Colin Kaepernick vs. Tim Tebow: A story of dual Christianities on the knees


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels during a inhabitant anthem before an NFL football diversion opposite a Los Angeles Rams in 2016. Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow kneels on a sidelines before a playoff football diversion in 2012. (Stephan Savoia/Associated Press)

Editor’s note: At a convene Friday in Huntsville, Ala., President Trump called on NFL owners to recover players who took a knee during the inhabitant anthem like former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who dictated to draw attention to military assault opposite African Americans. Here, Michael Frost reflects on a differences between Kaepernick and Tim Tebow.


They’re both Christian footballers and they’re both famous for kneeling on a field, nonetheless for really opposite reasons.

One grew adult a son of Baptist missionaries to a Philippines. The other was baptized Methodist, reliable Lutheran, and attended a Baptist church during college.

Both have done a open arrangement of their faith. Both are prayerful and devout.

This is a story of dual Christian sports personalities, one of whom is a heavenly of a American church while a other is reviled. And their differences exhibit many about a code of Christianity elite by many in a church today.

First up, there’s Tim Tebow.

In this record photo, ESPN researcher Tim Tebow looks on during a 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game between a Florida State Seminoles and a Auburn Tigers during a Rose Bowl on Jan 6, 2014 in Pasadena, Calif. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Tebow was home-schooled by his Christian parents, and spent his summers in a Philippines, assisting with his father’s institution and companion work.

During his college football career, a Heisman Trophy leader frequently wore references to Bible verses on his eye black, including a entire John 3:16 during a 2009 BCS Championship Game.

He has been outspoken about his pro-life stance, and his joining to avoidance from sex before marriage.

He is a distinguished member of a Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an classification that insists that leaders pointer a Statement of Sexual Purity, saying that sex outward marriage is unsuitable to God.

He has preached in churches, prisons, schools, girl groups and a welter of devout conferences.

And he is good famous for his signature pierce — dropping to one knee on a field, his conduct focussed in prayer, his arm resting on his focussed knee — famous via a universe as Tebowing.

He’s purify cut, polite, gentle, respectful.

Then, there’s Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, until recently a quarterback for a San Francisco 49ers, was innate to a 19-year-old, single, white woman. His black father had left a design before Colin was born. His mom was vacant and gave him adult for adoption. He was lifted by a Kaepernicks, a white integrate from Milwaukee.

His physique is arrayed with eremite tattoos, including depictions of scrolls, a cross, praying hands, angels defeating demons, terms like “To God be a Glory,” “Heaven Sent,” “God will beam me,” Psalm 18:39 and Psalm 27:3.

He has said, “My faith is a basement from where my diversion comes from. I’ve been really sanctified to have a talent to play a diversion that we do and be successful during it. we consider God guides me by any day and helps me take a right stairs and has helped me to get to where I’m at. When we step on a field, we always contend a prayer, contend we am grateful to be means to arise adult that morning and go out there and try to worship a Lord with what we do on a field. we consider if we go out and try to do that, no matter what we do on a field, we can be happy about what we did.”

In this Oct. 16, 2016, record photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick talks with a media after an NFL football diversion opposite a Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y. (Jeffrey T. Barnes, Associated Press)

And Kaepernick’s faith isn’t only about creation him feel happy. It’s incited him into an romantic and philanthropist. During a offseason Kaepernick launched a GoFundMe page to fly food and H2O into pang Somalia. It surpassed a $2 million idea in only 4 days. In March, a craft installed with essential reserve landed in Mogadishu.

He had already affianced to present $1 million, along with a deduction of his jersey sales from a 2016 season, to giveaway work.

Recently, Meals on Wheels announced it had perceived $50,000 from Kaepernick.

Last week, he assimilated with a giveaway classification 100 Suits, to pass out giveaway suits in front of a New York State Parole bureau for people who have been expelled from jail and are looking for jobs.

But we all know since Colin Kaepernick is many famous.

Beginning in 2016, he refused to mount to courtesy during a personification of a American inhabitant anthem.

Kaepernick motionless to possibly sojourn seated or kneel during renditions of a Star Spangled Banner in support of Black Lives Matter and to criticism military assault opposite black people.

He explains, “I am not going to mount adult to uncover honour in a dwindle for a nation that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be greedy on my partial to demeanour a other way. There are bodies in a travel and people removing paid leave and removing divided with murder.”

He vowed to continue to criticism until he feels like “[the American flag] represents what it’s ostensible to represent.”

You know what happened next, right?

Kaepernick was voted a “most disliked” actor in a NFL.

People posted videos of them blazing his jerseys.

He was called “an embarrassment” and “a traitor.”

He was blamed for a poignant dump in NFL radio ratings, with fans boycotting a NFL since of his protest. He perceived genocide threats.

Then, there’s Christianity on a knees.

It seems to me that Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick paint a dual really opposite forms that American Christianity has come to.

And not only in a United States. In many tools of a universe it feels as yet a church is separating into dual versions, one that values personal piety, gentleness, honour for informative mores, and an importance on dignified issues like termination and homosexuality, and another that values amicable justice, village development, secular reconciliation, and domestic activism.

One chronicle is kneeling in private prayer. The other is kneeling in open protest.

One is endangered with private sins like abortion. The other is endangered with open sins like secular discrimination.

One preaches a gospel of personal salvation. The other preaches a gospel of domestic and amicable transformation.

One is reading a Epistles of Paul. The other is reading a Minor Prophets.

One is listening to Eric Metaxas and Franklin Graham. The other is listening to William Barber and John Perkins.

One is rallying during a Mar for Life. The other is removing arrested during Moral Monday protests.

You can see where this is going. The tributary of contemporary Christianity into dual graphic branches is withdrawal a church all a poorer, with any side wanting to be enriched by a biblical prophesy of a other.

Biblical Christianity should be, as Walter Brueggemann expresses it, “awed to heaven, secure in earth.” We should, as he says, be means to “join a angels in praise, and keep a feet in time and place.”

Sadly, with a guess and passion shown toward any side of a order by a other, we can’t see a entrance together any time soon.

In a meantime, Christianity stays on a knees in a West.

Michael Frost is a clamp principal of Morling College in Sydney. A renouned orator around a world, he has created some-more than a dozen books, including “The Shaping of Things to Come,” “Exiles,” “The Road to Missional” and “Incarnate.” This square was creatively published on Frost’s blog.


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