Marshall in the Middle

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hope and Tim Tebow

Before I type a word on Tim Tebow I have to allow the reader to understand something;   I worship the water he walks on !  You see, I am a Florida Alumni, Gator fanatic and anyone that makes the Gators look better makes me happy.  With that in mind, imagine squaring the feeling and then squaring it again.... that's how I feel about Tim Tebow.

The first time I had the pleasure of seeing him was when my wife and I attended a game in Gainesville, it was the  2006  UF VS LSU game, the year UF eventually trounced Ohio State in the national championship game (a victory worthy of its own blog).  The game was proceeding somewhat quietly and then Urban Meyer sends out our new quarterback  (back up to Chris Leek that year) and this kid just electrified the stadium.   I mean, his body language and enthusiasm were palpable.  Before you knew it the team was waking up and the fans were in a rabid state... you could literally see how nervous we were making the "Bayou Tigers", they were fumbling and bumbling all over the field and Tim Tebow was railroading right over them...... it was sooooooo great !  We went on to trounce LSU by 20 points.  So from that moment forward...... my wife and I have been smitten.

The stories of Tebow's generosity and authentic Christian behavior have been very well covered in the press.  Most of the stories about Tim himself by the media have been almost overwhelmingly positive about what he does to help people.  One of my favorites is http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7455943/believing-tim-tebow

All the Christian stuff and good deeds were a nice bonus since we are religious., though not evangelical.  Fast forward to 2012.  You all know how this story ends up.  Tebow captures the heart of Denver and the fans insist he be played and all the "experts" expect him to flop immediately but something happens.  He is successful !  OK, he doesn't win all his games but he wins most of them which is more than you can say for most other QB's in the NFL if my math is right.  Oh, they still say his mechanics are wrong and he can't throw a forward pass, etc.... BUT he's getting results and the NFL establishment does not like that.  It makes them look like fools and arrogant stuffed shirt, ex-jocks can't stand looking like fools.

Another group of people don't like all his success either.  Atheists and the anti-religious.  When Tebow fails the atheists are delighted and Atheists such as Bill Maher say disgusting things about Tebow because atheists like Bill Maher are frightened by the remote possibility that evangelicals are correct and they will burn in the lake of fire forever.  When Tebow gets creamed on the field it gives their hearts hope that the whole God thing is indeed all wrong, and they can go back to their lives of chance and circumstance with no concern for a future of eternal thirst and hunger.

Finally, the most mystifying group;  other Christians.  Some Christians, and I'm ashamed to admit they are often Presbyterians (I've been Presbyterian for 12 years)  look down their noses at evangelicals as if they are a dreaded fungus.  These people see Tebow as being too loud about his faith and he even has the audacity to thank "Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior" every time the media interviews him. Gasp !  This group, quite frankly is the most disappointing to me., but it has also opened my eyes to something.  To these people I ask;  How can you condemn a Southern Baptist (the church I was raised in)  for spreading the word of God when that is what is drummed into their heads from day 1?  Tim Tebow is simply doing exactly what he was raised  to do !   In his mind, he's simply being a good Christian., he knows no other way to behave and be faithful.  And besides, I think the American public can tolerate kneeling in prayer  (Tebowing) and one sentence mentioning Jesus Christ as a gesture of faith and thanks. Sorry it embarasses you, but I don't see the Baptist church shrinking like the Presbyterian church.

So, I guess you could say I'm having a little battle within myself.  The Baptist in me is mocking the Presbyterian in me for its lame commitment to God and Jesus and that I've committed so much time to a denomination that might not really be the answer for me.   A lukewarm denomination that is so self satisfied it finds it hard to embrace such a positive role model as Tim Tebow.    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Tim Tebow is probably the best example of what a Christian should be today in our world and the fact that he says it out loud has allowed many, many more people to be curious of our religion.   There could be millions of people who are better not from Tebow's actual philanthropy but from the fact that he offers hope in a world that has so little.

In My Humble Opinion.

Chuck Marshall
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