Under Pressure, Tim Tebow Cancels First Baptist, Dallas, TX Appearance (by Alan Cross)

  • Alan blogs at Downshore Drift, where this article was originally published.

After opposition arose against First Baptist, Dallas, TX and pastor Robert Jeffress for what were called “controversial” stands against homosexuals, Muslims, Mormons, and other groups, Tim Tebow, who was scheduled to speak there, has just cancelled his appearance in a series of tweets.

@TimTebow: “While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic…First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my…upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those……needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support.” God Bless!Sent Feb 21, 09:09 AM

The opposition to him speaking there has come from groups like Change.org who launched a petition on their website calling for Tebow to not speak at First Baptist:

“This church’s pastor has made several openly anti-gay and anti-Semitic comments. By speaking at this church, Mr. Tebow would be legitimizing the opinion of that pastor and those in the church that are homophobic and anti-Jewish.”

https://www.change.org/petitions/tim-tebow-please-don-t-speak-at-first-baptist-dallas

I don’t know everything about Robert Jeffress or all that he has said. But, First Baptist, Dallas, TX is hardly a fringe church in Evangelicalism. The fact that it is being treated as a “hate group” and that Tebow was both pressured and gave in to the pressure to not speak there is a huge development in the advance of secular forces and their impact on the church. Louie Giglio could not pray at the Inauguration because of a message preached 15 years ago where he called homosexuality sin and now Tebow won’t speak at a church that promotes conservative positions. Even if you disagree with First Baptist on some of these positions, the climate that is emerging here is very troubling, to say the least.

Less than a year ago, President Obama was still AGAINST gay marriage. Think of how much has changed since then.

Comments

  1. Dave Miller says

    This was deeply disappointing. I’m not sure what else to think than that Tebow, who has been a hero to a lot of us for his Christian stands, has let the desire for popularity and NFL prosperity trump his desire to stand for truth.

    I hope there is more to it than that, but that is what it appears to me.

    • Frank L. says

      Dave,

      Sadly, I think your suspicions are justified.

      And if they are, this will affect Tebow’s popularity among evangelicals. Further, if his NFL career continues to sputter, he will be forgotten in a couple of years.

    • says

      Dave,

      I’m not sure of the whole logistics and reasoning behind Tebow’s backing down from speaking at the church but…IMO, if the church’s stance on gays and Jews were strictly “anti-this” or “anti-that,” then it’s understandable why Tebow backed down. I don’t believe he’s condoning homosexuality in any way, but perhaps he believes the church is being too “anti” in their position and not more loving. Again, that’s just my opinion.

  2. John K says

    Yesterday there was a post regarding LC and people said it was not appropriate to speculate and I believe some comments were removed that sounded very factual.

    Today we have an article that can only speculate on the reasons behind Tim Tebow’s withdraw from First Baptist, Dallas, TX speculating that Change.org had any bearing on Tim withdrawing from a speaking engagement. We do not know the new information nor do we know what source that new information came from.

    I do know that Tim Tebow has been under attack for his Christian faith. I do know that Tim Tebow has been a good role model for Christians so far. Will the media and Christians find issues with him. Let us not be in the line of casting stones. Sure report facts if you must, but lets remember if we are placed under the same daily microscope, how would you fair?

    • Dave Miller says

      Tebow said yes.
      Secular press engaged in smear campaign against FBC, Dallas.
      Tebow backed out.

      Not that hard to connect the dots, is it?

      • John K says

        I will give Tim Tebow the benefit of his words. I have had folks connect dots onto me that were false. Maybe you have never had that experience and you should be grateful if indeed that is the case.

        Maybe someday soon Tim will state what that new information is or maybe he will move on and not care.

        • Frank L. says

          “””I will give Tim Tebow the benefit of his words””

          Do you know of another comment that he has made other than the one above?

          Seems his words are clear enough.

  3. William Thornton says

    I see that some of my colleagues actually care about a celebrity who played very little football this past season but whose star status continues to bestow upon him vast influence in American evangelical circles, allegedly.

    If he speaketh at this or that church, good for him. If he punts…I think the import of such falls short of that which causes dismay in my life.

    The quicker and cleaner we evangelicals bench the star system, the better off we will be.

    • Frank L. says

      William,

      I tend to agree with you. I do not see anything with using “high profile” celebrities to highlight the gospel.

      My problem is we use “untested, unqualified” celebrities who are more like shooting stars than shining stars. Tebow’s depth as a Christian may turn out to be a shallow as his skills as a quarterback. Time will tell.

