Cpt Obvious: actually, you are exactly wrong. because i have read the book, i know that it builds its own hermeneutic from within. ever notice how Jesus interprets the OT? he stuns people with radical readings of the OT that they did not expect, but he *always* regards it as the utmost authority, even building arguments from a single word.

          you begin by discounting Christ, so you fail even to engage the biblical self-understanding Christ has. as one claiming to *be* the Word in the flesh, certainly that's a claim to be the hermeneutical key to reading the Bible. and he says it repeatedly (Jn.5:39-40; Lk.24:27,44). Jesus is the key to the Bible. after all, he's claiming to be God. it only makes sense that he'd be the one to show/tell us how to read it.

          December 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • Phil

        Is the Bible the word of God or not?

        Why do Christians pick and choose which parts to obey and which to completely ignore?

        December 23, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Russ

          @ Phil: the Bible *is* the Word of God.
          did you read the article? because your question makes me think you didn't (since he takes it head on).

          December 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Doris

      Russ: "but I vainly hope that one day someone will access their common sense (or at least talk to an informed theological advisor) before leveling the charge of inconsistency."

      So you think some day in your lifetime you'll see the ~41,000 sects of Christianity become consistent?

      December 23, 2013 at 11:28 am |
      • Doris

        Sorry – that was a reply to Russ, just above.

        December 23, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • Doris

        And maybe you can start with the Mexican sect that is still sacrificing people, Russ. It's an outgrowth of Catholicism, so, unless I'm mistaken, that goes to your department anyway.

        December 23, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Russ

          @ Doris: obviously this directly violates the central claims of the faith (that Jesus was our sacrifice). virtually every one of the denominations you cite would object to this.

          again, unanimity in the essentials.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • Doris

          Although I admit the example is extreme, an obvious point from it is that many sects shun other ones, often even saying they are not true Christians. Who does that help? Some of us are as sick of being caught in the crossfire as being the object of their unfounded judgment. What about that segment of Lutherans who still officially consider the Pope the Antichrist?

          December 23, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • Russ

        @ Doris: this argument fails the sniff test. think about it...

        1) you are talking about 41,000 sects w/in 2 billion people. 41,000 isn't that big of a number when compared to 2 billion. that's 100s of thousands for each group.

        2) more to the point, you are arguing that they are dramatically divided. but EVERY one of the major branches of Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant) agree on the major tenets of the faith. For example, the Apostles' Creed dates from roughly AD 180 – and ALL major Christian groups agree on all it claims. That's 2 billion in agreement across 41,000 different denominations within a shared faith. They all agree that Jesus was raised from the dead, that he is God, that God is a Trinity, etc.

        of course there's disagreement across 2 billion people on the minor points. but virtually all the major points are intact. the very math you want to lift up as a statement against Christianity I point at as a testimony *for* Christianity.

        December 23, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Doris

          2) They may not be divided on the issues you care about Russ, but are you forgetting the subject involved in this article?

          1) OK so you don't think it's that big a number. OK, so let's see you round them up and keep them from screaming different things at us. I hope you succeed.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • Russ

          @ Doris:
          1) i'm not excusing the screaming – especially as enti.tled Americans. it forgets we have a savior who gave up that to which he was enti.tled.

          however, those who waffle about what the Bible clearly calls a sin – if they are consistent – will soon be waffling about many of the other claims of Scripture... including what is essential.

          2) the numbers are not miniscule. as one theologian said: "it is a deep scandal that anything but geography divides the Church." however, i'm pointing out the unity on the main thing. and let's be honest here: the main thing is still the main problem. if Jesus is God, if he came & rose from the dead, the rest of this discussion is secondary. all that matters is that – and how you relate to Him.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
        • Doris

          So Russ the ~four million ELCA plus the ~million-member United Church of Christ plus an ever-increasing number of Episcopal congregations plus the 222 world-wide congregations of the Metropolitan Community Church are just wafflers? That's just too much disagreement on an issue for me to not think there's something fishy about the basis of disagreement.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Doris: the ELCA's compromise here signals a major hermeneutical problem (the method they use to interpret Scripture). if they are consistent & apply that same hermeneutic to the Gospels, they will lose central tenets (the divinity of Christ, the resurrection, etc.). that's why many churches left when the began to ordain g.ays.

          will some ELCA members continue to believe in the essentials? sure (it's a big part of God's grace). but it's not because they are reading the Bible with a consistent hermeneutic.

