If I Were Tim Tebow’s Pastor

Much has been said about Tim Tebow. And you can count on a lot more. My favorite so far is the post by Nathan Busenitz. But I want to add a few pastoral thoughts to the conversation.

I don’t know where Tim goes to church. So obviously I don’t know who his pastor is nor do I have particular encouragements or criticisms about the nature of how his soul is being shepherded. However, I am a pastor (and a father) who has been asked over and over what I think about Tim Tebow.

I like Tim Tebow. And that is no small thing since he led victories against my beloved Tennessee Volunteers as the Florida Gators quarterback.

I like his positive image. I like his humility. I like his football ability. I like his toughness. I like his 4th quarter comebacks. And I love that is he is unashamed of his Savior, Jesus Christ.

But if I were his pastor, I would offer him some counsel that might seem a bit contrarian.

First, I would discourage Tim from “Tebowing” (dropping to a knee in obvious prayer) after a positive play unless he was doing the same after he had been sacked or intercepted. I don’t have any problem with him praying after good plays, but the theology communicated by doing so publically at that time is just misguided. What should be concluded if Tim throws a touchdown pass against a Christian cornerback or safety? Is God not helping them? And should they Tebow (now a verb) in their success over Tebow? What about the Christian defensive back who intercepts him or the believing defensive end who drops him with a crushing tackle? Couldn’t they be justified to drop to a knee and pray with thanksgiving? Would it be right for a Christian defensive player to be caught on camera Tebowing after causing Tebow to fail?

We are commanded to give thanks for all things (Eph 5:20; Col 3:17). But giving demonstrable thanks to God for first downs and touchdowns has the unintended consequence of a prosperity theology where God’s blessing is success.

Second, I would encourage Tim to change his rhetoric. Instead of repeating the mantra that “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (which usually goes unexplained), I would love to hear something like “I’m thankful that God has given me the ability to play football, but I’m more grateful He has saved me from His judgment through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” The difference is subtle, but important. I’m glad Tim names the name of Jesus. When he does so, however, talking about why he is thankful would be clarifying. Jesus is to be praised for securing souls, not scoring touchdowns.

Third, I would ask Tim to consider the implications of his theology. In a recent discussion with one of my sons about Tebowmania, he asked me a great question. “Dad, do you think God is a Broncos fan now that Tebow is their quarterback?” Again, to which team does God provide assistance when both have faithful Christian players? I know Tim wants to be faithful witness for Christ. And his boldness is admirable and convicting. But how much better would that testimony for the Lord be if he added biblical clarity and accuracy to his testimony.

Let me say again, I really like Tim Tebow. He is the kind of role model I want my sons to live like. Because of that I pray he becomes the kind of theologian I want them to think like.

And for the record, I would love to be Tim Tebow’s pastor…

71 Comments on “If I Were Tim Tebow’s Pastor

  1. Does he only “Tebow” after good plays? Or does he kneel and pray after significant ones like touchdowns or the final ticks of the clock?
    Great post! I wish ESPN or NFL.com could get a pastor to weigh in on Tebowmania on the national scale.

  2. Nathan,
    Tim grew up in Jacksonville, FL. He was a member a First Baptist Jacksonville under Jerry Vines. Jerry was his Pastor from his youth up until he retired. Not sure of his affiliation now though.

  3. With very few role models in pro sports for the last few years (Kurt Warner comes to mind), it amazes me how much criticism comes Tim’s way from the Christian community (Tim should do this or Tim shouldn’t do that). It seems that everyone wants to chime in with their “two cents worth.” He’s not doing drugs, or beating his girlfriend (if he has one), or getting in bar-fights, etc., like quite a few pro athletes. He is, however, not afraid to share or display his faith. And for that I say, “don’t stop, brother.” But thanks for sharing and God bless you. I wrote a piece on Tim about two months ago: http://scottsholar.com/2011/11/18/not-ashamed-of-the-gospel/

    • Thanks for your thoughts Scott. I hope you can hear my heart in the post. I am not trying to criticise Tim but to encourage him to continue to use his influence for Christ in the most effective way. I am also trying to help people (especially my three sons) to understand what it really means to stand for the gospel. Tim is wonderfully bold and I continue to hold him us as a great example of that. I just think he could be more clear about the gospel he believes and loves. I praise God for him and his influence!

