A Lutheran Response to the Duck Dynasty Uproar

December 23rd, 2013 Post by

philSoon, very soon, millions of people will hurry to their Christmas Tree to see what Santa or one of his helpers has brought.  As the paper flies and the ribbons and bows are either saved or discarded, Duck Dynasty will once again have a very good Christmas.  Duck Dynasty clothing of every shape, size, and design will be unwrapped.  People will be busy assembling and watering their Chia Beard Duck Dynasty figures; did you get all four?  Some will be drinking their Duck Dynasty wine, while they smoke a Duck Dynasty cigar, and their children run and play while wearing their Duck Dynasty masks left over from Halloween.  Indeed, financially speaking, the Robertson family, which in all reality is Duck Dynasty, will have a very good Christmas. Did I mention they also make duck calls?

Unless you have been living in an information vacuum the last few days, you know that Duck Dynasty, or should I say the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family, Phil Robertson, has been in the news.  Duck Dynasty is a cultural phenomena with one of the most amazing marketing strategies that parallels their hit television reality show.  Duck Dynasty is literally everywhere. It should be no great surprise that GQ magazine would want to do an interview with the head of the family. It should also be no great surprise that a left leaning magazine would ask left leaning questions.  Often, when a movie star or tv personality does an interview, the big question is whether or not the person will do the interview “in character” or as themselves; for Phil Robertson they are one and the same. By the way, Phil thinks homosexuality is illogical and sin. He said it much more colorfully than I want to discuss here.

Phil Robertson is the 67 year old patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family.  He is very open that he was once immersed in “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” until he became a Christian.  His testimony about the persistent preacher in the bar that he was running is really quite interesting.

An adult convert, he is now an elder at White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, Louisiana. He has been called by some the “Billy Graham of Duck Hunters” and others claim he has personally baptized more than 300 people in the waters near his house.  His GQ interview, to those who know him, including his pastor, was simply “walking the walk and talking the talk.”

If you take the time to read the GQ interview, rather than just reading the selected quotes in the media, you may wonder why it took A & E so long to get offended.  What he said in the interview is in reality nothing that he hasn’t said, on numerous occasions, for many years.  His comments were not anti-gay or “homophobic;” they are simply anti-sin.  He is calling sin, sin, and calling sinners to repentance.  We all know how politically incorrect that type of speaking and preaching is today. So now people are up in arms, threatening boycotts and lawsuits, and attempting to make this an issue of free speech and constitutional rights.

As a Lutheran Christian I am sympathetic when anyone speaks the truth of God’s Word and is attacked for it. As one who believes that homosexuality is sin I rejoice when anyone makes the good confession in that regard.  As one who has had more than a little experience dealing with folks in the pro-gay world, I must offer a few words of caution.  It is not enough for the evolving pro-gay movement to simply tolerate or accept their agenda; you must celebrate it.  If you cannot or will not celebrate their agenda, you are the enemy and you must be destroyed.  Christians must have their eyes wide open to this current state of events.  Also, one of the pro gay movements’ major weapons is to turn the discussion to one of civil rights.  If this is a civil rights issue, then any criticism of homosexuality is equated to supporting slavery and Jim Crow. Sadly, Phil Robertson allowed the interview to go in that direction, and his remarks about how happy his black co-workers were in the pre-civil rights area make him look like a fool at best and a racist at worst.  There is a lesson to be learned here for all who seek to make the good confession.

My prediction is that when the dust clears, Duck Dynasty will be bigger and more popular than ever. The show may end up on a different cable channel, but recent history has taught me that redneck Bible thumping works, at least for television ratings. Whatever happens to the show, the fight for the truth of God’s Word will continue.  Be cautious and be very careful who you support.  Not everyone who quotes a Bible verse is on the side of the proper distinction of Law and Gospel.  I would recommend you read the GQ interview for yourself before you make up your mind on this one.

 

 

 


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  1. Martin R. Noland
    December 23rd, 2013 at 13:04 | #1

    Dear Pastor Poppe,

    Thanks for your interesting review of the Duck Dynasty issue. I was interested in your connecting the dots between the pro-gay movement and the civil rights movement. You are absolutely correct that this is how the pro-gay movement has made such headway in such a short time.

