Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tebow, Wurmbrand, and Suffering for Christ

Tim Tebow has risen alarmingly fast to be a very prominent figure in football today.  Why?  Because of his mid-season out-of-nowhere winning streak.  Oh yeah, and his praying after touchdowns and thanking Jesus Christ during interviews.   "Tebow mania" has swept the country as fans suspend their disbelief in the hope that the underdog team could somehow overpower other NFL superpowers.

Controversy surrounds Tebow like one of the Patriot pileups he was caught under in the recent game.  Christians hold Tebow's autobiography high while touting him as an excellent example of a Christian who glorifies God.  "Tebowing," or going down on one knee like the Broncos quarterback after a touchdown has been mocked incessantly by the media.   The Saturday Night Live crew happily grabbed the opportunity to tear down both Tebow and the Jesus Christ he proclaims.   

But whatever their religious beliefs or football convictions, everyone is watching him.  Many are just waiting for him to fail.  To be caught by the paparazzi having an affair or something equally un-Christlike.  Or just to finally lose a football game.  Christians across the sports-frenzied states of America watch his games and talk extensively about the seemingly miraculous fourth-quarter comebacks.  Some vehemently defend any negative comment about the quarterback and refuse to watch as Tebow is hammered into the ground again by the Patriots. 

I've even heard some say, completely serious, that God is on Tebow's side

Really?  God on Tebow's side?  I think the better question is whether Tebow is on God's side.  God doesn't take sides with man.  He doesn't get behind man's causes, wars, or football games.  Man takes sides either with God or against God.  

Tebow is being mocked by the press, the NFL, and football fans across the nation.  I guess that in a way, he is suffering for his faith.   But if that is as bad as it gets, I can't say as I feel sorry for Tebow.  

When people talk of people suffering for their faith, I think of Watchman Nee, Polycarp, Richard Wurmbrand, or the hundreds of thousands of others who have suffered and died throughout the world for their faith in Jesus Christ in the last hundred years alone.  Do I need to go into the tortures and atrocities that these faithful men and women faced as they daily were pushed to deny Jesus Christ?  Do I even dare tread that holy ground?  I, who have not faced even a small beating for my Jesus.  Those men and women are my heroes.  As Hebrews 11 says, "the world was not worthy of them." 

I'd like to see you try to tell someone who has been sitting in prison for fifteen years, enduring torture and attempts at brainwashing, that Tebow is suffering for his faith. 

We live in a nation where, by and large, the most persecution we get for Jesus Christ is a few jokes, a diminished social life, and possibly some job discrimination.  Shame on us.  No wonder our faith has grown lukewarm.  

 If our nation was anything like half the other countries on this globe, Tim Tebow would have been dropped immediately from the Broncos for his stand, blackballed from the NFL, possibly imprisoned, and death threats would have started coming on a regular basis to his family.  

If Tim Tebow could still get on his knees and thank his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ after that, then he would become one of my heroes. 
 

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