God, Tim Tebow, and the Ultimate Reality Show

A few nights ago I got in this letter about Tim Tebow:

This year, many Christians I know have been thrilled by Tim Tebow and his well-publicized Christianity. I don’t have any problem with that. However, some of them have taken it a step further, and implied or stated that God is looking favorably upon the Broncos because of this.

This, I must admit, makes me a crazy woman. I find it hard to believe that God would interfere in the outcome of a football game, regardless of the religion of the participants—and if it were true that he did, it makes hard to fathom the success of many people who are downright nasty. But I know many people who seem to feel that every win for the Broncos was proof positive that Christianity (and in particular, a very fundamentalist Christianity) is the One True Way. Because of this attitude, I actually find myself cheering against people who are blatantly Christian in public, which I don’t want to do. Any thoughts?

So my first thought is that Tim Tebow sounds like the name of the Santa’s elf in charge of drumming monkey dolls. But that’s … stupid. Sorry.

My second thought is that no one who is downright nasty is ever successful. If you’re nasty (as in Scrooge-nasty, not “Oh, my! My boob!” Janet Jackson-nasty ), you lose. That’s the rule. (Though of course I know what the reader meant: When Dickheads Are Victorious is always a disconcerting show to watch.

My third thought is that if Tim Tebow were all that devout, wouldn’t he, ala Eric Liddell, refuse to play on Sunday—the Lord’s Day, the Christian Sabbath? I mean, pious-wise, I’m somewhere between Andy Griffith and … well, Otis the wino, and even I never published anything on Sundays before I started posting Pastor Bob’s sermons.

But whatever, I know. An NFL player who won’t play on Sundays is like a vampire who sunbathes. Total fail.

My fourth thought is the terribly obvious: “What kind of loser God would give a [bleepeth] which team wins a football game?”

The idea that Tim Tebow compels God to arrange for the Denver Broncos to win football games is so amazingly stupid that having to take it seriously for as long as it took me to type that has given my eyes a heart attack. Now I hate my life.

Curse you, moronic Tim Tebow fans! A pox upon your … oh, forget it. You wouldn’t know a pox from Biggie Smalls.

But is saying that in response to prayer God doesn’t throw football games the same as saying that God doesn’t hear, or care about, prayers offered to him?

Of course not. God does help Tim Tebow win football games. How? Because whenever any of us open ourselves up to the presence of God, we become a better version of ourselves. We become calmer, more centered, more compassionate: we gain the comprehension and apprehension of an ultimate context that is both pacifying and edifying.

We become (for, alas, however long) wiser.

Sometimes doing that is called prayer. Sometimes it’s called meditation. Sometimes its called worshiping. Sometimes it’s called centering oneself.

Sometimes it’s even called Tebowing.

Cultivating one’s relationship with God (or the Cosmic Divine, or … whatever/however anyone thinks of The Really Big Picture)? Thumbs up.

Being obnoxiously ostentatious about doing that, and failing to realize how obviously that communicates nothing but ego and show? Thumbs down.

Attributing the Broncos’ rise to the playoffs as God’s response to Tim Tebow’s displays of faith—and then having the Broncos get dropped like a bowling ball in a pool? And having the news come out today that during his team’s AFC divisional loss on Sunday, Tim Tebow was badly hurt—but that he continued to play through his pain?

Two thumbs up from this reviewer for that episode of the ultimate reality show.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Tor de Vries via Facebook

    It’s okay that Tebow lost the last game. Even Jesus was crucified once in awhile.

  • Driftwood2K11

    I just don’t like the effect Tebow is having. Honestly, the last thing fundamentalist Christians need is another figure to wrap their ideology around and trumpet it across the globe. Even when I was a devout Christian, I always had that knot in the pit of my stomach when someone in the limelight would openly pray in public, and I don’t mean as in “we offer our prayers for the miners” or anything like that, but instead the ones who kneel right in the spotlight. I dislike it. Piety is so easy to fake, and people are so gullible to believe it at times, that I think it has a negative effect on the whole, when considering the state of faith and Christianity, particularly in the U.S.

    I’ve just never been comfortable with the kind of praying that Tebow does, and I’m really uncomfortable with the adoration it has garnered, especially the disconcerting hero worship. I can’t help it, but every time I hear the words “God is actively helping Tebow win such and such football game”, I think of a sick and dying child laying in a bed while parents fervently pray in vain as she takes her last breath. Is that odd? I don’t know, but it bothers me.

    • Holly

      @driftwood, spot-on. That is exactly how I feel.

    • Diana A.

      I see your point and I’m inclined to agree.

    • vj

      “I always had that knot in the pit of my stomach when someone in the limelight would openly pray in public”

      Me too – especially since Jesus tells us NOT to make a great show of praying in public… (Matt 6:5-7)

      • Driftwood2K11

        Thanks to all three of you!

        I guess even after I’ve left the faith, some things stick with me. I’ve always respected Jesus, even though I don’t think he was godlike in any way, but he was a very compassionate man, and it was obvious from his actions that he was passionate as well, in seeing to the well being of humanity.

        Whether one believes him to be a god/man, or just a man, there are some wonderful lessons to take away from his teachings, and that shouldn’t be ignored.

        ~D2k11

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

    My problem with the almost iconic status that they gave the man was that there have been many athletes who have done some kind of religious ritual, before, or after an athletic success. Many wear a religious symbol, as well. It is their personal choice. This guy however is supposed to be the paragon of religious virtue because of his personal choice if he happens to cross a goal line, pig skin in hand.

    I keep wondering what the big deal is. And when I do, his devout followers climb all over me in the fashion of the New England Patriots defense in full sack mode. Mr. Tebow is just a football player, with a decent season behind him. He’s really no different then any adherent to their faith who makes a conscious decision to be a bit overt about it.

    Then I keep wondering what would happen if this quarterback was a devotee of any other faith, and made a gesture common to that faith, like a Buddhist-like bow and the utterance of the phrase Namaste. How popular would he be then?

    • http://amandajustice.blogspot.com Amanda

      Good point, especially with regard to Buddhism.

      My hope for Tebow is that he just grows up. He’s a very young man, was sheltered to an extent growing up, and is still parroting what he was taught by his parents without appearing to do any critical analysis of his beliefs. Toe the party line and move ahead…

      So I don’t really have anything against him. He’s still essentially a child. But I hope he’ll allow himself to mature in his faith.

  • HJ

    Tebow and the Broncos have a lot of bandwagon fans thanks to his Christian showmanship. Weirds me out a little that to many people, a person who prays publicly and in the spotlight is automatically worthy of respect.

    In regards to the commercial featuring John 3:16, a conservative friend said:

    “Matthew 10:32,33. 32“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

    …How best to mention Jesus before men than during a football game and between beer commercials?”

    I’m not quite sure what he was saying… That Tebow and all those involved with the commercial have now earned their place in heaven? My mind crashes when I try to wrap it around all of this.

    I really like the term “You wouldn’t know a pox from Biggie Smalls.”. Ha.

  • Eva Chavarria Hunter via Facebook

    If the movie industry calls this move irresponsible, perhaps time to boycott the Academy Awards plus rest of those crappy award shows as well!

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

      I’ve boycotted them for years. The reason? the sense of overwhelming boredom I get.

      • Marcey

        Eva,

        I see your point that a lot of people thank God for their success, as if he had anything to do with picking the winner. Or did he? Is he simply irrelevant when it comes to human actions, decisions, or games?

  • vj

    I always worry about Christians ‘exalting’ other Christians who are in the public eye – it puts enormous pressure on the famous person, and sets the rest up for disappointment. About 12 years ago, the captain of the South African cricket team (admired in local Christian circles for his profession of faith in Jesus) was accused in a match-fixing scandal. A dear sweet lady in our church literally said to me “bet he can’t be guilty of that, he’s a Christian” – and my immediate thought was “that doesn’t mean squat”. Sure enough, he subsequently confessed that “the devil made me do it” and was banned from the sport for life…. LOTS of very disappointed fans.

    I know as much about American football as an ant knows about nuclear physics, but I wish Tim Tebow well in life and hope that he is able to withstand the unhealthy levels of adulation he is currently getting.

    • vj

      duh! ‘but’, not ‘bet’…. where’s the edit feature when you need it?! (although somewhat ironic typo, since the scandal revolved around sports betting!)

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

      “I know as much about American football as an ant knows about nuclear physics, but I wish Tim Tebow well in life and hope that he is able to withstand the unhealthy levels of adulation he is currently getting.”

      My suspicion is that he will not be able to withstand the adulation, for the simple fact that the normalcy of his humanity will eventually come to light.

  • Trudi McQuillen via Facebook

    Thanks for this….
    I especially like:
    “Being obnoxiously ostentatious about doing that, and failing to realize how obviously that communicates nothing but ego and show? Thumbs down.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Amundsen/100001101098317 Scott Amundsen via Facebook

    When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

    And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. ~ Matthew 6:5-8

  • http://www.facebook.com/coxhere John D. Cox via Facebook

    Why do we keep assuming that T-Bow is on his knees to pray? I keep saying that he’s down there on his knees to give his team mates and also the opponents some quick, cheap, sex thrills.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    Praying to do one’s best, praying no one gets injured, that’s okay. Praying for God to tip the scales is not okay; that’s cheating.

    Have you seen the trailer for the next Batman movie where the bad guys blow up a football field behind a runner, literally wiping out anybody who could tackle him? That’s cheating, and that’s what people want God to do if they want him to influence the outcome of a game.

