Wayne Hanson, pastor of Summit Church in Castle Rock, Colo., where Tim Tebow's father, Bob Tebow, is said to occasionally preach, weighed in on the Denver quarterback's performance on the field, saying the rookie QB would not be playing so well if his faith was not strong.
Hanson was asked by TMZ Monday if God deserves the credit when Tebow wins, according to a comment on the pastor's Twitter account, to which he replied: "Of course He does."
"It's not luck. Luck isn't winning 6 games in a row. It's favor. God's favor," Hanson told the website. "God has blessed his hard work."
TMZ also asked the Colorado pastor if Tebow would be winning so many games if he were not such a "strong believer."
"No, of course not," Hanson replided.
Hanson was later asked by CBSSports.com's Eye on NFL bloggers about his statement to the celebrity news and gossip site, apparently having misquoted the Summit Church pastor.
He added, "God deserves the credit for 'every good and perfect gift,' " referencing James 1:17.
Hanson also commented on Tebow earlier in the day on his Facebook page, writing: "The Packers are 13-0, Tebow keeps sharing Jesus and it's only 12 Days til' Christmas...Am I DREAMING? Or is Heaven gonna be just a little bit like this."
The pastor's comments received a handful of responses, many of them reflecting disdain with reporters and members of the public who continue to criticize the 24-year-old NFL player for wearing his faith on his sleeve during games.
"Gotta LOVE the fact that the sports reporters don't quite know how to continue putting him down anymore...... (I think they are secretly becoming curious...)," wrote Blake Brueggeman.
"I 'tear up' everytime T performs miracles 'on the field,' " commented Vernon Viernes. "I'm reminded that T did miracles 'off the field' taking the gospel to Phillipines, Florida U, his Gator teammates, Florida prisons, such a man of God, the Lord is raising T's platform...I'm a Raider fan but embracing the Broncos!"
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TMZ also conducted an informal poll on its website, Monday, posing the question "Is God helping Tebow?" and asking readers to choose "Most influential Christian," pitting the pope against Tebow. At the time of publication, 58 percent of the 56,297 readers had voted "no," God is not helping Tebow; out of 47,774 readers, 56 percent voted for the pope as the "most influential Christian."
No matter what the public, including other Christians, may have to say about the Denver quarterback, he does not appear tired of giving God the glory, which he did Sunday night after his team's 13-10 overtime victory against the Chicago Bears.
"Praise the Lord! Couldn't be any prouder of my teammates for believing in each other 'till the very end," Tebow tweeted.
ESPN published a video on its YouTube "First Take" account Monday featuring a "mash up" by DJ Steve Porter and analyst Skip Bayless "to create the ultimate Tim Tebow tribute." The song is titled "All He Does Is Win."