Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why I'm Not Bothered by Jokes Made About Tim Tebow

If Tim Tebow were a Muslim, would secular society be so quick to make jokes and Saturday Night Live skits about him and his faith?  If he were a Buddhist would people make youtube videos of themselves imitating his touchdown celebration?  While this is a question that many sportswriters and Tebow "haters" like to avoid, Christians in America are quick to bring this to the forefront.  Everybody knows that if Tebow believed in any other faith, if he prayed to any other god, anyone who made fun of his religious observations would be blacklisted by the NFL, probably fined by the league, and forced to take some kind of tolerance class as a punishment.  Instead of this, Tebow and his Christian faith fall under the spotlight of ridicule from opponents, analysts, and comedians.  There is a large number of Christians who are offended by the attacks on Tebow's faith, and it is certainly true that they have a valid excuse to feel the way that they do.  However, as a Christian myself, I have found more and more that while I am at first angered by jeers and criticism of my faith, I find an inner peace once I have had to time to allow myself to cool off.  It is a peace I get from the God both Tebow and I believe in.

I am not saying that Christians should not be angry by the insults they have to endure, and I am certainly not saying that it is acceptable to mock people of any faith.  However, Christianity is a very unique religion in that it has many teachings that are not found in other religions (by this, I mean that there are some teachings that can be found in a great number of religions; for example, doing good to others is a command found not only in Christianity, but in dozens of other religions as well).  One of these teachings unique to Christianity is that we [Christians] were told by our Savior, Jesus, that we will be persecuted: "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.  Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:26).  The message Jesus gives here means that we are going to be persecuted and that we need to be aware at all times while maintaining our innocence that is ours' in Christ.

In another passage, Jesus says, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.  If they obeyed by teaching, they will obey yours' also.  They will treat you this way because of my name, for the do not know the One who sent me... In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world." (John 15:21, John 16:33). I like to imagine that these are passages the Tebow reads or recites to himself every day, as do other Christians who face even worse persecution in countries where being a Christian is illegal.  In any circumstance where there are Christians facing prosecution of any kind, they can be comforted with the fact that they are suffering because of Christ and that they will be rewarded for their plight when they are taken to be with God in heaven.

So you see, there is no real need to be bothered by the criticism thrown at Tebow and Christianity.  Yes, the people who heap the taunts and jeers high are wrong and certainly should be stopped if at all possible (making taunting of a religious belief in the NFL would be a good start); and of course Christians have every right to be hurt and annoyed by the ignorance and indifference society shows towards our religion.  However, once we let our human emotions pass our faith in our good and gracious God brings us a peace that passes understanding.  Because of our faith, we know that any hardships we go through because of Christ will bring us more happiness and joy in heaven.  Let all Christians, like Tebow, persevere through faith in Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

  1. And honestly, the persecution that Tim Tebow is facing is not that terrible, compared to what other believers have to deal with on a regular basis.