    I begrudge no one their faith, but Tim Tebow has gotten all the good out of his prayers that he’s going to geting

  • Tim

    Honestly, I see very little good or harm in him. After all, when you have had players in the past who had divinity degrees and went by titles such as “minister of defense” because they played cornerback, we really haven’t changed that much.

    Thing is, Tim Tebow is an example of both the best and some of the worse aspects of public fundamentalist Christianity. I see the prayer as being overwhelmingly honest. Praying after a TD seems to me to be the most logical time for a Football player to pray (other than perhaps around an injured teammate as the medics check him out or while gouging out his eyes for lusting after a cheerleader). I don’t think Tim Tebow expects God to favor him if he makes dumb decisions on the field, but I do think that Tim Tebow expects that God will reward him for being a certain kind of person in a broader, more general sense. Also, at least this is one Christian Conservative that is open about all he is about and unabashed by it.

    The thing that is bad is that people like him become symbols or make themselves such. Planned Parenthood’s CEO has a letter to the Editor in yesterday’s New York Times protesting Tebow’s celebrity status in the pro-life movement. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/opinion/beyond-tebowmania-giving-women-a-choice.html?_r=1&src=tp&smid=fb-share&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=national_LTE

    Really, though, I don’t hold it against him. I am content to root against Tebow any day, mainly because he is a Bronco and I’m a Chiefs fan. Beyond that, I’d be more than happy if my sisters met and married men like him, provided they are as good as advertised on TV. After all, if Tebow really is in tune with God on all this stuff, God will eventually and gradually change his heart or inspire him to be more open not only about his anti-abortion views but about other things.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janell-Oelrich-Schreiber/734026260 Janell Oelrich-Schreiber via Facebook

    Matt 6:5-8.I stand with Scott.I am not the most Biblically-inspired person,but it is pretty obvious Jesus was handing out some truth here.Public displays of piety are nothing more than theater and personal-attention seeking ploys.You see the man on his knee..you do not feel the presence of the Creator.

    • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson

      you nailed that, Janell–although I appreciated John’s comments in the main post as well.

  • Marcey

    Well, Tom Brady is Catholic. My son called that game a holy war lol

    As an aside, Christ worked on the Sabath. My take is the press is making a bigger deal of this than Tebow himself. “Witnessing” is an important part of some faiths. He is merely exercising his right to freedom of religion. He is a young man. When I was young, I prayed for a pony. I did not receive one. But my little dog was lost for two days and I prayed for him and he made it back.

  • Jeremy

    The whole “Tebow thing” is really confusing to me, only because everyone is acting like this is something new. Players have gone to one knee in prayer long before Tebow ever set football on a football field. Now it’s called “tebowing”.

    And he’s far from the first young QB of questionable ability to string together a few victories. John Skelton of the Arizona Cardinals did the exact same thing in relief of Tim Tebow to no acclaim whatsoever.

    Everyone is like “Whoa! We’ve seen anything like THIS before!”

    Yes you have. Plenty of times.

    • Jeremy

      *In relief of Kevin Kolb

  • Tim McCollum

    I like what Dr King said in 1963, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” To the extent Tebow’s influence perpetuates this ideal, he is to be congratulated. Otherwise…”Curse you, moronic Tim Tebow fans! A pox upon your … oh, forget it. You wouldn’t know a pox from Biggie Smalls.”

  • http://www.biblethumpingliberal.com Ron Goetz

    For Teebow to look to the tribal god of the City of the Mountains is completely consistent with the Israelite tribal god of Mountain, “from where our help comes from.” The god of the Mountains is invoked, as is the god of the Dolphins and the god of Oil.

    Professional sports is a vehicle for our competitive tribal impulses. Just as the Israelites and the Philistines stood facing one another, taunting one another before the favorite, Goliath, was dispatched by the season underdog, so also today’s fans taunt one another taunt one another before battle.

    We need to be on our knees, thanking the god of Civilization, the god of Commerce, and the god of Order, that the lesser gods direct the aggressive energies of their tribal followers into harmless contests, and are usually able to prevent their peoples from doing actual violence to the people of the cities of the land. Outbreaks of actual violence would anger the greater gods, the god of Civilization, the god of Commerce, and the god of Order.

    Therefore, cease the criticisms of Teebow and his tribal god — the Horse of the Mountain City. Attend to the worship of your chosen gods, the gods of your competing ideologies and religions. Pay homage to your gods as you engage in the ritual voting, as you bear the marks of your candidates and extol their virtues to the peoples.

    Leave off your petty jealousies of Teebow the hero and the god who gives him victory. The temporary eclipse of your contests is already ending. Be above the fray, noble fans. Your gods and heroes, your tribes and candidates, are even now returning to dominate the media and the peoples of the land.

    • Diana A.

      I really like this comment!

    • LSS

      this comment literally and in feeling is reminding me of Neil Gaiman’s _American Gods_

  • Gretchen

    I really don’t blame Tebow for what has taken place. However, I haven’t really paid that much attention except for what my radio station talks about “Tebowing”. I think both you and the reviewer were spot-on, though, in saying that Christians took it too far.

    I never felt good about the hype, for the same reasons as the reviewer had, but I was also upset with Tebow’s critics too. Like you said-he was exercising his right to freedom of religion. How funny, though, that I felt like he was being criticized just as bad about prayer at a TD that Vick was for abusing dogs. THAT’S my problem with the whole thing.

  • Wayne Johnson via Facebook

    Going with my gut, I’m gonna say I’m pretty sure it will turn out that Tebow is gay.

  • Catherine

    I find him hard to watch. At best, Tebow is immature, displaying a childlike understanding of faith and God’s work in the world. At worst it’s self promotion along the lines of our current crop of Republican presidential canditates, using religion and Jesus as his personal publicity agent.

    It can’t be doing much for team morale either. Giving God all the credit rather than the offensive line that makes the holes for him to go through and the defense that keeps the other team at bay.

    • Jeremy

      For what it’s worth I don’t think he’s a fraud, like a politician using God to pull votes. Nobody who’s met him has said a bad word about him as a person, including some pretty cynical people in the sports media. And by all accounts his teammates would run through a wall for him. He seems genuine enough.

      But yeah, his youth is very apparent.

    • K.E.

      For what it’s worth, I had the pleasure of interacting with Tebow on campus when he played for the University of Florida, and to me he always seemed to be a very kind, genuine, respectful guy. He’s very humble about his skill and, at least in Gainesville, never came off as self-promoting or like he was trying to play the “God card” for media attention.

      I think he can’t help but receive media attention for having worn his faith so blatantly (the verse from Philippians on his eye black that started all the attention towards his faith). Of course you could argue that he did that TO garner attention for himself, but judging based on my own interactions and those of my friends who have also met him in person, I just don’t think that’s true. He really does seem to be genuinely trying to give God the glory in the best way he knows how.

      That being said, I don’t *personally* agree with the way he prays out in the open. I think it’s great that he is able to center himself using prayer, and I do think it’s wonderful to give the glory to God and stay humble… but enough people here have quoted the verse about praying quietly behind closed doors that I don’t have to go back and quote it again.

      Either way, I do believe that Tebow’s faith is real and central to his being. Unlike other certain public figures (read: any and all televangelists) I don’t get any sense of a wolf in sheep’s clothing when it comes to Tebow. First-hand interactions with him makes me feel like he really is a genuine believer, truly devoted to God, and that he personally feels that this is the best way for him to evangelize a nation. Do I agree with his methods? Eh… not really. But I can’t knock him for it.

  • Tyler Simonds

    “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson via Facebook

    personally i’m sceptical of the depth of Mr. Tebow’s faith, but i appreciate this post. may God be with him and his fans, as with all of us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Shields/575253125 Cindy Shields via Facebook

    He appears to put his faith into practice off field as well as on. Wish there were more like him in the world.

  • Thomas Mills via Facebook

    **Cultivating one’s relationship with God (or the Cosmic Divine, or … whatever/however anyone thinks of The Really Big Picture)? Thumbs up.

    Being obnoxiously ostentatious about doing that, and failing to realize how obviously that communicates nothing but ego and show? Thumbs down.**

    The best part of the article, which echoes my own feelings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Shields/575253125 Cindy Shields via Facebook

    Would you have the same reaction if you saw someone of another faith stop and pray? When I pray in public I don’t go down on one knee (oh that I could get back up! hahaha) but I admire his reverence. Too bad it can be misread as a negative.

  • http://beccasaid.wordpress.com Becca

    Please excuse the newbie, but this seems like the perfect opportunity to ask about prayer.

    I understand praying to ask for forgiveness, and I understand praying to thank God, but I just don’t understand praying in order to ask for something. Surely God knows what is best already? To say that prayer works seems like saying God is fallible and needs a little nudge from us to make his decisions, or that he doesn’t have a plan, he’s just waiting to see which of us has an idea he likes the sound of. It doesn’t quite feel right.

    What do you think?

    • Jen

      Becca, it’s funny you ask this, because this is something I struggle with, too. If God already knows what’s in our hearts, why do we pray? God knows I want my sick relative to recover, my friend to get a new job, and the winter to be over soon, so how does praying add to that? What if what I am praying for is against God’s will? Even Matthew 6:7-8 reads ” And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

      This is a serious question. Why do we pray for what God knows we already want? Thanks.

    • LSS

      is it maybe just to acknowledge that God has control over whether or not what we wish for will happen? i mean that really as a question, because it’s probably not the spirit in which i ask God for things, but i wonder if it maybe probably ought to be.

      sort of like, i don’t know if any other readers were raised that you have to say “Lord willing” when you make a plan?

      it’s like “Insha’Allah” (sp?) for Muslims…

      i forget what it is in Hebrew, but in Yiddish they say “a mens trakht en Got lakht” (sp?) Man plans and God laughs.

      just different ways of acknowledging that we aren’t ultimately in control of the future.

