Monday, December 12, 2011

Does God care if Tim Tebow wins?

I've wanted to do a post on this topic for awhile and now seems to be as ever an appropriate time to do so.

The question I'm phrasing is does God care if Tim Tebow (or fill in the blank here) wins?  Is God a fan of the NFL?  Or of professional sports at all?  I've come to the conclusion that the answer to all of this is no.  Why?  Keep reading.

To think that the Creator of the universe would care about the outcome of something so trivial as a sporting event is silly - but not all believe that.  Just look at the headlines or what seems to be trending on Twitter and other places online and you'll probably get a different answer or belief.  I even saw an article today entitled "Why Tim Tebow just might be the second coming of Jesus".  Ridiculous.  What is not ridiculous has been his play on the field and how he seems to have inspired his teammates.  He is proving to be a true leader not only off the field.  I do get a little tired of his teammates and coaches not getting much credit as while one man can make a different it takes a team effort to win in the NFL.  As glad as I was to see coach John Fox leave Carolina I can say it's kind of nice to see him winning games again.

Here are a few verses of Scripture that I pulled out that I think are relevant. 

1 Chronicles 29:12
Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.  In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

What I don't get is why is Tebow catching so much flak over his faith?  I don't remember people "crucifying" other players who wear their faith on their sleeve that play professional sports like this.  Did people mock and ridicule Kurt Warner when he and the Cardinals won Super Bowl XLIII?  Former NFL QB Jake Plummer has recently come out stating that Tebow should "Just shut up".  If you don't like what he or any other player for that matter is saying then turn the channel or hit the mute button.  I'd rather see a player pointing to the heavens when celebrating in the end zone after scoring a touch down than some of the things I see happen each and every Sunday afternoon.  Maybe I'm a little biased here, but I seriously don't get why a lot of people are so up in arms about this.

I for one think it's a little refreshing to see this attitude being so prominently displayed, especially in professional sports.  Too many times do I see players' ego's swell up so big that they can't focus on reality.  Or we hear news of some professional athlete getting into all sorts of trouble away from the game.  So what if someone kneels to pray before or after a game.  Heck even during the game!

Thankfully not all of the media is giving Tim and his faith a hard time.  Here is short, but well written article by Marlo Thomas.

If you've been reading my blog for anytime now then you'll probably know that I'm a Christian.  Look at some of the players that I collect on cardboard and you'll probably notice a trend.  I collect Christian athletes.  So of course Tebow was added to the list when he made his debut in the NFL last year.  I guess I should have taken advantage last year of Tebow's "stock" being so down and picked up more of his rookie cards as now a lot of them have really taken off thanks to his play and partially because of this "controversy".  Maybe I can score some cards off of these sour fans who are avoiding him like the plague?!  Time will tell I suppose how all of this works out - in both sports and in the hobby.


  1. I've always been a big believer in to each his own. I find myself rooting for Tebow not because he is or isn't religious, I rooting for him because he's an underdog. I keep reading about how terrible he is, how crappy of a quarter back, and somehow this terrible crappy quarterback keeps winning, that and I really can't stand the smug look on John Elway's face and not backing up his team. Oh and just a fact correction. The Card's probably should have one SuperBowl XLIII but didn't. Warner took the Ram's to Super Bowl XXXIV and won.

  2. To answer your original post question, I don't believe that if there is a God who is the creator of the universe, that he cares at all about the NFL or any of our sports. I could be wrong, it's happened, but somehow I think there are bigger problems that would be on His to-do list than whether Tebow wins a football game... at least I hope that there'd be things higher on the priority list...

  3. I believe you are pretty much on the mark. God loves us so he does care about the "trivial" things we care about, but He calls Himself Father and we are His children. So, as a perfect father, he sees "the big picture". The Bible seems to say that He cares about the little things, but He cares more about our eternal destination. Secondary to His concern for our eternal life, He created us for His glory. What I think Tebow is trying to do, because he credits God with everything including each breath he's allowed to breathe, is turn his sucess into glory for God. Now, I don't think most people see that and to some degree he is unintentionally bringing attention to himself.

    So I guess some people (not me) think he's actual just doing all the "God stuff" for the attention it brings him.

    Just my two cents. And yes, I believe in Jesus too.

  4. You nailed it.

    "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

    That's the key one for me, and something that I think many people don't understand. Tebow is saying, "thanks God for giving me the strength to succeed."

    It's not about whether God cares about a football game. I don't think that's the way to look at it. Those of us who are Christians are required by God to bear witness, to praise Him for the good that he does in our lives -- whether it's winning a football game or seeing the birth of a baby or witnessing the faith of others.

    Tebow is saying, "God is good," and he's saying it on a large stage, which he's grateful to God for because we are told to spread His word.

    There's nothing wrong with that. It's all in how people interpret it through their own biases. Mockers gonna mock (they DID mock Kurt Warner, by the way)

  5. From what I've seen, these are the reasons people hate Tebow:

    1.) The media. Love or hate, Tebow has simply gotten way more airplay than his performance and personality deserves. And the media can't seem to discuss him without obnoxiously bringing his religion into it.

    The other media problem is not giving the rest of the team the credit it deserves. The fact is both sides of the ball are feeding off each other's success, and both are working out the kinks of new systems, with a questionable amount of talent to work with. The greater picture is being overlooked.

    2.) His religion. Again, this isn't Tebow himself causing the problem. He doesn't seem too annoying about it himself. He just answers the questions he's asked. Religion is just a sore spot with a lot of people.

    A large chunk of the population is not of the same faith as Tebow, if any faith at all. Having his religion shoved in their faces is uncomfortable, even threatening. This is especially true if they have been subjected to bad religious experiences at some point in their lives.

    There is also the Super Bowl commercial. It's incredibly innocuous given the subject matter, but the organization behind it is widely and rightly despised. I've seen enough people that don't seem to be able to get past it to think it's worth a mention.

    3.) Tebow just isn't that good at this point. The Broncos have been successful, but the holes in Tebow's (and the team as a whole) game are blatantly obvious. It's completely legitimate to question how long they can keep it up.

    There does exist a section of overzealous Tebow fans that won't let you question Tebow's game without making it about religion, however. Wasting someone's time with willful, aggressive stupidity is a good way to make people really mad, really fast.

    Basically, it looks to me like the hate stems from the fact that he is massively overhyped for the little he has accomplished so far and his religion greatly overshadows what he does on the field. Religion is a very polarizing thing, but many people are willing to use it to fan the flames of all that ridiculous hype.

    Again, NONE of that is really Tebow's doing. If you can see past your own viewpoint/biases though, the backlash is not that difficult to understand.

  6. Hi Colbey, I'm a little late on the draw here, but with the playoffs re-igniting some of this stuff I figured I would post. I think it is helpful to frame this discussion within the greater context of God's overall providence. I think this link explains it better than I would have done myself.

    -Josh D.