      Paul gives wise advice, “See, that he is not a novice.”

      Tebow may turn out to be merely a passing fad. It is problematic to hitch the Christian wagon to any fad.

      • William Thornton says

        I have no cricitism of Tebow’s heretofore statements, actions, etc. He has better sense than most Christian celebs.

  4. Robert I Masters says

    He told Robert Jeffries that he will be back at a later date on AFA.
    Just has to lay low now!.
    I do not think it is popularity or nfl prosperity but rather simple survival ie keeping any job.
    Pretty standard fare in corporate America today.

    You can keep your beliefs in private but try to express them in the marketplace and you will be silenced.

    Pietism is killing the country!

  5. Robert I Masters says

    Is it not possible the new information that came to light was that either his Jets contract or NFL rules preventing him from associating with entities that they deem “incompatable” with the leagues values?

    Remember only back to the last superbowl!

  6. says

    Unless and until it’s clear that all facts are in regarding something of this nature, I believe the Biblical response would be to refrain from judgment about the rightness or wrongness of Tebow’s decision. Things are often not what they seem to be at first or how they’re spun by news media and others. Also, we’re not to be the judges of Tim’s standing before the Lord. And even if it’s subsequently shown beyond any reasonable doubt — after any and all smoke has cleared — that Tim was in error, the Church needs to stop shooting it’s spiritually wounded who have lost a battle.

  7. says

    Who here is attacking or shooting at Tebow? I have no judgment against him and am curious as to where you would find any condemnation against him in this post.

    • Frank L. says

      Alan,

      I think it is apparent that there is a problem with TEbow’s response: “It’s too hot to associate with a biblically founded church.” I think that speaks for itself.

      Everyone can draw their own conclusions, but my conclusion is: “This doesn’t look good for Tebow.” I don’t say that to “condemn” anybody but more to caution us against hitching our wagon to a shooting star–alternatively called, a flash in the pan.

      I’m sure Tebow is a really nice guy and a genuine believer–but is he a “hero of the faith” when (if) he crumbles to keep his job?

    • Frank L. says

      Alan,

      I can see where my posts might seem too harsh and quick to judge. However, it is really not my intent to skewer Tebow — even assuming he needs to be skewered.

      My point was that we were too quick to make him a hero and he was too willing to become one. Such actions tend to backfire on everyone.

  8. Stephen Beck says

    There’s nothing wrong with Tebow speaking or not speaking at a church, especially one that is in the news for actually being in line with historical Christianity (though there’s something less than admirable about their falling into medieval Christendom with the town cathedral, err, new sanctuary). What I hope for Tebow is that he has someone in his ear explaining what happens when you try to mix orthodox Christianity with mainstream secular approval (see: Louis Giglio). At some point, probably sooner than later, he will have to choose one or the other.

    • Dave Miller says

      I agree with you that I hope there is someone with some wisdom in Tebow’s ear – an adviser with spiritual wisdom and insight.

  9. David says

    Another factor to consider beyond Tebow as a NFL quarterback and public spokesman for Christianity and that is that Tebow has chosen to be a “media personality” with a Hollywood agent and is now the new face of Nike and Jockey underwear. The consequence of all this is that it creates a conflict whereby he wants to be popular in order to get the endorsment contracts with Nike and Jockey yet if his Christian beliefs cause him to be viewed in a negative light by the public at large, then he has a choice to make: Does he risk loosing the endorsement contracts by going to a church where the pastor has made some comments in the past which the secular public finds offensive and not fashionably “tolerant”, or does he walk away from the controversy as it appears he has done at this time.

    I realized that Tim Tebow had become a pop culture personality (or celebrity for that matter) when I saw his face all across the windows of the Nike outlet at Opry Mills in Nashville. His decision to be the face of these brands is what is causing him to have this controversy. The reason I say that is that if he were just Tebow the quarterback, the only consideration regarding his livelihood he would have is, “How good a quarterback am I ?” If he played well and the Jets were winning, it wouldn’t matter how controversial the people he associates with, he would still earn his income based purely on his athletic ability. Choosing to be a media personality and the promotional face of brands changes things and now we are seeing that. When one goes this path, one has made a decision to be a poplar with the American public at large and that has its costs. Often one’s Christian beliefs will bring an end to this popularity and the financial rewards.

