Chris Broussard drew nationwide attention when he went on ESPN's Outside the Lines Monday in the wake of Jason Collins coming out in Sports Illustrated and said homosexuality was a sin and a "rebellion against God." The transcript of his comments can be found here.
Broussard has been crushed and ESPN has been questioned for allowing him on air to provide his opinion for the story in the theater of an apparent debate with LZ Granderson. Broussard released a statement on his Twitter page yesterday only slightly walking back his position while supporting Collins' NBA career.
ESPN also released a statement committing to diversity and saying they regretted distracting from the news.
While the reaction to Collins' Sports Illustrated piece has been mostly positive, the fallout from Broussard's comments struck a chord. There has been plenty of multi-dimensional fallout from his stance on OTL as freedom of speech, religious beliefs in public life, tolerance, and more topics have all been lobbied around the internet.
Broussard's comments, and the reaction to them, struck a chord with me as well. So while we're being open and this important discussion is taking place, I feel the need to personally speak up. I posted some personal thoughts as a Christian and a sports blogger last night on my Twitter page and will repost them below after the jump if you are inclined to read further. It's something I strongly feel needs to be said in light of the reaction to Jason Collins' announcement.
I'm a Christian. I stand with Jason Collins.
I feel the need to state this plainly because we live in a world where Christians have by and large failed the LGBT community and failed to follow through on the words and ministry of Christ. As I read column after column today on Jason Collins coming out I felt more and more persuaded to say something so that the only Christian voice in this discussion isn't one that condemns.
In the wake of Jason Collins coming out in Sports Illustrated, the Christian face of the reaction, at least in the sports world, is someone saying Collins should not be considered a Christian. That is not something I can silently stand by and watch happen because it is not consistent with the ministry of Christ.
I read the piece written by Jason Collins in Sports Illustrated and rejoiced when I passed over these words because I hoped they could begin to tear down the wall too many of us Christians have built up blocking out the LGBT world:
"I'm from a close-knit family. My parents instilled Christian values in me. They taught Sunday school, and I enjoyed lending a hand. I take the teachings of Jesus seriously, particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and understanding. On family trips, my parents made a point to expose us to new things, religious and cultural. In Utah, we visited the Mormon Salt Lake Temple. In Atlanta, the house of Martin Luther King Jr. That early exposure to otherness made me the guy who accepts everyone unconditionally."
Christianity and homosexuality are not mutually exclusive - Jason Collins' life is a testament to that fact. So is the life of Alan Gendreau. So are the lives of an uncountable number of Christians. Nevertheless, that has been the message that has been relayed for far too long.
There are verses in the Old and New Testament against homosexuality, yes. There are also verses against women speaking up in church and tattoos and wearing clothing woven of two kinds of material. To stake the entire Christian faith and gospel message on a person's sexual orientation or wearing 50/50 blend shirts is folly. This is why we must must look to the broader truths in Scripture and how it informs us about the characteristics of God. We must look at Christ's words that say the law and the prophets hang on loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind and loving others as yourself. The ministry of Christ was always about bringing people in - the poor, the sick, the sinners, the tax collectors, and more - never turning them away. One cannot reconcile the truths of a just God who loves unconditionally and values grace and free will with the condemnation of a homosexual person made in God's image. Christ came not to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
I don't write this to pile on certain people or certain viewpoints that may be viewed as antiquated. I believe the perspective widely viewed as "Christian" today on Jason Collins coming out is a misinterpretation of sin and grace. Sin is a free will choice where one turns away from God. Even if one is to unequivocally believe homosexuality is a sinful choice (a position that has not and may never be proven), one must also acknowledge that every believer sins. The wonderful freedom in being a Christian is the hope and knowledge that grace saves us from our sin because there is more grace in God than sin in us. And this entire discussion would be in a much better place if there was more grace from all 360 degrees. I readily admit to being one of those sinners because I know I turn away from God each day. Yet I know in spite of that, God's love and grace and acceptance for me and who I am does not change. For me, being a Christian means sharing that gift of grace with others, not condemnation.
