March is over, but the madness moves on

Baseball’s opening day and the NCAA Men’s National Championship are today, and the Masters golf tournament starts on Thursday. I’m sure many men in this country will have sports overload this week (albeit probably a welcome overload).

My crystal ball says:

  • The Chicago Cubs will be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention by Saturday evening.
  • Tiger Woods will not make the cut at Augusta, but will answer at least 138 questions about regarding how many therapy sessions it took before he considered himself a recovered sex addict.
  • Manny Ramirez will go on record before next Monday saying that he hates Los Angeles and can’t imagine being there past Mother’s Day.
  • And finally, drum roll please…Butler 64, Duke 63.  There will not be a Jimmy Chitwood sighting, but could Gordan Hayward do this tonight?
Life Theology

Tiger Woods: “I have a lot to atone for.”

Tiger Woods made a short statement today.  He spoke for about 14 minutes.  He talked a lot about his selfishness and foolishness.  He said he has bitterly disappointed everyone in that press room.  Here are some quotes from Woods during the conference:

  • “I’m ashamed to have put you [my friends and business partners] in this position.”
  • “I have a lot to atone for.”
  • “Elin has shown enormous grace and poise in this ordeal.”
  • “I thought I could get rid of whatever I wanted to…I thought normal rules didn’t apply to me.”
  • “I felt I was entitled [to temptations].  Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them.”
  • “I have brought shame…to kids all around the world who have admired me.”
  • “My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before.”
  • “It’s up to me to make amends.”
  • “It’s up to me to start living a life of integrity.”
  • “I have heard before: It’s not what you achieve in life that matters.  It’s what you overcome.”
  • “Character and decency are what really count [in life].”
  • “It’s hard to admit that I need help.  But I do.”
  • “I’ve taken the first steps in the right direction.”
  • “The issues [between Elin and me] are between a husband and a wife.”
  • “I know above all, I am the one who needs to change…I owe it to everyone to become a better man…Part of that for me, is Buddhism.  Buddhism teaches that when there is a craving for things outside ourselves, I need to learn restraint.”

I could say thousands of things about this press conference, but I’ll keep it at one thing.  He said, “I have a lot to atone for.”  Woods doesn’t need to make atonement.  Jesus already made it.  As Brit Hume has already said, Jesus Christ offers Tiger Woods something that Tiger Woods desperately needs.

I’m glad Woods made the statement.  I think he was sincere, but I hope he looks outside himself to Jesus, instead of what he has within.  And I can only pray that God opens his eyes to see that.

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Blessed Are the Persecuted

Mark Joseph at the Huffington Post writes a post in defense of Brit Hume’s call for Tiger Woods to turn from Buddhism to Christianity.

Here’s another video of Hume, this time on the O’Reilly Factor.  In this video, Hume says, “I don’t mean for this to be a pun, but when you speak the name of Jesus Christ, all hell breaks loose.”

Life Theology

Brit Hume to Tiger: Drop Buddha and Get Jesus


What Tiger Woods Needs Most

I didn’t want this to be my first real post since returning from South Africa, but I couldn’t help it after I heard the news about Tiger Woods.  Yesterday, Omaha World Herald columnist Tom Shatel wrote a short blog about Tiger.  In the post, Shatel said:

[The media] weren’t there for Mickey Mantle or Paul Hornung or the countless other sports heroes who hopped from bed to bed. Nobody knew. Nobody cared. The press took better care of them. That’s the way it goes. But if a kid wants a role model, it should be his parents.

Will this stick with Tiger? I say no way. Sports fans don’t care about steroids or drug use and there are many who don’t hold gambling against Pete Rose. Infidelity is way down on the list of the sins that make sports fans cringe. Heck, many of the red-blooded American males I’ve talked to this week are actually proud of Tiger’s ever-growing harem. They say, “You’re Tiger Woods, why would you even get married?” Infidelity is accepted more often than not in this country, and around the world for that matter. Tiger will escape from this. He’ll pay the piper in terms of millions of dollars. But this will all go away eventually, if not sooner (my emphasis).

I normally love Shatel’s thoughts, appreciate his humor, and respect his morals.  But he’s wrong in this case.  Oh, he’s right that infidelity is accepted more often than not around the world.  But does that mean Tiger can escape?  Does that mean he can buy his way out of this one?  Does it mean that if he wins the Master’s next year by coming back from two strokes on Sunday people will forget?  Will this really “go away eventually”?  In a worldly sense, maybe. But in the words of Maximus, from Gladiator: “What we do in life echoes in eternity.”

The glorious truth is that Tiger doesn’t have to “pay the piper in terms of millions of dollars.”  The truth is that the piper has already been paid, and it was paid on Calvary by Jesus Christ when he shed his blood for the sins of the world, including Tiger’s adultery.  All Tiger has to do is confess and repent and trust in Jesus.  That’s all anyone has to do.  The debt has been paid for him, for you, and for me.  So, to the Christian reader: God is offering Jesus to Tiger.  Are you?  After all, you and I still need Jesus, too.

There is the other hand, of course, which is the hard truth that if Tiger does not repent, his sins will not just go away.  Not eventually.  Not ever.  And this is true for you and me as well.  People might forget.  But a holy God does not.  The sins of those who do not repent will cause them to suffer under God’s wrath for eternity in hell.  But on the cross, the Son took the Father’s wrath and satisfied it, so that whoever looks to him and believes will be saved.

God is loving and just.  He hates sin and punishes those who are unrepentant.  But he freely offers grace to every single person — including Tiger Woods — and whoever would have it will be saved.

What Tiger needs most is not a mulligan.  He needs a Savior.  Just like everyone else.