Phil Robertson, the full-face of beard you remember from the television hit “Duck Dynasty,” is a man who is in my personal “Top Ten” of the greatest legends in America today. Yet if he sat down next to you on an airplane, you would immediately search for another seat until the fight arrived at its destination. It’s true … Phil is scary-looking … but people who have gotten to know him, or followed his inspirational journey like I have, know this man’s waters run deep.
Last week his latest book was released and it's selling like the blazes. Understand, Phil is intensely patriotic and hardly tip-toes around anything, most especially his devout belief in Jesus Christ as his Risen Savior. His new book is entitled, “The Theft of America’s Soul: Blowing the Lid Off the Lies that are Destroying Our Country.” He’s no doomsday orator but voices the present-day convictions of a land that elected Donald Trump, is quickly making the Democratic Party extinct, and – lest you haven’t noticed – “want our country back.”
Born No. 5 in a family with seven children, the Robertsons notoriously squeaked by in rural Louisiana. His childhood home had no toilet, no electricity and no bathtub. Of his upbringing, where he and his siblings lived off the land, he recalls, “It was the 1950s when I was a young boy, but we lived like it was the 1850s ... but we were always happy, happy, happy no matter the circumstances.”
When “Duck Dynasty” exposed Phil to the world, many were shocked to know he was an all-state athlete in football, baseball and track. He earned a scholarship to Louisiana Tech and started as the quarterback for three years. His understudy was Pro Hall-of-Famer Terry Bradshaw – true story – and the only way Bradshaw ever got under center was because Robertson much preferred to hunt.
Bradshaw remembers, “Phil loved hunting more than he loved football. He'd come to practice directly from the woods, squirrel tails hanging out of his pockets, duck feathers on his clothes. Clearly he was a fine shot, so no one complained too much!"
Today, at age 72, Robertson is very much an American legend and his new book, already No. 1 on Amazon charts, “is a prophetic wake-up call for all who desire to see our nation thrive. And it is also an invitation to experience the life-giving, peace-filling, wholly-transforming love of God.
As the dust jacket reads, “One of the most recognized voices of conservative Christianity in America, Phil believes that little by little, generation by generation, America has allowed the lines of morality, decency, and virtue to be erased. Our values have disappeared as we began to believe lies—such as that God is dead, truth is relative, and unity is impossible—that have brought discord, division and protest. But Phil also believes that things can change.”
Fox News just prepared a story on Phil’s views, adapted from his book, "The Theft of America’s Soul: Blowing the Lid Off the Lies that are Destroying Our Country.” See what you think …
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We’re Yard Dogs
America is divided. There doesn’t seem to be any common ground these days. Even a C+ man like me can see as much. Instead of peace and harmony, there’s nothing but discord, division, and protest.
We split along political lines. (Are you a Republican or Democrat?) We point out the different economic classes. (Are you working-class or a white-collar fella?) We increasingly divide along racial and gender lines. (Do I even need to explain that one?)
There’s racial violence, class warfare and gender strife. We’re yard dogs at each other’s throats.
Yet, when the Founding Fathers set the stakes of America they imagined something less divided, something more unified. They envisioned a society where men and women came together under a single truth, which they memorialized in the Declaration of Independence, writing: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
The founding ideal of America was that the very real and living God had made all men the same, and he wanted us to be free. He wanted us to share rights, to be unified under his truth, and to be happy, happy, happy.
There’s no doubt that our forefathers didn’t follow this ideal perfectly, especially in their enactment of laws. They didn’t end slavery when they declared independence, and they participated in a land-grab from the Native Americans. They had different ideas of what “liberty” meant, too, and they divided into political parties almost as soon as the country was founded.
But still, from the very beginning, they hoped for a society that would be unified under the principles in the Declaration of Independence. They hoped for a country where folks worked together to build an equal, virtuous, and ultimately prosperous society.
How’d we get derailed so far off the track?
Satan, the enemy and father of lies, sneaked in and told us this whopper: Unity is not possible. All people are not created equal, he said. He’s preyed on our differences – religious, political, economic, racial, and gender – and made us believe that true equality is impossible and convinced us that the only way to get what we deserve is to divide and conquer. And in pointing out our divisions, the enemy of our souls and our country has sowed the seeds of chaos, violence, and even murder.
Consider the divisions of the last 10 years. We’ve had the Occupy Wall Street movement, where the young-and-unemployed protested the rich and powerful. Racial tensions built until Ferguson, Missouri, blew up, and how many racially motivated protests have we seen since? Most disturbing, we’ve seen neo-Nazi groups cropping up across America in the last couple of years, and they make no bones about reestablishing white supremacy, the original sin of America.
The enemy of our country’s soul has come to steal, kill, and destroy everything our Founding Fathers stood for, and he’s done it through division. And if it’s true that God is dead, is there any unifying force that can help bridge these divisions? Will secular humanists bridge the division? They haven’t yet.
There’s a simple solution to all our disunity, and it’s a truth found in the absolute truth of God’s Word. We can return to the Almighty and understand how he’s created us to be unified under his message. What is that message? That all of us are created in the image of God, and so he loves us all without distinction.
Jesus came preaching the unifying love of God. But he didn’t just preach it. He embodied it. He spent time with men and women, rich and poor, sick and healthy, and Jews and Gentiles. He asked a Roman employee – Matthew the tax collector – to become his disciple. He also asked Peter, a Jewish zealot who would have hated that Roman tax collector, to follow along, too. He touched the lepers (Matt. 8:2–3). He spent time with the hated Samaritans, including a second-class, outcast, divorced-five-times-over Samaritan woman (John 4:1–42). Jesus came, and he showed no favoritism, only love for all.
The truth is the truth, no matter how you cut it. If we could all just follow Jesus’ example and love others with no conditions, regardless of background or belief, coming together in unity wouldn’t be such a hard task.
-- Phil Robertson
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This is adapted from Phil Robertson’s latest book, "The Theft of America’s Soul: Blowing the Lid Off the Lies that are Destroying Our Country,"