Note: Just today a reader sent me a commentary I wrote in 2012. Tim Tebow was all the rage. I penned this commentary as I watched our culture shriek at Tim’s bold Christianity. This was written EXACTLY 11 years ago. What say you?
“America! America! God Shed His Grace on Thee; And Crown Thy Good, With Brotherhood…” (America The Beautiful).
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
In case you have not noticed, Christian Tim Tebow has been causing quite a stir across the football world with his unashamed living out of the Gospel by wearing John 3:16 on his sleeve. His “I-love-Jesus-more-than-anything” approach to life has proved to be quite unsettling to those who are uncomfortable with his bold proclamation of Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
In my lifetime I cannot name a single public figure, apart from those who make a living off of the Gospel, that has been as bold of a witness as Number 15 for the Denver Broncos.
He is not the only Christian in the NFL. The past two Super Bowl Champions had Christians under center, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, yet one would have to dig to find stories of their witness to their faith.
Former Super Bowl Quarterback Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams claims Christ, yet he recently advised Tebow that he would be better off if he removed Jesus from his sleeve … or at least put a sweatshirt over the top of his arms.
“But I’d tell him, ‘Put down the boldness in regards to the words, and keep living the way you’re living. Let your teammates do the talking for you. Let them cheer on your testimony.’” (Kurt Warner). Yeah right Kurt. Hide that light under a bushel. That “I’ll-show-them-Christ-by-the-way-I-live” approach hasn’t gotten Christianity very far in spreading the Gospel. America is a vast moral wasteland because Christians have hidden the light.
In this country we no longer “crown the good.” Because of our silence, our culture has devolved to the point where we “crown the bad.” The evil people declare Tim Tebow is bad. Lady Gaga is good. Tim Tebow won’t be at the Super Bowl, but Madonna will.
In Roger Goodel’s NFL, the Material Girl trumps the Spiritual Guy. (I wonder if Kurt Warner would ask Madonna to tone it down a bit). It seems to me that the wrong folks are ashamed. “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1). Bold Christianity would make Madonna run to the locker room.
Tim Tebow is a mirror of America. He exposes how shallow most of our Christianity is. That’s what makes us so uncomfortable: “I am a Christian, but I am not as fanatical about it as Tebow is.” ... No kidding. I wonder which one is more like Jesus … you or Tim Tebow? Would Jesus tell Tim to “tone it down?” Would Jesus tell you to tone it down? No, Jesus doesn’t have to. You already have toned it down yourself. That’s why Christianity is so under assault in the culture.
We are ashamed of the Gospel. We are ashamed to speak up for what is right. We have allowed them to put a crown on the heads of the evil ones. We have failed to understand that nature loves a vacuum. The removal of the Christian standard of morality from our culture has opened the floodgates to secular debauchery.
Silence isn’t golden; it is yellow. Our Christian-laryngitis has resulted in no prayer in schools, no Ten Commandments, sodomite-marriage, legalized baby-murder, Christ-less Christmas … I wonder if any of the heathen have asked Lady Gaga to tone it down? Have they impugned her for her vicious assault on the morality of America’s children?
It is one thing when the God-haters want Tim to tone it done. It is quite another when those on his own team are knocking the ball out of his hands.
Even in today’s Church we no longer “crown the good.” Humanism has forced its way into the void, and the Gospel has been relegated to a self-help, best-life-now, felt-needs formula for success in life.
Tim Tebow crushes that paradigm like a snot-snorting, blitzing line-backer. Jesus IS life. Tebow has his arms around something bigger than the NFL! In this age of self-centered narcissism, Tebow carries a different message. The answer to America’s problems is not government. The problems in America are Spiritual. Turn to Jesus and not to politics. We must return to an America where good is crowned. It is time to wear our faith on our sleeves.
But that is not the message of the world. They want an America where everyone is on the same level. Homosexual marriage is as valid as heterosexual marriage; Humans are on the same level as the baby seals; Abortion is on the same level as appendicitis; Dr Phil is as wise as the Apostle Paul; Christianity is on par with Islam, Buddhism, and Taoism; Sinners are no different than saints; Jesus and Mohammad share the same throne.
No standards…no judge…no right and wrong…no good and evil. America is ravaged with the gospel according to Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?” It is no wonder we crown the bad.
But there is hope. Tim Tebow has revealed something about us. For those of us who have eyes to see, God has used him to reveal a hunger for righteousness in the hearts of Americans. In spite of the fact that his bold-Christianity has been pillaged by those on the right as well as those on the left, Tim Tebow has touched a nerve in the soul of America, and no matter how hard they may try, the secularists cannot not gauze-over the blood seeping out of a heart that is yearning for something to believe in.
That’s Tim’s message. Believe, not in yourself or your abilities, but in the ONE who makes all things possible. Tebow has torn off the scab and exposed the spiritual-malignancy sweeping over this land.
The media is telling him to tone it down…other Christians are telling him to tone it down … but Mom and Pop America are telling him to turn up the volume.
Did you know that the Bronco’s playoff game against the Patriots (2012) was the most watched non-Super Bowl football game in history? Did you know that Tim Tebow was recently voted the most popular athlete in sports-obsessed America? How can that be?
Because in their hearts, most American parents wish their son had turned out like Tim Tebow, and they long for their daughter to marry a man like him. They have had enough of the Lindsay Lohans, the Charlie Sheens, and the decadence of America’s pop culture icons. The dirty little secret is that fly-over country wants a return to a crowning of the good. Today’s culture crowns the playboys, while America is crying for strong men. Did you know that after the Broncos game with the Steelers that John 3:16 was the most “googled” phrase on the internet?
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 14).
Living the Gospel is not enough. I say roar Tim Tebow, ROAR! Proclaim the Truth of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah! Let the world see that you don’t have to be in Detroit to root for a Lion! God has put a crown on Tim Tebow. He is not ashamed to wear it.
How about you?