Other people have touched on most of what came to my mind when reading this article, but one hole in your argument hasn't been addressed yet. You say, "The ministry of Christ was always about bringing people in - the poor, the sick, the sinners, the tax collectors, and more - never turning them away." While Jesus commanded us to love everyone, he turned PLENTY of people away. In fact, he could be called one of the worst church builders in history. In Matthew 19, we hear of a rich, young ruler who asked Jesus how to earn eternal life. If there was ever someone you'd want to have on your side, it's this guy. He's rich, probably has a lot of influence, and seems eager to obey God. But Jesus tells him to sell all he has to the poor, and "when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions" (v 22). The reason Jesus asked this man to give all he had to the poor was to test his commitment. Jesus wanted his followers to be wholly committed to Him, following half-way was never an option. Don't you think the call to "take up your cross daily" (Mark 8:34-35) would turn a lot of people away? Remember, this is before Jesus died on a cross- so to his audience, He was simply asking them to "grab an instrument of torture and follow me." This turned many who were there simply to see the miracles and get the occasional free food away. Why did Jesus do this? To show people that following Him would require sacrifice- giving up our natural inclination to sin (in whatever way that may be, adultery, stealing, lying, or homosexuality, or any of many other sins) and instead submitting to God and His will for us. Jesus turned many people off from following Him, because he didn't want people to think they could follow Him without intending to turn from their sin. Which brings us back to the gist of the article. I agree that it's hard to imagine someone who is gay, and who doesn't believe it's wrong, or intend to change, be a Christian. Why? Matthew 7 says you can identify people by their actions. How can the actions of someone openly and proudly and unrepentantly practicing homosexuality be the fruit of someone living for Christ? "Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?" (Matt 7:16) It certainly does't seem like that person is a Christian, as they are continually and unrepentantly producing bad fruit. And " A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire" (v 18-19).
Basically, Jesus DID cause people to turn away from Him, because He was clear following Him would require sacrifice. Sacrificing our fears, guilt, and sinful desires to follow Him. Anyone who continues to live in sin without even acknowledging it as sin is not living for Christ, as they are producing "bad fruit"- sin. And the Bible is clear that trees that produce such fruit will not end up well. Does "chopped down and thrown into the fire" sound synonymous to "going to Heaven" to you? Later in Matthew 7, Jesus says "'Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter" (v 21). Sadly, many claim to be followers of Christ, but they love their sins to much to turn from them and follow Christ with their whole lives. They fool themselves into thinking they can enter eternal life simply because they are better than some people. But the Bible says salvation can't come from our good deeds, only from following Christ. (John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9) And "'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your sinful ways, take up your cross, and follow me'" (Mark 8:34). The Bible says many will expect to get into Heaven, but they never really followed Christ. This is why I believe that someone living an unrepentant gay life is, in fact "living in defiance to God," and not a Christian. Anyone unwilling to submit to God's will cannot be described as a follower of Christ. I'll leave you with this: James 1:22 "Do not merely listen to God's Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise you are only fooling yourselves." Living in sin, any sin, without recognizing it as sin and trying to turn from it, is only fooling themselves, as their life is not bearing the fruit of God's spirit, but of sin.
ESPN also released a statement saying they regretted distracting from the news.
LOL. Funniest thing I've read all week.
its amazing that Christians preach tolerance and love and respect but most of the Christians i know are the most judgmental, bigoted, and intolerant people i have ever met. they degrade people and put them down all along quoting from a book full of stories. the "golden rule" is to treat others as you want them to treat you. it is funny to me how many Christians seem to forget about that
This article, while well-intentioned, doesn't reflect the truth of God's word. It is not up to us as a society to decide what God views as sin. His word and the Holy Spirit give us clarity on what is sin and what is not. The social momentum toward gay rights is leading many to over-correct and condone homosexuality as not being a sin. This is probably fueled by the many people who don't understand christian beliefs and get defensive when Christians speak the truth in love, resulting in a lot of name-calling. No one wants to be called intolerant, regressive and a bigot because they believe homosexuality is a sin and so it is easier to condone the sin and put on the badge of tolerance while people give you praise. However, this is pharisaical [John 12:42-43].
