Chris Broussard and the Response to Homosexuality

Those who avidly follow professional sports have recently been inundated with the headlines dealing with athletes and homosexuality. Top WNBA draftee Britney Griner (http://es.pn/12sM2In) and Washington Wizards center Jason Collins (http://es.pn/15UzgpB) are the first examples of how sexual orientation is now becoming a hot topic amongst sports reporters.

Interestingly, those who accept homosexuality and “coming-out” as badges of heroism are being lauded for their tolerance and acceptance. Those who share different values are labeled as being bigoted, small minded, or hateful. Take a listen to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, who shares a little bit of his opinion on the subject, speaking from the Christian perspective:

As a Christian leader, I’m often put into a difficult circumstance when discussing the issue of homosexuality. On one hand, I want to be true to my own biblical convictions. I don’t want to compromise what is truth based on the popular opinion of culture. On the other hand, I also don’t want to hurt or offend anyone because of my convictions. It’s difficult to tell people that their lifestyles do not conform to the Bible or that they are in open rebellion to God. In my experience, many of the gay people I have met have been some of the nicest, most caring people I’ve ever known. In fact, barring their orientation, they are people just like me. (Some people think of gays as though they were an invading alien species).

First and foremost, I acquiesce to Paul’s instruction in Galatians 1:10: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servantof Christ.” As Christians, we MUST place our priority in being true to God. This means that, like Broussard, we will be put into the uncomfortable position of needing to declare truth. However, whether it be from a pulpit or in front of a national television audience, God’s opinion must always be more important than anyone else’s. I cannot (and should not be forced to) guard my opinions because someone might disagree with me. We are not called to cowardice!

Second, our disagreement with the opinion of popular culture should not be hateful or contentious. We will reap what we sow, which is why we are instructed to do good to everyone (Galatians 6:7-10). It’s so easy to hate those who share differences with us. It’s so easy to try and condemn those who are not of our faith. But we aren’t called to that! We are called to love others. God sent his son because of his great love for this world! (John 3:16-17).

Our savior Jesus Christ was CRITICIZED for eating with sinners (Matthew 9:10-12). Religious people hated the fact that he associated with persons who were considered unclean and blight on their idealized religiosity. It’s a good thing that we aren’t called to be religious zealots. Let the crazies protest the funerals and judge the world. If Christlikeness is emulating the actions of Jesus, then I’d rather be criticized for loving the sinner instead of lauded for condemning them.

Dear Christian, the topic of homosexuality is going to continue to become a greater issue in our society. As more athletes reveal their sexual orientations and as more states continue to vote on legalizing same sex marriage, we cannot pretend these issues do not exist. We need to be bold in our faith! We need to let the world know that the Bible will condemn those who continue to practice sin. Even though we might feel like Jeremiah, faithfulness to God needs to fuel our lives!

Yet, we do so with the understanding that even truth must be tempered with love. Our goal is never to offend, to hate, or to condemn, but rather to save. We who know the truth understand that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Do you really want people to go to hell? Do you rejoice in knowing that people will die condemned in their sins?

I prefer to follow Jesus’ lead in Mark 6:34: “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” I hope that you would also have compassion and would be willing to teach others what you believe.

And lastly, thank you Chris Broussard for having the courage to share your convictions on national television… it would have been so much easier for you to just dodge the subject or be ambiguous in your answers. You’ve gained my respect and I pray that ESPN will be as tolerant of your views as they are of your colleagues.