Tim Tebow, back-up Quarterback for the New Yorlk Jets, has caught a lot of flack in his professional football career for his stance as an Evangelical Christian. However, this last week, Tebow uncharacteristically backed out of a commitment to speak at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.
Senior Minister, Robert Jeffress, is no stranger to public controversy. His sound bites are often incendiary, but his convictions, including the exclusivity of the gospel and the belief that homosexual behaviors are sinful,are well within the mainstream beliefs of American Evangelical Christians.
Perhaps, it was because the public outcry, from those who seem to be always concerned, was deafening.
Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports warned, “Tim Tebow is about to make the biggest mistake of his life” by speaking at “a hateful Baptist preacher’s church.” Doyel described Jeffress as “an evangelical cretin” guilty of serial hate speech. Of course, Doyel engaged in hateful and slanderous speech of his own by associating Jeffress with the truly hateful Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. Jeffress “isn’t as bad as Westboro,” Doyel admitted, “But he comes close. Too close.”
Other sportswriters piled on. Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post offered his own warning to Tebow: “After a season on the sidelines, the ball’s in your hands, Timmy. Better not fumble this one.”
The controversy threatened to dominate Tebow’s life, so the 25-year-old athlete withdrew, attempting to escape his predicament. Stating that he has wished to “share a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love” with the historic congregation, Tebow said that “due to new information that was brought to my attention” he has decided to cancel the event. He then pledged to use “the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope, and Love to all those needing a brighter day.”
If Tebow meant to mollify his critics, it is not likely to work for long. Tebow has identified himself as a vocal evangelical believer. His church roots go deep, and it is safe to say that he has never had a pastor who, though speaking in a different tone, would have disagreed with Jeffress on the exclusivity of Christ and the sinfulness of homosexuality. He has given no indication that he has moved from those convictions, and his closest friends assure that he has not.
Writing at The Huffington Post, Paul Brandeis Raushenbush made it clear the controversy wasn’t just a matter of Jeffress’s tone, conceding, “while Dr. Jeffress has a tendency not to sugarcoat his feelings,” he is nonetheless voicing what evangelical Christians “have been saying for a long time.” The central scandal here is the belief that Jesus is the only Savior and that homosexual behavior is sin. In terms of the larger public debate, it is the issue of homosexuality that has predominated the larger public debate… at least for now.
The Tebow controversy comes just weeks after evangelical pastor Louie Giglio withdrew from delivering a prayer at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural ceremony. Giglio had been “outed” as having preached a message almost 20 years ago that affirmed the sinfulness of homosexuality and stressed that the “only way out of a homosexual lifestyle… is through the healing power of Jesus.”
NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, is a good friend and huge supporter of President Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm). Perhaps, Tebow was acting on orders from the Office of the Commissioner…and protecting his job.
In a related story, foxnews.com reports,
The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to strike down the federal law defining marriage as a union between only a man and a woman.
The request regarding the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was made Friday in a brief by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli that argues the law is unconstitutional because it violates “the fundamental guarantee of equal protection.”
The high court is set to hear two cases next month on the issue: the constitutional challenge on Proposition 8, the 2008 California that allowed same-sex marriages in the state that two years later was overturned, and United States v. Windsor, which challenges DOMA.
Edith Windsor, a California resident, was married to her female partner in Canada in 2007 but was required to pay roughly $360,000 in federal estate taxes because the marriage is not recognized under DOMA.
The law “denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples,” Verrilli’s brief in part states.
House Republicans also purportedly filed a brief Friday, arguing for the right to defend DOMA.
Obama’s move comes as no surprise, considering he said during his first term that he personally is in favor of gay marriage. And he ended the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, opening the way for gays to serve openly.
More recently, during Obama’s second inaugural address, he hinted at further action.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal,” he said.
The court is taking up the California case March 26 and has several options. Among them are upholding the state ban on gay marriage and saying residents of a state have the right to make that call.
The nine justices also could endorse an appeals court ruling that would make same-sex marriage legal in California, but it would apply only to that state.
Twenty-nine other states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, while nine states and Washington, D.C., recognize same-sex marriage.
Public opinion has shifted in support of gay marriage in recent years. In May 2008, Gallup found that 56 percent of Americans felt same-sex marriages should not be recognized by the law as valid. By November 2012, some 53 percent felt they should be legally recognized.
As I was laying in bed this morning, I thought about what I believe, as a Christian American Conservative. In my 54 years, I have gone to school with, worked with, and had family members that were/are homosexual.
As a Christian man, I have prayed for them, befriended them, prayed for them, and in the case of my family members, loved them, with all of my heart.
That being said, as a Christian American Conservative, I believe that God has decreed that marriage is a sacred bond between one man and one woman.
If America begins this ill-fated descent down this slippery slope of societal ruin, we may eventually find out the reason why our nation is not mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
Well, a man shall leave his mother and a woman leave her home
And, they shall travel on to where the two should be as one.
As it was in the beginning is now until the end
Woman draws a life from man and gives it back again.
And there is Love. There is Love.
Until He Comes,