Why I Pray for Tim Tebow

There was a time in the not too distant past when the mere image or mention of the name made my blood boil. Tim Tebow. It’s like when the hyenas say “Mufasa” to one another in the Lion King. He was the most celebrated quarterback in the land playing for one of the most outstanding teams – the Florida Gators – and for, arguably, one of the best coaches, Urban Meyer.

The problem was I have been and always will be a dyed in the wool Tennessee Vol fan.

But for all my allegiance to my Vols, I have a higher calling and ultimate allegiance to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So does Tim Tebow. While I would seldom admit it while he was dominating SEC opponents and winning championships, I always found his back story compelling. Born to missionary parents. Raised and traveled all over the world for the sake of Christ. I ALWAYS maintained a healthy, albeit silent, respect for him.

Then there are the haters.

Following graduation and being drafted into the NFL, the hate has continued to rise. The hate could come from any number of places. The hate could be born out of those who are opposed to Christianity – after all, we do live in a country that prides itself on religious tolerance so long as you don’t choose to follow Christ. It could also be born out of the inherent dislike for the Good Guy. At first, people like the good guy. Then after the good guy maintains his (or her) good guy status, the tables turn. Individuals who are too undisciplined or ungodly to be a good guy begin to have disdain for those who are. As an aside, I’m convinced this is also what Peyton Manning goes through.

The hate is also felt from those who say Tim Tebow doesn’t have the tools to be playing quarterback in the NFL. The critics point to his seeming lack of pocket passing ability. He throws too many interceptions. They point to the fact that QB’s who depend on their running skills in college, generally speaking, have a tendency to have short-lived NFL careers due to the beating they endure.  Yet, this year the one stat no one seems to be able to argue with is having six wins in his seven starts.  Teammates love him. His coaches love him.

I pray for Tim Tebow because we live in a world that thrives on knocking everyone down to size.  The world can’t stand when people champion goodness or Godliness. The world is waiting to see Tim Tebow tarnished. The spotlight will only get brighter and hotter. Jesus will be Jesus no matter what happens to Tim Tebow or you or me. But in the eyes of the world, if Tim falls, the Christian faith takes yet another one on the chin.

This Volunteer fan says, “God bless and Godspeed, Tim Tebow.”

Come to think of it, what would it be like if we all prayed for each other to be strong in the face of a broken society and a fallen world? What a novel idea.

Merry Christmas!

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12 thoughts on “Why I Pray for Tim Tebow

  1. “After all, we do live in a country that prides itself on religious tolerance so long as you don’t choose to follow Christ.”

    What are you talking about? Christianity is the majority religion by a very considerable margin and holds immense and arguably unconstitutional power over several aspects of our daily lives. It seems to me you’re taking criticism to be on par with persecution, something Christians today know absolutely nothing about, because you feel entitled not to equal status but to greater status over other beliefs.

    In fact, most of the criticisms I’ve heard about all this aren’t even levied at Tebow so much as at God himself for showing his “glory” through such a menial task that’s also attributable to coincidence. If He could answer Tebow’s prayers for a better football game, then why couldn’t he answer the prayers of the 18,000 people around the world that die of starvation every day? Either his priorities are severely mixed-up or he’s too impotent to make a real difference.

    “What would it be like if we all prayed for each other to be strong in the face of a broken society and a fallen world?”

    It’d be nothing compared to if we got up off our knees and actually did something about it. But that’s too much effort, so let’s just leave it to God- after all, prayer’s worked so well in the past.

  2. Phil, I appreciate and recognize your right to disagree, but I feel I need to correct your false assumptions.

    I, in no way, am equating criticism of Christianity with persecution. The fact is that modern day media, print, television and motion pictures love to take pot shots at Christianity- in nearly every case, painting us as fundamental, unthinking, buffoons. While other religions such as eastern mystics and universalists are portrayed as being the “enlightened.”

    I have spoken to people who have been through real persecution. It was during one of the many times that I “got up off my knees” and actually went and did something about it. I spent time in southern Sudan with Christians who had been beaten, burned, jailed and had loved ones killed because they would not renounce God.

    You can blindly sit back and cast stones at the church if you want to, but there are amazing things being done around the world to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked and to heal the hurting. I, my church and many others expend considerable resources to support the work of nearly 5200 missionaries around the world who go to great lengths to meet needs where they are. Can we do more? Absolutely. Are we working on that? Yes!

    The word of God tells us “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. “Whatever” includes the “menial” of playing football or feeding a hungry child. The acknowledgement of God by Tebow or anyone else usually goes well beyond wins and losses.

    Yes, Phil, prayers do work. They worked in the past. They work in the present. They will work in the future.

    I will pray for you.

    • You (that is, Christians, not you personally) deserve the criticisms. You claim to speak for a deity, to hold the answer to life, the universe, and everything, and yet you’re surprised that you’re held to a higher standard? If what you claimed were really the truth, you wouldn’t be afraid of the scrutiny, and you wouldn’t be able to be ridiculed for it, because the truth is never embarrassed by rational inquiry- it stands up to any test and never folds under pressure, like so many tenets of Christianity (and all other religions) have over the years. As far as the media potshots and being portrayed as fundamental, unthinking buffoons go, well, what can I say, I don’t think it’s fair to make such generalizations, but you do believe some pretty crazy things, and it still doesn’t change the fact that under what you claim to be the word of God (the Bible), rape, genocide, slavery, and murder are all defensible positions. For me, the most crucial test in choosing a religion should be whether or not the God(s) in question depend on blood sacrifices for homage or as a down payment towards salvation; if so, He is automatically inferior and unworthy of worship- a true God would find a way around that.

