In Business Blog

A commentary on current events this week in the world of the broadcasting business. Some lessons on avoiding a trap for spiritual people in the public eye.

There is something compelling about the recent furor regarding Chris Broussard commenting on Jason Collins coming out and announcing he was gay.  In case you missed the story, Jason is the first professional athlete in the four major sports (football, hockey, baseball, basketball) to do this.  Following this, Chris Broussard, who is a  reporter with ESPN who is known to be a Christian, was widely reported to have said that “Jason Collins is a sinner for being gay.”  The inevitable furor and bigotry (from multiple directions) ensued.

This is one of those times where it is important to understand the context of the supposed quote and to listen to exactly what was said before reaching a conclusion.  First, the setting for the statement was an ESPN television broadcast where a moderator had two specific guests; a “pro-gay” reporter and a “Christian” reporter (note both labels are in quotes because this is how they were described, which of course this writer can’t verify).  The second important background item to know was that the issue being discussed was focused on Jason Collins describing himself as gay and a Christian.  With this background, listen to the entire response by Chris Broussard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCOXBgBjDgY

After reflecting on this for some time, similarities to situations Jesus faced became apparent.  Consider the following:

Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him:

“Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

He saw through their duplicity and said to them,

“Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public.  And astonished by his answer, they became silent.  Luke 20: 20-26

Check this one out as well:

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus,

“Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 

They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them,

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.   At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her,

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared.

“Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8: 3-11

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-animal-trap-collection-close-image28562723

 

Notice a trend here?  Jesus was brilliant at recognizing a trap and rather than being drawn into offering an opinion, he turned the question back on those trying to entrap him. 

 

These weren’t the only times he deployed this strategy.  Reflect on other interactions:

Pontius Pilate (“Are you the King of the Jews?”) Jesus (“You have said so.”)

His disciples (“Whom do you say that I am?”)

Nicodemus (“You are Israel’s teacher and you don’t understand these things?”)

What is the common theme among these and many other similar interactions?  When Jesus discerned He was either being led into a trap or in a very delicate situation, He brilliantly turned the issue back towards the other person or persons either through questioning or provocative statements.  More importantly, He resisted the temptation to offer his opinion when that was exactly what the other(s) wanted.  We would do well in the 21st century to ask for wisdom and follow a similar strategy.

However, to be fair to Chris Broussard, what could he have done differently?  He is a reporter.  It is his job to offer his opinion.  The sports media was all over the story of Jason Collins.  He is and was expected to respond to the questions put to him.  However, perhaps Chris could have put the onus back on his questioner with:

“What do you think the Bible says about being a Christian and practising sex outside of marriage?” or “What has been the consistent teaching of Christianity on sexuality?”

Could there have been a wiser response or was this a defining moment where the truth needed to be clearly and respectfully put forward?  Listen to the quote again and ask yourself if that was the case.

Most importantly, what we can learn from this is that we simply must discern the situation we are in and follow Jesus’ example to lead people to examine what is in their own hearts before being too quick to offer a righteous opinion.  With all due respect to Chris Broussard, it seems that western Christians may be more known for offering opinions than for listening and loving those they disagree with.  Perhaps the outpouring of vitriol towards him is more about that issue than anything he actually said?

What do you think?

B2E Group

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Showing 17 comments
  • k.noel
    Reply

    What he said was the truth, and if people don’t like it, then they will see at the end. I am sensing a theme here in the media and in general that if you speak the truth of the Word, you are not in touch with reality, you are a bigot, not tolerant, or self righteous. This world has been swallowed by to too much PC’ness and has destroyed the truth. It makes anyone that speaks the truth or against the grain, a fanatic, lunatic, dogmatic, homophobe and on it goes… Be in the world but not of it, and in that I live, not for anyone else but God and his words, his commandments. The world will never like the truth, so why would I allow it to dictate me now?

  • Mad Hatter`
    Reply

    I have personal experience of the action of Love and listening and non-judgmental actions and responses having far more fruit than confrontation in this area. I think the mercy hearts (being all of us) are going to win this battlefield with love.

    ~J

  • James
    Reply

    I have personal experience of expressive actions of love and listening and non-judgmental responses having far more fruit than confrontation in this area with those in the marketplace. I think the mercy hearts (being all of us) are going to win this battlefield in the marketplace with bold love. With the body of Christ, I think confrontation is needed, and we need to make very assertive stands, I think the same can stand true in other arenas of society as well.

    ~JTC

  • k.noel
    Reply

    let me add, I wasn’t saying there can’t be love involved in speaking the truth. I was really talking about holing true to the Word and truth aspect, but yes there are better ways in speaking it. However overall most people don’t want to know the real truth, they want to make their own.

