Tim Tebow and the Absurdity of Being a “Really Big Christian”
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” – Luke 9:26
Through the years, I have been perplexed by a particular phrase used by many Christians within evangelical circles. It’s when one believer describes another believer as a “really big Christian.” To me this term is nonsense. What really is a “big” Christian? Does it refer to a believer that has a weight problem; obviously not. What it wrongly suggests is that there are different tiers within the Christian faith. It suggests that when we surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, that we have the option of only being somewhat committed to Christ and choose to be a “small” or “medium” Christian. But the irony of that statement is found in the fact that if you desire to have a small or medium commitment to Christ, then you really haven’t surrendered and submitted to His Lordship in the first place. The cliché “really big Christian” also suggests that if you are open about your faith, then you must be a “really big Christian.” But expressing your faith does not make you a “big” Christian, it makes you an “obedient” Christian; for it is a command that every believer is called to obey. How has the evangelical community deteriorated to the point where we see our personal faith in God by way of fast food jargon? The flaw in “really big Christian” is that it suggests that we can opt out of radical abandonment to Christ and yet still be part of the redeemed family of God. It suggests that we can be partially committed to Christ rather than fully committed to Christ, and that in the end it will be okay. This is a very disturbing trend. The truth is that we are all called to be committed followers of Jesus Christ. Case closed. There are no minor league or major league Christians.
These things came to my attention in 2012 with the social media craze surrounding Denver Broncos Quarterback, Tim Tebow. No doubt, it is evident that his life purpose is not to play football, but to glorify God. Yet because of his commitment to the Lord, he has been described by many evangelicals as a “really big Christian.” Whenever someone uses this phrase, they might as well hang a billboard over their head that reads, “I am a medium sized Christian” or a sign that reads, “Not hot for God, only lukewarm.” The bottom line is this; shouldn’t we all be living out our faith as Tim Tebow does? And why is it that Tim Tebow’s radical commitment to Christ seems foreign to so many believers? After all, shouldn’t believers be the ones most familiar with his lifestyle? I commend Tim Tebow for his openness about his personal faith in Christ. But when did being mediocre for God become the accepted norm so that when someone actually does live out their faith as Tebow does, they are described as “a big Christian?” Oh how we have lowered the bar of expectation!
The Bible makes it clear that we are not to be ashamed of the gospel. We are to proudly bear the name of King Jesus. We are called to unabashedly serve Him with no hesitation or reservation. We do not cower down in the face of adversity or criticism. We hold high his banner and do so with a fervent zeal and passion for our Savior. Yet if these things do not describe you, then how real is your faith to begin with? As His disciples, are we are to be dedicated followers of Him. Being a Christian means being fully devoted to Christ. It means that every avenue of your life has been completely penetrated by the Holy Spirit of God. There is no such thing as a life partially penetrated by the Holy Spirit of God, just like there is no such thing as a carnal Christian. Following Christ is not something that can be done casually or discretely. Ponder these truths today, and Ask God to help you be fully devoted to Him.