Deconstructing Pluralism: A Lesson from the 'Duck Dynasty' Situation

Submitted December 20, 2013

ducks in flight
Source: sxc.hu/ground000

Pluralism. It’s a product of a multicultural, diversified society. In theory it means that multiple cultures, beliefs, and special interests can live side-by-side and flourish in one common civilization (Merriam-Webster.com).

It really sounds like a good idea. If you leave me alone, I will leave you alone and we can live in peace. Sadly, in action, it doesn’t work out that way.

De-‘Duck’-ed from television

I think we would have to have been completely unplugged this week to miss the media storm about Phil Robertson, the leader of the family that stars in the “Duck Dynasty” series produced by the A&E cable channel in the United States. He has been placed on indefinite leave from the show because of his Bible based comments condemning homosexuality.

The Robertson family espouses traditional Christian beliefs, and patriarch Phil gave a perhaps inelegant, but basic citation of the list of habitual, unrepentant sins that can keep a person from eternal life in the kingdom of God (listed in 1 Corinthians:6:9-10) during an interview with the men’s magazine GQ .

So, what does the bible say?

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God,” (1 Corinthians:6:9-11, NKJV).

These scriptures make what is considered a sin quite clear. But the following verses show that among God’s people, to whom the apostle Paul pastored, were those that had repented and rejected all of those lifestyles. 

Also, notice that the list of sins doesn’t just single out homosexuality, but includes adultery, fornication, theft, coveting, drunkenness, and blackmail… among other things.

Truth, or not?

Which brings us back to pluralism. Is God’s way of life pluralistic? Can you and I and the next person believe various shades of the truth and still be obeying God?

The simple answer is, no. Truth is exclusive, various “versions of the truth” are more accurately called lies. Someone has to be right, and that someone is God.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” (John:14:6, NKJV).

Throughout the Bible, God inspired the definition of how life should be lived successfully, resulting in resurrection and eternal life in the family of God. That definition does not fit in with the way of life that swirls around our media and “pluralistic” societies, militant secularism.

As evidenced by the media kerfuffle around the “Duck Dynasty”/Phil Robertson situation, a pluralistic acceptance of multiple viewpoints defining morality will soon be silenced. One way will be accepted and other voices will be cut off. In our case, the truth of God will become more difficult to speak freely.

“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men,” (Acts:5:29, NKJV).

The challenge to us is this: Do we change our beliefs to fit the legal and peer pressure of man-made society, or do we stay true to the Truth ?



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Eric V. Snow

Eric V. Snow's picture

In this light of society's long-standing push for "pluralism," Christians should always publicly uphold bravely the truth of Acts:4:12: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." So if the Bible is right in saying this, then all other religions are simply wrong. The claim of pluralists that "all paths lead to God" is simply incorrect. Those advocating pluralism in our democratic society mistakenly assume that tolerance is generated by making everyone uncertain and/or skeptical about their own beliefs. But it's wrong to assume that those upholding absolute, universal beliefs have to persecute those who disagree with them. After all, true Christians are called upon to be pacifists who wouldn't use force against their opponents (Matt:5:38-47). Furthermore, ironically, if some people believe "pluralism" is an absolute value that's true in all places at all times, then it's intolerant to force it on people who disagree with it. Of course, if those who say they are tolerant aren't tolerant of other people's intolerance, then they aren't tolerant either!




babsie

babsie's picture

Well said!!




Tammy Walston Vaught

Tammy Walston Vaught's picture

We stay true to the truth.

I steer clear of pluralism, it's betrays God and Christ.

Do you think that it would be easier for the world we live in today, if this world came to love the interplay of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Old and New Testament scriptures? I can discern that most of those who God calls and have responded to that call, have done this, I think it means a whole lot to God the FATHER and Jesus Christ and the angels.

I remember Mr. Armstrong use to say that we have to pray for the very faith of Jesus Christ, and it is very specific, as Jesus Christ was and is.




dziwczyna

dziwczyna's picture

Maybe one reason people are so sensitive when a Christian quotes Biblical material against homosexuality is that some 'Christian' churches have done so in a condemning and hateful way. We are all sinners, and we have this tendency to make some sins horrendous and unforgivable, while minimising the effects of our own 'small' sins.

One good thing that Phil Robertson pointed out is that he does NOT hate people who practise those things, but the sin itself. We as Christians have a very harsh attitude towards homosexuals, not realising that there could be a whole host of events that took place in that persons life for them to choose that lifestyle. Maybe they did not grow up with a father figure at home?

Remember that a lot of them have very little room for "choice" in the world we live in today, because homosexuality is widely accepted and commended as some sort of achievement, even by some churches. Many gay children garner support from their parent(s) who seem proud of this for some reason, not recognising the deadly effects of this lifestyle. And, if a homosexual wanted to get help, where would they go, as psychologists and doctors probably can't say anything against it for fear of losing their jobs (and some churches are completely for it so how would they help?).

Remember that Satan has deceived the whole world (Rev:12:9), and we would be deceived too if it weren't for God's calling and grace!




Carolyn Prater

Carolyn Prater's picture

Very nice blog. I appreciate the scriptures you quoted. Good!



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