|Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar|
19 Kids and Counting is a very popular and polarizing television show. Each Tuesday night TLC shares a slice of life in the Duggar household. They have encouraged many people to embrace higher standard of living and have been a bold witness for Christ. They have also attracted their share of haters. People have call them “archaic” “out of touch” “stuck in the past” and perhaps worst of all “part of a cult.”
Over the last few weeks, they have been at the center of a controversy which stated when Jim Bob and Michelle recreated a kissing photo which Ben and Jessa (Duggar) Sewald shared. They then encouraged other married couples to do the same. I thought it was great idea and many of the stories and photos that streamed in were sweet testimonies of God’s faithfulness.
Before long some gay couples shared their photos on the page. The Duggars removed them because they went against their beliefs. Now many people are calling for their show to be canceled. This is not very surprising. After all, Jesus said “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)
This situation is only the latest in a growing trend in the media and popular culture—Christian baiting. Simply put, many people will ask well-known Christian leaders or celebrities controversial questions and then act shocked by the way they answer.
Here are just a few examples:
A few months ago Kirk Cameron was asked his views on gay marriage. Cameron, (who played Mike Sever on the 80’s sitcom Growing Pains) has been a conservative evangelical Christian for years. Yet in the 2 or 3 weeks that followed his statements, you would have thought he had unleashed a profanity laced tirade that made the FCC blush. He didn’t bash anyone and he didn’t even volunteer any information out of the blue. He was asked a question and gave an honest answer, yet because it was not the popular answer he was labeled as evil. It happened again recently when he was trying to support the biblical family. He was quickly labeled as an oppressor of women.
Yesterday I saw an article about how the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty should have their show canceled because they are lying hypocrites. The irony of the story is that most of the “scandalous” information it contained has already been admitted to and written about in their books. Most importantly, it’s been repented of and forgiven by Jesus Christ. They are not hiding. Whatever you think of their show, they are bold for our Lord and because of that people are always looking for ways to discredit them.
One thing that really bugs me is when people dislike someone in the public eye, but insist on liking their page so that they can disparage anything they post. (As is the case on the Duggars pages) The only way I can arrive at an understanding of this is to remember Jesus’ words “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) Satan wants to destroy the testimony of believers and he uses other people to do it.
So what does this me for us? I can’t speak for you but the examples of the Duggars, Kirk, (and his sister Candace, who deserves mention here as well) Cameron, and the Robertson family embolden me to continue to speak for the One who spoke for me, bearing in mind that I run the risk of being misunderstood and misquoted. It’s worth noting this was par for the course for Jesus.
I want to encourage you to continue to shine for Jesus in this ever darkening world, keeping in mind the admonition of The Best of Masters. “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)