    • Tim B says

      The most likely scenario is the same as what happened to Phil Mickelson when he spoke out against high taxes in California. Nike or whoever calls you up, threatens breach of contract and you back down. Tebow has to decide if he wants to be nike’s man or God’s man. To back out of speaking at fbc Dallas means that his sponsors would not let him speak at 95% of all sbc churches. If that’s where he stands then he is on sinking sand.

  10. says

    I also wrote a post on this today. There are a few other dots to connect, but I’m not sure that I want to publish those at the moment. Tebow has done so well answering his critics until now. We can give him a mulligan while still expressing disappointment.

  11. Bruce H. says

    We put too much emphasis on “Heroes” in the church market today. We just need men who are qualified scripturally to preach rather than popular. It is unfortunate that Tebow bowed to the media and homosexuals. This would have been a perfect time to force the media to take on the Muslim community on their stance against homosexuals along with every other religion. All Tebow had to say was that Muslims believe the same as Baptist do regarding homosexuals.

  12. Jim Lockhart says

    Just what it is that Brother Tebow was supposed to stand up for? Judging from the quotations I have seen from Pastor Jeffress, it seems Brother Tebow was asked to stand up for the ideas that AIDS is a “gay-disease”, and homosexuals are going to hell along with Muslims and Jews. Perhaps if we gave younger Christians, especially those who find themselves in the position of being so-called “role models”, something better to say, we would not find themselves in these situations. In fact, as Mr. Tebow tweeted: “I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those……needing a brighter day.” Do we actually think we are going to engage the world by simply telling them they are going to hell? Is there not hope? Love? The possibility of encountering a God who forgives our sin and show us the better way to be? Do you not see the exclusionary dismissiveness of Pastor Jeffress’ comments? Homosexuals need the hope and love that only faith can give them in order to find the healing and transformation we all need. And what about our opportunities to witness to those of other faiths if all they hear is “hell”? It is sort of like Paul in Athens. His argument could have been very succinct: Believe in Jesus or go to hell. Instead, Paul spoke more about a Christ crucified, a savior who died for us in order to both reveal and set aside our sin so we could once again be one with God. Thus, if you want Brother Tebow and younger Christians to stand up with us, we need to give them something other than avoiding the pathway to Hell to stand up for.

    • says

      Outstanding, Jim. FBC Dallas doesn’t need to back off biblical stances, just use the wisdom Paul used and communicate the gospel in a way that considers context. I think we also need to consider whether Tebow would be criticized for speaking at North Point, Austin Stone, The Summit, or any number of other churches that haven’t just built $130 million facility and tend to communicate the gospel in ways some may perceive to be more political. Again, I’m not saying that anything FBC Dallas has done or that Pastor Jeffress has said is wrong, but the way we express the gospel is important. Maybe this isn’t all on Mr. Tebow as so many seem so eager to conclude.

  13. Jeff says

    To charge FBC Dallas with being a “hate group” in essence, is to charge every Bible preaching church in the nation as a hate group. For anyone to accuse Tim of “legitimizing the opinion of that pastor and those in the church that are homophobic and anti-Jewish” betrays either their ignorance of historic Biblical preaching, or (and most likely) the degree of their hatred for the Bible. What has been historically and faithfully preached from pulpits all over this nation for generations is as common as apple pie, and the standard for millions who are not the ones in the margin. Jeffress preaching is not new, nor as previously stated, is it fringe. CBS, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, and any other like thinking outlets should be answered and held accountable for at best, poor journalism, at worst, intentional slander. http://changeworthmaking.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/bleacher-report-tim-tebow-robert-jeffress-and-the-blindness-of-the-unconverted/

    • Greg Harvey says

      I think we need to select rhetoric that avoids the paranoid persecution complex. Now there is that old saying that “just because you’re NOT paranoid doesn’t mean everyone isn’t out to get you”…

    • says

      Jeff, you nailed the crux of the issue. What is changing here is what is considered to be “the norm.” If FBC Dallas is on the fringe now, the implications of that are vast.

  14. Truth Unites... and Divides says

    I’m just noting what this media-created brouhaha tells us about the general culture that America has become.

    Seems like the Liberals want to enforce intolerant separation. Which is what they stridently accuse some Christians of doing, eg., “Fundamentalist” Baptists.

    Can you say Liberal Fundamentalists? Or Liberal Pharisees?