Chris Broussard, however, loves praise from God more than the praise of man. He simply spoke the truth in love without an ounce of hatred or anger and he gets lambasted by the media. He doesn't hate homosexual people and, I think, went out of his way to emphasize that, but people block everything out except the part where he says that being a homosexual person and failing to repent makes that person a "sinner". And people get even more defensive when he goes on to point out that if you are sinning in various other ways (adultery, sex outside of marriage) without repenting, then you are also a "sinner". He is reviewing basic christian tenets and it shouldn't be news that this is what Christians believe.
The simple truth is that God sees many things as sins - adultery, pride, envy, greed, homosexuality, murder, lying, worship of idols, sloth etc. And yes, Christians believe that those who participate in these sins without a heart of repentance are living in defiance of God and his good, pleasing and perfect will. But, they also love those people who live in unrepentant sin (whatever the sin is). Reading 1 Corinthians 13 is a great way to see how Christians are called to treat homosexual people. 1 Corinthians 13:5 points out that "love keeps no record of wrongs" - we aren't (or shouldn't be) tallying up sins so that we can shame the "sinner" when they repent. No, we (and more importantly, God) are simply always hoping (as love does according to 1 Corinthians 13 again) for repentance and waiting with open arms.
Christians don't (or shouldn't) view themselves as better than homosexuals or any other non-christian who is living in unrepentant sin because they know what is is like to be a slave to sin and then repent and receive God's mercy and grace. The difference between Christians and non-christians is not sin - both groups sin. The difference is that Christians acknowledge sin and loathe it enough to devote themselves to a life spent running from sin. And Christians rejoice when someone joins the race - running away from sin and toward holiness instead.
This is getting long, so in summary, homosexuality isn't a special sin - it is a sin that is intermingled with a ciivil rights push. We should not lose (God's) perspective because of a political movement.
I would encourage every to read the Scholar Robert Gagnon on this issue. If you are going to debate what the Bible says, you have refute this scholarship (http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/homosexScripReallySays.doc.pdf) or Rosaria Butterfield's experience (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/my-train-wreck-conversion.html).
If being a Christian means sharing the gift of grace with others, not condemnation then can any of us really be a Christian? Are we condemning those that are condemning gays and thus violating our own terms? If people aren't condemned, why the need for grace at all? While homosexuality and Christianity aren't mutually exclusive, Jesus did say in a parable that a man found a pearl of great price in the field and sold all that he had to buy the field. If we aren't ready to sell all that we have for that field, are we saved?
i just don't understand how so many "smart" and "educated" people turn to the bible, a book of stories written by people (none of which actually met Jesus) 2,000 years ago. We have to be better than that by now, science has proven too much to turn to an ancient collection of stories to make an argument (nevermind to judge the actions of other people)
Like, lets just take the simple concept of creationism and the advent of humanity. According to the bible, our earth is 6,000 years old and the first two humans on this earth were Adam and Eve. My question is, doing educated people legitimatlly believe this to be true?
Broussard's comments are irrelevant until someone can actually prove that this whole "God" or "Christ" thing really exists and imparts any meaningful influence on anything. Until that happens, what he says, and what anyone else says on the matter, is just noise.
all sects of society (be they religious sects or otherwise) have spent millennia trying to decipher the difference between right and wrong... the reason that there is such backlash against religious condemnation of particular sins is because the person who's exhibiting the act in question doesn't feel that they're doing anything wrong... they certainly don't want to be told that they're doing something wrong (many) Christians can admit that they do sinful things and many have made it a habit of identifying the "list" of sinful things... they admit that they do bad things... and that's why they depend on Jesus to dig them out of their hole... unbelieving homosexuals do not subscribe to the premise that they need to be dug out of a hole because, having no absolute doctrine to differentiate right from wrong, they don't believe that they're doing anything wrong what they do know, however, is that a bunch of Christians (with help from media sensationalists) have told them that this one thing about them is wrong... and that it's not just wrong, but it's "more wrong" than most other wrongs... who would want to subscribe to the type of structure that immediately assumes that the way they live is wrong? I don't know if homosexuality is wrong, but if it is then it is no more wrong than the best wrong I do on a daily basis... according to the Bible, the wages for any sin is death... there isn't a list in the Bible that says "eating shrimp equals a little bit of death" or "murder equals a lot of death"... love is the answer... tolerance is a subsect of love... but tolerance and love go both ways... love a homosexual as much as you love a murderer, or your mother... love the intolerant basketball announcer and tolerate his intolerance just as you would love and tolerate your insolent brother... there are too many questions with far too many complex answers for us to build up walls against each other... if all we do is build walls, we fence ourselves in... then, who can we serve?