          note well: the radical social changes the MLK & Wilburforce brought in their respective societies were not by changing the hermeneutic, but appealing to Scripture WITHIN that pre-existing understanding of Scripture. that's why social & religious conservatives embraced the end to slavery & civil rights. they had to own the fact that *the Bible told them so.* it is a far different thing here. which is why – notably – the vast majority of African American churches in America stand against ho.mo.se.xual marriage (despite the attempt to tap into that same narrative).

          if you change the hermeneutic, you lose the central tenets of the faith. unlike the civil rights movement, the g.ay lobby has NO biblical leg to stand upon and challenge the biblical conservatives to agree with them. and that's why this is perceived as a much greater attack on the faith. to change the hermeneutic is to lose the faith.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Shin

      Phil, that statement right there shows that you do not under what a Christian is. We are not under the Law of the Old Testament, Jesus freed us from that. We don't own slaves, we don't sacrifice animals etc. But unless your a Christian or at least understand a little of the New Testament, you will never understand the differences between Christians and Jews. You never even knew it but I have been praying for you. I pray for all the lost before that great and power day of Judgement because when you stand before God, it's too late to change your mind and admit your wrong and say your sorry. Jesus will say, depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you. God bless you.

      December 23, 2013 at 11:54 am |
      • Doris

        "We are not under the Law of the Old Testament,"

        and there are many Christians who disagree. To me, it just makes the whole mess sound fishy. Can you give me any of the names of Paul's 500 alleged "witnesses"?

        December 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Doris: here's the passage in question: (1 Cor.15:3-7)

          "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me."

          So, though he does not give the full 500 (who would?), he does name at least 13 (if not 14): the twelve disciples (named elsewhere), James (probably Jesus' brother here) & Paul himself.

          furthermore, you seem to assume that without the names here, this could not be checked. considering travel & correspondence were regularities in the pax Romana, and that the tight-knit Jewish community from which Christians first emerged (& to which they first witnesses) would have made regular pilgrimage & sent letters 'home' to Jerusalem, and considering the preposterous nature of what Paul is claiming (resurrection of the dead – something Jews expected would only happen at the end of time and NOT to an individual but the whole human race at once) and the implications for one's life (given yourself completely over to Jesus)... it is ridiculous to think no one would have fact checked this.

          it's not just a matter of imagining a letter to home, but the fact that the Christian community would arise from this. who were these believers who were so ardent to share – yet didn't do so thru political maneuvering with power or at the edge of a sword? people who saw Jesus risen for themselves. it's not just a letter to family asking if these people really saw this, but asking about the emerging Christian community where these things were being regularly discussed.

          you seem to overlook the historical reality that this is how Christianity started. they were kicked out of the synagogues by AD 66 in Jerusalem. that's only 30 years after Jesus' death. people who were still alive when Jesus died were going around sharing what they saw to the point that they were alienated from their own community. and yet at the same time, Christianity grew and spread.

          as best we know, all but one of the apostles (the 12 named) died a martyr's death. who dies for a lie *you yourself* made up? just recant & live if you know its a farce. but that's not what they did. why? because they saw it.

          as Yale scholar Kenneth Latourette said, Christianity's beginning is inexplicable otherwise:
          "Why among all the cults and philosophies competing in the Greco-Roman World did Christianity succeed and outstrip all others? Why did it succeed despite getting more severe opposition than any other, why did it succeed though it had no influential backers in high places but consisted mainly of the poor and slaves? How did it succeed so completely that it forced the most powerful state in history to come to terms with it and then outlive the very empire that sought to uproot it? It is clear that at the very beginning of Christianity, there must have occurred a vast release of energy perhaps unequaled in our history. Without it, the future course of the Christian religion is inexplicable."

          December 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • Doris

          Russ you would have to supply a lot more than conjecture regarding how fact-checking would have played a role to discredit a particular story that initially very well may have not been known by but only a handful of people. Especially if the story, in reality was initially not seen as significant and only written for later readers to be magical. Can you supply writings by those outside of the story's characters who you say were running around sharing the story? (Outside of the usual hearsay historians of course, like Josephus.)

          And you mention the martyrs' deaths, but again, we know of these things later and what do we really know? Do we have reasonable writings from these people where people agree on the authorship?

          Lastly, the success of Christianity doesn't verify the stories within.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Doris: if you are genuine in your questions, you will want to read (or at least read some scholarly reviews) of these scholarly works:
          "The Resurrection of the Son of God" (NT Wright) – rather exhaustive on your questions here about the resurrection
          "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" (Richard Bauckham) – thorough on the question of eyewitnesses and what we can know

          i'm not just making this stuff up. the scholarship is there if you're willing to read it.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  3. citizenUSA

    For cryin' out loud! It's just a freakin' TV show. Let's not copy and paste the Bible.

