Phil Robertson from reality A&E TV show Duck Dynasty is receiving a ton of slack for making comments regarding homosexuality in an interview with GQ magazine. In subsequent statements he has called himself “a lover… not a hater,” and pointed out that “Jesus Christ was the most perfect being to ever walk this planet and he was persecuted and nailed to the cross, so please don’t be surprised when we get a little static.” With Christmas around the corner this is a great opportunity to address whether Phil Robertson is keeping Christ in Christmas.
Let’s flash back a few years and recall the popular acronym WWJD, which was etched into bracelets and wristbands in the 1990s. WWJD stands for What Would Jesus Do and when worn on an accessory, it was a personal reminder to encourage Christians to act in a morally correct manner; to think, speak and behave in a way that was consistent with what Jesus would have done. Quite simply, if Jesus was here right now, what would he do in this situation? Whether a person considers themselves Christian or not, very few would disagree that Jesus Christ was: confident, bold, courageous, committed, yielding to God, compassionate, content, diligent, discretionary, prudent, faithful, steadfast, flexible, adaptable, forgiving, frugal, gentle, good, kind, helpful, Godly, honest, humble, impartial, and full of integrity and joy. It would be easy to conclude then, that a person desiring to be a practicing Christian would strive to spend every waking moment of their life attempting to implement these virtues, to get so skilled at these character traits that they become fully integrated in their personality. Therefore leading them to easily live and do as Jesus would do.
We are all entitled to our personal preferences. Some like sports cars and driving fast, some like vehicles full of safety features and driving cautiously. Some like the color red, others prefer blue. Some like to play golf, while others like to play football. Some like to live at the beach and others like to live in the mountains. Some like it hot, some not. There are endless combinations of preferences. Not one of us is exactly the same as another, and not one of us has the right to claim our personal preference as the correct one. There is no greater example of ego and personal will then to stake righteous claim to one position. When we look for Thy Will to be done, we need to work exceptionally hard at stepping out of our personal preference and ego; and to resist fully the judgment, partiality, and rigidity that they encourage. This is a lot easier said than done, as our tendency is to be fully engaged in the sin of this hatred.
As stated in Matthew 7:17-20, “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them;” as we learn to be Christ-like in our thoughts, words and actions, and behave in a way consistent with What Jesus Would Do, we are like the good tree bringing forth good fruit. Every waking moment we can choose to put effort into living the virtues modeled by Jesus Christ, and know that these efforts pave a golden path to Heaven and offers each of us the opportunity to experience Heaven on Earth.
For now on, when you argue the point of keeping Christ in Christmas, consider keeping Christ’s traits and virtues in all of your thoughts, words and actions on Christmas… and in every day before and after. Love your neighbor as yourself, love your enemies, refrain from hatred, and turn the other cheek.