As the Ravi Zacharias scandal continues there is one aspect that is particularly troubling. Its the silence by Tim Tebow. Tebow described the scandal plagued evangelist as his personal hero. Meanwhile he has not acknowledged the Miller & Marten report documenting sexual abuse by Ravi Zacharias. And as such he has not empathized for the victims of rape and sexual abuse whether it be in Canada, Georgia or Thailand. That is damning, especially for an individual whose ministry focuses on human trafficking. In an Instagram video Tebow was near tears as Ravi Zacharias was dying of cancer. Will he weep for the victims that Zacharias abused?
“My integrity means more to me than any fame or money. When I say something, I want people to take it to the bank that I mean it and believe in it.“
“So much of how we act and what we do is based on humility or pride – that’s everything. And when you can humble yourself, you know, we are more like Christ when we can humble ourselves.”
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 KJV
Tim Tebow with his close friend and mentor Ravi Zacharias
There is one topic in the Ravi Zacharias scandal that has been eerily quiet. And its something this blog also noticed and it led to this post. Tim Tebow is well known and I don’t think I have to do an explanation on the former University of Florida quarterback who has played professional football and also baseball. Just recently he announced that he is retiring from baseball. But Tim Tebow has been very vocal about his evangelical Christian faith, his Baptist missionary parents in the Philippines and his homeschooling in Florida. For his athletic career he merged faith and sports which led to some who wanted to mimic his evangelicalismand style. When I was involved in evangelicalism I knew people who worshipped the ground that Tim Tebow walked on. It was bizarre. But Tim Tebow also established a foundation that is known for taking a stand against human trafficking.
Tim Tebow Speaks out Against Human Trafficking
In January 2010 when he graduated from the University of Florida Tim Tebow started the The Tim Tebow Foundation. His organization directly addresses human trafficking, which you can read about right here. At his webpage this is how Tebow discusses human trafficking.
For the last decade, the number of individuals trapped in the vicious industry of human trafficking has increased with every passing year.* It is estimated that as many as 40 million people in the world today are being bought and sold as modern-day slaves. Women, children, and even men are being captured, exploited, and abused on a daily basis in every country around the world.
The statistics are staggering. Human trafficking generates $150 billion worldwide, with the United States leading all other countries demand. Roughly 70% of victims worldwide are female. 25% are children. They have been identified in every single US state, and more than ever are reaching out for help.**
These numbers are just a few of the overwhelming many, and they are only rising. But hope is not lost. Now is the time that the fight for the lives of these 40 million is now a rising concern for organizations, churches, and leaders across the globe. The Tim Tebow Foundation is committed to advancing this fight for the lives of those who have been trafficked or who are at risk of becoming victims. Though the Foundation has served in this space for years, we are burdened to go deeper.
For Tim Tebow’s 33rd birthday he used the occasion to deepen his commitment to fighting human trafficking with the goal of raising $500,000 to fight trafficking. And while he has done missionary work in the Philippines he’s also done work in Thailand as well which you can read about here and here.
Tim Tebow and Ravi Zacharias
Tim Tebow called Ravi Zecharias his “personal mentor” and his “hero.” He talked about how they knew each other and how Zacharias used to watch Tebow’s football games. Tim Tebow considered Ravi Zacharias to be a very close friend. When Ravi Zacharias fought cancer Tebow released a statement on Instagram on May 8, 2020. In an emotional video talked about how its important to have heroes in the faith. While on the verge of tears he acknowledged that Zacharias is not doing well in his battle against cancer. Tebow asked people to talk about how Zacharias changed their life so that Tim Tebow can share those wishes with with Ravi. Watch the video below.
