Tebow to speak at controversial anti-gay church

12:52 PM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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DALLAS, Texas - Tim Tebow is listed on the First Baptist of Dallas website scheduled to appear April 28th. It's no surprise. Tebow has never shied away from sharing views on his faith.

There is, however, controversy surrounding the church's pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress. He is known for denouncing homosexuality, and some even call some of Dr. Jeffress' statements hate speech.

"To say in today's culture that homosexuality is a perversion of God's plan ... to say out on the marquee that "Gay is not okay" is going to subject yourself to charges of being bigoted, and ignorant and hateful," said Dr. Jeffress in a 2012 address to his congregation. "If you dare speak out against homosexuality, you'll be held responsible for the violence, even the murders, of those who are homosexuals."

Word of Tebow's plans to speak at the church in April have resulted in a lot of controversy, even a petition on the Change.org website urging Tebow to cancel his visit to the Dallas church.

So just how do Tebow fans here in Tampa Bay feel about the planned upcoming visit? Opinions were split.

"It's probably not the best decision for him ... just because most people don't believe you should throw your religion in other people's faces," said Thomas Stevens.

"I'm sure it will be controversial, but then people don't like Tim Tebow because he's a good person," said Jack Davis. "There's controversy nowadays when you do the right things."

We reached out to representatives for Tim Tebow to find out what he thought about all this controversy, and if there was any thought of reconsidering his visit to the church. We did not hear back Tuesday night.

We also put in a request to speak to someone from First Baptist Church of Dallas. We received a written statement which reads in part: 

"Dr. Jeffress leads First Baptist under the mandates of Scripture and teaches its members to share God's truth at all costs, even when it requires going against the mainstream, popular view. We are saddened that this truth can no longer be communicated without being reported as 'hate speech.'"

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