Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Tebow Stuff, I Tell Ya

As if it weren't enough that he's so "in your face" with his religion, he had to go and pass for 316 yards this weekend, causing determined non-thinkers around the world to claim some kind of divine intervention, i.e. John 3:16.

"Yay! Everything he does promotes Jesus! Yay!"

Really? Is that what the Christian faith has been reduced to?

I'll say it again - I don't have anything personally against Tebow. I'll also say again - I'm utterly, entirely, and unapologetically opposed to the way he promotes his religion (and I say religion because I don't think the word "faith" properly applies to ritualistic behavior). It was confirmed to me by some former ATIers today that the Tebows were, for a time, involved in ATI (I've no idea of their current level of involvement, or of the depth of the connection there), and given his background as a missionary kid and being a product of the Christian homeschooling movement, his behaviors are somewhat typical of the indoctrination process involved in those things.

From the beginning of Tebow-mania, the fascinating (and maddening) aspect of the whole deal has been the response of the Christian community. It's confirmed most of my suspicions - and fears - about the state of modern fungelical Christianity. Not that I've necessarily "arrived" spiritually or otherwise, because I haven't,  but the Christian community is completely gullible, has confused things of substance with things of no substance, and will follow ANY shepherd who says "I'm a Christian" right off a cliff. No one bothers to think. No one bothers to discern. No one bothers to look past the packaging. Like I described in my last Tebow piece, it's a shallow faith. Super shallow. Lots of religious addictions out there masquerading around as "devotion".

I usually keep my blog-related stuff off of my personal FB page. I'm certainly not ashamed of it, but I get enough grief just from what I write here that there's no need in generating more on my FB page from people in my world. This week, though, with my FB news feed just flooded with ridiculous notions about Tebow, pictures of little children "Tebowing", and tons of nonsense about the 3:16 stuff, I said to myself, "Well bull butter, I'm saying something." I started with a status that I hoped would make people bother to think a bit...

"Why aren't Christians as supportive of all the other Christians in the NFL? The Christians not named "Tebow", or in other words, those not living out their faith in ways Jesus instructed us NOT to?"

I got a couple of expected responses, and I say "expected" because not everyone is aware of the legalistic and cultic nature of Tebow's background. Can't hold that against anyone, and I don't...although I do believe it's everyone's responsibility to discern before we jump on a bandwagon. Beyond that initial status update, I joined in a couple of Tebow-related conversations elsewhere, and I ran into rationalization after rationalization, many symptoms of religious addiction, and lots of examples of cultural war emotional attachments. I was, and continue to be, amazed and befuddled at how easily Christians either rationalize or look entirely past Matthew 6:5-6...

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Ask yourself, would Tebow wear THAT scripture on his eye-black? No. He wouldn't, and we all know he wouldn't, and we all know why he wouldn't. He'd have to stop "Tebowing"...and he has no intention of doing that. That alone should be reason enough for people genuinely devoted to Christ to not be supportive of Tebow's methods. I didn't say "try to stop Tebow". I said "not be supportive of Tebow's methods". Big difference. Watching people tap-dance around direct instruction from Jesus Christ has been revealing.

I went on to post the following as a FB status...

"I wonder if the evangelical community would be so robust in their unflinching championing of Tim Tebow if they knew that his brand of Christianity looks more like FLDS in practice than their own brand of Christianity. I mean, it isn't like Jesus didn't specifically teach about NOT making public spectacles of our prayers, but when Tebow does it, he's somehow "witnessing"."

I made a few people mad at me with that one. Not every response was on my wall. Tebow's obvious defiance to what Christ instructed has been excused by several with the idea that we're commanded to be "bold in our faith". Well, Paul generally gave that instruction, so are we Paultians, or are we Christians, and does something Paul said about boldness negate something Jesus said about our faith (and prayer, specifically) having an etiquette that reflects on our spiritual character?...especially given that what Jesus said reflects directly, and poorly, upon what Tebow's doing, and what Paul said has to be applied generally. Tebow could take it down several notches and still be over the top. If he brought it down under the top, would that somehow mean he's less bold - or does it mean he's likely mature enough, spiritually, that his life can serve as a billboard for his faith without actually serving as a literal billboard for his faith? The irony is, those excusing Tebow's "boldness" regarding his faith wouldn't be nearly so enthralled with my own "boldness" in issues of faith here on this blog - and I don't promote this blog or force it on anyone. If you read here, you've done so by choice.

I finally posted the following as my FB status earlier today, and I think it sums things up...

"I think a valuable exercise for us ALL is to regularly examine whether our allegiance is to Christ, to Christianity, or to conservative Christian culture. Those are entirely different things which quite often get confused with each other. Tebow-mania is a good example."

From what I've seen in observing Tebow-mania, most Christians fall into the latter 2 of those 3. Tebow is, to them, a big ole "eff you!" to the other side of the culture war. They ceased to actually think about issues, whether cultural or spiritual, looooong ago - if they ever did at all - willing to accept whatever emotionally and culturally charged bandwagon the rest of the herd is riding. It's a faith that's really no deeper than devoted allegiance to a sports team - which probably made the segue to Tebow-mania an easy one.

