The Tebow Effect
Tim Tebow’s faith has been a hot topic for several years now. Not so much his faith but rather his expression of his faith in public. I don’t follow American Idol but one of the 11 finalists, Colton Dixon, has been warned by the producers of the show that his overt Christianity might cost him votes and ultimately lead to his exit from the show. People seem divided by the likes of Tim Tebow and Colton Dixon. On one hand they appreciate their talent but on the other hand they don’t want to hear about their faith. For some their expression of faith overrides their talent and they are simply not a fan.
My first reaction is that no one is forcing them to listen to or read the interviews nor is anyone forcing the media to interview these talented Christians. If you don’t like who they are or their expression of their faith then simply don’t interview them or watch the interviews. Pretty simple really. Why listen then complain? Did anyone put a gun to your head and force you to listen? Last I checked we still have freedom of speech in this country so if Tim Tebow or Colton Dixon want to give thanks to their Lord for their talent and success than that is their right.
Apparently what people want is a vanilla society in which no one ever offends our beliefs or bores us with their faith. Sorry but short of some scifi film-like society where we are all controlled by Big Brother we all stand for something. In the same news today I read about George Clooney saying the US must do something in Somalia. The same George Clooney recently spoke out in favor of gay marriage. Now I could complain and say George Clooney should restrict his public comments to acting and film. Why is an actor using his celebrity status to promote gay marriage or US involvement in Somalia? Agree or disagree with George Clooney he has a right to express his beliefs and use any avenue he wants to put out the message. He is certainly not the first or only celebrity to speak out in support of causes.
Athletes and other celebrities often thank their parents, agents, promoters, friends, and others for their success in interviews or at award ceremonies. Why is it ok to thank Mom and Dad and not Jesus? Maybe it’s because you believe Mom and Dad did help but you don’t believe in Jesus so you don’t want to hear about him. Or maybe you think there is a Jesus but people create their own success. Irrelevant. Tim Tebow and Colton Dixon believe Jesus made a difference in their life and are going to give credit where they believe credit is due. This is another case of “Your God is too Big.” See giving God credit implies a God who is active in our lives and capable of having an impact on our lives. For those who don’t believe in God or want a distant, disinterested God that is offensive.
Well get over it! There are some of us who believe every good gift, every talent, every success comes from the providence of God. Our faith defines us and makes us who we are. Tim Tebow without his savior is no longer Tim Tebow. Love him or hate him Tim Tebow is one of the most sincere and transparent people around. He is not trying to hide who he is. Some people suggest he is trying to shove his faith down their throats. I don’t think being honest about who you are is shoving your faith down people’s throats. Apparently any public expression of faith is viewed as “shoving” by some people. If so there is a lot of shoving going on in our society and those who get on Tim Tebow’s case or Colton Dixon’s better start going after celebrities like George Clooney too.
The thing is you’re not going to silence Tim Tebow or Colton Dixon. They believe in something bigger than awards, material success, and popularity. Colton Dixon’s response to all this was: “Just because it can turn off voters or whatever. But, you know, being a Christian is who I am. It is a part of me musically. It is what I want to do after the show — go into Christian music.” Amen Colton! Be who you are, stand up for what you believe in, and if someone else does not like it then too bad. As Christians we have been commanded to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19). Tebow and Dixon are just living out their faith. Should you expect anything less?