    December 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  4. Phil

    Friends,

    Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27.

    How should they die?

    December 23, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • sonny chapman

      Levi also frowns on eating crawfish.

      December 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Russ

      @ Phil: it's clear you have a fundamental misunderstanding of Scripture.

      the cross tells us two things:
      1) we are worse off than we think (we ALL deserve death like that)
      2) we are more loved than we dared imagine (he was willing to die in my place)

      this video will help your hermeneutics (method of interpreting), especially with the OT:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNa6tLWrqk

      December 23, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • igaftr

        And you prove you do not love him by doing the immoral act of allowing him to take your just punishment.

        December 23, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Russ

          @ igaftr: allowing? it's already been done.
          and think philosophically about what you are saying: not "allowing" God to do something? who dictates terms to God?

          December 23, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • igaftr

          Russ.
          First, you do not know if there are any gods or not.
          Second, YOU have the choice...immoral act of allowing Jesus to take your punishment or not....YOUR choice, YOUR morality.

          If you stole money, and your brother says he did it, it is IMMORAL of you to let that stand, so it is IMMORAL of you to ALLOW it by CHOOSING to accept Jesus...that is the price you pay, right, accept Jesus taking YOUR punishemnt (which you desrve punishment for in the first place.... isn't the reason one does something pertenant in judgement....you choose to allow someone else to take your punishment...the reason is TO SAVE YOURSELF...THAT is immoral. Take your own punishment.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Russ

          @ igaftr:
          1) on what basis do you claim what i can and can't know? that's a HUGE metaphysical leap of faith.

          2) you missed my point on dictating morality to God. he is the Author of morality. his actions *define* what good is. to bring another basis is not merely to challenge a point but to challenge his god-hood / basis of authority. and (relative to point #1) it implicitly states you are operating with another, competing god/metaphysical authority/etc. ironically for you, that directly contradicts your first claim (about me & everyone else?): the inability to know.

          3) every parent i've ever met faces this choice from the time their child is born: are you going to lose so the child gains or make the child lose so that you gain? there's no way around it. most see the latter as obviously immoral, but you are claiming the former is. so... how do you parent? is sacrificial love immoral? what else is there in parenting?

          4) more to the heart: God is not required to do this – he *voluntarily* does it as a show of love. it's not his duty to forgive. we deserve justice. he uphold justice. NOT upholding justice would be immoral. the only way that justice can be upheld WHILE extending mercy is for someone else to pay.

          and here's where it gets pressed out: God *defines* justice. it is his character. why would he do this? because he chooses NOT to compromise his character. he wants us to see who he is – both just & merciful. his love costs. it's that deep. it's that personal. it's that real. not just hand waving or words or general affinity for us. he takes something small & insignificant (us) & makes us his treasured family.

          that's what Christmas is all about. that's why a baby being born is a big deal. God became fragile... killable... on purpose. he knew humanity, given the chance, would try to kill him... and he loved anyway. how do you love a creation that's so broken itself? both by revealing the depth of the problem they don't want to admit and by doing what they can't for them. that's the cross. that's why Jesus came.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • igaftr

          Russ
          Are you serious? I KNOW you do not know if there are any gods, since there is no proof anywhere on the planet that ANYONE has been able to produce.

          You have faith, you do not know.
          If you knew, that would preclude faith.
          Do you REALLY not understand one of the basic portions of the propoganda you so easily embrace?

          No one knows, and if you think you do, you truly are a fool.

          December 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • Russ

          @ igaftr:
          1) you said: "no one knows. and if you think so, you are truly a fool." you are hoist by your own petard.

          your position is self-refuting. you do not know what i do or do not know. ironically, your insistence requires that you know (if not outright omniscience), something which you simultaneously are claiming no one has.

          2) your position also precludes the possibility that the Infinite could reveal him/her/itself. that is an unfounded leap of faith on your part as well.

          3) we exist. we didn't make ourselves. at the very least, there is some substantial evidence of *something* else going on. you are overlooking that rather large piece of evidence. and that's not simply to reference the known physical universe, but only hinting at the underlying principles upon which the universe operates. you are discounting all of that out of hand.

