"I am grateful for men of God like these [Vines, Graham, Mohler, etc.] who are willing to stand up and act like men, rather than wimping out when it gets a little controversial and an inconvenient thing to stand for the truth. God bless men like that."
Sorry, Robert. God bless men like Tebow. And shame on religious men like yourself who attack a young man who has lived out his faith in the most challenging circumstances, and a young man that has shown the world what a true Christian looks like. Robert and friends need to read my article from November 2011 in which I wrote about how pastors need to learn from Tebow on how to face criticism and adversity.
Watch the video of Jeffress for yourself here. After Jeffress said Tebow "wimped out" he goes on to mock those like Tebow who claim they are called to "preach the love of God", saying one can't preach the love of God without also preaching the judgment of God. Jeffress come across as a sniveling, whiny wimp who didn't get his way, and wants everyone to know all the Holy religious men of God are on HIS side and not Tebow's.
But the question still remains: why DID Tebow back out of his FBC Dallas speaking commitment? Was it over Jeffress' comments on homosexuality, Mormons, and Catholics? Probably not. After all, Tebow's own pastor came forward over the weekend to confirm there is not "a wisp" (Greek for "a bit") of difference between the theology of Jeffress' church and Tim's church.
Predictably, both the secular media AND the religious Pharisees missed what were legitimate reasons a person like Tim Tebow wouldn't want to speak at FBC Dallas. The religious Pharisees are so preoccupied with the issue of homosexuality, they assumed Tim caved to pressure - or as O.S. Hawkins said, Tebow "capitulated" - on this issue. Likewise, the secular media's darling issue is gay rights, so they also assumed Jeffress' stand on gay rights was Tim's primary reason reason for backing out.
I submit both the religious Pharisees AND the secular media have it all wrong.
To understand why Tim would have backed out, we have to answer the question: what ARE some distinctive positions or characteristics of FBC Dallas and Robert Jeffress that would cause someone like Tebow to not want to speak there? These reasons are quite obvious - unless you are a religious Pharisee who constantly rails about homosexuality, or you are in the secular media and think all Christians are gay-bashing homophobes.
Here are the top five reasons why a Christian like Tim Tebow would not want to be associated with FBC Dallas and Robert Jeffress:
1. FBC Dallas' Construction of $130 Million "Crystal Campus" - it is no secret that FBC Dallas is constructing the most expensive, over-the-top church facility complex ever conceived in modern evangelicalism. Perhaps Tim didn't realize the scope of this building program, and what a tremendous waste of resources this is. You see, Tim Tebow is not into raising money to build Crystal Cathedrals. Tim has consistently used his notoriety to raise money for sick children and needy families. Tim is into raising money for orphanages in the Phillipines. On the other hand, Robert Jeffress likes to manufacture his notoriety through outlandish and divisive statements, to help him raise funds for his new church building. That is NOT what Tim Tebow is all about. Here is an excerpt from the website of Tim's foundation:
"Unlike many other organizations, we pride ourselves in keeping our overhead costs as low as possible that way virtually every penny, of every dollar donated reaches the people that truly need it most. Together with your help, we will make a difference!"
2. FBC Dallas Construction of Waterfall as "Architectural Invitation" to Jesus Christ: As I blogged about here back in 2010, Robert Jeffress sold his church on the bright idea that to reach people for Jesus, they have to build a three-story high water fountain with computerized nozzles. Jeffress told the FBC Dallas peeps that they needed their church to be an "architectural invitation to the gospel". I don't think Tim is into glorifying spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for architectural invitations to Jesus. This was done all over Europe already - and at Tim's church back in the 1990's. Maybe Tim just isn't into this and doesn't want his name to be associated with it.
3. Jeffress Fund-Raising Tactics: As I blogged here, Jeffress preached a sermon to his peeps when he was in full fund-raising mode for his campus, in which he said:
"The greatest thing you can do for your spiritual health, would be to take a large chunk of your assets, and give them to this campaign. Just slice off a big hunk of 'em [as he slices with his hand] and give them to this campaign."
That is pure hogwash. Tim doesn't want to lend his name to the opening of a new facility built using these fund raising tactics, where the pastor says the greatest thing a Christian can do for their spiritual well-being is to take your assets and give them to a Crystal Cathedral-type building program. That is Bennie Hinn territory. Tim is a relentless fund-raiser himself - but he does it to help people, and he doesn't do it through manipulation and scripture twisting like Jeffress.
4. Jeffress' Divisive Political Statements: there is no mainstram evangelical pastor that was more involved in the 2012 presidential campaign than Robert Jeffress. As I pointed out here, Jeffress once said he would never endorse a politician, either publicly or privately, yet he eventually endorsed Texas governor Rick Perry at the Voter's Value Summit in October 2011. Also, Jeffress' statements about Obama paving the way for the Antichrist - Tim likely doesn't want to be associated with divisive political rhetoric that alienates people that he is trying to live out the gospel before.
5. Jeffress' Over-the-Top Statements About Islam: Jeffress has made statements that don't help to reach Muslims in this country with the gospel. As I wrote about here, Jeffress claimed that Islam "promotes pedophilia", and that "all around the world you have Muslim men having sex with 4-year old girls." Those statements are way over the top. Why does Tim need to lend his name to help promote the grand opening of a new church facility, where the pastor makes these kind of statements? That is not Tim Tebow's style.
So there you have it. There are others I could have cited, but these are probably the top 5 reasons why Tim Tebow doesn't want to be involved in the Grand Opening of the FBC Dallas version of the Crystal Cathedral.
And Robert, your comments about Tebow in front of your congregation show you to be a very small man. Tebow is too much of a gentleman to reply to you - but that is perhaps one of the few instances where we see Tebow is NOT like Jesus - else Tim would quickly declared about you, Jerry Vines, Jack Graham, and Albert the Pious, like Jesus said to the Pharisees in his day:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous....You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Matt 23:29,33)
But as I said, Tim is much too kind.
So the Watchdog said it for him.