The story is simple: Saturday Night Live did a parody of Tim Tebow’s faith and his six-game winning streak by having Jesus actually show up and tell Tebow that He couldn’t keep helping the team win in the fourth quarter the way that He did for the last six games. You can see the video here until it gets booted for copyright infringement.
I know a lot of people are expressing “outrage” at what the writers did. Please do not join those decrying the event. It is what we can and should expect from a fallen world. If we are to express any emotions at all, our emotions should include sadness and pity. Sadness over the fact that we are just as blasphemous as the writers for SNL, and pity that we are so quick to condemn them and not come along side them to show them their sinfulness.
How is it that we, the church, are as blasphemous? Because we fail to honor Christ, His name and all about Him in our hearts as we should. It is easy for us to point out the sin in a fallen world, thereby boosting our own egos. But if we are honest, do we truly honor Christ as we should? Nope!
For instance, take a look at the Larger Catechism Questions on how we break the Third Commandment:
Q. 111. Which is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Q. 112. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires, that the name of God, his titles, attributes, ordinances, the word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots, his works, and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought, meditation, word, and writing; by an holy profession, and answerable conversation, to the glory of God, and the good of ourselves, and others.
Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required; and the abuse of it in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, profane, superstitious, or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes, ordinances, or works, by blasphemy, perjury; all sinful cursings, oaths, vows, and lots; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful; and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful; murmuring and quarreling at, curious prying into, and misapplying of God’s decrees and providences; misinterpreting, misapplying, or any way perverting the word, or any part of it, to profane jests, curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms, or sinful lusts and practices; the maligning, scorning, reviling, or any wise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends; being ashamed of it, or a shame to it, by unconformable, unwise, unfruitful, and offensive walking, or backsliding from it.
Basically what the writers are doing is not revering the name or person Christ. But if we read the above, we can see that we fall short of this as well. So to feign outrage, as some are doing, really is a bit arrogant on our part. Hatred of Christ and Christians should be expected. After all, that is what our LORD said would happen (Matthew 5:11ff). In fact, He says we should rejoice when such things happen, for great is our reward in heaven.
Instead of showing outrage, please use this as a way to talk about the true and living Savior we have, not this parody that was presented. If we are honest with ourselves, we will find that the Christ we so often want is not what we find in Scriptures. So get to know the Christ of the Bible, not our own desires or others making. This way, when such parodies arise, and they will, use them as opportunities to show people the living and true Savior of Scripture.
Is He concerned about football? Absolutely not. Is He concerned about the spiritual well-being of football players? You bet. So much so, that He went to the cross to die in order to deal with their sins. While Tebow may be “too zealous” for some, he gives us a great opportunity to show others the reasons we have to be zealous at all. Christ is not slap happy, but serious about redeeming His people from a fallen world.
Yes, the world will make fun of us and Christ, but faking outrage is not the answer. Pointing the world to the real Savior is.