  15. Rick says

    I don’t know Pastor Jeffress but it seems that he enjoys calling attention to himself and that may have been the issue here. He preached a sermon a couple of years ago entitled “Gay Is Not OK” and attracted lots of attention because that sermon title was on the sign outside the church.
    We certainly must preach the truth (and it seems Jeffress does that) but why use such an inflammatory title?
    I doubt that Tebow withdrew because FBC Dallas believes or teaches the truth but probably the way their pastor has chosen to present his views.

    • Matt Svoboda says

      Rick, you have the same read on Pastor Jeffress that I do.

      Its almost as if he is a Falwell left over. Usually say true things, yes, but in unneeded inflammatory ways.

  16. Nate says

    “Frank, I am saying that I DO NOT see anyone condemning Tebow.”

    Alan, your last paragraph may not directly condemn Tebow, but your are implying that a “true Christian” wouldn’t have backed out of this engagement and other folks have commented along the same lines.

    And I’m in agreement with Jim Lockhart that Jefress’ comments about gays and others are not sowing any seeds for the gospel. It’s seems incredulous that the Christian community is going to pile onto Tebow who has already stood for the gospel in the midst of persecution, graciously and genuinely.

    Until I read a direct quote from Tebow where he is abandoning the gospel, I will refrain from disparaging his character.

    • says

      Nate,

      I am not condemning Tebow. I am talking about what happened. I do not think less of him and have no desire to “pile on.” I am simply talking about what took place. He was under pressure and gave in to that pressure. Perhaps he was right to do so and there are things we do not know. But, I have no interest really in tearing down or building up Tebow. My focus is on the changing cultural climate and what it means for all of us. How will we respond?

      • Nate says

        “My focus is on the changing cultural climate and what it means for all of us. How will we respond?”

        I won’t respond by writing a blog post about a guy that has consistently stood up for the gospel in the face of persecution, nor will I imply that Tebow may have given in to cultural pressure.

        Since Tebow hasn’t spoken on this, in detail, you have no idea (other than your own or someone else’s perceptions to say that he gave into pressure. Until we hear clearly from him, you are speculating and, in my opinion, disparaging his character.

        • says

          Nate, I am reporting what happened. I do not know all of the details about exactly why he withdrew. What I do know is that there was a firestorm around him speaking at FBC Dallas with a great deal of controversy. Then, he withdrew.

          I am not disparaging his character. I am stating what happened.

          If I misspoke in my original post and said anything that appeared to be disparaging of Tebow’s character, I apologize. That was not my intent. As I explained to you, I was trying to primarily talk about the cultural forces that were in opposition to him and his response to the pressure. He might have done the right thing.

          I really do not think that I was critical of Tebow. If I was, it was not my intent. Would you accept my statement now that I am not wanting to trash Tebow here? Honestly, if he backed out because he didn’t want to get involved in this battle, I would have no problem with it. As you have said, he has taken a strong enough stand.

          My one paragraph of commentary was really more focused on the larger culture than Tebow. If I was not clear, would you please accept my clarifying statements here?

          • Nate says

            Alan,

            I appreciate your response. What bothers me is that many of those commenting on this are acting as if Tebow is the one creating the firestorm by declining to speak at FBC Dallas.

            Mohler, on Christianity Today for example, has much more to say about Tebow, and implies (as I perceived you did as well) that Jeffress’ inflammatory remarks are not the driving force behind this issue. And while Jeffress, in saying that homosexuality is unbiblical, and that Mormons and Muslims are not worshiping the true God are factual statements, the means by which he denounces their practices is, in my opinion, far more damaging to the propagation of the gospel than Tim Tebow saying he won’t go and speak at FBC Dallas, regardless of who is pressuring him.

            So, what it appears to me is that Jeffress is getting a free pass for his Pharisaical approach to sinners and Tebow, who states his desire is to bring faith, hope, and love to those he speaks with, and has consistently preached the gospel through his public actions, certainly does not seem to be denying the gospel or to say that homosexuality is a not sin or that Islam and Mormonism are not false ways.

            The title of your blog suggest culpability on Tebow’s part. And while I appreciate your response to me, your statement, “Tebow won’t speak at a church that promotes conservative positions,” tends to imply that Tebow is caving. The fact of the matter is that Jeffress and FBC Dallas have been under critique for quite awhile for extravagant spending (for which I have defended them), but his idea of how to spread the gospel to homosexuals has a “turn-or-burn” ideology to it. He and FBC Dallas are free to express their disdain for sinful practices any way they desire, but I personally believe that some (not saying you) are afraid to condemn FBC Dallas because of their historical presence and prestige in the SBC.

