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Tim Tebow cancels appearance at controversial Dallas megachurch

Feb 21, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

tebowjetshelmet AP

When last we left Tim Tebow, he had scheduled an April speaking appearance at First Baptist Dallas, the church led by outspoken and controversial Rev. Robert Jeffress. But wait … here comes the safety blitz! And, Tebow is out.

The Jets quarterback announced on Twitter today that he’s canceling his appearance at First Baptist, “due to new information that has been brought to my attention.”

Tebow canceled, said the church, “for personal and professional reasons”, Tebow telling them that he “needed to avoid controversy at this time.”

Tebow was to speak at First Baptist on April 28, as part of the church’s celebration of a $130 million expansion of its downtown campus. But the controversy surrounding Jeffress and his church apparently seemed to be too much for the quarterback to handle. Jeffress is an outspoken opponent of homosexuality, has said that Islam and Mormonism are “heresy from the pit of hell” and has that Catholicism derives from “a Babylonian mystery religion”.

The church reacted to Tebow’s cancellation today with this statement to the Dallas Morning News:

“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.”

The Dallas Morning news reports that Tebow was in Dallas on Monday, speaking at the GameChanger Coaches Leadership Summit at American Airlines Center.

In an earlier story, the Dallas Morning News wrote:

In America’s ongoing cultural wars, Tebow’s very public faith and Jeffress’ strict-constructionist views on salvation and Christianity have generated enormous amounts of controversy.

It sure caused a lot of chatter around here. Go to the message section of the post we ran on this last week to see what I mean.

Tebow, whose employment in the NFL is by no means a sure thing right now, was either told or decided himself that all the fuss wasn’t worth it.

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A few of you called this, by the way: saying that there was no way Tebow would appear at First Baptist once he got all the facts. You all get commenting stars, and a gleaming no-prize. Now, do you have an Oscar predictions to throw my way?

  1. cur68 - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

  2. guinsrule - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Referring to Tim Tebow as “the Jets quarterback” makes me question the accuracy of the rest of your article…

  3. timbow8 - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    You should thank Fox! They reported “…and NBC’s Rick Chandler who virulently opposed Tebow going to the popular Dallas Church…” as an example of NBC’s Christian bashing. I was curious, checked you out-checked out the Dallas Church-conclude: FOX left A LOT out of the story concerning the Mega Church! Just horrible reporting on their side. I’m so proud of myself, over the holidays, of insisting that my parents turn off FOX forever and never look back. Whew! Good article. Your site will be petitioned for a Papal Pardon from Pope O’Reilly…aka Pope Richard III ! Thanks