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Why Tim Tebow Is Not God’s Jerry Rice

| January 13, 2012

He's always had that long-distance plan.

By Aaron Rushing

For the eyes of the lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Is God empowering the Denver Broncos for Tim Tebow’s sake? According to Pastor Wayne Hanson, he is.

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Hanson is the Senior Pastor of Summit Church in Castle Rock, Colo., where Tebow’s father often speaks. In an interview with TMG last month, Hanson made headlines by saying God is the reason the Broncos are winning. (Hanson has subsequently disputed the TMZ account.)

Hanson told TMZ that God is actively intervening in the Denver Broncos football games … and aiding Tim on the field because of his strong faith. “It’s not luck. Luck isn’t winning six games in a row. It’s favor. God’s favor.” Hanson adds, “God has blessed his hard work.” TMZ asked Hanson if Tebow would be winning games if he wasn’t such a strong believer. The pastor replied, “No, of course not.”


For those who may not know, Tim Tebow is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. His simple acts of kneeling in prayer has grabbed the attention of the nation. His public prayers, confession of faith, and sometimes miraculous accomplishments on the field have led some to believe he has been touched by God.

Tebow stunned fans last weekend by leading the Broncos in an overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The crowning moment of the game came with a 15 yard pass to Demaryius Thomas who ran the ball another 65 yards for a touchdown, ending the shortest overtime in NFL playoff history. (The Broncos won 29-23.)

Adding to his humble prayers and abilities on the field are the seemingly supernatural reference to John 3:16 in his passing stats. Painting John 3:16 over his eyeblack was one of Tebow’s trademarks until he joined the NFL, where the practice is banned. Despite the ban, Tim managed once again to point people to this passage without painting it or saying a word. Tebow threw for a season-high 316 yards and set an NFL record with 31.6 yards per completion. Coincidence or divine intervention?

The Live Commentary

So what is going on here? A six-game winning streak, mysterious stats, amazing plays, and unprecedented fame all seem to add up to God’s favor. Why would Tebow be so special?

The lord (God) was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the lord was with him and that the lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. Genesis 39:2-3

One can’t watch Tebow’s life without recognizing that God is with him. Like Joseph of old, he appears to be prospering under God’s favor. By extension those who are a part of his endeavors may prosper as well. However, to say Tebow is the only reason this team is winning. Well, that’s more than anyone should say. Quite frankly, Hanson did Tebow a disservice. In his zeal to glorify God he turned Tebow into a good luck charm.

Hanson wasn’t all wrong. God is real and active in the lives of his people. Yet he does not favor one person over another (Acts 10:34). Perhaps a better message would have been: God is simply using Tebow as a tool to inspire this nation.

God’s purpose is not about the Broncos winning or losing. God desires his people to honor him in everything they do. Every time we see Tebow kneel in prayer, we are witnessing a man who refuses to take credit for himself. How often have you seen a victory dance after a touchdown? Men prancing around, strutting their stuff, as if they were some kind of wonderful. Tim Tebow’s simple prayer of thanks reminds this nation that God is real, active, and deserves all the glory. It is a beautiful thing.

If God is supernaturally aiding the Broncos, his purpose may be to show this nation humility, gratefulness, and genuine Christian faith. God speaks to America every time Tebow kneels in prayer. Evidently he has quite a bit to say, for Tebow seems to get lots of opportunities to kneel.

For the eyes of the lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the lord is against those who do evil. (1 Peter 3:12)

Aaron Rushing is a self employed handy man and writer living in Bunnell. He is currently enrolled at Daytona State College where he is focusing on English and literature. Reach him by email here.

22 Responses for “Why Tim Tebow Is Not God’s Jerry Rice”

  1. scott adie says:

    Tebow is doing nothing more than exhibiting his attitude of gratitude to God. Something most of us should do more often. If we did, we might soon discover that our lives are a lot better than we thought. Attitude is important. Gratitude is essential.

  2. JIM.R says:

    I wish god would start focusing on stopping wars and other acts of cruelty, instead of playing football every Sunday.
    Another place to turn his attention to would be Africa and Haiti and the starvation and famine in those places.
    Seems a little frivolous for the big guy to be concerned with touchdowns and who wins a game played by athletes making million dollar salaries.

    • The Truth says:

      It’s asinine comments like this that bring the hatred that we have into this world. I love hearing [people] like you claim that God is focusing on football and not helping those who are starving, etc. God has no part in these football games. Tebow and the rest of this team have a part in winning these games. Tebow is a man of faith, but it seems he’s received so much criticism for this and it’s unbelievable. It’s sad that our nation would rather stand behind a man who has been accused of rape (Ben Roethlisberger) or cheating on his wife (Kobe Bryant) or the numerous other things out there that happen with these athletes but when a guy like Tebow comes in the hate filled people come out of the woodwork.

      The media is responsible for this hype bandwagon, not Tim Tebow and not the Denver Bronocos. To say things like you said in your post is just being blind to what’s really going on, and that’s a talented man is bringing his passion and his fire to a team that was lacking it.

