What Ever Happened to Shrewd and Innocent?

Posted on: 12/19/13 12:46 PM | by Jonathan McKee

phil-robertson-suspendedI am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” -Matthew 10:16

This week Phil Robertson was suspended “indefinitely” after “disparaging gays as sinners” in his GQ interview.

Yes, it’s true. America has definitely evolved into a country where anyone who speaks their mind against homosexual behavior will be blacklisted. Just ask Victoria Jackson, or Blake Shelton… or Chick filA.

But let’s not be daft. We know better than this.

No, I’m not talking about changing our theology (I have clearly shared my own two cents on the gay issue), I’m talking about changing our methodology.

Jesus tells us to be shrewd and innocent (Matthew 10:16). Paul tells us that if we lack love, we’re a resounding gong and clanging symbol (I Corinthians 13). Jesus tells us to stop looking at the speck of sawdust in our brother’s eye when we have a plank in our own eye (Matthew 7:3).

So how does this apply to Phil Robertson?

Phil was asked, “What, in your mind, is sinful?” He responded:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”GQ Magazine

I don’t think it’s wrong for Phil to personally object to homosexual behavior. The question is, how could he have better answered the question, “What, in your mind, is sinful?”

What if Phil would have responded, “My own pride. Selfishness. Gossip. Greed. Condescending others…” He could go on. “All of these are pitfalls of when we try to live our life our way instead of God’s way. They are all sin.”

Did he need to target the homosexuals?

How many times did we see Jesus target a certain group of sinners? Oh wait… he did. He targeted the self-righteous.


How do I think Jesus would have responded to someone who is participating in homosexual behavior? How did he respond to the very promiscuous woman at the well (John 4)? How did he respond to the greedy and thieving Zachaeus (Luke 19)? How did he respond to the woman caught in adultery (John 8)?

And what if he told a homosexual, “Go and sin no more”?

Then Jesus probably would have been kicked off of A&E. And so what? Blessed are those who are persecuted for their righteousness (Matthew 5: 10).

Let’s just make sure if we are persecuted, we have made every effort to show the love of Jesus and respond to sinners the way Jesus did, never changing his theology, but going to great lengths to love and accept the worst of sinners.

He accepted us, didn’t he?

19 Replies to “What Ever Happened to Shrewd and Innocent?”

  1. Very sane and wise response to the growing rage of those coming to the side of Phil Robertson. Sometimes we respond to quickly to questions such as he did in the interview with GQ. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory….and most believers agree with that, it’s just we stumble over our response to legit questions about our beliefs and I believe like Phil we put our foot in our mouth. I/we need to confess our sin not others and witness to Jesus’ grace.
    Thank you for sharing you comments!

  2. Jonathan, thank you for your post, I agree with what you have written. I have to say that I was not the least surprised at what Phil said about his views of homosexuality nor was I surprised that A&E suspended him (notice they did not fire him – that in itself is telling). What I am incredibly shocked by is that no one is having a fit about what he said in regards to black people being happy when they were cotton fields and never saying publically that they weren’t happy and that the Jim Crow laws were representative of Christian values, now that was truly offensive. Needless to say, GQ magazine went the say route (much like Rolling Stone did with their cover of the bomber) with shock value. They took advantage of the fact that Phil would say what he believed when asked about very controversial topics and that A&E would have to act. The interviewer knew what they were doing and that the whole thing would go viral and readership would go up. I have to wonder if Phil and A&E aren’t feeling a little used right now.

  3. Good insight, Jonathan. What I find missing in this whole discussion is whether or not what he said was reported factually. Perhaps he did at first mention his own sin…we know the media can cut and paste and make anyone sound bad when they want to do so. We weren’t there so we really don’t know.

  4. You nailed it. Great article. For the record, Phil did add some qualifying comments later in the article. We also don’t know what the writer of the article left out. From watching some of Phil’s other presentations and interviews online he does not come across as a plank in the eye finger pointer. He freely admits his own screw ups as well. The writer of the article was very pithy, used vulgar language to make his statements seem funny and probably did not share half of what Phil had to say.

  5. I think we should quote scripture to show the truth. The problem with homosexuals is that everyone is showing too much love and acceptance. Now our children are exposed that lifestyle in their schools and being taught that it is an alternative lifestyle. On television, sports heroes are being applauded for being “gay.” So much love has made the gay movement, a movement to be accepted and applauded. The gay community wants to gain converts and convert others to a lifestyle that is not godly with behaviors that are sinful. Even I, through the plank in my eye, can see that.

    1. Welp, I tried. Your full of it lady. Homosexuals don’t want to convert anybody, they just want to be free to love and be with who they wish. Gays and Lesbians didn’t just pop out of the ground in the last 15 years, they been around for a very long time. Most of that time being demonized, and for what, because they love somebody of the same sex? Tis true, only a God, supreme being, could waste his time caring about such things. He really has nothing else to do. For so long the ball was in your corner, and now the tide as turned in their’s, and all of a sudden the sky is falling. Your the poor persecuted ones now. Well, sins of the father i guess. You know what our children are experienceing when they are around gays? That they aren’t any different then anyone else. Didn’t you ever tell your kids the same thing? Mine did, I took that to heart in terms of it being for everyone, not just a select group. The babies aren’t being converted, they are seeing with their own eyes and they are making their own descisions on the matter. Same thing for it being on TV or music. Your mad becuase the media is showing this life style for how it is really, not how your preacher or your book claimed it to be. It’s only logical that with this experience, that they’ll be more accepting and less damning. History in on the their side and the side of those who accept them as good and production citizens. And you know what’s going to happen as more of the world accepts them? NOTHING. The world will go on as it always has, just that now there will be no reason for one side to hide.

      1. Took the words out of my mouth, Sean. It certainly helps calm down after the ignorance I read above and even farther above. Thank you.

  6. Very, very very, VERY well said ! ! Thank you ! ! God Bless you and Merry Christmas.

    And by the way, my High School Sunday School class LOVES the discussions on the Walking Dead and LOVES the “Zombie Apocolapse Survival Guide for Teenagers”. They BEG me to read another story, but I trick them by asking just one question, which starts a whole discussion and then it is time for church.

  7. Good insight Jonathan, my concern is we are more upset about this than people all around us who are going to Hell.

  8. I certainly agree with and support the aim of your commentary, Jonathan, but I balk at your use of labeling others as “homosexuals” and “the homosexuals”.

    To define or label a person based on their attractions is reductionist and can at times be uncharitable. Though I know that was not your intent, it can easily be seen as such and thus further alienate others from the Truth.

    This is where I greatly appreciate how the Catholic Church continuously reminds us to always distinguish between persons, inclinations, and actions, and also to use terminology like “persons who experiences same-sex attraction” instead of “gays”, “lesbians”, or “homosexuals”. There a number of reasons for this, which I will link to here for anyone interested:

    I am Not Gay, I am David: http://www.cuf.org/2011/01/i-am-not-gay-i-am-david/

    A Label that Sticks: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/01/a-label-that-sticks-1

    Making the Distinctions: http://couragerc.net/Resources_for_Priests/Sower_07_10_Newton.pdf

    All that said, thank you for having the courage to post this and speak on behalf of the Truth, which so desperately needs to be heard in today’s day and age.

    In Christ,

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