Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Boldly Go...

Today's hot Tebow topic is that Kurt Warner has suggested publicly that Tim Tebow tone down his public professions of faith.

"You can't help but cheer for a guy like that," former NFL star Kurt Warner said. "But I'd tell him, 'Put down the boldness in regards to the words, and keep living the way you're living. Let your teammates do the talking for you. Let them cheer on your testimony.'
"I know what he's going through, and I know what he wants to accomplish, but I don't want anybody to become calloused toward Tim because they don't understand him, or are not fully aware of who he is. And you're starting to see that a little bit."

Interestingly, Warner works for NFL Network along with Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin, and both spoke in "religious" terms regarding Tim Tebow yesterday as well.  Michael Irvin talked about "hope dictating effort"  but also quoting the Bible to describe the unconventional play at the QB position that we are seeing from Tebow now.
I read in the Bible, "He will use the foolish things to confound the wise...This is 'foolishness' we are watching, we are being 'confounded'...he is confounding us so called 'wise men.'"  (Click here for the video.  2:30 mark)

When was the last time you heard football, not faith, but football being described in Biblical terms?  Or put another way, when was the last time that the Bible was the only way to describe what you are seeing on the football field?

We get what Kurt Warner is saying, but Mr. Warner doesn't seem to grasp the day and age in which we live.  There is no Billy Graham in this generation.  Long gone is the prime time television broadcast of a Christian crusade explaining the gospel message and inviting the public en masse to accept its good news.  In that vacuum we now have 200+ cable channels that give us a steady stream of anything but good news.

Tim Tebow is a QB in the NFL who is garnering unprecedented attention because he and his teammates scrape out an improbable win week after week.  Analysts are so befuddled by what they are seeing that they have no other choice but take Tim Tebow at his word, and by his faith, to describe his near "miraculous" success. 

Kurt Warner's advice to Tebow is "'Put down the boldness in regards to the words, and keep living the way you're living." But why should Tebow be anything other than "bold" right now? If he isn't who will be? Because our understanding of the Bible is that "faith comes by hearing" and not by seeing, and we are looking for someone in the public sphere to simply state their belief in Jesus.  The most watched television program in American history to date is the Super Bowl.  Why silence the one player willing to say, time and time again, "I'd like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and my teammates." Is that so bold?

Romans 10:14-15
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
And what about the Apostle Paul?  What if he had refused to speak boldly? What if he had softened his approach because some became "calloused" or even "obstinate" to his message?

Acts 19:8-10
Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Mr. Warner, we know you don't like watching how Tim plays the position, you said so yourself, and it seems you don't like watching how he professes his faith either.  But in the same way that he has won you over on the field, let Tebow be Tebow off the field too.

UPDATE: Kurt Warner's reply