My Facebook feed has been taken over by Duck Dynasty. I don't watch the show, but I was curious as to what was going on, so I read a few articles, and the original interview here. There is a lot of high emotion about this. I'm not going to dive into any of that, but if you want to talk about it, please remember these five things.
1. Online debates aren't going to change any one's mind. You can talk all you want, but just be aware that you're just saying what you think about what someone else thinks. Everyone already has come to their own conclusions and you aren't going to change another person's opinion about what happened.
2. Calling something sin does not mean you hate. Every person in the world is a sinner, plain and simple. My children are sinners and I call them out on their sin every day. Does that mean I hate them? Absolutely not.
But I think there is an important distinction to make clear: While it is important for a person to understand they are a sinner in order for them to find salvation in Jesus, there is absolutely no point in telling them they sin in an area they don't think they sin in. That is just going to make them mad. If you want to share the gospel message with a friend, share in love and let the Holy Spirit deal with that sin.
3. Don't read into what was said and put words in other people's mouths. Sometimes you need to just take what is said at face value. I have read a lot of statements from people along the lines of, "he's basically saying this..." Please don't. He said what he said and nothing more can be applied to it. Please don't broad brush his words into saying something that he didn't say, good OR bad.
4. No one is unbiased - even reporters who are supposed to be. Even Barbara Walters conducts her interviews with an agenda and a bias. The GQ article was written from an obviously biased perspective. I am writing from the bias of a Christian. Bias is not a dirty word. It's just a fact. So take into account whatever you're reading or whoever you are talking to is already biased in one way or another, and don't get mad because of it.
5. Be respectful and don't label people. Just because someone doesn't agree with your point of view does not give you a right to call them names. Phil Robertson has been given a lot of labels, some that he's given himself (Bible-thumper), but most have been given by other people, and most of them aren't nice labels. If you want to talk about him, fine, but please be respectful, especially if you have little ears listening.
I have a feeling this debate will go on a while. Duck Dynasty seems to be a well-loved show. Whenever you're discussing the show or what Mr. Robertson said, please remember the above points, and hopefully you can have a fruitful and respectful conversation.