New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees recently recorded a promotional video for Bring Your Bible to School Day, a project of Focus on the Family. It was posted to YouTube on August 28th.
“Hey guys. Drew Brees here. One of my favourite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 5:7 – ‘For we live by faith not by sight.’ So I want to encourage you to live out your faith on Bring your Bible to School day and share God’s love with your friends. You’re not alone.”
Predictably, the media pilloried him. Left-wing activists quickly wrote blog articles accusing the future Hall of Famer of being complicit in the spreading of hatred. Mainstream “journalists” giddily reprinted the slander of left-wing activists and organizations, contending that Focus on the Family is a hate group because they’ve, at times, opposed the legislative agenda of the sexual revolution, as well as the influence of said revolution generally. By making a video with them, Brees made himself complicit in the wrong think.
“Drew Brees Records Video For Anti-LGBTQ Religious Organization,” “NFL Star Drew Brees Partners With Focus on the Family to Promote Hate,” and “NFL Quarterback Appears in Commercial For Anti-Gay Extremists” the headlines read.
In response, Brees caved and practically threw Focus on the Family and socially conservative organizations generally under the bus. “I was not aware of any of the things [the articles] said about [Focus on the Family] lobbying for any anti-gay – any type of messaging, or inequality or any type of hate-type-related stuff,” Brees said at a press conference.
Opposing laws which redefine gender as a feeling is not “hate-type-related stuff.” It’s morally and logically correct. Whether Brees understands that is unknown, but what’s certain is that he’s not willing to defend such countercultural truths in public.
There are lessons here that both Brees and Focus on the Family need to learn.
COUNT THE COST
When you stand for Christ, you will be mercilessly and irrationally attacked. All you have to do is make a video where you cite a Bible verse and talk about sharing the love of God with friends and the nation’s leftists and journalists (but I repeat myself) will make you out to be a monster. That is the cost of being a Christian publicly.
Brees wasn’t ready for that cost. Anyone making any sort of public stand for Christ needs to be, no matter how non-confrontational a stand they think they’re making.
DON’T TRADE FIRM BELIEVERS FOR STAR POWER
Focus on the Family is now reaping the consequences of selecting a superstar to promote the Bring Your Bible to School project rather than someone firm in the faith who was prepared to be called a fool by the world and respond calmly and boldly with the Truth. Instead, after facing a small dose of adversity, Brees turned on Focus on the Family, conceding that they’re a hateful, anti-equality organization.
It’s not that celebrities can’t be utilized. This isn’t the first time Focus on the Family has brought in NFL stars. Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson joins Focus on the Family regularly as does Hall of Fame Quarterback Kurt Warner and never has there been such viral pushback against Warner or Watson as there’s been against Brees. The difference is that Watson and Warner aren’t ashamed of the countercultural aspects of God’s word and leftists know it. They’re not going to bullied out of associating with social conservatives, so the sexual revolutionaries don’t even try.
THE BIGGEST LESSON
For the expansion of the Kingdom, Christians must rely on the Gospel and bold, unashamed proclaimers thereof, not celebrity endorsements. If someone is fits in both categories, great. But the former cannot be sacrificed for the latter.