"Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson tackles the problems facing America in his new book,Jesus Politics: How to Win Back the Soul of America, and says the solution is a spiritual one, not a political one.
In the book, the New York Times bestselling author bluntly expresses his beliefs about the destructive nature of American politics. As an outspoken Christian, he charges other believers to do everything they can in these times to advance the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
Robertson encourages Christians to invite Jesus into the issues facing the nation. He details, from Scripture, how he believes Jesus would respond to the issues of our day by offering a manifesto of how “to do good by King Jesus, bringing the Kingdom of Heaven” to homes, neighborhoods, churches, communities, and the nation.
The following is an edited transcript of The Christian Post's interview with Robertson, where he journeys through Scripture to share what he believes the problems in America are and how Christians can work to overcome those issues.
CP: What message are you trying to get across through your new book, Jesus Politics?
Robertson: You got to remember, when Jesus got here roughly, by my count, 5,300 years ago, the prediction was made way back in Genesis: "Someone born of a woman would crush the evil one."
So everyone waited, and in the Old Testament from Genesis all the way through Malachi up to Matthew, it says: "Jesus is coming!" All the prophecies, hundreds. "We've got Jesus coming. This is where He'll be born." All these prophecies.
Well, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Jesus is here and John the Baptist was hollering, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near." And then Jesus went out and He preached, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." He sent out the disciples, and they all said, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near."
It came, and in Acts Chapter 2, He gave these Apostles the ability to speak in any language worldwide. He sent them out and it reached worldwide, and now there's about 3 billion of us.
What we're trying to do through this book is just to get the human race to put their faith in Jesus. He'll remove their sin and He'll guarantee them they can be raised from the dead, for crying out loud! All they have to do is love Him and love each other. I just don't see the downside.
That’s the best deal we're ever going to get. Someone says, "I think I'll take my chances without Jesus." I'm like, "And what chance is that? Cause physical death, as we all know, it's all around us. It's coming at some point." At least with this, I've never heard a story that said, "Every wrong thing you ever did won't be counted against you. Nothing in the future will be counted against you. He'll be interceding for you back in Heaven. And on top of that, don't fear death, if you believe in me," Jesus said. "Even if you die, yet shall you live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" [John 11].
Your body goes into the cemetery and your soul, your spirit goes to live with God. And when Jesus returns, He's going to raise your dead cold body, and it'll be an immortal body that'll live forever. I'm like, this is about the best rescue I've ever heard of.
So that's the message we're getting out there. We're still trying to get people to just love God, love your neighbor. I'm not asking for the moon here. There's a lot of people who come down here all the time. So we are making an impact. We can't stop because God has afforded us to do whatever we do in the Kingdom. I happen to be a proclaimer.
CP: Are you like a voice crying out in the wilderness in these times?
Robertson: In the book of 1 Peter, the Apostle — he's the one that ran out on Jesus at one time — listen to this, "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood." So think about it. When I'm walking down the road and somebody drives by and looks at me, he may say something like, "I wonder where that homeless guy is going? Cause I look a little scruffy." He would never think I was a member of a royal priesthood and I'm actually a priest in the Kingdom of God.
"We are a chosen people, a holy nation of people belonging to God" [1 Peter 2]. Here's my point: We're a Kingdom, a spiritual Kingdom, with Jesus being the King. We bow to Him. He's a good King because He's our brother, our friend, our Savior. He's a great King! He's never going to desert us. He'll always be there. He's removed our sin. He's going to raise us from the dead, and so we go forth and share that with others because I don't think it's a political fix. I call it (the book) Jesus Politics because I wanted them to see it's a spiritual war we're in. Not so much a political fix. It's a spiritual fix.
So we need to get back to God. They ran Him out of our schools, out of Hollywood, out of the news media, and out of the education. I have two degrees. I know I don't look like I do, but I actually do. Not one of my college professors ever said the word Jesus or God or the Holy Spirit. Not one word in any history class. Nothing!
[In college,] I was just out there getting high, getting drunk, running around — it was the '60s — until I was 28. I sat down with [someone] and I thought, "He What? God became flesh." We're counting time by it. This calendar says 2020. Last year was 2019, 2018, walk it back, you're going to get to year one. Well, it just so happens that's when Jesus showed up. Well, I would at least investigate Him.
CP: Jesus Politics exposes the destructive nature of American politics. What inspired the book? Was this some kind of a divine deposit?
Robertson: It wasn't like I heard an audible voice that said, "Phil, write a book, no." I'm just watching what Lot observed, way back in Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible says he was tormented in his righteous soul. "If God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment. If He did not spare the ancient world when He broke the flood on its ungodly people" [2 Peter 2:4]. There was a period in history before now, way back in the days of Noah, what was the problem? God said, "Their every thought was evil. Except for eight" [Genesis 6]. Noah and his family.
Well, he drowned them all. "But He protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness and others. If He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah ..." They were wicked, kind of like we are. "For burning them to ashes and He made them an example of what's going to happen to the ungodly. He rescued Lot, a righteous man who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men. For that righteous man being among them day after day was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds, he saw and heard" [2 Peter 2].
If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly man from trials and hold the unrighteous for the Day of Judgment or continuing their punishment. That's what motivated [me] to say, "Please read this; please think about what you're doing."
The fruit of the Spirit. We're trying to get America to understand. Because if I look at them in the streets of New York and I'm thinking, wait a minute, spray cans, the F-word follows them everywhere they go. They're grown. They're adults. ... They're full of hate. And I'm thinking, the fruit of the Spirit — "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" [Galatians 5:22-23].
