“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:12).
We often think of “leaders” as the President, a CEO, a military general, or the coach of the team. But the reality is, everyone is called to lead in some capacity. Pastors are to lead their congregations; parents are to lead their children; Christians are to lead in word and deed.
So how do we become better leaders of the few or many we lead? What qualities are most important for leaders to develop and who in Scripture displayed exemplary leadership? And what should leaders do when they face opposition or pressure to compromise their convictions?
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, joins us this Saturday on The Christian Worldview to talk about leadership in light of his new book, The Conviction to Lead.
More than 30 seniors from Nebraska Christian Schools will be live in studio taking part in the discussion as well. One example of “convictional leadership” we’ll discuss is Tim Tebow’s recent withdrawal from speaking at First Baptist Church in Dallas after heavy media scrutiny over his scheduled appearance.
Guest: Vasko Kohlmayer, columnist, Washington Times
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
One would only need to compare an evening of network television today with the 1950’s to conclude that American culture has become more openly crude, immoral, and depraved. There’s no doubt that sin was in existence back in the “good ol’ days”, but generally speaking, sin wasn’t applauded and goodness wasn’t scorned.
Yet that is exactly where America is today. For example, an upstanding Christian man like Tim Tebow would have been almost universally praised as a role model 60 years ago, but now a vocal segment of the country tears him down. Or how about the ABC sit-com, Modern Family, airing an episode this week where a two-year-old is portrayed as saying the f-word? Do you think that would have gotten laughs a couple generations ago?
This Saturday on The Christian Worldview, Vasko Kohlmayer, Christian columnist for the Washington Times, will join us LIVE from Russia to discuss what becomes of a nation when it loves darkness rather than light and what Christians are called to be and do in that kind of culture. Vasco was born and raised under communism and is now an American citizen living and working in Moscow.
Tim Tebow and the Worship of Darkness – Vasko Kohlmayer
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
It is impossible to deny that a 24-year-old football quarterback has sparked a national conversation. Maybe “furor” or “mania” would be better words to describe it. Not since Billy Graham has one Christian struck such a nerve in this country with his life, words, and works.
Discussion about Tim Tebow crops up everywhere. He is polled as the most popular athlete in America. Republican presidential candidates want his endorsement. Nearly 50 million people watched him lead the Denver Broncos to a startling victory last Sunday over the Pittsburgh Steelers and most likely even more will tune in Saturday evening as the Broncos face the vaunted New England Patriots and their star quarterback, Tom Brady. It really is “Tebow Time” in America.
One of the common questions people are asking is, “What is driving Tebow mania?” Of course it has something to do with his “miraculous” football victories, but the way Tebow “wears his faith on his sleeve” also elicits huge reaction, both positive and negative. He prays openly during games and thanks “my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” in post-game interviews, win or lose. His charitable foundation pays for sick children to attend his games and also builds hospitals and health care facilities in the Philippines and America. Tim Tebow is unabashedly public with his faith in Christ.
The question we will discuss this Saturday on The Christian Worldview is “how much should Christians wear their faith on their sleeves?” For example, Jesus says in Matthew 5 that Christians should be “salt and light” in this world and then in Matthew 6 says Christians should “pray in secret”. So how public should we be with our faith? Tune in this weekend to find out!
Tim Tebow’s Role Model
Poll Finds 43 Percent Of People Believe God Helps Tebow Win
Tebow: The man behind the mania
Tim Tebow takes time to meet families in crisis amid hoopla of playoffs
“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).
Every so often a sports story makes front page news and that was the case this week when a grand jury investigation found that Penn State’s football program and its legendary coach, 84-year-old Joe Paterno, had tolerated a serial child rapist in their midst named Jerry Sandusky, a long-time assistant coach. When the decision was made on Wednesday to fire Paterno, students on campus rioted.
This explosive story at Penn State is the only thing that has been able to overshadow the incredible amount of fan and media attention devoted to Denver Broncos quarterback and committed Christian Tim Tebow. Although Tebow has only started three games for a team with a losing record, the most hotly debated topic of the NFL season continues to be: “Can Tim Tebow play quarterback in the NFL?” What do the polarized and irrational responses say about our culture?
