By Billy Howell, Deseret News
"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson is known for speaking candidly about his faith and politics, and he has sometimes come under fire for his blunt commentary.
Robertson, who has a new documentary out titled, "Torchbearer" — available in theaters and on demand — recently told "The Church Boys" podcast that he held little back when he sat down face to face a few weeks ago with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The topic of discussion? The ins and outs of the Christian gospel.
"(I discussed) God becoming flesh … dying for the sins of the world, and, in his case, I said, 'Dying for your sins, Donald, all of them, I figure there’s a lot — what do you think?'" Robertson recounted. "He didn’t disagree with me."
The "Duck Dynasty" star said he felt compelled to speak with Trump about his faith after accepting an invite from the candidate's team — and Trump was reportedly receptive to the biblical message.
“I shared that with him, and here’s my point — at least he listened and … I wrote it in symbols, an arrow coming down out of heaven … God becoming flesh, a cross, where Jesus took away the sins of the world," Robertson said.
He continued, "He was just looking at the symbols — a tomb where they put (Jesus) and three days later an arrow coming out of the tomb, and him going to sit down at the father’s right hand."
Listen to Robertson explain his conversation with Trump:
Robertson said Trump asked at the end of the conversation if he could take the illustrations with him, and the reality star agreed.
"Mr. Trump has heard the gospel from my lips," he said. "I owed him that. I loved him enough to tell him."
Robertson said he felt Trump had an "open heart" to the message he shared.
As for the many critics — many of them Christian and Republican, alike — who have refused to support Trump, Robertson had a message.
"Better a man who sticks his foot in his mouth every once in a while than a woman who pours out lies from her mouth," Robertson said, going on to issue one other comparison between the candidates. "Better one loose cannon that will fire than 10 that are all rusty and worn out."
Robertson also discussed "Torchbearer," saying the documentary explores what has happened throughout history when God is pushed to the side.
“If you look at past history — you look all the way back to Adam and Eve — where there is no God the crime rate is always high," Robertson said. "When the love rate is low, the crime rate is always high."
He said it's entirely problematic to allow man — rather than God — to determine right from wrong, claiming that such a dynamic "never ends well."
"Life becomes brutal when there is no God," Robertson said.
The reality TV star said he's concerned that America is separating itself from its historical underpinnings, particularly when it comes to reverence for God.
"We started with God. Thomas Jefferson made that clear in the Declaration of Independence … the grand experiment was to base a nation on God and his word," he said. "America has replaced biblical correctness with political correctness."
Watch the trailer for "Torchbearer":
Robertson lamented the idea that God has been cut out of Hollywood, the mainstream media and universities — and said it's time to bring the Almighty back into those cultural arenas.
He also said he's hoping to help people understand the value of repentance and changing their lives, sharing that he, too, had his struggles early on in life.
"I've been drunk and high and immoral with the worst of them," he said. "(People) have been given life as a gift and immortality through Jesus."