Let me start by saying I’m going to leave comments open on this, but I probably won’t respond personally to any of them, because, in this case, I KNOW the Giant Internet Hand of Spanking is going to come out full force, and I have more important things to do with preparing for the birth of Christ and such happening so soon.
As I write this, the Denver Broncos are playing the New England Patriots. It’s Tebow vs Brady. But for some people I know, it’s God vs Satan. Wait, what, Tom Brady is Satan? No, I didn’t say that. I’m not a Brady fan, but I’m not going to label him Satan’s spawn either. No, no, what I mean is, there is the heresy going around in a lot of Christian circles, particularly Evangelical ones, but others as well, that says that Tim Tebow is God’s quarterback and his success is because “God is on his side.” Yeah, well, let’s break this down a little bit.
For the record, Tim Tebow has never proclaimed himself “God’s quarterback” and aside from saying he’s a Christian, working for his father’s organization, appearing in a pro-life ad and famously thanking God on the field, Tebow hasn’t
wasted spent a lot of time trying to convert folks through quotation of Bible verses in interviews or telling people they are wrong and he is right in his public appearances. Many, many of his fans could learn from his example.
As Jen Floyd Engel wrote for Fox Sports:
The defenses of Tebow, by Christians, are so ugly it defeats the point. This is where Christianity so often loses people, the ardent preaching of the gospel of “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” and the demand for tolerance and the unwillingness to grant it. Because if Tebow were Muslim and did celebrate by bowing to Mecca, that would deserve respect too. Same for a Jewish player, yet why do I see that blowing up into an ugly mess as well? The level of discourse about religion in this country is frankly embarrassing, a bastard child of political discourse.
Interesting when I post a link to this article on facebook, I get no “likes,” even though I have several rabid Tebow fans who are posting his accolades every three seconds. I have a theory. It goes like this: for many of these Christians, that criticism hits too close to home. Way to close.
In promoting the “I’m right and you’re wrong” and lack of tolerance train, I’ve seen more than a few “God is on Tim Tebow’s side” and “God is on the Broncos side because they have Tim Tebow” posts. This is a very dangerous theology. Dangerous because it’s heresy. God does not choose sides. We choose them as condition of being human and therefore fallen (remember Adam and Eve, that’s when the fallen part happened). What happens to this theology though if Tebow breaks his leg before the end of the game today, or the Broncos lose? Well, if they were winning because God was on Tim Tebow’s side, than is God no longer on Tebow’s side? Is Tebow’s faith not strong enough? If we are prepared to make any of the above assertions, then we need to be prepared to stand before God at the final judgment and tell Him exactly why we chose to commit the sin of idolatry when we found ourselves in enough of a God-like position to judge the state of Tim Tebow’s soul. Or anyone else’s for that matter.
Now, this is where a few Evangelicals have stood up when I point it out and said, “but wait, in the Old Testament, God had a chosen people, so God DOES choose sides.” Yes, I’m going to address that. If you want to go with that as your interpretation, fine. That means God’s chosen people are the Jews and as a Christian you are not one of them. However, as a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and King of Kings, you are part of the NEW COVENANT in the NEW TESTAMENT. The greatest evangelizer in the history of the world was Paul. He was so effective that his guards had to be changed every 48 hours or he would convert them when he was imprisoned. As Paul writes in Romans: For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek. (Rom 1:16) (emphasis mine). Everyone who believes not the ones who are winning or losing at that particular moment.
Everyone. That’s certainly good news for you and me who may face fates much worse in our lives than Tim Tebow being criticized for his beliefs. It’s nice to know that a parent who loses a young child to cancer is not being punished for their faith but is probably serving a part of God’s will that he or she simply does not understand. And for all those Old Testament lovers, remember Job? It was precisely BECAUSE of the strength of his faith that he was tested with the loss of everything. I would hate to be Job in today’s world and have a facebook full of Christians telling me that if I believed more this wouldn’t happen. Or that God had abandoned me which is what Satan wanted to Job to think way back when…
I admire Tim Tebow and I admit it is a shame that the lamestream media give him a hard time and that he is being attacked at every turn. I think his lack of response to the criticism of his faith is more than admirable and a very powerful lesson to those of his fans that choose to take notice and heed it. Tim Tebow preaches the Gospel by LIVING it. He knows that in the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus Himself COMMANDS us in this way: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors– do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?– So be perfect,– just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mt 43-48
Tebow’s fans who continue preaching a heretical Gospel are doing no favors to Tebow himself or Christianity. Don’t stake your salvation on an NFL quarterback’s success…
It’s half-time. Denver:16 Pats: 27