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Religious Experts Try to Tackle the Tim Tebow Phenomenon

Tim Tebow is one of the most fascinating people the sports world has ever known. The most beloved man in Denver’s on-field success is a truly remarkable story, but it is another topic that occupies the minds of the masses week in and week out: Tebow’s religious faith.

In order to dive further into a phenomenon that has become unrivaled by any in sports history, the USA Today sought out the opinion of a number of scholars who specialize in religion.

“Tim is who he is,” Brent High, the Associate Director of Athletics for Spiritual Formation at Lipscomb University, explained. “If you are a Christian, he is your absolute flag-bearer in the sports world. You cheer for him and you hurt for him when he takes the beating that he takes. If I am putting myself in the shoes of someone who is offended … and Tebow is getting down on one knee with all cameras trained on him, that’s in my face … So I can see why it’s like the fingernails on the chalkboard to those people.”

In a way, that makes sense.  To non-Christians who watch football, Tebow’s preaching could come across as painfully unnecessary.  Some people just want to hear about football.  There are those who will undoubtedly subscribe to the “if you don’t like it, don’t watch” theory, but is that fair? Football and religion are not inherently intertwined, although there are many other athletes who have been just as open with their displays of faith as Tebow.  That leads to another interesting point.

“I often think about the same thing,” Patton Dodd, managing editor at a religion and spirtuality website called Patheos and author of The Tebow Mystique, told the USA Today. “I often think about Troy Polamalu, who you will hear Pittsburgh Steelers players say is the most religious athlete in football. He crosses himself before every play and sometimes after. He prays during plays. It is odd that there are more outspoken Christians on the Denver Broncos like Brian Dawkins. It is odd that Tebow has become this figure.”

Then why is Tebow the topic of debate? Former NFL quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Jake Plummer both expressed concern over Tebow’s displays of faith, so clearly the criticism is not unique to the casual fan who is simply looking for a way to knock a successful athlete down a peg.  The more you think about it, the more difficult it becomes to explain.

Perhaps the fact that Tebow has enjoyed so much success in the early stages of his career has led to an infatuation with him as a person, thus inspiring the public to critique his every move.  It’s also possible that documentaries like The Chosen One set Tebow up for more scrutiny than other practicing Christian athletes.  Maybe it has to do with the position he plays, which provides Tebow with more press conferences and interviews that lead to more opportunities to praise God.  Whatever the case, Tebow is taking most — if not all — of the heat for proud Christians in professional sports who wear their faith on their sleeves. And from the looks of it, he doesn’t plan on changing his approach anytime soon.


Around The Web

  • http://twitter.com/jallenv Jeremy Villano

    Well, Tebow very clearly says that he views football as a platform to talk about religion.  No other players do or say that.  So that’s one thing that distinguishes Tebow and turns him into a lightening rod.  I’m not sure why you’re sort of grasping for reasons when Tebow quite obviously looks for the attention, and publicly says he wants it (that’s why all those people who “blame the media!” have no case).

    As someone who likes to keep religion and football separate, I am indeed often annoyed by all the religious references.  But I noticed when you asked people about Tebow, you didn’t ask any atheists, or agnostics or people of non-Christian faith.  Why is that?  There’s a certain righteousness of contemporary Evangelicalism that is really, really grating.  As nice a man as Tebow is, he is quite obviously emblematic of that over-the-top righteousness and certainty.

    And of course, if you point out that religion, in particular aggressive Christianity, has been one of the most destructive forces throughout history, you are called all kinds of names, insulted, etc.  It’s also interesting we we don’t often talk about what Tebow actually believes — he belongs to a faith that is actually quite radical and out of the mainstream (e.g. no abortions, even in cases of incest or rape).  The hypocrisy on this topic is mind-boggling.

    But as always, the worst thing about Tebow’s religion is that here we are — once again — talking about religion when we should be talking about football.

  • Jeanne Ireland

    I would appreciate the separation of sport and religion and do not care for this proselytizing. Were he a Muslim would it be so well accepted?