      • I love your messages Pr. Rick Holland and I wish I can meet you personally like my sister – Grace. I’m reading your book: “Uneclipsing the Son” which she gave me.

        Just a minor TYPO correction I noticed in you reply.
        You wrote (on the fifth line):
        “Tim is wonderfully bold and I continue to hold him us as a great example of that.”
        Correction:
        …I continue to hold him UP as a great example of that.

        Take care and God bless you and the Lord’s work you are ministering.

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  5. I appreciate your comments. I guess since he plays on the Sabbath I haven’t seen him enough to know that he doesn’t drop to a knee except in favorable circumstances. But your thoughts are on point and helpful to all of us trying to be faithful witnesses to our Savior.

  6. Agree with #2. Disagree with #1 and 3. #1: God calls us to bear witness and each will bear witness different than another. Tebow should be commended for bearing witness as God has directed him. Furthermore, using this logic, he would have to drop to his knees at every play; whereas, it seems to me, his intention is reverse of the self-centered drama that is usually seen when a player scores. #3: Whatever witness one displays, there will be those who will misinterpret the theology, or impute theology which was never intended. That someone may misinterpret God’s preferences based upon Tebow’s actions is no reason for him to refrain from acting to one’s convictions. Just my thoughts on this matter.

    • Thanks for weighing in on this Dean. I won’t argue with you about Tim’s intentions. I agree. But if his actions cause theological confusion, it is worth a second thought about those expressions. I am thankful for Tim and his passion for Christ!

      • Agreed. However, I do not hear this theological confusion as part of the discussion out in the real world. Maybe you do. Nonetheless, we live in a fallen world and no one is going to have a perfect ministry – pastors don’t, much less chance for an athlete. And could it be possible, if he changed his methodology to satisfy some the means could create theological confusion on a different avenue? I think the important thing is for believers to live our lives and present our witness according to the conviction God gives us through prayer and study of the Word. I believe Tebow is trying to do this.

        If you want to talk about theological confusion: Isaiah running around naked for three years and Ezekiel laying on his side for months on end, using excrement to cook his food, probably caused extensive discussions and provoked helpful tips from well meaing brothers!! You think? Amen. I appreciate your intent but still disagree for the most part.

  7. I would like to add that I understand that the media puts many things out there on this gentleman and I realize Tim Tebow cannot control or keep up with such things… but why are Christian’s continuing to post “Pam’s story” as it refers to Tebow as the “Mile High Messiah!” I think or would hope Tim Tebow would be appalled over such a statement. Just a thought I had… Thank you for the above article.

    • Karyn, when I saw that comment on your “Tebow Post”, I became very troubled….guess I wasn’t the only one….Tebow isn’t as much the issue as some people’s response to him….

    • Hi Karyn, are you still on FB? Please message me through FB (I think you can do this even if you aren’t on there anymore). We are putting together info for a class reunion and need email addresses. Contact me for more info if you’d like. Cheers!

  8. This is very well said. Jesus said that we should pray in private and that those who pray in public are misguided and seeking the wrong things. Tebow reminds of me of the Pharisees who made big presentations of their faithfulness and piety.

    • I understand where you are coming from, but Tim Tebow has such a great platform to spread the Gospel. He knows this, and that is why at every moment he is acknowledging God’s work in His life. Would you prefer he stays silent? What do you think Jesus would prefer?

      In the passage you are referring to, Jesus is not saying those who pray in public are misguided and seeking the wrong things. He is talking about those who ARE praying in public for misguided reasons. Tim Tebow’s intentions are quite clear. It is not to win over people. If it was, make such public displays of faith in our secular world today would be the last thing he would be doing.

      He is doing much, much more to fulfill the Great Commission than any of us are doing by pointing fingers and praying at home. I feel Jesus would prefer us collectively working together to spread of the Gospel in place of bickering over where it is appropriate to pray.

      • Thanks for your comments John. I hope you have not misunderstood my words. No, I would not prefer Tim to be silent. And I am not talking about where it appropriate to pray. I love Tim Tebow. He is a great example to me personally and one that I hold up for my sons. I’m so grateful for his speaking out for Christ. I am simply saying that he could be clearer in the same way some of my congregants sometimes help me be more clear after a sermon. Thanks for your comments.