    • vj

      I think God wants us to pray because He wants us to be intentional in keeping our thoughts on Him, and because He delights in our delight when our prayers are answered – even if He already knows what we are going to ask Him for…

      I also like the way CS Lewis describes the role of prayer:

      “We must not picture destiny as a film unrolling for the most part on its own, but in which our prayers are sometimes allowed to insert additional items. On the contrary; what the film displays to us as it unrolls already contains the results of our prayers and of all our other acts. There is no question whether an event has happened because of your prayer. When the event you prayed for occurs, your prayer has always contributed to it. When the opposite event occurs your prayer has never been ignored; it has been considered and refused, for your ultimate good and the good of the whole universe.”

      • Diana A.

        This comes closest to what I would say.

  • http://www.thefirst10000.com Paul

    What bothers me isn’t Tebow’s faith — to which he’s entitled — but the “obnoxiously ostentatious” (thanks, John) display thereof. At that point, it becomes more about glorifying the person who’s praising versus the one to whom the praise is directed. Like so much else in the NFL, it just strikes me as one more person with one more excuse to stroke their ego.

  • Nick K.

    John has articulated it best with regards to belief and thanking God:

    “Of course not. God does help Tim Tebow win football games. How? Because whenever any of us open ourselves up to the presence of God, we become a better version of ourselves. We become calmer, more centered, more compassionate: we gain the comprehension and apprehension of an ultimate context that is both pacifying and edifying.”

    I am happy that Mr. Tebow has such a wonderful relationship and strong belief in God. It is truly amazing to see what can be accomplished through faith. However, I also believe what Jesus said about prayer is just as important:

    “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

    I pray and thank God daily. But I do so in the privacy of my home where I know God is listening. I don’t have the need to stand on a street corner shouting it at the top of my lungs for all to see and hear. To me, public displays of piety smack of (at worst) hypocrisy or (at best) weakness of faith. That is what unnerves me whenever I see others engaging in it. For the sake of his faith, I think Mr. Tebow should maybe consider “Tebowing” more often in private venues. God will still be listening just as strongly.

  • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

    John, For your use of inclusive language and concepts in this piece: two thumbs up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson via Facebook

    See Matthew 6:5-6. I’m not “offended” he wants to pray in public but I think Jesus’ words are informative.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sean.p.patzer Sean Patzer via Facebook

    It is not his reverence that bothers the heathens. But I am wondering if he made as big a show of praying when his team lost the championship game and thanked God for showing him a lesson in humility…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Murphy/48608610 Mike Murphy via Facebook

    What’s projected onto tim tebow by others is the issue. I’ve yet to hear tim tebow say that he’s somehow has a better connection to god then anyone else, or that god does him favors and wins him football games. It’s the moronic public that does that. I do think though, that if i were tim tebow, i’d be hard for me say “i really appreciate everyone cheering me on, especially those of you that share my faith but i’d appreciate if everyone would remember that i am not a messenger of god when i throw a football”.

    • Will

      I believe that there is more to it than what you are saying.

      The “moronic public”, as you call them, didn’t make this whole debacle up out of thin air. Where there is smoke there is usually fire.

      From where I stand, Tebow makes a touchdown and then strikes his “praise God pose. To me, it doesn’t seem that different as other athletes who are paid to push a product. How would you feel if after every touchdown an athlete waved a little flag with the word Pepsi on it?

      Some pro athletes would like their face on a Wheaties box. They are photographed eating Wheaties. It is a product endorsement.

      Is God the brandname of a product to be hawked on TV?

      Traditionally the winner of the Superbowl is asked where he is going after this. The usual answer is, “I’m going to Disneyland.”

      If Tim answers, “I’m going to Heaven.” it will sound like just another product endorsement to me and millions of other viewers.

      Unless you are a “fanboy” of that particular “product” it will sound strange to you too.

  • Ric Booth

    Curse you, moronic Tim Tebow fans! A pox upon your … oh, forget it. You wouldn’t know a pox from Biggie Smalls.

    Dissing the Teboners will get you hate mail. Just sayin’.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I think once we even use the word “Teboners,” we’ve all lost anyway, don’t you think?

      • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

        hahahaha!

      • http://ingridspeak.wordpress.com Ingrid

        Maybe, but that is funny.

      • Soulmentor

        As a gay man I’m not gonna touch that. OMG, that didn’t sound right either!!!!

        • Diana A.

          (snicker)

  • http://somaticstrength.wordpress.com somaticstrength

    What frustrates me is that it continues to play into this bubble Christianity that is so invested in these insignificant things that it misses the bigger picture.

    Imagine if I was the wealthiest person ever and I walked around telling you it was because god had blessed me. Or imagine, since I tend to find continuing to use god analogies doesn’t always work, imagine we worked for the same company, at the same job, and I made more money than you. And when you protested, the answer was, “Well, the boss likes her.” The implication in that, of course, the boss does not like you, or does not like you as well as the boss likes me. (Now imagining having to deal with people saying, “No, just because I’m saying the boss likes *me* and that’s why I make so much money doesn’t mean I believe the boss likes you less! Where would you get that idea? I can believe that the boss’ love for me means I get to make more money than you and also believe that I’m not implying anything about you!)

    The Christians I know at least, the ones so wrapped up in things like Tebow and football, and these things as proof of god are usually very removed from any kind of suffering. They’re the ones to say how the fact that they have a loving family is a blessing from god. The ones who view the suffering of the world solely through its effect on them – mainly “Oh, look at those poor suffering people, I’m so grateful to god he’s given me all these good things!” (If you can’t see the selfishness in that line of thinking then I can’t help you.)

    These same people will tell you about how god loves you and cares when you hurt, and go through terrible things – but the only proof they have of god’s caring about anything is through petty things. It reminds me of when my mother would leave me alone with my abusive brothers. And then she’d come home and say, “This was totally something of god, he wanted me to go” because some issue, that wasn’t even life or death, was far more important for god to take care of than for him to bother protecting me from my brothers.

    It’s not Tebow I have an issue with as much as it’s the entire culture surrounding him. When you envision a god that is still showing “signs” of how much he cares, how involved he is, you do reveal a god that is anything but shallow. God can answer the prayers of a football player, but not those of a rape victim. But Christianity has created such silences around the issues they can’t fix with a little simple prayer. If a person stands up and says they prayed and god saved them from their poverty, they get a platform to speak. The person who dies from starvation, we’ll just pretend he doesn’t exist, it was his own fault anyway. The person who has a shitty life and says god saved from the anxiety and depression and PTSD, they get a platform. I get ignored and told it’s my own fault anyway, because if I just prayed hard enough, trusted god enough, done something more or something different, apparently god will finally care enough to help me. Because we all know that god’s hands are tied until you pray well, or that you suffer until you die for not knowing his magical formula. Or something. I have yet to find the good in the kinds of things most Christians like this express about god.

    Anyway, long comment is long. Many times I wish that Christians would listen to the implication of what they are saying. But since the Christians like these tend to think in such absolutes, they very rarely acknowledge what they also imply by their words. Which is probably where a lot of the passive aggressiveness that I know so well comes in. As long as you don’t *say* it, well, then, no one can get angry at you for what you’re implying because hey, you didn’t say it! Or something. End rambling here.

    • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

      You reminded me of something – I don’t think it’s only Christians’ fault. It’s Americans’ fault. It is our society, our culture. America has a tendency to accentuate the winners and to shuffle the losers of its games out of sight.

      I once had a part in a story I wrote (one of my fan fictions/derivative works, so it’s not on my blog) where a hero-character was discussing things with a scholar-character and the hero asked the scholar “What will people (who laud him as a hero) say if I lose? If I wind up dead, laid out in a field somewhere?” The scholar answered “They’ll just say you were stupid.” (Because people only really care about the victors). It was pretty well based on what I see in the world.

      I grew up with the American Dream – the idea that if I worked hard enough, was smart enough, got good grades, went onto college (which costs money, by the way, if you don’t have that, you’re sorry outta luck), and was talented enough, I could do what I wanted. Today, I do art that doesn’t go into galleries, I write stories and novels that get passed up for the “Left Behind” and “Twilight” books of the world, and I scoop horse poo five days a week for my grocery money (not that I don’t like the job, it’s just low-paying and not what I expected to do with my life).

      And I am surrounded by intelligent, talented people who never quite “made it” because they never had rich families/startup money/connections or the Power of Attraction or whatever.

      It’s not just American Christianity. American Christianity just, sadly, reflects American Americanism. I want to think the attitudes are starting to change as reality is setting in and some of the charmed life is crumbling for so many.

      • http://somaticstrength.wordpress.com somaticstrength

        Yeah. I sometimes like to say, partially because it’s true and partially because I know it’ll tick them off, that American Christianity is not “counter culture” but “hyper culture” They are trying desperately to hold onto cultural and societal ideas as truth and rightness as though these things are intertwined with Christianity. For people saying that they are standing up against “the world” they sure like to latch onto tradition and the way things have always been done.

        My city is its own little bubble of conservative Christian Americanism. Which is starting to break – we have a huge drug probably among our teens and young adults, and lots of suicides – because this front we’ve put up all these years isn’t working anymore. But for the most part it’s white, upper middle class individuals who have been lucky to have so many privileges in life – setting the moral standards and judgments for everyone else. It’s why I had to stop going to church – LONG before I stopped being a Christian – because I could no longer listen to sermons of how blessed and great financially I was (I’m sure us people in the poorer neighborhoods that everyone else likes to ignore just *love* to hear that) and how I need to be giving more to church.

