Tim Tebow, a known Christian, speaks at a Christian University, and yet somehow there remains a controversy.
Christianity, along with Islam, Judaism, and Catholicism, all believe that homosexuality is a sin along with lying, cheating, lusting, and stealing. As the world’s largest Christian university, Liberty University has gained world recognition for its education and influence. Due to its online program which contains 80,000 students in addition to its 12,600 residential students, its reach is to over 92,000 students world-wide from resident Virginians to soldiers serving overseas to working adults living on Hollywood Blvd. “Training Champions For Christ since 1971” reads its motto proudly displaying its roots in Christianity that Liberty is not quick to forget.
Due to its success as well as its values, Liberty University has always been surrounded in controversy. Since Tebow was confirmed to speak in Liberty’s Convocation, there has been a petition to encourage him not to speak. The Huffington Post in particular pointed out the fact that Liberty’s Christian values are at odds with the homosexual lifestyle and used Tebow’s speaking engagement as an avenue to criticize the university’s position.
Tebow did not speak about homosexuality, pre-marital sexual activity, or any other sinful lifestyle that the university discourages due to its religious beliefs. In fact, Liberty and Tebow have both been better known what they are for rather than what they are against.
Tebow’s message to Liberty students was about having a life of impact. He laid out three things to do in order to have that life of impact: have passion, don’t be normal, be an example, and be great.
“You wanna be great? Humble yourself,” he urged students. Using examples from his own life, he showed how one can make a difference and stand out from the rest of society as a Christian.
The Christian lifestyle, although it has been present since the first century, still continues to be provocative. The irony is that a Christian speaking at the world’s largest Christian university appears to anyone to be anything out of the ordinary. Other institutions who hold these same views against certain lifestyles that they believe are counter to their religion are not ostracized or brought to the public light for their views. The real story to be told is that the day before, articles started appearing about Tebow speaking at an “anti-gay” university. An article in the Washington Post discussed Liberty reaching the status of a mega-university with a global influence.
Over 92,000 students are choosing to currently attend an institution that publicly upholds Christian values in the face of adversity, and although many would make it appear otherwise, the university has been much better known for the values which it stands for rather than the lifestyles it discourages. Biblical truths are taught with love and Christian students are instilled with moral values. Almost 200 students are traveling or have traveled with the Office of Global Engagement to help in various overseas countries this school year alone, and each students completes over twenty hours of community service per semester.
Liberty students have a far lower default rate on federal loans than the national average, and the entire campus including students and faculty is dry. Christian values have made this university the largest non-profit university in the United States, and it is these values that have made it a national icon. The university considered it an honor to have a national Christian celebrity to speak at the university and encourage its students to make an impact in the world, and that is the real story that has remained untold.