Wednesday, January 11 2012
Oh Tim Tebow what are we to do with you? You just won't stop making those incredible passes or ending the game with kneeling prayer will you? At least this is what the secular world is thinking and asking. He really brings out the division in the world doesn't he? The secular world certainly wants him to stop the kneeling prayer. "You just can't do that in our arena...you can't bring your private religious expressions into the public arena especially the one of NFL football. It is secular...don't you get it?" The other part of the divided world, the sacred realm especially the right wing Evangelical Christian slice of that realm like to make him their champion. "Yeah, at least we have someone to cheer for and not be embarrassed by. Go Tim!" But is it that simple? Is that really what all the fuss about Tim Tebow is; a divided world, one side decrying while the other side cheers?
I don't really think so. I think what makes Tebow unique ( other than his God given athletic gift) is that he is a man of the "Old West". No not the Cowboy and Indian old west. The Old West men like C.S.Lewis referred to: Western Civilization before the Sacred Secular Split, the Christocentric world of the Middle Ages.( Sorry Tim if this makes you a Medieval Man...better that than a Renaissance Man, but that is another story.)
For Tebow there is only one world, it is not divided. It belongs to it's Creator the Trinitarian God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit as revealed by the Word of God. He lives in a world under his Lord and Savior and makes no apology for it because it is the real world, the true world. He plays football with an intense passion yes, but what makes him so unique and so disliked is that he gives all the glory to God. He does not do this in a half hearted sort of apologetic way that so many who have accepted the notion of a divided world do as they try not to offend anyone.
Tebow is unique because he is not a divided man, he does not hail from either side of the sacred secular split world. He is a Christian in the truest sense of the word...he follows Christ. Well you say, you can certainly agree he doesn't come from the secular world but how does he not come from the religious right wing of Protestant Evangelicalism? The answer may surprise you.
There are many in the Protestant Evangelical world of today that have accepted the man made idea of a world divided into sacred and secular realms. They drank the Kool Aid. They go into their religious compartment for things like Sunday worship, Bible studies, prayer meetings, mission trips, and then they go right out into the "secular" realm for everything else. They compartmentalize not only their outer life but their inner life as well. There is a huge discrepancy between what they "know" and what they actually "do". I have dwelt long in the Protestant Evangelical world and can understand why the secular realm so dislikes us ( read the book Unchristian by David Kinnaman for more detail). Too often the pursuit of self, wealth, and power all the "stuff" of the world is covered over by a veneer of religiosity that goes about proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior.
How do I know Tim Tebow is not like that? Well my guess ( and that's what it is) is because even those who do not like or agree with his "Tebowing" do not disparage the man. They like him. They admire him. They like his humility, his passion, his fierceness, his compassion, his genuineness, his virtue. Oh now there is an "Old West" term; virtue. His discipline in body and soul has produced a virtue which everyone, secular and sacred can literally see, and everyone is drawn to whether they like it or not.
"The glory of God is the human being fully alive and the life of the human consists in beholding God", wrote the great Christian Saint Irenaeus.
Tim Tebow is living fully alive reflecting the glory of God and every time he drops down in deep gratitude on that now famous knee he is beholding his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.