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    I am sure you will be having conversations about this topic in the near and distant future. If you are talking to the average American who thinks that gays have a right to marriage, simply ask “What is a right?” Most people think it is whatever they think they are entitled to. That is the “popular” definition.

    So if you accept that definition, and gays (and pro-gay straights and bisexuals, etc.) say they think gays and lesbians are entitled to “marriage,” then we have to give it to them.

    But this is not what a “right” is according to law or any reasonable definition. A “right” is a “moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way” (The Oxford Essential Dictionary of Legal Words [New York: Berkeley Books, 2004]).

    A “right” can have three bases of entitlement:
    1) The “positive law”, i.e. in the USA, the laws passed by Congress, the states, or by regulatory agencies.
    2) The natural moral law, which was invoked by the Declaration of Independence, i.e., the law of nature or nature’s law, which any civilized person everyone agrees with.
    3) The revealed moral law, i.e., the Scriptures of faith traditions.

    Although gay persons, as such, have the same protections as individuals under the laws of the state as anyone else, there is no moral law that entitles them to marriage. Only the positive law, which is now changing, may give them entitlements to marriage and its benefits based on political pressure.

    The “civil rights movement,” in contrast, could appeal to all three types of law and the rights held therein: positive, natural, and revealed law. “Gay marriage” cannot appeal to “rights” under natural or revealed law. That is why “gay marriage” is a completely different issue from the civil rights issues of the 1960s.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  2. Randy
    December 23rd, 2013 at 13:22 | #2

    Rev. Poppe & Rev. Noland, Excellent analysis of this issue and how it has manifested itself in our current times. Thank you.

  3. gary
    December 23rd, 2013 at 15:06 | #3

    As for “rights” under the law for gays, the cat is already out of the bag. Gay marriage is gaining ground and will soon be the law of the land in all states.

    Instead of debating people whether gay marriage should be legal, I suggest we stick to this response:

    God says that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sin. Period. You can try to turn the issue into a civil right but whatever excuses you use to justify it God says it is wrong. We orthodox Christians call on everyone to refrain from hate but we also call on sinners to repent. Homosexual activity is a sin, as is adultery, as is co-habitation, as his pre-marital sex…like it or not. God says to stop doing it. Whether there is a law against it or not is irrelevant.

  4. David Hartung
    December 23rd, 2013 at 15:15 | #4

    @Martin R. Noland #1

    Excellent explanation of rights.

  5. December 23rd, 2013 at 16:47 | #5

    That is the nature of the world in which we live. As it hates what is right, it also hates being reminded of it, and when people like Mr. Robertson make a statement that is truth, it perceives the truth as hate.

    As the Scripture says in John 3, men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were (and are) evil.

  6. December 23rd, 2013 at 17:00 | #6

    A minor correction.

    The civil rights movement appealed to natural law (and perhaps revealed law, i.e., that revealed in the Scriptures) over against the positive law. We see this especially in Dr. King’s famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

    The situation today is such that the classical notion of natural law has been either transformed into its rationalist version, or rejected outright, and that folks have come to believe that rights are given to them not from the Creator, as Jefferson suggested in the Declaration of Independence, but by the government. In a democracy, this results in people giving themselves rights.

    Those promoting gay marriage are, in effect, doing the reverse of what the civil rights movement tried to do: restore equal rights by appealing to natural law. They are creating rights for themselves through the misuse of positive law.

  7. December 23rd, 2013 at 18:42 | #7

    Great post Clint. We would expect nothing less from a preacher like you who spends nearly as much time in a duck blind as he does in the pulpit. You are a blesing to natural selection in the first and to the church in the second!

    The only thing I might add is that Phil Robertson erred by giving the impression that the more “public sins” are worse sins than others. Other than that, he nailed it.

    I have been watching the duck boys for nearly a year now. What a hoot! I just finished watching the episode about the 40 anniversary of the company and laughed out loud a half dozen times.

    Thanks again Clint for a great post.