Several people have lauded how "God gets his message out regardless!", referring to the Tebow deal with 316. They're lying to themselves, and the lies we tell to ourselves are the most powerful. They're cloaking their religious infatuation with Tebow-mania behind the guise of "the message getting out". They say it isn't about Tebow, but about the message. They're being dishonest with themselves. It's about Tebow.

"Lewis! You don't know that! How dare you judge them!"

I'm not judging them. I'm using some common sense. Let's say I decide to go streaking through a town with John 3:16 tattoos on my bum and John 3:16 banners attached to various appendages, and I get arrested at 3:16PM. Would their focus be on the message, or on "the Lord getting out His message"? Or would it be on me and my actions? At its core, it's no different with Tebow.

We need to be honest about these things, and we need to think. Hard.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Anonymous...I know who you are, and in an attempt to be gracious to you, I'm gonna remove your comment.

  3. Lewis, I've agreed with much you've said about Tebow over the last month or so, but seeing that you've posted yet again, I'm starting to become suspicious. Tebow's young, successful, and popular with homeschooled girls, not to mention their parents. Have you been bitten by the green-eyed monster?

  4. Is that tongue in cheek, Jenny, or a serious question?

  5. Serious. I've fallen into that trap along with others I know, so I'm concerned that you have too. But maybe I'm reading too much into your posts.

  6. I guess one could say that we have something of a "competing methodology", but beyond that, I don't think we're operating in the same arena or to the same demographic. In other words, I don't stand to lose anything personally if Tebow "wins" (which he will) in the public forum. I just want people to think - even though they probably won't.

    As far as writing about it - better here than repeating myself in a ton of emails and PMs.

  7. And...I just opened my FB news feed, and the first thing I see is a picture of Tebow leading a group of players in prayer in the middle of the field, and my FB friend saying...

    "Imagine if the TV Networks showed this every game! It would change the hearts of young men all over the country to see these MEN praying."

    I compare what this guy is saying about it (which pretty much ALL of the Christian community is saying about it) to what Jesus said about it - and I come away with two different things.

    If someone tried to introduce an idea found in the Quran in the Christian arena, the evangelical community would explode and beat it down with the bible...but it's ok for Tebow to defy what's in our own bibles, and the Christian community celebrates it.

    (I realize Tebow isn't the only athlete who does this...but he IS the posterboy and champion, and the most overt about it by far)

  8. I don't get the impression that you are jealous of Tebow. I appreciate your very savvy and astute comments about what is really happening, Lewis. It is sooooo easy to be blinded and broadsided if we don't think about things.


  9. From my comment on Lewis' facebook page:

    "Seriously, do you really think he kneels before God like that when the cameras aren't around? At lunch, does he really get on one knee to say grace? At church, when everyone is standing (head bowed, eyes closed) do you think he steps out into the aisle to go down on one knee? Can't you see that while he may be grateful to God, he is doing this for show, not because it's just how he prays."

    It's ugly for people to say that watching Tebow and other athletes pray is a great witness, unless they also think that dozens of Muslims praying in public is a great witness. These Muslims are obviously committed to worship and prayer in a public forum. If that is not a great witness to our youth, then neither is Tebows public displays of religious devotion.

    The truth is, seeing Muslims pray doesn't attract any of us to Islam. In fact, it intimidates us all. The only people encouraged or emboldened by seeing Muslims pray is other pious Muslims, and then the peer pressure is on for the less personally committed Muslim to join in. If I were an Arab man of no personal belief at all, I would join in prayers if it meant not sticking out as a "bad person".

    It works the same for Christianity. It encourages only others already committed to that religion to publicly identify as members of that religion. It is intended to intimidate others into joining in, and to send a message about the political strength of their religion to all of us who don't share their brand of religion. It in no way honors Jesus.

    The way to honor Jesus, according to Jesus, is to quietly go about lifting up the oppressed of society. There is not one word about becoming a famous athlete or other noteable public person and praying in view of hundreds as a means of glorifying God anywhere in the Bible.

    Show me any place where Jesus says "Well done, good and faithful servant" to people for choosing high profile careers and then making a big display of their religion when the public eye is upon them. You won't find one. It doesn't exist.

  10. I will probably get trashed for this, but I think this Tebow thing is really misdirected.He is in the media spotlight and they are putting him out there. I know that not ALL kids raised in the "Christian homeschool" scene are indoctrinated into the wacky dimension of FIC, etc. I don't know if Tebow is or not. I'm just saying, what about how other athletes cross themselves, look up to heaven, celebrate themselves, etc? What about how I wear a cross necklace, or if I had a tattoo of a Bible verse? Would that be improper? I think we should be free to, and enjoy, expressing our faith. Doesn't it go wrong when we think that our expression somehow moves us to the front row of the church, so to speak?

