New Castle News

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February 24, 2014

Call from the wild: ‘Duck Dynasty’ star shares gospel, captivates crowd

NEW CASTLE — If camouflage worked, few would have been seen Saturday night at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

However, almost 2,500 ticket holders sporting beards, flannel shirts, camo hunting apparel, ballcaps and tuques — the knit cap worn by the headliner — filled the auditorium to see Jase Robertson of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.” The loosely scripted cable channel reality show features the Robertson family of West Monrow, La., and their Duck Commander duck call business, begun by patriarch Phil Robertson in 1972.

The program was the first in a “Listen Up” series sponsored by Beaver County Christian School.

The family is what they seem, Robertson said.

“When we pray at the end of each show, it’s not just for TV,” Robertson said. “We pray to God way more (than is shown), and I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is the solution to your problems.”

A man of deep faith, Robertson said his life did not begin in a strong Christian environment. His parents, Phil and Kay, did not always espouse the faith they have today, but things changed.

He said his father began spending more time with his family and all took up duck hunting.

Robertson said he declared Jesus Christ is the Lord at age 14 when he was baptized, “earning happiness, forgiveness and the promise of resurrection and living forever. That is a recipe for ‘Happy, Happy, Happy.’”

Robertson said he was asked three questions that stopped him in his tracks:

•How did you get here?

•What are you doing here?

•How will you leave here?

He said he has tried to answer these questions through much thought and Bible study. He said he does not support theories that a spark landed in water and evolved to become a human being.

“That says we came from fish and now we’re frying and eating our ancestors,” he said. Rather, Robertson said, he believes everyone “is a masterpiece made by God.”

Saying he is not a preacher but a believer, Robertson said Jesus came to Earth, lived a perfect, sinless life but due to the fear of others was crucified and died “for our mistakes.”

As expected, ducks became a recurring theme in Robertson’s presentation. For example:

•“Sitting in a church does not make you a Christian any more than sitting in a duck blind makes you a duck hunter.”

•”Ducks are great fast food — they fly at 70 miles per hour.”

•Robertson’s recipe for duck on the grill: Clean duck. Cover with rub. Fill with cream cheese and a jalapeno pepper. Wrap in bacon. Once on the grill, drizzle with butter. Serve with a touch of honey.

To environmentalists who complain of the show’s blatant promotion of hunting, Robertson said hunting is biblical and Genesis directs mankind to eat whatever walks, crawls, flies, swims or grows.

“Animals are tasty, and trees don’t need hugs.” He also said he is stumped by those who value an animal above humans, specifically above an unborn baby.

Robertson said he gets many requests to speak but, “When I see a Christian school, I perk up,” he said. “Our kids are our future.” He cited the Gospel of Matthew which speaks of the faith of children.

He added, “Life is tough, bad things happen.”

Robertson said his daughter, born with a cleft palate, has undergone five surgeries and there will be more. “But she is the toughest person I know.”

He demonstrated his “air traffic controllers,” a collection of duck calls.

He also offered advice:

•Go where ducks go.

•Wear camouflage

•Beards are camouflage and — he believes — prevent muggings.

Someone entered the family’s hotel room late one night of a hunting trip.

“He opened the door and saw dad with his foot-long beard, a gun and wearing his tidy whities. Dad said, ‘Wrong room.’”

He encouraged beard growing and noted there is a place for those without beards — the ladies’ room.

•Prior to Robertson’s address, the audience was entertained by Dave and Dwayne Ministries comedy and the Olive Mountain Band which plays bluegrass music.

•Almost 300 attended a dinner and Q&A with Robertson prior to the event.

•Robertson also signed autographs which included his favorite Scripture verse, Hebrews 13:8 — “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

•At the Q&A John Condon, son of event organizer Monique Condon, was excited that his question was one answered. He’d asked “What is the oddest thing you ever found in your beard?”

Jase said patriarch Phil had the strangest beard experience. He was awakened at a hunting camp when a mouse tried to make a nest in his beard.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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