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Not all New York evangelicals lining up behind Tebow
March 23rd, 2012
04:02 PM ET

Not all New York evangelicals lining up behind Tebow

By Jason Kessler, CNN

(New York) - New York is known for its skyscrapers, not its steeples. But it's hardly the den of godlessness suggested by some media coverage of Tim Tebow's trade to the Jets.

"Welcome to Sodom," read a New York Magazine headline on Thursday.

In fact, the country's largest metropolis has plenty of faith-minded folk. About 6,780 properties in New York qualify for a property tax exemption offered to houses of worship, according to a city spokesperson. That doesn't factor in the many congregations that don't own property.

Tim Tebow, who was signed by the New York Jets this week, is hardly the first religiously devout athlete to don a New York jersey.

Jeremy Lin, the only player to cause comparable hyperventilation in New York sports in 2012, has openly discussed his evangelical faith.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Within the city's little-discussed but vibrant evangelical community, reaction to the pious quarterback's arrival has closely tracked reaction in the secular community: Shouts of joy mixed with groans of disgust.

Ruben Diaz Sr., a New York state senator and Pentecostal minister, thanks God that Tebow is joining Gang Green.

“Praise the Lord. He is coming to New York. And he’s a person that we all should imitate,” he said.

Diaz said the trade is a boon for both Christian and non-Christian New Yorkers, who will benefit from it because Tebow “is going to bring more revenues to New York.”

For some clergy, Tebow's religion is beside the point. They're excited about the trade because they think it boosts the Jets' chances.

“I think if he can help the Jets win, then that’s a good thing,” said Charles Park, the pastor of the River, a nondenominational church in Lower Manhattan.

If, in between plays, Tebow inspires New Yorkers “to be kinder, gentler and have more hope for their own future,” then all the better, Park said.

But other evangelical New Yorkers bemoan the Tebow trade, echoing grumbles heard this week in many a Jets household.

“As a Christian, I love the guy, he’s a fellow brother, so to speak," Rich Villodas, associate lead pastor of the New Life Fellowship Church in Queens and a self-described progressive evangelical, offered as a preface.

"But as a New York sports fan, I think this is the worst possible thing for the New York Jets as they stand right now,” he said, predicting it would lead to locker room conflict.

Michael Turrigiano, the pastor at North Brooklyn Vineyard, also has misgivings about Tebow's move to New York, but not because it might obstruct the Jets' road to the Super Bowl. He's concerned it might worsen stereotyping of religious Christians in the city.

Throughout his 32 years of pastoring in New York, Turrigiano has had to fight the notion that Christians are "judgmental, narrow-minded, hypocritical." Such preconceptions have "prevented a lot of people from checking out Jesus."

Tebow's presence in the five boroughs, Turrigiano worries, will only reinforce those stereotypes.

“As a person who’s tried to build bridges into the secular community… I got the feeling this is not going to help.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • New York • Sports

soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Kindness

    Kindness
    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved
    Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
    And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
    The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
    Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
    “How many anvils have you had,” said I,
    “To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
    “Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
    “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
    And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
    For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
    Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
    The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.

    Truth is..exclusive

    October 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  2. Grace

    It's true what you say about religion, but what about Gods Grace

    April 3, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  3. Ted from NY

    The article says they've had to fight the notion that Christians are "judgmental, narrow-minded, hypocritical" and Tebow's presence will just exacerbate that. I think the opposite. I've never seen or heard Tebow do anything judgmental, narrow-minded, or hypocriitical. He believes what he believes, doesn't care who knows it, talks about it IF ASKED, but doesn't shove it in your face, impose it on you, or comment negatively on those with other beliefs. What's not to like? If anything he's evidence that evangellical Christians are NOT necessarily judgmental, narrow-minded, and hypocritical. (I'm not an evangelical Christian and I think many of them do exhibit those three traits, but not Tebow.)

    March 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  4. Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is delusional.

    March 25, 2012 at 7:50 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Pray without ceasing in 2012

    March 25, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • Jesus

      -.You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!...-

      March 26, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  6. Prayer changes things

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things.

    March 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Jesus

      Lying is a sin, you've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.!

      March 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  7. Urafkntool

    So.. the Broncs signed Peyton Manning. Great, he's an incredible QB. Now what happens if he gets hurt? One bad hit and he can't walk much less throw a football. No Tebow, no chance of getting into the playoffs at all. The man may have a funky throwing motion and not be AS accurate as you'd want, but he DID lead the broncs to the playoffs AND light up the squealers.

    March 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  8. just sayin

    Poor Tom,Tom tries so hard to be a part of the conversation, any conversation. Sadly we all know that just is not going to happen. Poor widdle Tom,Tom all together now Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

    March 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Was that a little 'o' or a big 'O', just lyin?

      March 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, I guess you didn't get an 'o' of any sort. So sad for you, dear.

      March 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 24, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • AGuest9

      Just spewin lies.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      just sayin is just wishin it could reach the big O.

      March 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Eli

      This couldn't be further from the truth. Not only is there no basis for this opinion every bit of evidence and common sense points in the exact opposite direction as your statement. Religion oppresses though and reason and is responsible for the majority of violence on earth.

      March 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven,

      March 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for chickens and other living poultry

      Proven. But if you ask me for that proof I will conveniently evade all efforts, and instead resort to kindergarten levels of debate. And I will say it is proven but that you must find that magic proof that keeps vanishing whenever people look for it.

      March 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • just sayin

      Proof has long since been posted and accepted ,if you missed it tough sh it, it is still out there with a minimum of research if you are honestly interested.

      March 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven
      powerful

      March 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      I love to evade when asked for the proof I claim. It would be so easy to point to that proof if it existed, but I have to evade because it doesn't exist. I am making it all up.

      March 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • just sayin

      nope, look up your own proof it ain't that hard.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sadly, just lyin is.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  10. Keith

    TTPS, Are you able to think for yourself, yet? Did you figure out that Israel destroyed that Syrian nuke facility in 2007? Did you figure out that the mainstream media did not report the story....until 6 MONTHS later?

    March 24, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Did you learn how to think at all? Did you finally figure out that you are a delusional nut-job who sees a conspiracy in every corner? Did you get help?

      I hope so.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Keith is busy looking for the alien corpses in Area 51. He and Scully are 'on the case.' At least, that's what Keith is telling his boyfriend.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Keith

      Get lost troll goat.

      March 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't you just wish, honey.

      Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith. Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is aProve Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith. is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, KeithProve Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith. Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith. Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith. , Keith.Prove Obama is a Muslim, Keith.

      March 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Keith

      Prove he's a "Christian".

      March 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prove you are.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.