Recently, sports talk radio personality Colin Cowherd, suggested Tim Tebow is a good enough athlete to play some position on any NFL roster. Cowherd then assigned blame to Tebow’s rabid Christian fan base, for him not have a roster spot or any interest from an NFL team. After the events of the last week and half, where the NFL threatened to exclude the city of Atlanta for consideration for 2020 Super Bowl, there should no doubt as to why Tebow is out of work with the National Football League.
The reason for the NFL’s threat to the city of Atlanta was a state bill that would have protected the rights of pastor’s not to violate their consciences, by being forced to marry homosexual’s. The bill would also have protected bonafide religious organizations against being forced to hire individuals, whose practice of life, would be contrary to the practice and purpose of those organizations religious standards. This bill had nothing to do with every day businesses owned by Christians. Yet the NFL, has chosen to shamelessly bully the governor of Georgia (successfully) into vetoing the bill.
Interestingly the NBA has also threatened to move its 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte North Carolina, since they recently passed a bill banning cross-dressing male or females (I am sick of the term transgender), from using bathrooms opposite their born gender. Soon, very soon, outspoken Christian players in the NBA will be intimidated (if not already) or run out of their league.
This piece is not to complain about how these player’s rights are being violated, or to whine about Christians not even being able to enjoy sports as fans. Let’s be completely honest, we believers should not ever complain about not having a friendlier NFL or NBA or whatever. The word of God makes no provision for watching entertainment, as we are to be engaging life led by the word of God and His Spirit, or resting in the Lord. Yeah I can hear the rusty self-thinking wheels grinding already. “You are legalistic”, “All things in moderation, Mike”.
Think what you want; For decades American Christians have spent more devoted time Sunday, after being in fellowship, intently peering at the electronic idol (T.V.), while cheering, yelling angrily, criticizing humans who are on the field, and overeating—than meditating on the goodness of God or what we could be participating in for His glory.
Truth be told these sports leagues are opposite of everything God calls us to be or participate in. Between the two mentioned leagues they profit to the tune of 15 to 20 billion per year, prostitute the men that play for them, and throw their clout around politically for their own financial gain. Interestingly one commentator rightly said, of the NBA, they are so concerned about letting cross dressing gender people into bathrooms opposite their born sex, but would never allow a woman on their basketball courts. The hypocrisy is sadly hilarious. In spite of all this, we Christians will still find a way to justify our lust in viewing and supporting. Is it not time we see these things for what they are… The world appealing to our flesh on behalf of the devil.
I am glad Tim Tebow was so outspoken about his faith while in the NFL, but now equally as glad he has been black-balled for his faith. Before he was cut from the New York Jets a few years back he mysteriously uninvited himself from speaking at a large and influential conservative Baptist church. This church has been openly opposed to the gay-marriage push.In Tebow’s explanation to the pastor he said he needed to avoid “controversy at that time for personal and professional reasons”.His reason smacks of the fear of man, not the leading of the Holy Spirit.Many believe as I, Tebow was forced to cancel by NFL pressure. Considering the NFL’s militant support for LGBT it seems more than plausible. If he had continued in the league how many more compromises would he have been tempted to make?Bottom line is if Tim Tebow is a called man of God (I believe he is), than professional sports is no place for him or any man of God.Billy Sunday understood that.C.T. Studd understood that.We ought to understand that. I can remember when Dwight Howard was selected #1 overall in the NBA draft in 2004 out of high school. He wanted to use his NBA career and Christian faith to “raise the name of God within the league and throughout the world”. He wanted to be so influential that the NBA logo would be changed to represent his silhouette with a cross on the basketball. Christian sports fans rejoiced. How did that turn out? He did reach all-star form, but has often been plagued by injuries and poor relationship with management. His main legacy after 11 years in the league, is having as many as 8 children with at least six different women. The wicked carnal and lusty culture of professional sports has eaten the young man alive. Perhaps rather than look for our champion on the inside, to fill our lust for sport, we should have been praying for the protection of his soul.
Maybe we will finally recognize our lust—recognize our weak commitment to holiness—recognize how we use the lost and saved for our own entertainment—and stop trying to sanctify what is inherently not of God, whether it be sports, movies, T.V., or music. We don’t need champions of our faith in these fields. We have a champion, He is the only King of kings, Lord of lord’s—He is the vanquisher of Satan, hell and death and He has called us… “Come out and be separate and touch no unclean thing”.
I have included two articles on this subject from Dr. Michael Brown and John Stonestreet, I hope you will consider prayerfully.
Mike is a pastor with The Assembly of God Fellowship. He is the lead pastor at Encounter Church in Fostoria Ohio. His desire is to encourage the Church of Jesus Christ, and declare God's hope through His Son Jesus, to a world which is long on excuses and short on hope. Mike has experienced the truth that when we kneel before Christ, surrendering to Him as Savior and LORD, being led and empowered by His Spirit. To Jesus Christ be all glory and honor.