  9. I feel as though you are being a bit too critical of Tim Tebow. These are his words as he expresses his thankfulness “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”, and you are attempting to put words in his mouth as to how he should express his love for Our Lord and Savior. We all pray differently, show appreciation differently, express ourselves differently. And as far as “Tebowing,” I hear what you are saying. However, if you took an exam and received a bad grade, would you be thanking our Lord? I honestly don’t think I would. If you received a speeding ticket, would you thank our Father? Again, I probably would not. We as humans tend to express our gratefulness when things occur in our favor. Human nature. You don’t know Tim’s personal relationship with our Lord, how he expresses his gratitude or his sorrow. You do not know his prayers behind closed doors. I think he is a wonderful young man, a true inspiration for our youth and adults alike. I do thank our Lord for Tim Tebow.

  10. You bring up some interesting points. It is amazing to me how polarizing this kid is. I wonder if all this hoopla is really what he signed up for. I will say this, he certainly makes football fun to watch!

    Thanks for your thoughts on the subject.

  11. How about a Christian working on the Lord’s day and sadly leading other Christians to turn away from the Lord on His day? Some will say “Oh no, one of those”, but, let me ask you, what identifies sin? How many commandments does it have? Have done with the 4th as Tim Tebow has?

  12. I agree. My husband is a Master’s grad and pastor in Indiana. It’s a very big deal at our church to thank God for everything He brings into our lives, whether they are pleasant or not, because we know His promise that He causes all things to work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8). And 1 Thess 5:18 says, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” and Eph 5:20, “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God is not all about giving us worldly success, but molding our character and making us more like His son, Jesus (Romans 8, again). Thanks for your thoughts. I would love to figure out a way we can send this to Tim Tebow!

  13. More importantly, would you return his phone calls to tell him this stuff? :-)

  14. All I know is: After last week’s win against the Steelers, John 3:16 was the #1 searched/trending topic the following Monday. No matter how it’s done and no matter how many ways we can critique his expression of faith, if in the end his influence leads people to open (or in this case online search) the good book, then I say, “Tebow, do your thing.”

    I don’t think the link above plays it to the point I was hoping, but you can actually find sound of what he says as he prays. He does pray for humility in a win or loss. The Lord gave him his bold faith and He also gave him his competitive drive to win. Tebow WANTS to win, this has always been the case, but he is more than prepared to praise God even in his losses.

  15. I too think you are being too critical. Nit picking at things that are more the fault of our society and the media portrayal of Tim Tebow, rather than focusing on his awesome testimony and steadfastness through both good times and bad. It appears that you have taken the 60 second blurbs from Sportscenter, the 10 second interviews from ESPNews to gauge his theology and faith. I’d recommend you read his autobiography before judging his theology, his faith and his actions. I think your opinion might of him might change a bit…as it definitely affected mine.

    • Ryan (and Bernadette), thanks for your helpful comments. I hope you have not misunderstood my heart in the post. I am a huge fan of Tim and thankful for his influence. I agree with you about the “60 second blurbs” Ryan. Actually that is my point. Tim knows that he is quoted this way. I am hope that this awareness causes him to make his soundbites as clear as he can. I have used him over and over with my sons as an example of steadfastness and faithfulness. I am not “judging his theology” as much as I am observing it in practice. Thanks for helping us think more clearly about this!

      • Rick…I really encourage you to read his book to get better clarity on Tim and his message. When he lost to the Patriots, he gave Thanks to God at the front of his post-game interview. So he does give thanks in both the good times and the bad. Some just don’t see it or it doesn’t get played over and over on Sportscenter. From his book, his Phil 4:13 under eye stickers from his Florida days were not to ask God to help him win….but rather that he’d be content in all things (again…proper theology and context). I feel I could go on, but I don’t think it is necessary. At the end of the day….

        Is it really fair to Tim Tebow to “observe his theology in practice” based on TV camera’s and ESPN editing?

      • Interesting how many don’t mind piling criticism on the non-football hero, while crying foul at a pastoral encouragement to Mr. Tebow to be the best witness he can be given his unique position. That’s probably something to write about by itself…more evidence of sports idolatry, perhaps.

        As a (very) former athlete, I didn’t want an easy or soft coach. I wanted one that would jump my a** if I wasn’t doing my best. I knew that meant he really cared about me and my success at my endeavor. And as teammates we constantly drove each other to do better.

        I took the post here as nothing if not an encouragement for a champion (hard for me to say, since I’m a Georgia Bulldog) to up his game. I would think Tebow would welcome someone who cares enough to speak truth.