Need to Read: Why the Heck Do We Hate Tim Tebow? (Jen Floyd Engel)
Guest: Mike Yorkey, Author, “Playing With Purpose”
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” I Thessalonians 5:18
When you think of Thanksgiving, what do you think of? The Pilgrims? Family gatherings? Turkey and all the trimmings?
In 2010 America, these traditions are being supplemented with a new one — football. On Thanksgiving Day, millions of Americans gathered around the television to watch three National Football League (NFL) games and will do so again over the weekend for the full slate of NFL games. Like it or not, NFL football has become as much a part of Thanksgiving as … “Black Friday” shopping the day after.
There are three first-year quarterbacks in the NFL that you should know about, even if you don’t watch or like football because they are poised to do what most athletes do not — make a positive impact on our culture. They are Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos), Colt McCoy (Cleveland Browns), and Sam Bradford (St. Louis Rams). By all accounts, all three are more than “Thank you Jesus for winning this game” type of Christians, but rather are deeply committed followers of Jesus Christ.
Mike Yorkey, author of over 70 books and our guest this weekend on The Christian Worldview, has just written a new book about these three young men entitled “Playing with Purpose”. It profiles how they were raised and how their faith sets them apart. We will ask how parents should balance using these three as role models while realizing they are but men.
Interview with Dr. Varner while guest hosting for the Janet Mefford Show
When FOX News Channel contributor Brit Hume expresses his opinion that Tiger Woods should seek Christianity rather than Buddhism to find redemption and forgiveness from his marital infidelities, the secular world goes apoplectic with scorn. Why is that?
When Focus on the Family creates a Super Bowl commercial that features Pam Tebow, Read more
Tim Tebow, a Heisman trophy winner and two-time national champion quarterback for the Florida Gators football team, is a committed follower of Jesus Christ. The son of missionary parents, Tebow wears his faith literally on his face, writing Scripture references like John 3:16 on the glare-tape under his eyes. His works give evidence to his faith: he preaches in prisons, helps the poor in the Philippines, and is committed to celibacy until marriage.
What a great young man, right? Not so fast. Two recent articles, one in USA Today and the other in Read more
A New Agenda Takes Shape
Sam Cook has had enough. A sports columnist for the Fort Myers [FL] News-Press, Cook recently referred to quarterback Tim Tebow of the University of Florida Gators and told his readers: “I don’t know how many more ‘God bless’ comments I can stand from the 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.” Tebow, Cook argued, should play football and forget about his religious beliefs while he is wearing the Gator uniform.
“Somehow, we’ll survive without him displaying a ‘John 3:16′ Bible verse under his eyes,” Cook wrote. “We separate church and state. Why not church and sports?”
Sam Cook’s column was prompted by a far more prominent essay published in Monday’s edition of USA Today. In “And I’d Like to Thank God Almighty,” Tom Krattenmaker leveled a comprehensive critique of the evangelical Christian message that, as he laments, permeates so much of the sporting world at both the college and professional levels.
The Bible verses painted in eye-black, fingers pointed heavenward, and expressions of thankfulness to God at the conclusion of a big game amount, Krattenmaker argues, to “a faith surge that has made big-time sports one of the most outwardly religious sectors of American culture.”
Krattenmaker’s concern is that this “faith surge” is overwhelmingly evangelical in its substance and message. He addressed this issue in a recently-released book, Onward Christian Athletes: Turning Ballparks into Pulpits and Players into Preachers. In both the column and his book, Krattenmaker seeks to describe “the infrastructure and strategy of the sports-world evangelicalism” that is the source of his concern.
In his book, Krattenmaker offers a more nuanced and developed argument than what is found in his recent column. Nevertheless, in both contexts his main concern is what he sees as a near monopoly of evangelical influence and expression in the sporting world.
How did this come to be? Suffice it to say that Christianity is a strong presence in sports is no accident. It happened because a movement of athletic-minded evangelical Christians have been making it happen since setting out more than a half-century ago to reach and convert athletes and leverage their influence to spread the gospel to the wider sports-loving public.
Krattenmaker correctly traces evangelical influence in sports to the “muscular Christianity” movement so popular in America between the Civil War and World War II. He expresses appreciation for the moral influence of evangelical Christians and Christian conviction within the lives of athletes. Nevertheless, he is clearly alarmed by evangelical displays of the Gospel.