  8. Joel Dusek
    December 23rd, 2013 at 22:12 | #8

    I think Phil was spot on on this issue. (As an aside, does anyone else notice that people we relate to and like we’re comfortable referring to to by first name, whether we know them or not? Curious. “Phil” vs “Obama”.)

    Could anyone give a brief explanation or point to a site with information on the theology of the Church of Christ, especially from a Lutheran apologetic? From what I have seen on the show, it appears to view Jesus Christ as Savior, no works righteousness, but also relies heavily on decision theology, baptism as a symbol rather than a means of grace, and sanctified living (Third Use of the Law). Are they Trinitarian, Calvinist, Reformed, etc.?

    Thanks!

  9. December 24th, 2013 at 02:56 | #9

    @Martin R. Noland #1
    Excellent analysis. I wonder if I might add something to it, though, on the definition of a right. I think it is helpful and necessary, as you point out, to define and understand what a right is. You have the correct “popular definition” of a right — whatever I think I am entitled to. However, a right, according to law or a reasonable definition, is more than “a moral or legal entitlement to have or attain something or act in a certain way.” That definition encapsulates the jurisprudence of the last 40 years that arose out of the Great Society legislation and the popularly known entitlement programs from which the term “legal entitlement” has arisen.

    A right is something to which a person has a claim to the exclusion of all others. For example, I have a right to own property and use it without having it stolen by another person or the use of it interfered with or impeded by anyone else. I also have the right to live my life without someone taking that life from me. Every right bears with it a corresponding duty or obligation on those who do not lay claim to that right to refrain from interfering with it. In the case of property, it is the duty not to interfere with my personal use of the property, or to take it away and convert it to one’s own use, or destroy it. There is no corresponding duty to preserve my neighbor in his property imposed by natural law or the civil law for that matter. In a civil society, a right gives the person claiming it, the power to control the action of another person to act in conformity with that right, with the knowledge, consent, and assistance of the civil government. Put another way, the law gives a remedy for interference with the right.

    A right is something that is also inherent in man, endowed on each of us by God the Father, the Creator. The Declaration of Independence identifies three: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life is self-explanatory; liberty deals with freedom of action, movement, association; pursuit of happiness encompasses one’s own self-interest including vocational pursuits and that navel gazing that we so love to do. It is something that precedes our coming together in a society, and remains with a person even after the society is disbanded.

    I do not have my copy of Black’s Law Dictionary with me, but look at the definition from Bouvier’s Law Dictionary from 1856 here http://www.constitution.org/bouv/bouvier_r.htm and the second edition of Black’s Law Dictionary found here http://www.blacks.worldfreemansociety.org published in 1891. These were written at a time when our understanding of rights was more precise.

    The sources of rights you identify are important too because they establish the locus of the right, two of which transcend and precede any civil authority — the natural and revealed moral law. The third source of a right is indeed the civil authority which means that the civil authority can create rights through legislation. The rights the state has created by statute can just as easily be taken away by the state. What cannot be taken away, but only regulated by the state are those rights that transcend and precede the authority of the state.

    Robert :
    They are creating rights for themselves through the misuse of positive law.

    There seem to be at least two appeals being made through the misuse of the positive law — the bootstrap full faith and credit appeal (my marriage was legal in one state, you cannot say it is illegal in this state, and, if so, you are discriminating against me — this is the basis for a number of lawsuits presently) — and the leveling impulse of democracy appeal which, at present, appears to be moving toward a radicalized understanding of equality — marriage equality, wage equality, etc.

  10. Bo
    December 24th, 2013 at 09:40 | #10

    Great post, Clint. Well done. Nice to have a reasoned response.

  11. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    December 24th, 2013 at 10:32 | #11

    @Martin R. Noland #1

    Pastor Noland, thank you for the kind words; I’ve been thinking about the connection for some time now. Thank you also for your detailed comments on “rights.”

    Clint

  12. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    December 24th, 2013 at 10:40 | #12

    @J. Dean #5

    We would probably profit from a reminder from Charles Porterfield Krauth regarding the way error and falsehood attack and attempt to kill the truth…

    “When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of the others. The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions. Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights.
    Truth and error are two balancing forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is the truth, is partisanship. What the friends of truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which they differ is ipso facto non-essential. Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church. Truth and error are two co-ordinate powers, and the great secret of church-statesmenship is to preserve the balance between them. From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert its supremacy. Truth started with merely tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and that only for a time. Error claims a preference for its judgments on all disputed points.”

