Out of the Closet!


Jim_Shinn            I attended the National Day of Prayer (NDP) breakfast on the first Thursday of May and was blessed by very good worship, passionate speakers, powerful prayer and an opportunity to fellowship.


Tonight I plan to attend the prayer celebration at Christ Community Church.


The past years it has been at the Southwest Performing Arts Center.


The National Day of Prayer is one of the few days when Christians “come out of the closet”. That phrase was used by Captain Jerry Esqueda of the Salvation Army encouraging Christians to be more active in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ to our community and the world.


Also out of the closet was Jason Collins, a 12-year NBA veteran, the first active male athlete in a major American team sport to come out and declare his homosexuality. For days he received praise from the media, teammates and professionals around the league.


I give him props for taking a risk, but I was not happy with his decision. I have played basketball for 40 years, and I have played with some gay folks, and sexuality has never been an issue. Many assigned him a hero’s status and used his name in the same sentence as Jackie Robinson.


I saw the movie “42”, about Jackie Robinson’s early baseball career, and it was very good, although they did play down the faith of the famous Mr. Robinson. He too came out of the closet and on to the playing field as the first African-American to play in all-white professional baseball. There is a big difference between Jackie and Jason, although they are both talented black athletes. The message of the movie about number 42, Jackie Robinson, was “don’t sin in your anger!” He was encouraged to use self-control in the face of incredible hateful and abusive treatment. Sounds like our Savior doesn’t it?


Mr. Collins on the other hand, gets a standing ovation for professing his sin. Some called him a hero. If you look up hero, “it is somebody who commits an act of remarkable bravery or who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character.”


I don’t know the man well enough to comment on his character but his coming out party is occurring at the end of his career. He has less to lose so for me he falls short in the bravery area. He is advocating a sinful lifestyle at a time when its popularity is at an all time high. With Jackie, there were probably few vocal whites, clamoring for a black baseball player in the white leagues.


In our cultura, professing homosexuality is no longer a big deal. I have friends, co-workers, etc. who are gay. On the other hand, Tim Tebow who professes his faith at the beginning of his professional career was told to shut up.


He led a team to success in the NFL playoffs a year ago, and now he is unemployed. He demonstrated “amazing” success in the past.


In today’s culture it is not amazing to state you are gay, getting a divorce, have a history of substance abuse or have a child out of wedlock.


If anyone shares disappointment about Collin’s decision, well they are told they are intolerant, and well, they are sent to the closet!