On CNN, Mohler defends ‘Duck Dynasty’ star’s views about homosexuality

Communications Staff — December 19, 2013

 R. Albert Mohler Jr. (right), president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, appeared on “CNN Newsroom” today, with host Brooke Baldwin and Wilson Cruz, representing the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. (right), president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, appeared on “CNN Newsroom” today, with host Brooke Baldwin and Wilson Cruz, representing the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Earlier today on “CNN Newsroom,” R. Albert Mohler Jr. defended the view of homosexuality espoused by “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, noting the reality television celebrity’s concern to spread the message of the gospel.

Robertson, the “patriarch” of the Louisiana family featured in A&E network’s widely popular reality television show, told a writer for GQ magazine about his Christian faith and the faith of his family. He spoke openly — and at times crudely and graphically — about sin. His comments specifically related to homosexuality, which he views as sinful, caused A&E to suspend Robertson indefinitely from the show. And his dismissal has generated a controversy centering around the Christian perspective on homosexuality, religious liberty and freedom of speech.

“I’m going to defend Phil on this very clearly,” Mohler, who is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, told “CNN Newsroom” host Brooke Baldwin.

“He put his comments in the context of the gospel; he was doing exactly what Christians should do,” he said. “And, by the way, the GQ article is very clear about this. His concern was to help people to know their need for Christ and to turn to Christ and to believe in Christ and find salvation in Christ.”

Mohler added: “And he was talking about that in the context of sin; he wasn’t comparing one sin to another. He was doing what the Bible does repeatedly: and that is put out a list of sins that includes all of us so we know our need for Christ. And in those sins, Phil was very clear: he included himself amongst the sinners who needs Jesus, like we all have to do continually. ”

Baldwin asked Mohler if he supported Robertson’s comments. In response, he explained that while he would not express himself in the manner Robertson did, he affirms the biblical teaching embraced by Robertson.

“I wouldn’t have put it exactly how he put it; I wouldn’t have been so anatomical,” Mohler said. “He was answering a question he was asked and he did so in a way that, in terms of its substance, was unquestionably faithful to the Scripture and is faithful to what most people around the world believe right now, and what virtually all Christians have believed throughout the entire history of the church until this moment, and continuing. … I wouldn’t have said it exactly how he said it. But what he said — what is causing the offence — is classic Christianity.”

Mohler also said that he thinks the reason that “Duck Dynasty” appeals to such a large audience — some 14 million weekly viewers, according to Nielsen — is its presentation of a “wholesome” family that is not available elsewhere on television.

“Part of the reason why millions of Americans love ‘Duck Dynasty’ has very little to do with ducks, and everything to do with the Christian life, the family life, the wholesomeness of that program. And quite frankly it’s a picture of family life you don’t get almost anywhere else in terms of popular television. That’s why there’s so much attention there. And there’s a very positive, healthy depiction of Christianity in life of that family.”

During the same segment as Mohler, Baldwin spoke with Wilson Cruz, strategic giving officer and national spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Although Mohler and Cruz both appeared on-screen along with Baldwin, the two did not interact.

The “Duck Dynasty” segment of “CNN Newsroom” — “Bigotry vs. Belief” — is available here.

This morning, Mohler posted an essay at his website — “You Have Been Warned—The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Controversy” — addressing the issue.

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