        The people who set the standards for who god is and how the world works are usually the people who are so far disconnected from the experiences and realities that they judge.

        • http://somaticstrength.wordpress.com somaticstrength

          *drug probably should be “drug problem”

      • Diana A.

        The whole premise of the book of Proverbs is “live a good, God-fearing life, get rewarded by God. Both Job and Ecclesiastes were intended as counter-arguments to that theology.

        • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

          I relate pretty well to Ecclesiastes…

          Especially to the idea that “life is meaningless” if we all just go into the dark in the end. It’s one of the reasons why my weak psyche likes to cling onto the tiniest shread of a hope in a “heaven.”

          I just look at the world and see too much injustice, and have pretty much come to the conclusion that most people are successful by sheer blind luck. I’m still waiting to be in the right place at the right time, trying to content myself with where I am now.

          And hoping that life’s not meaningless.

          • LSS

            there is so much in this exchange that i think will make clear some things i really need to understand, i will copy/paste it and read it a bunch more times later.

    • vj

      This reminds me of something that I heard about 30 years ago: when someone stands up in America and professes their Christian faith, they get applause, community approval, maybe improved prospects at work etc; when someone stands up in China and professes their Christian faith, they get beaten up, thrown in jail and lose their job…. In other words, when we think that the good things in are life are JUST because we profess faith, we are missing the reality.

      The material trappings of success are in no way automatically indicative that God has blessed us – and pain/suffering/etc are in no way automatically indicative that God has abandoned us.

      • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

        Very good point. Location, location, location. Time and place for everything.

        Getting back to the main topic, whenever Tebow- who plays-a sport I do not care about comes up, I see some people say “He’s doing just what he’s supposed to be doing! Proclaiming on the mountaintops! Not hiding his faith under a bowl!” As well as the people who cite the hypocrites who pray in public for approval… both in the Gospels.

        I tend to think there’s a need for “balance.” I don’t think I’m hiding my faith under a bowl when I don’t yelp about it everywhere. I’m pretty free with it online because it’s where the subject comes up – as a discussion topic of interest. (And I’m pretty damn honest with my doubts and questions, too)! I feel like if I were to hit my knees in public over every good thing that happened to me, however, I’d just look ridiculous and more than a little bit crazy (er than I already am). Also, given my doubts and questions, I just don’t “feel it” most of the time – for “rightoues knee-hitting.” (Maybe that kind of stuff is just harder for a person who talks to God but has a worry that she’s just an insane person talking to the air or her own brain sometimes and that the fact that she needs to talk to God might mean she’s a weak and worthless waste of carbon)? Though I’d *definitely* think I was a worthless waste of carbon if I didn’t believe… (I’m just messed-up, really).

        As for people who talk about sports figures who’ve always done this – sure, they have, but I think we live in a different world than we did before. I think Tebow gets more attention now than he might have 20 years ago just because the post-9/11 Amercian/British/Western culture is more critical of religion than it used to be. (Not that it’s entirely a bad thing, I get as annoyed as anyone when I have the Flying Spagettti Monster waggled at me, but being wary of the potential for extremism is a good thing). — There are just differences in the culture now that have turned that one-time “professing Christianity gets you praise” into “professing religion ostentatiously gets you scrutinized and more people than ever are waiting for you to fall or to do somemthing insane.” It still won’t get you beaten and jailed, but I think the “Tebows” of the world might be stuck in the past just a little.

        All that and, well, as I said before regarding my feelings about sports, competition and games. If God knows the outcome of everything, I think sometimes it is best that he doesn’t tell us or “intercede” because it kills the freedom of something that’s supposed to be “chance.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want life handed to me on a silver plate.

        Working through painful injuries for the sake of one’s team and the thrill of the competition speaks more to me of bravery than scriptures in eye-black.

  • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

    I honestly don’t get why people are making such an issue about this. Tebow is like hundreds of athletes as well as public figures before him, acknowledging God in a public way. Where was all of the criticism then? He seems like a nice guy who’s doing what millions of Christians do – saving themselves for marriage (which is perfectly fine) and doing nice things for kids and publicly acknowledging God. That there are people *around* him who have some kind of an agenda to make God connected to football game victories or continue to believe that Christians are assholes isn’t really his issue, it’s theirs. I find the whole discussion around him not really about him, but about us.

    • Gary

      I like your perspective DR. I agree…it is more about us.

    • Diana A.

      What Gary said.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        I agree. It’s always about me. I think we should all always bear that in mind, and act accordingly with whatever extra cash we happen to have.

        • Gary

          LMAO John.

          Hey I bought your books…I’m tapped out.

        • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

          Shake yo’ Tebow moneymaker!

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    I’m not into sports – really. My favorite sport is fishing and only when I’m doing it. Still, the idea of the outcome of sporting events being determined by prayers has always baffled me. As in, doesn’t that take away the fun? Taking way the “chance” takes away the “fun” for me in anything that’s supposed to be a game.

    I don’t do sports, but I do, to a degree, videogame-playing. What’s interesting about it is, unless I’m playing a fighting/competition game with someone – if I’m playing a “story” type game, it’s really more like reading a book than play a game of chance, as the story is set up for you to explore a world and work through the puzzles and challenges to eventually see the end of the story. Still, even with this kind of setup, I feel a certain kind of *defeat* whenever I get so flummoxed on a portion of a game that I have to go online and look up a walkthrough for that part. I may be frustrated, going “Please, please, please work!” at something on the screen, I may be shaking my Wii (Ha! Hah! Shaking my Wii…) and cursing at the screen as I’m trying to figure out a difficult brain-tease, and I may be *loosing terribly* and making my poor player character die over and over again at different points, but it’s ALL A PART OF THE GAME. I’d be *annoyed* if angels came down from on high and played those difficult parts for me!

    I would think with something like sports – a competition playing kind of thing – that *chance* and the *stretching of human skill* are even more important! Where’s the fun in answered prayer with that?

    As for “Tebowing” – eh. It just doesn’t fit my personality. It seems… ostentatious… to me, and too easy for bitter people to make fun of. He’s basically putting himself out there for ridicule and drawing ridicule for the faith. It’s hard to tell whether it’s sincere when it’s made so public like that. I mean, I’m the kind of person who – no one at work knows what I am because no one needs to. It’s not that I fear discrimination (if I did, I wouldn’t have the job, I got the job for *being* in a discriminated against position, it’s a charity-for-the-cracked kind of job), it’s just that “Who needs to know? I’m here to pitch manure and water horses.” I guess I just take the addage of “Preach the gospel wheever you go, if necessary, use words” to heart, as well as “actions speak louder than words.”

    People who are particularly “flashy” give me a visceral “run away” reaction, or an immediate suspcion of insincerity, or at least, naivate’.

    • LSS

      i agree with you about sports, for me the only one i like is fútbol, which is supposed to be “el juego bonito” (sorry, i can’t remember how to spell in portuguese, so you get spanish)… if american football is also supposed to be a “beautiful game”, then, yeah: it should be about human effort, bravery, skill, elegance of movement, etc. like other human creations such as art, comedy, etc.

  • LVZ

    “My second thought is that no one who is downright nasty is ever successful.”

    Dick Cheney? Donald Rumsfeld?

    • LVZ

      Fred Phelps?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Losers, each. Their lives sucks; their misery is palpable. They’re mean, angry men. They lose the Game of Life.

        • Diana A.

          Exactly.

        • LSS

          how many countries can a person take down with them, and still be counted a loser? ok i guess they will lose at karma (i know, you aren’t supposed to think about other people’s karma but in this case i can’t help it almost) but … they seem to have won at making problems for *millions* of other people.

          • Diana A.

            Martha Stout in her book “The Sociopath Next Door” talks about a conversation she had with a colleague named Bernie that caused her to become interested in her topic of sociopathy vs. conscience. They were discussing a mutual patient whose suicidal symptoms had become worse due to the disasters in the U.S. (don’t worry–she made a point of stating that the patient has improved a great deal since this conversation had taken place.)

            Bernie: (talked about how guilty he felt because he was having his own reaction to the disasters happening in the U.S. and didn’t think he had his usual amount of emotional energy to give to his patient. In the middle of judging himself, he said) You know, sometimes I wonder, why have a conscience? It just puts you on the losing team.”

            Martha: So tell me, Bernie. If you had a choice, I mean really, literally had a choice in the matter–which you don’t, of course–would you choose to have conscience like you do, or would you prefer to be sociopathic, and capable of…well, anything at all?

            Bernie (considers): You’re right. I’d choose to have a conscience.

            Martha: Why?

            Bernie (pause): Well…you know, Martha, I don’t know why. I just know I’d choose conscience.

            At the end of the book, she says “One way or another, a life without conscience is a failed life.” Basically, I think that is John’s argument as well.

          • Will

            “…a life without conscience is a failed life.”

            Generally I believe in the concept, because I happen to have a conscience, but that exchange with Martha and Bernie proves nothing.

            Ask a lion if it would rather be a lion or an antelope, it will say lion. Ask an antelope if it would rather be a lion or an antelope, it will say antelope.

            There is the story of Jesus inviting us to put down our particular cross in the corner of the room and giving us the choice to take a cross other than our own. In the story everyone chooses to pick up the cross that they brought with them.

            Bernie’s conscience was an integral part of his personality.