    I also believe that by implying that being a famous athlete is not in keeping with proper Christianity puts us back in a box where we can only be missionaries or ministers. I don't think fame should be the goal, but some Christians will be particularly good at what they do and may become "stars".If the media treats them as oddities or curiosities and zeroes in on them, it can't really be helped.

    Whether or not Tebow is famous has nothing to do with his walk with Christ. Probably it is a deterrent and a challenge. It's what is going on on the inside of him that counts...but I think there is a bit of bullying going on here.What if you were a celebrity, and the media decided to make a photo montage of you and your family leaving church every Sunday for several weeks? Would that be you showing off your faith in an unseemly way- or just media going for a story?

  11. I came across an "interesting" book about reincarnation.

    One of the major points of that book was the "synchronicity" of life events. For example, sharing the same birthday with someone "significant".

    Meeting more than one person with the same name as you.

    The whole 316 thing, in my opinion is that
    Christians seem to be falling for a "doctrine of devils". (reincarnation's reliance on "signs" to show that we are all related and been here before.)

    So what he threw a 316? It doesn't mean John 3:16. And so what his favorite verse is John 3:16? That doesn't impress me because John 3:16 is a "generic favorite" among many famous people actually. I know that sounds harsh, but there's a lot more to the story surrounding that verse!

    Honestly, I am neutral about Tebow as a person. I am not going to read too much into him to make judgments on him and his spiritual life. I can only make a semi-fair assessment if I interviewed him personally.

    I was once involved with Bill Gothard. I might, as at the present, hold more conservative views than you Lewis. Just because I am more conservative than you, doesn't mean I am still a sympathizer with Gothard.

    At the present I still go to a church that's legalistic, although I disagree with large amounts of what's said.

    We have tried other churches in the area, and they tend to be even more wacky than the church we go to.

    One church we tried sent an email for membership "renewal" for the year 2012! I have never heard in my life, a church renewing memberships, LOL!

    The way the email was worded, was very manipulative to get people to conform to the churches image. Although the church is very "progressive" and is mostly made fun of, by the church we attend, touting it as being too worldly, in actuality, it's language speaks the same principles of emotional manipulation as our "conservative church"

    Thanks to Cindy Kunsmen, I can see those principles very clearly.

    So just because I still attend the church I do, doesn't make me a sympathizer with their bazaar ideas. Although it does make me uncomfortable to around the majority of the people in that church, there are some "sane" people that attend the church. And we have had some really awesome discussion such as these in real life, and not just on a blog with strangers.

    So by "appearances" by my friends outside of my church, I go to "that church", and they placed judgments on me, until they got to know me. Then they are shocked such a nice person could go to "that church", LOL!

    And most of the people in my church probably think I am rebellious and backslidden, LOL! Because of my experience with being "judged" on both sides of the issue, and most everyone getting who I am "wrong", until they have opened their mind to getting to know "me" as a person, it makes me be *VERY* careful not to make a concrete judgment on someone who I haven't gotten to know personally.

    I can speculate, and I do, at times, but I don't make a final decision until I have all the real facts.

    So Tebow really doesn't bother me. But I do see the points you are trying to make with him. I agree that it's giving Christians an unhealthy admiration of him. But maybe it's not Tebow's "fault" per say, but the Christian's who are "worshiping" Tebow, view of God?

    (continued in another comment)

  12. (continued)

    Until a person has a healthy view of God, everything will be off centered and unbalanced.

    Maybe the issue here at hand is not Tebow and whatever his beliefs are? Perhaps the issue is point Christians to Who God really is.

    I guess what I am trying to say, is as a kid in Sunday School we learn about all the generic Bible stories and the "heros" of the story.

    No one ever tells that Noah got drunk, no one ever tells that David murdered and committed, adultery, and other horrible sins. Allowed his daughter to be rapped by her brother, etc.

    What we as kids didn't learn, is that God was the hero in each story, and the people involved were just as rotten as everyone else who have lived on the planet. God worked in despite of the humans. They weren't "heros" at all really.

    I think American Christian's fascination with Tebow has to do with an immature childish interpretation of the "bible hero". The focus has gotten off of God and who he is, and onto a sinful man.

    This is why I won't judge Tebow. I am a sinful person myself. I have flaws that I work on everyday. But instead of finding fault with a man, (because of my own faults)
    I do want to encourage people to stop looking to a man for inspiration, and start thinking about God in a different light, and get the focus off of men, me, or anyone else and onto HIM.

    So I hope you don't see this as me "disagreeing" with you.

    Like I said in the above, I think Christians making 316 into a "sign from God" really silly, and bordering on adhering to a doctrine of false religion.

    But I also wanted to throw out the thought that Tebow and all the other false doctrines aren't really that big of an issue. In my opinion, it's a false representation of Who God really is. And as long as this world exists, there will always be false representations of God.

