Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractiveso that you will have the right response for everyone. - Colossians 4: 5-6 (NLT) Phil Robertson is a wealthy entrepreneur who made his money selling duck calls in Louisiana. His personal story of salvation is to be admired. He admits to being a product of the 1960's until he hit rock bottom and called on the name of Jesus for salvation. He turned his business story into a wildly popular reality television program called Duck Dynasty. Until this week, this was the extent of his story. That was until he agreed to give an interview with GQ Magazine where he intimated his personal feelings on many subjects, including homosexuality. His comments were certainly inarticulately stated and the resulting firestorm has resulted in his suspension from the television program. As is the norm these days, the Christian populace in this country has exploded with indignation that once again misses the point of our faith. Let me say that Phil Robertson has the right to say what he believes; as we all do. His employer however has the right to suspend him if they view his comments as being inappropriate by the standards the world he lives in lives by. Our responsibility as Christians is to support Jesus Christ, not Phil Robertson. We should always take our cue from Scripture: As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them.So they went on to another village. - Luke 9: 51-56 (NLT) The people of this world are not going to welcome Jesus beloved. The Bible says that the things of God are foolishness to them. The lord of this word, Satan, has blinded their eyes to the truth. Like James and John however, our first reaction always seems to be indignation. Jesus however does not want us to call down fire from heaven anymore than He wants us to run out and sign petitions. What is our goal as Christians in this world? Where does this error stem from? There is a false belief system within Christianity that thinks it is our responsibility to prepare the culture for the coming of Christ. This dominionist theology is wrong however and is not based upon Scripture. Whenever we see the Apostle Paul preaching throughout the world we never see him trying to influence culture. He simply preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the culture that is killing people and only Christ can save them. Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way. So Paul left the synagogue and took the believers with him. Then he held daily discussions at the lecture hall of Tyrannus.This went on for the next two years, so that people throughout the province of Asia—both Jews and Greeks—heard the word of the Lord. - Acts 19: 8-10 (NLT) Paul could have become indignant at the stubbornness of those that rejected the Gospel but he realized the end result of the people in the province hearing the Word of God was more important. It needs to be just as important to us today as well. We do not serve the cause of Christ be being outraged against the very people that need the salvation we so freely enjoy. The other part of this story that seems to have slipped the attention of Christians is the entirety of the remarks made by Mr. Robertson. He also weighed in on what the experience was like for African-Americans in the pre-civil rights south. "I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field. ... They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word!Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues," We need to be careful what we choose to associate ourselves with as believers because that association will not be lost on the world. As the key verses remind us today, we are to live wisely among those who do not share our faith and make the most of every opportunity. Our conversation is supposed to be gracious and attractive not self-righteous and indignant. The idea is to draw people to Christ not drive them away over the faux persecution of the day. “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. - John 15: 18-21 (NLT) The reality is that this incident is not even close to real persecution. That is still to come. The Biblical admonitions for personal behavior and sin are about how we are supposed to live our lives not for how we judge those who do not believe. The Bible actually teaches us we are not to judge those in the world regarding their sin. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” - 1Corinthians 5: 12-13 (NLT) Our focus is backwards. The more we live Christlike, the more people will be drawn to us. The more we condemn the very people we are to show Christ to, the less we will draw them. We should be outraged at the abuses of the Gospel within the church walls. We should be outraged at the marketing of salvation and the glorification of money in the body of Christ. We should be outraged at the sin in our own lives and realize that those that walk in darkness desperately need the light of Christ that we have yet do not deserve. Rev. Anthony.