So, this reporter with Christian values voluntarily decides that his life work should be covering the NBA and its bevy of sinful employees.
I do not see how anyone can argue with what Broussard said: Living as an open homosexual is open rebellion to God. To live in sin and show no repentance or remorse makes it hard for me to believe that one can TRULY have given their life to Christ. In fact, that is impossible. You cannot Biblically defend homosexuality. Should they be treated with love? Absolutely. Can they become a Christian? Absolutely. Homosexuality is an equal sin to the rest, as Broussard clarified. But to live an openly sinful lifestyle and accepting yourself for it is not okay. Christians view themselves as sinners in need of a savior.
Thanks Matt. I too am a Christian, and it is very hard for me to see homosexuals through the eyes of Christ, because I have been conditioned through the culture and the false teachings of others that homosexuality is 100% godless. Christians have to view homosexuality as a sin just like every other sin, and we have to accept sinners just as Christ did. He dinned with sinners. The Old Testament laws can be skewed by human interpretation, and that is why Christ, when asked what the greatest commandment of all was, answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" God condemns all sin, regardless of how sinners view the degree of sin. My sin, even as a Christian, displeases God just as much as a homosexual who embraces their lifestyle. Broussard should not have pointed out his sins in the manner he did, because Broussard is not without sin, regardless of its impact on society. Broussard, as a Christian, should have showed sincerity and support for Collins and his future, instead of being the judge of the situation. Did he speak the truth? Yes. Did he have the authority to publically call out Collins' sin and label him "rebellion" to God? Probably not. He would have to come on air and say the same thing to players like Kobe Bryant, who had an affair with his wife, and say he is living in rebellion, and publically call him a sinner. Broussard picked an issue he didn't agree with, and aired that disagreement. Personally, I support Collins because he may be more proud of being gay than most Christians are being Christians. I also believe homosexuality is not a choice. It is something that is developed over time and it embraced, just like someone who gets addicted to drugs, alcohol, or even snack foods. We have a choice to continue to embrace it as who we are. I will pray for Collins, especially his safety, because I am not sure how some people will react to this news. I want Collins to feel loved by God, because it is not my desire to see an openly gay person be immediately condemned to hell by Christians who look down on other sinners, while the plank is in their eye (Matt. 7:3-5). I've heard of many homosexuals who fought the desires of the flesh and strive to honor God above all else, and that is what I pray for in Collins life, but I will never let the first words out of my mouth be "sinner" to someone, even though it is true, because the love of Christ looks beyond the sin, regardless of the degree we place on it. Amen, Matt, and continue your fine work.
If you truly believe in the Bible - that homosexuality is a sin, and that living in unrepentant sin is a road to hell, then what Chris Broussard said is actually the most loving thing that he could have done. What would be evil is if he thought that the true Christian life leads to eternal happiness in heaven, while a life in unrepentant sin ends in eternal agony - and cared so little about somebody that he wouldn't tell them. Broussard is not intolerant. He expressed no dislike for Jason Collins. He also mentioned other sins, and many of the people that he covers are engaged in those, but it doesn't impact his reporting. He hasn't been quiet about his views in the past, but that has not kept him from being close friends with LZ Granderson
I'm a Christian, and while I have no animus towards gay people, the Bible still calls homosexuality a sin. I'm in no position to argue with God on this one. With that said, homosexuality is no more a sin than adultery, lying, stealing, gossip, etc. I commend Collins for his honesty, and Chris Broussard for being truthful as well. You and I may not agree Matt, but that's o.k. as far as I'm concerned.
Appreciate your viewpoint. Alas, what you and many Christians fail to do is go the distance with your statements. Who needs a God if we can make our own rules? Jesus accepts sinners and we all sin. Grace is for the present, not the afterlife. You say so yourself that sin separates us from God. I see that you did not address whether the statements made by Broussard were theologically correct or not (they were). What you did was offer an opinion based on wanting people to feel good about their sin nature and not theological doctrine. Jesus called on the outcasts so that he might save them, not leave them in the same condition as he found them, which is what you are advocating. Be blessed.