    Krauth: Conservative Reformation, 195-196.

  13. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    December 24th, 2013 at 10:42 | #13

    @Robert #6

    Excellent point! Look at what happens to any Supreme Court nominee who has the audacity to say that “natural rights” exist even in the abstract…

  14. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    December 24th, 2013 at 10:48 | #14

    @Pastor Tim Rossow #7

    Thanks Tim, but I probably need a bit of a disclaimer at this point. I really can’t stand Duck Dynasty! I’ve watched a few episodes, and I think Uncle Si is a hoot, but I just can’t make myself like the program. Years back, on the Outdoor network or Sportsman’s channel, they had an actual hunting show called “Duck Commander” and it was excellent. Over the years the show had less and less hunting and more and more wacky family antics. All of a sudden, the hunting show is gone completely and Duck Dynasty is born.

    By the way, numbers were down this year at the marsh with the dry weather… our four man group only killed about 300 ducks this year…

    Clint

  15. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    December 24th, 2013 at 10:57 | #15

    @Joel Dusek #8

    Mr. Dusek, Joel, brother in Christ (whichever you prefer… :))

    I’m not a big computer guy so I can’t point you to a web site off hand, but the standard text is “The Religious Bodies of America,” F. E. Mayer, CPH, 1961. According to Mayer, the Church of Christ began as an interdenominational church but gradually developed into a new denomination starting chiefly in Mississippi and Virginia. They are Arminian in theology with an emphasis on total sanctification, baptism by immersion, the gift of the Holy Ghost, foot washing, and divine healing. (p 324)

    Clint

  16. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    December 24th, 2013 at 11:06 | #16

    @Andrew Grams #9

    “A right is something that is also inherent in man, endowed on each of us by God the Father, the Creator. The Declaration of Independence identifies three: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life is self-explanatory; liberty deals with freedom of action, movement, association; pursuit of happiness encompasses one’s own self-interest including vocational pursuits and that navel gazing that we so love to do. It is something that precedes our coming together in a society, and remains with a person even after the society is disbanded.”

    Outstanding; thanks!

  17. Martin R. Noland
    December 24th, 2013 at 11:07 | #17

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Robert (#6) and Andrew (#9) provide very helpful elucidations on the matter of “rights.” They are both correct that the definition of that term has changed over the centuries in both legal and popular usage. What has remained constant, as far as I know (since at least the time of Aquinas), is the three possible sources of law and right: the state, natural law, and revealed law.

    I saw an interesting recent video clip where a Biblical scholar is interviewed by Piers Morgan. Morgan asked whether Jesus approved of homosexual behavior or gay marriage. The scholar rightly pointed to Matthew 5:17, Matthew 15:19, and Matthew 19:4-6. These verses demonstrate that Jesus upheld the revealed law of the Old Testament in these matters. They are useful verses to remember when talking to folks who think Jesus said “gay is okay.” There are even more useful verses in Paul and Revelation.

    Robert A. Gagnon gave a lecture last January at the CTS Fort Wayne Symposia. His book “The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics” (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001), is the most thorough treatment on this subject I have seen.

    You mean, you didn’t hear Gagnon’s lecture? See what you miss, when you don’t attend the Symposia, or any of the many excellent lecture series offered by the two LCMS seminaries (CTS and CSL), Brothers of John the Steadfast (BJS), Association of Confessional Lutherans (ACL), The Luther Academy, Lutheran Concerns Association (LCA), Confessional Lutherans for Christ’s Commission (CLCC), and the Association of Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Congregations (ACELC), of which Pastor Poppe is a leader. A few other regional organizations also offer conferences on occasion, like the Minnesota Confessional Lutherans and the Texas Confessional Lutherans. One of these ten groups will have a conference in your region in the coming year. Check it out and plan to attend!

    Merry Christmas to you all!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  18. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    December 24th, 2013 at 11:16 | #18

    @Martin R. Noland #17

    Thanks for the plug Pastor Noland!