    It's Christians job to search to truth of Who God is out for him/herself, and share what they have learned, humbly with others. Not everyone they share with will grasp it. It's frustrating, but that's how it's always been and always will be.

    One verse that really encourages and convicts me is this:

    Tts 3:2 -3 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
    For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.

    I have to remind myself, that I was once a legalistic nincompoop, disobeyed the truth of the gospel through works. I was deceived for a long time. I served my lusts of self-righteousness, it was a pleasure to be "better" than everyone else. I said mean and nasty things to Christians that I thought were worldy, and envied to be like the more spiritual ones, I was hateful of the "worldly" and I drove many people away through my legalism.

    Since that was once where I was "at", and I got out of it, by the Grace of God, I want to be gentle with all men.

    I am not going to let them walk all over me. I will be bold in stating what I believe is the truth, but I will be respectful at the same time.

    That said, I do enjoy your blog and the viewpoints you bring up. And I am *NOT* saying you are *not* respectful.

    I am just saying, Tebow and his followers really don't bug me as much as they might of at one time.

  13. @shadowspring "Seriously, do you really think he kneels before God like that when the cameras aren't around? At lunch, does he really get on one knee to say grace? At church, when everyone is standing (head bowed, eyes closed) do you think he steps out into the aisle to go down on one knee? Can't you see that while he may be grateful to God, he is doing this for show, not because it's just how he prays." EXACTLY & NO!!!

    it's for show & there's $ behind it all. glory for god my butt! :p

  14. @Laura...It isn't the media's fault at all. Everytime a camera is on him, Tebow turns it "on". He's made it clear that such is his intent. If he's looking for a private place to pray while he's on the field, he can just stand there and pray - no kneeling, no closed eyes, no hand gestures or pointing up - and have all the privacy in the world. He doesn't do that, cause no one would be "witnessed" to, in his eyes, if he did that.

    Lots of athletes have spoken of their faith, and some have been more overt in ritualistic practice than others. I've never been a fan of any of the overt gestures, praying on the field, et cetera. Tebow, however, has taken it to another level entirely, way beyond anything Kurt Warner or Reggie White have done...and he's said it's his intent to do so.

    He goes out of his way to make his "faith", not his play, the story.

    Just consider it...Would he wear "Matthew 6:5-6" on his eyeblack?

  15. i am glad that lewis is pointing out to the world TBow's background in the homeschooling movement/victorian era & pointing out the clear signs of an unhealthy form of religion. Most ppl in the "mainstream" of christianity who say "Right On TBow for being bold in your faith" will not even have a clue the capacity of spiritual abuse that's behind the homeschooling movement TBow was brought up in. Most of us get it, when we see TBow bowing for Christ, as something that's based in some legalistic religious group or cult. it is good for us to hear and think about these things because of how awful religious abuse and recovery can and is.

    i hate to sound preachy but Jesus was not about show nor was he "Image Conscious". in fact he got all over the Pharisees for their showy display calling them whitewashed sepulchers and for their caring more about doctrine than ppl.

    1. I agree frogla with what you are saying. :) I am not sure if this is in response to me. I tend to be rambley with my thoughts, and loose track of my main point.

      My intentions, I suppose in writing what I did, is that I have come to a place in my healing that I tend to find the humor and irony in this, rather than getting upset, and irritated over it.

      I don't think it's funny that people are spiritually abused. Not in the least!

      But this whole Tebow man worship, is just boarding on silly now with me.

      My highschool crush, who was addicted to listening to the Spicegirls, loved to go to the beach and watch women in Bikini's, and did the dating scene, and kissed probably 20 or more girls in his life, (and why at my most legalistic stage I never gave a relationship with him a chance), was yelling at everyone on facebook to check their spiritual condition if they hate Tebow.

      I had to laugh really. And then I just realized his anger over Christians not liking Tebow, really just has to do with a false perception of Who God is, and what God's purpose is. His focus is not on Christ but a man.

      I do think that one needs to point out the issues within these movements. And I do believe that it's good to have blogs up talking through these things. I find no fault in that.

      It's just my opinion, that people can and will fall for anything harmful in the spiritual arena. My cousin is falling for the reincarnation crap, despite being college educated, and non-religious most of his whole life. Never being forced to attend church. Although he was baptized Catholic, and went to a Catholic school. It was only because his Father came from a strong Catholic background. But he was never "forced" into it.

      Abuse is wrong and bad, in any form, and it *SHOULD* be warned against. But I think it's just as important to tell the truth about what God is really like to counter act the lies. It gives a person hope, and a chance to heal. I do think Lewis is trying to do that. So I am not finding fault with him.

      I guess I am just at a point in my life where pointing out the falseness of religion, is more cut and dry, and the truth of about God and his purpose, and Jesus' provision is more of a passion. You know?

      Everything that's *not* Jesus, or pointing to Jesus and who he is,and what *he* has done, is false. Including Tebow's performances. :)

      I went for a long time feeling like I had been raped in my soul, because of everything done against me. But now, while I would in my all my power never try to allow something like that to happen to me again, I can tell that for the most part I am healed, because stuff like this doesn't irritate me as much as it had in the past.