Well let's not pretend that we're going to end thousands of years of debate in one blog post. Let's also not pretend that "Christianity" in the very broad sense of the term has been ok with homosexuality. Sure, churches and different denominations have become more tolerant of it in recent years. However, tolerance and acceptance are not the same thing. This is something the MSM and specifically ESPN in this case don't seem to get. Even Roger Gooddell, the head of the NFL equated tolerance with acceptance recently. No, Mr. Gooddell, you can't force people to accept things they morally disagree with. You can force them to tolerate it through standards and practices, but you can't make them change their beliefs simply by instituting a policy. But historically speaking, "Christianity" has always taught that being gay was wrong, as do Judaism and Islam, yet it's only when Christians say it that it makes the news. That's all Chris Broussard was really saying and he obviously agrees with it. Millions of Americans and billions of people around the world would probably agree with it too. But let's not equate Chris Broussard to Westboro Baptist. Let's not say it's outrageous his thinks gays can't be Christian because that IS the historical context and the majority of Christians probably do agree with him. The fact this is even controversial at all shows the agenda of the mainstream media and sports are now pretty much aligned. Sports is and should be non-political, so when there's even a smidgen of crossover, like this, the media always takes the secular, left-leaning side and those who believe in what is historical a mainstream, non-controversial belief, as Chris Broussard does, are now apparently on part with Fred Phelps at best and Nazis at worse.
Well written Matt. Very powerful stuff, as a fellow Christian I am proud of what you wrote and agree 100% with you. Nice job.
The Bible that you claim to believe in explicitly states on several places that homosexuality is sin. If you doubt the validity of that, then your entire faith rests on an invalid book.
Yes...yes! Well said. Thank you for speaking up. I grinned from ear to ear at the bravery and honesty of the SI column. I'm also extremely happy that you wrote this. I believe it reflects the beliefs of many Christians who are not yet bold enough to publically support/accept/tolerate homosexuality...the day will come. It did for us women and I am extremely grateful for those bold enough to champion women's rights inside and outside of the church.
Well let's not pretend that we're going to end thousands of years of debate in one blog post. Let's also not pretend that "Christianity" in the very broad sense of the term has been ok with homosexuality. Sure, churches and different denominations have become more tolerant of it in recent years (tolerance and acceptance are not the same thing).
But historically speaking, "Christianity" has always taught that being gay was wrong, as do Judaism and Islam, yet it's only when Christians say it that it makes the news. That's all Chris Broussard was really saying and he obviously agrees with it. Millions of Americans and billions of people around the world would probably agree with it too.
But let's not equate Chris Broussard to Westboro Baptist. Let's not say it's outrageous his thinks gays can't be Christian because that IS the historical context and the majority of Christians probably do agree with him.
The fact this is even controversial at all shows the agenda of the mainstream media and sports are now pretty much aligned. Sports is and should be non-political, so when there's even a smidgen of crossover, like this, the media always takes the secular, left-leaning side and those who believe in what is historical a mainstream, non-controversial belief, as Chris Broussard does, are now apparently on part with Fred Phelps at best and Nazis at worse.
Broussard is 100% correct, in lock-step with the Scripture. If you do not understand what he was saying, I would love to answer in any questions.