    “Announcing the Fourth Annual ACELC “Free Conference” and Business Meeting, February 25-27, 2014, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Conference theme will be: “Christ for Us in the Office of the Holy Ministry.” Speakers for this year’s Conference are: Rev. Brian Saunders (The Christological Nature of the Office), Dr. Richard Nuffer (SMP & Pas- toral Formation), Rev. Roland Ziegler (Pastor & Priesthood), Dr. Naomichi Masaki (Call & Ordination), Rev. Rolf Preus (The Power of Bishops), Rev. Clint Poppe (Consequences of Error in the Office), and Rev. Brent Kuhlmann (The Pastor in the Stead of Christ – Luke 10:16). – See more at: http://www.acelc.net/#sthash.QRR1kOAw.dpuf

    God willing, I hope to see you in Ft. Wayne in January.

    Blessed Christmas,

    Clint

  19. Paul of Alexandria
    December 24th, 2013 at 11:49 | #19

    I would ask some advice from the group. I was having a rather heated discussion with “Chris Eberz” on this topic at CNS News (http://cnsnews.com/node/746678); please feel free to chime in there. I hope that I defended the Lutheran POV well. The question kept coming up “what harm is there in homosexual activity”? Why is it banned in Scripture, why do we make a fuss over it? Can anyone point me towards resources that would support the argument that homosexual activity in and of itself is harmful, aside from the general argument against sexual activity out-of-wedlock and the fact that God forbids it (which, after all, doesn’t mean much to someone who isn’t a Christian)?

  20. Paul of Alexandria
    December 24th, 2013 at 12:00 | #20
  21. Joe Strieter
    December 24th, 2013 at 12:02 | #21

    @Martin R. Noland #17

    Here is Robert Gagnon’s website:
    http://www.robgagnon.net/

    There are several excellent articles/speeches here. Be sure and check out his addresses to the Ruth Institute, one on Christ and Marriage, and one on St. Paul and Homosexuality. Incisive, Biblical, and very helpful.

  22. Abby
    December 24th, 2013 at 13:11 | #22

    This is an excellent video by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse on “Same Sex Marriage — Why Not?” “Employing principles of law, biology, and sociology, Dr. Morse – a former Yale professor – rationally demonstrates the unseen harm this contemporary invention will impose upon society.”

    http://vimeo.com/16433353

    Todd Wilken features her regularly on his program, Issues etc.

  23. Chris B
    December 24th, 2013 at 13:14 | #23

    I think what’s been interesting is how the media has been really careful with what they’ve said. They’re really pulling their punches on this one. Typically, they’d be offering every pro-gay advocate a chance to speak and fan the flames of offense. Not this time. Now, they’re mostly saying, “This has really generated some controversy.” It’s interesting how media criticism is muted when there’s a hit show and a lot of money at stake. The good news is that Christian/conservative people CAN still make changes in the media and society when we do speak up. Maybe it’s not time to man the lifeboats just yet.

  24. Tim Schenks
    December 24th, 2013 at 14:53 | #24

    I’ve never seen an episode of Duck Dynasty but I am concerned about the current culture accepting homosexual behavior as normal and those beginning to label anything Christian as a hate crime.

    Before deleting my Facebook account, I had a dialogue with a former college acquaintance who had become an openly-gay yet self-described Christian who used his classroom as a media stunt to “come out of the closet”. He was quite hostile to Bible-believing Christians.

  25. Joel Dusek
    December 24th, 2013 at 15:17 | #25

    @Rev. Clint K. Poppe #15

    Thanks!

    (Joel is fine)

  26. John Rixe
    December 24th, 2013 at 15:27 | #26

    @Joel Dusek #8

    http://cconline.faithsite.com/content.asp?CID=39707 provides a summary from their website (not from a Lutheran perspective).

  27. December 24th, 2013 at 16:16 | #27

    This post was excellent and properly separated out the various issues. Also, it truly was a Lutheran response to this situation. Thank you.