When Zacharias died Tim Tebow spoke at his memorial service. You can watch that above. In the video he is emotional. He spoke about going to Ravi Zacharias’ beside as he was dying of cancer. He held his hand and Zacharias cracked a couple of jokes. Zacharias spoke about how he watched Tebow play football and how he knew they would be brothers one day. Tebow spoke about Zacharias being a brother in Christ, but Ravi was much more than that to Tim. Zacharias had been a mentor, teacher, pastor and a hero. And while talking of his Dad Tebow said he hasn’t really described anyone else as being a hero. In the memorial service Tim Tebow spoke about how they became close friends. The well known Christian athlete talked about how eager he was to tell the world about Jesus and he didn’t want to do it in a cookie cutter way. Tim listened to Zacharias regularly. Tim Tebow talked about how he even went so far as to put a game on mute so he could listen to Ravi Zacharias. And he looked to pick up a nugget that would tell the world why he believed in Jesus. For Tim Tebow its all about Jesus. Tim Tebow called on people to honor Ravi Zacharias by honoring the God who loved and drove Zacharias who he served so diligently. And if Ravi touched your life Tebow called on people to honor the one who Ravi Zacharias honored more than anything else in his life – the Lord Jesus Christ. Towards the end of his comments he speaks about how the Biblical form of hope is assurance. Christians have assurance in their faith, and they have assurance they will see Ravi Zacharias again. The way to honor Ravi Zacharias is to place hope in Jesus Christ.
Is Tim Tebow Going to Acknowledge the Miller & Martin Report and the Women in Thailand Who Were Abused by Ravi Zacharias?
As of this post we are almost three weeks out from the bombshell Miller & Martin report that revealed that Ravi Zacharias was a sexual predator. As the scandal unfolds what is becoming deafening is the silence of Tim Tebow. There hasn’t been a peep, comment or even acknowledgement of Ravi Zacharias’ abuse. The irony is that Tim Tebow’s own foundation works against human trafficking and here is Tim Tibow who is in denial about the scandal and can’t acknowledge that Zacharias engaged in behavior that undermined his own Tim Tebow Foundation. And then there is another aspect to consider. This blog asked a question about Ravi Zacharias and his activities in Thailand. You can read that post in, “Dare We Ask the Question? Was Ravi Zacharias a Sex Tourist in Bangkok? Did He Abuse Women in Thailand and Southeast Asia?” Zacharias according to the Miller & Martin report engaged in abuse in spas in Georgia. And if he did that what was he capable of dong in Thailand? But among the women that have been abused and raped by Zacharias Tim Tibow it appears has almost checked out. All this mission work in the Philippines and Thailand and silence is the best that Tim Tebow can do? This blog would suggest that this shows the Baptist faith that he clings to is not very healthy and indeed shallow. And if you can’t process or digest facts that are difficult or even admit that you were conned by a con man which is all that Ravi Zacharias was, then in the view of this blog you should not be wearing your faith on your sleeve. This situation with Ravi Zacharias which is quite damning should be giving a lot of evangelicals reason to pause and think long and hard about this mess. But on top of all that there is another issue, that of who Tim Tebow needs to go back and apologize. Its his father Bob Tebow. In the memorial service he called Ravi Zacharias a hero, and he said the only other person that is a hero is his Dad Bob Tebow. Stop and think about that…a rapist and sexual abuser is being put on the same level as his missionary father. And then here is Tim Tebow who is being silent on all this abuse by Zacharias. Pardon my language as I can’t stand Christianese let me be blunt. If I were Bob Tebow and I invested all this time and energy in raising my son, and not only can he not admit an error; but he compares me to a rapist and sexual predator; well I’d slap the shit out of him. I’d expect more from my son. Plus I would wonder what went wrong along the way when I tried to instill faith in him? This blog can’t believe that such a post like this needs to be done. That a celebrity Christian athlete who hangs his hat and makes his identity in part in fighting human trafficking is ignoring a person who most likely went to Thailand to prey on sexual trafficking victims. This is not a complicated issue.
What Tim Tebow Needs to do
These are the suggested proposals that this blog recommends to Tim Tebow.
- Tim Tebow needs to acknowledge the Miller & Martin report and issue a statement.
- The Tim Tebow Foundation also needs to acknowledge the Miller & Martin report and issue a statement on the situation.
- Tim Tebow also needs to acknowledge the victims in this situation. From the spa in Georgia to also Thailand.
- Tim Tebow owes Lori Anne Thompson an apology for holding up Ravi Zacharias as his own personal role model.
- Tim Tebow needs to g to Bob Tebow and ask for forgiveness for comparing his father to a sexual predator.
- Tim Tebow should weep for the people that Ravi Zacharias abused as well.
As I was contemplating this entire Ravi Zacharias mess this situation with Tim Tebow really ate at me. Its time for this issue to be addressed.