@ikbant2 Here's the thing - the sins you're trying to compare homosexuality to are actions, but homosexuality is a sexual orientation. It's one very basic part of a person's constitution: what types of people they tend to feel attraction for and fall in love with. It can't be changed - goodness knows people have tried - so regardless of what a gay person does, they will still be gay. What you are saying means that their very existence is a sin in God's eyes.I work with gay and transsexual asylum seekers from all over the world, trust me on this: it doesn't matter if a society celebrates, ignores, scorns, or routinely tortures and hangs or stones gays. People keep being gay and bisexual - about 4-10% of the population. Ahmadenijad can say whatever he pleases, I know some of the gays that have fled Iran. Many of the people I meet have lived every day of their lives since they realized their orientation in desperate fear and shame and hope that it will somehow change. They have gotten married, prayed on their knees, fasted, literally self-flagellated, been brought to witch doctors for exorcism by their families. They are still gay. Some have just barely escaped lynchings, many have been arrested and beaten and sexually violated in different ways by police, many many have been raped, sometimes "correctively". Still gay. You might think that the violence and threats is what has scarred them most, but what I have come to realize is that for many of them, by far the greatest most lasting pain is being rejected by their families. And sometimes by their church or mosque. I will ask you to please just listen to this song, "Mr. Preacher" by the brave Ugandan gay Christian artist Brayo Bryans: http://www.reverbnation.com/brayobryans/song/15805141-mr-preacher?1336410755Please read the lyrics. To understand better what he is singing about you can search on "Martin Ssempa", or "David Kato's funeral" (though I'm not sure all the footage from that is available online).
@BradenMatthewLadner I'll explain how I can argue with what Broussard said, but first let me clarify what I'm NOT arguing with. 1) I'm not arguing with Broussard's right to state his opinion. Being disagreeable or even offensive isn't illegal. 2) I'm not going to argue about whether the Bible contains anti-homosexuality verses- that's not debatable. (What *is* debatable is whether said verses are universal, absolute, eternal laws, like the prohibition on murder, or not, like the prohibition on eating shellfish. But I digress.)
My problem with Broussard's statement is the last bit, where he says he wouldn't characterize Jason Collins, or anyone "living in unrepentant sin", as a Christian. Why does he think it's acceptable for him to make that sweeping judgement? Good thing it's not up to Chris Broussard. By his logic, all overweight Christians- excuse me- "Christians" (and there are a lot of 'em!) are in danger of the fires of hell- gluttony is a sin and so it must follow that, by remaining overweight, they are in "open rebellion to God". I could go on with other flaws in his logic, but I won't.
@BradenMatthewLadner Except for the fact that the Bible got the easiest moral question of all time, slavery, wrong. You can be a Christian and realize that you don't have to interpret everything literally.
@kenosando Broussard did call out other sins. He didn't call out Bryant by name, but he said that adultery and fornication are sins as well. He wasn't picking on homosexuality, but that's what he was asked about
Since I cannot edit, let me clarify my first statement: By my statement "the false teaching that homosexuality is 100% godless" I meant that I have been taught that homosexuality removes you from the graces of God, which is not true. No one is out of the grasp of God's grace. In my own rebellion in life, I believed there was no God, and actively sought to tarnish His name through my life, yet God called me back.
If you TRULY saw the Grace of Jesus Christ in Broussard's words, might I suggest you've been worshiping the wrong Christ?
Odd. How christian heterosexuals never speak out about THIER sin. You never see 'christians' at the court house with vulgar sings directed toward heterosexual couples who just got divorced. Or showing up at their schools with hateful, vulgar signs to object to the many blended families that are the result of heterosexuals abandoning their families for other, newer families.
Your 'no animus' statement would be a bit more believable if your people's actions didn't completely belie them.
@BradenMatthewLadner You should take a formal logic class: what you just wrote is a very basic logical fallacy called an either-or fallacy. Either this or that, as though a third possibility doesn't exist. You either believe the whole Bible is valid or you don't believe any of it is valid. No smart theologian has ever worked that way,and Thank God for it. There's a third option: I can read the Bible and understand its socio-historical context and complexities, not take it so literally, and still have faith. I mean, I teach my 10th graders how to read beyond the literal. You should try it, because right now your arguments demonstrate fallacious, juvenile thinking so far from intellectual soundness that it's laughable.
@BradenMatthewLadner I know Matt personally (no relation, despite the same last name, actually). He is a graduate of theological school, and is more devoted to Christianity than most people I know are to anything. I can assure you that he more than "claims" to believe in the Bible.
I absolutely condemn all of those terrible actions against gay people that you mentioned in your reply. And I am not condemning people for simply having a homosexual orientation or being attracted to the opposite sex.
Many people have different “orientations” when it comes to other sins as well. We all have inclinations to sin rather than live a holy life. I have an orientation to have sex outside of marriage and was tempted to do so since I hit puberty. I have an orientation to have lustful thoughts about women. I also easily fall into greed for material things and am inclined to lie to avoid shame. I struggle with envying other people for their personal attributes and covet the material possessions of others.
