“Robertson ... offered some comments that were rather crude and graphically anatomical in making the ... point.” (Mohler)
“Phil Robertson would have served the cause of Christ more faithfully if some of those comments had not rushed out. This is not because what he said was wrong; he was making the argument that homosexual acts are against nature. The Apostle Paul makes the very same argument in Romans 1:26. The problem is the graphic nature of Robertson’s language and the context of his statements.” (Mohler)
Robertson’s choice of words were neither crude nor inappropriate. In fact they were surprisingly anatomically correct. I’m sure there were lots of other colorful and downright crude words that he could have used instead of “vagina,” or “anus.” Words he probably used many times in his early, wild days - words that might have been much more familiar to the interviewer. But God changed Phil. He is a genuinely godly family man and I doubt that he talks like that anymore.
As for the “context” this was an interview for GQ Magazine; a publication targeted specifically to the metro-sexual community and known for its provocative, sexually oriented, and sometimes soft porn content. It is highly unlikely that he even had time to “word-craft” a politically correct response nor should he. The “cause of Christ is well-served when we are direct and strong in the face of sin. Similarly, Jesus used strong language like when he called people “hypocrites,” “white-washed tombs,” and “serpents.” GQ asked questions; Phil answered with honesty and transparency. And he did it in a way that distinguished his personal thoughts from God’s Word. In other words, his answers followed the format of, “this is what I think but here is what God says.” In so doing, he upheld the honor of God to a sinful world.
From what I read though, it seems that very few of Phil’s critics have a problem with his preference for a woman over a man. And Phil’s words were not offensive regardless of what they claim. Their problem is that they hate Phil, not for what he says, but for what he believes and they don't want him (or anyone else) to articulate his beliefs. But more importantly, they hate God.
“The Apostle Paul made the same arguments, but worshipers in the congregations of Rome and Corinth did not have to put hands over the ears of their children when Paul’s letter was read to their church.” (Mohler)
The Apostle Paul was NOT answering questions for a GQ interview. He was writing letters to the church which is those whom God has redeemed. The context is different. Furthermore, his words were guided by divine inspiration; they were the exact Words that God gave to communicate to His people. And sometimes those Words were necessarily, very strong rebukes because “whom He loves, He chastens.”
Incidentally, in our world today, it is unlikely that anyone would need to” put their hands over the ears of their children.” Any children who have unsupervised access to television, movies, or even attends public schools have already learned the words “vagina” and “anus” as well as ALL the other vulgar substitutions.
In his commentary, Al Mohler warns that Christians should think long and hard about the publicity that comes from these kinds of interviews with the world because they can be devastating. But we Christians are called by God to be His ambassadors and oracles of His Truth regardless of how the world feels. And for our obedience, He does not promise us popularity, agreement, or ease. In fact, to the contrary, His promises are certain:
“…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” John 15:18
Phil Robertson demonstrated more dedication, obedience, and courage than most Christians I know.