      On those cases in Sudan you mentioned- yes, that is real persecution, not these phony claims of having your religious tolerance threatened by an unflattering portrayal in the media. It is also one of the reasons why I’m against religion in the first place: there’s no room for doubt, for consideration of one’s actions, when one is told that they act in the name of an almighty God. Those who burned, jailed, and killed those Christians believed that with God guiding them they could do no wrong, that their brutality against members of another religion was completely justified, and that to doubt it for even a second was a sin in and of itself. That mindset is wholly unfavorable for coexistence among those with differing outlooks on life (i.e., everybody), and unfortunately Christianity is no stranger to committing such atrocities either.

      I’m not throwing stones at the church. I don’t even need to, there are plenty of holes in it already. Yes, charitable works are wonderful and good on you for pitching in, but it doesn’t take a church or belief in a higher power to know that helping those in need is the right thing to do. Heck, the Nobel Prize-winning organization Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) just held a holiday fundraising drive, and the indisputable winner was an atheist organization (Reddit.com’s r/atheism) that gave $185,000! I’d recommend getting used to trends like that- the non-religious in the US have nearly doubled in the past 2 decades from 8% to 15%, while Christians have dropped from 86% to 76% (Source: American Religious Identification Survey, http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=7041036). It doesn’t seem like much now, I know, but extrapolate on that and you’ve got a predominately atheist nation (and world, since they’re trending ahead of us) within our children’s lifetimes. I wish you could see what a good thing that is.

      Finally, about the effectiveness of prayer: let’s say you pray for something (X). If X was in God’s original plan, (assuming God actually exists and that he has a plan, otherwise he’s not omniscient or omnipotent and therefore cannot be called “God”) then X would’ve happened anyway whether you prayed for it or not. If X wasn’t in his plan, then no prayer would be able to change it. Either way, the prayer affected nothing and is therefore futile. So no, prayer does not work, even if God really is up there, and I doubt at this point I need to clarify that I don’t think he is. I did once, actually. In fact I was rather devout until I turned 20 when I did exactly what the Bible told me to do in 1 Corinthians 13:11.

      • I was a devout Christian until my younger brother was killed in a car crash. Prayer didn’t prevent him from dying or bring him back from the dead. The world would be a better place with my brother still in it, so I can’t believe his death was part of any grand plan.

        When I went to college and studied other religions, I began to see that Christianity isn’t unique. Christianity draws heavily from other religions and traditions that existed before Jesus.

        • Dear Rantings and Phil,
          I appreciate your opinions and that you are passionate enough to share them in the form of comments on my little known blog. It sounds as if both of you have had some traumatic faith experiences in your past. I am not sure that I know either of you personally or not since neither of you care to leave your whole names, but if I could I would prefer to talk about this in some other venue rather than an exchange of comments. I doubt that I could write anything that would be able to persuade you. I will leave the work of the Holy Spirit to Him.

          I will say that both of you touched on aspects of God’s sovereignty and the will of God. As Creator, God is God only when He is free to act and to work in any manner He sees fit. Assuming He is God and we are not, then it is a safe assumption that we will never fully understand everything He does. Since the fall of man in the garden of Eden, the world has been a broken place. Sin and death entered the world. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment. We have all lost loved ones too soon for our liking, but death is a part of life. We are not promised tomorrows, we can only make the most of our todays.

          While Christianity does not need my defense, I feel obligated to say that though there are commonalities among certain aspects of many faiths, Christianity alone boasts of THE God who rose from the dead leaving an empty tomb and who is alive and at work in the world today. His name is Jesus Christ and He is the only way to salvation and eternal life. I will continue to pray to Him on behalf of both of you.

          Merry Christmas.

  3. We rant, scream and make total fools of ourselves at games while dancing around and chest bumping whenever a good play is made and all of that is NOT flamboyant but if he drops to his knee for a five second word with his Coach and Father before moving on to the next play and you have a problem with that? Come on now, leave the man alone and let him pray. This is America where it says in God we trust and if you do not like that, there are plenty of countries to choose from where you do not have to believe in God at all. Feel free to exit at any time and go to any of them. I am so sorry you have been hurt by what you believe to be Christian people that have made you Phil and you “rantings and musings” so bitter against God but this whole thing would not bother you so much if Jesus Christ was not still standing on Your door and knocking. That is why this is getting under your skin so much Phil. He wants you to know Him personally and He loves you so much that He is going to keep after you until you finally see that He is for you too. You will not be happy until you do and that hole in your life that you keep trying to fill with everything else will stay empty until it is full of Jesus. I will pray for you that it will be soon because I know what it is like to run from Him and that misery until you find Him. God Bless You.

  4. Thanks for the article on why you pray for Tebow. I wrote something similar at http://goo.gl/MfZJX All of us have to remember that our “fight is not against flesh and blood…” Tebow, and any Christian in the lime-light, cannot expect to make a case for their character based on logic or reason. Think about John 11 where Jesus raised Lazarus – many believed, but SOME went out to plot how to kill Jesus. There is exactly zero logic in that reaction but you see later it was based on their fear of losing their power, wealth and influence. In other words, their spiritual corruption, their love of “stuff” rather than a genuine love for God led to an irrational fear which became a hatred for someone who had done…what??? raise the dead! So Tebow is in good company and we all should remember that “if they hated me, they will hate you too.” Let’s just “stand, and after all you can do, stand.”

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