Tim Tebow Remains Blessed & Courageous Despite Jets!

Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, Tim Tebow is free at last! Free from the curse that is — and will always be — the New York Jets football team. Of course, as Tim Tebow well knows from the Old Testament story of Joseph and his brothers, God can take what others (Rex Ryan, Tony Sparano, Woody Johnson, et. al.)  intended for evil and can turn it into good (Genesis 50:20). While we may never know this side of heaven God’s purposes in sending Tim Tebow to the Jets last year, we can know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

From the moment that Tim Tebow was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the N.F.L. Draft in 2010, he has faced unwarranted criticism from all corners of the sports’ world. From the derogatory comments made by Dan Marino (who should have been more concerned about his own exploits at the time) and Boomer Esiason following Tebow’s first professional touchdown — which was a run and not a pass — to Esiason’s continued unhinged rants about Tebow throughout the Denver wins and resulting Tebowmania, the Heisman winner and two-time NCAA National Football Champion quarterback of the University of Florida Gators has handled the scorn and ridicule with the grace that you would expect from a follower of Christ.

One can only speculate as to why so many — from the two Johns in Denver to the entire Jets’ Organization to the moronic talking heads on ESPN — have treated Tim Tebow with such disdain. While there is ample evidence to conclude that their fear and loathing comes from a deap-seated anti-Christian bias (the Biblical Christianity that Tebow espouses, not the shallow, watered down imaginary “Christianity” that people have conjured up in their own minds) which has been directed at Tebow. There are probably a few other biases at work, particularly when it comes to Tebow’s skill set as a quarterback and football player. For someone who was never really given a chance to succeed — although he took his shot and caused John Elway’s head to explode every time the Broncos WON — Tim Tebow’s winning percentage far surpasses some other quarterbacks who were given multiple opportunities to succeed or fail. That Tebow was never given the chance cannot be solely attributed to anti-Christian bias, although it is the most likely explanation.

It goes without saying that Rex Ryan and the pathetic Jets’ organization never really cared for Tim Tebow and what he offered, their words to the contrary notwithstanding. It became increasingly clear, as last season progressed, that Ryan, Sparano, and company were more interested in losing with Mark Sanchez than winning with Tim Tebow. I guess that’s what happens when the Head Coach has a tattoo of his wife in a Sanchez Jersey. I guess we will see a new Gino Smith tattoo before too long. Perhaps this past season was payback for Tebow and the Broncos upsetting the Jets on Thursday Night Football during the 2011 season. Even if Tebow never plays another down, I will always relish the sight of Rex Ryan walking up the sideline, muttering to himself, after Tebow’s touchdown run against the Jets.

In his relatively short life — and even shorter N.F.L. career — Tim Tebow has nevertheless been blessed through adversity. Not necessarily the way that the world would view blessings. In our culture, good is now considered evil and evil is now considered good. I suppose that if Tim Tebow came out as gay like NBA star Jason Collins did today, he would have the White House and the mainstream media (including ESPN and the N.F.L. Network) fawning all over themselves him for his “courage.” No, my friends. Despite what we will see in the coming days — with various sports’ stars coming out of the closet — they will neither be blessed nor courageous. It takes no courage to publicly embrace what our godless culture embraces. True courage is to be counter-cultural and Biblical.

God will never bless those who commit evil (Planned Parenthood will never be blessed by the One, True God). However, Jesus promises that those, like Tim Tebow, who courageously stand for Him, even if they stand alone, will ultimately be blessed. And, when Jesus says you’re blessed, it’s a ‘BLESSED, MAKARIOS, WOOHOO” kind of blessing:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:10-12)

 


Comments

Tim Tebow Remains Blessed & Courageous Despite Jets! — 13 Comments

  1. While all believers can appreciate Tim Tebow’s manifestation of graciousness, and his personal testimony of faith in Jesus Christ, these things do not excuse his flagrant violation of the Law of God, particularly the command to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Christians have often criticized the civil government for its failure to post or to keep posted a copy of the Ten Commandments. However, it is hard for the world to take such criticisms seriously, when the church manifests hypocrisy–as when congregations sponsor Super Bowl parties. Church people–that is, those who claim Jesus as savior and lord–need to be consistent in their Christian walk, and that certainly must include matters such as observing the Lord’s Day. Not only would this bring glory to God, and be of sanctifying effect to God’s people, but it would also have a salt and light influence on our culture.

