Michael Sam is no Jackie Robinson

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Michael Sam is no Jackie Robinson
Michael Sam and Jackie Robinson
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A Biblical Worldview of Sexual Purity is Not Homophobia

While secular society defines homophobia in ways that are unbiblical, I emphatically agree that homophobia is wrong. Homosexuals, like every other human being, are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). As such, they deserve to be treated as one’s neighbor, with the same care, concern, dignity, and love I would hope to receive from others (Matthew 22:35-40).

But, as a Christ follower, I believe homosexuality is a sin against God and a sin against one’s own body (1 Corinthians 6:18). Allow me to explain where I am coming from. I hope your commitment to tolerance will include the thoughtful consideration of my point of view’a point of view to which you might be vehemently opposed.

I believe in a Creator God who is sovereign (Genesis 1:1; Acts 4:24; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 6:10). He reveals Himself through creation (Romans 1:18-20) and His Word (John 1:1-3; 17:17).

God has created us male/female (Genesis 1:27) and has ordained marriage between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7; Ephesians 5:31). He has created us as sexual beings and he expects us to follow his standards for appropriate sexuality. When a person goes against His standards for sexual purity and sins against Him, he or she faces real, terrifying, eternal, spiritual consequences (Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Matthew 5:27-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Revelation 21:8).

And lest we forget, engaging in sexual activity (whether heterosexual or homosexual)’sexual activity that goes beyond God’s created order and His intended design of a monogamous marital relationship between one man and one woman for life, can also result in devastating physical consequences. Years of statistical data shows that fornication and adultery lead to the breakdown of families. Homosexual activity exposes the homosexual to physical harm, including domestic violence and sexually transmitted diseases. Homosexuals can expect to live shorter lives than smokers. And the list goes on.

If, like me, you do not want any spiritual or physical harm to come to homosexuals or anyone else in the LGBT community, then you should be doing whatever you can to encourage those engaged in such activity to stop. You should be trying to prevent homosexual activity with words of concern and warning (Jeremiah 11:7; 2 Corinthians 13:1-3). You should not encourage or condone such activity, which contradicts God’s Word (Romans 1:32).

If you’re reading this and find yourself disagreeing with me, even angrily, understand that does not make me a homophobe. In fact, calling me a homophobe for no other reason than my worldview is different than yours and you don’t like it is a bigoted thing to do and borders on religious hate speech.

With the above in mind, I would like to explain why I do not believe the collegiate, likely-to-turn-professional, football player Michael Sam should be compared to baseball legend and civil rights pioneer, Jackie Robinson.

Michael Sam and Jackie Robinson

Internet news and social media sites, as well as sports and news talk radio programs, are gleefully buzzing today about Michael Sam‘s February 8th public announcement that he is a homosexual. Some athletes and reporters are comparing Michael Sam to Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks’two civil rights pioneer. This is yet another example of the homosexual community’s efforts to and the world’s acceptance of making homosexuality the new black.

Equating a behavior, any behavior with the color of another person’s skin or nationality is to engage in the logical fallacy known as a category mistake. Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetic and Research Ministry (CARM) explains 1:

This is a common error made by those in the pro-homosexual movement. It is an error known as a category mistake. A category mistake is attributing the property of one thing to something else that does not have that property. For example, to say Blue sleeps faster than Wednesday’ is to confuse an attribute of color with speed and compare it to a name. This error is very common among proponents of homosexuality. Another example would be to say that Gay sex is just love.’ This confuses a sexual behavior with an emotional condition. They’re not the same thing . . .

HomoSEXuality is a behavior, an action. It is not the same thing as a genetic condition such as skin color, height, or gender. Homosexual intercourse (is there homosexuality without it?) is a behavior and is, therefore, something people choose to do. Actions are what people choose to do – whether or not they have a tendency. On the other hand, being born in black or white skin is not a choice and is not a behavior.

Therefore, when homosexuals appeal to the argument that being born gay is like being born into a particular race, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Homosexuality is not the new black. It’s an old sin. The anticipated, immediate retort from homosexuals and heterosexuals who support and endorse their sinful behavior (Romans 1:32) is that the homosexual is born that way.