  • Anonymous

    I honestly don’t care if Tebow was a gay man I still love me some Tebow!!! Not because he is a religious guy I really could care less. He is just an awesome athelete and he has done a lot with his life and I just enjoy watching the dude play football plain and simple!!!!!

  • raventoll

    Troy Polamalu didn’t write a book about his faith before he even got out of his first year in the NFL.  He doesn’t come on camera and make a point to praise God, he praises his teammates and counts on God to keep him in one piece.  He evangelizes with his actions, so that people see what he is, what he does, and what he stands for and then find out after reading about him that it’s because of his faith.

    He doesn’t use it as a bludgeon, or his football standing to proselytize.  He is a faithful Christian and that is what he is.  He doesn’t go out of his way to tell people what they should and shouldn’t believe.  All he says is what he believes and lets other people decide.

    Tebow, whether you agree with him or not, isn’t just those things.  He’s definitely an evangelical who uses his football position as a pulpit.  In essence, whereas with Polamalu and his ilk, the football comes first, Tebow is backwards.  He believes that his success in football is the perfect platform to preach at people.

    The problem with this system is that Christians come in a lot of flavors and Tebow represents an -idea- that most of us have grown to dislike.  Tebow doesn’t often come off as judgmental in interviews, but the sect and society he represents does.  I don’t know that people hate Tebow as much as they hate the people who Tebow reminds them of.  There’s a way to evangelize that isn’t offensive or annoying, but I don’t know Tebow’s doing that either.  I’d rather be Polamalu than Tebow, since the former is definitely more of an inspiration to me.

  • http://twitter.com/fothgt william thompson

    Saint Paul would clearly say “never the less the gospel is preached.” Many may not like Tebow’s “proselytizing,” but this ain’t India. But I always thought if not fair-minded, us Americans were thick-skinned. And the evangelizing Christian is part of our melting-pot just as much as same sex behavior, pornography, death and taxes are. Deal with it! 

  • jonathan mcelrath

    The thing you don’t understand is that the religion he follows states quite clearly that it cannot be left out of any aspect of his life,  according to the christian religion, there shouldn’t be a separation between it and football.
    He does want the attention, however, (apparently) he doesn’t want the attention for himself, he wants it for the God he worships.
    Also, your point about Christianity being one of the most destructive forces in history and christians being hypocritical is fairly meaningless. Christianity doesn’t tell us to go on crusades and start religious wars. Those who use it as justification to do so clearly go against what the religion actually teaches, so it’s their fault, not Christianity’s. The same logic applies to most cases of hypocrisy (although you didn’t really specify any). When a person who calls himself a Christian goes and acts all extra special when it’s convenient, then goes and does whatever he wants later is making a mistake. But again, that’s not the religion itself’s fault, it’s the individual Christian in each particular case.

  • Anonymous

    I like what that he puts Jesus Christ before what he does, is, and what will be………..exactly what we should all do.

  • http://twitter.com/fothgt william thompson

    Most of us grown to dislike. Rubbish. I talk to people on a daily basis about Christ. I can honestly say when you deal with people on a personal level they open up to you about what they are really going through. And many of them simply say “I need God in my life.” I see their faces, watch and hear  there groans of hopelessness because of the emptiness of their lives. And when the darkness of economic oppression hovers over people, they talk! So when I hand them a “Daily Bread” booklet they respond with a pleasant “Thank You”  we talk. The issue with Tebow is simple, the sequestering of faith in every institution in America. Keep it private. Leave it at home or in church. But not in any of our public pantheons of worship including sports. Other than Christian television our media outlets have won in controlling ideas beneficial for our lives. Their highly paid evangelists create a platform for their ideas and “faith just ain’t one of them.” If not for our first amendment these “tele-evangelists” real colors would be exposed for all of us to see. As for evangelism that is not offensive or annoying, the history of evangelism reveals just the opposite. Evangelism was God’s way of prodding a spiritual lethargic culture and stir the masses. It was a way or revealing God’s truth to people who felt they had salvation but in reality smelled of smoke, had one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel! True evangelism, stirs the masses, upends the self-righteous notions of men and women, and points them to God’s truth revealed in the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth found in the gospels. In other words if you ain’t offended, the gospel has not been preached! 

