Tebow, Lewis and Offensive Faith

Tim Tebow -He’s loved by Christians for his public activism and his upright behavior.

Christians love the way he plays QB and went BANANAS when he threw for 316 yards in an overtime playoff win game for the Denver Broncos. However, the following week when he went 9-26, 136 yards, and a 52.7 passer rating, no Bible verse were quoted. That offseason he was replaced by the legend – Peyton Manning. Again, no biblical quotes.

Evangelicals go crazy over the way Tebow presents himself – never missing an opportunity to “thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”.

Many Christians like to believe that God is on his side and that all he does is win.

Non-Christians look at Tebow and see something different – a QB with poor mechanics who talks about Jesus way too much.

Then there’s Ray Lewis.

Very few people, regardless of their relationship with Jesus, who would question his place among the all time great linebackers.

He might be one of the greatest leaders ever to play the game. Just watching one of his speeches can give me chills and make me want to run through a brick wall for him.

He used the name of Jesus enough times during the playoffs this year enough to make Tebow blush.

He also was accused of being a part of a double homicide after his first Super Bowl win.

For this reason, I think the Christian “faithful” keep their distance from Lewis. Sure, his theology isn’t always great (God HAS used murders, Mr. Lewis – Paul and Moses to name two off the top of my head) but the guy seems genuine in his belief.

So why is it that we want to put Tebow on a pedestal and say that he’s a great Christian yet Lewis gets shunned?

I can’t help but think that this comes down to the fact that we live by a double Christian standard. We love to talk and speak about God’s grace and forgiveness but not for certain people. Tebow can have God’s grace because he’s only had hypothetical sins and the sins he does commit are so minor. I heard Tebow once looked at a JC Penny catalog and had a lustful thought! Isn’t God’s grace good?

But when it comes to someone that does something we struggle with – like murder – suddenly, we are uncomfortable with grace. We are suspect of God’s ability to forgive. Sure, God can forgive a murder…just not this one. For these types of reasons Christians refuse to accept Lewis as “one of us”.

Non-Christians find the perfect, golden boy Tebow offensive because he is too clean. Christians find Lewis too dirty.

I think that Christian culture would do well to embrace a figure like Lewis. Why? Because if God can forgive Lewis and then use him to accomplish His plan then there is hope for me and hope for us. Who are we to decided who is worthy of God’s forgiveness and who isn’t?

Instead of hiding from someone like Lewis, I think we’d do better to applaud God’s ability to forgive those we can’t forgive. His ability to forgive is what separates God from us.


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