  28. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    December 24th, 2013 at 18:43 | #28

    @Tim Schenks #24

    Here is a classic example, stated recently by Fox tv commentator and devout Roman Catholic, Bill O’Reilly,

    “Jesus was adamantly against bad behavior that injures other people but he would not condemn a woman in his presence who was an adulteress…”

    “And time and time the Nazarene persuaded folks that his way of living was worthy because it was so compassionate. Homosexual Americans should not be demonized just like devout Christians should not be demonized and people who have strong beliefs should understand the big picture. Portraying gay Americans as sinners gives license to harm them. It’s insulting and demeaning.”

    His logic defies logic!

    Merry Christmas, Clint

  29. Tim Schenks
    December 24th, 2013 at 19:40 | #29

    I used to watch The O’Reilly Factor but he had always sounded pretty ignorant when it involved Christianity.

    He also criticized the Missouri Synod when Pres. Benke was suspended for Unionism.

  30. December 25th, 2013 at 00:28 | #30

    @Tim Schenks #29

    O’Reilly, ignorant about Christianity? Surely you jest!

  31. Abby
    December 25th, 2013 at 10:49 | #31

    Bill O’Reilly still has trouble with his terminology between “philosophy” and “religion” — but here in his debate with Father Jonathan Morris (towards the end) he brings out the gay marriage debate and tells the church that they have to ramp up their campaign against it in this country. Or, he says, we are losing Christianity altogether.

  32. Joe Strieter
    December 25th, 2013 at 19:48 | #32

    Bill O’Reilly doesn’t know squat about Christianity. His choice of spokesman for Christianity are poor witnesses, and for my money they don’t put Christianty’s best foot forward.

    The atheist (aka “Grinch”) ran circles around him. “Christianity is a philosophy” is patently absurd. What O’Reilly is saying is that as a Roman Catholic, he’s a member of a philosophical sect. Give me a break. already.

    When he talks religion, I”m embarrassed.

  33. Jais Tinglund
    December 26th, 2013 at 09:21 | #33

    I have enjoyed “Duck Dynasty” since the first time I happened to zap into an episode. I must admit, though, that in my opinion the “testimony” aspect has been grossly exaggerated.
    A table prayer ending in the formula “in the name of Jesus” is the most explicit I have observed. And as we know so very well in the LCMS, a such formula -as well as the variant “in the blessed name of Jesus” – can be used in the context of various non-Christian and even anti-Christian religious activities …

    For the longest time I found myself wondering whether this was actually a Christian family, or the religious references should rather be understood in the context of a general “the good Lord fills the woods with food, and I worship him by going out there, and love your fellow man” kind of spirituality.

    Learning that the children go to a Christian school gave me a hint. And then I read an article about the family.

    After that I assumed that the vague testony was all that A&E would allow. And I understand that, and I appreciate what the family is doing.

    But to speak of the show as a clear and clearly Christian testimony – as some have – seems exaggerated to me.

    A clear and clearly Christian testimony would at least reference the cross of Christ, or the remission of sins in His name, or something similar.

    The show does not do that – which is perfectly all right, as it is not its agenda. But it doesn’t.

    Perhaps it is because we are starved for godliness on TV, and so fed up with ungodliness that we are so impressed and so overwhelmed by so little.

  34. December 26th, 2013 at 15:05 | #34

    Dear Pastor Pope,

    I think you might appreciate my letter to Phil Robertson’s church.

    Kindest regards in Christ,

    James Sundquist
    ****
    Dear Pastors, Members and Elders of White’s Ferry Road Church,

    In followup to my appeal to you about Rick Warren, you should be alerted to the following.

    I am still hoping you will respond to my last email regarding Rick Warren.

    Now it is widely known that Robertson is a Fundamentalist Christian, for which he should be commended! But Rick Warren thinks Fundamentailst Christians are enemies of the 21st Century. So why would Phil Robertson, an elder at your church, speak at Saddleback Church? And why would your church promote Rick Warren which is also Fundamentalist Christian in its beliefs (not the denomination). I agree we should defend the beliefs of Phil, but shouldn’t we the victims of Rick Warren?

    In 2006, Rick Warren told Charlie Rose that he told Eric Sawyer, gay activist leader: “how can I help you get your message out? This does not sound like what Phil Robertson believes. Do you support Rick Warren getting that message out?