  • Anonymous

    IF, there is a god, which I seriously doubt, I think he would fall down laughing at the thought that he had any influence down here(just look around) let alone on football.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_S3JMYYXHCRICGFP56U4KZVJOGQ timm

    Absolutely! In fact has been. Though, the fear of retaliation from Christians is rare, you can pick on them all you want!

  • fandoors

    I don’t know…I just don’t see this as a debate about a football player. I think the debate and issue go much deeper.
    Some folks hate Tebow because of his public displays of religion. But why? Why such discomfort and animosity towards something that, quite frankly, doesn’t affect 99% of us?
    Really, is it because religion is responsible for—insert atrocity here—? Or better yet, is it because the Religious Right tell others what to do?
    Or  is the truth more along the lines of discomfort? We assume that those religious zealots believe they are superior, so we get out hackles up. Simply put, “I’ll hate them before they hate me?
    If I’m wrong, or out of line, please yell at me. But those folks with higher self-esteem, and who feel a greater self worth, usually don’t feel anger or display hatred toward those who think different from them. And those same folks usually don’t feel anger and hatred toward an abstract.

  • Steven Moutoux

    Matthew 28:18-20 – every Christian without question is told to go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey the Lord. It is a command. It is not optional. Therefore those Christians who do not do what Tebow does are failing to obey the Lord!
    We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Tebow knows the Savior and wants everyone to know their sins can be forgiven by repenting (confession of sin) and believing Jesus Christ died on the cross for them and rose from the dead three days later. (Rom 10:17). If we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we can be saved from our sins. To know the only way to be saved and not tell everyone would be a travesty! It is also disobedience to the Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord! Keep proclaiming the Word, Tim, for “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God!”

  • jonathan mcelrath

    I agree until the last sentence, and even then i suggest only clarifying that the preaching of the gospel only offends those who don’t accept it.

  • Anonymous

    The religious right tells others what to do.  Yes, almost as much as the atheistic left tells others what to do.

  • Anonymous

    So, God only likes a few souls and the non-Christians are all going to go to hell?  Don’t like that God!  And all this time I thought that “God was no respector of persons”.  Now that’s a contradiction isn’t it?  I’ll love you if you receive Christ as your saviour and cast you into Hell if you don’t.  Some Father!  Oh, for the pious, the same comments go to non-christian faiths as well.  All religions have their place, because “God is no respector of persons”.  Christians believe the Bible (kind of), non-christians don’t.  So who’s right?  No one knows since they weren’t there to witness any of it and really are taking the word of someone else who wasn’t there either.  Remember, the history books, and the Bible is a history book, are written by the victors in whatever fashion they want.

  • Anonymous

    So when Hollywood makes a movie that borders on pornography and I get offended it is okay to say “if you don’t like it don’t watch”  but that does not apply here??  The “world” preaches tolerance of all things – except Christianity. 
    Seems like hypocrisy rules…

  • Anonymous

    You make a good point in that this article doesn’t offer a full breadth of opinions from other religious and non-religious groups.  But, we are talking about Tebow’s faith, and shouldn’t we get a perspective from sources from that faith to give us a better understanding to what drives Tim Tebow in this direction?  And using sports as a platform isn’t anything new, nor should it be wrong.  After all, although football maybe his profession, he is still protected under the first amendment right to voice his opinion/thoughts/perspective as long as he isn’t doing harm to others, am I correct?  It may turn many people off, but truth of the matter is that as vocal as he maybe about his faith he isn’t trying to force people to Christianity but rather share his belief in it.  Does he seem self righteous when he publicly proclaims it? maybe, but as many people would say… “you have no right to judge me”, so maybe we look like the hypocrites for judging him for what he does.  We don’t see him publicly chastising Merril Hoge, or any of the people who chastise him.
    As to your second to last paragraph, I have to disagree.  First of all, the problem has never been the faith itself, the problem has always been people.  I would have to say the most destructive force throughout history when it comes to wars and mass murder would be those trying to destroy religion, with certain leaders during World War I and II as examples.  Sure, there are some form of Christianity that are extreme, like the crazy church from Kansas that pickets everyone, but all religion (and yes even atheism is a religion) have their extreme groups.  And based on that second to last paragraph, I would have to assume your knowledge of Christianity is what it is being potrayed as in the media and social circles.  I apologize if I’m assuming incorrectly, I’m just going but what you wrote.