          • says

            Nate,

            Thanks for the response. When I said that Tebow would not speak at FBC because of its conservative positions I was thinking of that in light of the criticism levelled his way – not that he does not hold conservative positions himself. My focus was the cultural criticism, not Tebow. It is clear that I worded my post poorly in that regard because I did not communicate what I meant to.

            In reality, I am blaming neither FBC Dallas nor Tebow. Nor am I jumping up and down and pointing my finger at the world for being the world. Really, this short post was simply meant as an assessment of what happened and a description of the changing reality. If it appears as though I was judging or condemning Tebow, that was not my intent.

            As for Jeffress and his proclamations, I really don’t know enough about him to make a statement one way or the other. He appears to be a culture warrior of the Fundamentalist type (at least in how he proclaims Biblical truth). I agree that homosexuality is sin and that salvation is only found in Christ and all those who reject the Biblical Jesus are separated from God eternally. But, he seems to proclaim these things, and others, in ways that smack of sensationalism and that attract controversy. Why has Jeffress been in the news over and over again when the positions he takes are the same as basically every other Baptist preacher in America? It is not because of his church – rather, it seems to be the WAY he is going about it. Does he like the attention? I have no idea.

            As for the $130 million spent on a 3,000 seat sanctuary, I will just go ahead and say it: Yeah, I have a problem with that. Sorry. Considering that the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering was $145 million in 2011 and one church is spending $130 million for a building, it seems really out of place to me.

  17. Jess Alford says

    I think there is something in his contract that would prohibit Tebow from doing anything that would potentally bring negativity to the Jet’s.

    Tebow, might possibly have faced a fine with several groups speaking out against him. I don’t know.

    One thing is for sure the church is facing trying times.

  18. Matt Svoboda says

    Tebow made the right call and I am proud of him for it. He is becoming so polarizing no team is going to want him on their team. Tebow knows that to be true and is righfully trying to stay out of controversial spot light.

    I dont understand why this is so disappointing for people. Its not as if Tims denying his faith by not going to help Dr. Jeffress their 115 million dollar monstrosity.

    What am I missing here that people are so upset about? Why is it such a big deal for Tim to be at this thing?

  19. volfan007 says

    So, Jeff, Jeff, and Matt,

    Are yall saying that Pastor Jeffress should NEVER have said that homosexuality is a sin, and that all who practice such are going to Hell? Are yall saying that he shouldnt have said that the sin of homosexuality can lead to getting AIDS?

    Amazing. It really sounds like yall are condemning him and FBC Dallas for just telling what the Bible teaches…homosexuality is a sin. Those people, who live in the sin of homosexuality, are going to Hell. Homosexuality has terrible consequences, ie, AIDS. You know, maybe this was taken out one sermon that he preached, or maybe he said these things in response to questions that were asked of him. And, it sounds like yall are coming down on him….for telling the TRUTH.

    Amazing.

    May God deliver us from Churches that wont preach the truth of God….who are scared of society’s condemnation, rather than fearing letting God down.

    David

    PS. I am glad that Preachers had the guts to call the sins I was living in, as a lost person, sinful….and, they talked about Hell. I praise God for them being faithful to the Word of God.

    • Matt Svoboda says

      Volfan,

      We have talked about reading comprehension before. Not even at one point have I said anything that even hinted that FBCDallas or Jeffress have unbiblical teachings, at all. In fact, I said it isnt that Jeffress isnt teachign things that are true, but rather sometimes he comes across poorly. Which, you and I have plenty of experience in that. :)

      • volfan007 says

        Matt,

        I’m afraid that you may have the reading comprehension troubles. I didnt say that you said that Jeffress teaching was wrong. I’m not sure where you’re getting that. What I said was…”Are YOU saying that Pastor Jeffress SHOULD NOT have said that homosexuality was a sin? Are YALL saying that Pastor Jeffress should not have talked about how people committing the sin of homosexuality will suffer the consequences of their sins…including Hell? Are yall saying that HE SHOULD NOT have said that… in a sermon?”

        So, Matt, go back and re read my comment….reading with comprehension will help to understand exactly what someone is saying…then, the response you give will match what the person was actually saying.

        God bless,

        DAvid

        • volfan007 says

          And Matt, I agree that I have come across too many times in the past. :)

          I really dont think Tebow bowing out of his speaking engagement had anything to do with the price of the building. It really seems to have everything to do with Pastor Jeffress preaching the truth about homosexuality at one time in the past, which the liberal, lost, news media jumped all over….and Tebow bowed out…..which is very disappointing to me….I admired Tebow….

