Like many of you, I traveled home last weekend to be with family. As I drove, I was surprised to see Phil Robertson’s face on billboards around town. If you didn’t already know Phil as the family patriarch on Duck Dynasty you know him now as the man who was fired from the show last week for criticizing homosexual sex in a magazine interview. In the midst of the controversy, there was Phil’s bearded face on a billboard in black-and-white next to three simple words: “I am second.”
I am Second was founded by Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller, who wanted to “life up Christ so that He might draw the people of his city to Jesus.” Those featured on the site “graciously lend their names and stories to be shared so that others might be inspired to find the same freedom and sense of purpose they have found in Jesus.
Phil Robertson became a “Second” long before he was fired by A&E. His willingness to tell the truth in a magazine interview, and to stand by his words despite the cost, stems from a decision Phil made many years ago after making his way back from a prodigal’s life of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll: I am second. Jesus is first.
Though the Manhattan Declaration has no official relationship with the I am Second movement we share much in common. Declaration signers have made the same commitment to put God above all else. We are all Phil Robertsons. At times when the pressure to conform is high, when it would be easier to stay silent, our commitment to God as expressed in the Manhattan Declaration helps us to stand firm in our convictions, no matter the cost.
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