    For Christ’s crown and covenant,
    Frank J. Smith, Ph.D., D.D.
    Pastor, Northminster Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA), Suwanee, Georgia
    http://www.northminster-church.com
    770-241-3946

    • Dr. Smith,

      Good to hear from you. Thanks for reading and for your comment. I’m not sure that I would agree with you that Tim Tebow has “flagrantly violated” the Law of God by playing football on Sunday, although I certainly understand your position. What do you think is permissible and impermissible to do on Sunday apart from worship? I would assume from your comment that working on Sunday (i.e., playing football in Tebow’s case) would be a violation of the Sabbath. What about Christians who went to the grocery store or out to a restaurant to eat after Sunday worship services? Even though said Christians are not “working,” they are contributing to and/or supporting businesses which have employed people to work on the Lord’s Day. And, if that is a violation, what about doing “work” around the house, such as cooking a meal or turning on a light? I use the latter examples because my best friend and roommate in collge was (and still is) an observant Jew who keeps the Sabbath. He would not do any “work” on the Sabbath and that included carrying money (which was also considere work). I’m not sure that Jesus bought into the interpretation about the Sabbath that was common in His day.

      I would wholeheartedly agree with you that Christians should be consistent in their Christian walk and should be “salt and light” in our culture. I’m just not sure that I would agree with your intrepretation about Sabbath observance. Thanks again for stopping by and God bless,

      Howell

      • Thanks for your reply.

        The historic Reformation position, as seen in the Westminster Standards and the London Confession of Faith (which is a Baptist version of the Westminster), is that the entire day is to be set apart for worship, rest, and acts of mercy and necessity. The London Confession, Chapter 22, puts it this way:

        7._____ As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God’s appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord’s day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.
        ( Exodus 20:8; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2; Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10 )

        8._____ The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

        There may be circumstances when going to a restaurant would be a necessity on the Lord’s Day. However, as a general rule, engaging in commercial activity is out of accord with the Fourth Commandment. (So, yes, the practice of many Christians to frequent restaurants after church–and to be upset if the sermon runs the service past noon, which means that folks from other churches in town will be in line before themselves–is totally un-Biblical.) In any case, it is hard to see how playing professional football fits with the command to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

        Again, I would note that Christians often lament the loss of respect in our society for the Ten Commandments. However, the responsibility for that disrespect for the Law of God must rest largely with those who claim to be Christians.

        As for Jesus’ attitude, I don’t see how His teaching or example can be used to justify playing professional sports.

        Perhaps I should ask you what you think the Fourth Commandment means. I presume that you do believe in the Ten Commandments–that is, as the enunciation of the moral law, which is universally binding (in contrast to, for example, the ceremonial law, which has been abrogated through the coming of Christ). If that is the case, then what does the Fourth Commandment command? And what does it forbid?

        Let me add, if I may, that the problem is deeper than violating the Fourth Commandment. Many–perhaps most–“evangelical” churches today have substituted entertainment for genuine worship. Given the blurring of the lines between our worship of God (which is to be strictly regulated–see Leviticus 10:1-2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Jeremiah 7:31; Matthew 15:7-9; Colossians 2:23; etc.) and the self-centered activities being offered today (such as in video clips, rock music, applause, dancing, drama, and all kinds of theatrical antics, all of which are designed to entertain) during church services, it is perhaps no wonder that there is no concern for Sabbath observance. If our “worship” services do not reflect a sense of reverence and coming into the special presence of a holy God, then what’s the point of Sabbath keeping?

        For those who are interested, here’s a link to an article I wrote for our church’s website, entitled, “Christian Worship in Pagan Drag”: http://www.northminster-church.com/category/pastors-desk/page/7/. I trust that this will help to stimulate further discussion!