          May God give us the guts to preach the TRUTH in love with wisdom…. and not run and hide in a wimper when the lost crowd howls in anger about us preaching the truth of God.

          David

          • Matt Svoboda says

            I dont think it had anything to do with the building either… I just wish that was the reason.

            I also think there is a lot more to this story than your comment above gives it credit for. This isnt simply a case of Tebow being a coward and no longer standing for biblical truth. There is a lot more to it than that.

        • Matt Svoboda says

          Volfan,

          Good grief, brother.

          I like how you quoted the first paragraph and ignored the second, which my comment speaks to. This is why a discussion with you is like trying to speak reasonably with a 4th grade girl.

          Here is your second paragraph:

          “Amazing. It really sounds like yall are condemning him and FBC Dallas for just telling what the Bible teaches…homosexuality is a sin. Those people, who live in the sin of homosexuality, are going to Hell. Homosexuality has terrible consequences, ie, AIDS. You know, maybe this was taken out one sermon that he preached, or maybe he said these things in response to questions that were asked of him. And, it sounds like yall are coming down on him….for telling the TRUTH.”

          In that paragraph you clearly imply that you think we had a problem with Jeffress “telling the TRUTH” and were taking issue with him “just telling what the Bible teaches.” This was clearly not the case and that is what my comment above stated. While you are right about your first paragraph, you conveniently ignored your second paragraph that did exactly what I addressed in my earlier comment.

          So let me be more clear: No, I do not have a problem with just saying what the Bible teaches and telling the truth. That is not the issue that I have at all, as your second paragraph implied.

          Grow up. Learn to have a reasonable discussion. That way you can carry yourself like a respectable person online and stop being an ignoramus.

          • volfan007 says

            Wow….could you not insult me more? call me more names? Think of anything else more mean to say?

            Whew….Dude, you have issues….

            David

          • Matt Svoboda says

            Classic Volfan, ignore the point and play the victim.

            But you are right, no need for me to hurl the insults. As they say, no need to get in a mud slinging fight because you always get your hands dirty and you always lose ground.

          • volfan007 says

            Also, once again, I was not saying that yall were saying that his preaching was wrong, or in error. I was saying that yall seemed to be condemning Pastor Jeffress for just simply preaching the truth about homosexuality. In other words, yall seemed to be coming down on him for even preaching about it, period. That he was somehow bad, or wrong, for even preaching on the subject. That’s what I was talking about.

            David

          • Matt Svoboda says

            Volfan,

            I apologize if that is what it seemed, as that was not, at all, my intent.

            I do think he comes off poorly at times, but I do not have ANY issue with him preaching on homosexuality, the exclusivity of Christ, or any of the other doctrines the liberal media was attacking him over.

    • Matt Svoboda says

      Just because Tebow backed out doesnt mean he isnt willing to stand for biblical convictions- which he has done his entire career.

      It simply means, with all the circumstances he is facing right now it wasnt wise for him to be engulfed in another major media frenzy. I applaud Tebow for his wisdom in this instance.

      Its not like Tebow really needs to be there to help open up the 130 million dollar monstrosity that they are using as a church building.

    • Matt Svoboda says

      One final thought: Im not really coming down on Jeffress at all. If I am, its over the dollar amount of the building, not the truths that he holds.

      Tebow backing out is only a backhand to Jeffress for those who interpret it that way and dont give Tebow the benefit of the doubt, which they should.

      • Frank L. says

        As Judas said, “All that money could have been spent on the poor”

        By the way does anybody know what the biblical price of church building is?

          • Matt Svoboda says

            Frank L,

            Your point rings hollow for me. If 130 million isnt extravagant, what is? We can make lame excuses all day about extravagant, showy church buildings or we can call people on the carpet when they spend an absurd (130 million qualifies) amount of money.

          • Frank L. says

            I agree with you. I don’t know what is too extravagant for Jesus either.

            Also I don’t think you were out of line for calling Pastor Jeffress and setting him straight.

            What did he say about your positive criticism?

  20. volfan007 says

    If Tim Tebow backed out of going to FBC Dallas, TX because of what the media is saying, then I’m ashamed of Tim Tebow…and I’m very disappointed.

    David

  21. volfan007 says

    May the Lord give me the guts to always stand on His Word as truth, no matter if the news media, or the rest of the world, likes it, or not. In fact, may the Lord give all of His people the guts to call sin what it is…SIN….no matter what the lost world, and the liberal theologians say, or how they condemn us.

