Then there’s Tim’s favorite Bible verse, John 3:16, which he’s known to wear painted in black swaths under each eye. After the Broncos’ recent electrifying playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime, John 3:16 was reportedly the most popular search term on the Internet.
Remarkably, during the game Tebow passed for precisely 316 yards and averaged 31.6 yards per completed pass. The television viewing audience for the last 15 minutes of the game was 31.6 percent. This only added to the mystique.
So big was the story, in fact, that major news outlets like CNN ran the text of John 3:16 in its entirety: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The attention that Tebow’s bold Christian faith has drawn to the Gospel message has secular “progressives” and other God-deniers tied in knots.
American Atheists, a New Jersey-based group that promotes religious cleansing from the public sphere, says that Tebow is “full of cr*p.”
“Tebow takes religion and injects it into the mix and divides the fan base,” complained David Silverman, the group’s president.
“[Religion] injects the divisive force into football,” he continued (because, absent religion, football is just a touchy-feely snuggle fest). “Why in the world are we talking about religion when we are talking about football?” he demanded.
Of course, Tim Tebow is merely doing what Jesus asks of his followers: “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32)
The problem is that secular “progressives” don’t want Christ acknowledged before anyone, period; and they endeavor to shut down or mock anybody who tries.
During the Broncos’ regular season loss to the Buffalo Bills, for instance, “progressive” troglodyte and pseudo-intellectual funnyman Bill Maher tweeted about the game, encapsulating the left’s visceral hatred for Tim Tebow in 140 characters or less: “Wow, Jesus just [expletive deleted] #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them.’”
Jesus addressed the Bill Mahers of the world — past, present and future — on more than one occasion. In John 15:18-20, for instance, He reminds His followers: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
Those who belong to the world do indeed hate Tim Tebow. He stands for much of what our postmodern popular culture despises: sexual purity within the bonds of natural marriage, the sanctity of human life, selflessness, personal charity, humility and much, much more.
I mean, Tim Tebow has never even been arrested for drug possession or sexual assault, for crying out loud. We simply can’t allow children this kind of role model.
So, does God care about who wins NFL football games? Probably not. Does he care about those who play, watch and love football? Unquestionably.
Win or lose, no matter what happens with the rest of the Denver Broncos football season, one thing is for sure: people will keep talking about Tim Tebow. And when people are talking about Tim Tebow, they can’t help but talk about the profound faith that drives him both on and off the field.
In the meantime: Go Broncos!
(First published at Daily Caller)
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).