". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


The Korbin Albert Incident Reminds Us That Believers Are Called to Be Unashamed

April 1, 2024

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man,” declares Psalm 118:8. For Proverbs 29:25 states, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” Indeed, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,” as read in Jeremiah 17:7. When facing trial, pain, or persecution (as Scripture says followers of Christ will), we must turn to our Lord and Savior to trust, obey, and find peace in Him alone. He’s our hope in life and death. He’s our anchor in the storm.

The enemy hates what’s good. He hates God and God’s people. And while suffering is an inevitable part of a fallen world, many trials we encounter are due to the devil’s scheming. Though he has won nothing, Satan has a sinister grip on many lives to do what he does best: lie, cheat, steal, and destroy.

The Washington Stand has written about the infamous former women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe before. She’s a prominent LGBT activist with a tendency to blame God for her problems (like when she claimed her career-ending injury was “proof” God doesn’t exist). But for the sake of this discussion, I’d also like to highlight that Rapinoe is a bully.

Korbin Albert, a new player on the U.S. women’s national soccer team, recently shared a video on her personal TikTok account that featured a powerful testimony of a Christian man who shared his struggle with thinking he was a woman and how he was saved by Jesus Christ. I mean, this is what Jesus does — He saves! And the church is called to share this Good News. At first glance, that’s what Albert did. Who knows how that video shared through her platform could’ve spoken to someone who needed to hear its message?

But unfortunately, God’s goodness is something Rapinoe would rather ignore. While she wasn’t the only one to criticize Albert’s post, Rapinoe appeared to be the cherry topping a sundae of insults. Her less than impressive remark goes as follows: “To the people who want to hide behind ‘my beliefs’ I would just ask one question, are you making any time of space safer, more inclusive, more whole, any semblance of better, bringing the best out of anyone? … because if you aren’t all you believe in is hate. And Kids are literally killing themselves because of this hate. Wake TF up! Yours Truly, #15.”

I’m sure that was very difficult for Albert to read. But her own teammates took Rapinoe’s side, and Albert received other harsh comments like, “[I]f you’re gonna be a bigot at least do it in private.” Another read, “You can be Christian and not a homophobic transphobic bigot.”

Not surprisingly in this cancel culture, Albert was overwhelmed with hostility. She apologized for sharing the post and proceeded to remove it from her social media. She said she would strive “to do better” because “sharing … offensive, insensitive and hurtful” posts “was immature and disrespectful.” She expressed disappointment in herself and said it was never her intention to offend anyone.

The first thought that came to mind when I read about this was Romans 1:16, where Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” As believers, we’re called to be unashamed of the truth of Scripture. Christians boldly broadcast that life, in and out of the womb, has inherent value being made in the image of God. We gallantly declare, according to faith and science, there are two sexes and switching between them is patently impossible. We unabashedly share the gospel message, which is initially offensive, that we’re sinners in need of a Savior, we must repent of those sins, and that Christ is the only way to eternal life.

Those who are born again and raised to new life in Christ know this is difficult for those dead in their sins and trespasses to hear. But we also know the least loving thing we can do is deprive someone of these truths and watch as they march away from the glory of God and the gift of salvation.

Am I saying Albert is ashamed of the gospel? Not necessarily. I don’t know her heart, so I refuse to make a claim on her behalf. What I do believe is her regrets reflect that she needs prayer, encouragement, and some reminders. And, really, what I’m about to detail pertains to all believers.

Jesus said in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” Additionally, in Matthew 10:22a, He asserted, “you will be hated by all for my names sake.” It’s pretty clear in Scripture that following Christ means we will be hated. But one isn’t required to read Scripture to know that. Just look around — just look at what happened to Albert!

But Albert, like all of us, needs grace and compassion. Like all of us, she needs prayer to remain steadfast amid persecution. Before we judge how she responded, we should put ourselves in her shoes. Truly, we can only pray that we don’t respond the same way she did to such vehement hate and anger.

Notably, we, too, often forget what’s proclaimed in Romans 10:11, namely, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” Or Romans 8:1, which states, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We overlook, as outlined in Romans 8:15, that we “did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but … have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” And despite the pain we endure in this fallen world, Jesus said “the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22b). We forget these things because we don’t meditate on them.

I was reading in Psalm 119 this morning, and what stood out to me more than anything else was how the psalmist repeated his need to stay fixed on God, to know the Lord’s statutes, which he described as his “delight.” He cried to the Lord, “My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to Your word!” He continued, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in Your ways.”

“The Lord is my portion,” the psalmist sang. “I am Yours; save me,” he pleaded. “I call to You; save me.”

Psalm 119 leaves me breathless. My prayer for Albert, for myself, and for the church at large is that we cry out to God, “Save me!” I pray that we learn to delight in God’s truth — so much so, that we dare not part with it, nor apologize for it. I pray we turn away from the worthless things the enemy loves and cling to life in the ways of God. I pray we all imitate the yearnings of Psalm 143:8, which reads, “Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love, for in You I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.” I pray we’re “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

And you know what? I also pray for Rapinoe and her followers. I pray the Lord opens their eyes to His truth.

And amid these prayers, may we find comfort in Isaiah 41:13, where it says, “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” As James 1:12 implores, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” And should a Rapinoe slander our names while sharing the truth, we can repeat the words of Genesis 50:20, which proclaim, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

No matter the trial, Romans 8:18 reminds us “that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Beloved, we know nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:31-39).

I pray for us all to never be ashamed of the gospel. I hope we’re encouraged in the truth that, according to sacred Scripture, the righteous will never be shaken. And let us always remember, by keeping our gaze transfixed on Yahweh, the eternal reward promised for those who remain steadfast in a world of adversaries.

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.