“Tebowing” — Kneeling to God or Bowing to Man?

robertjeffress“He explained to me that because of things going on in his personal life and his professional career – that he really needed to avoid controversy right now. We are disappointed.” – Dr. Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas; speaking of his phone call with Tim Tebow.

“As to the abuses I meet with, I number them among my honors. One cannot behave so as to obtain the esteem of the wise and the good without drawing on oneself at the same time the envy and malice of the foolish and wicked, and the latter is testimony of the former. The best men have always had their share of this treatment, and the more of it in proportion to their different and greater degree of merit. A man, therefore, has some reason to be ashamed of himself when he meets with none of it.” – Benjamin Franklin

I prefer the Tebow that knelt to God no matter what anyone thought, than the one that kneels to expediency and the demands of the alphabet mafia. – The Parson


My mother used to say that it’s safer to praise dead men because those still around are so prone to disappoint. On the day that I released a column praising Tim Tebow, he bows to the PC thought police and throws the First Baptist Church of Dallas and their pastor under the bus.  The column still holds up as to the nefarious motivation of his detractors, but I’m disappointed that Tebow dissembled and proved my mother’s wisdom.

There is no easy way to put this but Tebow caved. He fumbled. He screwed the pooch. It’s a good thing that Tebow didn’t have two virgin daughters that he could barter to the mob at Lot’s door. In the worst scenario, it is like Demas who left the work for love of this present world; at best it is a momentary slip like that of John Mark that can be turned around in reconciliation to the Glory of God. I pray the latter. But make no mistake; it was a complete and utter capitulation. The decision to ditch a “paid” speaking engagement and imply that the fault lied with the church and its views and not his personal fear of the NFL and the pc media is simply not becoming of a disciple of Christ. God has not given us the spirit of fear.

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation.

– Paul from his epistle to the Galatians

I saw one columnist rebuked for comparing Tebow’s actions to Peter’s denial of Christ. I think that comparison is a bit over the top by any standard but I do believe that Tebow has erred in the manner of Peter in Antioch. Peter failed in front of the Antioch church as Tebow has with the Dallas church. Peter refused to fellowship with certain brothers based on lies and the fear of those who pressured him and Tebow has done the same. Peter led good people like Barnabas astray and so has Tebow. Peter committed a public sin and therefore was publicly and rightly rebuked by the Apostle Paul. Tebow has done the same; even using Twitter as his crutch. He is to be blamed.

If Tim Tebow were to fail in his Christian walk, it would have been better that he failed in the backseat of a convertible with Kate Upton than by slandering a man of God and his faithful followers. He may have lost his virginity to fornication but he wouldn’t have lost his integrity to the bullies of pink rage, and even worse – slandered a faithful steward and his flock.

I wonder if the super-Christians who are running to his defense would be so ready to do so if he had climbed out of that ’53 Desoto Hemi, wiping the Carl’s Jr. sauce from his lips? Not likely! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not justifying fornication, yet this is a graver sin. He hasn’t just compromised his own testimony while kneeling to the Gaystapo; he has compromised that of a faithful brother and a historic church. Tebow has aided and abetted in the media’s arson of the First Baptist Church of Dallas. 

As Adrian Rogers put it,

Now, there are all kinds of sins, there are moral sins of the flesh, temperamental sins of the disposition, ethical sins of conduct, spiritual sins of pride, social sins of bigotry and prejudice, but the greatest sin, the sin of all sins, believe it or not, is none of these, but it is the sin of omission. Very frankly, all of these other sins come about because of the sin of omission. Because you see, the sin of omission is failing to do what you ought to do.  Very clearly, with emphasis, I want to tell you, it’s a greater sin to fail to do what you ought to do than to do what you ought not to do, because if you’re doing what you ought to do, you can’t be doing what you ought not to do. 

“Therefore to him that knows to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).


I’ve grown weary of shiny happy Christians – what Thomas Paine would’ve called “sunshine patriots.” Jesus Christ spoke of the disciple that was worthy of him – the person that is willing to forsake worldly good, to follow him. To let the dead bury their dead, to follow him. That servant that is willing to be hated by one’s own family; to be alienated from parents, children, spouse, country, even blood, to follow him. Willing to be driven out, to beg in the streets if need be. Willing to gather and worship in the city gutters even the city morgue.

Give me the catacomb Christian that will follow him and that will leave their bloody footprints in the mud so that we could follow behind. I’ll take Dr. Jeffress over a mere poser any day. If the good Pastor made any mistake it was in trying to hire a “celebrity” Christian to come speak in his church. If there is one good that has come out of this event it is to open a dialogue about the church’s foolish infatuation with celebrity.

