Is Openly Gay NBA Star Jason Collins a Christian?

By John Dere, Crossmap On May 2, 2013

NBA player Jason Collins, who recently announced his homosexuality in an interview with Sports Illustrated, has received widespread media coverage for his decision to “come out.”

“I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay,” Collins said in the interview. “I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation.”

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Collins, who has received overwhelming praise for choosing to go public about his homosexuality, has raised eyebrows in Christian circles after claiming to follow the teachings of Christ.

“My parents instilled Christian values in me,” Collins said in the same interview. “They taught Sunday school, and I enjoyed lending a hand. I take the teachings of Jesus seriously, particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and understanding.”

Although seemingly well intentioned, the NBA star’s perceived faith stands in stark contrast to New Testament biblical teachings that identify homosexuality as a sin (See: Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9).

Whether or not you believe that Jason Collins is a Christian, it is important that followers of Christ respond in the best possible way – with love.

Should followers of Christ stand firm in their faith? Yes.

Should they Christians adhere to the teachings of Scripture that classify homosexuality as sin? Absolutely.

With that that being said, though, Christians must also not lose sight of Jesus’ commandments to love others.

In Mark 12:30-31 (NIV), Jesus states: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

So is Jason Collins a Christian?

Regardless of your opinion, do not shy away from sharing the love of Christ with all – especially to the people who need it most.