    David

    • says

      Matt, in response to that post I noted: I understand and get Carter’s point though I don’t entirely agree. My bet is that if Tebow was not such an outspoken Christian (even his Tebowing on the side-lines) hardly anyone would even be talking about him right now.

      While I will not demonize Tebow I also don’t feel sorry for him. Tebow might be polarizing for whatever team he is on. He brought some of the attention on himself because of his outspokeness about Jesus.

      He was not under obligation to do his “Tebowing” prayer publicly nor put “John 3:16″ on his eye paint. He has drawn a lot of attention to himself. It was all fun and games when people took pictures of themselves “Tebowing” and the media posted pictures of his eye paint, etc.

      Now, however, when critics challenge the conservative Baptist beliefs behind Tebowing and the exclusivity of Christ in John 3:16, Tebow bows out.

      I am not saying that some of us may not do the same thing in his situation. We may or may not. I’m just pointing out the obvious – I think.

      • Matt Svoboda says

        Mark,

        I completely agree. Much of this has been brought on by himself and now I believe he is trying to pull back (rightfully) a little bit.

        With that said, I dont think this is a simple as Tebow bowing out people a church believes in the exclusivity of Christ, at all.

      • Frank L. says

        Living not far from Hollywood, I can understand how the “bright lights of fame” make it hard to see your way clearly at times.

        • Frank L. says

          PS — I’ve seen what happens to some of those “stars” on Hollywood Boulevard. It’s a different place at night and on the edges of the Boulevard.

          Fame isn’t all glitter and gold.

  22. cb scott says

    This is just my conviction and no one else’s, nor does it have to be.

    I have known Bob and Pam Tebow for more years than many of you have been on the planet. They both have a solid biblical faith and are made of pure grit and steel. They reared all of their children to be of the same metal.

    I do not know all of the circumstances between Timmy and FBC Dallas. I do know that his daddy, Bob is a righteous man with a bullheaded, immovable nature about standing for biblical truth and he once stood by me during a hard time in my life when many others who had called themselves my friends threw me under the bus. Bob Tebow was my friend for a long time.

    Therefore, I shall stand by the Tebow family and if it is proven that I am a fool for doing so, then so be it — won’t be the first time.

    • says

      Criticism of Tebow here misses the point. The facts of the story are that Tebow agreed to speak at the opening of the $130 million FBC Dallas sanctuary (I keep saying $130 million sanctuary because it is all over the FBC Dallas website. THEY keep saying it for some reason). Then, when criticism began from the media over aligning with Jeffress and his views, he bows out. That is a fact. It is a value neutral fact as well. I am not saying that it was wrong or right for him to back out. I can’t judge him and honestly, I don’t know. But, he did back out. So, we can discuss the implications of that.

      The real story involves the new cultural climate. Jeffress and his views were able to be highlighted by the media and a prominent Christian who has taken strong stands was influenced to separate himself from those views. Maybe he should? I do not doubt Tebow’s faith or sincerity. The big story is that Jeffress’ WAY of doing ministry and talking about these things has been discredited rather significantly. The danger here is that those who agree with some of his content (homosexuality is sin, Jesus is the only way to salvation) will now be lumped in with Jeffress and marginalized as well, even if they are very wise and compassionate in their approach. That is why I brought up Giglio.

      None of this is Tebow’s fault necessarily. In my mind, he is a pawn in all of this and a pawn of both Jeffress (to hype up his grand opening) and a pawn of the media opponents.

      • Matt Svoboda says

        Alan,

        You are 100% correct in that Tebow is simply a pawn, on BOTH sides of this. This is why I believe the mistake was from Tebow ever agreeing to be there, not that he decided to withdrawal.

    • Frank L. says

      CB, so what difference does the fact make that Tim Tebow comes from a great family? Does knowing you excuse a poor choice? Does one have to dismiss a friend’s behavior in order to “stand with him?”

      Seems we do that a lot.

      I plan to use this instance as a teaching moment in my message this morning about “Fleeing Disciples” (Mk. 14:50).

      I applaud your loyalty and I think you should “stand with your friends.” I don’t think we should make excuses for them — or for ourselves for that matter.

      I know people this very day that have never had a time in the sun that pay greatly for standing for their faith in the marketplace. I just spoke with someone like this a moment ago.

      It is what it is and everyone knows what it is. This is a great lesson on the “Cost of Discipleship” –sometimes paid, sometime left owing.

