Friday, February 12, 2010

Wanting Tim Tebow to Fail

Rush Limbaugh has famously declared that he wants President Obama to fail in his quest to transform America into a socialist state.  Picking up this same language, Sports Illustrated columnist Jeff Pearlman posted on his blog for February 2nd that “I want Tim Tebow to fail.”  Specifically, Pearlman was referring to Tebow’s potential as a player in the NFL.

Now why would a famous sports writer wish ill of perhaps the most celebrated college football star to ever play the game?  Pearlman made it clear that he was not wishing harm to come.  “I don’t want him physically injured; h***, I don’t even want him to live anything but a happy life.  But I want him to fail in the NFL nonetheless, because a famous Tim Tebow is a dangerous Tim Tebow.”

What has the seasoned columnist and best-selling author so agitated?  By all accounts, Tim Tebow is a likeable person, respectfully dealing with his celebrity status in an exemplary manner.  Not a hint of the snobbish, arrogant spirit that has afflicted other star athletes.

Mr. Pearlman doesn’t let any room for speculation; he boldly declares his concern: “Tim Tebow scares me, and … he should scare you, too.  Tim Tebow doesn’t play football merely for the joy of the game.  He plays football because he wants to spread the word of Jesus Christ.”  

Pearlman’s chief concern seems to be not that Tebow is a Christian, but that he is motivated to share the gospel with others and urge them to embrace the Christian faith, or suffer the consequences in hell.  “This is not merely Tim Tebow’s opinion—but he knows it, in his soul and heart and mind” laments the upset sports analyst.

Now this incident is instructive on two accounts.  First, it is an in-your-face reminder of the visceral abhorrence that the Kingdom of Darkness maintains for the Kingdom of Light.  Jesus declared that if the world hated Him it would likewise despise His disciples.  When a young man of the likeability of Tim Tebow generates this kind of response, be assured it can and will happen to anyone that takes a bold stand for the gospel.

Second, Pearlman’s analysis should cause us to examine the credibility of our own testimony.  While he is critical of Tebow’s faith, he has no doubt as to its genuineness or the depth with which it is held.  Can critics level the same change with regard to your profession?  We would do well to take heed to the nature of our witness.  May it be accurately said of me, and you, that our faith permeates every corner of our soul, heart, and mind.  God expects nothing less, and the world is rightly scornful of those who only half-heartedly proclaim their Christianity.