    • scott adie says:

      Jim R. your theology is in error. God is concerned with all of the things you mention and thousands more besides. The wars and natural disasters you speak of are the consequences of sin. That is, man’s disobedience to and shunning of God. Until sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, none of those things were present on the earth. God does not cause bad things to happen. They are the result of sin. Read Genesis in the Bible to begin to under God and you will see His perfect plan for mankind. His love for you and me is completely beyond our understanding, none the less, it is there, unalterable and eternal.

  3. Ron says:

    I for one have a severe case of Tebow-verload, and I’m pretty sure it all ends this Saturday evening. That’s when I’ll be thanking God!

  4. slyfox says:

    ah, no…there is a whole team playing this game, not just this guy! Just like the last touchdown, what about the guy that caught the ball???? We didn’t hear about him on the news till days latter. I will not have God shoved in my face for football or anything else. Sure, he does have skills, so does the rest of the guys on the team. Everyone makes it sound like he’s the only 1 playing on this team! The way you make it sound God can only help people who play football.

  5. Outsider says:

    Great article, Mr. Rushing. Three of four of the above commentors don’t get it. It’s not about touchdowns, or passes or teamwork. It’s about how God, if he so wished, would spread a message. While many are rejecting it, you can’t deny millions are hearing it.

  6. w.ryan says:

    Football players must love the man upstairs. They pray before games and form circles after the game. Tebow didn’t invent praying before, during and after.a football game. Faith does play a big part in the game and momentum is vital. It is a team sport and Tebow plays his role. I credit John Fox and his coaching staff for beating my banged up beloved Steelers. It was their stategy the TEAM executed!!! Can’t wait for it all to end this weekend.

  7. some guy says:

    Ya know Ron and all others who want him to fail just to say that their is no GOD. If/when he and the Broncos loose he will again kneel in thanks to GOD for all his grace. That simple act will show more to all others about his faith then if/when he/they would win it all.

  8. Laura says:

    I could not have said it better. Glad to see a sensible explanation of what millions already know. I love God and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  9. Laura says:

    Nice to see your work here Aaron!
    It was a great read even though I don’t follow football.

    {{* *}}

  10. JenniferB says:

    Good article. I have heard bits and pieces on television but never heard the complete story. To Outsider: I believe people hear what they want to hear.

  11. Kip Durocher says:

    I really miss god the holy ghost, you don’t hear much about him anymore.
    He and god the father have been kinda squeezed out by the jesus cabal.
    But all must remember, when jesus needs guidance he prays to god
    the father.

  12. Geezer Butler says:

    JIM.R pretty much summed it up.

    • scott adie says:

      Jim R’s theology is pretty much in error. See my response to him above. It is unfair to reject God simply because you don’t know or understand Him. If you read and study His Word, in the Bible, I mean really check it out, I think there’s a pretty good chance God will make a difference in your life. To off-handedly reject God because of the things men do or say is really is unfair. We are all flawed and apt to make uninformed judgements about people from time to time. But we have the ability to really know the character of God over time if we will take an objective look at His Word. If you want to reject Him having done that, I would then say, at least you gave Him a chance and though I would disagree, I could at least accept that you gave Him a shot. That’s all He asks.

  13. Lax parent says:

    Regardless…nice article, Aaron…clear, provocative and convincing…Voice is fresh and true. Good handy men are hard to find, but keep studying, practice your craft and good luck!

  14. elaygee says:

    A god who who get involved in who wins a football game is one of the gods that the ten commandments warns you not to worship

  15. The Truth says:

    Here’s my take on all of this:

    I have never seen so much hatred about a player who has such good character in my life. Before Tebow, all you ever hear is how we support these athletes and their million dollar homes, their lavish lifestyles, drugs, cheating on loved ones, etc and how can portray these people as role models for our children.

    Now, we have a man who (regardless of faith) lives his life as we all would like too. He treats others with respect, he takes time to visit countries in need, he shows good sportsmanship and he’s an overall great person and all we can do is complain. We say moronic things like: “Why is God focusing on football and not on third world countries?”

    Really? Let’s all take a step back. Sure the media has overhyped this but what do you expect? Tebow brings in high ratings so that’s why they talk about him as much as they do. They are a business and they’re making plenty of money off of this. You can’t blame the man, Tebow, for what the media is doing to him.

    He did not win by himself, he won with his TEAM. Most people did not give Tebow a chance to win when he entered college and again when he entered the NFL. He didn’t do it pretty and he has a lot to improve on, but he made an impact on a team that was 1 – 4 when he took over. The amount of criticism he has received is unheard of. The way he has handled it is great, in my opinion.

    I wish Tim Tebow and whatever team he ends up with (I’m not convinced that the Denver Bronoco’s are convinced he’s their future – Jon Elway/John Fox are not believers) the best of luck. You have a high character, honest and hard working individual to lead your team. Win or lose, that is something to be proud of.

  16. Linda says:

    Just heard a nice quote on ESPN: “No, Tim Tebow is not going to play in the Superbowl, but he is still the biggest winner this year.”

    Thanks, Tim.

  17. palmcoaster says:

    I respect anyone’s prayers, of any religion, at anytime they wish.

  18. bulldog 7 says:

    Tim Tebow peels off the eyeblack everyday after a game or practice, unlike the players that are covered in tattoos. He has not been arrested for drugs, drunken driving, public intoxication, resisting arrest or beating his girlfriend. Does God intervene in football…absolutely not. Is Tim Tebow a nice guy…absolutely.

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