      Talking out my issues, had a lot to do with my healing, so I think it's *very* important. But learning the truth of Jesus, and who I am in Him, has taken care of most of the hurt.

      I wouldn't of learned the truth if I hadn't of talked about my problems. But if I had just talked about my problems with people, and there was no offering of hope in the real Jesus, I would still be a bitter soul I believe.

      So while I am not disagreeing with Lewis, I am just saying Tebow's displays don't anger me anymore. And I am happy that I can see it objectively now, with no negative emotions. I guess I am glad that triggers aren't happening as much as they used to. ♥

    2. Ps. Been thinking more... Maybe I am not really emotionally stirred by Tebow's "promotion of Jesus" because I have seen MUCH WORSE "promotions of Jesus" in my legalistic days. And still now, in some of my "friend's" and families lives.

      I came out of the IFB, and what Tebow is doing, is comes across as "clowny" to me, compared to some of the crap that I saw.

      And that's not discounting that other people's triggers are pulled by Tebow's actions. I am just rethinking why I might be so irritated over him, because of the experiences I had.

      I have stories and could point to links if you want to hear them. ;-)

  16. But Lewis- the business of media is to zone in on what people want to see-and right now I guess that's Tebow. Not their "fault" -but their job.

    I don't think that he decided years ago to become a football star so that he could make a spectacle of himself. He had to get into the sport, have talent, work hard-and even then, lots of excellent athletes are passed over for pro sports. It's not like he said "I want to be noticed, so I am going to be an NFL quarterback".

    If there wasn't this uproar by fans and foes, he would just be another guy crossing himself or turning somersaults in the endzone. But our culture seems to thrive on celebrity, don't you think? Christians are desperate to have charismatic heroes, I guess.They seem to have a need to prove that they can be as trendy and successful as the next guy.

    I agree that celebrity should never be the intent of any Christian, but it might sometimes happen anyway.It takes an audience to be a celebrity, doesn't it?

    Oh well, here's the point- I don't know him. I might have a pretty good notion of what his attitude is on all this, but in the meantime, I hope he is real inside, and I'm glad my kids don't get wacky over him or any other celebrity. Walk into any Christian bookstore and you will see the silliness that dysfunctional Christian priorities crawl out of.

    Off the point, but I have a question. As I drove to my homeschool mom's meeting last night, listening to some great old David Bowie classics, I was hoping that someone could give a suggestion on a good place to find background info on these weird homeschool Civil War Balls. People are being led to think they are just cool historic and educational fun, but I think there is something quite sinister and confederate behind them. Any suggestions?

  17. I don't deny that his "faith" is getting media attention these days. You're spot on there. The thing about it is, it's the product of Tebow's own intentions/actions, and the overwhelmingly favorable response of the Christian community - both publically and through social media. If Tebow and the evangelical community weren't purposefully making it an issue, and if Tebow were a better pro QB, ESPN wouldn't have a lot to say about it. Athletes like Kurt Warner and Reggie White weren't celebrated for their faith, but rather for their athletic exploits. Their faith was usually a sidenote with rare exceptions.

    If you look at Tebow's college career, although he tried, desperately, to make his faith the central issue, his athletic exploits were the focus. Rightly so. He was a great college player. As a pro QB, though, not so much. I'll give him credit for a great game this past weekend, but otherwise this season, he's often been historically bad as a QB, running an unorthodox, college-level offense designed specifically to prevent him from personally losing games for his team, and bailed out by a weak schedule, a great defense, and a great kicker. Given that, the news outlets have no real story to cover other than taking the "faith" angle.

    Civil War Balls...That would be an interesting thing to look into. I don't know of any good resources to research that (few people want to go on the record about racism - other than to deny), but I do know that there are some ties, even if weak, between the VF/Presbyterian sector and Kinist groups, League of the South, et cetera...and the Confederate (and racist) Presbyterian pastor Dabney (his first name escapes me) seems to be held in high regard in those circles. Not to mention the photo of Doug Phillips' son posing proudly in front of a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest. I've also heard that, at least at one time, some prominent Kinists were involved at James and Stacy McDonald's church. Doug Wilson once authored or co-authored a book that many considered racist - going from memory on that one, haven't really researched it. I absolutely believe there's a racial, Confederate undertone to a lot of their stuff. Proving it might be somewhat challenging, but it'd be an interesting undertaking.

  18. I found this interesting perspective by from a Methodist pastor who has read Tebow's book:


    It was interesting to read a point of view someone neither enmeshed in, nor responding to, the fundie-homeschooling-Vision Forum crowd.

  19. Dude,

    Did you see this article? Tebow's "brainwashing himself."


