Looks like someone from ESPN needs to check their Bible.
During the April 29th edition of Outside the Lines, NBA anchor Chris Broussard objected Jason Collins’ lifestyle as an openly gay Christian. Broussard’s comments are based on the Old Testament of the Bible, where it prohibits homosexuality.
“If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication…whatever it maybe, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ,” Broussard announces. “So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the bible would characterize them as a Christian.”
Collins became the first active openly-gay male athlete in any of the four major American sports (football, basketball, hockey, and baseball), when he announced it in a first-person Sports Illustrated article. In that same article, Collins mentions that he was raised in a Christian family and he continues to hold on to Christian teachings, especially those on acceptance.
“I take the teachings of Jesus seriously, particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and understanding,” mentions the twelve-year veteran.
Broussard’s accusation of Collins not being Christian is not supported by any close readings of the Bible. He could have checked facts and held his tongue before speaking on that matter. The first glaring thing I see is the “unrepentant sin” part. From what I’ve read in Leviticus, male-on-male sex is frowned upon. However, it is not unrepentant. In fact, I do not recall any scripture that say that it’s a non-repentant action. In John 8:1-11, Jesus saves a woman from getting stoned for adultery by a group of Pharisees. He forgives her afterwards and tells her not to sin no more.
If adultery can be forgiven, then any sin (including homosexuality) can be forgiven. Therefore, Broussard missed out on that correction. Plus I would argue about his definition of homosexuality. Is Broussard talking about the sexual act itself or is he referring to men having nurturing relationships with other men as well? There’s nothing wrong with loving men if he’s using the latter as that definition.
On an even bigger scale than the lifestyle, what makes Broussard the expert on who’s Christian and who’s not a child of Christ? He shouldn’t have spent a lot of time questioning his Christianity without examining himself first. The same passage in John shows how Jesus dealt with people who were quick to stone the adulteress. Instead of quickly punishing the woman, he encouraged them to stone her if at least one of them lived a sinless life. All of them walked off; they all sinned in some way. It appears that Broussard was casting stones at Collins without checking to see if he was REALLY following Christ himself.
Additionally, I would recommend him reading Hebrews 11. The chapter is basically a list of people in the “hall of faith” (that’s what I call it), who have remained faithful to God and done great things for His kingdom.
Note that all of them had some type of challenges, circumstance, or sin(s) that they have committed. David sent a soldier to his death and stole his wife. Moses disobeyed God by striking the rock instead of speaking to it, and he also struggled with knowing what to say to the people. Rahab was a prostitute before aiding the Israelite soldiers. Samson had a huge appetite for women, so huge that he drew criticism for going after non-Israeli women.
But all of them had something in common: they remained faithful to God and did memorable deeds after bouncing back from adversity. Perhaps Jason Collins will be in the hall of faith one day for this strong belief in God and his teachings, despite of his lifestyle. The moral of the story: it’s all about fighting to be faithful towards God and helping people get close to Him, not about telling people what’s wrong with them.
Broussard has the constitutional right to defend and express his faith. But it’s better to think and do your research before you speak, especially when it comes to topics like religion, spirituality, and sexuality.