I agree with the argument that the person who behaves as a homosexual was born with a proclivity for homosexual behavior, but I do not agree it is the result of a biological, genetic predisposition. Rather, the homosexual is born with a proclivity for the sin of homosexuality because he was born with a sin nature (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12). Every human being, but for the God-Man Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), is born with a sin nature. Again, Matt Slick explains 2 :

Original sin is known in two senses: the Fall of Adam as the original’ sin and the hereditary fallen nature and moral corruption that is passed down from Adam to his descendants. It is called original’ in that Adam, the first man, is the one who sinned and thus caused sin to enter the world. Even though Eve is the one who sinned first, because Adam is the Federal Head (representative of mankind), his fall included or represented all of humanity. Therefore, some hold that original sin includes the falling of all humanity. Some see original sin as Adam’s fallen nature being passed to his descendants. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned’ (Rom. 5:12).

Original sin is not a physical corruption, but a moral and spiritual corruption. It could be compared to the Reformed Doctrine of Total Depravity which states that sin has touched all parts of what a person is: heart, mind, soul, will, thoughts, desires, etc.

Unlike homosexuality, which is moral corruption like lying, stealing, adultery, blasphemy, covetousness, hatred, etc., the color of one’s skin is a genetic, physical adaptation. It is an example of micro-evolution. According to Dennis O’Neil, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Behavioral Sciences Department, Palomar College, San Marcos, California: 3

Human skin color is quite variable around the world. It ranges from a very dark brown among some Africans, Australian Aborigines, and to a near yellowish pink among some Northern Europeans. There are no people who actually have true black, white, red, or yellow skin. These are commonly used color terms that do not reflect biological reality.

Skin color is due primarily to the presence of a pigment called melanin, which is controlled by at least six genes. Both light and dark complexioned people have melanin. However, two forms are produced–pheomelanin, which is red to yellow in color, and eumelanin, which is dark brown to black. People with light complexioned skin mostly produce pheomelanin, while those with dark colored skin mostly produce eumelanin. In addition, individuals differ in the number and size of melanin particles. The latter two variables are more important in determining skin color than the percentages of the different kinds of melanin. In lighter skin, color is also affected by red cells in blood flowing close to the skin. To a lesser extent, the color is affected by the presence of fat under the skin and carotene, a reddish-orange pigment in the skin. Hair color is also due to the presence of melanin.

No one chooses the color of their skin. The prophet Jeremiah wrote:

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil (Jeremiah 13:23).

But everyone chooses to sin, including those who choose to engage in homosexuality. The apostle Paul makes this clear in Romans 3:23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. He also wrote the following in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Like Jackie Robinson, Michael Sam is an exceptional athlete who is a person of color. And as Jackie Robinson was, so is Michael Sam, today’proud. But that is where the comparisons end in the story that is making all the headlines.

Jackie Robinson was proud of his ethnicity. Michael Sam is proud of his sinful behavior. Jackie Robinson fought for equality, for all people of color. Michael Sam fights for the acceptance of the sin he loves.

The world will laud Michael Sam as a hero, as a trailblazer, as a courageous young man. The world will applaud him and his lifestyle because the world hates God. In doing so, the world will not do Michael Sam any favors.

After the apostle Paul described a litany of sinful behaviors, including homosexuality, in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, he had this to say in verse 11:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Like the sexually immoral, or idolatrous, or adulterous, or homosexual, or thieving, or greedy, or drunk, or reviling, or swindling person, Michael Sam can have his sin’the sin he loves’washed away. He can be forgiven (Matthew 26:28; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18; Colossians 1:14). He can receive newness of life (Romans 6:4). He can be Justified, sanctified and ultimately glorified (Romans 8:28-30)’made right in the eyes of God (Romans 5:19), but not by taking pride in his sin. For God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).

The only hope for Michael Sam (the only hope for any and every other human being) is to repent. His only hope is to turn from his sin and turn to God (Mark 1:15; Acts 3:19). His only hope is to receive Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior (John 1:12-13)’to receive Him by faith and faith alone (Romans 1:17).

Should Michael Sam be seen as the next Jackie Robinson? No. I don’t believe he should. Jackie Robinson fought to have all people of color treated as God would have man treat his fellow man. Michael Sam, on the other hand, is fighting to have his sin equated with the color of his skin.

If I could personally speak to Michael Sam, what I’ve written in this article is what I would say to him’not because I’m homophobic. No, I would say these things to Michael Sam because someone once cared enough about me to call me to turn from my sin and to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Michael: if you do happen to read this, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. http://carm.org/born-gay-like-born-race, accessed on 02-10-14
  2. http://carm.org/questions/about-doctrine/what-original-sin, accessed on 02-10-14
  3. http://anthro.palomar.edu/adapt/adapt_4.htm, accessed on 02-10-14
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