Tim Tebow’s Rabbit’s Foot

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” -A.W.Tozer

I watched the comments at NFL.com stream in as the Patriots slaughtered the Broncos.

“Pray your way out of this one Timmy.”

“I guess Jesus had better things to do today.”

(And those are the repeatable ones.)

Tim Tebow has inadvertantly revealed more about the state of faith in America than any pollster or sociologist could. If we’re listening well we can learn a great deal about the gospel – not the one we believe, but the one we’ve preached.

Some Tebow defenders commented as well, feeling as if Tebow’s faith was being attacked. But they were wrong.

The attacks were against a version of Christianity that Tebow – like most Christians throughout history – does not claim as his own. Yet, at times, most of us have sure sounded like we do.

Somehow, many have gotten the idea that we Christians view Jesus/God/faith/church as a talisman, a lucky rabbit’s foot. Keep Jesus in your pocket and you can defeat the most successful quarterback in NFL history. Ridiculous, right?

At first, I want to blame that prosperity preacher down in Texas. I want to put him on a flight to Haiti, lay a dying baby in his arms and tell him to tell her weeping mother all she needs to do is have faith and her little girl will “prosper.” But is the blame all his?

What about this familiar phrase? The family that prays together stays together.

Really? No matter what? If we just circle up once a day, talk to God and end with an “Amen” a forcefield will lower over my house, my kids won’t rebel, I’ll meet my wife’s every need, and she won’t cheat on me?

And if we skip a day? Does the forcefield evaporate, leaving my kids susceptible to addiction, me doomed to workaholism, and my wife prone to philandering?

God, forgive me for selling sure-fire easy-peezy drive-by solutions wrapped in biblical language to complex people living complex lives. Forgive me for making promises you won’t keep. Because of me they think you’re a liar.

Forgive me for picking up the bullhorn of faith when I’m in the end zone and putting it down when I’m at the bottom of the dog pile. Forgive me for claiming the job promotion as a “God thing” but calling the cancer abandonment. I’ve created my own religion that’s making yours harder and harder to hear.

I’m sorry.