In 2020 and 2021, social media users enthusiastically shared a copy-and-paste, biblically-inspired tract about the “cashless society” being a harbinger of the apocalypse. For reasons that are unclear, Facebook users began in August and September 2021 to attribute the diatribe to Tim Tebow, the free agent tight end who became a household name in the 2010s as a first-round NFL draft for the Denver Broncos and an outspoken conservative Christian.
The screenshot below shows just a selection of examples of the “cashless society” message on Facebook, and demonstrates its enormous popularity on that platform:
The post typically came with the introduction “Tim Tebow posted this morning,” along with the following message:
The government might be preparing us for a cashless society but it was predated by the Bible. Already designed! If put into place just means our time is getting closer. Not worried about what is going to happen just looking up and getting ready. Maybe worry about your friends and family who aren’t ready instead of what is already designed to happen that you will not be stopping.
While the devil is preparing people for the Anti Christ, God is preparing people for the Rapture. I don’t know when the rapture will take place but I do believe it could be soon. I also believe this is a time that God is giving us a chance to repent. We need to get the Gospel message out!!!
Until the Good Lord calls me away from this world to go home, I want to make it clear that I believe in Jesus Christ as the True Lord and Savior. Despite the fact that I am human, and I fail a lot, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins and that He rose from the dead on the third day. He loves us all dearly (far more than we deserve) and forgives our sins when we repent.
His Word says John 3:16 “whosoever believeth in Me , should not perish but have ever lasting life.” The bible also says Matthew 10:33 “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which art in heaven…
Despite extensive research, Snopes has not yet been able to identify the author of the diatribe, or the forum in which it was first published. However, we can confirm it was not composed by Tebow. After this fact check was originally published, a representative for the former Heisman Trophy winner confirmed for Snopes that “Tim Tebow did not author this.” As a result, we are changing our rating from “Unproven” to “False.”
Even before we obtained confirmation from Tebow’s representative that he did not write the message, good reasons existed to doubt his authorship of it.
The earliest instance of the apocalyptic “cashless society” meme that we could find was a July 8, 2020, Facebook post by Steve Tickle, who featured in the Discovery Channel reality TV show “Moonshiners.” However, that post made no mention of Tebow:
An unnamed person replying to an inquiry we sent through Tickle’s website told Snopes he was not the original author of the message, and said “I believe we copied that post from another site.”
In fact, tens of thousands of Facebook users shared the message for around a year, without any attribution, before Tebow’s name began to be inserted. The earliest example of attribution to Tebow that we could find came in an Aug. 24, 2021, Facebook post. Past experience suggests that this phenomenon — where an already popular meme later becomes attributed to a celebrity — can often be a sign that the attribution is bogus.
Snopes searched Tebow’s social media profiles, his personal website and the website of the Tim Tebow Foundation, as well as an extensive news archive, and we could find no record of his ever having written or uttered the words contained in the viral message. In principle, this could have meant that the message was published and later deleted, but in fact, as later confirmed by Tebow’s representative, it was because he never wrote or said those words in the first place.
Tebow is a devout and vocal conservative Christian, and he regularly posts religious musings and biblical verses on social media, so the prospect of his having expressed the sentiments contained in the post was not inherently implausible. Indeed, this might be one of the reasons why his name was chosen to be erroneously attached to it.
“Did Golfer Bubba Watson Write an Anti-BLM Facebook Post?” Snopes.Com, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bubba-watson-blm/. Accessed 15 Sept. 2021.
Fact Check: NO Evidence That Tim Tebow Released A Quote Mentioning A Biblical Prediction Of A Cashless Society And “Anti Christ” | Lead Stories. https://leadstories.com/hoax-alert/2021/08/fact-check-no-evidence-that-tim-tebow-released-a-quote-mentioning-cashless,society-and-anti-christ.html. Accessed 15 Sept. 2021.
Moonshiners (TV Series 2011– ) – IMDb. www.imdb.com, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1877005/fullcredits. Accessed 15 Sept. 2021.