Broussard, Bigotry, and the NBA

The criticism of Broussard is totally unwarranted

After watching Broussard’s remarks with my wife, I turned to her and said, “That was strong.” All he did was to confess what the Bible teaches about sexual morality and about what God requires of every Christian—obedience (1 John 2:4). It was a clearer word than what you would hear in many pulpits. It was biblical. It was faithful. It was courageous.
After the news broke earlier today that Jason Collins has come out as the first openly gay player in the NBA, I didn’t really plan to comment. But that all changed after watching Chris Broussard’s commentary for ESPN.

After Collins’ announcement appeared, all the sports shows were abuzz with the news. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” hosted a discussion between two sportswriters: the openly gay LZ Granderson and the 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. In fact, I think he said pretty much what I would have said if I had been asked such a question. You can watch the exchange above, but here’s Broussard 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.

After Broussard spoke his Christian conviction, there was an immediate backlash across the internet. Katie McDonough at Salon.com called Broussard’s words “hateful.” Even ESPN issued a statement saying that it regretted the distraction from Jason Collins’ announcement.

I think the criticism of Broussard is totatlly unwarranted. Broussard did not volunteer these remarks. He was asked by ESPN to comment on Jason Collins’ claim to be a Christian, and so he did.

After watching Broussard’s remarks with my wife, I turned to her and said, “That was strong.” All he did was to confess what the Bible teaches about sexual morality and about what God requires of every Christian—obedience (1 John 2:4). It was a clearer word than what you would hear in many pulpits. It was biblical. It was faithful. It was courageous.

So I want add my “amen” to what Chris Broussard said. He defended the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3), and it was a beautiful thing.

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To those who are reading this post who may not be Christian, I would add one more thing. The Bible doesn’t single-out homosexuality as the worst sin, nor does it permit mistreatment of homosexuals. So I am not 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). 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 (1 Tim. 1:15), 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, it would reach you as well.

Denny Burk is Associate Professor of New Testament and Dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminar. He blogs on matters concerning politics, theology and culture. This article is used with his permission.

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