April 8th, 2012
05:22 PM ET

Tebow talks faith during Easter event in Texas

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - After being all football in his last press conference following his trade to the New York Jets, Tim Tebow on Sunday was all about his faith, which he discussed at length with a Texas pastor during an Easter event.

The New York Jets quarterback was greeted by shrieks and cheers as he took the stage on the sprawling Celebration Church campus in Georgetown, about 25 miles north of the state capital of Austin.

After some playful banter with senior pastor Joe Champion - who asked the former Florida Gator to don a football helmet from his alma mater, Louisiana State University - Tebow began answering questions about his faith and how his openness about it has become a frequently dissected topic in sports and society at large.

The Heisman Trophy winner and outspoken evangelical Christian said that he wasn't sure why he has become such a focal point for his faith. Nor did he have an easy explanation as to why Tebowing, the act of getting down on one knee and praying, went viral - with people doing it on mountaintops, under the sea and most anywhere in between.

CNN's Belief Blog – the faith angles behind the biggest stories

"I really don't think that I was the first athlete to get down on one knee and pray," said Tebow, who is known to do so on the football field. "I've actually had the same routine the last several years and, just this year, they started calling it Tebowing. ... I have no idea why."

The quarterback recalled how, during one game last season, a Detroit Lions defensive player stood over him and began Tebowing after tackling him. He said he wasn't sure if the act was meant to mock him, but still called it "flattering" because the opposing player, whether he realized it or not, was praying - something that Tebow believes is a good thing, wherever it's done.

Beyond his exploits at the University of Florida and more recently in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, nowadays Tebow is known as much for his outward expression of faith as for his football.

It began in Gainesville, where he led the Gators to two national championships while etching Bible verses into the eyeblack he wore on game days. In Denver, his jersey was one of the league's hottest sellers, even before he started regularly for the team, in large part due to his immense popularity among Christians.

"I'm just so blessed to have a platform so when cameras are rolling, they can't just turn it off," he told Champion. "They have to hear me say, 'I have to thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ.'"

But it's also made Tebow a lightning rod of sorts, with some questioning whether he should be talking more about football and less about his faith, as well as a fixture in popular culture. In one "Saturday Night Live" skit, a character portraying Jesus goes into the Broncos' locker room saying he doesn't want to have to "bail out" the team every week and praising their upcoming foe, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, as a "miracle worker."

Tebow said Sunday that he takes the attention in stride, saying that anything that gets people thinking about faith is a positive.

"When it's being talked about, that means it's being contemplated by people," he said. "And that's a good thing."

And believing personally that his fate is in God's hands gives Tebow comfort and joy, he said, and helps him remain optimistic and energized while tackling most any challenge.

As important as football is to him, Tebow said he feels wholeheartedly that following God's path is more so.

"Whatever happens in life - good or bad, whether you're the hero or the goat, whether you like it or not - you know that someone has a plan for your life, and it's a special plan," Tebow said. "When you trust that and you have hope in that, then you have peace in all decisions and everything you do. And it brings a lot of joy to your life."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (355 Responses)
  1. god s u c k s little boys c0ks

    tebow is a p i m p
    tebow s u c k e d off little choir boys

    April 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  2. CTSadler

    Those who can't do... preach.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  3. christards


    April 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • ...

      And you're a retard.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  4. PensacolaPet

    Talk about a crossover!!

    April 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  5. Debby

    Tebow should hook up with Santorum.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  6. Tim

    Tim Tebow...STFU! You know you are done with the NFL and now, peddling yourself through the churches. You are worst than Jesus. If Jesus does exist, he would be much humble than you are.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  7. Ken

    Happy zombie day everyone

    April 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      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.

      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!~`~

      April 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Susie

      You need to stop spreading lies. The research actually shows that praer works.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Rob

      We will pray for you and pray that the love of Christ finds its way into your heart. God loves you no matter what even when you say foolish things like this.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Jesus

      "You need to stop spreading lies. The research actually shows that praer works."

      You're the one lying, prayer doesn't work and proof was provided. You need to work on your reading comprehension.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Kevin


      Show me proof. Also, read the AMA article about prayer before and during surgery. In fact I will look it up for you and give you the reference. Prayer does not help and in fact the article said it was bad.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Proof is provided by it that misuses the name of Jesus that atheism is not healthy for children and other living things.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Kevin

      Google "surgery prayers don't work"

      Don't pray for me hypocrites! I will haunt you till you die!

