CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Tim Tebow, Rebecca St. James, and Public Faith

Dec 20, 2011

Several news items in the past few days are well worth noting. They have to do with some genuine heroes, something which seems to be in real short supply nowadays. One involves a Christian athlete and the other involves a Christian singer. Both are great examples of those willing to stand up for their faith and for what is right.

The athlete in question is Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. I have already discussed him in some detail elsewhere: billmuehlenberg.com/2011/12/12/it%E2%80%99s-tebow-time/

But he continues to be attacked by the secular left, so I will continue to offer some support for him and his actions. Several recent supporters of Tebow are worth citing here. One is Katie Kieffer who holds him up as a real role model and as someone we should be applauding, not chiding.

It is her defence of his public expression of faith that is especially worth noting: “Tebow once told ESPN: ‘When people ask, I let ‘em know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I’m not ashamed of that and I never will be.’ The three key words in that sentence are: ‘When people ask.’

“Tebow’s faith is public without becoming irrational or aggressive. Case in point: When asked by the press whether he’s ‘saving himself for marriage,’ he confidently answers: ‘Yes, I am.’ There is neither hesitation nor conceit in his face when he answers; there is merely self-assurance.”

But for daring to stand up for his faith in public he has become one of the most attacked public persons in America. In an age of so many anti-heroes, this is quite odd. We need more people like Tebow. Yet the secular left want his head on a platter.

As Chuck Colson remarks: “The controversy over Tebow is hard to understand. After all, he’s hardly the only Christian football player or even quarterback. Players kneeling on the sidelines in prayer is almost as much a part of the NFL as cheerleaders.

“Neither is he the first player to publicly take a pro-life stand: in 1989, members of the New York Giants and owner Wellington Mara made a pro-life video which was far more direct in its condemnation of abortion than anything that Tebow has done….

“There is nothing that Tebow can do, it seems, that will really please people. And that’s ironic because there’s never been a time when people wanted more good role models for their children. I guess they want the role models — especially religious ones — to be silent, however, about what motivates them.

“Ultimately, what makes Tebow ‘divisive’ and ‘controversial’ has little, if anything, to do with what he does on the field. It’s all about our increasing intolerance of faith in public life. Tebow isn’t trying to ‘impose’ anything on anyone besides himself. Yet, even that is too much for some people.”

The second newsworthy item also has to do with Tebow. Australian-born, American-based Christian singer Rebecca St. James has written a new book in which she stands up for sexual purity, and she has recently defended Christian morality in general and Tim Tebow in particular on Fox’s ‘Hannity’ TV show.

Although challenged by a couple of secular lefties, she held her ground very well indeed. As one account states, “In an appearance on Fox News’ Sean Hannity this week, Grammy Award winning Christian singer Rebecca St. James defended the virtue of abstinence until marriage, as well as football star Tim Tebow, who has received considerable criticism from the left for his outspoken Christian faith and pro-life values.

“The discussion was sparked by St. James’ latest book, What Is He Thinking? which espouses Christian values in dating. Fellow ‘Hannity’ co-chairs on the ‘Great American Panel’ – political pundit and Fox anchor/correspondent Bob Beckel and actor turned Sirius XM radio host Jay Thomas – proved less than supportive of St. James’ beliefs….

“St. James responded: ‘I’m sad for you that you’d laugh at him and I’m sad actually that you, as a parent, wouldn’t want Tim Tebow as a role model for your kids. I think most people that are watching tonight would want a Tim Tebow as a role model for their kids—he’s an outstanding young man with values and morals.’

“To the skepticism of Beckle and Thomas in regards to saving sex for marriage, St. James said: ‘Can I just say that married sex – and I’ve never been with anyone else – is so cherishing and beautiful, and I’m glad I don’t have memories with anyone else, and I’m glad my husband doesn’t have anyone to compare me to.’ St. James commented on the outpouring of support she received following the show, saying that it was ‘affirming that Fox viewers are proving Christian values are still strongly supported in America’.”

Now I am not a great fan of contemporary Christian music. So much of it is theologically threadbare and musically monotonous. But I have always greatly appreciated Rebecca St. James. She seems to be the real deal, and her ministry involves a full-on commitment to Christ and the gospel. Well done Rebecca for standing up and being counted, even in the heat of public television.

Here we have two youngish people, two committed Christians, and two role models. Both are quite willing to face scorn and mockery as they gladly let their Christian faith be known in public. I wish more young believers were willing to take a stand and proudly proclaim their allegiance to Jesus Christ. And I hope that these two will inspire many others to do so.

townhall.com/columnists/katiekieffer/2011/12/19/tebow_sacks_socialism/page/2
www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/18428
www.lifesitenews.com/news/singer-rebecca-st-james-defends-sexual-purity-and-tim-tebow-on-foxs-hannit?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4bc19123a4-LifeSiteNews_com_Intl_Headlines12_14_2011&utm_medium=email

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16 Responses to Tim Tebow, Rebecca St. James, and Public Faith

  • It’s always a pleasant change to witness true Christians defending their faith. Well done Tim Tebow and Rebecca St James for living what they believe and being admirable examples of personal evangelism. I too, like Chuck Colson, find it odd that Tim Tebow’s words have caused such a stir and drawn such rabid ire, given the many other notable and prominent sports people who are overt in their faith, both in the US and on the world stage.

    What I have found in the past is that the media tends to sidestep or plain ignore public displays or statements of faith, instead highlighting gays or controversy for their pages, so I’m wondering is this a recent turn towards a more aggressive anti-Christian stance in the US (given Obama & Clinton’s recent pro-gay & pro-Islam offensive)?

