Friday, September 6, 2019

Drew Brees Controversy

      I read in the Advocate this morning about the controversy surrounding a recent video by Saints quarterback Drew Brees, encouraging children to bring their Bibles to school on October 3 for Bring Your Bible to School Day. The event is sponsored by Focus on the Family. And herein lies the controversy. Focus on the Family is openly pro-family and pro-marriage. They teach and promote the Biblical teaching on marriage—that marriage is between one man and one woman.

      The controversy is over the backlash from the LGBTQ community because of Focus on the Family’s support of traditional marriage. Because they oppose the position of the gay community they are labeled a hate group, and thus Drew Brees by association.

      The position of Focus on the Family is stated clearly on their website: “Focus on the Family believes that sex is given by God as an expression of love to be shared and enjoyed exclusively between a husband and wife. Further, we are convinced that the Bible leaves no room whatsoever for confusion or ambiguity where homosexual behavior is concerned.”

      In response, Drew Brees is distancing himself from any association with Focus on the Family. In response to the criticism against him Brees responds: "Unfortunately, (there are) Christian organizations out there that are involved in that kind of thing and to me that is totally against what being a Christian is all about, Being a Christian is love, it's forgiveness, it’s respecting all, it’s accepting all." He goes on to describe what it means to love your neighbor: “It means love all, respect all and accept all. So that is actually how I live my life. That is what I try to do with my family, with my teammates, with people in my community, with my friends, all people. No matter your race, your color, your religious preference, your sexual orientation, your political beliefs, it doesn’t matter.”

     It is certainly true that love demands looking upon all people with mercy and forbearance. It demands living in humility, knowing that all of humanity shares in the curse of sin and all of us are equally in need of God’s grace. To demonize one sin over another is to ignore the reality of our own sin and the greatness of salvation through Jesus Christ. All of us can claim Paul’s words, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Timothy 1:15).

     But there is an idea today that “acceptance” demands receiving every belief and orientation as being equally valid. To accept another person’s religious preference in terms of toleration is not the same thing as accepting it as a valid option. I can be tolerant of a Muslim, but at the same time express clearly that Christ is the only way to be reconciled with God. There is salvation in no other way. I can look upon the homosexual with love and compassion while at the same time condemning the sinfulness of his lifestyle. A declaration of another person’s sin is not a statement of hate. It is actually a statement that I love him and care about him.

     It seems a bit nonsensical to encourage children to bring their Bible to School but deny what the Bible has to say. The Bible is not a merely an object of adoration or a symbol to be carried with us to identify ourselves with other Bible carriers. That makes it no different than wearing a Saints t-shirt to declare our allegiance to a particular football team. The Bible is the Word of God. It is absolute truth. It makes demands upon our lives. God sets forth His Law and demands obedience. All men will stand before Him to give account.

     I applaud Brees encouraging children to bring their Bible to school but am disappointed to see him closing his eyes to what it teaches, and for condemning those who would dare follow what it says.

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