Looking beyond Tim Tebow, Krattenmaker points to Baseball Chapel, a Christian ministry that offers chaplains and worship services for professional baseball players on the road or at the ballpark. He is specifically offended by the fact that the ministry believes that those who do not come to faith in Jesus will face “everlasting punishment separated from God.”
He pointedly addresses the same concern to Tim Tebow. After praising his athletic ability and charitable works, he criticizes Tebow for his belief that faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation. Specifically, Krattenmaker cites the stated beliefs of the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association. As he asserts, the ministry affirms the exclusivity of the Gospel and rejects “the modern ecumenical movement.”
In his USA Today column, Krattenmaker describes Tebow’s beliefs as “a far-right theology.” Yet, in his book Krattenmaker describes the same beliefs as “hardly fringe or half-baked.” As he explains, “On the contrary, they are quite consistent with the long tradition of conservative evangelicalism in America and the beliefs that more or less define the religious lives of millions of churchgoing Americans.”
In his column, Krattenmaker goes even further in denouncing Tebow’s beliefs:
Certainly, Tim Tebow must be applauded for the good he does working on his father’s missions, but he should be seen, too, as one who promotes a form of belief that makes unwelcome judgments about everyone else’s religion. Let’s not forget the twinge that is felt by sports-loving Jewish kids and parents, for example, or by champions for interfaith cooperation, when adored sports figures like Tebow use their fame to push a Jesus-or-else message.
Both Sam Cook and Tom Krattenmaker identify the exclusivity of the Gospel as the key issue of their concern when it comes to Tim Tebow and any number of other prominent sports figures. Krattenmaker repeatedly stresses that he believes athletes should be free to express their faith. Nevertheless, he argues that belief in the exclusivity of the Gospel of Christ is out of bounds for such expression.
What we face here is undoubtedly a sign of things to come. The belief that Jesus is the only Savior and that salvation comes only to those who come to Christ by faith is essential to Biblical Christianity. As Krattenmaker rightly observes in his book, when it comes to historic Christianity this belief is “hardly fringe or half-baked.” Yet, it is precisely this doctrine that is so odious and inconceivable to the postmodern mind.
Krattenmaker argues that evangelical Christians are unfairly using what he describes as “the civic resource known as ‘our team.'” He demands that the management of professional sports open the door to other religious organizations and make room for expressions of other religious beliefs. He also calls for Christians to use “discernment” in seeking to evangelize their teammates.
Cook, on the other hand, calls for an outright separation of “church and sports.” The sporting world is hardly the only arena where the same arguments are made. You can count on seeing these same arguments appear anywhere evangelical Christians express their faith in public or within ear-shot of those who may be offended. The belief that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation is now at the very center of secular outrage.
Consider this: Tom Krattenmaker ransacked the website of the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association in order to find the statement that caused him to criticize Tim Tebow as espousing “a far-right theology.” The outrage directed at Tim Tebow is not just about a Bible reference written in eye-black. The outrage is directed at the sincerely-held beliefs of a young man and an evangelistic association.
Tom Krattenmaker suggests that Tim Tebow should adopt a “more generous conception of salvation.” And now we all know the price of being seen as “more generous.” Just abandon the Gospel.
I am confident that Tim Tebow will withstand this pressure. He has shown enough theological maturity and strength of conviction to earn that confidence. But, we have to wonder, how many others will fold under the intimidation?
A few months ago, I met Pam Tebow at a conference where we were both speaking. Pam is the mother of Tim Tebow, arguably the best player in college football. Tebow has led the Florida Gators to their second national title game in three years, which will be played tonight [Jan. 8 vs. Oklahoma].
Tebow does not fit the bill as the best football player in the country. Why? Well, among other things, he was homeschooled. In fact, the conference where I had the privilege of meeting Pam was a home educators conference in Jacksonville, FL.
To be honest, I may have offended Pam, though unintentionally of course. After speaking with her about how much I admire how her son plays (he plays very hard, every down – sort of a football version of Tyler Hansbrough), I asked her how he was doing spiritually Read more