New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has never been shy about expressing his faith, but the devout Christian has decided to avoid spreading the gospel at the First Baptist Church of Dallas.
Tebow canceled a scheduled appearance set for April 28 due to new information that came to his attention about the controversial social agenda advocated by Rev. Robert Jeffress, who is the pastor there.
The quarterback took to Twitter to indicate his intentions:
While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ's unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic...— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2013
... First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my...— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2013
...upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those...— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2013
...needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2013
This was a classy way for Tebow to break the news of his cancellation, as he did not call out any specific disagreements he had with the church's ideology. That said, it's not hard to see why he wanted to avoid the situation.
Although he didn't initially report news of Tebow's appearance, Jay Busbee of Yahoo! Sports did document many of the things that likely led to Tebow pulling out of this event.
How did Tebow handle this cancellation?
In the past, Jeffress has expressed disdain for other religions, including Mormonism, Islamism and Judaism. He has also conveyed a strong opposition to homosexuality.
As clean as Tebow's public image is, this appearance likely would have done damage to his reputation. His portrayal of Christianity as a purely positive force would have been compromised by the vitriol projected by Jeffress.
Tebow's spat with the Jets has already put him in the headline for all the wrong reasons, and heading to this church would only have created another controversial media firestorm.