Tim Tebow to Lead the Next ‘Great Awakening?’ [OPINION]
In the United States' short history there have been three 'great awakenings' or religious revivals. They generally occur at a time when individuals question religion's place in society.
Awakenings are Christian movements that de-emphasize doctrine and ritual and place more of a burden on spiritual conviction. The leaders of the awakenings challenge the emotional side of humans far more than the logical side.
Depending on who you ask, there has not been an awakening in the United States since the early 1900s. Some will argue that the advent of 'non-denominational' megachurches in the 1960s and 70s was an awakening. While many scholars and historians acknowledge significant religious changes took place, they do not consider it a true awakening.
As crazy as it seems, I'm here to offer that a football player could lead the next great awakening in America. Tim Tebow is hardly your garden variety football player. There have been many other football players with strong religious convictions and leadership skills, but no one quite like Tebow.
The thing that separates Tebow is that he was spending his summers preaching in the Philippines while others his age were working on their tans. He is comfortable spreading his message in front of a large crowd, and as a quarterback in the NFL he has a huge platform and following.
There are a lot of people who share Tebow's beliefs and convictions but have long been looking for that strong public figure who won't be deterred by a cynical and largely secular media.
Tebow attracted a crowd of 15,000 in an outdoor service on Easter Sunday in the Austin suburb of Georgetown, Texas. Every awakening and religious revival has been spearheaded by a galvanizing yet polarizing figure. Tebow perfectly fits that description.
The climate in the United States seems ripe for an awakening. Secularism is growing rapidly and traditional social values are being laughed at as archaic and unprogressive. However, the progressives often forget that we are a nation founded on judeo-christian beliefs.
As crazy as it would have sounded twenty years ago, I wouldn't be surprised if an NFL quarterback is at the center of the country's fourth great awakening.