Monthly Archives: January 2013

Willie Robertson: The Duck Commander

Courage Conquers Compartmentalization…
In December of 2012, America’s remotes voted in a new champion—Duck Dynasty won outright the Wednesday evening 10pm ratings race.  6.5 million viewers watched a Christian family enjoy its self-afflicted, tongue-in-cheek high jinks, and Christian faith.  An acquired taste, Duck Dynasty is nonetheless a bright spot on the media horizon.

duckdynastylogoOur culture tends to compartmentalize life.  We put our job in one compartment, faith in another, and family in another box.  Compartmentalization seduces us:  we believe we can serve more than one master, simply by thinking and acting differently within each compartment, as if one did not affect the other.

Rabid compartmentalization produces moral lapses as in “It’s just business” or “Talking about Jesus will get me fired” or “What the IRS doesn’t know won’t hurt them.”  Eventually, we tear ourselves apart thinking what happens in one box won’t affect another, or we become so split, we develop a different personality for each of our “compartments.”

Colossians 3:23-24 teaches us that we are to do all things as unto the Lord God.  Jesus taught us not to compartmentalize—we can not serve God and mammon.  Willie seems to have it right.  His success in business led to success in the media to giving him a platform on which to glorify the Lord God (see a GodTube video).

See more Tutu Photos by D. Thomas Porter

Click to see more of my time with Bishop Tutu.

As you note those who are successful as parents, teachers, politicians, managers, and even pastors, please pray for their continued success, and particularly that their success in that endeavor will bring glory to God in all their endeavors.  Relatively few would be interested in hearing about Jesus from Tony Dungy, or Desmond Tutu, or Mother Teresa or Bobby Bowden, or Willie Robertson were it not for their success elsewhere.  All “did their thing” as unto the Lord.

So, as the new Duck Dynasty season begins, I encourage you to look for new changes.  Previous years have seen their show not only become more popular, but even more up front about who they are as Christians.  Their evening prayer and how it ended the second season’s episodes says it all.

Porter’s First Law of Theology: “God is Smart”

God is not very smart, for “very” implies a non-existent continuum.  God is smart, period, in the absolute.  Therefore, we can better understand God’s revelation in history, the natural world, and in Scripture if we continually ask—Why did God allow that in history?  Why did God create the world with such beauty, and trauma?  Why did God give us these commands in Scripture?  With every answer, we learn how and why… God is smart.  “God is smart” thus becomes a potent hermeneutic.

First Things First: First Laws from Holy Spirit

Today, April 22, 2012, is my fifth anniversary at MLBC.  Five years ago today, the Pastor was in Brazil, and I was preaching my first sermon here—yes, on my very first Sunday here at MLBC.   Five years have passed?  Wow!

Here’s what I’ve learned.   Porter’s First Law of Theology survives: God is smart.  Everywhere I turn in the Scriptures, watching people live, or observing His natural world, I see evidence that my God is smart.  His earthquakes vent the tectonic plates.  His influence on people’s lives strains reasoned belief.  His Scripture explains the ultimate purpose for living, a purpose worthy of living.

Porter’s First Law of Human Behavior also appears to be intact—people still understand, believe, remember, and do what they want to understand, believe, remember, and do.  You see, during the last five years I’ve learned why squirrels are squirrely: they eat the lead on our roof’s sewer vent pipes.  No wonder.  But, what are spiritually squirrely people ingesting?  Perhaps it is not what we ingest, but Who we avoid.  Holy Spirit is an amazing catalyst for sentience.

These last five years have also taught me to be careful about telling people what to do, especially when they know what I’ve told them to do is the right thing to do.  I’ve noticed the greatest resistance to the Truth has always been when the Truth conflicts with the truth.  I worship the Truth; but, I remain skeptical about all things true (see Porter’s first Law of Human Behavior).  When we find what we believe is useful, it is often just true.  That’s when we must unfailingly focus on the evidence—without evidence, there is no Truth, only truth.

That’s why I affirm the Scriptures as Truth.  Sure, my perception of what Holy Spirit has written continues to remind me that my perceptions are often just true.  But ever so often, He teaches me from His evidence—not my preconceptions—what I’ve just learned is not true, but True.  Εγω ειμι η αληθεiα (”I am … the truth,” John 14:6).