        Cordially,
        Frank J. Smith, Ph.D., D.D.
        Pastor, Northminster Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA), Suwanee, Georgia
        http://www.northminster-church.com
        770-241-3946

          • You are almost certainly correct (re Tim Tebow)! However, I was responding to Pastor Scott’s question about what my views are. I did so by appealing to these historic confessions of our Christian faith, which, I trust, demonstrates that my views, though not infallible, do have the benefit of having stood the test of time.

            Your post does raise the question, then, as to how we are to persuade Tim Tebow and others as to the meaning of the Fourth Commandment. I don’t think that churches and ministers which support Super Bowl parties, and fawn over this quarterback, are likely to have much ability to enlighten him. However, this does raise the issue of how we–that is, faithful ministers and churches–will be enabled to persuade fine young people (such as Mr. Tebow) as to the beauty of the Sabbath day and the benefit of keeping it holy.

            I was speaking with a fellow pastor this evening. We were both lamenting the state of the church today, and the state of our society. There seems to be an appalling lack of hunger and thirst for righteousness. I am sure that all genuine believers deeply desire that revival and reformation would sweep our land. However, that type of spiritual transformation will have practical manifestations, including the fear of God. We are taught in Scripture that loving the law of God is a good spiritual gauge. We know from history that reformation occurs only when God’s people have a sense of reverence in His special presence and a healthy adherence to the Lord’s Day. Isn’t it about time that we started preaching, and practicing, the necessity of these things? Isn’t it about time that we stopped playing at church, and instead started demonstrating what true piety is all about?

            FJS

        • I think when believers make such an arbitrary distinction between the moral and ceremonial law–as you’ve done here, Dr. Smith–it places us in a precarious position, particularly when dialoguing with our Adventist friends.

          You see, to the OT Jew, all of the law was moral. That is, for Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the issue over whether to eat the king’s food was not a ceremonial one–it was of profound moral significance.

          Historically, the church has made a distinction between the moral and ceremonial aspects of the law, but the Bible doesn’t make such a distinction.

          Finally, pastor–I believe the LORD has a plan for our brother, Tim Tebow. As a matter of fact, it was reported before he was released by the Jets, that Tebow came into camp leaner and throwing the football better. I think New England would be a great landing spot for him where he could be reunited with former head coach and now New England offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels. He could also join the Arena Football League. Now, before you go up in arms, hear me out! Kurt Warner went to the Arena league and had a successful NFL career. He could work on his short throws and come back even better.

          I hope all is well with you.

          God bless

          • Milton,

            Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, but the day got away. First, I think you made some good points regarding the O.T. Law as it relates to the Sabbath discussion from Dr. Smith. I would agree with your interpretation, although I think I understand Dr. Smith’s arguments.

            As to our brother, Tim Tebow, I do think that God has a plan for him, whether or not that involves playing football. I would love for him to get a legitimate shot at starting quarterback for at least one full season (two would be better). If he can’t cut it during that time, then I would be the first to admit that I was wrong about his ability to play the position. The Jets certainly did not give him a fair shot and Denver wanted him to fail, but God had other plans that season. I agree about New England. Bill Belichick has been very complimentary of Tebow in the past and I think he, along with Josh McDaniels, could get the most out of Tebow, regardless of the position. As Jon and I were discussing today, that may mean that Tebow has to be willing to play another position if he wants to play football in the N.F.L. Of course, I think your suggestion about the Arena Football League or even the C.F.L. are viable options. You will be happy to know that I did not even go up in arms about that :-) Hope you had a great day and God bless,

            Howell

          • First, in response to Milton Robins: if there is no distinction between moral and ceremonial law, the question arises as to whether we are still obligated to obey the law. If we are, then we should sacrifice animals today as part of worship; if not, then we are not obliged to keep the Ten Commandments. I am afraid that many evangelicals believe that we are not obligated to keep the Ten Commandments: little wonder, then, that we are in such trouble today in our society.

            Secondly, in response to Bennett Willis: there is a logical connection between Sabbath observance and worship, as seen, for example, by the fact that Chapter 22 of the London Confession of Faith handles both topics (same with Chapter 21 of the Westminster Confession of Faith). In parliamentary terms, the discussion of worship is germane to the topic at hand, and therefore not out of order.

