Sunday, May 18, 2014

Real Courage

For years I’ve enjoyed watching NFL games on TV especially when the Minnesota Vikings are playing well. This fall I will be watching fewer (if any) games if a particular player makes it through training camp and continues receiving massive publicity. Last weekend, a University of Missouri defensive end named Michael Sam was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams. A homosexual who “came out” this past February, Michael reacted to the news of being drafted by kissing his boyfriend. That incident was broadcast all over national TV and the Internet. 

Not everyone in the NFL was pleased with Michael Sam’s kiss. Miami Dolphins strong safety Don Jones tweeted “OMG” and “horrible” but later deleted those politically incorrect words and offered an apology. Nevertheless, the Dolphins fined and suspended Jones who is now required to attend “sensitivity training.” This kind of training actually desensitizes people of sinful behavior.

It’s ridiculous for Michael Sam’s entry into the NFL to be compared with Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color line in 1947. For one thing, someone’s sexual preference is exactly that...a preference. A man or woman can choose to obey God’s standards regarding sex. For the liberals reading this who want to label me a “bigot” or a “hater”, let me clarify that I don’t hate Michael Sam as a person but I hate the sin of homosexuality. God didn’t create man to have sexual relationships with another of the same gender (see Romans 1:26-27).

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated, “Discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation is not consistent with our values and is unacceptable in the National Football League.” I will now be more discriminative of the games I watch including the Vikings who happen to play against the Rams during their regular season opener on September 7th. Harassment from gay activists has now invaded my favorite sport. I find this unacceptable.

While the media went nuts over the "bravery" of Michael Sam’s kiss, little was said about the Philadelphia Eagles signing Alejandro Villanueva (pictured above), an Army Ranger who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan plus received a Bronze Star for rescuing wounded men on the battlefield while under enemy fire. Yet two days before he got drafted, Michael Sam won this year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award. If Michael were to get saved and then publicly renounce his homosexuality, that would certainly be more courageous than him coming out of the closet.

Throughout the Bible, God’s people took courageous stands for righteousness even when it went against the law. The Book of Daniel has two memorable examples. In chapter 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into a fiery furnace for refusing to bow down to a large golden idol. Later in chapter 6, Daniel himself was cast into the lion’s den for a similar violation. God supernaturally protected His men in both instances.

At the time I finished writing this article, I exchanged emails with a Facebook friend facing a dilemma. His sister is a lesbian getting married next month. My friend asked for advice since he planned to attend the same-sex wedding ceremony despite his sister insisting he remain quiet when the minister says, “If anyone feels this couple should not be united in Holy Matrimony...speak now...or forever hold your peace.”

Ephesians 5:11 says to “...have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” It's another thing to go to an ungodly environment for the purpose of reaching out to sinners with the gospel. I once heard a street preacher testify of walking into gay bars to evangelize. I advised my friend not to attend his sister's wedding ceremony but show up at the reception with the intent to minister. 

Real courage is speaking the truth in love.

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  - Matthew 10:28

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