“For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:12).
Like millions of Americans I enjoy watching episodes of Duck Dynasty. I do not like the potty humor that permeates some of their episodes. I do not appreciate Miss Kay telling people to “shut up.” But, many of the plots and comments on the weekly programs are cute. Some of the episodes are corny, but they are clever.
What I do find appalling, unnecessary, and unbiblical is the incessant need for the individual family members to write their memoirs and give interviews exposing their very wicked and sinful past lifestyles. A web headline dated January 7, 2015 offers one example: “Duck Dynasty’s Alan and Lisa Robertson Open Up About Their Troubled Pasts, Overcoming Her Affair.”
So, here we go again. Two more Robertsons have written a book and given a kiss and tell interview to talk openly about what they should be ashamed of, and of course making more money in the process. Sex sells. So we find out that Lisa had an abortion and an affair. The public learns that Alan engaged in destructive behavior with drinking and drugs.
And what is all this called? Mistakes. The public is informed that, “they’re the first to admit they’ve made mistakes in the past.”
I suspect that the Robertsons might be a little amazed by their success and are trying very hard to portray an image of being “just like other folks.” I appreciate their desire not to want to be known as Pharisaical and judgmental, but I do think they have a Christian responsibility not to put on public display all of their foolish and sordid life’s decisions. There are several reasons for this position.
First, a lurid public confession of a wicked life can lead other people into sin. If their intention is to warn people about inappropriate behavior, that desire can be appreciated. However, impressionable people are listening to their testimonies and fantasying about what it must be like to be so bad. In a voyeuristic society there are individuals who live out their lives through the actions of others, which is why romance novels and soap operas remain so popular.
The Word of God commands Christians to think on things that are pure and decent. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). It is hard to honor this commandment when lurid mental pictures of premarital and extramarital sex, domestic violence, drinking, drugs, and the slaughter of the unborn are on open display.
Second, it is not healthy to relive the past. The Bible says that if any person is born again they are new in Christ. Old things have passed away. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). A morally irresponsible and inappropriate past cannot be reversed, but it can be confessed, forsaken, and forgotten. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Phil. 3:13).
Third, it is biblically wrong to minimize sin and call acts of evil “mistakes”. Sin is the plague of all plagues. By the grace of God, sin is to be wept over and ashamed of, not exploited for personal and financial gain.
If the Robertsons find it therapeutic to share about how horrible they once were, let them go to a godly Christian minister for counseling. A wise counselor would exhort them to be more circumspect and not provide all the raw details of the depths of their human depravity. Conversion should bring to the heart a holy blush followed by a holy hush.
When Adam and Eve sinned against the Lord, they were ashamed and fled from the face of God. The Lord sought them out and covered them with a blood sacrifice of atonement. Fellowship to God was restored. But they were ashamed.
In today’s society Adam and Eve would be religious celebrities. Eve would be invited to go on worldwide television and share her testimony in great detail how she was beguiled by Satan who came to her in the form of a serpent. Adam would be encouraged to step up to a camera and confess how he plunged all of humanity into sin by his Fall from grace.
The Robertsons have said they want to help others find God’s mercy and redemption that have done terrible things in life. That is an honorable objective. But reliving the past, and stimulating impure thoughts with raw details of wickedness, might not be the best way to witness for the Lord. I know we are living in a narcissistic society that accepts self-exposure, but is this honoring to the Lord? Is this wise to do?
Would it not be better to proclaim Christ crucified, buried, and raised from the dead? Would it not be better to sing of the mercies of the Lord? The church in particular, and society in general, is better served when it is reminded of the Savior.
God’s people do not need another cheap, tell all, book about individuals who once wallowed in the cesspool of sin. The church does not need to hear about a person’s trashy past life, but it does need to hear about the saint’s Treasure, even Jesus Christ the Lord.