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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

To bow or not Tebow? That is the question.

Skye Jethani: Is Tim Tebow a Hypocrite? (Part 1) | Out of Ur | Conversations for Ministry Leaders
But Tim Tebow’s behavior on the field does raise important questions about prayer and how Christians ought to practice it. Andrew Sullivan criticized Tim Tebow saying his public prayers violate Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) where he taught his followers to pray in private:
"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Matthew 6:5-6)
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This just in: in God's eyes, Tim Tebow is just another human being.  What he does isn't any more (or less) important to God than what any other person does.  So maybe instead of focusing on his actions, we should be paying a bit more attention to our own.  That is all.
I wonder how many worship services Mr. Sullivan has attended that didn't include at least one prayer. Need I say more to demonstrate how untenable I believe his position is?
However, I think there are a few dangers in picking anyone, especially a celebrity, as the standard-bearer for the Christian faith. First, too often they turn out to have feet of clay, which often leads to either rejecting Christianity when his or her trespasses become publicly known or excusing and/or defending his or her behavior. Second, some may engage in "vicarious Christianity"- a "the person I look up to is a Christian, so I must be a Christian too" mentality. Instead of questioning whether Tebow is sincere when he prays publicly, I think we would be better off asking whether we're sincere when we pray.

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