          4) the bible defines faith as "being certain of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

          a) that is not the same as saying "well, we don't know or have logic, so we'll take it on faith" as some have tried to pitch it. faith is not the sacrifice of the intellect, but the extension of it. reason & faith go hand in hand (especially since you could not have reason if it didn't begin with faith in underlying principles of logic & self-consciousness).

          b) you appear to be injecting the term 'faith' with some form of naturalism ('only that which is empirically verifiable is true'). of course faith in such a system of belief is laughable, but think harder about what you're claiming. naturalism itself is built upon a presupposition that fails its own criteria (the great litmus test of 'only that which is empirically verifiable is true' fails its own criteria; the principle itself is not empirically verifiable, and yet it must be assumed at the outset). it not only requires a leap of faith, but a self-refuting one at that. it's utterly illogical at the outset.

          as Nietzsche said (in critique of naturalistic atheists): "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science." you seem unaware that you are making the very sort of leap of faith you mock. it's the pot calling the kettle black.

          December 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        cult thinking

        December 23, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Russ

          @ Dyslexic: pejorative labels don't substi.tute for a good argument. but they are good for dodging the point.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  5. Phil

    Friends,

    Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.

    I have to admit that I wear reading glasses.

    Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?

    December 23, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Free Holiday Nuts

      lol – I'm thinking of this factor with respect to the average age of any congregation...

      December 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Russ

      @ Phil: again, Jesus had many interactions along these lines (Jn.5; Jn.9; etc.). here's one...

      11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” (Lk.17)

      December 23, 2013 at 11:06 am |
      • Phil

        In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus states that he's come not to destroy but to fulfill every letter of the old testament law.

        December 23, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Russ

          @ Phil: exactly. despite your sarcasm, you are dead on. so why would Jesus say that about the Sabbath if he really is the God who wrote the Bible?

          which should tell you: if your criticism is failing to hit home because it is too shallow, how are you misunderstanding the basic thing that Scripture is claiming? if you want to accurately critique Christians (a worthy goal for any genuine debate/discussion), you need to actually depict what we believe – not straw men.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:11 am |
      • sonny chapman

        That's really stretching the WORDS of Jesus to get where you want to go. He's a lot more clear re:other sins that Conservative Christians like to glide over & focus on the "sins" they love to hate.

        December 23, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • Russ

          @ Sonny: not stretching. just quoting.

          regarding conservative sins: yes. the vast majority of people you find Jesus angry with are conservative believers (like me). he mostly yells at Pharisees (the hypocritical conservatives of his day), but he does make exceptions (Sadducees: the religious liberals of his day).

          December 23, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • sonny chapman

          Hey Russ, the overall Message of the Gospels is that The Father loves each & everyone of us humans, the zenith of His Creation and that we should love each other in the same manner;even our enemies. Any "lesson" from any "Scripture" that deviates from that misses the MESSAGE. That's why Gay-Bashing, calling some one a "sinner" because of the way they were made by the Creator ain't right.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • Russ

          @ sonny: you seem to be projecting positions on me that i don't hold.

          1) i need a savior as much as anyone else on the planet. the cross tells me i deserve death, but it simultaneously tells me he loves me so much he died for me.

          SUM: i'm a totally loved moral failure. that is true for ANY who are in Christ.

          2) the Bible calls out sin. Jesus died to fix what is broken, set us free from our slavery to all kinds of stuff, etc. in that regard, EVERY sin is worthy of death (Rom.6:23) – not just se.xual sin.

          3) the Bible does not say that we are all God's children, despite your claim. we are adopted into his family in so far as we are in Christ. it is not our right, but a gift that comes with faith in Christ. as John wrote: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (Jn.1:12-13)

          December 23, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • sonny chapman

          Russ. like most Organized Religion, which are created by humans, you lost me. I think Jesus delivered a most simplistic but most difficult Message. Love each other as the Father loves you. You don't need a priest or shaman to follow that Message or explain it to you in THEIR terms. If you can recognize all of the Gifts that are given to us on Earth by the Creator(Finding the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth), we can be as giving to each as the Father is to us. End of Story.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • Russ

          @ sonny: as madalyn murray o'hair pointed out... "love others as you love yourself" is impossible. to move toward others with all the preoccupation and thought (emotional, intellectual, physical, etc.) that you do yourself is simply impossible. anyone who really tries to do that for a day will realize that. MMO'H dismissed it out of hand, but at least she got the point.

          Jesus doesn't set an example for you to follow. that's death. you can't. you'll fail. it's the message of the whole OT. failure after failure after failure. he did what we could not. he lived the perfect life we couldn't, he died the death we deserved in our place, and he rose up from death to give us life.

          in SUM: you are missing the point of the Bible. it's not primarily about you. it's about him.

          along those lines, the video i posted before that you didn't watch makes the same point...
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNa6tLWrqk

          December 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • sonny chapman

          TY Russ, just watched & enjoyed. That Message is really geared to Old Testament. I believe Jesus came down to deliver the Father's Message personally & as clear as possible. That Message is how I & We should live our lives here on Earth to have as good of an Earth Life as possible & to join Him in the next Life. That Message is about ME. I have the choice of following or not. "Forgive us of our sins AS WE forgive others of their sins against us.

