Why Tebow Is Bad for Christianity

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.]


  1. Mrs. G., my intellectual gifts don't come close to yours but I feel a need to answer.

    Tim Tebow does not pray for victory. He prays that he may do his best with the gifts God has given to him. His comments after last night's loss:

    "What I pray before games, during games, after games, is regardless whether I win, whether I lose, whether I'm the hero or the goat, that it doesn't matter, that I still honor the Lord because He's deserving of it, and just like my effort shouldn't change, neither should that. So that's how I try to approach it, and sometimes even in a loss you can honor Him more. For me, I pray that my character and who I am doesn't change even though you can be dejected, you can still feel hurt, you can be disappointed, but you can still honor the Lord with how you handle things."

    He is opening discussions that can bring glory to our God.

  2. I am not sure that I understand your argument. Are you saying that Tim Tebow, by his actions, is encouraging people to question the nature and will of God, which may then prevent them from acquiescing to God's true purpose for them?

  3. I don't know anything about football - or any sport for that matter... I don't read anything about sports so have only a little knowledge about this guy from what people who think I am interested in sports or feel the need to tell me... I do not really pray to GOD - and ask only more patience and wisdom from him - But every morning and every night I thank my sweet lord and creator for every thing that I have in my life... all the opportunities he puts in front of me and all the people he sends my way... since I began to show gratitude for all the things in my life I have been given more of it. I believe in myself as much as I believe in my GOD - yes, I have failed many times, for whatever reason - but I have always come back stronger. Why did GOD let me fail - perhaps I needed to... that is for GOD to decide, but failure is not where I wanted to be, and GOD knows that... If I lost it all right now, I know that I will get it all back because I have already learned how to do it. Failure is a learning experience... gratitude is what keeps the money coming in... it is what keeps my life surrounded by all the good things that I surround my self with... this has become my reality - my truth over the last ten years... The Lord gives and the lord takes... be thankful and grateful for that which he gives - it makes it a lot easier to get more of it... does any of this make sense... and does it sound strange coming from me?

  4. Why is is it such a big deal for the main-stream media to comment on Tebow's religious beliefs?
    In most cases, it seems like they are making fun of his devotion. It seems like it is all snarky comments about his actions.
    Hell, if it were a Muslim athlete screaming out a call to prayer in the stadium, he would be glorified for having the courage to proclaim his faith.
    I dislike the Television Evangelists and generally most "organized religions". I see them mostly as self serving money grabbers or smug little groups of elistists (regadless of their income structure).
    I have my own personal beliefs as to the religion, and pretty much respect everyone else's rights to their views.
    I made a pact with myself years ago to try to hold on to my core beliefs.... and not to go out and air them out. At the same time, I agreed not to listen to others silly ass views!