There are so many other sins which people struggle with. My natural inclination is to sin in these ways and not to seek righteousness, but I take up my cross each day the best I can and submit my will to God’s. These sinful “orientations” are not pleasant to admit to and suppress, but Christians are called to this life of holiness.
In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul says that it is better not to marry. While this is a controversial part of scripture, it at least puts singleness and married life on equal footing. There are people who go through life without having sex or getting married. I took a vow of abstinence and will not have sex until I get married next month. Additionally, Henri Nouwen, a well-known Catholic Priest is known to have struggled with homosexuality but committed himself to abstinence and rejected his orientation for the sake of Christ.
Sexuality is a perverted aspect of life in our modern culture. Although sexuality is a fundamental aspect of humanity, it is being severely abused by the media. Our society is bombarded by images and lyrics that pervert the original intent of sex between a man and a woman. We are gluttons for sex and the overstimulation is at least partially to blame for sexual immorality being seen today.
@LVA The problem is that open homosexuals do NOT see it as a problem, and do NOT intend to change from it. If a homosexual has denounced homosexuality and is working to rid the sin of his life like I have to every day with numerous sins, THEN, I can believe that person has truly accepted Christ and believes in the God of the Holy Bible.
Can there be a more clear way to say that the Bible SHOULD be taken literally? Also, if the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, but people aren't supposed to take that literally, then why would it even be in there? And what other way is there to understand that? Is it figurative somehow?
@calvinmasterson The Bible did not get slavery wrong at all, some backwards people misinterpreted the Bible strategically to fit their slave-owning lifestyles similar to the way people are bending the word now so as to make homosexuality seem moral.
@thistleton87 I understand that he did call out other sins, and the topic was specific to Collins, but I think his addressing these sins were that of a judge and not of a Christian. He only see Collins as a sinner, and not a person like Broussard was before he came to Christ. Broussard's intentions were to distance himself from the sin, but he didn't gain anything to when he interviews Collins next season, where he can be seen as anything but judgmental. I can't say I would have handled it any better, but I won't start a conversation by pointing out his sin. That doesn't spell out "love your neighbor as yourself"
@BillJones1 He just said he wasn't a Christian. He didn't say that he hates him, or that anybody else should. There was no malice in his comment. And Christ called out many people for their sins in much more explicit language than Broussard used
@BradenMatthewLadner I was being facetious to prove a point about the hole in the logic "homosexuality = sin = rebellion ---> not Chrisitian". I don't think being overweight is a sin, just as I don't think the fact that I'm wearing a blended fabric sweater is a sin. And I'm sure there are other Christians who'd agree with me and I'm equally sure that doesn't mean we can't be Christians.
@LVA I agree 100%, overweight people are absolutely living in sin. However, I don't believe that there are overweight Christians who have not accepted that they are sinning.
@BradenMatthewLadner I can understand your perspective but there is still a hole in the logic behind it... unless we're going to decide that people who have accepted being overweight (or who have accept wearing blended fabrics, for that matter) are in open rebellion of God's law and therefore cant' be Christians. And I'm not going to say that, as it is clearly ridiculous- which was my point about Broussard's statement from the get-go.
@BradenMatthewLadner What you don't seem to get is that it doesn't matter how a gay person lives - they are still a homosexual. The only way they could not "live as a homosexual" is to not live at all. I know that's not what you are advocating, but I need you to please understand that that's actually the only option your attitude leaves gay Christians with. And those that grow up in communities and families and congregations that share that attitude do try to kill themselves in terrifying numbers. At the same time I have seen for myself how Christian leaders who do speak up for acceptance can be immensely healing, both on individuals and on families and whole communities. Two of my personal heroes are Bishop Christopher Senyonjo and Reverend Kapya Kaoma, both of Uganda. These two courageous, loving men aren't just putting themselves at great risk and facing extreme hatred to stop violence and murder of gays. They are telling the entire community what it needs to understand to change the culture of contempt and hatred of gays: that homosexuality really is not an abomination in God's eyes, that gays were created with it, it's a part of their beings, and therefor it's as beautiful as anything else God created.