          December 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Sonny: so you "watched & enjoyed" a message that repeatedly said it's not primarily about you... but you come away thinking it's still primarily about you?

          December 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • sonny chapman

          Yes Russ I did. It is about me. When I read the Gospels, I feel that the Message is directed straight at ME. This is how I need to live MY life & possibly call on others to do so too, by example preferably. Funny, Johnny Cash had the same experience in his song "Why I Wear Black".

          December 23, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • sonny chapman

          P.S.-I raise the same question raised by Martin Luther;if the Gospels are supposed to be "The Good News", then why does my current Faith make me feel horrible?

          December 23, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • Russ

          @ sonny: hopefully you'll have Luther's revolution, then. he went from rigorist, legalistic repenter to realizing his justification was what Christ did, not how well he repented. repentance is meant to be a joy, not a traumatic, masochistic exercise. it's coming to your senses & going home to the Father who always has loved you (like the prodigal), not beating yourself up with a guilt trip.

          that only happens when you realize it's what Jesus did that saves you (past act, already completed, *news* – not advice for you to act upon), not what you do.

          does it have implications for you? yes. is it primarily about you? no. watch the video with that question in mind again. it's not just "about the OT" as you said. the point is that Christ did what they couldn't then – and what you can't without him now.

          December 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • sonny chapman

          Russ, you make the ME part of the equation sound evil. Like Catholic Guilt. The Realization/Epiphany of The Existence of the Father's love & plan for me through the Words of Jesus makes ME feel good. P.S.-you sure are a prolific writer. God Bless You.

          December 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • WASP

        "17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?"

        i guess jesus felt jiped by not having all ten kiss his rear. XD

        December 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Russ

          @ WASP: no. they missed the point. they just wanted to be physically healed.
          only one got the point: i need more than just physical health. the hope of life is not physical health, it's Jesus.

          it's not the Jesus felt ripped off or ignored. it's the tragedy that they were physically healed by the One who could do even more but didn't see that they needed more than that. understand, death would still come for them. Jesus overcame death.

          a weak analogy: it'd be like having a rare disease, meeting the only doctor in the world who could cure it, and just asking him to hand you a cup of water because you were thirsty.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • WASP

          @russ: well according to jesus those priests should have had them healed a long time ago......... with the whole moving mountains and what not...here let me get you the verse.

          so what happen? all the people praying over ill children that die, how come it doesn't work?

          Mark 11:22-24 ESV
          "And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

          December 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Russ

          @ WASP: assuming your question is honest, continue to look at Jesus. how many untold thousands came and were not healed of their immediate infirmity? in Jn.5, he singles ONE guy out among dozens (if not more) lying around the pool of Bethesda. your question assumes that physical healing is the ultimate end game – but Jesus *teaches* it is not.

          take Lazarus for example. he was raised from the dead. but he still had to *die* again. Jesus didn't come to do piecemeal healings for a people who still would ultimately lose to death. he came to defeat death. the resurrection *permanently* heals these things.

          so, to be direct with your question:
          1) all the promises of "ask anything in my name..." include that little phrase... "in my name." it's not just a ritual embellishment, it's an admission of authority (and a safety catch). it's like saying "as you will it, Jesus." just think back on your life: if you had anything you've asked for in the past, some of those things would certainly be self-detrimental.

          also, remember what he said elsewhere, what father if his son asks for bread gives him a rock instead? God promises to provide – EVEN & especially in our sufferings (think Paul & the thorn in 2 Cor.12:7-10 or Job or Stephen or even Jesus himself). as Paul said "I do not consider our present sufferings worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us." (Rom.8:18)

          2) suffering is not the intended design. it is an effect of the Fall. all the pictures of the creation once restored to its intended design include the end of suffering (wiping away all tears, lamb lying down with the lion, kid sticking his hand in a snake's den, etc.).

          3) because of the Fall, we deserve far worse than this. the question should not be "why me?" but "why not me?" only in light of that kind of honesty can you see the real grace of what God is doing. we are not enti.tled to healing, mercy, etc. it is a gift.

          4) Christ took the worst suffering on himself (taking on the sins of the world on the cross). that's comforting both a) because he suffers with us and b) he suffers for us in ways we never will have to suffer if we are his (i.e., permanent separation from God's love).

