- - Sunday, December 22, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Culture challenge of the week: “Duck Dynasty” and Christmas under attack

What do “Duck Dynasty” and Christmas have in common?

“Duck Dynasty,” one of the most popular cable television shows in history, is a cultural phenomenon. The reality show follows the lives of the Robertson clan, a Louisiana family that made a fortune developing and selling duck calls and hunting products. The members of “Duck Dynasty” are unlikely millionaires and unlikely TV stars, with shaggy beards, hippie-style clothing and sincere Christian faith. But their plain-spoken ways and outspoken beliefs have generated a tremendous following.

And tremendous controversy. Sort of like celebrating Christmas.

Last week, Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the “Duck” dynasty, was suspended from his own reality show by its sponsoring network, A&E. Why? Because Mr. Robertson gave an interview in which he spoke plainly of his Biblical beliefs, particularly that homosexuality is wrong. The homosexual activist camp went ballistic and engaged in bullying tactics, accusing Mr. Robertson of hate, homophobia, and intolerance, and demanding that the network fire Mr. Robertson for his beliefs. A&E folded and sent Mr. Robertson into exile.

Which brings me back to Christmas. In a society where many businesses have forbidden their staff to wish customers a “Merry Christmas,” where public schools take “holiday” breaks and put on “holiday” plays, where Christmas trees are now called “holiday trees,” is it any wonder that Mr. Robertson was fired for declaring his faith?

As this column goes to press, members of the “Duck” clan are standing by their leader and mulling over their future with the network. Meanwhile, millions of Americans — Christians, Jews, Muslims and non-believers alike — have rallied around Mr. Robertson and against the bullying tactics of the intolerant left. While we have this national “teaching moment,” it would be wonderful if we also raised our voices in a joint cry to boldly proclaim the truth about this “holiday” season and reclaim Christmas.

How to save your family: Rejoice, for Christ is born

First, live in the truth. Christians know that Jesus is real. After pursuing years of “freedom,” liberal-style, Phil Robertson was unhappy, lost and struggling. He credits the saving power of Jesus for turning him away from a life of sexual debauchery and hedonism. “I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior,” he says. Mr. Robertson preaches the truth now out of personal experience: Jesus is real, and Mr. Robertson is not afraid to say so. And he’s not afraid to preach the truth that we receive through the Word of God — the Bible.

Let the same be true for us. Don’t be afraid to speak the truth this Christmas. Jesus was truly born into this world and died for our sins. His Resurrection offers hope, new life and deep happiness to all who will follow Him. Everyone needs to know this truth. It’s up to us to live it and communicate it, no matter how strong the pressure or how ugly the rhetoric that comes from the liberal left.

Second, go to the Word of God and rejoice in the love of Jesus. Even as the left’s anger erupted, Phil Robertson stayed in focus and on message (Jesus’ message), and was motivated by love. His pastor reports that the TV star, as an elder in the church, was praying with a cancer-stricken member of the congregation even as homosexual activists attacked his beliefs.

Yes, our Christian beliefs are increasingly under attack. But God’s love and saving power are stronger than all of that. The world needs its Savior now, more than ever.

From the Gospel of Luke: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

“4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

“8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12”

Merry Christmas and spread the Word.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at rebecca@howtosaveyourfamily.com.

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