    Also, do you stand by his latest false advertising that Warren’s PDL book is “the best selling non-fiction hardback book in history” and “most translated” too, which is easily refuted?

    So I appeal to you and to Phil Robertson to reconsider your support and promotion of Rick Warren.

    I look forward to your response!

    Sincerely in Christ,

    James Sundquist
    Director
    http://www.perfectpeaceplan.com

  35. December 27th, 2013 at 13:47 | #35

    @Pastor Tim Rossow #7

    Tim,

    Are you suggesting that all sins are equally bad? Or, are some sins worse than others?

    Robert

  36. Tim Rossow
    December 27th, 2013 at 13:51 | #36

    All sins are equal in terms guilt before God.

  37. December 27th, 2013 at 14:01 | #37

    @Martin R. Noland #17

    Marty,

    On Aquinas’s view, there are four kinds of law: eternal, natural, human, and divine. The Book of Concord affirms this view.

    It’s only later that fake Lutherans, beginning with the Erlangen School, begin to dismantle this view, including denying natural law all together, or confusing it with “orders of creation” (Elert, Sasse, etc.), or suggesting that it is mere instinct (Forde, Pearson, Benne, etc.), something that we share with animals.

    Different Law, different Gospel.

    Robert

  38. December 27th, 2013 at 14:03 | #38

    @Martin R. Noland #17

    Marty,

    On Aquinas’s view there are four kinds of law: eternal, natural, human, and divine. The Book of Concord affirms this view.

    It’s only later that fake Lutherans, beginning with the Erlangen School, begin to dismantle this view, including denying natural law all together or confusing it with “orders of creation” (Elert, Sasse, etc.), or suggesting that it is mere instinct (Forde, Pearson, Benne, etc.), something that we share with animals.

    Different Law, different Gospel.

    Robert

  39. Tim Schenks
    December 28th, 2013 at 00:44 | #39

    Robert :@Pastor Tim Rossow #7
    Tim,
    Are you suggesting that all sins are equally bad? Or, are some sins worse than others?
    Robert

    Persistent, unrepentant sin is worse than others, not in God’s eyes, but as far as being considered a Christian is concerned.

  40. Tim Schenks
    December 28th, 2013 at 01:36 | #40

    Although with excommunication, the binding key is the same as if God were doing it himself, so…yes, I would say persistent, unrepentant sin is worse than others.

  41. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    December 29th, 2013 at 07:30 | #41

    @Joel Dusek #8

    Joel,

    A good friend of mine and staunch LCMS member recently sent me this response which shares his experience as a member of the Church of Christ here in Nebraska. I thought it might be helpful for our discussion.

    Clint

    “Having spent about 5 years with the Church of Christ here is what I know of their theology. They are a product of the Campbellite Campfire evangelism efforts. Thus they are very Arminian as you said in your response. Also they are pleagian. They believe children are born innocent. They have a five step plan of salvation, Hear, repent, confess, believe, and be baptized. They reject salvation by faith alone. “That is only one step so is not complete without all five steps.” They do not believe infant baptism because they can’t hear, confess etc. They rebaptize if someone backslides too far after baptism. For the church-going person just confessing is enough but they don’t have confession and absolution as we do. The absolution a pastor brings would be an anathema to them. They obviously have a different understanding of the office of the keys than we do. They deny the creeds under the mantra “Deeds not creeds”. They separated from the Christian Church over instruments in the church service. Everything has to be acapela for them. Sunday night worship starts with a class on how to sing. Kind of a congregation choir practice time. They reject election and once saved always saved. Obviously they reject the real presence in the Lords Supper. Since salvation starts with a five step plan, their sanctification is very works oriented. The righteousness of Christ as their righteousness would be a foreign topic to them. Anyway this is just a few items I know personally about the Church of Christ. If you have any questions from what I wrote let me know. Basically they are just opposite of all Reformation theology because they started as a reaction to Calvinism.”

  42. Joel Dusek
    December 29th, 2013 at 13:18 | #42

    Thanks for that, Rev. Poppe. Blessed New Year!

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