          December 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          What a stupid god. He made the universe "good," but so fragile that one twist of one woman's wrist threw the entire thing into nuclear meltdown. Then the only plan he can figure out to fix the thing involves slaughtering millions of people and torturing the vast majority of humanity for all eternity in a lake of fiery torment. What a stupid god.

          December 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Cpt: so God devises a way to show finite, simpletons like us the depth & complexity of his infinitely rich justice & love... and your response is 'i don't like that. that's just stupid.'

          December 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  6. Arthur in the Garden!

    Trash is Trash!

    December 23, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Repeated Line: I'm white trash and I'm in trouble!

      Eric Cartman: My momma's so poor she walks down the street in one shoe, and if you ask her if she lost a shoe, she says 'No, I found one!'

      December 23, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  7. Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

    "What a great day for Canadians everywhere! The Winnipeg drummers, playing the "March of 1000 Farts"...as is traditional for the Canadian Royal Family."

    "People in attendance, now gently tossing Cap'n Crunch as the prince passes by...as of course is tradition."

    "Ah, here she comes! Yes, there she is! The aboot-to-be princess of Canada. Isn't she ravishing? So pure of heart, so strong in body, so hot in the face....She is indeed the living symbol of our greatly country. My God, she's beautiful."

    December 23, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  8. Phil

    Friends,

    I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath.

    Exodus 35:2. Clearly states he should be put to death.

    Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    December 23, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • igaftr

      Every pastor, minister, priest, etc...works on the sabbath as well...they also need be smited.

      December 23, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Russ

      @ Phil: Jesus dealt with that very issue...

      23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mk.2:23-28)

      December 23, 2013 at 11:04 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        So Jesus was a lawyer too? Sounds like a loop hole a shady lawyer would invoke. Now I like your Jesus myth even less...

        December 23, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • Russ

          @ Lucifer: does a loophole included voluntarily dying for others? taking other people's punishment to save them?
          no, not a loophole. violating the Sabbath does warrant death ("for the wages of sin is death..." Rom.6:23), but he died to save us from what we deserve ("...but the gift of God is eternal life." Rom.6:23).

          more to the point here: there are many ways to violate the Sabbath, but works of necessity, mercy & religion are not actually violations. that's Jesus' point.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          You are boring... If I wanted boring, I would go talk to some of my co-workers.

          December 23, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • Russ

          @ Lucifer: so your co-workers are boring, huh? this is just begging for some weak "boring as H.ell" joke...

          December 23, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • WASP

          @russ: "23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields,"
          "does a loophole included voluntarily dying for others?"

          there appears to be something missing between these two parts; jesus wasn't dead yet, thus what they were doing was punishable by death.
          he hadn't died for "our sins" yet, thus the law hadn't been "fullfilled" yet; the pharsiees were correct in their pondering of to execute those men or not.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          If you insist on remaining annoyingly Christian... at least try to be funny. If not, then we just think you're another Austin... and nobody can stand Austin... not even other crazy Christians can stand Austin...

          December 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Lucifer: well, by your comment, you clearly wanted to be entertained rather than discuss what's important.
          and yes, i'm not here to make jokes, but i did find your comment ironic.

          December 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Russ

          @ WASP: i think you missed my "more to the point" comment...
          a) yes, the cross answers this ultimately
          b) Jesus was calling out their traditions vs. actual OT law. he violated their traditions, not OT law. there were provisions (as David demonstrates) for works of necessity, mercy or religion.

          December 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  9. Phil

    Friends,

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Leviticus.1:9.

    The problem is, my neighbours.

    They claim the odor is not pleasing to them.

    Should I smite them?

    December 23, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Switch to bacon...

      December 23, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  10. Mike Sisco

    Here's what I don't get: 1) Why in the hell was the Duck dude on GQ? Isn't that a mag for the fashionable urban male? Is cammo the new tux? 2) I don't understand why evangelicals get their nickers in a twist over what's going on in someone else's bedroom while we have rampant political and financial corruption, oppression of the poor and other sins far greater. 3) Why are we, in the 21st century, still trying to heed advice from a book written by ppl who couldn't keep the crap out of their food?

    December 23, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Russ

      @ Mike
      1) good point
      2) virtually no one is arguing that those evils are good things to which anyone should be enti.tled.
      3) this is ethnocentrism.