It's a spiritual war! That's why I don't think it's a political fix. I think it's a spiritual fix from bottom to top.
CP: Some Christians confuse their spiritual identity with their political ideologies. Can you talk about that, and why as Christians, we have to be careful not to do that?
Robertson: The source of love is the God of Heaven. God, the Apostle John said, "is love." Listen to this: "If I had the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains ..." this answers your question ... "but have not love. I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the plains, but have not loved, I gained nothing. Love is patient" [1 Corinthians 13].
So even Christians get tangled up in these local events and these evil things that they see. "Love is patient." Think about a person being patient, the people in your streets in New York and all across the country. They are on the other side of patient.
"Love is kind. It does not envy." You've got it and I need it, and it's not fair because you've mistreated my ancestors. They're envious. "Your white privilege."
[The Bible says,] "Love does not boast. Love, it's not proud, it's not rude." How about that for the streets of America? Love is not rude. "It is not self-seeking. It's not easily angered." They form these groups under the banner.
Oh you say, "It seems we may have a problem in the country." The Bible says, "Love keeps no record of wrongs." We weren't even here. I didn't do it. I wasn't there. You're going back 100, 200 years.
1 Corinthians 13 continues: "Love does not delight in evil. Love rejoices with the truth." Check this one, "Love always protects" — shields, defends — "Love always trusts. Always hopes, always perseveres and Love never fails."
Do you realize how difficult it is to get human beings to do that?
So for everyone I see who drives down here, flies out here, I take them to the river and they start over again, they give their life to Jesus. They're members of the Kingdom of God. They are guaranteed to be raised from the dead. For everyone that does it, I'm like, "it's worth it." Even if just one turned, it would be worth it.
CP: So how would Jesus Politics deal with the current climate of racism and social injustice?
Robertson: You know what the saddest thing in the world is to see people not realizing? The Apostle Paul was speaking to the smartest individuals that the Greek Empire had.
Check this out: "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. He's not served by human hands as if he needed anything. Because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men" [Acts 17].
You say, "We all came from Adam? Well, how come that one is a different color than I am?" God did it. God made him that way. He Himself gives all men life, everything else. He determines the time set for them, the exact places where they should live. God did this so men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him. So He's not far from each one of us.
My college professors said there were three races. But the bottom line is, God said,[there’s] just one race on the planet Earth, it's called the human race. We all came from the same two: Adam and Eve. They've traced that DNA all the way back and then it just stops. Therefore, if we all come from one man, there's only one race on planet Earth, the human race.
Where we meet up [together], it's a pretty rough part of town, as they would say, but Miss Kay and I, we go up on Sunday mornings. Now, since the pandemic, there's about 100. But before that, there was a couple hundred. About 60% of them are African American, and 40% of them are white. I told them one day, I said, "this is pretty cool. There's no black churches with us, no white churches. It's just the Kingdom of God worldwide." This is the way it ought to be.
We have a meal, some of the homeless people come in. They've been sleeping under a bridge, we help them out, try to get them out from under the bridge if they want to. But the homeless are there, we're all eating a meal together. We stop and we remember the blood that was shed for us, the Lord's supper — the bread, the body that was nailed to cross. We just stop in the middle of the meal. So let's remember Jesus here with the Lord's Supper.
When I go down there I'm baptizing some of these dudes that live on the street and they haven't had a bath probably, some of them six months. But I don't care. I love them. They're my brother and they're in the audience. So it is a pretty cool thing to be a part of. Blacks, whites altogether. Brothers, sisters in the Lord. So that's what we're trying to show America. We're reaching a lot of them but we could always reach more, so that's why I wrote a book.
CP: The subtitle of the book reads, "How to win back the soul of America." Would you say that America has sold its soul?
Robertson: Here's the Apostle Paul, he's talking to the young evangelist named Timothy. Check this out, because you ask who stolen their soul, it's the evil one.
"The Lord's servant must not quarrel." That's me. "Instead He must be kind to everyone." I'm the Lord's servant. I don't bad mouth the people that are tearing up and shooting up the streets and the spray cans.
You say, "You don't hate them?" Not at all. I would love to sit down with them and have a little Bible study. "The Lord's servant must be able to teach, not resent those who oppose him." — I have plenty — "He must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance and leading them to a knowledge of the truth." The truth in the Bible is Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. "Hoping they'll come to a knowledge of the truth that they'll come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil who has taken them captive to do His will" [2 Timothy 2].
So every time I [answer] a question [I] read a Bible verse to let [you] know [I] didn't write this, [I] just read it. That's why when you become a faithful soldier, for God, and you realize that "You'll know the truth and the truth does set you free" [John 8]. Set you free from what? Set you free from Satan! He's taken you captive to do His will.
[Jesus will] set free from sin — take your sins away. Set free from guilt. "My life's in shambles, I'm on drugs." Set you free from law, having to be perfect. He'll remove your mistakes. He'll intercede for you not counting your future sins against you.
Also the final thing, He sets you free from is the grave. That's what I call game, set, match! Set free from Satan, sin, guilt, law, and the grave.
CP: In the book, you provide a manifesto that shows us how to do right by King Jesus. Any last words?
Robertson: Vote for people who are godly and love them all. Forgive and be quick to forgive. It's God who granted us repentance — you and me. He gave us repentance. I never dreamed I'd be following Jesus. But I am, and now that I am I'm like, "What was I thinking [before]?"