When did G.I. Joe replace Jesus and the Apostle Paul as the example of the true Christian life?
During a recent interview on FoxNews, reality TV show host Phil Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) gave his opinion on how to deal with Middle East terrorism:
“You either have to convert them — which I think would be next to impossible. I’m not giving up on them, but I’m just saying, either convert them or kill them.”
Ironically, Mr. Robertson has also accused adherents of Islam of adopting a “convert or kill” based upon their sacred teachings. Here’s the video of both references, for the sake of context:
Unfortunately, Robertson’s geopolitical “analysis” also included the use of a few cherry-picked scriptures to defend his opinion. (See the entire interview here.)
Anyone familiar with even the most basic teachings of Jesus Christ would immediately recognize that Robertson’s attitude and statements are incompatible with true Christianity.
Robertson’s “kill or be killed” philosophy betrays the call given to every man, woman, and child who would follow the living Christ. Namely, Christ-followers are called to follow in His footsteps.
Jesus’ example is one of complete selflessness.
He willingly laid down His life for all of humanity. Then, He instructed his disciples to “follow” Him as He carried His cross to His death.
The disciples clearly knew what Jesus required of them and demonstrated this through the surrender of their own lives in an effort to advance the gospel message to all of humanity.
Robertson’s words, however, are not entirely without value. After all, his comments provide further proof of the great deception that infiltrates this dark and wicked hour.
Robertson’s words simply add to the myriad of “American-Christian” voices in the wind that express an impatient disdain for the Jesus of the Bible.
Many profess to love Jesus… and yet their very words and attitudes betray them. They clearly do not know Him.
Instead, they know “another” Jesus.
“For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”
(2 Cor. 11:4)
What makes Robertson’s message so appealing is that he is referencing Christ. However, let us remain vigilant in knowing that there is “another Jesus.” In fact, there are many…
There’s a Mormon “Jesus”…
A Jehovah’s Witnesses “Jesus”…
A Muslim “Jesus”…
And, of course, there is the American “Jesus”.
These various views of Jesus also come amid a “different spirit” and a “different gospel.”
Robertson’s appeal to kill our enemies appeals perfectly to America’s brand of Christianity, which defends its dogged support of perpetual war and violence by pointing to the extreme nature of the modern enemy. One such defense I have heard is: “It’s different because Jesus and his early disciples weren’t required to kill anyone because they were not facing bloodthirsty ‘Islamo-fascist’ terrorists like we are today.”
Of course, this flimsy argument ignores the fact that Jesus and his disciples were confronted by the vicious and maniacal Roman empire, as well as a ferocious mob of Pharisaical Jews bent on their annihilation.
Consider the apostle Paul who faced enemies on every side. Paul was often surrounded by those who desired his destruction. Thankfully, Paul did not know this “other Jesus” who blesses retaliatory attacks against one’s enemies as acceptable “Christlike” behavior.
Do you disdain Paul’s refusal to slay his enemies who sought to kill him?
Should the Apostle Paul have murdered those who sought to harm him as he made his way across the 1st-century missions field?
Of course not!
But if not, then how can one possibly support statements by the likes of Phil Robertson, who openly call for the death — or forced conversion — of those who seek to do him harm?
When Paul had the chance to either forcibly convert his jailer or kill him, he instead “wimped out” and chose to show him love and compassion by witnessing to him.
Does that make Paul a failure? I am afraid the American “Jesus” would not approve of the “turn the other cheek” methods employed by Paul.
When did G.I. Joe replace Jesus and the Apostle Paul as the examples of the Christian life?
Friends, discernment is waning in this late hour. The increasing vacuum of sound Biblical teaching and leadership in America’s churches has been filled by an invasion of divisive political and cultural ideologies. These empty philosophies have left American Christians woefully susceptible to deception in any form.
There are many voices in the wind.
And according to Jesus, the majority of them are being used to lead you away from the “narrow road” that leads to everlasting life.
“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
We desperately need to hear God’s voice in this hour. His is the only voice that matters.
Conclusion: Christians are rightfully concerned by militant Islam’s “convert or die” ideology. However, true followers of Christ are not called to adopt such a “kill or be killed” mentality.
Sure, the Crusaders did. And they were wrong for spilling blood in the name of Christ.
As true Christians, we are called to follow the one who laid down his life for others and who turned the other cheek when struck by his abuser: Jesus Christ. We have no other model!
My flesh may not like Jesus’ words and actions (or inactions.) But am I God’s critic? Of course not. I am merely a follower.
Despite what some may claim, the teachings of Christ that revolutionized the world have no need to be “edited” and “updated” for our modern day.
Today’s lack of sound Biblical teaching and leadership, coupled with “itching ears” in America’s churches, have left the flock susceptible to the enemy’s voice.
Thus, Phil Robertson.