      December 23, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • rl

      They have always tried to tell others how to live. Like you I am a big boy and don't appreciate it. They will get no converts from this family by them doing so. As a matter of fact they will get us disliking them even more by doing so. But some people are not intelligent enough to know when they are being "played" and will bow down to some other persons ideas of what they should do. These preachers, in my opinion are just the opposite of love the sinner , hate the sin. They love the sin (a lot do just the same sins and/or would have nothing to complain about if it was not there), and they hate the sinner. They are some of the biggest bunch of haters around.

      December 23, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  11. Phil

    Friends,

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Leviticus 15: 19-24.

    The problem is how do I tell?

    I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    December 23, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Russ

      http://www.redeemer.com/news_and_events/newsletter/?aid=363

      December 23, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • OK

      If they are under 10 or over 50 you are probably pretty safe.

      December 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  12. Jeb

    Friends,

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.

    In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    December 23, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      That depends... is she good looking?

      December 23, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Russ

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyLpygp4eSE#t=116

      December 23, 2013 at 10:42 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        It's pretty easy to determine that god sanctioned slavery. He gave laws on how to own slaves, treat them, buy them, trade them. There are even laws about how much you can and can't beat your slaves and when and why you would sell your daughter as a slave. Never one law like "thou shalt not own another human being."

        December 23, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • igaftr

      50 shekles of silver is what a man pays the father of a girl if he ra.pes a virgin who is not already spoken for, so start with that (deuteronomy 22:28-29) (actually practiced in Morroco)

      December 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  13. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    +1

    (Although, I don't know if Daniel Burke will appreciate the swiping of his name as your handle)

    December 23, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  14. six1forecords

    Reblogged this on six1forecords and commented:
    I defend Phil's right to the 1st Amendment – Freedom of Speech!!!

    December 23, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Free Holiday Nuts

      I do too and no one has taken that right away from him.

      December 23, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • John H

      No one is denying his freedom of speech. However that doesn't stop us from calling him an idiot or an ignorant racist (for his comments about how much happier everyone was pre-civil rights). I also support A&E's freedom of speech by being able to remove from their channels and distance themselves from people who's speech they do not agree with. But he can go ahead and go on a southern church speaking tour all he wants, cashing in on the popularity from congregations more interested in hearing a quasi-celebrity talk then feeding the poor. No one is trying to deny him that, but we might insult it.

      December 23, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • doobzz

      Of course he has the right to say whatever he wants. But, presumably he entered a contract with A&E to appear on this program. If he violated his contract with them, they have every right to suspend him or fire him.

      December 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  15. Doris

    Lainie11 says gays and lesbians have "wrong behavior".

    The follow-up article on this subject asks "Does Phil Robertson Get the Bible Wrong?"

    It sure doesn't seem like there has ever been any right or wrong way to "get" the Christian Bible. But maybe we should not be surprised. Currently there are an estimated 41,000 sects of Christianity and some here on this blog advocate that only reading the Bible without church (a sect of one person) is the true way to find God's intention. As a result there have been vast differences in interpretation. The key founders of the U.S. government were quite aware of this dilemma, which should be no surprise considering the infighting they witnessed involving Christian sects in their respective states. (Jailing of Baptists by Anglicans and worse in other states.) Madison was furious and wrote about it in his A Memorial and Remonstrance. Jefferson – just as harsh:

    "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

    Thus was born the "wall of separation" concept that both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote about that provided the footing for the 1st Amendment to the Constitution along with its Establishment Clause.

    Has anything improved in the past two hundred years with regard to this splintered, conflicted nature of Christianity that constantly catches bystanders in its crossfire?

    If I were considering becoming a Christian again today (and no, I would not), I think some of the choices I would have help answer that question:

    -I could join one Lutheran sect who still officially categorizes the Pope as the Antichrist.

    -I could join the RCC and help spread disease in poorer countries (because of the unrealistic stance on contraception).

    -I could join a sect who would rather me let my sick child die rather than seek medical care.

    -I could join an SBC church and since I am female, should probably then put on an apron, keep quiet and get ready for inspection.

    -I could join a sect in Mexico that still sacrifices people.

    -I could join a sect that believes the OT is superseded by the NT

    -I could join a sect that believes that the NT brings along all of the OT law

    -I could join a sect that believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    -I could join a sect that believes Americans are being killed at war because America is tolerant of homosexuals.

    What does all this madness have at its core?

    Writings from mostly unknown authors and unnamed alleged "witnesses".

    It's insanity.

    December 23, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  16. Ruby

    I was surprised to hear the comments from the old duck he reminds me of the mountain man in Deliverance!

