We've heard a lot about Jesus Christ lately and it's not because many
of us are about to celebrate his birth again. Thanks to Tim Tebow
and Albert Pujols, Jesus Christ has been mentioned on television,
radio, in newspapers, and on the Internet as often as Kim Kardashian.
Tebow, the Denver Broncos quarterback, begins every press
conference after a game by stating, "I want to thank Jesus Christ,
my Lord and savior." Pujols said he prayed to him when trying
to decide if he should take the boatload of cash from the Angels,
Marlins, or Cardinals. Naturally, Pujols decided, with the help of
a higher power, that he wanted to wear a halo.
What should we make of Tebow and Pujols as they put their
relationship with Jesus Christ on display? I don't think anyone
has a problem with their belief in the son of God but it's obvious
there are many who feel that Tebow and Pujols should not
his Lord and savior on national television after he helped the
St. Louis Rams win the Super Bowl in 1999. Warner admittedly
toned down his act as he got older and more mature, and in a
recent interview in the Arizona Republic he urged Tebow to
do the same.
"You can't help but cheer for a guy like that," Warner told the
newspaper. "But I'd tell him, 'Put down the boldness in regards
to the words, and keep living the way you're living. Let your
teammates do the talking for you. Let them cheer on your testimony."
The future hall of fame quarterback added. "The greatest
impact you can have on people is never what you say, but how
you live. When you speak and represent the person of Jesus
Christ in all actions of your life, people are drawn to that.
You set the standard with your actions. The words can come after."
We haven't heard many words form Pujols since he shocked the
baseball world by signing with the Angels. He has slipped into
relative obscurity, thanks to the off-season. But his wife, Deidre,
more than made up for his silence recently.
“When it all came down, I was mad,” Deidre Pujols told a St. Louis
radio station. “I was mad at God because I felt like all the signs
that had been played out through the baseball field, our foundation,
our restaurant, the Down Syndrome Center, my relationships,
my home, my family close. I mean, we had no reason, not one
reason, to want to leave." Mrs. Pujols was mad at God? Why?
There are some theologians who say that Tebow's and Pujols'
open display of their religion goes against what is written in
“Take care that you don't flaunt your religion in public to be
noticed by others. Otherwise, you will have no recognition
from your Father in the heavens" -- (Matt. 6:1).
Many Christians have celebrated the success of Tebow and
admire his willingness to credit his Lord and savior for the gifts
that he's been blessed with. However, when you put yourself
and your religion on display like Tebow, you're open to shots
from the critics and comics. Tebow was lampooned on "Saturday
Night Live". And the fear is, that once the Broncos and their
quarterback comes back to earth and go through difficult times
the cynicism will increase to a point where he will be openly
mocked for the open display of his beliefs.
Warner had once piece of advice for Tebow and he delivered
it via Twitter.
"My perspective is always share&be bold w/ faith, but I learned
there r multiple ways 2 do that&that is what I would share w/ Tim!"
In a sports world that's been riddled by scandal, Tebow and Pujols
are air fresheners that have covered up the stench emitting from Penn
State, Syracuse, Tiger Woods, and the litany of athletes who have
behaved badly. Both have tried to live their lives like Jesus Christ,
who was also mocked and criticized, but he stayed true to his
beliefs, didn't he?