The Danger of Tebow | UMC YoungPeople
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January 2012

The Danger of Tebow

By Rori Blakeney (SEJ)

I am a proponent of prayer. I take the Scripture “Pray without ceasing” to heart. I take every moment I have to pray. I try to use every moment I can to pray – commune with God — whether walking, talking the train or sitting still in a quiet corner.

Jesus models the importance of prayer. R. A. Torrey said, “Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.” John Wesley, who started the Methodist Movement, was know to spend two hours daily in prayer. “Prayer is where the action is,” John Wesley said. “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.”

So there is no doubt that prayer is important and essential to the soul and development of our Christian faith.

But, the type of prayer Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback, is displaying is dangerous. Known for his prayers of thanksgiving – I presume – he bows to pray after every touchdown. The Heisman Trophy winner and the Broncos’ first round draft pick in 2010 is displaying behavior that Kenda Dean Creasy describes as “moralistic therapeutic deism”, a faith that paints God as a “divine therapist” whose ultimate goal is to make people happy by boosting their ego.

Dean, a United Methodist elder and a Princeton Theological Seminary professor, recently authored “Almost Christian.” In this book, she contends that many parents and pastors are unintentionally delivering this self-serving strain of Christianity to their teenagers and congregants. I not only agree with Dean, but I believe American culture is doing the same.

With each Tebow score, he gives thanks – I presume. But, what happens when he loses. Does he dare give thanks to the same God for his failure? Or is God only God in the good, successful, winning times in our life?

So the question is what message do we want to send to our youth?