            But, other than getting caught, I wonder if Ted Bundy would have grown a conscience if given the choice.

            How many people here would want to have stronger or weaker conscience than they have? Or is yours just right?

          • Will

            On the other hand, I wish I were more tactful than I am!

            And I wish I were more like Sheriff Andy Taylor and less like Deputy Barney Fife!

            Or more like George Clooney and less like Norman Bates!

            Oh well. =)

          • Diana A.

            Yeah, I see your point. But the point that she makes is illustrated throughout the book and I had trouble condensing that down to a blog comment. Oh well. I tried.

          • Will

            It sounds like the kind of book I like to read.

            I believe the most important space we have to discover is the space between our ears.

            Finding out why we do the things we do is key to making this world a better place for all.

            That’s why I so admire and respect the guidance and instructions of Jesus. If one would follow his example the world that our children inherit would be a happier, safer, more fulfilling, and more loving place than what we have now.

            To be a Christian is to follow the instruction of Christ.

            Not to use his name as a magic incantation, or as admission to a club, or a product to be sold on TV.

          • LSS

            I actually need to learn about sociopaths so i should read this book.

            also, i think 99% (~_^)of antelopes would choose to be a lion. But i might be wrong. It is hard to ask an antelope.

  • Allie

    So essentially God doesn’t understand the concept of fair play in sports and Tim Tebow is a cheater? Is that what they’re saying?

    Really I think the SNL skit said all that needed to be said on this subject. Not a fan of Tebow and his “my mom didn’t get an abortion despite life-threatening circumstances and look! a football player! Abortion is against football!” ads.

    • Will

      You’re right Allie.

      “We won because our God is greater than your God.”

      or “We won because we’re good Christians and God favors us.”

      is childish, absurd, and distasteful in the extreme.

  • Lymis

    What I find so intriguing is that so many of the people who claim God’s particular blessing on Tim Tebow for doing what he’s doing are the same people who will lift a Bible verse to condemn others.

    But it never seems to occur to them to apply the exceptionally clear verse that making a show of your prayers and an overt display of your faith for public adulation wipes out any interest God has in the prayer and any benefit you get from it. And this was in a time when the most public you could get with a prayer was saying it out loud in front of the people who happened to be there at the time. How much more public is praying on national television?

  • John C Hoddy via Facebook

    My picque is not w/ Tim Tebow himself. He seems like a humble and sincere young man, and a great competitor. My problem is w/ the thousands of Christians who have deified him, and seem to need their faith validated by Christian celebrities. It’s no wonder fundamentalists seem so insecure when their faith is challenged.

  • Mark Hull

    Hmmm I wonder how much I could get away with saying without getting crucified here. Let’s try this much. My religion says that Tebow is one of those amazing people doing exactly what he wants to in life. Filled with joy and gratitude more and more keeps coming to him. I think he is a safe bet. A fearful handwringing victim is victimized. We say god favored one and neglected the other. Umm Santa sitting on a cloud didn’t do this. Ok start crucifying.

    • LSS

      could you say this in a bit of a different way?

      unless i’m the only one that has no idea what you’re getting at.

      • Donald Rappe

        You’re not the only one. I think he may be trying to make one of those persecuted atheist jokes. Not sure tho!

  • Carolyn Clement via Facebook

    I’ve seen athletes make public displays of their faith ever since I can remember. Whether it’s crossing themselves, or Tebowing, or pointing skyward, I think it’s nice to see those who are (considered) the most physically powerful make a public statement about their reliance on one more powerful than they. Regardless, I think Tebow is not just posturing. Read this article to see what he’s doing when he gets off the field. It would make a good reality show (it could take the time slot recently vacated by Extreme Home Makeover–a weepy and emotional audience is ready and waiting).
    http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7455943/believing-tim-tebow

    • Brian W

      Carol,

      Thanks for posting the link, really, how can you NOT like such a humble and selfless human being?

    • Donald Rappe

      Thanks for posting the link. This is the only thing I know about Tebow, other then his name has become a name for a humble posture.

    • Soulmentor

      I’m not a sports fan. Couldn’t care less but this Tebow thing has captured my attention. My tendency also is to think of the Matthew verse, but his “Tebowing” is actually kinda simple and inoffensive and somehow just doesn’t add up to a problem for me. Then I read the article from your link and it brot tears to my eyes.

      What an admirable man…….and so ruggedly sexy in the bargain!! Amazingly attractive all around, it seems. I feel small by comparison.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Shields/575253125 Cindy Shields via Facebook

    I know what you mean, John. As Christianity, those professing faith, and especially the Gospel, seem to be the pinata at the party lately, I think many Christians are just excited to see such a gracious, bold witness of faith. As for the Matt. 6:5-6 reference, that was aimed at the religious leaders at the time whose lives didn’t match what they were loudly preaching on the streets. I don’t think Tebow is the example of faith that the Lord was referring to. I don’t deify him but the more I learn about him, the more I admire him.

  • Brian W

    I like Tim Tebow, I like that he isn’t a “closet” Christian, he has gone on mission trips to help those in need, multiple times. He proclaims his Christianity for all to see – a light unto the world – but to think God actively determines the outcome of Bronco’s victories because of Tebow or his prayers, is absurd. Tim Tebow makes no such claims himself. I don’t know the guy, but from the countless interviews of him and those close to him, he seems to be a real genuine and humble young man. His teammates have an incredible respect for him and he is a team leader / motivator, which is remarkable for a second year player. Such positions are normally filled by the seasoned vets.

    You know that unbelivers are wringing their hands just waiting for him slip up, so they can kick him when his down and mock him and Christianity. He lives under a microscrope of endless examination and criticism.

    I think pro footbal can use more Tim Tebow’s.

  • LSS

    reading this blog post was a lesson in pop culture.

  • Carl Ferreira via Facebook

    Matt. 6:5-6 was NOT aimed at religious leaders alone, it was meant for EVERYONE to not be like them. Jesus DIDN’T say that it was okay to pray in public as long as you weren’t a hypocrite, he meant for everyone to not to make a spectacle of praying in order to show how holy you are. One may say that it is the media that’s making this public, not Tebow. I say that Tebow is not stupid, he knows that every camera from every angle is on him. He may have not been thinking the first time, but once it was made public he should have ran to his prayer closet and shut the door behind him. One more thing, he has the right to do his little prayer thing if he wants, but for born again christians who are always crying about the bible being the word of god and every word to be taken literally, his actions to me, show hypocrisy.

    • Mindy

      yup. That is how I react, every time. In my gut. I can rationalize, if I want to, him dropping to his knee, and I can easily understand those who make fun of him. But mostly, it seems hypocritical to me, and entirely unnecessary. OMMV, of course.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Shields/575253125 Cindy Shields via Facebook

    I think the bottom line is that this whole subject is overblown. We may differ on the letter of the law (which is fine), but from all acounts Tebow has the spirit and Christ Himself as his savior. He’s graciously living out his faith in service here and abroad. More of us should follow his example.

  • Donald Rappe

    Tebow does not judge or criticize me for blessing myself with the gesture of the cross, so I will not judge or criticize him for his posture of prayer. I was an ardent admirer of Mike

    Singletary and the intensity with which he played the game. I was too lazy to rewire my entertainment center when the U. S. changed its broadcast system. I get futbol, but no football now. My laptop has replaced my TV. So I have never watched Tebow play. When, at the age of 27, I turned back toward God, prayer was difficult as was its significance. Since, by this time, my head was full of math and hard science, I needed to understand the change going on in me in a certain, more or less logical, way. I don’t believe in the “power of prayer”. I do believe in the Power to whom I pray. I do not believe that “prayer changes things”. I do believe that all change is in the loving Hands of the Eternal. I am strong on prayers of thanks. It appears from this blog that that is what Tebow is frequently up to when he is on the field. I do not believe that I influence God in any way, but I believe that He influences me. Often, before I can find any words (my thoughts are not very verbal) , I can pray by using a gesture that is significant to me. When I wordlessly mark my body with the sign of the cross, I am expressing my sense of finitude in the presence of the infinite. For some reason, I find kneeling appropriate during times of confession and absolution. For me these gestures are prayers without words. Just as, without calling the specific equations to mind, I understand that the quantum states of photons or electrons are already synchronized at their emitters with the states they will encounter at their absorbers. So I believe He has the whole world in his hands. I believe each soul will find its own way, not with greatly difficult or laborious praying, but with humility. Blessed are the poor.

    • Diana A.

      I love this. Thank you, Donald.

    • Drew

      Donald,

      That feels like a hot drink next to the fire on a very cold day. Thx.

  • Stu

    Just to give you all hope – Practically no-one outside the USA has heard of him…..

  • Christy Caine via Facebook

    Follow Christ’s example….not Tim’s. Right?

  • Nathan Taylor via Facebook

    My (minor) problem is that his on field behaviour makes God nothing more than a genie in a bottle. Rub it and get your wish.

    Sadly that equates god to the result on a football field. Kinda like Paul the octopus and the world cup.

  • Dianne M

    THANK YOU JOHN!! After the day I had today I sure needed a good laugh and for someone to agree with me on something! And you did both! Bless you!

  • Diane Re via Facebook

    I think the projections that are being grown out by this guy on both sides of the fence are way more reflective of those who are his fans/critics than the man himself. He’s doing what hundreds of public figures do and we’ve somehow decided that we get to reframe the lives, hearts, faith and character of those in the public eye based on slivers of behavior we see. It’s way, way more about us than some football player who believes in God.