@BradenMatthewLadner You don't think it's interesting that Paul never bothered to point out to slavemasters that THEIR moral duty, in turn, was to not own other human beings and make them work for you for free, if God viewed slavery as a horrific abomination?
..What we should be talking about isn't this, however, but rather it's the ethical consequences of taking certain Bible verses condemning "homosexuality" at face value today. I'm sure you agree with me that every person, Christian or not, has the responsibility to understand the impact their actions have on others, and let that morally guide their actions. No one escapes that responsibility simply by quoting a Bible verse. .For me these songs by the young Ugandan Christian gay artist and activist Brayo Bryans are a really good way to get a feel for this: http://www.reverbnation.com/brayobryans/song/15805141-mr-preacher?1336410755Please listen to it...Once you really, truly know what these attitudes do to gay people all around, you will be better able to determine if these 2 or 3 verses in questions should keep being interpreted as condemning modern-day, mutual, egalitarian, consensual relationships between two adults of the same gender.
@calvinmasterson If you read my other responses I think you'd see you misunderstood my main point. I'm not anti-gay or pro-slavery and I agree the Bible has some consistency errors, especially if everything is taken literally.
For my part, I wasn't "cherry-picking" verses. I was simply agreeing with Braden that the NT verses regarding slaves were twisted in the past to support slavery- which they do not expressly do. (Notice, the instructions are addressed to slaves, not slave owners... a subtle difference, but still a difference.) Paul was writing within a specific society with social norms of its own and his purpose in writing was spreading the gospel, not abolishing slavery. That said, my main point to was point out to Braden that OT verses *do* expressly condone slavery (even beating slaves!) and that those can't easily be explained away.
@calvinmasterson @LVA Neither Broussard nor I nor anyone defending Scripture is saying homosexuality is beyond redemption! It isn't! No sin is! However, to live as a homosexual and not view it as sinful and something that needs repentance is a real problem. Nothing that can't be fixed, however. God's grace is available to everyone.
I have gay friends and some gay family. I love them with my whole heart and pray for them daily. I am no better than they are, and neither is anyone else. And no one is saying that. Quit twisting our words just like you are twisting Scripture.
@calvinmasterson @BradenMatthewLadner The verse you cite does not say slavery is correct. Rather, the Apostle Paul recommends that slaves not rebel against their owners. This is in accord with Jesus' statement that all of us should not resist evil persons, that we should turn the other cheek, that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, etc. It deals with our response to evil. It does not say that evil is good.
@BradenMatthewLadner Slavery has always meant the same thing: one person owning another. Also I have studied ancient history, and slaves were often treated worse in those days. THe verse promotes a concept that you should respect your master, no matter what the master is doing. Also do you not remember the story of the Jews in Egypt, where slavery was so terrible? This is the slavery of the ancient world that the Bible is supporting. Get your head out of the sand and stop using the Bible to hate people. Mark my words, in 150 years we will look at the prejudices against gay people with the same horror most reasonable people look at the horrors of slavery. The question is what side will you be on.
@LVA @BradenMatthewLadner I don't even see how you can say the NT was twisted. The verse I posted above is clear support of slavery, and there are others. And give me an example of a twisted verse. Basically, it boils down to the fact that you are using relgion as a crutch to hate people you don't understand. I have many gay friends, and treat them just the same. They put their pants on one leg at a time as well.
Also, stop cherrypicking bible verses to suit your own needs. According to the Bible we all sin, but are saved by the Grace of God. Most Christians accept that even murderers can be saved. Then how do you decide homosexuality is the one sin that is beyond redemption
@calvinmasterson In what way at all does that verse support slavery? For one thing, slavery was a completely different concept back then, which isn't even worth getting into.. And also, that verse promotes a very noble concept, respecting your master. Many people were slaves back then, and that is how God intended them to deal with their masters, with respect and fear.
@BradenMatthewLadner Now you are in denial. The Bible clearly comes out in support of slavery. "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ" Ephesians 6:5. And this is one of the tamer versions. The bible clearly supports slavery and to deny that is to deny that the sky is blue and we are human. But Christians came to realize that was wrong and ignored the Bible's teaching on that in favor of tolerance; we must do the same thing with homosexuality.