People love talking about Tebow. As they should, because he’s an anomaly, an aberration. He’s more vocal about his faith than nearly any other Christian in sports or entertainment. He has less technical skills than nearly any other NFL starting quarterback. He wins at a rate better than most, and certainly in more dramatic fashion than any other (he breaks multiple NFL and Twitter records nearly every week). He’s an anomaly, an aberration.
In many ways, I find this incredibly encouraging. Tebow is a very public example of the power of heralding the King while living in the kingdom. Tebow’s story is made all the more inspring by the response of the people around him. Over and over, even those who do not know the King can’t help but to marvel at the kingdom. Rick Reilly recently wrote that he believes in Tebow because Tebow “represents the best parts of us, the parts I want to be and so rarely am.” Colin Cowherd declared on his radio show yesterday that Tebow, while not his kind of quarterback, was his kind of human being.
It is undeniably true and a little sad that Reilly, Cowherd, and others are missing the point as they focus on Tebow even as Tebow is focusing on his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And yet, the significance of recognizing the kingdom even before seeing the King cannot be overstated. It doesn’t take an audience with Lee Mung-bak to notice the difference between Pyongyang and Seoul.
So why does it take so long to notice the distinction of our Christian communities? What does it say about the Church that the story of a young Christian man who talks about Jesus, abstains from sex, and is kind to those less fortunate than he is is a significant, noteworthy, and revenue-driving piece of news? What does it say about us that Tebow is an anomaly and an aberration not so much because punctuates his interviews with “Lord and Savior” but more so because he grounds his actions on the Person behind the phrase?
How can a country that writes ‘In God We Trust’ on our currency be so shocked by a Christian who lives like a Christian?
The Tebow Challenge set by his example has very little to do with the game he plays for his day job. The Tebow Challenge is to herald the king with your words while living the kingdom with your actions in such a way that even those who’ve never met the king can marshal no argument against the effectiveness of His reign.
Perhaps we are called to do more than procreate at a greater rate than Muslims. If we fear the church is failing to make an impact, it may be because we’ve heralded the King with our words even as we’ve exiled Him with our actions.
In theory, how much power does an exiled king wield?