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Football Theology

January 16, 2012

Sorry for missing a few days of blogging. Had a busy week putting together a community service expo for my church last week.

So the football world lately has been all abuzz with talk about an alliteratively named Quarterback in Denver. Yes of course I am talking about Tim Tebow and my interest is both as a preacher and a football fan. On both counts I like Tebow – I think he’s a good kid and good quarterback too. I do like how he is not ashamed to share his faith with the world – it’s a good example for other Christian men who think it might not be manly to be open about your faith. How much more manly can you get than a pro football player? And by the way, Tim Tebow is not the only football player to be open about his faith. Reggie White (a defensive end for the Eagles and Packers in the 80s and 90s) was a pastor in addition to being one of the hardest hitting linemen in the game, Kurt Warner (Superbowl champ in 2000) and Tony Dungy (Champ as a player in 1979 and Coach 2007) are also known for their faith. Why even yours truly, I have lost count of how many times I’ve won Heisman Trophies and Superbowls on my X-Box.

So really Tim Tebow is joining some good company as both a winner on the field and an unashamed Christian role-model.

But what worries me is the talk I hear on the radio and all over the internet that simply because Tim Tebow is a Christian that God has picked a favourite and that favourite is the Denver Broncos. Well at least up until this weekend. God has certainly blessed Tebow with the opportunity to do what he loves and be good at it, but beyond that I think that the results of the Florida Gators and Denver Broncos are the product of the hard-work of their players and not intervention from on high. Tebow is right to thank God for many things – but when it comes to the playoff run he should probably thank his Offensive Line. Besides, if the results of the games were decided in the courts of heaven – why would he choose to let the Patriots be the ones to keep Tebow and the Broncos humble – anyone but the Patriots! If I were God, and decided to influence football games I’m not sure I would bless the Broncos – but I certainly would punish the Patriots!

Seriously though, God loves Tim Tebow, Tom Brady and every other player, fan and person equally.

All of this seems to be born out of an ignorance of the way God works. First of all God doesn’t play favourites. The Bible is full of passages that tell us how God treats all humanity equally. So why would God pick a side in a sporting event, a war, an election or anything else that we do here? God is not a Broncos Fan, a flag-waver or a conservative.

God doesn’t have any favorites! Romans 2:11

He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. Matthew 4:45

The second relevant point here is that God has given humanity free will. The results of our works are highly dependent on our own effort and choice. Yes God does bless when we do things to his honour and glory – but that is different from him picking sides. I think it’s really important for us to make this distinction. Because if we assume that God is dictating the results of everything that takes place in this world then we create a distorted picture of God. We create a God who is arbitrary and controlling, and also a God who cannot make up his mind. That’s not the God of the Bible, it’s not the God who walked among us as Jesus and it’s not the God who continues to inspire us by his spirit. God is fair and equitable, he doesn’t take sides and he doesn’t play favourites.

Tim Tebow – Thank you for sharing your faith in Jesus, Sportscasters – please get to know God a little better before you start attributing the results of football games to him.

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From → Religion, Society

One Comment
  1. I read last night there is no question he will be the quarterback for the Denver Broncos 2012 season! YEA!

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