Tim Tebow brought the pain to my boys in Black and Gold this week, beating them in overtime with a huge 80-yard bomb that made it the quickest ending to an NFL overtime in history. And when it was over, he knelt down and prayed a prayer of thanks.
And that act probably caused more arguments on Facebook than the actual outcome of the game.
On one side, you have the folks who point to Tim Tebow’s success as proof of the sovereignty of God. Who see any criticism of his playing form as a criticism of his faith. Who trot out the “if he was a Muslim” argument, generally from the same people who pair “radical” with Muslim far more liberally than necessary.
On the other side, you have the critics. The folks who hate that Tebow uses his platform to proselytize. The ones who toss around Matthew 6:6 ad nauseam. The ones who seem just a little too eager to see him screw up.
Either way, we end up creating an idol. And idols are for one thing – to serve as a replacement for the god they represent.
It’s easy to see how the fans do that. His faith has become the stuff of legend. A Saturday Night Live skit becomes an example of religious persecution. Tim Tebow is the picture of all that is good and right and just. All praise Tebow.
And it’s the same from the critics. Tebow is every Christian that has ever been kind of a jerk. Any praise that he receives is strictly because of his over-the-top Christianity, not because he might actually be pretty good at his job. He represents all that is phony and shallow and annoying. All hate Tebow.
The thing is, Tebow is just this guy, you know? He plays a sport well. He wins some games; he loses some games. He goes to church. He uses his money to support various causes. He probably likes pizza. Some day, he’ll probably do pretty well on Dancing with the Stars. He likely sassed his mom at some point growing up.