From Tim Owens, pastor:
Tebow’s address was scheduled as one of the events surrounding First Baptist Dallas’s grand opening of their new $130 million campus, which is the largest church building campaign in modern American history.
Another quick recap: A prominent evangelical declines an invitation to participate in the celebration of the most luxurious church building ever constructed in America, and the issue of spending $130 million on a building doesn’t even make it into the debate.
Look, I haven’t seen the plans, I don’t know all the pertinent details, and I’m not involved in the decision; I ultimately do not know if this was the right or wrong decision. But I do know I used to help a local soup kitchen feed the homeless less than a mile from there. I do know of a struggling refugee community full of Christians roughly 15 miles from there. I do know of one or two other churches around the world that would benefit if some of their brothers and sisters shared.
Here’s my hunch–building the most expensive church campus in America is probably wrong.
My view could very well could be incorrect–Jeffress’ decision to build a $130 million building may be the right decision. The decision in and of itself isn’t really the point of this post. A church in Texas deciding to build an expensive building isn’t enough to make me feel like I’m taking crazy pills. But the fact that our national conversation about the gala focuses on Tim Tebow, Robert Jeffress, homosexuality and Mormons while absolutely ignoring the price tag just seems like crazy talk to me!
We’ve been so busy arming ourselves for the culture war that we’ve barely even noticed the hardening of our consciences.