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USA Today Criticizes Florida Gator Quarterback’s (Tim Tebow) Faith because He Believes Jesus is the Only Way

October 17, 2009

But Jesus’ representatives in sports aren’t just practicing faith. They are also leveraging sports’ popularity to promote a message and doctrine that are out of sync with the diverse communities that support franchises, and with the unifying civic role that we expect of our teams. Typifying the exclusive creed taught by many sports-world Christians is the belief statement published by Baseball Chapel, which provides chaplains for all major- and minor-league baseball teams. Non-believers in Jesus, the ministry declares, can look forward to “everlasting punishment separated from God.”Urban Meyer, Tebow’s coach at Florida, has praised his quarterback’s faith-promoting ways as “good for college football … good for young people … good for everything.” Such is the rhetoric usually heard from those who defend sports-world Christianity as wholesome and harmless. But should we be pleased that the civic resource known as “our team” — a resource supported by the diverse whole through our ticket-buying, game-watching and tax-paying — is being leveraged by a one-truth evangelical campaign that has little appreciation for the beliefs of the rest of us?

Read the USA Today Article Here

Kevin DeYoung’s Comments:
Krattenmaker is appalled that Tebow’s father’s evangelistic association espouses a “far-right” theology that believes in “eternal punishment” and rejects “the modern ecumenical movement.” “In making and acting on rigid claims about who is or isn’t in good standing with God,” Krattenmaker opines, “the Bob Tebow organization is working at cross purposes with the majority of Americans — indeed, the majority of American Christians — and their more generous conception of salvation.” Yeah, so? Can sports stars, on their own time mind you, only work with organizations that pass muster by national referendum? Millions of people in America think millions of other Americans are going to hell apart from the saving work of Jesus. And millions of Americans think those other Americans are neanderthals for believing that. God bless America!

Erik Raymond’s Comments:
Krattenmaker makes it clear in his article that his issue is not so much the fact that the players are spiritual as it is that they are Christian. And in particular, he is referring to evangelical Christians. He uses the pluralistically pejorative terms such as ‘conservative’, ‘far-right’, ‘exclusive’, and ‘judging’. All of this to show that such intolerant, judgmental Christians are out of step with everyone else. Now these Christians are more than a nuisance. They are unsettling and somewhat threatening.

I am not surprised to hear a postmodern, anti-Christian/Christ, unbeliever make comments like this in our world today. Read the article and the comments that are expressed by these evangelical scholars and tell me what you think…

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