Yesterday was a landmark day in our nation. Jason Collins became the first male professional sports athlete to come out of the closet as openly gay. He has received incredible support and encouragement from the likes of our President, First Lady, the NBA commissioner, and fellow pro basketball players and teams. I believe this announcement will have a more powerful affect upon culture than even a state legalizing gay marriage. Why is this so powerful? Two Reasons: 1) the stereotype that it breaks in professional athletics and 2) the widespread celebration by so many notable public figures. My guess is that this is a first domino in a line of many that are soon to fall.
At the same time, Chris Broussard, an ESPN analyst, was asked his views on homosexuality. Broussard gave his honest opinion that homosexuality is a sin, as is all open rebellion to God. Broussard has now incurred a huge amount of backlash. A quick scan of his name on twitter will find words like vile, stupid, fool, bigoted, hater, homophobe, and others I won’t quote.
How should believers respond to this? Many are making the point that tolerance must go both ways and that it should not be OK for Collins to be celebrated while Broussard is defamed . I appreciate these ideas. I also want to offer a few thoughts that might cause us to reflect a little beyond the current rhetoric.
1) Boldness requires meekness, not meanness. If you are going to be a bold voice for truth, you must mix the truth with a broken heart of meekness. Failure to do so makes it nearly impossible for the hearer to receive your message and it doesn’t properly portray the heart of Jesus. I thought Broussard actually did a pretty good job of this.
2) On the other side of any argument is a real person. No matter who you are talking to and no matter how aggressive they may be, they are an individual who Jesus loves and died for. Don’t destroy with your words one who Jesus died to save.
3) It will be increasingly unpopular to have a biblical view of sin. The world is continually growing darker and because of pressure many are vacillating on what is and what isn’t sin. Don’t be shocked when they try to character assassinate you for holding a biblical view of sin. God’s opinions do not evolve and neither should ours.
4) The wholesale redefinition of morality is the central issue, not abortion, gay marriage or any other hot topic. These issues are merely symptoms that point to America’s departure from God and His values. This decay is what ultimately will bring destruction to America. Don’t get too hung up on the symptoms, address the root issue, America has turned from God and needs conviction that breeds repentance and massive revival.
5) Prayer is still the most powerful single action any believer can take. Asking God to release His will and His kingdom sets in motion the necessary spiritual activity for massive reformation to take place. Pray saints, Pray! Even in the midst of such spiritual haze, I believe there is still hope for America. Let’s cry out and believe for a Third Great Awakening.