  • John A. Smith
    Reply

    Credit Broussard for doing his due diligence, I guess. But there’s no way he can come out of this without looking like a dork. Even if he was working the phones while all of this went down, it’s on him for not being aware. For one, he follows Williams on Twitter. Obviously there’s more to reporting than trusting Twitter, but he was still beaten to the punch by a pretty reputable reporter and, as of writing, still hasn’t given credit to Wojnarowski (like David Aldridge gave to Broussard for another story here ) or even Williams himself, for that matter.

    • Back 2 Eden
      Reply

      John,

      Welcome to B2E Group. Glad you found us. Thanks for the contribution. We encourage you to check out our other blogs and feel free to contribute.

      Also, you can subscribe to our blogs on our home page (bottom left) to be notified when we publish a new one. We’d be honoured if you did.

  • Back 2 Eden
    Reply

    Good comments for sure. Love is definitely key and so is speaking the truth. It seems that “speaking the truth in love” is the Christian buzz phrase of the day and can be used as a hiding place to offer an opinion when it isn’t welcome.

    The blog is intended to call us higher to examine ourselves and look to Jesus example of very non-typical ways of dealing with very difficult situations. Still not sure if Chris Broussard did the right thing or not. However, the situation has me pondering about different strategies.

  • Jessica Sanders
    Reply

    Wow…this subject can get interesting, haha! I don’t know the answer, but have a couple of thoughts..

    -Having a handful of friends who are gay, I discovered a long time ago, that it is irrelevant to someone who does not believe in the Bible, (or in this case, maybe someone who says they are Christian, but chooses lifestyles that are different from Biblical teaching) to say “the Bible says that what you’re doing is wrong”…It’s kind of like telling someone who speaks French, that they must follow English grammar…it doesn’t make sense ..(and often causes more damage than positive changes).
    -Love, and acceptance is always relevant, to everyone, all the time; and paves the way for bold statements, that may (or may not) need to be made.

    • pawnee
      Reply

      excellent Jessica … French speaking VS English grammar… very cool way to describe it… I agree totally…

  • Jessica Sanders
    Reply

    Although, on the other hand, if someone is truly claiming, and desiring to follow God, then some accountability, and yes confrontation of lifestyle would definitely be needed…but in relationship, not on national news..

  • pawnee
    Reply

    Proverbs 15:2 “A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
    or how about
    Proverbs 12:19 “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of fools gush out folly.
    The mouth of fools is not a ” Western Christianity” quality…
    It is a Human quality.
    I have been to Israel, to China, to London to Canada and nearly every state in America. I find this Human quality is universal… No one people or nation of people can corner the market on foolishness or on goodness.

  • Salvatore Sims
    Reply

    What exactly is the problem that God has with somebody being Gay ? And how did he convey it to this particular reporter ?

    • Back 2 Eden
      Reply

      Salvatore,

      There are several places in the Bible that you can check out to answer your question. Romans chapter 1 is a good place to start. Also, several times Jesus described God’s perspective on marriage being between a man and a woman.

      Regarding your second question, the reporter referenced the Bible in his statements but more importantly, he was answering a specific question about whether a person can claim to be a Christian and gay. In his answer he stated that the Bible doesn’t support it.

  • Lydia Golden
    Reply

    chris Broussard was right and i applaud him. And you and I both know that no NBA player would commit professional suicide by doing anything other than praising a homosexual lifestyle. Today’s pc police hold a gun to the head of anyone who says it is sinful.

    • Back 2 Eden
      Reply

      Welcome to our site Lydia. We appreciate your participation.

      We would also agree that Chris Broussard was faithful to scripture in his response. We also believe he made every effort to be as honourable as possible while disagreeing with the NBA player. The question we are posing was “Was his timing right?” There were many situations where Jesus did not give a direct answer or responded with another question. It seems that modern day Christians are sometimes too quick to offer an opinion. To us, this was a good time to provoke us to think about this from a different perspective.

  • Kathrine X. Rosales
    Reply

    I pray that he doesn’t get dropped from ESPN, he’s a good reporter. Why not just say “no comment”? Its the mans life, who really cares if he’s gay or not. But this was just a foolish move in my opinion. I do however respect him for being honest as I respect Jason Collins for his honesty…but really bro,”open rebellion to God”? LMAO, what choice of words, you know there’s some backlash coming from the powers that be. I’ll be very surprised if people aren’t getting their petitions ready to have him dropped from the network as you read this. But the real question here is…do you agree with him?

    • Back 2 Eden
      Reply

      Good thoughts Kathrine. Welcome to our blog. Remember that the entire set up of the interview with the reporter was to gain his perspective on Jason Collins coming out as gay and claiming to be a Christian.

      Regarding your question, we would agree with Chris Broussard questioning how someone can take a position opposite to the Bible while claiming to be a follower of the same book. This in itself is a bizarre contradiction. However, not sure the time and place was the best and also wonder if he could have followed Jesus example regarding sensing a trap and providing provocative questions in return.

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