Was Tim Tebow’s loss in playoff game divinely ordained?

As a religious skeptic, I would answer the question in the headline above with a simple admission that I don’t know for sure.

But even if I were a devout religionist, I can’t imagine that I would ascribe to God a great interest in who wins or who loses a sporting contest. I would not be one of those millions of Americans who say that God has played a direct role in Tim Tebow’s gridiron heroics this season (see HERE and HERE).

Here’s a question that seems not to occur to those who think God is on Tebow’s side on the football field: What about the players on the other teams who are equally as religious? Tebow isn’t the only devout Christian in the NFL. The teams he has defeated this season no doubt have had players every bit as devout as he is. These other players may not wear their religiosity as conspicuously on their sleeves as Tebow does, but that doesn’t mean they are any less faithful to the Man Upstairs.

So how can anyone say with any degree of certainty that Tebow’s successes this season have been divinely ordained?

Make no mistake about this. Even as a religious skeptic, I don’t object in the least to Tebow’s outward displays of his faith. As long as he’s not pushing religious bigotry or advocating theocratic government, I don’t have any problem with his public displays of piety. That’s his business, not mine.

And it’s Tebow’s business if he believes that God guides his every move on the football field and determines whether he wins or loses. My only point here is that even if I were reverentially religious, I wouldn’t likely agree with those millions of other people who are quite sure that divine intervention plays a role in the fortunes of the Denver Broncos.

It seems to me that Tebow’s relationship with the God in which believes is beyond the understanding of others. And perhaps he thinks so, too.



  1. Many people (improperly, in my view) regard modern Christianity as a reincarnation of Greek mythology, with God and the saints staring down from heaven and throwing thunderbolts against the sinning multitudes. If this were the only interpretation of Christianity, I would be a skeptic, too, if not an outright atheist.

    I don’t know who said it, but is it possible that God is verb and not a noun? If yes, then your question (“[H]ow can anyone say with any degree of certainty that Tebow’s successes this season have been divinely ordained?”) makes a number of primitive assumptions about the nature of God, and I don’t think we can assume these things.

    Maybe Tebow is constantly grateful to God, sets his life’s priorities according to the teachings of Jesus, and prays that God’s will (which may be a metaphor for something we cannot understand) may unfold on earth regardless of who wins or loses football games. I can think of a lot worse ways to order one’s life.

    P.S. This is 2012… it’s not the Man Upstairs, it’s the Person Upstairs. Learn the lingo: God is now God/Goddess (can be abbreviated GG), Lord is now Sovereign, Heavenly Father is now Divine One, and in general all traces of gender must be erased from any talk of the Almighty. (But the feminists seem to be okay with Satan as “he,” curiously.)

  2. Vernon Davis for the 49ers was certainly divine.

  3. dogrescuer

    God, who set the Big Bang into motion thereby creating the universe and everything it contains, who created quantum physics and all other branches of science and mathematics, has nothing better to do than help Tebow win football games– that is, when He’s not busy hovering over us to make sure we don’t turn gay, or have an abortion, or join the wrong religion.

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