      • mab001….I too am a Dawg fan and for 4 years, I was a Tebow hater.

        And as someone who lives in the Bible belt of America where Christian mediocrity is mainstream and even encouraged, I can understand Rick’s (and Nathan Busenitz’) position….I even thought those same things at times. That being said, reading Tebow’s autobiography opened up much of what I did not know about who he was and his theology.

        When a pastor gives encouragement and admonition, shouldn’t he do everything in his power to know the who and the why before leveling the charge?

        I appreciate Rick Holland…his influence on my own life is more than you’ll ever know. I appreciate Nathan Busenitz and Grace Community Church as well. I just think that a little more homework on Tim Tebow would’ve resulted in a different conclusion…that, although not perfect, Tim is a great witness (although not perfect) for Christ and is utilizing the platform that God gave him to spread His word.

  16. When a football player scores a touchdown, he receives glory. Tebow points that glory away from himself and back to God. He is simply showing his humility and saying, “I am nothing great- GOD IS,” when he kneels after a touchdown.
    When a football player misses a play, he doesn’t receive glory – so there’s no need to make the “I’m nothing great” statement – his playing already proved that. ;)

  17. Thanks Rick, we can always count on you for the pastoral perspective.

  18. Tim need to keep doing what he is doing. It seems ur just picking on this guy and and God . Im not a big football person. I do the father in heaven and what Tim is doing,God like…. so maybe befor u tell Tim to stop u should read about hornery God, or evangelistem or the power or prayer,..

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  21. Thank you Rick for those thoughtful, Biblical comments. I’ve been hoping that someone would say the things you said. I’am in the process of preparing to share with our Men at our Church and you’ve given me some great ‘food for thought’.
    Michael Elliott Sr.

  22. Pastor Holland,

    I appreciate your pastoral perspective. I agree with you that “tebowing” should be done after the good and bad plays. I also agree that he could do a better job explaining himself when he thanks his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    One thing I thought I could add to the discussion is that I just finished listening to Tim Tebow’s autobiography a week ago. The book was written from the following premise: since so much has been written on me, good and bad, I thought I would tell my story “through my eyes” (title of the book). In the book he tells the reader why he does what he does.

    I realize that most Americans will not read the book. It does explain that Tebow believes his football career is a platform to preach the Gospel. Tebow believes that every one is given a platform in their life, big and small, and they should use it to share the gospel. He also strongly expresses that he believes God probably does not care about who wins or loses a football game. It is just a game. What God does care about is how you conduct yourself on the football field.

    • Thanks David. I look forward to reading the book. I agree with you about his intentions. I simply would love to see some clarity in his boldness. As for his boldness, I am so thankful and convicted by his example.

  23. I am a huge Steelers fan, so I have much to dislike about Tebow. His faith, however, has nothing to do w/my dislike. There are lots of NFL players who are believers, including Troy Polamalu (I am including a link here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY1K-xQAONA showing him talking about his walk w/God), who pray in a circle after the game, but who are seen only if the camera pans the field. I’ve reconciled my misgivings about Tebow by remembering what Paul said about those who were profiting from the Gospel, i.e., that the most important thing was that the Gospel was going out (if reports can be trusted, John 3:16 was Googled millions of times after the game). I’m also including a link to an article, that politics aside, is still a thought-provoking read. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/who-is-gods-quarterback-tebow-roethlisberger-and-american-evangelicalism/2012/01/05/gIQAS6VcfP_story.html

    • On the contrary, Thomas. I think it’s important to put even cultural icons/issues through the sieve of the Bible, and assess our worldview constantly. I appreciate the dialogue.

    • Iron sharpens iron. I am going to have to agree with Cathy. Discussion is always good – it helps us think by considering other opinions. At the end of the day, I hope we all filter these opinions through the Word of God.

  24. There is something I want to say here. Tim Tebow does far more than he projects on the field and at the press conferences. Did anyone know that he is involved in preaching the gospel at a mens prison? Does anyone know that he is building a childrens hospital in the Phillipines? There is a lot he does in fact far more what he does in private than what he does in public. I think most of the negative critique here borders on legalism. He is not perfect as none of us are. But I think he is a genuine born again believer glorifying God. Let God judge what is in a man’s heart.

