Here’s an email I received the other day regarding my comments on the Tebow jersey/clutural bias against Christianity discussion. I’m deleting the person’s name so as not to make anyone uncomfortable, but this is a pretty good example of the few negative messages I got. I’m sharing this so that if someone else has the same thougths or feelings that this might answer some questions preemptively. There’s also another lesson here: before you crank out an email or other form of communication, make sure you have your facts straight. It saves time and generally makes for a much better experience for all involved. To my friend’s credit, it was not sent anonymously. I’m posting his email first, then my response.
And by the way, I do not know Tim Tebow. Have never met him or spoken with him. I’d like to, just to say “atta boy!”, but I haven’t. The only dog I have in this hunt is biblical truth, and that’s the only one that really matters.
Dear Rev. Buckley and those who you influence,
I had to respond, as a Christian, to your opinions regarding those who do not approve of the public displays of religion. To classify all of these individuals as “haters”, and l say this will all due respect Sir, is simply not fair, well considered nor well thought out by you. Some people, such as I, do not agree with it and l am in no way a “hater”; I simply disagree with Christ and his message being displayed in this manner. To me it is degrading and disrespectful to God, reducing Him and His name to that of a commercial sponsor or a simply a ball player’s displaying an action that few truly look at it as a testament to God, but actually as a promotional act, self-serving and in no way serving the message even if well intended. There are many reasons that a person could and would take issue with seeing the Lord’s name on a piece of sports clothing….He deserves more respect than that. Look at both sides of this, I ask of you.
While l can appreciate your position and opinion, l take offense that you would consider a man such as myself a “hater” and strongly believe that you need to rethink what you said, how it’s possible that you and your words hurt other people in the Family of God and if you both have the right to do that. So then do you become any different than those you accuse of being “haters” by saying things are to me were indeed hateful? You were the proverbial “pot calling the kettle black”, though l do not want to cast stones, l will take my fate for saying this as you offended me and assuredly other Christians with your own words of hate. Reflect on what you said and ask yourself, did I act as Christ would have? In that is your answer, as it always is. When you do, you will surely find that the answer is the Lord would never have held the position nor said the words you did.
As a Pastor, I am honestly surprised that you forgot “Judge not lest ye be judged”, but we are all men, not perfect, and while l was, still am upset and disappointed in you, l do forgive you regardless if you see any wrongdoing in your words and/or deeds including becoming upset with me for stating my peace with you. I don’t need you to see and understand it to forgive you, but l would imagine the Lord would prefer you do, but that is between you and God. May God bless you and give you both the sight and wisdom to understand those things you have been so far blind to see.
Your Brother in Christ,
Thanks for taking the time to write. Actually, I never referred to anyone as a “hater”. The columnist who quoted me used that term. I was not even interviewed directly by the writer who used that term–he simply cut and pasted a quote from a tv interview. There were no words of hate in anything I actually said. I encourage you to read the articles I wrote regarding this on my website, www.marcusbuckley.com. You would be better served understanding what I actually said than what you think I said.I understand your viewpoint and you have every right to your opinion, but the Bible is very clear that we as Christians are to boldly proclaim our faith at every opportunity.To say that we are not to judge is only quoting part of the passage. It continues and says that whatever measure we use will be the measure we are judged by. Scripture, not personal or public opinion, is that measure. According to Scripture, we are not to cover our light but rather let it shine. The Great Commission calls all believers to make disciples of Christ of people everywhere. That involves living out Christ in every arena, not just church. Incidentally, you judged me on something I never actually said, so you can see how important getting the whole message is important. Further, you have accused Tim Tebow of being “self-serving” and “promotional”, which certainly strikes me as judgmentalism on your part. How do we know that his are not genuine expressions of faith and gratitude to the God who has blessed him with his talents? I don’t know him personally, but I believe Tim Tebow to be very genuine.I have, in fact, looked at both sides. In a radio interview with a station in Cleveland, Ohio, this morning I stated that I personally was not a big fan of the “Jesus” jersey. It’s hard to make a fair judgment when you don’t have all the information, much less incorrect information.I’m not upset at all with you sharing your viewpoint. In fact, I completely welcome discussion about what people believe. What I find problematic is your accusatory language regarding wording I never used. In the future, it would be beneficial to look before you leap. You would be better served saying the things you directed at me to the writer who actually referred to people as haters. His name eludes me at the moment, but I’ve posted a link to the original article on my blog.Please let me know if I can do anything for you in the future. Rest assured, there are no hard feelings on my end.Rev. Marcus A. Buckley