  • Anonymous

    I would have to disagree.  You’re making an argument that Polamalu makes football first and his faith second when you don’t really know the man.  How do you know if Polamalu does speaking engagements or interviews about his faith? Google it and you find quit a bit about him speaking about it.  Same thing goes for Brian Dawkins, and Kurt Warner.  Even Colt McCoy, and Sam Bradford and Jason Witten and Tony Dungy speaks about their faith openly and you can find their stories on iamsecond.com.  Is Tim Tebow more outspoken? absolutely.  But like many of his colleagues, I don’t believe he’s trying to bludgeon anyone or forcefully taking an hour out of your day to preach while he’s on the “football pulpate”.

  • Anonymous

    As a practising Muslim who is as committed to my faith as Tim tebow is to his, I find it amazing that more emphasis is not put on covering atheletes who live upright, productive lives no matter what their religious beliefs. I truly respect Tebow for having the courage to practice his faith as long as he does not seek to “impose” it on others. As contrary to popular beliefs, as Islam dictates. His comments during post game interviews etc…..are not offensive as far as I am concerned as I understand the extent to which his religious beliefs run from the depths of my own. I am not a Denver Bronco fan but I do love the passion with which Tebow plays the game. Tebow and the Broncos take on my Chicago Bears this Sunday. I grew up outside of Chicago in Hammond, Indiana and have been a Bears’ fan since before I started high school in 1963. Hopefully, the Broncos winn streak will end with a Bears victory on Sunday but I wish Tebow every success short of beating the Bears. 

  • Anonymous

    Um, I would have to say that the people who wrote the Bible aren’t exactly the victors.  In Habbakuk, Habbakuk is crying out to God about the ineptitude of his people as well as the brutality against Israel from the Calidians.  In Jonah, he is called to go preach to a people he hates and gets mercy from God.  In the Gospels, all but one apostle gets put to death.  Peter is continuously portrayed as arrogant and in a sense a betrayer.  The bible is wrought with people with huge faults but yet you see God showing them mercy.  If you’re writing a book about your life, would you really want to put all your inequities out there for the world to see?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mthomasphelps Tom Phelps

    How upside down the world can be.  The world encourages taking the Lord’s name in vain, killing of unborn children, and divorce,  but  let someone publicly proclaim their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and that person is told to keep his mouth shut and just do his job.  Jesus, God in the flesh, came to us to save us from our sin debt that we cannot possibly pay, but He paid it by giving His life as a ransom for many (For the wages of sin is death, Romans 3:23).  For those who will accept Christ as the gift of God’s grace it will save them from the depths of Hell by simply believing upon the Lord, thus they will spend eternity with the Lord in heaven.  All Tim Tebow hopes for is that he can share this hope to a lost and dying world so that they too can come to know the Christ who saves sinners (that is all of us folks), not the righteous, because there is no one who is good (see Romans 3: 10-12).  Tim Tebow is simply carrying a message of hope to anyone who will listen, that is the duty of every Christian (Acts 1:8, Matt. 28: 18-20), and Tim Tebow is being faithful to what Jesus has called him to as a bondservant to the Christ.  If what Tim Tebow does offends you, then your problem is with God, not Tim, since Tim is simply sharing the Good News (the Gospel) wherever he goes and let’s Jesus take care of the rest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mthomasphelps Tom Phelps