  25. I just finished reading John Piper’s chapters entitled “Love” and “Money” in Desiring God. Then, I read this article about Tebow on ESPN. Looks like Tebow is using his popularity and wealth to store up for himself treasures in heaven. Tebow is an example of

    http://m.espn.go.com/wireless/story?storyId=7455943&i=FB&w=1bdwe&wjb

    Also, Pastor Holland’s words are insightful. But before we go any further, I believe that we should think about what an article would look like if instead it were entitled: “If I Were (Insert Your Name Here)’s Pastor.” It is easy to critique someone who has the spotlight on him 24/7. God has placed Tebow at the center of attention for a reason and that reason being His glory.

  26. Thanks for posting this – I’m going to share it. I’m glad that someone is writing about these things. I think the reason that Tim Tebow is so popular is because most of Christendom has adopted and live by a theology of glory. Tebow and in particular Tebowing, fit right into that mold – ‘God is with us when we succeed, but when trials and tribulations abound, it must be the work of the devil, and God is nowhere to be found.’

    I think your comments are very fair and charitable. It is exactly because of a theology of glory that some Christians misunderstand what you’re saying – making claims that you are judging him or being over critical. I share your admiration for Tebow’s character and veritable faith. I love Tim Tebow as a brother in Christ, do not question any of his motives, and find him to be an exemplary Christian witness. You go out of your way to make yourself clear on these points, brother, which I appreciate. You’re not slamming his character, but merely providing the church with sound teaching and correction. I’m thankful that you have brought out these points.

    What I think much of the church may not understand, is the theology of the cross. There is a time to glory that is to come. When Christ returns to establish His eternal kingdom, we will glory purely in Him. But until such a time, we are not to glory in fame, fortune, Google or Amazon numbers, or touchdowns; the ONLY thing that we are told to glory in is the cross of Jesus Christ!

  27. With all do respect, you are not Tim Tebow’s pastor. I believe that God is sovereign and that He has chosen for Tim’s current pastor to be the one with that job. Basically, you are criticizing Tim Tebow AND his pastor. You are warned in the Scriptures of the charges you bring against an elder. (in this case, Tebow’s pastor) I would encourage you to pastor the flock that the Lord has graciously given YOU and shepherd them well, according to the Scriptures.(1Peter 5:2) I encourage you to continue to shepherd your sons well. The attack of Tebow’s theological implications could be turned on you as well. WHY did your son ask, “Dad, do you think God is a Broncos fan now that Tebow is their quarterback?” You are responsible for your sons, not Tim Tebow. Their questions are YOURS to answer, not Tebow’s. The Lord will hold you accountable to the way you raised your sons, not Tim Tebow. Praise God that these questions come up in conversations with sons while watching football! Fathers, be ready to answer your sons in truth!

    You say “I am simply saying that he could be clearer in the same way some of my congregants sometimes help me be more clear after a sermon.” You are a pastor criticizing an NFL player…he is not a pastor.

    Publicly posting something as a pastor and against someone who is professing to love the Lord, give glory to Him every time he can, and there not being evidence of the contrary, is quite bold. If there is an area of encouragement to be given, perhaps it is to the other “faithful Christian players” you speak of to be as unashamed of the gospel as Tim Tebow. I don’t know of any other professional players receiving the same media time as Tebow for positive reasons. I am thankful to the Lord for using Mr. Tebow for a time as this. Praise Jesus that many people are looking up Bible verses and trying to “figure them out” because they hear of them on NFL games/shows. I believe Tim is doing a phenomenal job proclaiming Jesus to a lost world each time the Lord grants him. We pray that he is encouraged by the body of Christ and not discouraged with “how I would do things if I were Tim Tebow” or the likes.
    May the Lord be gracious to you.

    • KC – Pastor Holland has not brought charges against Tebow or his pastor. He has only voiced his opinion on this matter and the advise he would render if he were in the position to do so. I, too, disagree with the majority of his opinion. However, I feel compelled to defend him against your charges.

      He brought his opinion and started a discussion. It has been a good discussion and has caused many to think about our public witness. I doubt very seriously any of this was originated from malice or judgment. If this had been the case, you would be justified in your charges.

      Remain vigilant; keep the faith and let the conversation continue. Amen.

      • Pastor Holland: ” But giving demonstrable thanks to God for first downs and touchdowns has the unintended consequence of a prosperity theology where God’s blessing is success.” = This is one instance of a charge against Tebow

        The title of the post is the one for his pastor. As if Tebow’s pastor is not doing the right thing or shepherding well. I’m just wondering if Tebow’s pastor read the title of this post and then read the content if he may be a little offended?? I did read where Pastor Holland confessed that he may have chosen a more appropriate title, which was kind.