  • http://ingridspeak.wordpress.com Ingrid

    I happen to be the equivalent of football Switzerland or maybe the Cayman Island because I love the beach.  I say this because i could give a flying [bleepeth] who wins.  I personally think God in his infinite wisedom is sitting somewhere close on that same beach with me.  He’s probably contemplating something deeper than “why am I takin Cisco?” but my mind is puny compared to his.  

    Tim Tebow is the new it man in the NFL.  I personally think Cam Newton fills out a uniform better, but  what do I know.  The  Conservative Right looks for anyway to capitalize on religious rhetoric instead of real faith and the action that is a requirement of Christianity.  Maybe instead of all the hype and tebowing they could spend a little time remembering faith without work is dead.  James 2:14-26

  • Nathan Gray via Facebook

    YAYA first :DD

  • Nathan Stehle via Facebook

    In Matthew 6:5-8, Jesus tells Christians how to pray:

    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/donaldhildenbrand Don Hildenbrand via Facebook

    █ ████████, ██████ ██████████ ██ ████ ██. ████ ██████████ ██. ███ ███!This comment has been found in violation of H.R. 3261, S.O.P.A and has been removed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dana.david74 Dana David via Facebook

    Thanks for posting that, Nathan, I was trying to tell my husband about those verses :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Morwell/1127510145 Robert Morwell via Facebook

    It is also true that Jesus told his followers to not hide their light under a bushel basket or to act as though they are ashamed of him by not professing the discipleship, lest the crowds disapprove. The challenge is to find the right balance. In a world in which too many Christians are indistinuishable from non-Christians, Mr, Tebow can be seen as a bit of a corrective. To be honest, I am ambivalent about him on this point, but I find it amusing/distressing that all sorts of people will rant about his demonstration of a faith which seems genuinely sincere, but just shrug their shoulders over the antics of other athelets who break laws, abuse substances and their wives and girlfriends, faqther chikdren for whom they take little responsibility without a court ordering them to do so. and generally act like delinquent divas. All things considered, I’d rather my kids look to Tebow for inspiration than many of them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Morwell/1127510145 Robert Morwell via Facebook

    PS: I don’t believe Tebow has ever claimed that God has handed him fottball victories, and I also think God has other things to think about.

  • Scott McDaniel via Facebook

    So…which JesusAdvice™ do we follow?

  • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson via Facebook

    @ Scott: the bit where you “love God with all thy heart, and love thy neighbour as thyself”

  • Shay Dawkins via Facebook

    Check out my video, “Why It Should Be About Love (Jesus’s message) Not Religion (Christianity)” as I discussed Tebow in my last radio interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PShFM184HhE
    I’d love to get some feedback!

  • Mindy Brown Carney via Facebook

    I do agree that Tebow is a far better role model than an awfully lot of professional athletes, who are simply oversized children with too much money and attention. But combining religion and sports has always, always bothered me. It just doesn’t fit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sacred-Frontiers/320255304662282 Sacred Frontiers via Facebook

    I’m with Nathan Stehle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashley-Cohea/100000024967834 Ashley Cohea via Facebook

    The thing that bothers me is that there are and have always been a lot of Christian athletes who are good role models. They even speak about their faith when asked, and at least appear to be very sincere. Yet, they get no praise from the Christian community because they don’t take a knee 20 times a game or write Bible verses on their faith. I grow weary of the idea that if you aren’t an in-your-face Christian who vocally makes every moment of everything you do about your faith, then you are somehow lesser than those who do. Anyone remember a little band called Evanessence?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

      Loved that group. What ever happened them?

  • Allie Bolen via Facebook

    Why should he matter either way, doesn’t God have bigger fish to fry than football?

    • Will

      “bigger fish to fry”

      Good question.

      What’s God doing about the depletion of fish in the ocean?

      There is a lot of work that needs to be done.

      Don’t tell me He spent the whole afternoon watching football?

      (Does that mean God is male?) :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Blaine-Williams/100001220897612 Blaine Williams via Facebook

    Though it is not my place to judge this man’s faith or lack, I do come down more on the side of when we do the will of God, it is always for his/her glory, not mine. When I do things in love for others and for the greater good, I should not be concerned that others see it and give me praise for doing it – just that it gets done. But of course getting a pat on the back every once in a while for our efforts can go along way to encourage us.

  • Felicia Shamoomoo Burkhardt via Facebook

    I’m with Nathan, Blaine and Robert. :).

  • http://sisterfriends-together.org anita

    And here I was just hoping to see a photo of John Shore tebowing. How that would have made my day.

    • Donald Rappe

      Mine too!

  • Felicia Shamoomoo Burkhardt via Facebook

    Actually I agree with almost all of ya’ll…and I’m not a worshiper. Prayer is a spiritual connection between one and the divine. Whether would be a separate God, or the god within…it’s the same to me. :)

  • Nathan Stehle via Facebook

    1 Peter 3:15-16 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

  • http://lisainbc.blogpost.com Lisa Salazar

    Totally out of context, I have finally recovered from a coughing fit that was triggered by my gut-splitting laughter at John’s quip regarding Tim Tebow’s name, “sounds like the name of the Santa’s elf in charge of drumming monkey dolls.” This cold is going to kill me if I don’t suppress my laughter.

  • Terri Antonovich via Facebook

    at the end of the day ,,we on our own, stand before the Father of Creation …

  • Rebecca

    Tim Tebow’s pass completion percentage is pretty bad for a professional, less than fifty percent. Somehow, this fact eludes the Tebowmania crowd. Secondly, he’s in bed (figuratively speaking) with Focus on the Family, whose homophobic stance has been well-documented. I have no idea if he’s (otherwise) a good guy or not, because you know what? It’s never going to come up. I’m probably not going to run into him personally any time soon. What I do know is, every time I see him “Tebow,” Matthew 6: 5-6 pops into my mind. Red flag on the play. You don’t have to be in the world’s face to be Christlike, nor are those whose faith is a bit less ostentatious any less Christlike than those who like to pray on camera. Just sayin’.

    • Will

      “What I do know is, every time I see him “Tebow,” Matthew 6: 5-6 pops into my mind. Red flag on the play.”

      The referee calls, “Penalty, for failing to follow Christ’s rulebook.

      How many yards penalty is that? :D

  • David J Martin

    While not judging Tebou’s choice to publicly pray before the game – he may be totally sincere in wanting to give glory to God – I can only recall Christ’s words of caution: to be not LIKE the hypocritical Pharisees who relish in being observed in displaying “holiness” in public only to be seen. The idea that God actively participates in ANY human actions is a slippery slope. For those who are fair weather Christians giving praise and glory to God when things are going well for them – the way THEY want them – can quickly become :Christians” who drive the lances into Christ’s side for personal tragedies, protesting “how can a loving God” allow terrible things to happen to me or my loved ones. Christians live their lives as best they can but ACCEPT the Will of the Father – joyfully.

    • Will

      “fair weather Christians giving praise and glory to God when things are going well for them – the way THEY want them – can quickly become :Christians” who drive the lances into Christ’s side for personal tragedies”

      Good observation. Were they ever really following Christ?

      • Donald Rappe

        Was Judas?

        • Will

          For those that believe Jesus’ martyrdom was God’s divine plan (I don’t),

          wasn’t Judas instrumental in achieving that goal? Didn’t Jesus hurry Judas to his task? “Jesus therefore saith unto him, What thou doest, do quickly.” (John13.27)

          But that’s neither here nor there since the story may have been tinkered with to prove a point.

          http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=1810169&page=1

          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/04/0406_060406_judas.html

          Was Peter?

          “Lord, I’ll always follow you.” —> “Who is this guy? I don’t know him.”

          • Donald Rappe

            Yes, you have taken my point exactly. When Jesus’ disciples had no idea what was in the heart and mind of one of them 12, and when after 2000 years of intense study, still no one does, why would I think that the average commenter on this blog has any idea what is in the heart and mind of a young football player? We all can make our guesses, but, the pretense to actually be sure strikes me as being a humorous presumption.

          • Donald Rappe

            The formation of the scriptures appears to be far more artful than just a little “tinkering”.

          • Will

            “The formation of the scriptures appears to be far more artful than just a little “tinkering”.”

            You can say that again. The books of the Bible appear to have been written solely by………… wait for it!…………………MEN!

            Consider another document, not nearly as old as the Bible. Written a mere 225 years ago, in the language of my birth, with no translation necessary. And yet today’s administrators of that document are in violent disagreement as to the meaning and purpose of the Constitution of the United States.

            I appreciate your point about presuming to know what the motives are of any person. Especially since I continue to unveil my own motives previously hidden to myself. It is quite probable that Hitler and his crew were trying to make the world a better place as they saw it.

            But Donald, dagnabbit, that Tebow is showboating! LOL

            A riddle;

            How do you make a biblical historian laugh and cry at the same time?

            Answer;

            Begin a sentence with the words, “The Bible very clearly states……”

          • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

            Good Lord, your obnoxious commentary in this simply shows your rather large ax you’re attempting to grind. Ugh.

          • Will

            I’m sorry DR.

            Do I have my facts wrong? Have I mistated something?

            Is it that you disagree that the Bible was written by men?

            Since I have failed in my mission to be persuasive, would you please explain where the commentary became obnoxious to you.

          • LSS

            Was that Gospel of Judas known about when JK Rowling wrote the last few volumes of Harry Potter? I may be mixing metaphors, or allegories, rather… But it seems a very good reason for what what she made happen with Snape and Dumbledore.

          • Will

            That’s a very good question LSS. It appears the codex was discovered in 1978 but hidden and it was only made public very recently.

