*BEST OF DTB #123* The Catholic Defender: Tebow Time

Posted by John Benko - January 2nd, 2012

I have been a football fan since the middle 1960′s when the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers appeared in the first Super Bowl. From that time, I have been a die hard Kansas City Chief fan.

The 1969 season, the Chiefs would finally win the Super Bowl against the Minnisota Vikings, however, it has been a long drought since the Chief’s have gone to the big show. They have had years where they arguably were the best team in football only to lose in the playoffs.

To this point, they have not won a playoff game since the 1993 season. That is an amazing fact in itself, I have often thought that maybe the Chiefs should bring back Joe Montana out of retirement?

Because the Chief’s were my childhood team, I’ve always had a heart for them, but it has been a difficult road to follow the Chief’s with high expectation. While serving in Iraq in 2009, I was captivated by the Bret Farve story, the one time Green Bay Packer Quarterback who made a new home with the Minnisota Vikings.

This was an amazing story as the Vikings would come close to going to the Superbowl but finally losing to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC’s Championship game. If the vikings would have won this game, they would have gone to the Superbowl.

For me, this was an exciting season following Bret Farve’s success in winning games. I’ll point out that even though I was in Iraq doing missions and serving my Country, the NFL certainly gave us a great release from our daily duties and hazards.

On game day, we would stay up late or get up early to watch our favorite teams or join the Recreation Center to participate with other Soldiers cheering for our teams. Aside from my Faith, this would be a very important support for me. This certainly helped pass the time away from week to week, but it also gave us something to look forward to that was a little bit from home.

During this deployment, the Kansas City Chief’s were not a threat for the playoffs so I put my support for Bret Farve and the Minnisota Vikings. Now that I am back in the United States, and have been retired out of the Army, I still love my Chief’s, but they have not progressed in the playoff picture this year. Like the Bret Farve story, a new story has emerged that has captivated my boyhood love for football. This is the Tim Tebow Story.

I want to give a little foundation here before I move forward with Tim Tebow, my wife, Gigi, is from Alabama. Anyone who knows college football, Alabama has a great winning tradition and I adopted Alabama as my favorite team.

Well, the rival to my Alabama team is a conferance rival, the Florida Gators who competed with Alabama for the National Championships. Who was the quarteback for the Gators, Tim Tebow, who not noly won the national championship, but won the Heisman Trophy as well.

That was a great rivalry which we lost to Tim Tebow one year, and then finally Alabama won the next year. At this point, I didn’t know much about Tim Tebow’s background, but I respected him as a competitor. The only other thing I remeber about him is that he would have a scripture verse planted under his eyes where many players would darken to help them see better in the sun. I thought that was cool.

This past year, Tim Tebow captivated America with his inspiring play winning games in heroic fashion. He took a Denver Bronco team that was 1-4 and would lead them to win the AFC Western Conference Championship. During this great run, many pundants ranging from sports to comedy made fun of Tebow.

Saturday Night Live litterally Mocked Tebow’s faith and professed Athiest Bill Maher, a “comedian” attacked Tebow following a loss to the Buffalo Bills. Dispite all the criticisms and public scrutiny, the Denver Broncos won the AFC’s Western Division in a highly competitive race.

Denver stood no chance of being in the run without the 7 and 1 winning striek led by Tim Tebow. Being a strong Catholic, I was totally captivated by the story of Tim Tebow and after the Bronco’s beat Kansas City in Kansas City, that is when I jumped on the Tebow bandwagon.

One thing I think I should note is that despite all the publicity surrounding Tebow, he has handled this well keeping a humble heart giving respectful responses to his critics on and off the field. That is telling. The impact that Tebow is having off the field is amazing.

Today, 2 January 2012, Fox News reported the inspiring story of a young boy diagnosed with cancer who was given 6 months to live. This is a the story of a young boy captivated by Tim Tebow. He was pictured doing the famed Tim Tebow kneeling position giving thanks to God, when his story was picked up by Tim Tebow.

The young boy got the opportunity to meet Tebow this past weekend in Denver at the final seasonal game with guess who, my Kansas City Chief’s.

I found myself supporting Tebow in this game which was won by my Chief’s.

For the Chief’s it was a meaningless game, it was an opportunity for them to knock out Denver from the playoff’s.

They would have done so, but the Oakland Raiders lost to San Diego which gave the title to Denver despite their loss to Kansas City.

