The Bounty on Tim Tebow

Well, yes, this is what the news has come to. Hunt a little, and you can find reports that a dating website—one that, self-professedly, specializes in setting up adulterous affairs—has offered a million dollars to anyone who can seduce the evangelical quarterback Tim Tebow and obtain proof of sexual contact with the man.

One easy line to follow up, after such news, is the centrality of hypocrisy to the world’s current understanding of Christians. In the (briefly) bestselling Kindle Single I wrote last winter on Tebow—The Gospel According to Tim (ahem, you have read it, haven’t you?)—I noted that the new generation of evangelicals has tended to shift its emblematic Bible verse from the theological John 3:16 to the ethical Micah 6:8: He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

And I argued that there’s a reason

younger evangelicals like Tebow have elevated an ethical verse with Micah 6:8, and it has to do with their terror of the charge of hypocrisy. An irony . . . dwells here, . . . for the Bible is what taught Western Civilization the great complaint against hypocrisy, from Ezekiel 33:31 (“they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with their lips they show much love, but their heart is set on their gain”) to Matthew 23:23–24 (“You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel”). But the narrative of attack upon Christians in our own time is fundamentally a story of hypocrisy; reporters know, in fact, almost no other way to tell morality tales.

Only with an almost pharisaical adherence to ethical standards—another irony, in a Protestantism that thought it was breaking away from Catholic law to a belief in salvation by faith alone—can evangelicals today combat the always looming accusation that any lapse will reveal them as hypocrites. And combat it, they must, for even if they hold the firmest of theological views of salvation by faith alone, the great barrier they experience in those to whom they preach is the narrative of believers as frauds: every Christian either a hypocrite already revealed or a hypocrite waiting to happen.

But there’s another line that the bounty on Tebow’s virginity should prompt us to follow up, and that’s the utter rejection of alternative lives by the modern world. The website’s founder writes, “Sports and sex (and of course, infidelity) go hand in hand. If Mr. Tebow is indeed abstaining from adult relationships, I would encourage him to find a nice lady or two and enjoy his youth and fame as much as possible.”

That there could be any other way to enjoy and use his youth and fame—the thought is repugnant. It must not be that Christians merely tolerate the culture of easy sex; Christians must be lured into participating in it. The sexual revolution is the revolution that will allow no opposition.

In his autobiography, Through My Eyes, Tebow makes the curious turn of insisting on seeing himself as a rebel. As I noted in The Gospel According to Tim, “for those who imagine all rebellion as a turn against what they picture as 1950s American conformism in religion and public manners, the religious and exceedingly polite Tim Tebow looks like Conformist Number One. But the young man believes that he’s read the signs of the times, discerning that the genuine rebel today would be the one who rebels against mandatory rebellion.”

I can’t think of a time since the Desert Fathers with such public attempts to undo anyone who becomes famous for being Christian. A million dollar bounty on Tim Tebow’s virginity. God help him. God help us all.

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13 thoughts on “The Bounty on Tim Tebow

  1. Thinkling says:

    The amazing thing about this story is that it points out the larger picture of the corruption of the word ‘hypocrite’.

    Not practicing what you preach is not hypocracy. Rather it is sin. Hypocracy is not believing what you preach.

    If Tebow falls into such a trap, that makes him a sinner, not a hypocrite. But there is nothing strange about that…I think Chesterton said Christians profess more awareness about their own sinfulness than anyone else (whether or not they believe that is another, self referential, matter).

    A true example of hypocracy would be the LCWR sisters to whom the CDF is addressing their corrections to. Every Sunday (presumably) these ladies profess that they “believe in one holy catholic and **apostolic** church”. But their past actions demontrate they do not believe in the apostolic part, as they completely reject some ramifications of it being apostolic.

  2. Benjamin says:

    If Tim Tebow’s faith in Jesus Christ is genuine and not merely politically and economically motivated as a means to attract the christian evangelical right as football fans, then attacks and blackmailing and nefarious attempts like this one to attack and undermine the integrity of Tim Tebow’s virginity as a man of high moral standards and sexual ethics who rebels against the culture of moral relativism and moral nihilism will ultimately prove a failure and Tebow will be exonerated and he will not cave into the extreme radical left’s agenda of working against the COnstitution of the USA and the principles and moral standards which make all the institutions of government and of good faith stand as it does today.

    Tim Tebow is fighting on the good moral front lines of this battle for the integrity of sexual ethics and morality in modern contemporary american society. We should at least do as much and uphold the same Christian moral sexual tenets which all true Christians have always stood for and continue standing for and which are under attack in modern society as has always been the case. Hopefully Tebow’s faith is good enough to help him win the battle for chastity and the integrity of marriage. May he find the right lady for him with whom he can have a happy married life of mutual love, affection, consideration, faith, and of course everything integrity gives through the chaste covenantal love relationship which entails responsibility and its true rewards…namely true happiness. -Ben

  3. Doc Kimble says:

    If Tim Tebow turns out to have been scarred on the field of the battle for purity, does that then warrant the conclusion that he has then lost that battle? It’s not where you start that matters, rather where you finish that is all important.

    “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
    ~Sir Winston Churchill~

  4. GREG SMITH says:

    Hmmmm .. He can only play football so long. Has he considered the Secret Service as a second career?

  5. Jeanne says:

    “If Mr. Tebow is indeed abstaining from adult relationships”

    I cringe at the twisting that has occurred in our language. Adult once meant fully developed and mature. Now it reflects no spiritual or moral maturity: adult language = profanity; adult movies = porn, adult relationships apparently = premarital/extra-marital sex. I guess self-control, chastity, decency, respect for others,and love are not “adult” behaviors or attitudes any longer. So very sad.

    1. mary says:

      To the standard line about all those who go to church being hypocrites, I say, yes, yes, we are. So, come right in and join us!

    2. Tami says:

      Amen Jeanne. Very well said and it is very sad. Very sad indeed.

  6. Mark Polo says:

    Actually, for all the anti-life, anti-religion stuff that we see out of the Huffington Post, it kind of makes me feel a bit better that this article finds the stunt from the dating site (almost) as reprehensible as we do. Maybe there _is_ hope for the world.

    1. James Reyes says:

      Certainly, Mark! I am politically left, but I don’t think garbage like this should be politicized or the actions of a sleaze-bucket site like Ashely Madison be conflated to imply approval from all.

      We can all agree that garbage like this is reprehensible. I may not agree with Tebow, but I think he’s a stand up guy.

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