Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Tebowing"? Not In My House, Thanks.

OK, OK, I get it.
Tim Tebow is cute.
He's had some stupendous good fortune as a quarterback.
He's actually proven he can throw a ball to the right color jersey for big plays.

But the slavering that is going on in the Christian community over "Tebowing" needs to stop.


I've been having "dialogue" (translate: I express myself, and people shoot me down) with various Christians I know about how "wonderful" it is(n't) that Tim Tebow is not afraid to be in-your-face with his faith. That he openly gives praise and credit to God for his success. That he bows himself on the field after every good play and thanks God.

But, for heaven's sake, people...he's not the first one to ever do that. He didn't "invent" giving glory to God for one's achievements on the field. And he's certainly not the first Christian to be open about thanking God for his success on the athletic field.

Say that nowadays, however, at your peril.

Like a bunch of pathetic beggars hoping someone will notice and take pity on us, the Christian population at large seems to be grasping at this kid's actions as "encouraging other Christians to be open about their faith" and "leading people to the Lord.", people. Tim Tebow is not leading people to the Lord with these things. He's leading people to notice Tim Tebow giving glory to the Lord.

And those two things are not synonymous.

If he were leading people to the Lord with this--if the Lord was truly the important one here--he would hear the term "Tebowing" and recoil in horror. He would have told people to stop referring to it as that, pronto.

The fact that he has not done so is telling. And what it's telling me isn't that this kid is enraptured with what God is doing in his life...but enraptured with the fact that his "faith" is yet another aspect of his "brand" that can make him "special."

That's not Christian witness. That's marketing. And ego.

Worse, this pandering and enthusiasm by the Christian community only reveals how overall ignorant most of them apparently are about just how many athletes have been, and are, Christians and were unapologetic about it before.

Roger Staubach was questioned, years ago, about the rampant infidelity that can come about in athletes' marriages. He merely shook his head and said something along the lines of, "It's not on my radar."
Why? Because he was a Christian. He took that faith seriously, and part of that faith was fidelity to his spouse.

No one picked up the notion of being faithful to one's spouse and called it "Staubaching."
Why not?

Many, many athletes sign themselves with the Cross--especially baseball players, before batting. Do evangelical Christians think this is a wonderful way to show their Catholic faith?

Hardly. In fact, they tend to make fun of it as some kind of superstition or "talisman." They're among the people who decry it.

No double standard there, is there?

Truth to tell, that's probably the worst part of this whole Tebow show. Not that he makes sure he makes a public spectacle of himself "worshiping" after every good play. Not that he hasn't told people to knock off calling worship "Tebowing" and call it what it is. But that Tebow, in his upbringing, has been raised in an ignorant part of evangelical Christianity (and I use that term loosely) that refers to Catholicism as "the whore of Babylon."

In other words, he's been raised as a bigot.
Is this the kind of Christianity I want people being led to?
Is this the kind of Christianity anyone should want anyone to be led to?

But that's actually what "Tebowing" represents. An ugly, divisive brand of "Christianity" that is not only ignorant of Church history but of the very Scripture itself upon which it claims to be based.

That should be a problem for the Christians among us.
That it isn't, to so many people, is both disturbing and sad.

Hard fact and bottom line?  

Until and unless Tim Tebow disavows any connection to that ignorant  form of "Christianity" in which he's been raised...
...until and unless he tells people to take the spotlight off him and put it back on the Lord...
..."Tebowing" is not anything any of us should want to encourage, much less imitate.

We can only pray it goes away as fast as it came.
As fads will do.
Because that's all this is, folks.
A fad.
Let's hope we all get over it soon.


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