Trending at the very top of the Yahoo! News "Trends" on Saturday is the story regarding Tim Tebow's scheduled appearance at the grand opening of the First Baptist Dallas Church - which is being accused as anti-gay by media sources. On the First Baptist Dallas website, Tebow is listed as their "Special Guest" on April 28, as part of the morning worship.
Tebow's appearance at the church is part of a celebratory month for the church, which includes other special guests during the month of April, such as Dr. David Jeremiah (of Shadow Mountain Community Church here in San Diego), Pastor Jim Cymbala (of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church), Phil Wickham (contemporary Christian artist), Carol Cymbala (Director of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir), and Dr. James Dobson (founder of Focus on the Family).
A search of the Yahoo Trends reveals a long list of accusatory articles against the church in which Tebow is scheduled to speak. The following list is a small sample of the kinds of articles being written because of Tebow's speaking engagement at the church:
"Tim Tebow to speak at anti-gay, anti-semitic church" - TV Guide
"Tim Tebow to speak at controversial Dallas megachurch" - NBC Sports
"Tim Tebow to speak at anti-gay church" - The Inquisitr
"Tim Tebow, Jets Quarterback, to speak at virulently anti-gay, anti-semitic church" - The Huffington Post
The list goes on and on. Internet sources accusing the church of anti-semitism and homophobia, and questioning Tim Tebow's judgement for wanting to speak there.
First Baptist Dallas is lead by Dr. Robert Jeffres. Dr. Jeffress is a well-known public figure, having made multiple appearances on television. Despite the slanderous attacks on Dr. Jeffres character by the listed internet sources above, Dr. Jeffres has not said anything that goes against the teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed in the bible.
The tone that these sources are using in their articles appears to reflect their inability and/or unwillingness to comprehend Dr. Jeffress Christian faith.
TV Guide, for example, makes the following statement about the pastor of the church, as though he were guilty of uttering unbiblical words:
"The church is led by Evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress, who has previously denounced non-Christian religions such as Islam, Judaism and Mormonism."
Followers of Jesus Christ, easily identify the following statement made by Jesus, himself:
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me."
- (John 14:6)
This signifies that no other religion, or religious leader is the way to heaven. Christians - such as Tim Tebow and Robert Jeffres - understand this and would be falling out of line with Jesus' teaching if they implied that Islam, Mormonism, or any other religion, are also "a way" to heaven.
The internet sources above-mentioned, expressing dismay over Pastor Robert Jeffress statements regarding homosexuality, also appear ignorant of the fact that the bible is very clear on the matter of sexuality. Not just "homosexuality" but any form of sexuality that is outside the will of God.
The bible says:
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." - (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
This brief list of sins would appear to disqualify just about all of us from heaven. However, in a series he preached entitled "Politically Incorrect" ,Dr.Robert Jeffress emphasizes the need for Jesus Christ - regardless of the person's sin. In his own words, Dr. Jeffress:
"I do think homosexual advocates are right in one way in that they have pointed out the hypocrisy in many Christians in their dealing with the subject. If you've read any of the blogs over the last couple of days and people protesting today's message they say, 'Well, why don't you speak out against other kinds of sexual immorality besides homosexuality' and it's true. There are many ways to pervert God's plan for human sexuality. Adultery is a perversion of Gods plan for sexuality. Pre-marital sex is a perversion of God's plan for sexuality. Unbiblical divorces and remarriages are a perversion of God's plan for sexuality. God's pattern is very clear. It is a man and a woman in a marriage relationship. That is the arena for which sex is reserved. We need to be consistent and not just zero in on homosexuality, but any kind of sexual immorality. The third mistake is to treat homosexuality as the unpardonable sin. To say that homosexuals cant be forgiven, they can't go to heaven. Ladies and gentleman there is no sin that is outside the grace of God. That's why Jesus Christ came to die; not just for the small sins or a particular list of sins. He came to die for all sins and anyone who admits his sin and his need for forgiveness, whether they be drunkards, or liars, or murderers, or adulterers, or homosexuals, anyone can find forgiveness through Jesus Christ."
Does Dr. Robert Jeffress still sound homophobic to you? Is he "virulently" homophobic?
Those accusing the Dallas church of being anti-gay also seem to forget that the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees Americans freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
"Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
It appears that, in America today, if an individual of Christian faith (or any other faith) refuses to celebrate another individual's sexual preferences then it makes him a homophobic bigot. Does that make any sense?
Thank you for reading. Feel free to voice your views and engage others in productive dialogue. = )
Albert's Einstein Insight of the Day:
Hamburgers - typically - do not contain any ham.