    Its not about a religion, it is about a relationship that the Lord desires to have with you.  You can have all the religion you want but it is not what saves a person.  By what you have stated you desire to fashion a god that meets your standards.  However, God has already dealt with that just when you read the Ten Commandment for which the first two deal directly to what you have said.  The first commandment says, “You shall not have any other gods before me.”  Man all too often will put something higher in priority than God our Creator, weather it be our jobs, family, house, money, cars, etc.  When we do this we are making those things our god that we worship rather than the one true and only God who desires a relationship with us that comes first, not second, third, and so on.  Then the next commandment says, “You shall not make any graven image of Me.”  When we draw up in our minds what we think God ought to be, we then become guilty of making a god of our own (graven image) that we can be comfortable with, which is not God at all.  Instead it becomes a figment of our own selfish desires to live the way we want to, not the way God desires for us, which is best under any circumstances.  Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.”  You may not like God, but God is God, and it is by his standard that man will be saved, not yours.  Yes, we must submit to His will, and it is His will that will be done, not the other way around.   Through his word, found in the Bible, he makes it simple to understand how one can be saved.  You just have to have faith to believe in what He promises.  Faith is counted to us as our righteousness, not the works of what we do, because our efforts are nothing but filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6), He just wants your faith.  ”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.  For it is with your heart you believe (faith) and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  (Romans 10: 9-10)

  • http://www.facebook.com/mthomasphelps Tom Phelps

    So what did a Christian tell you personally to do?   What did he or she demand of you?  Truth be known I would say you just made a broad stroke statement that is not correct at all factually.  What you have said has no weight to it especially when it comes to bearing actual evidence to your claim.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mthomasphelps Tom Phelps

    When Jesus came to us (Immanuel, God with us, Isaiah 7:14) it had an affect on all of us.  When He died on the cross for you, because of the sin debt you owed, but can’t possibly pay, and He willfully paid it but didn’t owe it, it became personal to you.  There is not a Christian I know that would force themselves upon you to tell you what to do.  Jesus himself never did that, but He and His followers continue to share the Good News of how one can be set free from the bondage of sin.  People become saved by the hearing of the Word (the bible), not by one telling you what to do.  Romans 10:17, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through word about Christ.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_26F2FJJOM32D4R4QSC5VLXK7TA JohnC

    If I wanted to hear the msg., I’d go to church  every sunday   ..

  • http://www.facebook.com/mthomasphelps Tom Phelps

    And Jesus said, “He who has ears, let him hear.”  Matt. 11:15

  • http://www.facebook.com/mthomasphelps Tom Phelps

    The world has a memory of convenience.  It forgets that in the days after Christ had died on the cross and arose from the grave three days later, that it was folks like Saul, a respected Jew of his day, that advocated the persecution of those who were  known to be followers of “The Way.” But of course Saul had a life changing event when  Jesus confronted him and changed him to be a new man in Christ and would become to be known as the Apostle Paul.  Oh, it was also the  Pope in early church  history that declared it illegal for anyone to possess an English Bible and if caught they were to be burned at the stake, whole families in fact.  And lastly it is the Qu’ran that promotes the killing of the infedels (those who do not accept the Islamic belief system).  So for those who would call Christianity a destructive force in history, read your history more carefully and just take an honest look at the world around you today and see who is really out to destroy who.

  • gary sharrett

    It is amazing how few words it takes for so called “religious experts” to expose their ignorance of the Bible.   Proving hands down, that like most readers and so called “Christians”, they have never read the bible or studied the bible while believing what they were reading it  (1 Thess 2:13).  

    So USA Today sought out “scholars” huh?  Who exactly was it that decided they had any wisdom to impart?  

    I am a born again BIBLE BELIEVING  Christian.  Mr. High does not speak for me. Mr. High says, “If you are a Christian, he (Tim Tebow) is your ‘absolute’ flag bearer…”.   I am a Christian and he is not my “flag bearer”.  You do not speak for me, Mr. High, or any other true Bible believing Christian who ever lived.  Our “flag bearer” is Jesus Christ, and Tim Tebow would agree.  Jehovah Nissi means the “The Lord Our Banner”.   

