What an amazing thing to observe the attention given to one NFL quarterback over the past couple months. Even if you are not a sports fan, you can’t help but have heard of the uproar caused by Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos who led his team to several come-from-behind victories in a row and into the playoffs, knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round. So what is it about Tim Tebow that causes such controversy and media coverage? He is a very dedicated Christian who is not a bit bashful about praying in public, taking a knee on the sidelines to praise His God, and speaking freely of his love for Jesus Christ whenever interviewed. Television has even shown some of his outside ministries like visiting the mission field, witnessing to inmates, or inviting a special-needs individual and family to be his guest at each home and away game. Tim is not the most talented quarterback in the NFL but he undoubtedly has a tremendous dedication and strives for excellence and has won the belief of his teammates and coaching staff. What a platform of ministry God has provided him!
You may recall that as a quarterback with the Florida Gators, Tim would write “John 3:16” in his eyeblack, something that is no longer allowed. You also probably heard about the amazing statistics after the Bronco’s exciting overtime win over the Steelers. Tim passed for 316 yards, averaging 31.6 yards per pass. The television rating for the game was 31.6%. The Steelers had the ball for 31 minutes 6 seconds. The “3:16’s” in the game caused so much stir that thousands of people googled “3:16” to find out what it is all about. Many were directed to the website for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, where they saw a clear presentation of the Gospel and last I heard more than 150 had prayed to receive Christ as Savior!
One thing that was rarely brought out in all the press coverage of Tim Tebow was that he is a missionary kid from the Philippines who would have been aborted if his mother had listened to the counsel of her doctors. Tim, who was the first sophomore to ever win the coveted Heisman Trophy, who was the MVP of the Orange Bowl National Championship game, who was selected in the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos and led them into the playoffs with several exciting last minute touchdown drives, would never have been born if Bob and Pam Tebow had followed the counsel of the doctors. They were serving as missionaries in the Philippines when she became pregnant. They had been praying for a son whom they could name Timothy. Pam was taking a series of aggressive antibiotics to combat amoebic dysentery when she discovered the pregnancy. She immediately stopped the medicine but the doctors advised an abortion because of the irreversible damage the drugs had presumably caused. They told her it was “just a mass of fetal tissue.” But, as Christians, the Tebows knew that abortion was not an option, as the fetus was not just “potential life,” it was “life with potential,” that life began at conception (Psa. 51:5), not at birth or some stage of pregnancy.
Six months into the pregnancy Pam was hospitalized with excruciating pain. Doctors said the placenta had detached from the uterine wall. Again she was counseled to have an abortion as doctors warned of the dangers to her own health and predicted the pregnancy would end in stillbirth. The future Heisman winner and NFL quarterback was born on August 14, 1987. He’s now about 250 pounds, stands 6 feet 3 inches and was nicknamed “Superman” by Gator fans. But with all his success on the gridiron, Tebow insists Jesus Christ is his biggest passion.
Abortion is obviously a very critical issue being faced today in our country. President Obama just released a statement celebrating the “Roe vs. Wade” Supreme Court decision that has resulted in the death of some 54 million pre-born babies! The decision handed down on Jan. 22, 1973, overturned pro-life laws offering protection for unborn children and making abortions legal and virtually unlimited. For most Americans the day the Supreme Court handed down its decision was a day to mourn the loss of millions of unborn children–sons and daughters, brothers and sisters lost to a world that values choice over compassion. It was a day to mourn the physical and emotional damage abortion causes to women–the medical problems and the mental health issues caused by guilt and regret.
Life at any stage–from conception to death–is precious to God. We are made in His image (Gen. 1:26,27), The prophet Jeremiah wrote: “Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jer. 1:4,5). What if Jeremiah’s mother had decided to have an abortion?! The Psalmist, David, wrote: “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret…Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance (embryo); and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious are Thy thoughts to me, O God!” (Psa. 139: 13-17).
“The circumstances surrounding conception do not affect the preciousness of the lives conceived.” That is a quote from Gina Jensson, who was aborted at 7 1/2 months by saline solution but survived. Her birth certificate was even signed by the abortion doctor! Planned Parenthood recommended her abortion! These are very crucial days for our nation, and at the heart of the issue is the struggle we face over the value of human life, the preciousness of every individual, from conception all throughout life. Right now, a baby dies every 22 seconds from abortion. If Obamacare is not overturned, that number will greatly increase! When a nation turns its back on God’s Word as its guide for life, then we are at the mercy of those who believe we are the mere product of blind evolutionary chance, and human beings are no longer seen as the precious creatures of God that we are. There are many issues today that ought to concern Christians, but abortion, in my view, is the touchstone. Get this one wrong and your moral compass can guide you in nothing else! The result? We are suffering from moral dyslexia! Pray for our nation and leaders. Pray for our churches which are under attack for teaching the truth from God’s Word. Most of all, stand up for what you believe and “speak the truth in love.”