Last month I wrote about how Tim Tebow has a thing or two to teach whiny mega church pastors about how to handle criticism.
"I was with a young man who late on Thursday night just shared with me....'I've never suffered anything like this in life before...this has been the most difficult week of my life...I don't have anybody that believes in me.' And I said 'let me tell you a story about a man named Job.'" Mac Brunson describing how he consoled a downcast Tim Tebow after the Jets game on 11/17/11. (See video below)---------------------------------------------
But apparently I was wrong. According to Mac Brunson, Tim's pastor at FBC Jax, Brunson is the one who had to console Tim, and to teach him out of the Old Testament book of Job to help Tim cope with the immense suffering Tim has had to endure of late.
Yes, Tim is criticized. About everything.
But he never, ever complains about it. Unlike mega church pastors, Tim never calls his critics names, or tells them they are nuts or that they are recalcitrants or anything else. He doesn't yell about how people should stop reading what his critics write. Tim doesn't try to shut down unjust criticism. He doesn't stand on a podium and wag his finger about how terrible his life is. He isn't afraid to answer questions from his critics, and when asked demeaning questions by his critics, he smiles and is a gentleman and employs Proverbs 15:1, "...a gentle answer turns away wrath."
That is why it is shocking to hear that Tim Tebow's pastor, Mac Brunson, is the one who has had to teach Tebow how to handle criticism after the New York Jets game. Mac, the pastor who just a few weeks prior to his meeting with Tim went on a rant complaining about how terrible his life has been as pastor at FBC Jax where Tim grew up, needed to tell Tim how to cope with the criticism.
According to Mac Brunson's Twitter feed, Brunson and his son flew to Denver for the Thursday night 11/17 game against the Jets. Brunson also Tweeted that he met with Tim Tebow and his family for prayer and bible study Friday morning after Tebow led his Denver Broncos to a thrilling victory over the Jets. The following Sunday, Brunson couldn't help but to let his congregation know in his sermon that he was with Tebow, how Tim was terribly upset over how much criticism he has had to face, and how God used Mac to help Tim cope with his suffering.
According to Mac, Tim told him he has never suffered in life like he has lately, and that Tim said "I don't have anybody that believes in me."
Really? Did Tim say that to his pastor, that he doesn't have anybody that believes in him? And if he did, why would his pastor blab it to his mega church and stream it on the Internet?
Even more unbelievable than that, Mac said God used him to share with Tebow out of the book of Job to help him cope with his suffering. "Let me tell you about a man named Job", is what Brunson says he told Tim, after he told him how terribly he was suffering.
The book of Job?
Tim Tebow does not have one thing in common with Job from the Old Testament, and his life has no resemblance to Job's experience. Maybe Tim is a Samson or a Gideon, but JOB? Job's story is one of immense heartache, disease, loss, and pain, and how God delivered him through it. Tim's story is the exact opposite of Job's: Tim has lived the most blessed life one can imagine, and Tim acknowledges that every single time he has a chance to speak.
Why would a mega church pastor think of referring to the book of Job to console a blessed man like Tim Tebow?
The answer is easy, and one I've written about quite a bit this year (here, here, and here). Mega church pastors like Mac Brunson view criticism as some form of modern martyrdom. Mac and so many of his cohorts in mega church land lead incredibly blessed lives of privilege. Yet Mac tells his congregation how terrible his life is because of criticism he faces. Mac has thousands and thousands of Christians and pastors literally all over the world that love him and adore him. He is invited to speak worldwide. He travels extensively. His own church loves him and supports him and allows him to live a very comfortable lifestyle. Yet as he said here, the criticism he has faced has made his life miserable, and he only came to FBC Jax to endure the pain for the sake of Jesus.
Mac has been criticized here in Jacksonville, and much of it deservedly so over actions his church has taken under his leadership.
But to criticize a pastor is to criticize God himself in the minds of the mega pastors. Brunson's church even passed a "Deacon's Resolution" condemning what they called "unjust criticism and ridicule" (aimed squarely at this blog) as being an attack on the Lord's church. They used a police officer who was a church member, a discipline committee member, and a deacon and church employee to pull investigative subpoenas on this blog and two other blogs critical of mega church pastors resulting in a first amendment lawsuit settled last year.
Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Brunson will have his trustees and congregation pass a resolution condemning "unjust criticism" of Tim Tebow. Surely that would pass unanimously!
But we know the truth. Tim doesn't view himself the way Brunson characterized him, not one single bit. If he does, then he has been lying every day when he says how blessed he is and that it is the support of his fans and family that keep him going. And Tim is no liar, Mac.
Tim Tebow has told his fans for years now that he is the most blessed man alive, and that he doesn't let those that criticize him get him down. Tim tells us he concentrates on the blessings he has, and on the millions of supporters that do love him and pray for him.
He even posted on Facebook just yesterday the following:
"Hey everyone! I just wanted to thank all of you for your prayers and very kind words of support. I noticed that a few people were wondering if I actually read all of your comments and I wanted to let you know that I try my best to read all of them and that I use them as encouragement throughout my week. Thanks again everyone, have a good night and as always, God bless & Go Broncos aka GB bless & Go Broncos" Tim Tebow on his Facebook page, 12/13/12Tim told Deion Sanders on national TV after the Jets game: "God has blessed me with so many people that support me, a great family that supports me, great teammates and a coaching staff and that's what I'm focused on."
Yet Mac wants us to believe Tim thinks he has no one that believes in him.
I believe Tim. I don't believe Mac.
Next time you run into Mac at the airport or at the cruise terminal, please take the time to help him and say:
"Mac, let me tell you about a man named Tim Tebow."