By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has canceled an appearance at a controversial Dallas-area church. The outspoken Christian quarterback was scheduled to speak at First Baptist Church on April 28.
The church is led by Robert Jeffress, who has been widely criticized for views against homosexuality, Islam and Mormonism. Tebow, announcing his decision Thursday on Twitter, said that he was canceling his appearance “due to new information that has been brought to my attention.”
Tebow’s statement appeared over a series of four tweets on the social media site.
“I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!” he wrote to his Twitter followers.
Tebow was scheduled to speak at the 11,000-member Dallas church as part of a monthlong celebration of the megachurch’s completion of a new building campaign, a $130 million dollar project that encompasses five blocks of the downtown.
“Tim called me last night and explained to me that because of some things going on in his personal life and his career he needed to steer clear of controversy right now, but that at some other date he would like to come and speak at our church,” Jeffress told CNN by phone from Dallas. “Tim has to do what Tim thinks is best for him right now.”
The First Baptist Church of Dallas is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jeffress, who has been in its pulpit since 2007, is no stranger to controversy.
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After introducing Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington in October 2011, Jeffress told reporters he believed Mormonism was a cult, expressing a personal position and one held by his denomination. The move was seen as a particular slight to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a lifelong Mormon.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while acknowledging sharp theological differences with the Southern Baptist Convention, bristles at the term cult and says it is inaccurate.
Jeffress has also drawn fire for his comments about homosexuality, Judiasm and Catholicism.
“This in no way is going to diminish what our church is teaching about salvation being available to all through faith in Jesus Christ,” Jeffress said.
Jeffress pointed out that Tebow is a member of the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, a fellow SBC church.
“They certainly believe what we do, that salvation is through Christ alone, and about homosexuality. Tim confirmed that to me last night, that they believe exactly what we do about homosexuality.”
Tebow and Jeffress differ dramatically in how they present their faith. Tebow in talking about his faith has used much softer language, while Jeffress has no trouble going after less popular and culturally sensitive issues in Christianity.
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“I believe that homosexuality is a sin just like adultery is a sin, just like I believe premarital sex is a sin, because it’s a deviation from God’s standard,” Jeffress said.
“God’s plan for sex is that is should be between a man and a woman in a marriage relationship and any deviation from that is wrong.”
While he believes any sex outside a heterosexual marriage is wrong, he adds, “I never single out homosexuality as the only sin or the unpardonable sin. I think homosexuality, just like adultery, can be forgiven if we ask God for forgiveness.”
Jeffress said he thinks there is a genetic disposition toward homosexuality, a stance on sexual orientation taken by many theologically conservative Christians and one scorned as scientifically flawed by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Jeffress said he is sure there are gay members in his church. “We don’t ask all the gay members to stand up, but I’m sure that there are people who are gay in our church simply because of the letters I have received,” he said. “We have people who’ve committed adultery and who lie and who steal, but that doesn’t mean they’re not welcome to come to our church.”
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As for comments about Mormons, Jews and Catholics, he is quick to point out that he believes “no one goes to hell in a group.”
“I’m not the one who decides who goes to heaven and hell. God does that. God has already given us the criteria for what it takes to go to heaven when you die. Jesus said in John 14:6, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes to the father except through me.’ When I quote that verse I like to remind people that Jesus who said that was not a Southern Baptist evangelist but a Jewish rabbi. Yet as a Jewish rabbi he said there is one way to heaven, and that is through faith in me.”
The controversy surrounding Tebow’s appearance won’t dampen the church’s plans, Jeffress said. He said Tebow, while escaping the spotlight now over his beliefs, will continue to face controversy.
“I think Tim is going to discover that no matter how hard you try to hide from controversy, if you stand for the simple truths of the Bible, like faith in Christ, necessary for salvation, and sex (being acceptable only) between a man and a woman in marriage, you can't avoid controversy. That’s something Tim needs to discover on his own. We in no way want to impugn him. He’s a great man of God who sincerely loves the Lord.”
