If you're not familiar with the name Jason Collins, you may be soon. Collins became the first active athlete in a major American team sport (Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey) to "come out" as openly gay. You can find the ESPN column about it here. If you check out that story or Twitter, you'll find that there has been an outpouring of support for him. You'll find words like respect, support, proud, happy, courage, leadership, etc. It's almost enough to make a person feel misguided or guilty for thinking somewhat differently about the subject. You might have guessed that I do think differently, but please don't stop reading there and write me off as a bigot.
Would you believe me if I told you that even though I believe homosexuality is a sin, that I would gladly welcome Jason Collins if he showed up at our church? I would. Would you believe me if I told you I had a friendly exchange with a lesbian today? I did. Would you believe me if I told you I don't hate gays? I don't.
Yet I can't celebrate someone coming out unless it is a different kind of coming out. You see, every day Christians own our sin as well. But we shouldn't own it as a badge of courage or pride. I struggle with self-centeredness and pride and lust and impatience. I don't tell you that to show you how content I am with who I am or to find acceptance with a community of similar sinners. We acknowledge and confess our disobedience to God as something from which we must find forgiveness and turn away. That's why I'm no better than Jason Collins or any other homosexual or other kind of sinner. I'm a sinner too. I too need God's grace and the forgiveness that only comes through Christ. So if Jason came to our church, I would call him to confess and repent just like I seek to do for others who continue in their disobedience and don't repent. I would point him to the marvelous Savior, Jesus, as I seek to do for all who worship with us each Sunday. I would seek to show him the freedom that comes with knowing and loving and trusting God.
I don't doubt that it took courage for Jason Collins to do what he did. But it would take even more for him to "come out" in repentance and faith.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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