Why I Can’t Endorse Phil Robertson’s Gospel

The Duck Dynasty star recently gave his opinion on what the United States should do about ISIS: 

“In this case, 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, said Robertson, who spent the first portion of his television appearance quoting verses from a Bible he brought with him.
This is yet another example of American evangelicalism’s spiritual decay. One of its modern-day heroes sounds like a medieval crusader ready to march on Jerusalem, and there likely won’t be any consequences for what he said. Celebrity Christians have always been able to get away with saying nonsense with impunity. It’d be funnier if they weren’t so dangerous.

And yes, Robertson’s views here are dangerous.

They’re dangerous because they sound strikingly close to the ultimatum ISIS recently delivered to another group of people: convert to Islam, or starve to death.

Robertson’s views are dangerous because he apparently thinks it’s the role of the United States government to convert people to Christianity at the threat of gunpoint.

Robertson’s views are dangerous because they do not reflect, at all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ–the good news that God came to save the world and that He did this through shedding His own blood, not by killing His enemies.

“Convert or kill” isn’t the Gospel. It’s a poisonous religious belief that Jesus spent an entire lifetime opposing.

Jesus opposed “convert or kill” when two of his followers wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan town for refusing to welcome them.

Jesus opposed “convert or kill” when he refused to call on angels to defend him in Gethsemane.

Jesus opposed “convert or kill” when he begged his Father to forgive his enemies while he slowly died on a cross.

 
If “convert or kill” had been what Jesus believed, there’d be no Gospel at all.

If evangelicals truly believe the Gospel, then they’ll denounce Robertson’s remarks and not defend him just because he’s one of their celebrities. We’ll see what happens soon enough.

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