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Church: Tebow cancels under 'pressure'

Feb. 21, 2013 at 5:54 PM   |   Comments

DALLAS, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A Dallas church said Thursday NFL quarterback Tim Tebow canceled a scheduled appearance at the church because he "felt pressure" from the news media.

Tebow announced in a series of tweets he was canceling the scheduled April 28 appearance at First Baptist Church of Dallas.

"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." Tebow said. "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!"

Tebow was scheduled to appear as part of a monthlong celebration of a $130 million expansion and renovation of the church's Dallas campus.

The church -- led by Robert Jeffress -- issued a statement Thursday saying Tebow told Jeffress Wednesday he needed to "to avoid controversy at this time, but would like to come to First Baptist Dallas to speak at a future date."

"We are saddened that Mr. Tebow felt pressure to back out of his long-planned commitment to First Baptist Dallas from numerous New York and national sports and news media who grossly misrepresented past comments made by our pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, specifically related to issues of homosexuality and AIDS, as well as Judaism," the statement said.

Jeffress has made numerous controversial comments, including calling Mormonism as theological cult.

"First Baptist is a church built on the truth of Scripture, even though at times that approach can be perceived as controversial or counter to the prevailing winds of culture," the statement said.

Tebow was in Dallas Monday, speaking at the GameChanger Coaches Leadership Summit.

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