Duck Dynasty and Identity
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Colossians 3:3-4 – “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you will also appear with Him in glory.”
Duck Dynasty. The very words either put a smile on your face, or make you cringe deep within your heart. There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to the hit reality TV show. You either love it or you hate it.
My wife and I have actually been in both camps. A few months ago we had no desire to watch anything resembling Duck Dynasty and now we can’t get enough of it. We’ve watched most episodes at least once and some of them we have watched three and four times. Its good stuff. It makes us “happy, happy, happy.”
Part of the draw of the show I believe is its family oriented nature. Most things on TV have nothing to do with family, and if they do family isn’t presented in necessarily a positive light. Duck Dynasty is all about family, and on top of that it is a fairly clean show. Everyone knows how rare this is today, when most shows drip with excessive language, sex, and violence. It has gotten to the place where we have to change the channel during commercials if we are watching sporting events because some of them are just simply terrible. As a parent I don’t want my children to be exposed to things like that. Duck Dynasty provides a refreshing alternative, even though when they are killing animals or preparing fish my wife may turn her head. Still we eagerly await season 3.
In an earlier episode, Willie and the boys are hunting in the woods, but they aren’t having a lot of success because Willie is constantly on his cell phone. This leads to him getting talked about by his dad, who fears that Willie is turning “yuppie”, and of course brother Jase repeatedly makes fun of him for his cell phone usage, throwing his hands in the air and rolling his eyes. The line of the night however comes from Uncle Si (as it does most of the time).
He says, “I think old Willie has forgot who he is. He’s lost his idemnity (meaning identity). He don’t know who he is anymore.”
It appears that Uncle Si was right but by the end of the episode Willie has remembered his identity and he knows who he is. He is a Robertson, but one who is the proud CEO of the company, and because of that he has responsibilities that must be taken care of .
I’ve thought a lot about those words since I saw that episode, “he’s forgotten who he is.” And I wonder if that couldn’t be said of many people who are followers of Christ in America in 2013. We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten that our lives belong to God. We have forgotten that we are children of the King. We have forgotten that every Christian is our brother and sister in Christ. We have forgotten who we are.
Maybe that is why we give into temptation. Maybe that is why we become like the culture around us. Maybe that is why we get so upset over things that don’t matter. We have forgotten who we are. We really are children of the King and because of that we really should live differently. We really are part of the family of God, so we love those around us. And we really are part of a heavenly Kingdom, which means we should sweat the things of this world as much, because those things don’t last, and we have a far better country to look forward to.
We as individuals can quickly forget who we are. We can lose our identity, and sadly churches can to. The church of Jesus Christ in America is in danger of doing just that. The church is in danger of quickly forgetting who we are. The church is not to become like culture but it is to transform culture. The church shouldn’t be just a place where people hear good advice on how to be better people but where they hear the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Hershel York put it, “if the message (of the pastor or of the church) is devoid of the cross, it’s only purpose is to make the world a better place from which to go to hell.” Harsh words? Sure but they are true. That is why Paul says, “for I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).
The church is an agent of change in our world. The church is the bastion of truth that should faithfully proclaim to the world, the bad news of sin and sinners, but the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The church doesn’t exist to teach us how to be good people, it doesn’t exist to be a social club, it doesn’t exist to show us how to be good citizens, it exists to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It exists to show forth the love and justice of God in the world. Mark Dever says that the church is “the Gospel made visible.”
That is our identity. The church of Jesus Christ is comprised of people who have been transformed by the blood of Jesus and the word of God and it exists to share that message with a lost and dying world. Do we fellowship together? Yes. Do we hopefully learn how to be better people through the church? Yes, especially as the Bible is faithfully expounded. Do we serve others? Yes. The church is to do all those things, but its identity is to share Jesus with the world and most importantly to glorify God.
Our identity as individuals is that we are “in Christ”, and that in Him we “live, move and have our being.” He is as Paul says in Colossians “our life”. He is the life of the church as well. In Him the church exists, and it exists to share Him with others, and ultimately to glorify Him.
I’m glad that Willie remembered who he was on Duck Dynasty. And it’s my prayer that we will never forget who we are, as individuals or as the church of Jesus Christ.