Case in point is the criticism being directed at Tim Tebow by men like Vines, Mohler, and Graham this week after Tebow announced he was backing out of an April speaking gig at the First Baptist Church of Dallas.
For the past several weeks Tebow has been criticized by many in the secular media for his decision to speak at FBC Dallas because of the controversy surrounding their pastor Robert Jeffress and his stand on issues of homosexuality, Catholicism, and Obama. For sure people in the secular media have used their influence to try to pressure Tebow to behave as they believe he should, that he should cancel his speaking engagement.
But now that Tebow - as his own man, for his own reasons, and presumably according to the dictates of his own heart and faith - has decided to not go to FBC Dallas, the Holy Men of God are now doing exactly what they can't stand the secular media trying to do: trying to squeeze Tim Tebow to fit THEIR mold, and criticizing him when he doesn't do what they think he should.
I'm perfectly comfortable with Tim canceling his FBC Dallas gig. Why? Simply because I trust his judgment, as he has earned the right to be respected when he makes decisions such as this. Unlike many of the Holy Men now criticizing him, he has shown himself to be the real deal, a real Christian who HAS lived out his faith in the face of intense criticism the past 5 years with nary a complaint. He HAS used his money and influence to do many good works that Jesus would have him do. He has done mountains more to spread the gospel than all the mega church preachers put together. So guess what - I trust his judgment to do what he thinks is best as he lives out his Christian faith. He absolutely does not have have to bow to the whims of modern day Pharisees like Jerry Vines or Albert Mohler or Jack Graham.
And speaking of Vines: how sad - and hypocritical - is it that his former pastor, Jerry Vines, openly criticized Tebow via Twitter for simply deciding not to speak at FBC Dallas in April. Look at these Tweets from Vines, and the many "retweets" by Vines' followers:
What a hypocrite. What is Vines talking about? The "devil laughed" when Tebow canceled his speaking engagement? Really? I guess it makes sense that Vines has the inside track on what makes the devil laugh, since Vines doesn't have even 1/10th of the discernment that Tebow has when it comes to choosing speaking venues or choosing speakers. Vines was the one who gave Ergun Caner the pulpit in 2001 and nodded with approval as Caner lied through his teeth about being a trained terrorist raised in Turkey. It was Vines who first brought Darrel Gilyard to Jacksonville to preach and did nothing to warn people at Shiloh Baptist about Gilyard's sexual predation upon Gilyard's return to Jacksonville. It was Vines who went to preach at Gilyard's church in 2006 when Vines knew what a sexual pervert Gilyard had shown himself to be over and over while he was in Dallas - and Vines STILL went to speak at Gilyard's church knowing Gilyard tried to seduce one of Vines' own church members during a youth revival tour. Yes, Vines can only dream that he has a portion of Tebow's discernment.
Jerry, if the devil laughed over Tebow's decision to not speak at Dallas, then the devil must have had a month-long Mardi Gras over your decision to preach at Gilyard's church in 2006. The devil also has had a 10-year party while Ergun Caner lied in churches and to our troops. YOU started that, Jerry, when you failed to do your due diligence in 2001 - or worse, maybe you knew Caner was lying, but you didn't care. Which was it? We don't know, because you've been silent over Caner's exposure as a fraud, but you now are making a big deal over Tebow's decision.
But this shows the misplaced priorities of Pharisees - they are not so much interested in your good deeds, or what you do for God - or whether you are a habitual liar like Caner or the real-deal like Tebow - what they are most interested is whether or not you agree with their religious teachings, and if you believe exactly as they say you should believe and if you agree with their narrow interpretation of the bible.
Even Prestonwood Baptist Church pastor and former SBC president Jack Graham criticized Tebow for his decision, assuming he bowed to the pressure of cultural decay:
Perhaps the reason all of these Holy Men of God are so wigged out over Tebow's decision is that they know Tebow's home church in Jacksonville is no different than FBC Dallas. Maybe they're worried that the most influential Christian of our day who has earned the respect they never could - might actually be signaling that he is turning away from his fundamentalist roots. The Holy Men of God know how dangerous this is to their own religious power, as Tebow speaks with the real-life, living-out-his-faith kind of power the Holy Men of God don't have. He doesn't just stand in a pulpit bloviating and dictating on Sunday mornings, collecting a fat check from church coffers like the big wig Holy Men of God. No, Tebow is in the real-world, engaging real people and doing real good works to help hurting people.
Tim is learning the sad truth that in the fundamentalist world in which he was raised is that what is important to measure someone's faith by is NOT necessarily how much good they do, but it is whether you believe exactly as they do. Pretty sad.
All this time Tebow thought it was the secular media who was watching and waiting for him to fall - now he knows it was the modern-day Pharisees who were waiting and watching - not for him to sin but for him to somehow go against their strict teachings. What a loving bunch.
The Pharisees criticized Jesus for doing good on the Sabbath, because Jesus dared to break their rules and ignore their teachings, showing them to be hypocrites.
Now the modern-day Pharisees are doing the same with Tebow. I hope Tebow continues to show them to be the hypocrites they are.
"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 'The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.' "