Dave's Ministarial Musings

By Rev. David Wilson Rogers |  February 1, 2014

What do Jeremiah Wright and Phil Robertson have in common?

         The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is the former pastor of President Obama whose comments in a sermon condemning America became populist fodder for conservatives who wanted to defeat Obama in the 2008 presidential election. He is known for his extremist, left-wing politics and radical views on racial equality.

         Phil Robertson is the bearded celebrity of the popular “Duck Dynasty” program that was recently the subject of rampant controversy over his claims regarding homosexuality. He is a devout conservative Christian and was lambasted by the left-wing for his outspoken conservative beliefs.
Both men are passionate about their understanding of the gospel. Both men feel strongly called to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ as they understand it. Both men spoke out on their beliefs. Both men were simultaneously exulted and lambasted for their beliefs. In both cases, those who have criticized them for their stated beliefs have also isolated singular statements outside of a broader context of belief and ultimately misrepresented both men. Truly, aside from their largely opposite religious and political views, they actually have a lot in common. Both are largely misunderstood!
As I look at the controversies that arise from polarizing political and religious statements such as theirs, it saddens my heart and alerts my conscience.

When public figures, celebrities, and individuals in the public spotlight make claims that we find offensive or threatening in any way, the natural temptation is to shout them down, shut them up, or respond in such a manner of retribution that the world knows we are right and they are wrong.
This is not the way of Jesus Christ. As followers of Jesus, our calling is not necessarily to prove how “right” we think we are. Rather, we are called to love one another as God has first loved us. The real challenge in loving those with whom we find the most difficult to love, is that in seeking to understand them, we can also find our common ground. We need that kind of love in the world today.  — Dave