I really love these message boards. The anger between believers and non-believers is amazing. I don't read these boards to change anyone's mind, or alter anyone's beliefs or lack of beliefs. I read these boards because it is an amazing reflection of our American culture. The divide between the two extremes of belief and non belief is huge; however there are many of us who respect people's choices, values, and beliefs despite their opinion of the reality of God. What would these boards look like with the anger and resentment taken out of the general conversation?
Well son, these lads and lassies are jist havin' a wee bit 'o fun now aren't they? Nothing to get yer knees a wobblin' over. Have a whiskey and a pancake and join in the fun then! From one holy man to anudder, me and Alphonzo's cakes are the best there be!
So tell us what you think of the article, now that you've got that off your chest.
Funny how you read anger into the posts, that's typical of people of religion. But guess what....I am not angry, I am usually chuckling and laughing when I am posting. It's called entertainment. I think part of the problem with your religion is it makes you and those like you very negative most of the time.
I never said one side was angrier than the other, but rather both sides go at each other with a lot of anger and bitterness.
Would it surprise anyone if this guy ends up pulling a Lance Armstrong-style steroids confession some time in the future?
I thought this was going to be a story on contraceptive methods when I read, "Tim Tebow pulls out..."
Look at who speaks for God
In Christian mythology, God is supposed to the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe. God is supposed to have incarnated himself as Jesus and he is supposed to have written the Bible. And yet today God is completely and absolutely silent. Therefore, the only thing we hear from God comes from people who are speaking on his behalf.
If you would like to understand how imaginary God is, all that you have to do is listen to God's spokespeople, because in many cases these people are lunatics. If there actually were a God, and if he actually had anything to do with love, he would silence these people because they are an absolute embarrassment.
If God were real, he would speak for himself. The fact that God does not speak, and that he allows any lunatic who comes along to speak "in his name," shows us that God is quite imaginary.
You apparently can read the mind of God. You know how God should and would behave. You are as misguided as any of "God's" spokespeople that you reference.
Yet, you would not be able to know the mind any more than Ungodly Discipline, so you would have no way of knowing whether he is being misguided or not, right? Funny how people who warn against the folly of claiming to know the mind of God invariantly "know" what God's position is.
The "NEW" information that came to Tebow's attention is that ticket sales to the event were pretty light. Virtually non-existent, in fact.
The only "new information" Tebow received is that his brand would take a hit from an appearance there. I find it hard to believe that he didn't know the beliefs of such a high-profile organization that he wished to speak at.
I would suggest that maybe he missed the part in the bible about going into a quiet place and praying privately.
Who cares. This is not news.
I care. I care very much indeed.
Russ (carried over from page 11)
There is nothing in this universe or any other that can be called "supernatural". If it exists, it is natural. This is common sense son.
If living things are "natural", and not supernatural, then go ahead: create living things yourself. Show us that no supernatural being is necessary.
Wow, talk about a pathetic attempt to pidgeon hole "supernatural" explanations without the burden of proof.
adh1729, it might prove better for your general education if you just learn about how life started on this planet. This is not diffiuclt.
Well, good for Tebow. I'm not a fan, and I think he wears his religion way too much on his sleeve. I believe Jesus said to keep it to yourself rather than selling it like cheap merchandise.
Oh, hell. As it was pointed out by another poster, Tebow's going to talk again later – at least according to the slime pastor of the church. Could just be a face-saving lie by that pastor. Time will tell.
I think Tim Tebow is gay and he wears his religion on his sleeve as a means to camouflage who he really is. Everyone I've ever know who was that over the top about their religion was hiding something or using it for some reason other than just eternal life.
All of today's mainstream religions started off as "cults", or at the very least, splinter groups off of other religions, which started as cults. If Jesus and his 12 apostles were around today they'd be labeled as a cult.
Just because you would label them as such, doesn't mean they are.
jbcal. Do you doubt that christianity is an offshoot of judaism? Or that Islam is an offshoot of them?
What would make it any less of a cult? Popularity? If there were a million kids in the Manson family would it have been any less a cult?
