Tim Tebow is probably the most famous current half-rate quarterback in the NFL. He's not famous for his prowess on the field. He ended the season with a 46.5% completion for 1,719 passing yards, and 12 touchdowns in 14 games. Denver finished with an 8-8 record. Compare that to another 8-8 record quarterback with a 78.2% completion for 3,474 passing yards, and 26 TD's. Mike Sanchez and the Jets didn't make the playoffs.
What's Tebow famous for? His religion and his devotion to passive proselytizing with his John 3:16 strips under his eyes and his prayerful kneeling after impressive plays. So why is he so bad for Christianity, as the title of this blog claims?
As Carter Turner, a religious studies professor, points out in a recent article, his actions are bringing the very nature of God into question. Tebow prays to God for a first-down, or a touchdown, or a victory. God rewards Tebow's devotion by granting his prayer. God intervenes in the lives of the devout and prayerful and worthy. But what happened against the Patriots? Did God decide that Tebow hadn't genuflected enough? Did God decide that Tom Brady, with his illegitimate son and his almost-illegitimate second son, was more worthy of the victory?
And what of people who pray ceaselessly every day that their child or parent or husband with cancer be healed? What of the farmers in Texas who prayed for rain last summer? Did God ignore their prayers because they weren't devout enough? Which is why Tebow is bad for Christianity.
For people observing this, it calls upon the nature of God. Some people will say that God had other plans and not to question the working of God. Then why pray? If God has plans that we are not privy to, that sounds a lot like predestination. God has preordained that something will happen so it does. Like Tebow's connection for a touchdown. Or the Holocaust. Or 9-11. See where this leads. Just what has God preordained? But if God answers prayer requests for touchdowns and football victories, why didn't God answer the prayers of the students at Virginia Tech praying for their lives?
In the very public nature of Tebow's religiosity, he leads people not to finding salvation through Christ but to questioning the existence and nature of God. Is God the Great Clockmaker of the Deists? Or is God the Intervener of the Evangelicals? Does God answer prayers? How does God decide whose prayers to answer?
And whose God answers prayers? The God of Tebow who lets two of his teams lose championship games? What about the God, Allah, of Muhammad Ali who allowed only five losses in his career?
People are wondering whether God is helping Tebow. They want to know for certain whether God answers prayers and intervenes in our daily lives. Because in today's world of economic recession, climate extremes, and the general limits and frailties of human existence, there ain't a whole lot certainty.
[The opinions expressed in this article are the sole views of the author and do not necessarily express the views of the blog audience. Should anyone feel moved to leave a comment, please keep your comments on topic and do not attack the author. And before leaving any comment, read about No True Scotsman before posting.]
Good Grief # 15
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