            I do remember in my teenage years thinking that there had to be more to the story than 30 pieces of silver. People rarely give up their friends to be murdered unless they are hooked on some very powerful drugs.

            As far as Harry Potter, I believe you are on to something. Great literature is great because the human events told are universally experienced and timeless.

            As the unknown author of the Book Of Ecclesiastes wrote,

            “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. “

          • LSS

            Well yeah, and just so it’s clear, i don’t mean any sense of plagiarism…

            When the story finally ended she DID say that she was making a Christ allegory along the lines of the aslan sacrifice in Narnia books, but that she couldn’t let on earlier (despite all those extreme christians saying HP was witchcraft-endorsing or satanic LOL) because she didn’t want to give away the part where Harry would have to be a sacrifice.

            So the Judas Gospel, i think the article was from 2006? But they said something had been rumored before? Anyway it makes sense because the whole time from Book1 we were made to doubt about Snape “is he good, is he evil?” … I bet i could make this point even better if i had actually read all the books. I actually only read the first one and saw most but not all the movies (first 2 and last 3? I think). May probably catch up eventually, though.

          • Diana A.

            “I do remember in my teenage years thinking that there had to be more to the story than 30 pieces of silver. People rarely give up their friends to be murdered unless they are hooked on some very powerful drugs.”

            One of the arguments that has been used is that Judas’s motivation was to force Jesus’s hand by putting him in a situation in which he would “have to” reveal himself as the messiah. Judas didn’t realize that Jesus would allow himself to be taken and crucified. When Jesus did allow this, this is what caused Judas to give back the 30 pieces of silver and hang himself.

            I believe that this motivation is expressed in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar”–though I could be wrong.

          • Will

            Diana, You are correct about the rock opera.

            By attaching that motivation to Judas, he appears to be a really good guy who made a dreadful mistake.

            I bought Jesus Christ Superstar on vinyl when it first came out in the 1970′s. It’s still one of my favorites.

  • Will

    “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.”

    Matthew 6:5 (New Living Translation)

    My definition of the word “Christian” is; One whe follows Christ’s instructions.

    It looks to me that Jesus is saying that Tim Tebow is a hypocrite.

  • Will

    When families continue lose loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq,

    to think for a moment that God can influence the outcome of a football game,

    but He couldn’t be bothered saving a young soldier’s life…..

    I publicly proclaim my disgust.

    • Brian W

      Will,

      Did it ever occur to you that God HAS protected and saved thousands of soldiers already and that’s why they’re alive today?

      • Will

        A plane crashes. 399 Dead. One survivor.

        You say, “God is great. He saved that one.”

        I say that your statement is the pinnacle of cruelty.

        If God could/does save one, why not all?

        Maybe if that one lives to be more than the ordinary schlub that they already were, but there is no evidence of that ever happening.

        What do you say to the families and loved ones whom God left to die?

        “God could have lifted a finger and saved your loved one, but He chose not to.”

        Is that what you say Brian?

        Or will you fall back on the old “mysterious ways” excuse, used by all those who pretend to know the mind of God, when they find they don’t.

        • http://beccasaid.wordpress.com Becca

          I have thought that myself, especially with the number of good people I know who have lost loved ones at a young age. But then, as a Christian, what is the alternative? That we state that God does not have the power?

          I try to rationalise it not as simply as that God only saves those for whom he has a purpose, but that hardship seems to develop the good in people. My friend who just miscarried twins, for example – it was not that the babies were not considered useful, or adequate by Him, but that my friend will take the hardship and grow to be an even more wonderful mother to the two daughters she has, and that in turn will lead to God’s plans being executed.

          I don’t know. I’m just trying to find a theory that makes sense to me. I don’t know if it can bring any comfort – I often think of it in relation to my own child, and if God were to take him from me, what the reason could be.

          • Will

            Thank you Becca. Thank you for your honest and thoughtful reply.

            We are all “just trying to find a theory that makes sense” to us.

            I honor your humble admission of uncertainty.

            In my eyes that makes you a Thinking, Loving, Caring, Human Being.

            TLCHB is the highest honor I have to give.

            I’ll bet Jesus is proud of you. :D

          • Soulmentor

            The idea of a god that has a plan that includes the death of loved ones, often hundreds or thousands just to make others stronger and better strikes me as a cruelly capricious entity I would and do want nothing to do with. The god that lives in your mind is an entity with human-like thought processes invented by humans, mindful of the Greek philosopher Xenophanes who opined that “if horses had gods, they would look like horses.”

            ****I don’t know. I’m just trying to find a theory that makes sense to me.****

            Aren’t we all, even those who reject the very idea of “gods”. The reason you have a problem with your concept of God is because it is an immature, child-like WISH to have something comforting in this capricious life. But what comfort is there in a god that is equally capricious?

            To assign human emotions and thought processes to “God” is folly.

            I don’t know WHAT God is either. No one does no matter what anyone tries to insist. The best illustration of God probably came from Jesus and his life of love. He showed, and the Bible says clearly, that “God is Love”…..a concept……a Spirit. Is that not enuf? If we live that, we can sanguinely face the capriciousness of life, trusting that there is something about that Spirit that we are all a part of and return to when we leave these worldly bodies.

            For me, God is a Cosmic Spirit of Love. I have no need of the childish image of a human-like entity deciding whether to comfort me or strike me down to “take me home”. THAT, and the hopeless effort of constantly trying to please such a god so that it won’t strike me, (which it ultimately does anyway and mostly for no apparent reason) is the truly fearful way to live.

            God is Love. Jesus showed us that love and how to live it, and I think he also showed us how to trust in Love. It really is that simple.

          • Will

            “god …. as a cruelly capricious entity I … want nothing to do with. ” Yes.

            “To assign human emotions and thought processes to “God” is folly.” Yes.

            The best illustration of God probably came from Jesus and his life of love. Yes.

            ““God is Love”…..a concept……a Spirit. Is that not enuf?” Yes.

            “God is Love.” “Jesus showed us that love and how to live it” Yes!

            “It really is that simple.”

            YES! YES! YES! Thaank you Jayy-zuss!!!

            Thank you Soulmentor. :D

          • Soulmentor

            Well……may I assume you’re a fan?!!!!!! Thank YOU.

          • Will

            I’m a fan of truth.

            I’m a fan of whoever speaks the truth.

            I’m a fan of whoever embraces the truth.

            I’m a fan of whoever lives the truth.

          • Soulmentor

            Ah……and “What is truth?”

            According to the Bible, even Jesus didn’t respond which I find very intriguing.

        • Brian W

          Will,

          You want God to act and react the way YOU want Him to or they way you would and He doesn’t. Why events happen the way they do is known but by God, but I know ALL things work togther for good to them that love God are the called according to his purpose. The fact God saves even one is by His grace (receiving what we don’t deserve) and mercy (not receiving what we do deserve). No one knows the mind of God and to pretend that anyone does is absurd.

          • Will

            Thank you Brian for engaging in conversation with me.

            As Becca said, “I’m just trying to find a theory that makes sense to me.”

            A chess-playing-God isn’t a satisfying answer to the chaotic state of the world and the percieved randomness of life.

            “ALL things work togther for good” is a very useful idea that I have found comfort in. Just holding that thought is comforting to me, even as I question it’s absolute truth.

            Another comforting belief of mine is that, (if God exists), God is the creator of all that is real, including you and me.

            Therefore, that which God created is indeed deserving of both grace and mercy.

            Are not your children deserving of grace and mercy, simply because they are your children? And I mean all of your children, not just some.

            What kind of “perfect creator” sets out to create something “unworthy”?

            Didn’t Jesus say “By their fruits you shall know them”?

            Aren’t we the fruits of God’s tree?

            When the supposition is that God “has His hand in” the workings of this world, I would expect better results. If we are to believe every Bible and all the self proclaimed Bible advocates, the percentage of souls burning in eternal agony is hellishly high. To put it in manufacturing terminology God’s failure rate is astronomically unacceptable.

            If God accepts praise for Tebow’s performance on the field,

            then God is also responsible for the starvation in Africa. Yes?

            I prefer to believe that God has a “hands off” approach.

            “Hands off” because God knows that when playtime is over, all of God’s children come home to Him.

            It can be no other way. God’s will is done. Yes?

            To me that makes sense and is comforting at the same time.

  • Gary

    What this entire controversy tells me is how childish and ignorant so many Christians can be. Tebow is likely sincere but young. I would not put on the display he does as I believe the controversy it creates outweighs any good he hopes to accomplish. But I try not to judge him for it because frankly I do not know him and whether or not he is a hypocrite. Not my place.

    But seeing so many Christians lose all sense of rational thought (“God is helping Tebow win”) is really offensive to me. God is not some damn genie in a bottle who responds to our childish whims. I am far more offended by those who portray Him as such than I am by young Tebow’s actions.

    • Susan

      Gary, you are so right in that Tim Tebow IS young. I have to also agree with those who have quoted Matt. 6:5. However, because of his youth, it may take him some learning moments to realize that his very public demonstration of faith actually is being used by the “name and claim it” crowd. I have only paid attention to this when seeing people comment about him on Facebook (news source extraordinaire? ;) ). The part about him being in league with Focus on the Family (one of the more homophobic “Christian” cults) bothers me. Having been in a cult in my youth (long story), I know how easy it is to “prove” certain dogmas and to persuade young, devout, and enthusiastic people. If Tim Tebow is sincerely seeking God’s will in his life, hopefully God will give Tim the wisdom he will certainly need while he’s in the public eye.

      • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

        I disagree with the notion that public expressions of faith are somehow invalidating the private expressions of faith, those of you up in arms around this are applying an almost tyrannically restrictive brush on the intentions behind said actions and I wonder what gives you such authority to do so? Or the benefit of your speculation to the Kingdom?

        While I understand the larger point those of you are making around this and agree that it’s essential, the condemnation around this young man who for him – as he’s expressed directly – sees this as a commitment that he makes personally that moves him *internally* – is deeply unsettling. There is a huge difference between pointing out the boundaries of where we me might be – in our public displays of worship – be crossing a line that’s in violation of the scriptures you are all referencing, and the blanket arrogance some of you are unleashing on this young man, actually suggesting that you *know* something about what’s going on behind his behavior and drawing conclusions as a result.

  • James Glines via Facebook

    When he tebows, it looks like the mythological Narcissus gazing into a pool and being caught by how good he looks

    • Will

      James, I believe you have captured the truth about Tebow and tebowing.

      Narcissism.

      Tim’s tebowing is a childish play for attention. “Look how God has blessed ME”

      “WE won because of God’s blessing.” “MY victory is evidence of God’s favor.”

      In everyday speech, “narcissism” often means inflated self-importance, egoism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness.

      Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.

      In psychology, the term is used to describe both normal self-love and unhealthy self-absorption due to a disturbance in the sense of self.

      • Brian W

        Will,

        I have never heard Tim Tebow use those words. Also when he “Tebow’s” it is never more than a few moments, probably just a silent prayer of thanks for all the goodness of God.

        • Donald Rappe

          There is no shortage of narcissism among professional athletes. I would suspect that this athlete is attempting a spiritual discipline intended to avoid this common outcome. If so, I hope he succeeds.

          • Donald Rappe

            Doing a little dance after a successful play is a childish bid for attention.

          • Will

            One does a dance. Another strikes a pose. No difference.

          • Donald Rappe

            The eye of the beholder.

          • Will

            “The eye of the beholder” means you see what you want to see.

          • Donald Rappe

            What you see depends on who you are.

          • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

            Which is exactly what you’re doing here.

          • Diana A.

            This may be the truth.

      • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

        I think is so totally inappropriate to take a sliver of behavior and try to assign such meaning to it. Good Lord, all of you who are projecting your own issues onto this guy we really know nothing about are really unsettling. This is an extreme stretch and says way more about you than it does him.

        • Will

          A “sliver of behavior”???

          It is Tebow’s trademark.

          “Tebowing” is a prayer pose that is named after him.

          Doesn’t he “tebow” all the time?

          Look at that picture on the top of this page.

          That is not a spontaneous one-time-deal.

          He is “striking a pose”

  • http://www.knnyc.com Rhys
    • Mindy

      I saw that the other day and LOVED it, but then I think just about anything Jimmy Fallon does is adorable . . .

      • http://www.knnyc.com Rhys

        Pretty good, eh?

  • George Joseph Hill via Facebook

    Interesting observation James, he may be honoring Jesus with thanks but the focus is indeed on his reflection.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Beeson/530994390 Michael Beeson via Facebook

    I’ve always taught my sons that we are trinary beings, and that is why we are in the image of God. We are physical body, mind, and spirit. To me, as a former athlete, when God has helped me it has been the spirit portion entering me and allowing my body to do things that are not normally physically possible. It’s what a lot of athletes call being in the zone. So we all have this available to us. We have only to open ourselves and believe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rene.pasquier René Pasquier via Facebook

    I love your site John and thank you for it. Re Tim Tebow, I am at a loss when I see, hear or read Christians putting Tim down because he publicly demonstrates his Christian Faith in front of millions. Jesus has commanded us to “make disciples”, thus to show publicly and privately the message of Christ. If Tim’s way of obeying our Lord’s command is by “Tebowing”, then, may God bless him. He shows courage that is commendable. A hidden Christian is a closet Christian – not very useful. Tim has no other means than putting one knee down for a few seconds and thus does what he can to promote “the message” – Christ is alive. How else could he do it? The Tebow law is now passed so no more verses under the eyes. He still has his knee.

  • mike moore

    Speaking as a Big Fag (yes, I am allowed to use that term, I’ve earned it) I know there may come a time when I have to boycott Mr. Tebow’s endeavors, but for now, I’m cutting Tim some slack.

    Tebow’s only 24, a sheltered missionary kid, with lots of time left to evolve. (When I was 24, my big accomplishments were dressing like I was in “The Smiths” and spending a week’s paycheck to snag wicked-good seats for a Madonna concert.)

    Plus, modeling underwear for Jockey – looking good, Tim – is an excellent counter-balance to public piety.

    Of course, speaking as a sports fan ………. GO PATS!

  • LK

    God said to Abraham (Genesis Ch. 12) ” I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse.”

    Do you study the Bible?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      No. I just wait for people like you to tell me what’s in it.

      • Tammy Lubbers

        Oooh, snap! That one made me laugh.

        • Diana A.

          Me too!

      • Soulmentor

        ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!! My hoot for the day.

    • Gary

      Where do these random references that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject come from? It seems clear that you do not actually study the bible.

      Hint…when you use it as a weapon…you totally distort its message.

  • Sue Hulett via Facebook

    Jesus also commanded us not to be like the hypocrites, who stand on the street corners praying so that their piety can be seen, but fail to fulfill the Father’s will.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Houtz-Mooney/1196720552 Carrie Houtz Mooney via Facebook

    I’m so glad that lady said what I’ve been thinking. About Christians. Although I don’t cheer against them, I immediately mistrust anyone who says they’re Christian, especially if they wear a giant diamond-studded cross necklace or say “God is so good” and “I’m so blessed” every few seconds.

    • Will

      Amen! er uh I mean uh, I agree.

  • Matthew Tkvrprjct Adams via Facebook

    As a Steelers fan… I love this. :D

  • Townley McGiffert via Facebook

    Turn to stone, lose my faith? I’ll be gone before it happens…

  • Heidi L. Nordberg via Facebook

    I agreed with your take on this. Still I say Matthew 6.

  • Dan

    Does the underwear Tebow is modeling come with Scripture? A few verses from Song of Songs maybe?

    I’ve only watched the man a couple times, and from the comments he might well be a very nice person who does a lot of good, but still I can’t help think that he has a genius for an agent, and is going to cash in big if he doesn’ t crash and burn. More power to him. He’s kind of cuddly.

  • Tim

    Yes, a lot of good thinking in the comments here, John. However, since we can’t read his heart, why don’t we lay off Tebow? Are not Jesus’ words on the issue more about motives (getting noticed vs. actual thanks to God)? and he is being dishonest, what ill is he doing anyone but himself? He will have received his reward, and done no real harm. This is about the opposite of the Pharisees Jesus was addressing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rene.pasquier René Pasquier via Facebook

    My humble opinion: Tim Tibow is far from “failing to fulfill the Father’s will”. Why are you so judgmental Sue? In context, Jesus was talking of Pharisees and the bunch, not disciples of Jesus. The following verse applies to Tim: Matthew 5:15-16 (NIV) “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Tebow is an example to us all. COURAGE!

    • Brian W

      Exactly Rene

    • Will

      Rene, why does Matthew 5:15-16 apply to Tebow but not Matthew 6:5 ?

      Matthew 5:15-16 “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (NIV)

      Matthew 6:5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.”

      (New Living Translation)

      • Jenna

        I was just thinking of Matthew 6:5 when I read about Tim Tebow! It’s not just letting people know he’s a Christian; a few sentences would let us know that. He’s praying publicly on the street corner where everyone can see him, as Jesus was talking about.

        And Mathew 5:15-16 talks about “good deeds,” not just “Hey guys, guess what? I’m a CHRISTIAN! I shall now pray to prove this. See me? I’m praying!”

        Tebow has a lot of good deeds under his belt. He lets his light shine through those. Writing “John 3:16″on his eye black? That’s praying on the street corner.

  • Diana A.

    Where I stand on this issue (as I commented on Huffpost):

    I’ve not been keeping up with the whole “Tim Tebow” thing. I know that he has been getting a lot of flack for being a Christian who is vocal in his faith. I feel two ways about this. 1) I think it’s wrong to make fun of other people–re­gardless of the reason. There’s a difference between teasing and ridicule–­and when it’s not funny to the person who’s being “teased”, it’s ridicule.

    2) But we who are Christians were told to expect this–that the world might turn against us based on our faith alone. We were also told to be sure that we didn’t give the world reason to turn against us by behaving in ways that are hurtful/ha­teful to others. The fundamenta­list angle of Christiani­ty has, recently and in the past, behaved hatefully toward others–an­d done so in the name of Jesus. This makes Christiani­ty ugly/hatef­ul to a lot of people, who respond by lashing out at anyone who is Christian. Is it right? No. Is it to be expected? Yes. Until we who are Christians clean up our own house, we have no right to expect the “Good Housekeepi­ng Seal of Approval” from others. Even then Jesus told us, in so many words, not to hold our breaths waiting for accolades from the world as they would be a long time in coming. Afterall, they crucified Jesus; why should we expect anything better for ourselves?–December 29, 2011.

    Sometimes though people do showboat through praying in public. I’m not saying that Tim Tebow does so, but I’ve seen others who are very clearly “praying” in a manner that’s designed to show themselves off as religious people.–December 29, 2011.

    I was kind of hoping that your take on Tim Tebow would be published on Huffpost. Maybe it has been and I’ve missed it. I admit that I’ve been very busy this week, which is why I’m playing catch-up on all my comments.


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