            Of course, when one has nothing of substance to say, but still wants to attack someone else, he often resorts to name-calling. Let me assure you that I am not deeply offended, in that I have certainly been called far worse than a “troll” (which, incidentally, is the nickname of Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois). In any case, let me defer to the judgment of the owner of this list. I would have liked to have thought that my comments were in the spirt of iron sharpening iron, in a forum which is concerned with discussing the intersection of law, religion, and politics in culture. However, If my comments, in the view of Howell Scott, are inappropriate, or if my presence here is unhelpful or unwelcome, I will simply unsubscribe, with my well wishes to all.

            Cordially,
            Frank J. Smith, Ph.D., D.D.
            President, Young American Leaders Association Missionary Training School, Los Angeles, California
            Instructor of Biblical Studies, Belhaven University–Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
            Pastor, Northminster Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA), Suwanee, Georgia

          • Dr. Smith,

            I appreciate your comments on this and previous posts. While I do not necessarily agree with everything you stated, I do understand where you are coming from and certainly agree that churches should be concerned with how they worship. I do not hold to the “Regulative Principle” (that’s my inconsistent Calvinism coming out), but I think that far too many churches are driven by a man-centered, entertainment approach to worship rather than a God-centered, Holy Spirit empowered approach to worship. That reminder has been both helpful and welcome. I value your input and the input of all those who take the time to read and comment. Please know that you are welcome to stop with your iron anytime :-) Thanks and God bless,

            Howell

    • Sir you dont know what your talking about?? your under the law big time and trying to justify yourself by your behavior,people like you are self righteous and the reason most people are turned off to GOD. get off the old testament and get into the new testament,the LORDS day is every day not sunday,you really think your consistent in your so called walk with GOD?? here is GODS will,
      Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

      • One hardly knows where to begin by way of response.

        First, let me note that you should perhaps think of taking a grammar course, especially if you are going to be severly criticizing someone else. You do not come across credibly or intelligently when you cannot express yourself properly.

        Secondly, I appreciate your reminder of the necessity of abiding in Christ, and of deriving life from union with Him. Yes, there is always the danger of hypocrisy. Our only hope is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, imputed to us and received by faith alone.

        Thirdly, the entire Bible is the Word of God. To ignore or denigrate the OT is a manifestation of heresy.

        Fourthly, anti-nominianism (that is, being against the law) is also a heresy. The psalmist says, “O how I love thy law! It is my study all the day.” And Paul says that he rejoices in the law of God in his heart (cf. Romans 7:22).

        Fifthly, the idea that everyday is “the Lord’s Day” is ludicrous, since it would make John’s statement in Revelation 1:10 to be non-sensical. When he writes, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day,” he is obviously distinguishing that day from other days.

        What I have expressed regarding the law is pretty standard orthodoxy, not only within Presbyterianism, but also within other branches of the church, including the Baptist faith. I would refer you to classic Baptist confessional statements such as the London Confession of Faith and the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, which largely parallel the Westminster Confession of Faith.

        But, alas, the ignorance of many folks in the church today on what should be fairly basic doctrine, is one of the reasons why our society is in such a mess today. It is why, in the collision of law, religion, and politics in culture (which is a prime focus of this website), we are failing to be salt-and-light influence.

        Cordially,
        Frank J. Smith, Ph.D., D.D.
        President, Young American Leaders Association Missionary Training School, Los Angeles, California
        Part-Time Instructor, Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, Georgia
        Adjunct Professor, Belhaven University–Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia
        Minister, Atlanta Presbyterian Fellowship (RPCNA), Atlanta, Georgia
        Pastor, Northminster Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA), Suwanee, Georgia

  2. One definition of a troll is one who seeks to turn the posting to his/her agenda. It seems to me that FJS fully qualifies as a troll and should be ignored.

    • The OP made the following quote with regard to Mr. Tebow: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” Dr. Smith’s line of reasoning questions whether Mr. Tebow is following righteousness or unrighteousness in his refusal to honor the Christian Sabbath. It falls perfectly within the parameters of the OP, although not speaking to the main point.

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