So Tim Tebow figured out that this Jeffress guy is about as far from being a "Christian" as anyone can be. Good for him. It's always nice to see that independent thought can prevail, even among people who call themselves "Christian," like Tebow.
Holy Man, I guess you did not read the article. He said he will speak at the church, but not until it won't cost him lot's of money due to poor publicity.
Indeed. According to the article he's only averse to bad publicity, not to the fundamentalist interpretation of the bible.
"Tim called me last night and explained to me that because of some things going on in his personal life and his career he needed to steer clear of controversy right now."
What does that have to do with it costing him money?
"things going on in his personal life" = $$
I agree with holy man you're taking the word of a low life pastor that Tim will be back Tim does believe in our beliefs does that sound really like somebody you should be believing, and tdon't like people at all I don't mind them as a person but as a football player the dude suck so I straight up but I actually agree with holy an here... When Tebow actually says he's going to visit a church coming from his mouth then I'll believe it
THIS IS SOO SAD.. I MEAN REALLY. JESUS DOESNT PHYSICALLY APPEAR BECAUSE HE NEVER PROMISED TO COME BACK IN THE PHYSICAL FORM AFTER HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN. INSTEAD HE PROMISED HIS HOLY SPIRIT TO COME BACK AS THE COMFORTER TO COMFORT THE TRUE BELIEVERS IN THIS SAD AND FAITHLESS WORLD. I KNOW FOR ME, WHEN I CRIED OUT TO GOD HE MOST CERTAINLY APPEARED. NOT IN THE PHYSICAL FORM BUT IN THE SUPERNATURAL REALM FOR SURE. I WAS A DRUNK AND I COULDNT GET SOBER. ONE NIGHT I CRIED OUT AND SAID, " IF YOUR REAL, HELP ME BECAUSE I CANT HELP MYSELF." NOW BEFORE YOU LOOK AT ME AND SAY "SURE SHE NEEDED TO BELIEVE IN GOD BECAUSE SHE WAS TOO WEAK TO GET SOBER SO SHE NEEDED A CRUTCH",I ASSURE YOU THAT WAS NOT THE CASE. I WAS THE MOST STRONG WILLED PERSON YOU COULD MEET. I HAD TWO KIDS WORKED TWO JOBS, BOTH OF WHICH I WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL AT WAS WELL EDUCATED AND VERY INDEPENDANT WHEN I STARTED DRINKING. I WAS IN A HOTEL ROOM ON A BENDER FOUR YEARS AFTER MY DRINKING GOT THE BEST OF ME AND A MAN CAME IN MY ROOM. HE SAID THAT GOD HAD SENT HIM THERE TO TELL ME THAT HE DID NOT WANT ME TO DIE THIS WAY AND THAT HE HAD A DIFFERENT PLAN FOR MY LIFE. THIS MAN TURNED OUT TO BE MY SONS SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER. THIS WAS TOTAL ANSWER TO A WRECHED UNBELIEVER THAT DIDNT CARE ABOUT GOD AND DIDNT THINK GOD CARED ABOUT ME. THIS IS ONLY ONE SMALL INCIDENT WHERE GOD HAS SHOWED UP IN MY LIFE AND I HAVE TOO MANY TO COUNT. MY SUGGESTION TO YOU ALL IS TO THINK ABOUT THIS: WHEN THE DISCIPLES WERE CASTING OUT DEMONS OUT OF PEOPLE THERE WAS ONE THAT THEY COULD NOT CAST OUT AND THEY ASKED JESUS WHY. JESUS RESPONDED AND TOLD THEM THAT IT WAS DUE TO THEIR LACK OF FAITH. GOD CAN ONLY WORK IN AND THROUGH OUR LIVES WHEN WE BELIEVE HE WANTS TO AND THAT HE EXISTS. THE REASON WHY SO MANY OF GODS MIRACLES ARE NOT SEEN IS BECAUSE OUR OWN STUPIDITY AND LACK OF FAITH HAS DROWNED OUT HIS SPIRIT IN THIS WORLD SO MUCH SO THAT VERY FEW EVEN HAVE THE SPIRITUAL EYESIGHT TO SEE THE TRUTH WHEN ITS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. WHEN YOU SEE CHRISTIANS THE FUNNY PART IS THAT THEY ARE USUALLY NEVER ON THE DEFENSIVE. THEY PRAY FOR THOSE THAT ARE BLINDED TO THE TRUTH. SO IF YOU WANT TO DETERMINE WHICH IS A LIE AND WHICH IS THE TRUTH, MAYBE YOU SHOULD LOOK AT WHO KEEPS TRYING TO ATTACK THE OTHER BELIEF. AFTER ALL, ONCE THE TRUTH IS REVEALED THERE IS NO NEED TO ATTACK ANYONE ELSE BECAUSE YOU HAVE PEACE ABOUT BEING RIGHT. IF ANY OF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PRAY OR TALK PLEASE MESSAGE ME AT KIMBERLYHITT@YMAIL.COM. ALL THAT I ASK IS THAT, SEEING AS YOU ALL SEEM VERY EDUCATED WHEN IT COMES TO WORLDLY STANDARDS, PELASE DO NOT SEND HATEFUL OR CRUEL MESSAGES. IT WOULD ONLY SHOW LACK OF TACT AND BELIEF IN WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN. THANK YOU