    December 23, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  17. Lainie11

    While we never have seen a Duck Dynasty show, we just may being watching if Phil Robertson comes back on. He is 100% correct in his assessment of the culture in our society. Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong. We will support him in his effort to not back down. Nobody should be deprived of their right of free speech like the media is trying to do to Phil. The gays and lesbians are trying to force society to accept their wrong behavior, and society is fighting back. For the 1 or 2% who claim to be "different", the majority of America is offended. Go Phil Robertson.

    December 23, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Verily... the trailer park has spoken...

      LET's Religiosity Law #11 – “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

      December 23, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Get a job. Oh, they aren't hiring delusional people in your area? The only way that a person like you can survive is government assistance.

      December 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
      • Phil

        Friends,

        Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations.

        A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

        Why can't I own Canadians?

        December 23, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Nobody wants a bunch of french speaking, poutine eating Canadians that say 'aboot' and 'hoose' as slaves... that would be really annoying...

          December 23, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • WASP

          @lucifer: i have a friend that's canadian, the first time i heard her speak and she said "ah" it freaked me out; not to mention when she said "zed" i was completely lost. it took a few minutes for me to figure out she meant "Z"

          LMFAO, i love talking with her because we tease each other out our accents. XD

          December 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • igaftr

      Why do you think that being a gay person is wrong?
      Why condemn someone for being born gay? It isn't as if they have a choice.

      If you think that there is a choice...try this....choose to be gay for a day. Choose to be $exually attracted to your $ex, and repulsed by the opposite $ex. You need not act on it, just choose to be gay for a day...if you are right, you can just choose to go back.

      Since you will NOT BE ABLE to choose to be gay, that should be enough to convince you it is not a choice.

      December 23, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Annoyed

      No one is taking away his right to freedom of speech. One thing people forget all the time that just drives me nuts, is that freedom of speech is guaranteed by the government. There is nothing that states if your free speech is offensive, that you won't pay a price for it. So free does not mean free in this context. It means you can say whatever you want. However, we all pay for our actions and words in how we are perceived by others.
      I personally support Phil, though I find his comments ingorant in two ways.
      First I just think he is wrong about this. Using a book of myths and legends to guide his life is not my idea of intelligence. However it is his choice and it seems to be working for him, so I won't pass judgement.
      Secondly, for an educated man to make these kinds of statements to magazine read by so many shows poor judgement. Phil is all redneck and certainly knows his way around the woods, but he is well educated and should be smart enough to measure his comments before letting them fall out of his beard.

      December 23, 2013 at 11:03 am |
      • Another Voice

        Thank you, you are absolutely right on #2. Personally, I was shocked by his comments that preceded those that everyone else is screaming about. What is gentlemanly about discussing intimate details of your or anyone else's body or private activities. Why do we accept this sort of thing as normal public conversation? I don't want to know what goes on in anyone else's bedroom, and I don't want complete strangers feeling like they have the perfect right to discuss what goes on in mine. How about a little bit of class, here?

        December 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  18. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Why are people still talking about this religious cult redneck?

    December 23, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • WASP

      BOREDOM.
      XD

      i seriously have nothing better to do at work other than put a stick in a hornets nest and stir. XD

      December 23, 2013 at 9:48 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        LOL... same here...

        December 23, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  19. Divdar

    If Phil had said statements in support of gay marriage and been suspended for them, would you all still support A&E's right to terminate and the lynch mob mentality towards Phil?

    December 23, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Yes. The reasoning I have provided for my opinion would require that I approve of their decision in the scenario you describe, and yes, I would state it on this message board. That's the sort of thing that critical reasoning requires of those who are more interested in logic than biased histrionics.

      And yes, you are right to ask the question. It's a good one for some of those who base their decision on a sort of "dogma" for their viewpoint that is more religious than reason.

      And I have said several times that A&E was very stupid to let Phil go because they hired him and his family BECAUSE they are rednecks and will bring in cash. They knew Phil's likely views on such matters and they should have expected him to say such things. It's part of the package.....the package that they are making millions on.

      I am an atheist.

      December 23, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  20. drjehr

    The 'new' testament was written hundreds of years after jesus and in greek, a language he probably didn't even know, by people who weren't there. You have your excuses as to why certain rules in the 'old' testament are invalid and why others are not. If god existed and gave inspired words he wouldn't need an update, or if he did then it is open to updates all the time. Either the rules are constant or changing. Which is it?

    December 23, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Dale

      In point of fact, the New Testament was written roughly between 60 and 90 AD in its entirety, starting with Mark and ending with Revelations. Only certain books (not in the NT) that are accepted by the media to have been written about Jesus were written hundreds of years later (such as the "Gospel of Judas").

      December 23, 2013 at 9:43 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.