    Garth Penglase

  • Yes Rebecca St James when appearing on LIGHT FM seemed to me to have substance both when she talked and in her singing. Something that i find lacking in another of LIGHT FM’s luminaries -Rob Buckingham and his fairly schmalzy but lacking in Gospel centredness poetry.
    Wayne Pelling

  • Hi Bill,
    I truly appreciated your last article and this one on Tim Tebow. I have read and watched plenty about him over the past few days. As a young person, his stance for Jesus is truly remarkable and he is not ashamed. He is definitely a great role model for young kids. He receives a lot of criticism yet still serves Christ with humility. It’s a shame he lost yesterday but so did your Packers Bill.
    Duan Ziegelaar

  • Tebow doesn’t just think God will author his success, he has the character traits of hard work and persistence and personal responsibility that every Christian ought to have in spades. I liked these passages from the Kieffer article;

    Tebow’s ultimate strength is his character. The year Tebow won the Heisman, the Gators came up short of advancing to the championship because they lost to Ole Miss midway through the season. He gave an immortalizing press conference where he put the blame on himself for missing his personal goal of achieving an undefeated season:

    “I’m sorry, extremely sorry … I promise you one thing: A lot of good will come out of this. You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of this season and you’ll never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season and you’ll never see a team play harder than we will the rest of this season. God bless.”

    In a capitalist society, leaders—whether they are the President of the United States, the CEO of a corporation or the quarterback for a football team—take responsibility. They don’t blame Congress, their shareholders or their fans. They focus on improving themselves and working harder to compete for a winning result.

    Damien Spillane

  • Well done Tim and Rebecca!! The courage and spirit which produce Saints is still alive in America!!!

    Deo gratias!!

    Alan Hoysted

  • Sorry to hear you are not fond of Contemporary Christian Music as it is full of the message of the Gospel and has been a very huge part of my Christian life with much inspiration and reminding me daily of God’s love and Word that comforts and lifts me up!
    Allan Pittman

  • As a 42 year old youth pastor, I truly applaud the examples of Tim Tebow and Rebecca St. James. I wear proudly that I was a virgin- as was my wife- on our wedding day and have been happily married for 11 years with 3 children. I was thankful to have a role model like A.C. Green when I was coming up, who also was bold about his faith and saving himself for marriage. I pray this new generation, like me, use these two as examples for living for Christ is an often hostile environment.
    Dion Richardson

  • Thanks Dion

    Yes they are terrific examples of courageous Christians who have real backbone. We need to keep them, and others like them, in our prayers.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • If there were more Christians like Tim and Rebecca, the wicked agendas of the “left”, would have come unstuck a decade ago!
    Praise Jesus for their boldness, fearlessness and tenacity!!!
    Barb Hoc

  • Allan Pittman
    If I may, talk a little about what you said about music?
    I’m 46 and in my earlier days played in a couple of rock bands as guitarist and I still play now on occasion in church bands. Yes I too have been lifted up and inspired by Christian music but I know I’m out on a limb saying this, the thing I’ve noticed on say, vision radio or other radio stations, is this.
    The song I want to hear of a CD they don’t play, the song with some depth is rarely played, to me it’s all fairly lovey dovey/mushy sort of thing. I also know this suits most people. So I feel very strongly that the general message on the radio is the same as the message coming from the pulpit.
    Daniel Kempton

  • Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the article. In relation to your dismissive comment re contemporary Christian music, I just wanted to add two points. First, our local Christian radio station says they play 50% Christian music and 50% secular. Unfortunately when you consider that maybe less than half of the “Christian” music actually mentioned Jesus or God, irrespective of the subsequent strength of the theology, it leaves a lot of gaps in the station’s airplay.

    However, and my second point, if you are selective in your choice of music, and focus that selection primarily on the lyrics rather than the music, then that can be an incredible way of keeping your thoughts focused on God during the day, as you are driving, walking etc.

    It is hard not to be moved to worship God when hearing words like this from Jeremy Riddle:

    I’ve come to worship
    I’ve come to fall down
    To seek only Your face
    Laying down my crown
    I’ve come to worship
    I’ve come to fall down
    To seek only Your face
    Laying down my crown

    Peter Baade

  • I am greatly encouraged by these two people. As a mother of two boys (5 and 7) I am already thinking about teaching them and starting to sow seeds of waiting for marriage in their lives. In a society that treats virginity as trash I feel it is very important as parents that we bring our children up understanding God’s plan for sex.
    Kylie Anderson

  • For those who are interested, below is a link to some great free Christian songs to download. Don’t expect a huge selection, but there is some definite quality 🙂

    http://www.mcc777australia.org/free_downloads_18.html

    Mario Del Giudice

  • Here is a couple of more links to Tim Tebow.
    This brought a tear to my eye The Rest of the Story

    …Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in contaminated food or drink. She went into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics before they discovered she was pregnant.

    Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. Pam said, “The doctors didn’t think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue.”

    While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband: “If you will give us a son, we’ll name him Timothy.” (a biblical preacher)

    Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy August 14, 1987. Pam’s youngest son is a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father’s ministry in the Philippines. He also plays football. Pam’s son is Tim Tebow.

    This should be another nail in the abortion argument.

    Tim Tebow, the philanthropist.

    And satan is getting the witches ready.

    Tim Tebow certainly needs our prayers, and may God use him powerfully in the years to come, especially in a nation that is fast tracking its moral, spiritual, and economic destruction.

    Jeffrey Carl

  • Thanks Mario for the link to some good music.
    Daniel Kempton

  • Attacks against anyone in society are usually labelled as some type of Discrimination… unless they’re Christian….

    Katie Morris

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