Let me start this blog by saying that in no way am I a Tebow hater (I may have lost of a few readers just with that sentence). Rather it is quite the opposite. I have a massive amount of respect for Tim Tebow and what he is doing. With that being said, I have a bone to pick with a lot of the Christians out there and their response to Tebow. They have gone way overboard on the Tebow craze in stereotypical “Christian” fashion.
On Christmas Eve I was really excited about the Miami Dolphins playing the New England Patriots. I hardly ever get to watch the Dolphins play, so I was excited about having the day off and being able to watch my team. That morning I woke up and went to set the DVR to record the game and to my surprise CBS was showing the Bills-Broncos game. I was really frustrated because I figured a good east coast rivalry with first round byes on the line would get shown. As a joke I put on my facebook status, “I hope Tebow throws 5 pics and the Bills romp them.” Within minutes I had someone reply saying, “Please tell me you’re not a Tebow hater” implying that because I was a Christian that I had to be in love with Tim Tebow. I didn’t realize not becoming his #1 fan would make me less of a Christian. I guess I missed that Bible verse. While I am getting this off my chest, I’m not the biggest Billy Graham fan either. I don’t go to every crusade that comes to my state. I have nothing against him and I respect him and his ministry, but I don’t go crazy about him. I also can’t stand Mercy Me or the song “I Can Only Imagine”. I haven’t seen all the Veggietales DVDs (although I do enjoy them), I haven’t seen Facing the Giants, Fireproof or Courageous, I don’t give money to Joel Osteen, and I own a CD by a “secular” band. Does that make me less of a Christian? To many people out there it would. They would get done reading this paragraph and be disgusted. But Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” That verse doesn’t say that you also have to jump on every Christian bandwagon. In fact the Bible says something else about idols, but we will get to that in a little bit.
My other issue with Christians and Tebow is how people are reacting to the Bible references he puts on his eye black. I think it is a cool idea, but I have heard people say things like, “Tebow put John 3:16 on his eye black and millions of people heard the gospel preached.” I hate to break it to you but no they didn’t. A bunch of people may have saw that the reference was on his eye black, but they did not hear the gospel preached. The announcers did not break into an impromptu sermon after the cameraman showed a shot of the eye black. People have been putting John 3:16 on signs held at sporting events for years and no one ever says anything about them. They are actually mocked. Now maybe some people go and look up what the references on Tebow’s eye black are, but I’m willing to bet 99% of those people are Christians. I have three tattoos and they all are a reference to my faith. But I don’t think that every person I walk past that sees them has heard the gospel preached. For me they serve as a reminder to myself of what Jesus has done for me. They have opened up conversations for me to share the gospel, but my tattoo didn’t do it all. It was just a gateway to the conversation. I think the same is true about the eye black that Tebow wears. The references on his eye black are a gateway to start conversations that share the gospel. Christians should stop assuming his eye black is doing all the work and see it as an opportunity to share the gospel with someone.
Christians have put Tim Tebow on a pedestal and are worshiping him for what he is doing. Yes, I said it: Christians have made Tebow an idol. I think this is the exact opposite of what Tebow would want. Like I said at the beginning of my blog, I think it is incredible the way Tebow has handled himself in his rise to fame. I have nothing but love and respect for him. I hope he continues to find success in the NFL and continues to have that avenue to represent Jesus Christ. He has always been humble and always given the glory to God. I can’t imagine how hard this would be as a star quarterback in the NFL. I don’t know if I would be able to handle the temptations that he faces on a daily basis. But when you really look at it, Tebow is really just living life the way God calls us to. He daily lays down his life and seeks after God. One of Tebow’s favorite Bible verses (which coincidentally also comes from my favorite chapter of the Bible) is Philippians 4:8-9 which says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” When I look at Tim Tebow, I see someone that is trying to live every day for Jesus Christ to the best of his ability.
I think Christians need to stop idolizing Tim Tebow and just follow his example. To me, it is sad that when we see a story of someone that is actually living for God it is unusual. I don’t think he got the platform and then decided he should use it to preach the gospel. I think that is just the way he has always lived. I think he was serving God like this before anyone had ever heard of him. The way that he is living should seem normal to us. It should be the way that we are all living. Matthew 7:16 says, “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” John 13:35 says, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” 1 John 3:16-17 says, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” 1 John 5:3-5 says, “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”
It is the life we have all been called to live. Jesus should be a part of everything we do. It should not be unusual for us to talk about Jesus at school, at work, at home, wherever we are. Matthew 5:14-16 says, ““You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Yet so many Christians hide their light and worship those that don’t. Mike Chiari said about Tebow, “[F]ootball aside, Tebow has proven to be a great ambassador for the NFL. While you may not like the fact that he is religious, at least he sticks with what he believes in and doesn’t let others deter him.” We should all strive to live like that. No matter what comes against us we will not be deterred. No matter what, we will live for Jesus Christ.
until next time…