The mainstream media and critics of historic Christianity are at it again-Christians who have done nothing but articulate what the Bible says about homosexuality are being vitrified.
Chris Broussard, an ESPN commentator who stated what he as a Christian believes about homosexuality, has received nothing but vitriol from critics. ESPN apologized for his comments, but Broussard has not. In fact, Broussard hoped that people would express tolerance for his beliefs. He said, " In talking to some people around the league, there's a lot [of] Christians in the NBA and just because they disagree with that lifestyle, they don't want to be called bigoted and intolerant and things like that. That's what LZ [Granderson] was getting at. Just like I may tolerate someone whose lifestyle I disagree with, he can tolerate my beliefs. He disagrees with my beliefs and my lifestyle but true tolerance and acceptance is being able to handle that as mature adults and not criticize each other and call each other names…" Unfortunately, his critics have not expressed any tolerance towards him.
Greg Laurie, the Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., who led the May 2 National Day of Prayer, was also criticized for his position on homosexuality and found himself under pressure to step down. He didn't. He said, "We're in a time in our country now where I'm attacked because I believe what the Bible teaches." And he's not alone.
Louie Giglio, the pastor of Passion City Church in Roswell, Ga., was asked to offer the prayer at President Obama's 2012 inauguration ceremony. Because of his position on homosexuality, which caused an uproar among the gay community, he was asked to step down.
Now, evangelical stalwart John Piper, the minister of Bethlehem Baptist Church of 33 years and founder of Desiring God Ministries, is being criticized by a Gordon Conwell seminary graduate who claims to be a "conservative" and says that Piper is "wreaking havoc in our churches' pews, destroying families, and ultimately placing a banner of hate and hypocrisy over the front doors of our conservative faith churches."
What is going on?
Exactly what Jesus and his followers predicted: people who desire to live a godly life in Jesus Christ would be persecuted for doing so.
Yet, if morality is relative to those who support the homosexual lifestyle, then why would ESPN need to apologize? Why would Laurie and Giglio need to step down from praying publicly? What societal norm did any of these men violate that would necessitate an apology? The answer is that many critics hold a double standard for "tolerance": they are only tolerant of those with whom they agree. Those who believe what the Bible says is true are labeled as bigots-but in reality, their critics should label God as the bigot because it is His word these men have chosen to follow.
Furthermore, the courage displayed by these Christians (and many others) to openly discuss what the Bible says about homosexuality-knowing that they would be criticized- is far greater than the courage a professional athlete would need to "come out" to a liberal media that already supports his lifestyle.
Keep in mind, this is the same media that has consistently criticized Tim Tebow for his faith, writes "The Myths of Jesus," at Christmastime, and parodies the resurrection of Jesus Christ to a Quentin Tarantino movie three days after Ash Wednesday. It goes without saying that the majority of mainstream media is aggressively hostile towards Christianity in America.
At the same time, the double standard extends beyond an understanding of "tolerance." Muslim and Jewish athletes are not mocked. There are no comedic skits about Islam or the Prophet Mohammed. And by and large, the mainstream media does not report on Christian persecution taking place in the world, mostly by Muslims.
Despite the hostile environment in which Christians find themselves practicing and articulating their faith, there is hope.
In perhaps one of the best expositions of Romans 1, John Piper clearly explains why "homosexuality is the judgment of God dramatizing the exchange of the glory of God for images of ourselves," but also why through God there is hope. He says, "The healing of the homosexual soul, as with every other soul, will be the return of the glory of God to its rightful place in our affections."
God created the need for relationship and intimacy-but within his design-and for the sole purpose of glorifying Him. And His promise still holds true for believers today: "Those who honor me, I will honor."