        Thank you, for your gentle response. I think it is a little sad the time spent on this topic. But I love the communication and pray that it is in love. I see some exclamation points and wording that might indicate that there are emotions that may not be pure. I am thankful for any encouragement and building up this post may have developed.
        Peace and Joy to all…

  28. Hey y’all….Pastor Holland’s words were pretty clearly intended to help Tim achieve his own stated goal more effectively. If Tim is willing to go through what he has to improve his football skills, don’t you think he would welcome training in gospel proclamation skills? Do you think Tim’s coaches are trying to tear him down or build him up? Is Tim’s pastor the only Christian capable of providing him any insight, correction, rebuke, training? I’m not finding that in my Bible.

    American Christians have become too emotionally blubbery. We’re spiritual couch potatoes, getting riled only when some perceived threat to our overall complacency shows up to steal our Jesus Twinkies.

    • Absolutely! I believe that others are capable of providing Tim Tebow insight, correction, rebuke, training…but has he read this? If this was intended to provide all of those great and wonderful things, why was it a blog post and not a personal letter directly to Mr. Tebow? I am not sure, but if Tim Tebow is a follower of this blog and it is known that he reads it, then right on. May he receive the insight, correction, rebuke and training the Spirit uses through this blog. I am just not sure that was the intent of the blog post.
      I agree that American Christians are pretty much veiled. It’s all about us; what people think of us, comfort, pride, stuff…idols. I think that is why the post seems so hurtful. Why is it that family, which is what we are as believers in Christ, love to publicly post things that other family members could be doing better? Do we do this with our spouses? Our parents? Our children? I would be mortified and deeply hurt if I read on my spouse’s blog things that I could be doing better. My point: perhaps it is time to stop making ourselves look better by pointing out the ways that others could be improving. If it comes from a pure heart, encourage that person directly! There are ways, I am sure, to send Mr. Tebow a direct message/letter. I hear he is an avid twitter user…
      My prayer is that these words are not hurtful or discouraging, but quite the opposite. Since it is known, that the recipients of this comment actually have read the post and profess to know the Lord…my prayer is that it is received in the same love that it is produced.
      Jesus.
      He is all.
      I am thankful for His saving grace that turned my wicked heart of stone into a heart that beats only for Him. May we take 1 Chronicles 16:8 to heart and publicly make known HIS deeds among the peoples!

  29. DISAGREE PASTOR.
    To your first point: Dropping to one knee. I think this is more to show HUMILITY. He is showing in this action that he is but human and giving credit to the Lord. To drop to one knee after every failed attempt at something I think would lose the effectiveness of him trying to give credit where credit is due and would have a lot of Nay-sayers reacting more like “Yeah Tebow where was your God on that one”

    To your second point: Changing his “mantra” I think its obvious why he’s thankful but even still maybe Tebow just wishes to keep some things between he and God. I don’t understand your need to know WHY he is thankful. Especially when in the public eye and interviews can be so short and quick there isn’t always time for him to stand there and preach a sermon you would preach behind your pulpit or give a full fledged testomonial. I think the MORE IMPORTANT thing is getting the name of God out there even if its just to say “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”

    But for you to preceed all of this with “I dont know who Tim Tebow’s pastor is but I would….” is very unbecoming I think of any man with your title. To A. publically criticize another believer for they way they are witnessing especially when its not leading any one astray and to B. also in so many words criticize perhaps the ones “sheparding” him as though you can self righteously assume your guidance would somehow be “better” or “correct”. Why would we as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ just not be proud and appreciate the efforts being taken to witness to the world, and leave the judgements at bay. ..Just a thought.

    • Dear “-L”
      Thank you for sharing your heart on this issue.

      If you read the post again, I think you will see that I was not trying to “criticize” Tim, but suggest how he might “excel still more.” I was not publicly rebuking him for sin. If it were an issue of sin and I had access to him, I would hope that I would speak to him privately. However, if you promote what you believe publicly, then it is open for public discussion. If I can be so candid, if you applied the principle to which you are holding me to yourself, you would be guilty of the same for the comment you posted. However, I am delighted for you to register your thoughts, even if you disagree. That’s part of the purpose of a blog.