  20. You know what, Lewis? I happened to be eating out, watching the game on the TV at the bar when Denver scored that touchdown. The bartender, grinning from ear to ear, shook his head and told the patrons that Tim Tebow must be doing something right. The top trend on Yahoo the next day was John 3:16. People all over the world were running a search on it. I saw it up there and wondered why - then I read the article about 316 showing up three times in the game stats. Maybe God was giving Timmy the thumbs up for trying to honor Him by using him to expose people to potentially life changing words of truth. Maybe He wasn't. Maybe it was coincidence. Or maybe God used the conicidence of three 316s in a famous game to point to a Scripture that maybe spoke to someone in a real way for the first time. Maybe Tim Tebow is a fool but maybe he's not. Maybe he's God's man and maybe he's being used by God to glorify God.




    But you think you do.

    My point is that you are so angry and suspicious of ANYTHING that smells slightly of what you hate that you can't see past the nose on your face. You used to write stuff that made some sense but lately, you just seem poisoned.

    I'm sorry for your pain but you should stick to your own story and stop trying to drag anyone who slightly reminds you of your ex's family into the pit with them. You're discrediting yourself with healthy people. I know your audience is heavily weighted on the side of those who have been abused and are recovering (and they love you) but there are plenty of people out here who have never been off the deep end of fundamentalism and once appreciated your candid explainations of how things could go wrong. It was helpful. Now it's ridiculous.

    You have the potential to do much good so...
    if I may make a suggestion, take a hiatus and regroup. You're starting to look like a hater.


    1. So, am I wrong that Jesus totally disapproved of the kind of things Tebow's doing? Am I wrong? Yet you want me to keep silent and, if anything, support it? See it as something good and right?

      Your comment shows me the need to continue writing exactly what I've been writing. And I will. I'll keep writing it until you realize that it isn't about Tebow - but rather about the willingness of people to drink any Kool-aid they're given.

      Maybe you should read "Patterns". Then, read it again. We're ripe. Your first paragraph proves it.

      It was the plethora of responses, emails, messages, et cetera, just like yours, that inspired it.

      I may very well be blinded. I may be utterly and completely WRONG. I'm certainly biased in many ways. But when someone from "my team" hands me a cup, I'm not just gonna drink it blindly. Give some consideration to the idea that YOU might be conditioned to accept without discerning.

    2. And another thing...

      "You have the potential to do much good so..."

      How exactly is it that you know I'm not doing good? If I do good, should I tell you about it, like, you know, "other people" do?

    3. Maybe God is working through the media, who happened to report the couple of stats from the one game that equaled 316.

      Because if they had said he had 7 fumbles while passing this year, would that look like God does or doesn't want Tebow to use the passing game?

      In his passing and runnning stats combined this year, he's had 6 interceptions, 6 fumbles, and 6 touchdowns. Three 6s in his stats. ONLY three. 6-6-6. What does that mean??? Thank God the liberal media didn't pick up on that yet...

      All I know is Albert Pujols pointed to heaven after every hit, and the Cardinals won their 11th World Series title in 2011. 11 in '11... which rhymes with "heaven." They were obviously Chosen By God.

    4. "but there are plenty of people out here who have never been off the deep end of fundamentalism and once appreciated your candid explainations of how things could go wrong. It was helpful. Now it's ridiculous."

      Is it ridiculous because what I've written lately is about the mainstream itself - which makes it about you? Is it like I wrote in "Patterns"?...when I'm writing about issues or people that the audience doesn't like, I'm "the man", but when I'm writing about people they DO like, I'm "angry and bitter"?

    5. A couple of things...

      My mother pointed out something interesting about Tebow yesterday: John 3:16 is one of the first Bible verses that children memorize and is often cited by them as their favorite. But most people, as they develop a mature faith and encounter trials and challenges, have other and multiple favorite verses that speak to them. Either he has never grown beyond that one or it isn't truly his favorite and he is just using it in public thinking it sends the right message. And I would bet my salary against his that it is the second. Everything seems to be designed to "witness" in terms of his public behavior.

      As for his current celebrity...I recall when I taught in Christian school and there would regularly be rumors floating around that some celebrity or another had been "saved" or some celebrity had said the word "Jesus" publicly and we were required to worship them. There is a strange compulsion in the fundagelical world to have their faith validated by celebrities. It speaks badly of the church's ability to live separately from the world.

    6. Hey Lewis! Sorry my blogger isn't working. Suppose Tebow's team makes it to the Super Bowl and....wins? Gasps o the HORROR! I just want to see if people will say it's a MIRACLE or God's WILL. But I have to admit...316 is pretty creepy to me. Just saying :)


  21. People who don't understand the Gospel like to use verses out of context to support their own chosen opinion. Using Matthew 6:5-6 applies to those who would pray only to bring attention to themselves. Tim Tebow is recognizing the blessings of God. You would be wise to read Mark 8:38:
    "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

    1. I guess that makes me pretty wise, given that I've read Mark more times than I can count.

      That's a woefully irresponsible comparison of scripture, what with one having absolutely nothing to do with the other.

