Dear Tim Tebow:
I have a special needs son named Benjamin who has cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. He is 18 now and a very kind, tenderhearted young man, an immense blessing to our lives. Many things are difficult for Benjamin, and learning has always been quite a struggle for him. I have been his teacher as I homeschooled him. It was when you were with the Broncos that he developed a love and passion for football. It was that passion that encouraged him to read more, and it helped in his learning. It gave him something to be excited about.
You were someone young people like my son could look up to, not just as a football player, but also a Christian man, unashamed about his faith, and a man with integrity. Very often even celebrities who claim to be Christians don’t live out their faith. I have also appreciated the Tim Tebow Foundation which reaches out and offers help to special needs kids.
As the mom of four sons, along with teaching them the gospel and things of the Lord through Scripture, I’ve taught them to respect and protect women. I’ve taught them how God created sexual intimacy to be shared in marriage and encouraged them to remain pure. Sexual purity is something we as Christians practice out of faith in and obedience to God, and I was glad to see a Christian celebrity publicly committing to it. In our culture where promiscuity is the norm, it’s an encouragement for the Christian young people who look up to you.
The recent revelations about Clayton Jennings have been quite concerning. Clayton has not respected nor protected women; he’s hurt them. Clayton isn’t just someone who claims to be a Christian, but someone in ministry who used his influence to pursue and manipulate young women, which in some of those cases led to fornication. There’s evidence that he lied to these girls including promising marriage, using alcohol to lower inhibitions and encouraging taking of the morning after pill.
Initially when Clayton’s escapades became public, Pastor Tony Nolan revealed he was working with Clayton on a process of repentance and restoration. The following month Pastor Nolan announced that Clayton had walked away from the renewal process. Prior to that, his ministerial credentials were revoked by his own home church where his father was one of the pastors. Clayton appears to have now run from that discipline. In a letter to their congregation, the elders of his church explained:
“Clayton has chosen to reject instruction from God’s Word regarding spiritual leaders and repentance, as well as the counsel of HSC yet intends to continue in ministry. In November, we removed his license, we have made many attempts to correct him and he refuses to submit to the authority of Harbour Shores Church. Clayton has informed us that he has joined another church and is therefore now their responsibility.
We are deeply saddened by Clayton’s decision and ask that you pray for his repentance and restoration. Additionally, we believe it is not appropriate to participate in any of his ministries, social media activity or related business ventures.”
Not only has his church argued that he is unrepentant, they don’t believe their members should be participating or supporting him in ministry or otherwise. There is also evidence that he has threatened those who oppose him. This is not someone who is above reproach which is a Biblical qualification for ministry. 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6-7
Some of Jenning’s supporters have said, “Aren’t we supposed to show grace and forgiveness to Clayton?” There is grace and forgiveness available for Clayton through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. The evidence is overwhelming that Clayton is not repentant. Matthew 18 describes how we should deal with the unrepentant sin of one in the church. Ultimately if one remains unrepentant we’re told, “And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:17
Tim, Clayton is not someone you should be working with or endorsing as a Christian who claims to follow the Word of God, and I’m disappointed by your decision to be associated with him, when even his own church has counseled against it. This lack of judgment on your part has many questioning whether you are someone young people should look up to.
In the recent video posted on your Facebook page of Clayton Jenning’s spoken word about the Tim Tebow Foundation, he says, “I’m going to fight for the hurting.” That is simply not true; he hasn’t fought for the hurting. There are at least six women he has hurt. These women have been repentant of their own sin with Clayton. His ongoing deception and lack of repentance has only caused them more hurt. I can imagine that your support of him is also hurtful and confusing. I also believe that he used the special needs children in the video for his own personal gain, to portray himself as something he is not. As a mom of a special needs child, I am disappointed and saddened. Clayton has a habit of using his ministry for personal gain, as that’s exactly what he did by using it to prey on young women.
I’m aware that Clayton tells another story, claiming repentance and denying some of the accusations. I am encouraging you to speak with those who have been in contact with his victims and the people involved in the situation who have seen the evidence of his sin and unrepentance. If you’re going to work with him, you must show wisdom and look into these accusations and not just take Clayton’s word for it. Clayton will probably say those guys are just haters, but they are men who love the church and are praying for Clayton’s repentance and in some cases helping his victims. Clayton calls them unbelievers when what they’ve done is follow God’s Word. 1 Corinthians 5, Matthew 18:15-18, James 5:19-20, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 You should also contact his previous church about their reasons for revoking his ministry license. I myself have a women’s theology podcast which encourages women in the study of Scripture and spiritual discernment. I have done a lot of research and I’ve gone through the available evidence and believe Clayton is someone women should stayed away from. Many pastors, teachers and churches have already made the biblical and wise decision to distance themselves from him. Penguin books is no longer planning on publishing his previously planned book. You insist on continuing to work with and endorsing him, which is being noticed by many who are disappointed and confused by your continued support of him, including many of us who are parents of special needs kids who have appreciated your foundation.
Tim, you have been given a platform. You have the opportunity to influence young people who look up to you. Associating with Clayton sends a message that you think his sin against women and his unrepentance is okay and doesn’t bear any consequences. By working with him, you are putting your stamp of approval on his return to ministry, when his own church said he is not qualified. Please look to what Scripture says about the qualifications for those in ministry and how we’re told to respond to those who call themselves Christians, yet live in unrepentant sin. On the Tim Tebow Foundation website you say, “From a very early age, my parents instilled in me the importance of God’s word…“ Please be someone that young people can look to as one who follows the Lord and lives in obedience to His Word.