      As for what Tim says in the soundbite interviews, I am so thankful he names the name of Christ (said that in the post). But using that platform to simply thank Jesus leaves the hearer asking… “thanking Jesus for what?” I know enough about Tebow that I believe he would give a great answer if pressed. But since he is rarely pressed on that, I just think he could be clearer. I have to disagree with you that it is enough just “getting the name of God out there.” In 2 Corinthians 11:4 Paul indicates that there were those preaching the name of Jesus, but it was “another Jesus” than the true one. I have every confidence that Tim’s Jesus is the true, biblical Jesus, but unless he gives brief qualifiers about his Lord and Savior, people could misunderstand.

      Finally, I tried to be clear in the post that I was not criticizing Tim’s pastor (an accusation you made against me). If I was not clear, please let me say that I have no issues with Tim’s pastor. That post was simply framed in that rhetoric so I could say what I would love to say to Tim. However, I’m taking what you have said to heart and will confess that I could have made the post something like, “What I wish I could talk with Tim Tebow about.” I am very willing to be corrected on that and deeply grieved if i maligned Tim’s pastor.

      Let me say again, I REALLY like Tim Tebow. He is held in high esteem in my mind and in my family. If I were to meet him, my first words would be thankfulness for his bold testimony. My next words would be, encouragement to excel still more!

      Thank you for your comments and for providing me the opportunity to be more clear.

      Blessings, Rick

  30. @mab001- I could see your point if he sent Tim Tebow a letter or a phone call to discuss these points with him. Instead he did it on a public message board for others to read his opinions about Tebow. If it was out of sincere desire to guide then i feel like he would have very humbly saught an opportunity to share his points PRIVATELY with him.

    • And in that case only one person would have been able to benefit from the wise counsel.

      Besides, the Falcons are going to take it all next year…

      • mab001

        With this logic, if there is a way that your wife could be a better helpmate or maybe needs advice that you feel could help her as a mother, would you first post these on your blog so that others could benefit from wise counsel? Or would you set time aside and speak to her privately? Or if you have a friend who could maybe discipline their child in a way that more clearly demonstrates biblical training, would you write a blog post using your friend’s name and specific situation that occurred before speaking to him privately so that more would be able to benefit from the wise counsel?

        Again, we are all family here and treating each other as such is of great importance. I think that is wise to remember. And if this post was truly intended to encourage and uplift Tim Tebow in his own spiritual growth, how is this going to occur if he never reads it? He claims to NOT read what is written about him or watch the interviews.

        Peace and joy in Christ…

      • KC–False analogies. The comments were limited to Tebow’s very public actions and words, not his relationships with his close family. Public actions and words merit public comment. Might this counsel ever get to Tebow himself? I don’t know. It is doubtful. But the public nature provides a great opportunity for a lot of Christians to reflect and learn. I do not think he would take offense at being useful in that capacity, nor do I think he would shirk from suggestions on how to improve his “game.”

        The minute I open my mouth in front of a TV camera, I invite the whole world to form an opinion about what comes out, and to voice those opinions in front their own version of a TV camera.

        Gosh, in fact, everyone here on this comment thread is doing exactly that!

        Peace, M.A.B.

  31. Interesting discussion–makes me think more about the relationship between faith (sharing it) and football (fame). Do the these two mix well? Do we as Christians, consciously or perhaps subconsciously, expect a football hero to be able to share more effectively than an average nobody believer can? Maybe it’s the contrary. A verse came to mind, “… my power is made perfect in weakness.” Strength or fame or heroism can sometimes be a distraction away from what we’re trying to point people to? Can the admiration of a hero lead a person to genuine faith more easily?
    Tim is so much admired that he had to “tebow” to point people away from him. But this act is “good enough” for some of us and “not” for others of us. Jesus and some of the apostles performed miracles and were sometimes mistaken as heroes. In the case of Jesus, He was truly The Hero and deserved all attention and admiration and, most of all, worship. But even then, Jesus did not come to the world as a football star…
    Tim is a superhero in football. In faith, it’s hard to know. But he’s more famous and talked about then, for example, Jim Elliot because of his football or his faith. When a Christian football fan watches Tim play, is it more about football or faith? I guess it may be different for each of us.
    I guess it must be tough for a young man to have his faith put on public display like that. But if we believe God is using him in such a way, some counsel from a wise and godly pastor might be good and useful and beneficial for him?