      April 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things

      Proof is provided by it that misuses the name of Jesus that atheism is not healthy for children and other living things."

      More lies and desperation proving my posts correct. You are such a liar.

      April 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Marley

      Google "Jesus Camp".

      "Jesus Camp" is not healthy for anybody ... especially little kids.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:49 am |
  9. Larry David

    I believe the American left would support Tebow if he encouraged his supporters to blow themselves up at falafel stands frequented by Jewish children.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Ana

      Larry, that is the singularly most ridiculous comment I have ever read. You go ahead and "Tebow", I'll stick with praying.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • pepinium

      Larry, I am sure that your brain must be hurting after generating such a deep thought. Please take a chill pill, everyone's got a right to an opinion, that doesn't mean they are murderers or support terrorism. You want to put your believe on rituals and myths that originated prior to the Dark Ages, that is your prerogative buddy. You just have to understand that, unlike you, some people have the courage to deal with the world as it is and accept life without resorting to auto-hypnosis, :).

      April 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  10. Dave

    Tebow violates the express commands of his "god" every time he makes a public display of his beliefs. If he knew anything about his own religion, he wouldn't do that.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Ana

      Amen! What ever happened to go in a closet??

      April 8, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  11. Byrd

    Tebow does this for the sole purpose of bringing attention to himself. The next publicity step will no doubt be selling graven images of himself that people can put on their dashboards along with their plastic Jesus.

    April 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  12. JJ

    What a waste of good bandwidth. Delusions, hallucinations and fideism. Pfft.

    April 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  13. Frank Cardenas

    don't like his fundamentalist religious views, but he's okay

    April 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  14. PhilG.

    Tebow has crash and burn written all over his NFL career.

    April 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • scranton

      ......and yet he has already had one whereas you never even played the game.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  15. iconbusters

    If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you....If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:19-20)

    Tebow proves the validity of his Christian conversion by comparing his life to the words of Jesus.

    April 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  16. Diest

    Tebowing is Tim's way of trying to force his particular belief system upon others at an event that should be kept as a sporting venue, not a Church. Just what would Tim do if a couple of football fans showed up at his Sunday services and started to throw a football around right in the middle of a prayer?

    April 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • pepinium

      Diest, I am no Christian but you are taking it too far. The guy is surely hoping to make some people curious about his religion and , in that way, hoping to have people imitate what he believes to be a righteous way of life. Remember, his religion REQUIRES him to do so !!!! I am a Gator Alumnus who is sure glad Tebow went to my school because of the class individual that he is, and even though I do not consider myself religious, I would love for one of my daughters to walk in through our front door with somebody like him, even without the fame or millions. His biggest problem is that, in this age of cynicism, his honesty and sincerity makes him appear like an alien to most people who cannot measure up, such as you.

      April 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  17. jonathan Walser

    And btw Jesus is not an egg laying zombie, he is our savior. One day you and I will meet our maker and you might be a little suprised not to see an egg laying zombie before you. And he just might ask you to answer for your actions (your post today) on 4-8-12. God bless you, sir

    April 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Marley

      Did you know "Jesus" would be BROWN if he actually existed? Would you bow down to a BROWN JEW?

      April 9, 2012 at 2:51 am |
  18. Nick San Diego

    Mathew chapter 5 vs 5 and 6
    When you pray you are not to be a hypocrite for they love to stand in public so as to be seen by men..But close the door and pray to your Father in secret.

    April 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • L

      How so. A hypocrite does things just for show. He's been doing this for years even before the cameras.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Richard

      Jesus didn't have to deal with the TMZ and ESPN's 24 hour SportsCenter where Tebow Tebowing in the toilet makes the paparazzi's flash bulbs go off.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  19. jonathan Walser

    Tim is doing what Jesus told us to do 2000 yrs ago. Going out and spreading the good news, Praise the Lord!!!!!

    April 8, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • G01851

      Actually Jesus told people to pray in private... yet another example of ignorance among the 'faithful'.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  20. Happy Zombie Jesus/Egg-Laying Rabbut Day!

    Tebow: God's own media whore

    April 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • DSM


      April 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • DukeLacrosse

      Sometimes the truth can be a rude awakening. I would like to call this guy a phoney, but hes delusional enough to believe fully in the power of his own misguided faith.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • L

      How so. Wasn't he praying and showing his Faith before cameras could ever capture it. One day you people will see. God chooses the things that are foolishness to the world, to confound the wise.......1Cor 1:27.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • scranton

      Enjoy your hate filled crappy life.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
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About this blog

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.