    Tim Tebow, is absolutely saved, there is no doubt about it in my mind.  He is doing exactly what he is supposed to be doing.  Living his personal life for God’s glory, the best way he can and Lifting up the name of Jesus Christ publicly, and praying and humbly giving thanks and credit to his Lord and Saviour.  Brother Tebow is a great testimony.  You see, unlike 90% of all other professing or “closet” Christains, he is more afraid of God than man.   He is seeking to please God and does not care what you or I think about it.  He is a good man. 

    Get a King James Bible and look these verses up: Matt 10:32,33, Luke 12:8,9, Galatians 1:10, Luke 18:2′ Eccl 12:13, Mark 8:38, Luke 9:26.

     Contrary to what most of you readers think, being a Christian is more than just showing up at church on Sunday.  It is being submissive to the will and word of God, and allowing Jesus Christ to live through your life and using your body to do so.  That is why the body of believers is called “the body of Christ” (1 Cor 12:27).

    Let me explain two more ignorance exposing verbal gaffs.   Absolute untruths if you will.  ”To non-Christians who watch football, Tebow’s preaching could come across as painfully unnecessary”.  Tim Tebow is NOT preaching,  He is just living his life as every Christian is supposed to.  Preaching is something else.
    “…although there are many other athletes who have been just as open with their displays of faith as Tebow”.  Again, what Tim Tebow is doing is NOT a “display of faith”.  It is not a display of anything.  It is simply, living to please God.  It is not for show.  It isn’t about  showing anybody anything.  ”Faith” is believing something. Knowing it to be true.  He knows his Saviour and though it is visible in his life, it is not at all about actions designed for others to see.  

    Another thing, There is a difference between Troy Polomalu and Tim Tebow.
    Troy Polamalu is religious, and Tim Tebow is saved.  Troy Polamalu “crosses himself”.  That is Catholic, not Christian.  Christians don’t cross themselves.
    Troy Polamalu thinks that does something for him and Tim Tebow knows better.
    What Troy Polamalu does is un biblical and pure superstition.   What Tim Tebow does is biblical and obedient. One man trusts his religion and his own righteousness, one man trusts Jesus Christ because he knows he has no righteousness of his own (Isaiah 64:6).  There is a difference.  one man trusts what HE can do, one man trusts what Jesus Christ has already done.  There is a difference.

    Now the paragraph regarding the comments of Jake Plummer and Kurt Warner and how they both “expressed concern” and “…how difficult it is to explain” what’s going on with Tim Tebow and the criticism he gets, is complete ignorance of biblical Christianity.  I need to say this:  If someone’s “form” of Christianity isn’t biblical, it isn’t Christian at all.  There were never “forms” of Christianity, or “preferences” in how one worships God.   It is God’s way ie. bible, or it is the Devil’s way, including “preferences” and “private interpretations.  Hence, though I acknowledge Kurt Warner once giving glory to God after winning the Superbowl, he should be ashamed of himself for failing to support Tim Tebow as a brother in Christ.  Tim Tebow glorifies The Lord Jesus Christ  AFTER A LOSS!  If Kurt Warner agrees with a lost hellbound sinner, like Jake Plummer, that he has “concerns” about  Tebow’s public acknowledgement, then the verses given above (Matt 10:32,33, and Luke 12:8,9) about being ashamed of Jesus Christ and his words, apply to brother Warner as well.  So, it isn’t difficult to explain at all.  ”All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim 3:12).  

