(Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Tim Tebow's family pastor, Mac Brunson, is speaking out in support of both Tim Tebow and Pastor Robert Jeffress amid the controversy surrounding Tebow's decision not to speak at the First Baptist Church of Dallas in April.
"I rise Oh Lord to pray for two of your servants Tim Tebow and Robert Jeffress. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of this hour," said Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., via twitter on Feb. 22.
The Christian Post contacted Mac Brunson, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., but he was not available to comment at the time of publication.
Tebow, who is outspoken about his Christian faith, shocked his fans and the congregation of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, when he recently canceled his scheduled speech at the church. Jeffress told The Christian Post last week that Tebow contacted him on Feb. 21 in advance of his announcement that he would not be attending because, as he said, he "needed to steer clear of controversy, but he would be willing to come back in the future and speak."
On Thursday, Tebow, the New York Jets backup quarterback who is expected to be traded or released from his contract during the off-season, posted the announcement on his Facebook and Twitter pages:
"While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ's unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!"
Jeffress said he told Tebow that, as Christians, "we should never appease those who hate the gospel by compromising."
"We need to pray for and love one another," said Jeffress, who leads an 11,000-member congregation. "[But] Christians shouldn't be hesitant to call one another out, just as the Apostle Paul called out the Apostle Peter for caving into pressure rather than standing for truth. We need to stand up for truth and not kneel at the altar of compromise and political correctness."
After the announcement was first made that Tebow would be speaking at Jeffress' church on April 28, The Huffington Post ran with the headline: "Tim Tebow, Jets Quarterback, To Speak At Virulently Anti-Gay, Anti-Semitic Church First Baptist Dallas." And the next day, the New York Daily News piled on with the headline: "NY Jets' Tim Tebow may be splitting up with team, but he has hate date at Texas church where he will be star speaker."