We were all set to post this piece announcing Jets QB Tim Tebow had decided to cancel his appearance at the colossal First Baptist Church of Dallas because of “new information” revealing just how batshit-crazy Pastor Robert Jeffress is. But according to Jeffress, Tebow didn’t cancel—he’s just postponing until the heat is off.
It began with a series of tweets from Tebow this morning:
While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my upcoming appearance.
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!
Jeffress has preached that Mormonism, Catholicism and Islam are satanic religions, and that President Obama’s re-election would signal “the rise of the Antichrist.” He’s also claimed 70% of homosexuals have AIDS and that “homosexuality is perverse, it represents a degradation of a person’s mind.”
So you can kind of see why Tim is gunshy about breaking bread with these folks, if only from a publicity standpoint. And while we’re not fans of Tebow’s so-called religiosity, we’ve generally felt it came from a genuine—if naive—place.
At first, a spokesman from First Baptist indicated the megachurch was sad but understood the situation:
“Mr Tebow called Dr. Jeffress Wednesday evening saying that for personal and professional reasons he needed to avoid controversy at this time, but would like to come to First Baptist Dallas to speak at a future date.
We are saddened that Mr. Tebow felt pressure to back out of his long-planned commitment to First Baptist Dallas from numerous New York and national sports and news media who grossly misrepresented past comments made by our pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, specifically related to issues of homosexuality and AIDS, as well as Judaism.
As a Christian pastor, Dr. Jeffress takes a biblical approach to moral and social issues, closely following his duty to preach ‘the whole counsel of God,’ and not just address issues that are politically correct. First Baptist is a church built on the truth of Scripture, even though at times that approach can be perceived as controversial or counter to the prevailing winds of culture.”
But the Jeffress himself hopped on Twitter and insisted Tebow would for sure reschedule—“as long as he listens to the Holy Spirit and to God’s voice.”
In a radio chat today with American Family Association’s Donald Wildmon, Jeffress doubled-down on his promise that Tebow would reschedule once the controversy has blown over.
Tebow is no longer the golden boy he was just two years ago—his tenure on the Jets has been, shall we say, less than stellar. The last thing he needs is PR fumble.