When I drive in the car by myself, I rarely listen to music. Most of the time, I listen to ESPN radio while I drive. Yesterday, as I drove, Mikes Golic and Greenberg, Colin Cowherd, and Doug Gottlieb all spent some time talking about the most recent incident where an opposing NFL team was “Tebowed.”
I had enjoyed the reporting on Tebow and the Broncos fourth quarter exploits during the run of winning seven out of eight games. I like a good story. I even like Tim Tebow. The problem this weekend is Tebow and the Broncos beat the Chicago Bears after being down 10 points with time running down. I am a fan of the Bears and have been since they won Superbowl XX when I was six years old. So I wonder, does God like Tebow better than the Bears?
His pastor believes Tebow’s winning streak is divine intervention. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/12/tim-tebows-pastor-attributes-wins-to-gods-favor/). He is certainly not the only one. Predestination as a theological concept, taken to its logical conclusion, might say because he won, Tebow was preordained to win go 7-1 during his eight games as a starter this year. His nickname is the “Mile High Messiah” (http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/406107/wayne-ezell/2011-12-13/why-they-call-tim-tebow-mile-high-messiah). If God has favored Tebow over the Bears, does God not like the Bears? You would think God would like a good Superbowl Shuffle.
I am not convinced God is really that into football. I think he loves football players. My theology informs me that they are all “fearfully and wonderfully made.” No, I do not believe God favors Tebow over the Bears or any other team or player. I do believe Tebow is gifted. I believe God constructed his body in way that that allows for his physical exploits. I believe God put people in Tebow’s life that encouraged him to work hard and have a winning attitude. God may have even had a hand in Tebow’s will to win.
After that, I think Tebow does a lot with what he has, even if he can’t make every throw. I think his coaches in Denver have embraced his unique set of skills and flaws. I think he has a great offensive line in front of him, a great running back behind him, and great defense playing for the Broncos when he is not on the field. I think NFL defenses are slow to adapt to new offenses. I wish he played for the Bears, though not as a quarterback, because I also believe God put a rocket in place of Jay Cutler’s arm.
One root of the religious fervor over Tebow’s strict may lie in that many in Christendom want a poster boy for our faith. We want a role model for our youth groups. We want our next Kurt Warner. I remain a Bears fan even if they are not God’s favorite team, even if they have no poster boys for evangelical Christianity. Just because if happens on Sunday, do not mistake it for church. Nicknames notwithstanding, he is not Jesus. He just, by all accounts, loves him. Lets not make it more than it is.