Perfect example of why no one reads long all-caps tirades.
Are you an eye drops salesperson or something like that?
Why are you torturing us with this ALL CAPS stuff... not to mention the nonsense of the content!
OK now Kimberly, calm down and eat your applesauce, dear. The orderly will be in shortly to tuck you in.
Would you want us to take up a donation to buy you a new keyboard that doesn't have a busted caps lock?
Are you the same kimberly that had a child out of wedlock, the same adulterer claiming you follow the bible?
Why KIMBERLY FROM KALI, why??
Holy shit. Don't post your email. God, sometimes the internet is full of people with the communication and survival skills of lemmings.
Oh yes, the great passing of the buck. Your sobriety is of your own doing, not that of anyone else. It's pathetic that you don't take the credit for your own actions. It is your effort and desire that keep you from picking up that bottle every day. Kudos to your sobriety but religion is a crutch here.
You mentioned something about being a non-believer and yet your child was in Sunday school. Why as a non-believer were you allowing your child to be indoctrinated, if you yourself did not believe in it? Are you not in control as the adult?
You implied that without god we're wretched. What you don't get is we're fine without god because we're not that weak minded or uneducated....most of us understand how addiction works, which seems to be your reason for spewing this blarb in caps.
You can say you've had all those experiences but this only proves that you know little of how the human brain functions in times of addiction, stress, depression, etc. Unless your visions can be tested, they mean little in proving your god.
Sorry but you're going to have to do better than this to convince us.
btw: giving out your personal email is asking for trouble...absolutely moronic to be quite honest...if you're going to do such a thing...set up a fake acct that isn't containing personal info and give out the real one once secure with the person you're dealing with.
Every time you post, I need a drink.
Thought for sure the lochness monstah was going to show up asking for 'bout tree-fiddy at the end of that!
Tree-Fiddy!! don't give the Loch Ness monster no tree-fiddy!
"... IT WOULD ONLY SHOW LACK OF TACT..."
If you wish for people to treat you with respect, then you have to first treat them with respect. WRITING IN ALL CAPS DOES NOT SHOW RESPECT. It only shows a severe lack of intelligence.
I said, "Dammit, monster, you quit bugging my children, now. We work for our money in this house – we don't just give money away!"
Kimberly, turn off your fucking caps lock!! Nobody likes to read shit that looks like it was written by a five year old.
Red Brain, Blue Brain: Republicans and Democrats Process Risk Differently, Research Finds
Feb. 13, 2013 — A team of political scientists and neuroscientists has shown that liberals and conservatives use different parts of the brain when they make risky decisions, and these regions can be used to predict which political party a person prefers. The new study suggests that while genetics or parental influence may play a significant role, being a Republican or Democrat changes how the brain functions.