Denver won by virtue of tie breakers, three teams had the same won/loss record but Denver won the head to head games.

The Tim Tebow Story is a very inspiring story as the playoffs begin this next week.

The Pittsburg Steelers are coming to Denver and the winner moves forward in the playoffs and the loser stays home. It will be fun to see if “Tebow Time” will continue in the playoffs or if it ends Sunday. With all the publicity that has followed Tim Tebow, there is a very important point I need to raise. (Editors Update) Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburg Steelers 29 to 23 in overtime. Tebow threw for 316 yards! Symbolic for John 3:16! Denver will play Next Saturday at New England.

Tebow is I believe real and sincere in his heart, he is showing great discipline in his faith and loyalty to Christ and his faith. That I admire in him and I am inspired by his not backing down to the secular media.

I also admire the Denver Broncos and their fans who have been captivated by the Tebow Time success. Watching the game, I am seeing the fans with signs ranging “we believe” among other positive support.

That is awesome, kind of reminds me when people use to place signs with John 3:16 seen with the fans. Those were some great video footages when watching the field goal attempt and the ball going through the goal posts and John 3:16 in the background in the midst of wild screaming fans.

This next point about Tim Tebow I need to raise because of the national publicity he has recieved. To people of faith, this transcends religious lines. For Catholics, I do have a caution about Tim Tebow that needs to be identified.

Because of the inspiration surrounding Tim Tebow, he has a growing surge of fans from all walks, me included. However, when you take a deeper look at his faith, there is some cause for concern. His Father, Bob Tebow, come from a Southern Baptist background.

He has no respect for Catholics supporting missionaries in the Philippines, he has an Orphanage there. That is in itself a good and noble thing, but they do not work with the Catholic Church in that region, but seek to overturn it.

The mission of Bob Tebow is to bring the people of the Philippines to Chirst. In this process, this includes converting Catholics. On College Campuses Bob Tebow was very much involved with “Campus Crusaders for Christ” which in itself is a good thing, but unfortunately, many included Catholics as a target to market after.

I myself while in college remember their approaching me and debating me on countless occassion when I was at College in the latter 1970′s. I didn’t know my Catholic Faith well then and I had to battle between the Catholic Faith and the faiths that they represented.

For a Catholic to be misinformed, they became easy pickings to these groups. I not only have dealt with this kind of pressure on a personal note, but in the Army, these groups focus on young recruits seeking to target Catholics. This is the kind of enviornment that Tim Tebow was raised.

The following is taken from Bob Tebows website, “Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association:

“The Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association has been serving in the Philippines since 1985 with five major priorities: Evangelism, Church Planting, Pastor Training, an Orphanage, and the Training of the Next Generation of Evangelists. It is the primary goal of BTEA to make the gospel of Jesus Christ available to every person in the world.

In 1998, BTEA began to implement a plan to preach the gospel in every barangay (village) in the Philippines. There are approximately 42,000 barangays in the Philippines and it is estimated that over 64% of them do not have a single evangelical church. In a country of over 92 million, the number of people who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ is staggering. These statistics do not even take into account the dozens of ethnic tribal groups that have been living on obscure islands and in remote mountain villages for centuries. It is our goal to go to each and every barangay and give the people the opportunity to hear the gospel at least one time. In addition to preaching the gospel, we are endeavoring to plant indigenous churches with the new converts and train national pastors. It is a tremendous task that must be completed.”

When I see the potential good that Tim Tebow is doing along with his family roots, I can’t help but think that these children are former Catholics. First generation Catholics who have abandoned the Faith for this association. The challenge for Catholics is to remain steadfast in their faith and grow in their understanding. It is my hope that with Tim Tebow’s college experience, and now his Professional Football he has grown in respect for Catholic players on his team and in the football world. I sent him a question on this but have not recieved a response, but I am among thousands so that would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

As a Catholic, I most certainly can respect and admire Tim Tebow’s faith, his sincerity to follow and serve the Lord above all things, even football, wouldn’t his conversion to the Catholic Faith make big news! We have seen such conversions the past few years from Evangelical Protestants to the catholic Faith. In doing so, I have not seen anytime where they attack or condemn their Protestant upbringing, I hope that Tim Tebow will grow and mature in his faith recognizing that Catholics are indeed Christians, but more importantly, are the fullness and foundation of Christianity!


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