Monday, October 12, 2009
Christianity & Sports
I am suspect about just about anything or anyone that claims Christ as their Savior. There are so many wolves walking around us we must be vigilant in what we associate with and identify with. I am especially suspect when it comes to athletes and their professions of faith. I have watched too many times an athlete act like a complete fool, absorbed in the world and the minute something goes their way, they acknowledge God.
Now I'm not just picking on athletes. I have many friends and associates that use God like their personal butler, calling on Him when they have a need and only acknowledging Him when everything in their life is going great. Thus is the life in America today. A country that claims to know God, alligns with God, with rampant abortion, pornography, crime and excesses. It is all so confusing and especially so to unbelievers.
So when I became aware of Florda Quarterback Tim Tebow four years ago and his outward profession of faith in Christ, I was suspect. I had seen it before only to be disappointed but I have followed him very closely during his college career and even saw him play in person once. While Tim has no doubt made mistakes and he ofcourse battles sin like the rest of us, considering the high profile stage he has been on, his outward display of faith in Christ should be applauded. In fact, it should be a model for us all. Tim Tebow gets the opportunity to display Christ to millions watching on television but we all have a part to play in that. Do you regularly talk about Christ to others? Do you display Him in your office and house? If someone didn't know you were a Christian, how long would it take them to figure it out?
I am intrigued by what others say about Tim. I have been extremely disappointed in professing Christians when they display disgust at Tim's display of Christianity. This is often because their team has been "beat" by Florida but never the less it is disheartening to hear so called Christians talk so negatively about a young man that has seemingly done nothing to warrant it, except to profess Christ and play football well. Professing Christians are not the only ones that have something negative to say about Tim and at some point you have to ask yourself is there more to this? I believe there is and in an article, USA Today has likely exposed the reason for much of the disgust for Tim Tebow.
Tom Krattenmaker authored an article titled "And I'd like to thank God Almighty." Mr. Krattenmaker's article was an overall look at the increase in athletes promoting the "Christian message" in the media while playing sports. On the surface the article is a seemingly harmless information piece discussing an interesting topic but it is much more. Krattenmaker asserts that the kind of religion that Tim Tebow promotes is intolerant and out of sync with the majority of other professing Christians.
"But Jesus' representatives in sports aren't just practicing faith. They are also leveraging sports' popularity to promote a message and doctrine that are out of sync with the diverse communities that support franchises."
What kind of Christianity does Tim Tebow promote? Tim Tebow works with his father's missionary association that does much of their work in the Philippines and the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association stands for Christ and Christ alone.
This is the problem that Krattenmaker, so called Christians and so many others have in Tebow and anyone else that claims this essential truth.
John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me"
Krattenmaker cites a recent Pew Study that stated that 65% of American Christians believe that there are more than one way to have eternal life. Thus the majority of American Christians have a "more generous conception of salvation."
Krattenmaker may think he is on to something but there is a deep seeded problem with his logic. Those 65% of American Christians are likely not Christians at all. How is anyone saved by a Gospel they do not even know? This is not the Gospel.
The Gospel, as the Tebow Family raises high, is exclusive. There is no other way other than Jesus Christ. Jesus is not so much the problem when He is mentioned as "A Way" but change one word and expect everything around you to break lose.
The world (and USA Today) will gladly accept Jesus as "A Way" but as soon as He is "The Way", everything changes.
Luke 14:27 "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple."
John 15:18 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you."
Bob and Tim Tebow understand this. My son looks up to Tim Tebow and he notices his outward display of his faith in Christ. I want nothing more than for my son to believe and trust in Christ alone for salvation and then spend the rest of his life displaying that eveyday....no matter what anyone would say about him.