They've been studyin' the Bloods and the Crips, again??
Oops source fr above
No god(s) required
Christians ignore Jesus
Christians are Liars
Jesus made a number of very clear statements about money and wealth in the Bible. For example:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
Matt 13: 22
The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
The message is clear. If you want to follow Jesus, you need to "sell your possessions and give to the poor." It is a very simple message, and easy to do. Have you done it? The fact that you are reading this page would indicate that you have not. Chances are you own a computer, pay for an Internet connection every month, live in a home or apartment, have a car, etc. In other words, you live a life at a level of wealth unimaginable in Jesus' time. Meanwhile, billions of people on the planet live in startling, abject poverty.
Why don't you sell everything and follow Jesus, as he requests in the Bible? The reason is simple:
Jesus and God are imaginary, and you know it. If Jesus were real, you would do what he says.
Yes the Pharisees and Sadducees were lost also...
1) "If you continually give, you will eventually have nothing."
2) The last statement was a pretty far stretch. "Why don't you sell all your stuff? 'Cause you know it's all fake!". Just because someone doesn't follow a commandment doesn't mean they don't believe (and adds zero to your atheist slant).
i.e. I smoke cigarettes. It's not because I don't believe they're bad for me. The fact that I don't follow the Surgeon General's commandment does not prove that I don't really believe in the Surgeon General (nor is it proof that the Surgeon General doesn't exist). It just means I'm not following that advice.
Don, you are comparing the Almighty Lord of the Universe to the surgeon general? LMFAO.
You are one sick puppy dude to believe in that tripe!! It's people like you and Tebow religious buffoon that are destroying society. Keep your religious crap for the church. We don't need your sick comments on here!!!
Did God tell Abraham to sell everything he had? Job?
Jesus told specific individuals to sell everything they had, not everyone who ever lived or who ever would live.
SIN exists in all humans, including many if not most of Jesus' so-called followers. That proves the power of God's opponents; it proves nothing about God.
You read the Bible only for one purpose, to "disprove" it. Lots of luck. You are a couple thousand years too late. You are not going to discover anything new.
Perhaps he should be working on that throwing motion.
If it's up check for a concussion.
Yeah. I love how nearly every picture, including the one in this article, seems to always catch Tebow using messed up throwing mechanics. Praise Jebus!!
You are at the Museum of Modern Art with a date. You have high hopes for this relationship. She is smart, pretty and a great cook. You just critiqued a group of Kevin Appel paintings when you felt a sudden urge to relieve your bowels. But where is the bathroom? Too late. And it is loose. You drag your smelly self to the elevator; she is behind you but gagging...
cant we all just get along
Apparently not as everyone is just mad because everyone doesn't believe like the other. "you got to be exactly like me or else I am mad about it"
Merrily we roll along, roll along, roll along
rolled by the big bad Beast.
I don't know why this guy thinks god cares anything about football. God is clearly a baseball fan...baseball is mentioned in the bible after all....the first words
In the big inning...
Nah! He's into horses. He'll be riding one when He returns. And He'll have a posse with Him. Hope you'll all be ready for that day. Many blessings
I think I will confiscate that.
lol! goot juan!!
Wow, Mike, the passive aggressive thinly veiled ref to the Four Horsemen was adorable!
That is funny. :)
She'll be coming round the mountain when she burns.
She'll be coming round the mountain when she buuuuurns
Rob Burns will burn when she burns.
Rob Burns will burn when she burns.
Wasn't baby Jeebus born in a bull pen? I think you're on to something.
Exodus 28:18 seems to mention the baseball diamond.
BUT HOW IS BABBY FORMED??
Ungodly Discipline....What happened that you lost your faith?
I kind of wondered the same thing.
I didn't lose my faith. I have always had a brain.
I think he's suggesting that christians should live by the faith they profess. Sadly the bible and christianity have so many contradictory passages that they can and do cherry pick.
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.