      It's funny how, until Tebow became the evangelical champion, Matthew 6:5-6 was always pretty cut and dried, what with Jesus twice saying "When you pray". Now, all the sudden, it's being turned every which way until it has a knot in its tail. I'm pretty sure its not parable, allegory, or anything of the sort. It says "When you pray, don't pray like them. When you pray, pray like this."

      "Using Matthew 6:5-6 applies to those who would pray only to bring attention to themselves."

      Have you heard of this thing called "Tebow-mania"? How about "Tebowing"? Just curious.

    2. It isn't like it'd be a difficult thing for Tebow to speak out against. But...


  22. How is it woeful?? Actually, all scripture, since it was God breathed, has everything to do with everything in the Bible. It is God's Word to us. Explain what you mean by "have I heard about Tebow-mania" or Tebowing". If I understand you, I just believe that if he wants to thank God, there's nothing wrong. Would you be just as much if a player decided to shoot the finger when he made a touchdown, or yelled a string of profanities? Would that be ok because it's not religious? If he bowed to Allah, no one would say anything out of political correctness.

    1. Oh my.

      Have you actually read what any of this stuff? Seriously? Are you trying to make yourself less credible to me?

      And btw - thank God for what? He says God isn't responsible for any of it...so thank God for what?

  23. Your tactics make you the less credible one. I am trying to present my side; you are being sarcastic and angry. God is responsible because it is He who gave Tim Tebow his abilities. So, thank God, period! Whether people choose to acknowledge God or not, it all comes from Him, but we decide whether or not to make use of what He gives us. And, yes, in answer to your question, though you didn't answer mine, I read much about Tim Tebow and about those like and dislike him. For now there is still freedom of religion and freedom of speech in America, and Tim Tebow is exercising both. This may be your blog, but don't put it out there and invite comment if you cannot truly engage in conversation with people you don't agree with. That is not credible.

    1. This might be helpful, especially about 2/3 of the way down...


      If you understood the sarcasm, you should've understood the point of it.

  24. This is some amazing stuff tebow takes our time and grasps our minds . Just saying if God got the glory we would be talking of him. Niether do i agree totally with Lewis or could i with tebow, Lewis does offer a view for you look at so look and research prove wrong if you can. The media loves this stuff thats why its on every channel, they dont say a word about players been tebowing or praying for yrs or that many thank Jesus on regular basis but its all part of the new age of religion where noone stands for anything and its ok to just do as you please and God accepts all but that is not the truth i hope take sommethings to heart and not be koolaid drinkers look were it has got us

  25. Anon, I have been informed by quite a few Tebow fans that I am taking Matthew 6 out of context and that I never will grasp God's Word unless I have his Spirit (apparently I obviously lack the Spirit's presence...). I'm pretty sure Lewis is quite familiar with the Bible and its context, and as for most of his readers, I can speak for us - considering our former hyper evangelical backgrounds, we know the Bible backwards and forwards. I, myself, said the Sinner’s Prayer at the age of three, and, since our mother homeschooled us, we read the Bible every day and had Bible studies every week. My stepfather led us in morning meetings where we read the Bible, and we had Bible studies conducted by him the evenings we were not at church. We had weekly testimony and prayer nights. All this beside my own daily devotions because I was a good Christian girl.

    Additionally, I went to a Christian college and took classes in the Old and New Testament. We took Doctrine classes and Christian living classes and attended chapel three times a week and did hall Bible studies and prayer nights and went to church. Anyone who says that I and most of the other readers don’t know the Bible because of our current beliefs is a bit naive, don’t you think? You really think that all of us here don’t know the Gospel? Dude, we are the ones who know it best! Isn’t it a mite arrogant to tell us that WE have Matthew 6 wrong, that we don’t know the context?

  26. http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7455943/believing-tim-tebow

    1. I've never said he was a bad guy. I just think he's misguided. Personally, I wouldn't want it broadcast that I was doing these things - because just like this article does, it makes Tebow the focus.

      Dale Earnhardt did as much or more for other people as any person ever in pro sport. He once drove by a church involved in some sort of building project or another, stopped in, asked the pastor how much it was costing, and wrote a check for the full amount on the spot - before telling the pastor "I'd better not hear my name associated with it". Lots of stories like this emerged after his death, because for every generous thing he did, he asked the beneficiaries to tell no one about his involvement. Stories were never written about it, and he didn't fit the profile of evangelical Christianity, nor was he a homeschooler, so neither claimed him as their cultural champion.

      Tebow's not a bad guy. He's probably a very decent kid. But I have to wonder if he's largely going through the dutiful mechanisms of his upbringing - doing these things because he's supposed to. What we end up with are stories, like this one, which bring much attention to Tebow, but not to Jesus Christ. Look at the title of the article itself, and the snippet that shows within the link posted.

      I'm all for people being helped by whomever and by whatever means, but let's not crown him King.

