Friday, May 3, 2013

ESPN Regrets Christian Speech... Full-Blown Persecution Is On Our Doorstep

We have entered an era where it is a liability to be a Christian, and a boost to your popularity and career to boast of your secret sins. Or not so secret.

The Homosexual Revolution

You've likely heard of the news regarding the basketball player who recently "came out" (I can't remember his name, and I frankly don't feel the need to; why give him more press?). He was greeted with congratulations and accolades from every corner. The President, who couldn't be bothered to comment on the Kermit Gosnell trial (likely because his voting record shows that he thinks the murderer's actions should be legal), nevertheless made a personal phone call to the now out-and-proud homosexual to CONGRATULATE him on his supposed "bravery."

Stop for a second. If coming out of the closet gets you nationwide media attention, widespread encouragement and support throughout the media and the public, and even a presidential phone call to congratulate you, what's brave about it? Even a USA Today column this week made the admission that this could only be a net benefit to his career.

Can anyone look at this particular case and honestly say that homosexuals are oppressed in this country?

Broussard Brouhaha

Flip the issue. A Christian ESPN commentator, Chris Broussard, takes a public stand for Christ by saying that homosexuality is a sin and that unrepentant homosexuals can't be true Christians.

ESPN hasn't immediately fired him, but it's early, yet. Supposedly, the website issued an apology for letting their tv coverage get 'nasty,' with apparent reference to the fact that someone who dared to disagree got airtime. Keep your eyes open for possible future contract termination. Persecutors of Christians in this country tend to try to be subtle...but they're getting bolder.

What's interesting is the response. While the backlash among the populace is vocal and aggressive, as is a typical product of internet anonymity, the fact that Mr. Broussard is able to clearly show that he's not hateful of homosexuals, that he's not behaving like an elitist or a hypocrite either, and his responsible and frequent bringing-up of Scripture to support his case, seems to have had the effect--if temporary--of actually stifling the animosity from the other side. He actually has gotten his critics to shut their mouths. Partially.  And you know why that is? The Word of God. 


Todd Friel is a Georgia-based Christian radio host who comments on culture from a theologically Christian conservative point of view. Here is his analysis of the initial event:

Just recently, Mr. Broussard did a radio interview where he excellently exegeted Scripture and stood his ground. If you want to be encouraged that God is raising up true believers in public places to be salt and light, this second clip from today is must-hear radio:

The first link is a little more cynical. I won't say pessimistic. In my view, pessimism is cynicism combined with a touch of fatalism (the feeling that there's no point because everything you do is futile). Cynicism is realism, namely the realization that things are bad, and the correct understanding of how you relate to it -- you have a purpose and things are never totally hopeless. You don't know what God's working on outside of your sphere of knowledge. Todd is cynical in his perception that persecution is on the way, but he's not a pessimist--the very fact that he has this radio show and that he goes to preach on "Witness Wednesdays," and his "Biggest Project" DVD-tracting ministry all show that he thinks his efforts -- and that of those who join ranks with him -- have the potential to be used by God to accomplish revival if it is in His sovereign will to do so. Pessimism leads to fatalism, which leads to a lack of action and motivation toward action. I don't see that in Todd, and I don't recognize it in myself, either. This blog is my personal attempt to do something about the situation in our nation today. I don't have the following of Wretched, Answers in Genesis, Way of the Master, or Grace to You, but to underestimate the impact that I as an individual can have is to ignore the implications of the Butterfly Effect -- that minor events can have huge consequences down the road due to the cascading ripple effect.

A USA Today column I read about the issue said it all. The writer, pro-gay, admitted that coming out of the closet was bound to be "a net benefit to his career," and I agree. I already questioned the notion that homosexuals are being oppressed by the greater society at large above, and I won't keep beating that dead horse. The irony here is that whereas homosexuality used to have a stigma, it really doesn't any more. Now the stigma is centered on Christianity. The news story of the week ought rather to be that Chris Broussard "came out of the closet" as a Christian on national television (not technically true, as he has been outspoken about his faith in the past). 

Todd pointed out something interesting in the second clip: that Broussard, by bringing up Scripture, was able to "shut them up," them being the hosts interviewing him. The takeaway lesson is that we won't have an impact on the culture by being witty or by promoting ad campaigns or joining with unbelievers in social activism. No, the one thing that has the power to accomplish God's plan is none other than God's own Word. The Bible.

In keeping with Todd's observation, here are two typically-leftist major online news websites' articles about Chris Broussard. What strikes me is, (in contrast to the comments at HuffPo), the seeming lack of animus in the writings. It really does seem as if Chris, by rightly handling the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15), has managed to stifle the anti-Christian sentiment, at least temporarily. This should encourage all of us to, when dealing with unbelievers, to not rely on our own intuition or cleverness, but to always bring the discussion back to the Gospel and to bring up Scripture. No matter how much the person we're talking to hates it.,0,1157118.story


A final tidbit, somewhat unrelated:

Homosexuality leads to the degrading of women. The logic goes, since relationships aren't about the man taking responsibility to lead and sacrificially love and serve his wife, and the wife respecting and submitting to her husband....if relationships are just about "happiness" and sexual pleasure, then as homosexuality gets mainstreamed, more people will think, since we don't need women for our sexual pleasure, what use is there for them? They're only good for one thing--making babies. Consequently, societies that have been sexually and homosexually promiscuous have not historically honored women. This is where we're going, now. Nothing is more anti-woman than the philosophy of 3rd-wave feminism that seeks to remove gender distinctions and mainstream homosexual behavior.

Another point Todd makes, in one of the three links I've given here, is that if it's really true that homosexuality isn't something people are born with--if it's a learned behavior--then you can expect that it's going to vastly increase in prevalence as it becomes accepted and mainstreamed by our society. 

Scary stuff. But I'm encouraged that God is raising up Christians like Chris Broussard in public places to be salt and light and accomplish His divine purposes.

His parents named him well. "Christopher," after all, is a name that means "Christ-bearer."

~ Rak Chazak

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