Thursday, February 4, 2010

Weighing in on Tim Tebow and the SuperBowl Ad.

I've had some friends and church folks weighing in on the importance of advocating for CBS to air the Tim Tebow prolife ad during the Super Bowl. From what I understand, Tim Tebow's mother was advised to have an abortion, which would've left the world without one of the most well known, well liked college football players is NCAA history.

I wonder if this is worth it.

I get that the message is a vitally important one. I get that having it aired with such a captive audience who is guaranteed to stay tuned for the commercials is a great chance to make a statement.

I am a big fan of Tim Tebow the man (not really the football player). He is a man who has integrity, faith in Christ and his actions align with his message, which is refreshing in an era when so many talk the talk and avoid the walk.

But here's where I am struggling and I hope Christ-followers can think on this as well: We can't legislate Christianity. Moreover...we shouldn't want to legislate Christianity. It takes us to a dangerous places that isn't what Jesus had in mind when he spoke of Kingdom. I'm not downplaying the injustice of killing unborn children, but I think the best way to move away from that in culture is to bring the message of redemption and hope to the culture.

Jesus said, "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad for a tree is recognized by its fruit." What the Church has done has pointed at a bad tree and said, "stop bearing bad fruit". This does not work. It hasn't worked for the decades that abortion has permeated culture. It hasn't worked throughout history in any number of ways. The only way to see good fruit is to have the tree be good.

In Hebrew, there is a word called barah. It is used in Genesis 1:1 to say "In the beginning God barah-ed the heavens and the earth. All throughout the Hebrew Scriptures the word is used and it is only used with God as the barah-er. In Psalm 51, David's prayer "Create in me a new heart O God" uses barah.

So if you want someone's heart made new...if you want their tree to be good, it's God who must do the barah-ing, so we simply need to be attentive to where God is at work making good trees and join him in the process.

Love to hear your feedback on this. I know some of you are Catholics who are passionate about this issue, so keep the dialogue going.


Wood said...

Id like to see the ad before really having an opinion, I keep hearing that it will celebrate life and family, and it is a choice message (just a choice that NOW and other groups dont want people to make) but until we see it, who knows what the message is. Part of the problem is who is paying for the ad, which I think has more people up in arms.

I think we as Christians should not be silent about Christ (if only I would act that way all the time) and I think it's ok to use the Superbowl as a delivery vehicle for a positve message. It seems those against the ad are not pro choice, but pro abortion. What is wrong with making a choice NOT to have an abortion? Are these groups afraid of people making a choice that is not their agenda?

I agree wholeheartedly that we shouldnt legislate Christianity, that will lead us to places we dont want to go. God will be the one to change hearts, and I think this may be a way He does that...helping people make a good decision (at least in my mind). I see this as "the church" trying to be a part of Gods plan

Alicia Penrod said...

I see it in two ways:
1. If I had an abortion and I saw an anti-abortion commercial (granted we don't know the message of it because we haven't seen it) advocated by Christians, it would just make me angry and make me feel condemned. I would probably be further turned off to Christianity unless there was a message of forgiveness and acceptance.

2. If I was thinking about having an abortion and saw the commercial, depending on how it was done, I may choose not to do it.

Either way I think those commercials only serve to piss people off or cause those who agree to shake their heads and go.."That was a good commercial." I'm not sure it's the best way.

mikeg said...

I completely agree that the only way to stop something like abortion is to change peoples' hearts - or have the Holy Spirit change their hearts, really. You can't fix everything with legislation.

That said, I don't see how we as Christians can not speak out. We need to be witnesses if only to show to the world that someone is saying, "This is wrong." That means something.

As for "legislating Christianity," saying that killing someone is wrong is not a strictly Christian ideal - it's a human one. There shouldn't have to be a law that says abortion is wrong. Sadly, we don't live in that world.

I agree with Alicia that commercials could make people feel either condemned or just affirm people who agree with it, but can we afford to not be where people are talking?
Paul went into the Aeropagus because that's where the people were. TV, the Internet and other media our the places where conversation happens today.

Just FYI, there are groups like Rachel's Vineyard ( and Silent No More ( who specifically reach out to people personally affected by abortion.

In the end, after seeing the commercial tonight, I think that the controversy was more about pro-abortion groups not wanting to hear any dissenting voices more than not offending anyone.

Ben said...

Great points by all of you...The commercial was honestly a 'let down' from a controversy standpoint. haha.

I guess I would rather the Church take a stand for the fact that our God is not dead but conquered the grave. That message changes hearts which will inevitably change people's moral compass. You are all right on with the notion that we should not be silent...we just need to make sure our noise is the right noise.