Criticizing for the sake of criticism...
That seems to sum up some of the "religious people" I know. And yes, I just used the word "religious" on purpose.
It seems like a trend has developed amongst us Christians. Where anytime someone does something good or noble or vocal for the cause of Christ - we criticize, we judge and we look to dethrone them from whatever lofty pedestal some people have placed them on. Lately the person under the microscope has been Tim Tebow. But just recently another example of this is the, "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" guy - Jefferson Bethke.
Tim Tebow, well known for his bold and steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, has had many criticisms against him. And no, I don't mean the ones about his football skills. I'm talking about the statements I hear from other Christians saying things like, "He shouldn't be praying in public!" and "He's not the only Christian to ever play football!" Statements like these are meant to "dethrone" Tebow from the inspiring platform God has given him as a pro-athlete. Instead of criticizing, we should be celebrating that many are taking note of his godly character and desiring to emulate it. What is so wrong about this? Especially, when in 1 Corinthians 4:16 we read that Paul is asking other believers to imitate him as he imitates Christ! Imitation is not wrong, as long as that person is imitating Christ-likeness. And from what I read, hear and see about Tim Tebow - I believe he is doing just that. Jefferson Bethke just posted a very inspiring spoken word on "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" that has almost 7 million views in three days!! He breaks down the difference between saying one thing and doing another and what REAL Christianity is all about. I found it encouraging and a breath of fresh air to hear. But as usual, anytime a Christian has some kind of success in being vocal for Christ - there is criticism. Claims that he was misusing the word 'religion' were brought up today. It was expected, but not at the extent that I began hearing. It almost seemed like the ones doing the critiquing were trying to prove that they were more "theologically sound" than the average viewer. But why go to such extremes to do it? Claims that Jefferson was "off-base" led me to check out more of his videos, in which I found him to be very ON-base! This guy is for real. I read his Twitter and he is already thanking his "critics" and humbly, acknowledging that he "has a lot to learn" and "appreciates the rebuke/encouragement." Great response from him. But a poor response from so many other Christians trying to squash his platform. All of it has me thinking, why do we do this? Is it because we have seen so many other Christians fall under the pressure of their platforms? Are we afraid that these men will not live up to what they claim to preach? Well, here are my thoughts... GOOD! Be afraid. They WILL fail! None of us are perfect and never will be. I think it is incredible that God has given Tim Tebow and Jefferson Bethke these platforms and His word is being proclaimed through them! Amen! We should never credit man for something that God is doing. But instead of criticizing, we should join in promoting the name of Jesus Christ through these vessels that are being used by Him.