I don’t usually mix religion with sports, but I’m a member of First Baptist Church of Dallas and think I can create a logical article regarding Tim Tebow and his speaking engagement in Dallas, Texas in April.
Tim Tebow is the most polarizing sports figure today. People either love him or hate him. There’s no in between. His supporters will continue to love him if he fails to complete a pass on the field and when others knock him for standing up for his Christian beliefs. His haters will find ways to put him down, even if what Tebow is doing seems right.
Robert Jeffress is also a polarizing figure. He is the lead pastor of one of the largest Southern Baptist churches and leads a congregation of 11,000 members in Dallas, as well as listeners on television and radio worldwide. Thousands of people support Jeffress’ uber-conservative views on things from Islam to homosexuality, but there are thousands more who compare him to the works and hate of Westboro Church.
Over the past few days, the media has learned of Tim Tebow’s speaking engagement at First Baptist Dallas in late April and completely condemned him and his future because of it. Reporters are saying he must be on a “money-hungry power trip that is blinding his logic” for him to knowingly speak at a church that is so filled with hatred, rather than Christ’s love. Media companies from CBS to ESPN are throwing Tebow under the bus, saying his career will be over and his reputation ruined over this one speaking engagement. These are the same companies who were singing his praises in 2011 when he took the Denver Broncos on a crazy ride to the playoffs, started the Tebow-ing trend and threw him a birthday party.
It’s crazy how Tim Tebow can go from on top of the sports world to the end of his career in two short years. (Cue the sports angle of this article.)
Now, let’s be honest. Tim Tebow is not the greatest football player. He was a marvelous college quarterback, but that didn’t translate to the NFL. His arm mechanics don’t fit with the NFL style offense and he has refused to play any position other than quarterback (with the exception of a few plays with the Jets). Although he took my Denver Broncos on a miracle ride in 2011, his world came crashing down when they sent him to New Jersey. Tebow didn’t have a chance to make an impact in New Jersey and now is the least wanted quarterback in the NFL. It’s not just because of his on the field production. It’s also because of the attention he gets and his outspokenness about his faith.
Honestly, Tim Tebow wasn’t meant to be a quarterback. Football is just his platform. Tim Tebow is a minister, a missionary. His faith is the most important thing to him, and so is serving others. Tebow is known for coming early or staying after games to toss the football around with fans and serving at charity events and mission trips. You can see Christ in Tim Tebow through his actions and I think that scares the liberal media. It’s only fitting that Tebow travels the country in the offseason, speaking about his faith.
What is shocking to me is the attention he is getting over this particular visit. Yes, Robert Jeffress says some controversial things, but it’s Bible based. I fall under the “moderate to liberal” umbrella, love gay people and enjoy learning about Islam/other religions so I don’t always agree with what is said, but this church is NOT full of hate or what the media is making it out to be. Robert Jeffress and the members of First Baptist Church follow the teachings of the Bible, even the teachings that today’s society tries to make acceptable. And guess what?! Despite some of my shortcomings and what I think on issues, I feel like I belong there. I had to laugh when I read where some reporters said Jeffress could be compared to the “pastor” of Westboro Church. Seriously?! This man would never spew that type of hatred. Jeffress speaks the truth, and sometimes the BIBLICAL truth hurts!
We as Christians are supposed to be the light of the world. Robert Jeffress and Tim Tebow are two of the brightest lights to shine for Christianity in their respective industries. Tim Tebow was in Dallas Monday and refused to speak with the media about this. I don’t think it’s because he doesn’t want to talk about it. I think it’s because he doesn’t care.
Tim Tebow doesn’t care what the media thinks about him or his faith. He doesn’t care if this speaking engagement will ruin his NFL career. He knows that his life has more purpose than football or a squeaky clean public image.
As for Robert Jeffress: I whole-heartedly believe this man has been ordained to spread the Gospel to countless numbers of people and will change the world. He warned the congregation that this hate would come around the time of the opening of the new building, but who would have thought it would come through Tim Tebow? Robert Jeffress is the definition of Romans 1:16. He is unashamed of the Gospel, no matter how the media portrays him. He will continue to speak the Truth.
John 15:18 comes to my mind in this situation. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” The media, haters and unbelievers don’t hate Tim Tebow or Robert Jeffress, they hate what these men stand for. They hate the truth that could set them free. They hate the saving grace and good news these men are using their life to share. They hate Jesus. Woah!
So to all the haters and reporters filling the media with hatred towards Tebow, Robert Jeffress and First Baptist Church of Dallas: What do you hate? Do you hate that Tebow is using his platform to speak on his beliefs, or do you hate the Word of God? Do you hate that Robert Jeffress is so passionate about speaking Truth even when it hurts, or would you rather ignore what is written? Leave these two Godly men alone! They are changing the world while you’re trying to tear them and their work down. But just like Jesus overcame the world, Tim Tebow and Robert Jeffress will overcome the hatred.
P.S. Tim Tebow, if you’re reading this, I’ll be the short blonde girl in the front row that morning at church and I’m really looking forward to hearing you speak :)