“Be yourself. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are different.”

NBA player Jason Collins says he’s gay and says he’s a Christian.  Is this possible? ESPN analyst Chris Broussard said no it is not, and now he is being labeled a bigot.  Is this right of the news media to label him this way?

First, let us look at what Chris Broussard said.  Second, let us look at what the Bible says.  Third, let’s discern if Jason is really a Christian based on what Scripture says.  And finally, let’s look at the definition of “bigot” and discern if Chris is being one or if something else is going on.

Chris Broussard said in a clarifying statement:

Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly premarital sex between heterosexuals, if you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.

What does the Bible say?

First the Old Testament [for Israel]:

Leviticus 18:22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”  [Leviticus 18 is about sex – who the people of Israel are not allowed to have sex with – for example, animals, children, relatives, etc.]

Second, the New Testament [for all Christians]:

Matthew 19:4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [Jesus is saying sex can happen between a married man and woman – Jesus is saying this is the design of marriage from the beginning – see Genesis 1-2].

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.   [The “marriage bed” = koite in Greek, which is sex between a married man and his wife; “adultery” = sex outside of marriage while being married; “sexual immorality” = pornia in Greek, which means all sex before or outside of marriage between a man and his wife (“sexuality immorality”  summarizes unlawful sex explained in Leviticus 18).  The command here in Hebrews 13:4 is no sex outside of marriage between a man and his wife.  This includes no sex before the wedding.]

1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  [The words “men who have sex with men” are two words in Greek – the first is “malakos” = the passive partner in homosexual sex; and the second is “arsenkoites” = the active partner in male homosexual sex.  Notice in these verses that certain sinful lifestyles are being condemned, not just homosexuality – but 1 Corinthians goes on to say in v. 11].  11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  [In other words, in Jesus Christ your lifestyle needs to change].

Based on the above Scriptures it seems clear that Jason needs to be transformed by Jesus Christ.  Whether he will inherit the Kingdom of God is not for me to decide; God is just and will make a righteous decision.  What I do know (as Chris Broussard pointed out – “you will know them by their fruits” – Matthew 7:19-20), is Jason is wrong to claim he is Christian and live an active homosexual lifestyle – and so he needs to make a choice: (1) Jesus and obedience to God’s word; or (2) a lifestyle contrary to God’s word resulting in consequences brought on him by the Lord.

Finally, let’s look at the definition of “bigotry” – 

“n. 1. extreme intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.  2. the actions, prejudices, etc. of a bigot.” – Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.

What does “extreme intolerance” mean? Does this mean saying you hate someone because your beliefs differ? If so, is Chris Broussard saying he hates Jason Collins because he is gay? No!

Does “extreme intolerance” mean pointing out a contradiction? If yes, then we have a lot of bigots in our news media.

Does “extreme intolerance” mean aggressively going after someone to make them change their public statement? If so, was Chris “aggressively” going after Jason to make him change his lifestyle? Is the news media “aggressively” going after Chris to make him apologize?

Who is being the bigot? I just want us to really think about this.

The news media, politicians, and schools seem to be pressuring everyone to say homosexuality is okay, and if you disagree you’re a hateful bigot.  No one wants to be labeled as “hateful” and no one wants to be known as a “bigot” and so hardly anyone will speak up.

Let’s be honest, was Chris Broussard being hateful? That’s what the news media would have you believe about Chris based on how things are being spun.  One article about this story is titled – “Why ESPN’s Chris Broussard Came Out As a Bigot.”  Who would want to speak up about such an important topic when they will be labeled like this? Is the news media becoming the new bully pulpit to push Christians around? Seems like they’re trying to force people to believe a certain way.

I’m just asking, is this right? In you’re heart of hearts, does it feel right what the news media is doing?

Prediction: if Chris Broussard doesn’t apologize, he might be fired.  If he get’s fired, does this mean ESPN is bigoted?

When I was educated in the public school system in the 1980’s and 90’s, the number one value that I heard over and over again is “Be yourself.  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are different.”  Because of that philosophy I dared to be different and take on my new found faith (which I didn’t grow up with) and not let anyone pressure me into not being a Christian.  I think it’s interesting now days that our culture affirms people who “dare to be different” unless you’re a Christian.

GODSPEED

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2 thoughts on ““Be yourself. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are different.”

  1. One thing that I don’t understand and perhaps you can clarify for me is that, from my understanding, all of us are sinners, and we sin all the time about various things. I say this as a definite heterosexual person, certainly, in no way, a gay person by the way. Why do many Christians seem to focus on that one sin. Is it being used as some kind of scapegoat? I don’t understand the sin of homosexuality, but I wouldn’t and don’t alienate someone who is gay. I feel empathy for all (or most) of us, going thru life as difficult as it can be sometimes.

    Another area of comment is that as a newcomer to your church, I have really been enjoying the Sunday School group, and the service. I am a real listener of 105.3 and so am thrilled that some of the songs the band plays, are also heard on that wonderful radio station. I very much like listening to your sermons, and will continue to come to Grace. Thank you!

    Brenda Rowan

    1. Thanks for the reply! Yes, that helps to clarify this issue for me. I agree that it has gotten a lot of press, as on let’s all jump on the bandwagon thing. The press seems to distort issues out of PR purposes I feel, and to sell newspapers. Many of the issues which are important to people, and also which are positive, can be discarded because they’re not sensational enough. I also get myself in trouble with my mouth sometimes. Ha ha! Thanks again for taking the time to respond. See you on Sunday!

      Brenda

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