NY Jets QB Tim Tebow has spoken at mega-churches in the past, including this appearance at the Easter service of Celebration Church in Georgetown, Texas last year.
Tim Tebow apparently consulted a higher power – Twitter – and decided not to speak at the controversial First Baptist Church of Dallas in April.
Tebow, still on the Jets’ roster until further notice, tweeted Thursday that he would cancel the appearance “due to new information that has been brought to my attention.”
From @TimTebow: “While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic … First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my … upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those … needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!”
Tebow was scheduled to speak at the mega-church on Sunday, April 28, but reports quickly surfaced, pointing out that the views of the church’s lead pastor, Robert Jeffress, didn’t exactly coincide with Tebow’s squeaky-clean image.
According to a statement from Jeffress, Tebow has told the pastor that he would like to come to First Baptist Dallas to speak at a future date.
Jeffress has spoken out in the past against Muslims, Jews, Mormons and homosexuals, claiming that Islam “promoted pedophila” and has said that “Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and virtually everyone else” are members of cults, according to reports. He has said Islam and Mormonism are “heresy from the pit of hell” and tied Catholicism to “a Babylonian mystery religion” that corrupted the early Christian church.
He makes no apologies for his comments.
“I think as pastors we have a duty to preach ‘the whole counsel of God,’ and not just discuss those that are politically correct,” Jeffress said. “It’s my role to speak clearly on the issues on which the Bible speaks clearly. It’s my role to preach what the Bible says, and that includes the controversial issues.
FREDERICK BREEDON/GETTY IMAGES
Tim Tebow sees little action after the Jets trade for him before the 2012 season.
“The reason for this firestorm is not because the word of God has changed. It’s because society has changed.”
“I applaud Tim Tebow’s decision to cancel his appearance,” Hudson Taylor, the founder of the non-profit Athlete Ally, said in a statement. “Regardless of his reasoning, his absence serves as a reminder that the discrimination of gay and lesbian athletes and individuals has no place in sports or society. I hope Tim will take this opportunity to speak out for respect and acceptance of all people, regardless of a persons sexual orientation.”
Statement by First Baptist Church Dallas:
The leaders and congregation of First Baptist Church Dallas are disappointed that New York Jets’ Quarterback Tim Tebow today has announced he will no longer speak at First Baptist Church Dallas on April 28, 2013, as part of the month-long celebration events surrounding the grand opening of our new $130 million, state-of-the-art campus on Easter Sunday.
Mr Tebow called Dr. Jeffress Wednesday evening saying that for personal and professional reasons he needed to avoid controversy at this time, but would like to come to First Baptist Dallas to speak at a future date.
We are saddened that Mr. Tebow felt pressure to back out of his long-planned commitment to First Baptist Dallas from numerous New York and national sports and news media who grossly misrepresented past comments made by our pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, specifically related to issues of homosexuality and AIDS, as well as Judaism.
As a Christian pastor, Dr. Jeffress takes a biblical approach to moral and social issues, closely following his duty to preach ‘the whole counsel of God,’ and not just address issues that are politically correct. First Baptist is a church built on the truth of Scripture, even though at times that approach can be perceived as controversial or counter to the prevailing winds of culture.
The reason for the recent media firestorm is not because the Word of God has changed, but because society has changed.
More important, contrary to editorializing in the media, Dr. Jeffress shares a message of hope, not hate; salvation, not judgment; and a Gospel of God’s love, grace and new beginnings available to all.