Bold: not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring …
Several WORLD writers have covered the Chris Broussard story, but I’d like to approach it from a slightly different angle.
In 2007, then-Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Pat McCrory, said that too many young people, mostly black, were imitating the gangster lifestyle in behavior and dress. He wasn’t stating his opinion or waxing philosophical; he was stating bald facts. When it comes to certain groups, such facts are off-limits. Naturally, the NAACP demanded that McCrory apologize. Unnaturally, given our politically correct society, McCrory did not apologize. He defended his comments as accurate.
I was stunned—and pleased—that the Republican stood his ground. His statements didn’t wreak too much havoc on his political aspirations. Last November, McCrory was elected governor of North Carolina. I was equally pleased that ESPN sports analyst and writer Chris Broussard didn’t apologize for stating a biblical truth on the air. Among other things, the Bible-believing Broussard said this about homosexual basketball player Jason Collins, who claims to be a Christian:
“If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.”
First, I’m in awe of Broussard’s boldness. Although he was asked to comment as a Christian, he had to know it was a sort of set-up that might jeopardize his mainstream media career. Second, I’m in awe that Broussard hasn’t apologized, despite the pressure. God is glorified in the proclamation of His Word. Broussard knows he has a Savior who loves him and a lot of Christians praying for him.
Imagine the implications if Broussard had apologized. The apology wouldn’t have negated the biblical truth that homosexuality is a sin, but it would have been one more nail in the coffin of free religious expression. It likely would have discouraged some believers from publicly declaring God’s Word. It definitely would have emboldened those in rebellion against God.
It’s easy for me to write about faith and biblical truth for a Christian news organization whose writers and editors are my spiritual brothers and sisters. I’ve written on secular sites and in secular publications, but they were conservative and not hostile to my faith. Writing and speaking about these topics in mainstream, left-leaning outlets is where real boldness emerges. ESPN hasn’t fired or censured Broussard. Yet. Is this progress?
The temptation to slink back and apologize can be strong when the pressure hits and the nasty email and tweets flow. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians asked fellow believers to pray for him, “that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” Christians, speak boldly.