  27. So glad to find others who share my concerns regarding Tebow! I work with all either non-christians who could care less either way, or anti-christians who have their own reasons for despising Christianity. I see how they react to his expressions and I actually feel embarassed to be connected with him if in name only! They see his displays as one more reason to condemn christianity and cringe at the way he almost seems to mock his own religion...actually, that's part of the problem - he's displying a religion in the ways the Pharisees did rather then his faith, and it's so in-your-face it even turns off those who normally couldn't care either way about christianity. I think it's really made a mockery out of it. With that said, there's a part of me that thinks of when Paul wrote in one of his letters about even in bad motives being thankful the gospels being preached, but I just wonder how many more are turned off by Christianity because of the poor presentation!

  28. Quite honestly, I find Tebow to be refreshing.

    Yes, I understand that Matt. 6:5-6 warns us to not seek attention when we pray. This is referring to those, who like the Pharisees, are white-washed tombs, who pray publicly to show the world just how holy they are. However, what Jesus was talking about was less a physical action (praying in public) than a condition of the heart (praying to receive glory, instead of praying for His glory). In clear illustration of that point, the New (and Old) Testament is full of overt displays of faith, which, far from being condemned, are commended.

    Everything I have heard about Tim Tebow suggests that he is 100% sincere in his devotions. The guy grew up a missionaries kid, spends much of his time helping those less fortunate, and displays pretty much every fruit of the spirit. And trust me when I say I was not predisposed to liking him- I'm a fervent Buckeye fan who has bitter memories of Tebow's team demolishing us in the National Championship. Compound that with the saturating coverage of him by the media, I was more inclined to hate his guts than anything else. But the more I heard about him, the more I realized that he is simply a guy living out his walk with Christ in the purist way that he knows how. He doesn't ask for the attention that his faith generates, but neither does he apologize for it... nor should he (Luke 9:26). Tebow knows that he will always receive flak and criticism for his public nature of his faith, but that doesn't stop him. And if you think that the ridiculing of his faith and pious nature are loud now, just see what it will be like if he is not as successful on the football field (winning always brings support, and losing always losses it); he could become the next Sarah Palin... and he knows it.

    Yet, I think he truly believes what he says, namely, that while he loves football, at the end of the day it's just a game, that what truly matters is lives and souls. With that perspective, it's easy to see why he doesn't hide that part of his life away. We are to be followers and children of Christ, first and foremost, and our actions should reflect that. As for Tebow, he is not stupid. He realizes that, given his position, both an enormous opportunity is presented to him and an enormous burden is placed upon him. Any mistake that he makes will be used be his countless detractors to point out the flaws and inanity of Christianity. Yet, at the same time, God has seen fit to give him a platform from which is his genuine example has the ability to touch souls. There are many ways to sow a field, and this, apparently, is Tebow's.

    1. "Yes, I understand that Matt. 6:5-6 warns us to not seek attention when we pray. This is referring to those, who like the Pharisees, are white-washed tombs, who pray publicly to show the world just how holy they are. However, what Jesus was talking about was less a physical action (praying in public) than a condition of the heart (praying to receive glory, instead of praying for His glory). In clear illustration of that point, the New (and Old) Testament is full of overt displays of faith, which, far from being condemned, are commended."

      I think that's what a lot of Christianity WANTS the passage to say in light of Tebows prayers, but that isn't what it says. If it were, Christ would've went into an explanation, such as your own, rather than into "but when YOU pray, don't do that, but go someplace private."

      The OT IS full of public rituals of faith, but that's because the old covenant was ritualistic, requiring the actions of priests, prophets, et cetera. Other than Pentecost, which isn't a simple matter - or even a prayer matter, there are no mentions of public spectacles of prayer in the NT, aside from what Christ taught, because faith became personal.

      I don't dislike Tebow, but I do dislike how he flaunts his faith rather than just living it. If we'd just live it, faithfully, peacefully, without fest or fanfare, we wouldn't need to intentionally make ourselves a billboard. As much as anything, THAT's what Jesus was teaching in Matthew 6.

      "He doesn't ask for the attention that his faith generates, but neither does he apologize for it... nor should he (Luke 9:26). Tebow knows that he will always receive flak and criticism for his public nature of his faith, but that doesn't stop him."

      Both sentences there can't be true.

      "And if you think that the ridiculing of his faith and pious nature are loud now, just see what it will be like if he is not as successful on the football field (winning always brings support, and losing always losses it); he could become the next Sarah Palin... and he knows it. "

      Once the Tebow novelty as a QB wears off (which will be soon - he's not a great QB), he'll be quickly forgotten. The only things keeping Tebow's faith in the public eye NOW are Tebow himself and the evangelical community. No one in the media, in sport, or in the political world has set out to make Tebow a target. If anything, they've all been overwhelmingly gracious, despite having Christianity slung in their faces, whether they want it or not. Most people, including me, admire Tebow as a competitor - but they won't be offended if he brings the Christianity down a notch or two. Like Jake Plummer said, "We know you love Jesus. Now...shut up about it and play football."