Last Sunday saw a stunning overtime victory by the NFL’s Denver Broncos over the Chicago Bears led by the Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
The young quarterback has become a sensation in recent months leading his team to a 8-5 record with exciting victory after victory. Yet the criticism continues of Tebow for his continued public expressions of his deep Christian faith. The evangelical Christian quarterback regularly falls to his knees and offers prayers and thanks to God. Often in post-game interviews Tebow begins with “First, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The critics claim there is no place for this type of public faith in NFL Football. It makes many uncomfortable and Tebow continues to be the subject of vicious attacks for his piety as well as his deep faith. Many prefer the quiet Christianity of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers who recently stated about his faith that “my desire has always been to follow a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, who said ‘Preach the Gospel at all time. If necessary, use words.’” Still others like San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, the devoted husband and father of six who states: “I’m a Catholic. I live out my faith in the face of ridicule. It’s possible to do that. Just watch me!”
In a league known for star players who become infamous for sexual harassment of young women and violent crimes at nightclubs, Tim Tebow’s story is a welcome refuge from stories of scandal and sexual promiscuity that normally dominates the NFL. He has proved to the critics of both his faith and his quarterbacking skills that he can do both rather effectively.
While God doesn’t decide the outcomes of NFL games, New England fans will most certainly need some faith as they watch Tebow take on the Patriots’ dwindling defense. As the New England Patriots enter Mile High Stadium this Sunday local fans would be better off joining Tebow in prayer rather than criticizing his commitment to the Lord.