I don’t root for Tim Tebow**. It has been suggested that I ought to since he is an ‘outspoken Christian’ playing quarterback in the NFL. But I believe that rooting for an athlete simply because he or she is a christian is as odd as supporting politicians for the same reason; as if a common faith trumps job performance and competency. I would suggest that faithfulness to and excellence in one’s job is at least as Christian an endeavor as wearing Bible verses on ones’ face or doing charitable work apart one’s primary vocation.
As a Christian, I don’t feel a need to root for members of my tribe simply because they are members of my tribe. I want to support athletes, artists, writers, politicians etc.. who are good at what they do.
That said (and speaking of tribes), I am a fan of the Oakland Raiders because they’re local and because citizenship in the Raider Nation is McRoberts family tradition. Beyond that, my support of an athlete in the NFL (or in any sport for that matter) generally has more to do with the way that athlete contributes to their sport; I believe excellence in a person’s work, regardless of his or her faith, brings glory to God.
Supporting Christians in any industry simply because they are Christians strikes me as a kind of tribalism that pits “our” tribe against “theirs” and that makes me uncomfortable. It grates against the Biblical image of being salt in the world; salt enhances the flavor of whatever it is added to rather than serving to enhance its own. Christian hope for the world ought not to be a Christian conquering of it but it’s completion, redemption and fullness; that is a vision much larger than Christians doing well in the world. Tribalism detracts from the larger hope.
**This is especially true today when the Denver Broncos play my beloved Raiders in Oakland.