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.