What would it take to get a phone call from the President of the United States?
For Neil Armstrong it took flying to the moon on Apollo 11. President Nixon actually called and congratulated him while he was on the moon.
For Hank Aaron, it took 715 home runs. After breaking Babe Ruth’s long standing Home Run Record, and in the midst of many racially motivated death threats, the President called Mr. Aaron in the locker room after the game.
And again, just this week, the President of the United States took time out of his busy schedule to make a personal call to a civilian. However this call wasn’t prompted by some heroic event; no one landed on the moon and no one broke a long-standing sports record. The President of the United States took time out of his schedule to call a Jason Collins to congratulate him and tell him “he couldn’t be more proud of him” for professing to the world that he is a homosexual.
On Monday, Jason Collins, a professional basketball player in the NBA, announced in an interview that he was a homosexual. Reaction to this announcement, the Presidential phone call, and media response has brought this story to the headlines. Here’s my offering on the matter. Just a few observations.
- Times have changed. There was a time, not very long ago, when a call from a President was precipitated by some great accomplishment. After all, how much time can the President of the United States spend on the telephone talking to 350 million citizens. It must be a special occasion for him to do so. Is publicly admitting to the practice of sexual sin worthy of our President to call a citizen and tell him he “couldn’t be more proud of him” for publicly stating he is a homosexual? Times have indeed changed!
- The world is the world. The world has always and will always adopt an adversarial role against Christianity. Therefore, I shouldn’t be surprised by discrimination against Christians (John 15:18-20). Do you remember how many pundits called for Tim Tebow to stop talking about his profession of Christianity because it had no place in professional sports? Yet, Jason Collins is being praised by these same pundits for coming out and being vocal about his sinful lifestyle. Unfair? Yes. Frustrating? Absolutely. But justice and righteousness won’t be fully experienced until the Lord returns. Until then, we must not lose heart.
- Good is called evil, and evil is called good. Isaiah pronounced a “woe” upon those who do this (Isaiah 5:20). Scores of people have commended Collins for making his homosexuality known, while ESPN commentator, Chris Broussard, has been heavily criticized for saying that the practice of “homosexuality is open rebellion against God.” Affirming sin is called “courageous,” but upholding truth is called “judgmental” and “intolerant.” Those who wave the banner of “Tolerance” are inconsistently intolerant of anyone who opposes their agenda.
- Discriminate. Learn to separate the sin from the sinner. Don’t take the easy route and lump everyone in the same basket. Learn to show patience and support to those who struggle with and seek to resist temptation to sin, no matter what that sin might be, and those who surrender to it. The Christlike response to any sinner fighting to live in rebellion to the Devil should be compassion, love, patience, and understanding. I’m against the practice of homosexuality, however I’m for those who are tempted by this lifestyle and seek to resist it.
Voices, voices, voices. Friends, there are so many voices. We find ourselves in a cultural firestorm and everyone has their opinion and is freely expressing it, just as I have done here. But here’s my challenge to you. Stay balanced; don’t veer to the right or the left, and make sure you’re listening to the voice of God and not public opinion.