Tebow, Rodgers and the Christian Faith

As a pastor, I like Tim Tebow.  He obviously is on the Jesus side, and uses every opportunity to let his little light shine.

His repeated last minute comeback performances for the Denver Broncos seemed almost miraculous at times.  Their overtime wildcard victory was somewhat like the plot of the movie, “Angels in the Outfield”, especially when people noticed his 316 stats (316 passing yards, and 31.6 yards per completion), which brought to mind Tebow’s keynote Bible verse, John 3:16.

The practice of “Tebowing” has spread across the nation.  Pictures of various people in the famous Tebow prayer posture are posted at www.tebowing.com.  In fact, I’ve heard that some folks are even getting tebow tattoos.

Closer to home, one of the shepherds discreetly tebowed in our congregation’s Christmas pageant.  I got a kick out of that!

I’ve noticed that Tim Tebow elicits strong reactions from people.  They either love him or hate him.  People tend to refer to him as St. Timothy, or to vilify him as some intolerant bigot.

Now, I’ve never seen anything that Tebow has said or done publically that warrants the kind of vitriol and mockery he has endured.  He strikes me as a very positive, definite, exuberant Christian – and a loud one at that.

And maybe that’s where the rub is.  I happen to like positive, definite, exuberant, loud Christians – but not everybody shares my opinion.

This brings me to another NFL quarterback, who also is a strong believer in Jesus Christ:  Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers, like Tebow, takes the Bible seriously, knows Jesus as his Savior, believes in prayer, and lives with a holy mission.   There is one major difference between them when it comes to matters of faith:  Tebow is noisy and Rodgers is quiet about it.

At appropriate moments, I’ve heard Rodgers give testimony to his Christian faith. For the most part, he lives by the adage of St. Francis, “Preach Christ at all times, and when necessary, use words.”

From everything I know about him, Rodgers’ faith is just as strong and real as Tebow’s.  He just doesn’t flaunt it as much.

I think this approach works much better in engaging people who don’t understand where noisy Christians come from.

My bottom line conclusion from this is that it takes all kinds of Christians to reach all kinds of people.   Some (like me) are deeply inspired by Tebow’s dramatic expressions of faith on the field.  Others are deeply annoyed by his antics.  So for them, there’s Rodgers!


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