Monday, January 16, 2012
John 3:16 and Tim Tebow
Over the past few weeks, he’s become sort of a cultural sensation. As the quarterback of the Denver Broncos, he went on a hot streak that got the Broncos into the playoffs. In the first round, he threw a winning touchdown pass in overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. In that game, he threw for 316 yards and averaged 31.6 yards per pass completion. Coincidence?
After the game, it was reported that there was a significant number of searches online about the meaning of John 3:16. Obviously, Focus on the Family saw an opportunity. Tim Tebow has openly given praise to his Lord and Savior as the source of his strength. He has knelt down and thanked God in a very public manner during football games. It seems like everybody has an opinion about whether or not this is appropriate behavior. I’m not sure what the big deal is. During his days at the University of Florida, it didn’t seem to be a problem.
This takes me back to Focus on the Family. I know I might get into trouble for asking this question. But was it the best use of resources? I don’t’ think they called the local cable company to shoot this spot. It was well done, professionally produced, and looks big league. And I’m sure it cost a pretty penny to buy a 30 second spot during an NFL playoff game.
Hey, I thought the spot was great. Who wouldn’t love a bunch of cute and adorable kids reciting one of the most beloved scriptures in the Bible? But what did it accomplish? First of all, I think it’s a good thing any time you can proclaim the Word of God. I guess the question is how do we do this in an effective way.
Putting it another way, we say faith matters; however, the way we live our lives say something completely different. The point I’m trying to make is we live in a postChristian society that is familiar with the concept of John 3:16 and have heard the words “you must be born again”. I think it’s become a cliché for many and has lost its power.
Here’s what I wish Focus on the Family would have talked about. What does it mean to be a Christian? Maybe we should have started with Mark 12:29. When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment, he said that you must love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind and all of your strength. And, second, of equal importance is loving your neighbor as yourself.
In the end, I don’t care how many 30 second spots we run featuring adorable kids reciting John 3:16. It isn’t going to change the current course of our culture. It may make us feel good. And I’m sure we can slap each other on the back and say “hooray” for our side. But the best thing we can do is live our lives in a way that reflects the very nature and attributes of Christ. If we can find a way to do that, honestly there isn’t enough room on Sunday morning for the people who would show up.