Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00

Tebow, A Slice of America Past

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I just finished reading an article in USA Today about Tim Tebow.  The article addressed characteristics that make Mr. Tebow so unusual in today's world.  It highlighted his humility, deference, and polite nature when being interviewed and  answering questions or talking about his coaches and teammates.  It discussed how his life was faith-centered and that he interacted with his fellow man in ways consistent with his belief system.  It talked about his compassion for his fellow man and those who were disadvantaged.

Ultimately, the article illustrated why Mr. Tebow is so unusual.  He has character, morals, and respect for his fellow man.  He is guided by principles and standards and has his priorities right (there's a lot more to life than football).  He is humble yet determined and works hard to meet his goals.  He's not looking for a handout or easy road from anyone, but is ever willing to give someone a hand up.

It seems to me that if we go back a few decades in this country we would find that "uniqueness" to be just another slice of Americana.  There was a day in America that people were basically honest and moral.  They helped their neighbor and were polite and respectful.  They had a sense of duty, determination, and self-reliance.  They sought to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, but were ever ready to help a friend in need.  Whether they were Baptist or Catholic or Athiest, they believed in acting ethically and were not afraid to call things right and wrong as they saw them.  By and large, they did not give in to vice or lascivious living and arranged their priorities by God, family, country, duty, work, and play.

What have we done so wrong that Mr. Tebow stands out among the crowd?


Tuesday, 10 January 2012 00:00

Does God Love Football?

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It would seem the question never came up much until Tim Tebow came to the spotlight.  Now, 'experts' routinely try to determine if Tebow's success (or lack of on a given night) comes from talent or divine intervention.

Some folks have postulated that God has no interest whatsoever in football, much less to the extent that He would help one team win over another.  Other folks say that it could only be a miracle that helped the Broncos win a particular game.  It seems that everyone has weighed in on the phenomenon that is this year's Broncos season.  Now, I'll add my opinion to the mix.

Let's talk about God first.  As an imperfect Christian who would like to follow Christ's example better than I do, I would like to think that the Bible gives us some clues about what God cares about.  In John 3:16 of course, it tells about how God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that, by accepting His Son, we could have eternal life with Him.  In Matthew 10:29-32, it says that God knows when every sparrow falls to the ground, and even the number of hairs on our head.  This passage may also shed some light on why Tim Tebow proclaims his faith so loudly.  It says that if we are bold enough to proclaim Christ before men, He will acknowledge our name before God.  The Bible also says that God made everything, listens to our prayers, and knows the heart of every person.  The Bible says that God will answer the prayers of a true believer, but we also know that His answer may not be just what we want.  It also says that we were made in His image.  In that passage, it also says that God gave man "dominion" over the earth.

In light of that and the canon of scripture, I think it would be safe to say that God knows everything about us - including our wants, desires, and how we like to spend our time. So, God knows that some of us like football, but does He like it too?  That is less clear.  The Bible says that everything was made for God's pleasure (Rev. 4:11), but we also know that some things don't please Him.  In Hebrews 11:6, it says that without faith it is impossible to please God.  So, if God gave man "dominion" over certain things, and that all things were originally intended to be for His pleasure, but without faith it is impossible to please Him, then perhaps He only enjoys football when those who exhibit strong faith play the game.

On that subject, we turn to Tim Tebow.  By now, you have probably become familiar with the story behind Tebow's faith.  It is clear that he is a unique example of someone exercising their faith in the public eye that seems to do so with humility, sincerity, and consistency (to date).  While many public figures have acknowledged God before, I can't recall anyone stirring up as much controversy.  Perhaps it's because of the genuine nature in which he seems to demonstrate his faith.  From all appearances he tries to live it as well rather than just talk about it.  His "walk" ironically matches his "talk".  That's a pretty unusual commodity these days.  In James 4:6-10, the Bible says that if a person will humble themselves, God will exalt them.  Now it would be foolish for us to think that God's idea of exaltation is the same as ours, but perhaps Tebow is enjoying a bit of the limelight because he's using it wisely.  Perhaps there's a lesson for us all.

Conclusion.  I don't know if God loves football, but I do know that He loves Tim Tebow (in fact, He loves us all).  To the extent that Tim Tebow or any of us do what we do to honor and glorify God, I think the scripture would back up the statement that it brings pleasure to God.  Does that mean that God would favor one team over another and actually intervene in the results of any particular game?  Well, I don't know.  After all, He's God and it would be foolish to suppose that I know what's on His mind.  In light of the problems facing the world as compared the futility of a sports contest, it seems hard to conceive of God supporting one team or another.  However, if by one team advancing the testimony of God's love reaches more people, well, I could see some support for that.

If the Broncos beat the Patriots next week, does that mean that God had something to do with it?  Perhaps what we're witnessing is just a flawed but determined human being trying to excel in their field and giving God the glory no matter what happens.  What do you think would happen in the world if you and I did the same thing?



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