      • cb scott says

        Frank L.,

        Please look again at my comment. Frank L., when I am not just goofing off on a blog thread (which is often) I make my comments in a very exacting manner, making choice of my words carefully.

        Notice I did not make an excuse for him.
        Notice I stated facts I know about his parents.
        Notice I stated I do not know all of the circumstances between Timmy and FBC Dallas.
        Notice I stated I would stand by the Tebow family and if I am proven to be a fool, so be it.
        Notice I stated Bob Tebow stood by me in a hard time when others threw me under the bus.

        Frank L., I don’t have many close friends. That is just how it is with guys like me. Bob Tebow was my friend. I owe him something. At the very least I owe him the courtesy of not piling on his kid in public. Like I stated, I know the Tebows. If I piled on it wold be personal. I am not going to do it. I trust you to understand that.

        • Frank L. says

          CB. I am not challenging you at all. I understand where you are coming from and greatly appreciate your point of view. I’d hope I’d do likewise.

          I agree I am commenting in the abstract. That’s a good point to remember.

          Tim put himself in the limelight and he has to carry the weight of it. In the abstract, I think he made a bad choice based upon his own words.

          I do NOT consider it the unforgivable sin. An expensive one perhaps.

          Again. I get what you are saying and I admire you for saying it. I certainly do not consider you a fool however it goes.

  23. Louis says

    I have no idea what new information was brought to Tim Tebow’s attention, so we cannot know definitively what is going on.

    But based on the only information that I have, I do not see First Baptist Dallas as being any different in core convictions than FBC Jax.

    The thing that may be the saddest about this is that Tebow has just bought into the belief that if he gives a bit here or there, he will be left alone.

    He won’t be. And the next time he has to make a decision like this, it won’t be easier. It will be harder.

    It’s really sad.

    He would have been better off saying, “I will go to any venue in this country to talk about the love of Jesus. If people will invite me, and let me say what I want to say about Jesus, I will go there. I don’t feel that I have to agree with all of the positions of a venue before I decide to speak there.”

    That would have ended it.

    Now, it will go on. Hurt feelings all around in the church community.

    Emboldened complainers who will just complain about the next venue Tebow chooses.

  24. Robert I Masters says

    It is my contention that Dr Jeffries is only doing what the Bible rightly calls all Pastors to do . Preach Prophetically.

    I pray for both Tim and Dr Jeffries that together they stand for the Gospel.
    Matt Svoboda-He did say he was coming back at a later date to FBCdallas.

  25. Tim B says

    Alan,

    Thanks for keeping us on point. If fbc dallas is a radical hate group for prophetically taking a stand on the truth then we’re all guilty by association. The goal of not just the left wing radicals but now the mainstream is to destroy Christian conservatism by identifying us all with westboro. Sadly, some folks have no problem throwing fbc dallas under the bus when we need to be uniting and trying to find a unified voices. Our position is in the process of getting overrun and the solution is to cut and run. Public sentiment for us is really bad and we’re already losing battles in the courts. It does appear that apart from a spiritual awakening in the next couple of years the benefits (by way of protection, legal status, and general favor) we have enjoyed in America will be going within the decade. I firmly believe that the the conservative evangelical church and associated agencies that refuse to become “state churches (churches that agree to comply with the state’s mandates) will no longer be able to exist as a legal entity beyond ten years if that. We’re going to have to figure out how to go forward in a world where institutions like lifeway, imb, namb, sbc, state conventions and church staffs cannot exist unless they will employ gays.

  26. John Gault says

    Whether FBC Dallas or any other Church, that teaches the Bible, Homosexuality is a sin but can be forgiven, Tebow should have given his talk.

  27. volfan007 says

    I think it would be very good to read for everyone to read Acts 5:17-29. It goes along with this whole discussion very well. It’s also where I’m preaching and teaching at, in my Church, as I preach the book of Acts.

    Very fitting.

    David

  28. Virginia Leal says

    The problem is not just a football player that crumbled under pressure, but what about the apostate evangelical pastors who won’t make a stand for fear of losing members? That’s where the real problem began, it began with pastors who don’t have backbone to preach the truth in their own pulpits. But Christians better wake up. This is just the beginning of the persecution coming to Christians who stand for truth. If you can’t take the heat, you better get out of the kitchen, because the hour for testing your faith has come. Still, if pastors would have remained faithful steward of God’s word, we wouldn’t be here today. But Christ said that so-called ministers would sell the truth in order to please the world. God have pity on your apostate ministers.