Last Thanksgiving weekend, our entire family was together at our house and my son switched the television to Duck Dynasty, my first exposure. It had some humorous bits, and I was curious about the family meal time prayer, but it seemed a little crude and I wasn’t sure it was the most uplifting show. And it’s on A&E, not known for wholesome watching. I saw a few episodes in the next few months, but didn’t give it much thought. Then, as noted in an earlier post, I was exposed to it twice in three Sundays when Linda and I visited area churches while on a study break. Willie Robertson was the Father’s Day guest at one of the larger churches in metro Indy. And DD was featured in the sermon introduction in another large church. What is this?
I learned that the Robertson family are serious believers in Jesus. Willie used to be a youth pastor before returning home to lead the family duck call enterprise, Duck Commander, into a multimillion dollar business. And now, Duck Dynasty, one of the most popular shows on cable.
Willie’s dad, Phil, who started the whole thing with a duck call patent, was actually the quarterback at Louisiana Tech, playing first string ahead of Terry Bradshaw. Phil turned down a great opportunity to play in the NFL with the Washington Redskins because football interfered with duck season. After many hard years and much rejection, the business finally took off. But there is more…
In the middle seventies, Phil put his faith in Jesus and took the discipleship of his family seriously. And through Duck Dynasty, though it is low key, it is unmistakably clear that this family lives by a different standard. This is not your typical “reality TV” show. Sure, it’s a bit scripted, as one of my friends noted, but it’s encouraging to see faith in Jesus lived out before the world.
For more, take a look at 9 Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty from the Gospel Coalition. Included are three videos that I think you’ll enjoy, particularly the values expressed in the first one by Jase and the testimony in the last one by Phil. I’m not trying to convert you to Duck Dynasty. I’m just encouraged at the unusual places where the Gospel gets some focus.