  32. Thank you for responding :) It sounds to me like you are picking him apart sir. I personally do not believe it leaves anyone asking “thanking him for what?” (said that in my post). I believe there is enough to infer what he is thanking him for you. You being a pastor, I think are being more criticial because you see the potential for even bigger witnessing perhaps but I still do not agree with you. You yourself Pastor in your original post quoted Tebow saying “Jesus Christ” therefore please explain to me. . . in which other wordly religions is there another Jesus Christ for those hearing to be confused with? To me, it sounds as if you are quoting scripture to back up you stating your opinions to look legitimate but in this case I do not see how it helps prove THAT particular point. Any verse you chose can always be either for or against an argument depending on context. The Bible also says, “Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent;” Psalm 148:13

    • Dear “L”…

      I can see that we are probably not going to land in the same place on this. But I am grateful for the interaction and opportunity to explain what I mean. The only thing I want to say in response is that in 2 Cor 11:4, Paul was not talking about another religion in which Jesus was named. He was speaking about those in the church who redefined the historical Jesus of Nazareth. I believe most confusion about Jesus comes from those who claim to be Christians, but who redefine Him with un-biblical and non-biblical ideas. That is exactly what Paul is concerned about in 2 Corinthians 11. I’m not trying to “back up my point and look legitimate” with this verse (as you state). I’m simply interpreting and applying Paul’s intent in that passage. I DO NOT think Tim Tebow preaches another Jesus. I just want him to distinguish his faith in Christ from liberals, emergents, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others who speak of Jesus, but not the only true One in Scripture. I believe Tim is my brother in the Lord, a genuine believer, a role model I point my sons to, and someone I love and respect. Again, I appreciate your interaction… Rick

  33. Possibly God is allowing Tim to be raised up to use him in a greater way, possibly even giving him revelation of what truly pleases the Lord the most — playing football and giving God lip service, or turning from all that this world has to offer and receiving true praise from God.

    Eric Liddell brought God and His truth the highest praises throughout the entire world when he sacrificed running his Olympic race on the Lord’s Day — out of conviction that he only lived to honor God and he could not honor God the way God has commanded us to honor him and run in the games on Sunday.

    God honors those who honor Him. God honored Eric Liddell and the world heard the truth of the gospel. Hear is the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. He has commanded us to keep the Sabbath holy, set apart from certain worldly words and entertainment (Is. 58) and set apart to Him for His pleasure.

    I pray for Tim that God will give him the greatest opportunity to deny himself and all the money and fame the world have to offer him and put NFL play in its proper place. Then, he will be exalted to a higher place and Christ Jesus will truly receive the highest honor and praise. In Jesus’ Name

  34. Rick:
    Good post on Tebow! There are some interesting comments in the meta, but I couldn’t have said everything you said any better than that. I just did a post over my place with a different approach to this whole thing, but in my opinion yours came out much nicer than mine.

    I really just want to see Tebow preach the Gospel when all these opportunities come up. It is really hard to see so many interviews of him where all he does is share some small experience of conversion and then talk about faith and Jesus for ten seconds before going back to football stuff. There have been so many opportunities for him to preach the full gospel (yes that means sin and repentance, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the appeasement of the wrath of God, and the righteousness that only comes by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).

    I would love to see that from Tim, but sadly, I haven’t yet. That doesn’t mean he is a bad guy, but I don’t know that I would want my little boys to look up to a guy that isn’t being all that Christ would want us to be. I am absolutely grateful that he has professed faith in Jesus Christ and that is his motivation for living. That sets an example to us all. But the example we need is one who does far more than just that. I think that is fair to express that concern.

    You did a good job at highlighting some of that while expressing your concerns in a way that is beneficial. Thanks for your love and compassion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Word!

  35. Nice thoughts and point, but not everyone is called to pastor or to be a theologian. It seems sad when someone gets up the courage to speak the name of Jesus and be credited for an upright testimony among his peers, that there are so many eager to point out where its not good ENOUGH. But true, let us all look within ourselves to see where we can improve our witness for Jesus.

  36. Pingback: TEBOWING… « Moore Momentos

  37. Maybe he is kneeling as an expression of thanks giving not as a statement that God is with him more than he is with somebody else?

  38. I liked your post Pastor Holland! It seems to have stirred up some strong feelings but I can see where you’re coming from and am grateful that you have taken the time to write. And for the record, I am also a fan of Tim’s ministry and can’t see how he would take offense at what you’ve had to say. Have a great week.

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