How easy to don a verse on your Facebook wall or even your eye black. How easy to duck in and out of church on a Sunday or a Wednesday, tune in to K-LOVE; run the AWANA circle or blow a whistle “for Christ.” How easy to pose as one praying, until the rains come – then the sheep scatter and the house falls. If this paltry level of adversity is all that is required for Tebow to put light under a bushel and tail between his legs, then both he and his supporters haven’t hit spiritual puberty yet.


Whether it’s Tebow, Obama, Britney Spears or Ron Paul: groupies by any other name still live on their knees. It’s understandable when the darkness covers for every objectionable act of their idols, but the body of Christ should have a higher standard than James Carville and MSNBC. There is only one celebrity worthy of worship and it’s not a young, bewildered backup quarterback.

The two most distressing things that have come out of Tebow’s wavering are the unfair slander heaped upon Dr. Jeffress and his assembly, and the deplorable validation of the whole event by the Tebow apologists. Todd Starnes whose articles have chronicled this whole exchange was on American Family Radio and both guest and host admitted to having been “savaged” by the Tebow brigades in texts, tweets and emails for simply challenging his decision. I imagine that some of the same people that liked, shared and commented on my column that praised Tebow will chime in on this one with rebuke and vitriol. So be it.

To all of those mealy mouthed “Christians” out there who kvetch and moan at the mindless apologists who carry water for Bill and Hillary Clinton, for the Obama’s and for all things progressive – “Stifle Edith!” You are as pitiful as the Obama Zombies in your pathetic defense of Tim Tebow’s failure. How is the young man supposed to learn and grow in his Christian Faith if brothers and sisters in Christ run to him and encourage him in his error? 

Yes, I’m judging Tebow’s actions; I’m called to as his brother. How is the body supposed to know when to exhort, edify or rebuke if they can’t discern between faith and failure? And before you tell me that I can’t judge Tebow till I trip in his cleats; have you thought about the real victims in this? What if that was your church that was compared to the Westboro hags; your children in that Sunday school? What if that was your Pastor? Have you seen the tears of that Pastor’s wife and kids? Christ has put them in a bottle, how about you?


And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other” … Paul before the 2nd missionary journey

“Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world … Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” – Paul in his last weeks of life, reconciled to John Mark

If I could speak directly to Tim Tebow I would say “You were the main participant in the smearing of a good man; a Christian brother. You didn’t just hold Pastor Jeffress while the PC bullies beat him; you smeared him and then passed by on the Jericho road to go to your next “service.” This is beneath you, Tim. This is not the man that your parents raised you to be or that God has called you to be. The decision that you made was the choice that the world wanted you to take and that all the agents of darkness are now celebrating.”

My prayer for brother Tebow is that he repents of his sin; that he seeks the forgiveness of those he has wronged and that he is reconciled to Dr. Jeffress and that fine assembly in Dallas. Maybe he could apologize to the thousands upon thousands of fans who stood guard of his reputation and suffered the slings and arrows of defending him while he was the object of derision and mockery. Ultimately his sin was not against the good pastor or the Dallas assembly or even his faithful fans, but against his Lord and Savior. May the grief of the Holy Spirit be turned to “well pleasing” acceptance and may Tim Tebow turn this to the Glory of God. He can start by heeding the words of the man he aided in slandering:

“As long as I am the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas — we are not going to kneel before the altar of political correctness and convenience. We’re going to stand up and boldly proclaim the grace of God and the truth of God without compromise — so help me God. That is my commitment.” – Dr. Robert Jeffress

Hear the full response of Dr. Jeffress to the Tebow controversy here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lzpJHIhH6Hc

About the author: John Kirkwood

John Kirkwood

John Kirkwood is a son of Issachar. He is a Zionist, gun-toting, cigar-smoking, incandescent light bulb-using, 3.2 gallon flushing, fur-wearing, Chinese (MSG) eating, bow-hunting, SUV driving, unhyphenated American man who loves his wife, isn't ashamed of his country and does not apologize for his Christianity. He Pastors Grace Gospel Fellowship Bensenville, where "we the people" seek to honor "In God we Trust." He hosts the Christian wake up call IN THE ARENA every Sunday at noon on AM 1160 and he co-hosts UnCommon Sense, the Christian Worldview with a double shot of espresso on UncommonShow.com. He is the proud homeschooling dad of Konnor, Karter and Payton and the "blessed from heaven above" husband of the Righteous and Rowdy Wendymae.

View all articles by John Kirkwood

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