As I sat in my “Introduction to Preaching” at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr. Charles Briscoe asked a question I’ll never forget “Which one of you want to be a preacher?” Honestly, it seemed innocent enough so I, along with everyone in the class, raised my hand. Dr. Briscoe chose myself and 9 others and made these statements, “I want the 7 of you to raise your hands.”
… was the statement made by Jason Collins a gay NBA player through Sports illustrated. The news quickly turned from Tim Tebow’s release to the impact of this and it’s implications in today’s sports. Honestly, I did not really plan to comment, but that all changed after watching Chris Broussard’s commentary for ESPN (please see the full interview above).
Yesterday, after leaving work I was made aware of ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” and their discussion between two sportswriters: the [openly gay Christian] L.Z. Granderson and [straight Christian] Chris Broussard. The long and short of it is this, Jason Collins still claims to be a Christian even though he is openly gay. ESPN asked Broussard to comment on Collins’ claim that one can be both gay and Christian. Broussard answered the question politely and boldly, and he did so as a Christian here he is in his own words:
Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly, like 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, you know, that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, whatever it maybe, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the bible would characterize them as a Christian.
Depending on what side of the debate you find yourself I am sure you know what came next. After Broussard gave is his opinion (which he was asked for), there was an immediate backlash across the internet. Many in the press and on social medai called Broussard’s words “hateful”, while the President decided to call him and congratulate him for “his bravery”. Even ESPN issued a statement saying that it regretted the distraction from Jason Collins’ announcement. I think the criticism of Broussard is completely unwarranted. I want to clarify Broussard did not volunteer these remarks. He was asked by ESPN to comment on Jason Collins’ claim to be a Christian in the context of a [respectful] discussion on the subject and he did. So I would like to add my “amen” to what Chris Broussard had to say. Not that he knows or even cares what I think but this is a conversation that needs to happen and he skillfully defended the faith in a forum that many would falter in, and it was a beautiful thing.
A quick note to those who are reading this post who may not be Christian,
The Bible does NOT single-out homosexuality as the worst sin, nor does it permit mistreatment of homosexuals and I am not in anyway advocating either of those things here. The Bible does, however, hold forth a stringent standard of sexual morality that we all fall short of (e.g., Matt. 5:28), I being the chief among the sinners. That means that all of us are sinners and that all of us are in desperate need of a Savior.
The good news is that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, both heterosexual and homosexual. He died on the cross and took upon Himself the punishment that we deserved. Then God raised Him from the dead three days later, and He is right now seated at the right hand of God. Now anyone can receive forgiveness and eternal life if they would but repent from their sin and believe in Christ. God’s arm is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1), and if you would repent and believe, they would reach you as well.
What are your thoughts on Broussard’s comments?