    Lastly, terminology the author uses in describing something he knows nothing about is wrong.  It is errant and misleading.  Stop calling supersticious and “religious” people “Christians”.  To describe a life style, the who and what you are as a “display” or “wearing your faith on your sleeve” tends to imply it should be turned off in certain situations when in fact the most difficult thing for a Christian to do is BE a Christian no matter the circumstances.   To quit fearing man and ridicule for naming the Name above all Names.  The reason it seems so strange to 90% of all professing Chrstians and the entire body of lost people is that only 10% of the people who are genuinely saved, (ie. born again John 3 ), actually have the guts to do what they are supposed to do and DO IT.  The rest are ashamed of Jesus Christ or the mention of his name.  For a backslidden Christian and the lost person, Tebow reminds them of their sinful condition and the accountability of their sin in eternity.

    Salvation is in the man Jesus Christ and the blood shed on the cross of Calvary.  When a man gives up trusting his own righteousness, his “religion” ie. church membership, Jesus cookies,  and good works (Eph 2;8,9, Romans 10:3) and puts his trust in Jesus Christ’s righteousness, having their sins washed away by the blood (not wine) of a sinless Saviour,  God will Save his soul according to his word.
    (Acts 20:28, Heb 9:12, Revelation, 1:5, 1 John 1:7)

     

  • http://www.facebook.com/barrypollock Barry Pollock

    No one seemed to mind when Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar or Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.  Did you ever notice any sort of backlash from “intolerant” Christians?  I would posit that changing your name is much more “in your face” than Tebow.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barrypollock Barry Pollock

    No one seemed to mind when Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar or Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.  Did you ever notice any sort of backlash from “intolerant” Christians?  I would posit that changing your name is much more “in your face” than Tebow.

  • Anonymous

    If we believe that the behavior and choices of every individual who says he/she is a Christian is in fact a true reflection of God, Himself, then we are believing a distortion.   On our best day any one of us falls so far short of the example Jesus lived for us.  But, because He is rich in mercy He makes it possible for us to know Him and pursue a better way of life than we would have known without Him.  And none of us can thank Him enough for this!

  • Anonymous

    If we believe that the behavior and choices of every individual who says he/she is a Christian is in fact a true reflection of God, Himself, then we are believing a distortion.   On our best day any one of us falls so far short of the example Jesus lived for us.  But, because He is rich in mercy He makes it possible for us to know Him and pursue a better way of life than we would have known without Him.  And none of us can thank Him enough for this!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LYVUBZGLCTQODU6KTVGHWU3NXE Binhamin

    Freedom of speech is what this nation is all about. Men and women of our Armed forces spilled their blood to protect our freedoms. If a professional athlete chooses to praise God, Momma, or others, its their right. One thing that Tebow always states after praising his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is also praising his team mates and coaches. He also always states, in humbleness, how much he needs to learn, grow, and get better. Let Tebow be himself. Let freedom ring!

  • gary sharrett

    The fact is, you need to hear it, but you have refused to heed it because you don’t have “ears to hear”.  Besides, the gospel is to be preached everywhere and NOT JUST IN CHURCH.   You are not sorry for being wicked and you will die in your sins. But God is not willing that ANY (including you), should perish, but that all (including you) should come to repentance.  Your blood is off my hands and off tom phelps hands.  At your judgment, you will be without excuse. You will try to convince God not to toss you in the fire because nobody told you, ” I didn’t know” you will scream.  And the words you just read will be displayed for all to see and you will burn.  I tell you this because I don’t want that to happen.  But it will.

  • gary sharrett

    The fact is, you need to hear it, but you have refused to heed it because you don’t have “ears to hear”.  Besides, the gospel is to be preached everywhere and NOT JUST IN CHURCH.   You are not sorry for being wicked and you will die in your sins. But God is not willing that ANY (including you), should perish, but that all (including you) should come to repentance.  Your blood is off my hands and off tom phelps hands.  At your judgment, you will be without excuse. You will try to convince God not to toss you in the fire because nobody told you, ” I didn’t know” you will scream.  And the words you just read will be displayed for all to see and you will burn.  I tell you this because I don’t want that to happen.  But it will.

  • gary sharrett

    your mistaken…we don’t tell you what to do, but rather the one who created you has something to say about it.  Your argument is against Him and his words.  Which is of course, a losing argument.