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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Friday, December 30, 2011
I have nothing against Tim Tebow, and I don't pretend to know the motives for what he does on-field, but I do disagree with it. There are several reasons why I disagree, none of which should be interpreted as disinterest in spreading the gospel. In fact, the main reason I wish he would stop is that I think his actions hinder the cause of gospel rather than advance it. That might surprise some, so let me explain.
My first objection to Tebow's prayers and face-painting during games is that it's not the time or place. Sure, there is a time and place for public prayer and worship but it’s not when you are doing your job (unless you are clergy, of course). What if he were a dentist or a banker? How would we feel about him taking a knee if he were a bus driver? In short, he should play football, and do it to the best of his ability. That's his job, and doing a job well honors God. No fanfare needed.
The next point has already been made by his opponents, and it has to do with Jesus' teaching in Matthew chapter 6 about acts of service to others and worship of God without drawing attention to yourself. Jesus taught that we should quietly serve others and pray to the Father. The chapter begins with the word: “Beware”. Jesus is warning us about something, and the important thing to keep in mind is that warnings are often given in situations where there is no apparent danger. You usually don't warn someone when the danger is plain and obvious, so Jesus was warning of a hidden danger - an insidious danger. He wanted his listeners to "beware" when practicing their righteousness out in the open - out in front of other people. The reason this is so dangerous is that it can fuel the self-righteousness that is present in us all. The trouble is, we can be blind to it, so we need to be warned about praying, giving, etc. in public because the public will often applaud us for it. That creates a great temptation to keep doing it for the praise of men rather than God. Also, when we are applauded for praying, giving to the needy, or other good works, we might start to believe our own press. We might believe that we are okay - that we are righteous. Tebow may not have begun with incorrect motives, but he may easily end up with them (if he hasn't already). Jesus' instruction to ”go into your room and shut the door” is given as a protective measure. It keeps us from becoming like the Pharisees by preventing the opportunity for the praise of men.
Finally, Tebow’s actions do more harm than good to the cause of Christianity and the gospel. Here's why: Most, if not all, unbelievers have the incorrect notion that Christianity = moralism. They think that it’s all about making bad people good and good people better. The world knows not that Christianity is Christ’s life for ours. It knows not that Jesus lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died. Tebow’s actions perpetuate the misconception rather than correct it. One thing I hear over and over again from Tebow's proponents is that he is a good moral example. That's why they like him. Unfortunately, sinners need more than a good moral example - they need a savior. Jesus said that he came for the sinners, not the righteous (Mark 2:17).
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Having taught our children that there is no absolute right and wrong; having assured them that relationships, like Legos, can be formed and broken at a whim; having told them that he who has the most wins; having severed a generation from all that is true and right and good and lovely - why should the riots come as any surprise?
We have reaped what we have sown.
Rev Gerard Hemmings