NBC is publicly slamming both football player Tim Tebow and Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the 11,000 member First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. Again.
Both Tebow and Jeffress have been the target of public media and in every case it has been related to the public expression of their biblical beliefs and faith.
Here is NBC's latest attack and their view of the football player and the pastor.
Richard Chandler with NBC News says, "It seems that lately Tim Tebow has been making more speaking appearances in church than he has quarterback appearances in NFL games."
Chandler says, "Tebow has a speaking engagement on April 28 at First Baptist Dallas...That's the church led by pastor Robert Jeffress, a controversial evangelical Christian who has made quite a name for himself by referring to other religions as 'heretical' and that re-electing Obama would lead to the 'rise of the anti-christ'."
He then quotes from the far left Huffington Post, which quotes from the further left ThinkProgress:
"On the eve of the presidential election in November 2012, Jeffress warned his Dallas congregation that President Barack Obama’s re-election would 'lead to the rise of the Antichrist,' according to The Christian Post.
Jeffress also gained notoriety for his statements about the gay community. According to ThinkProgress, during the same speech where he endorsed Rick Perry in 2011, Jeffress told a crowd at the high-profile Values Voters Summit that gays should not be allowed in the military because 'Seventy percent of the gay population' has AIDS."
Then he mocks Tebow with this, "Is Tebow’s appearance at First Baptist Dallas an ipso facto endorsement of Jeffress’ views? Not necessarily. He could be there to debate him. Or perhaps it’s a secular arts and crafts presentation. Look, work with me here, OK?"
"I prefer to think of Tebow," he says, "as someone who saw the word 'megachurch' and got excited about speaking to a lot of like-minded people, and just forgot to do his due diligence on the guy in charge. Remember Tim, Google can be your friend."
Here's the problem with all this, especially from a major "news" organization.
First, Chandler quotes the Huffington Post, which quotes ThinkProgress, which quotes Pastor Jeffress out of context.
The church released a statement on Sunday which clarifies what the church and the pastor actually believe. And what the pastor said.
Recent media reports regarding an appearance by New York Jets’ Quarterback Tim Tebow at First Baptist Church of Dallas have grossly misrepresented past comments made by First Baptist’s pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, specifically related to issues of homosexuality and AIDS as well as Judaism.
While Dr. Jeffress did attend the Voter’s Values Summit in 2011, he did so in order to introduce then-presidential candidate, Governor Rick Perry. In an interview following the event, Dr. Jeffress responded to a question about homosexuals within the military during which he referred to a quote by Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, who at their 2008 national conference said, “70 percent of the people in this country living with HIV being gay or bi (sexual), we cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease.”
Dr. Jeffress mentioned this quote in his answer, which he clearly attributed to Foreman. Further, statements about Judaism allegedly attributed to Dr. Jeffress in recent media reporters are patently false.
Dr. Jeffress is committed to preaching the bold biblical truth of God’s Word. He has regularly stated the mainstream Evangelical Christian belief that Christ is the only way a person can escape Hell and that God’s provision of salvation is necessary for everyone, as found in John 14:6. Dr. Jeffress leads First Baptist under the mandates of Scripture and teaches its members to share God’s truth at all costs, even when it requires going against the mainstream, popular view.
We are saddened that this truth can no longer be communicated without being reported as “hate speech.”
Pastor Jeffress was quoting a leader in the homosexual community in regard to AIDS being " a gay disease."
This is how the media perpetuates lies, shapes opinion in the culture and advances a social agenda.
Todd Starnes at FOX News says, "Sing Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, said the NBC story was evidence that 'it’s open season on those who profess personal faith in Jesus Christ and pattern their lives by biblical morality'.”
“Evangelical Christians are treated with contempt and targeted for ridicule,” Oldham told Fox News. “This should come as no surprise. Jesus said, ‘The world will hate you because of My Name.’”
Jeffress said that kind of reporting is why Americans don’t trust journalists.
He said it’s clear the news organizations have no understanding of mainstream evangelical Christian beliefs.
“What I have said about homosexuality going against God’s standard for human sexuality – and about Christ being the only provision for salvation – these are not radical ideas,” he said. “These have been a part of historic Christian faith for 2,000 years.”
Indeed they are not radical ideas. They are directly based on biblical teaching integral to living out the Christian faith. Jesus Himself said He is the only way to God.
This is the latest example of the effort to marginalize biblical teaching and evangelical beliefs as radical, unacceptable hate speech. And to normalize the most deviant sexual behavior.
This is the path that is being established every time we pass so-called "equality" legislation. There are then corresponding assumptions and supporting laws enacted that further challenge traditional Christian teaching and label it as "hate speech."
It is also a further assault on a professional football player who has done nothing more that exercise his right to freedom of religious expression by publicly sharing his faith in God.
Some Christians have publicly condemned Tebow for being "too public" with his faith? Should Christians simply shrink and only express their biblical beliefs in private meetings in a building some where?
Is this following the teaching of Christ, who Himself said we are to take His message into the whole world?
We need to re-read the red print in the New Testament, then have some honest discussion.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.