Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tiger: A Case for Christianity

"He's said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. ... Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery."—Brit Hume, FOX News
At the pinnacle of his success he had it all, unparalleled professional acclaim, a billion dollar income, a beautiful family and all that wealth and fame could offer.

But after he returned from a knee injury something wasn’t quite right. He was losing. His legendary focus and concentration were clearly not the same. And there was something else. It seemed like over night he had developed the body of a Greek god. I heard a commentator question whether this new muscular physique was somehow affecting his golf game.

And then out of nowhere an early morning automobile accident, wife with a golf club, or wife helping an out-of-sorts husband from a wrecked car depending on which report you believed.

And then the slow water-torture like drip of damning infidelity charges. First there was one mistress then another and then others. Upwards, upwards, upwards to thirteen…thirteen women tied to Woods. Our minds were reeling. What number was he attempting to reach 72?

It was reported via Wood’s own website that his professional golf touring is being put indefinitely on hold. He would be concentrating on family matters. Then prenab rewrites and rumors of Elin Nordegren Woods leaving.

At one point it was reported that Tiger was hold-up in his mansion eating cold cereal and watching cartoons. I wondered, what brand cereal? And whether or not he was sleeping in the fetal position? And then I wondered, how could someone with so much be reduced to a cold bowl of cereal with milk and watching cartoons in his mansion?

I realized that Tiger’s story is one that any of us could be living only he has the wealth with which to do it and many of us don’t.

The bible presents a story of a son who demanded of his father the part of the inheritance that was his. His father gave it. The son departed to be on his own and he quickly spent his inheritance on what the bible describes as riotess living.

In like fashion, Tiger’s story is that he bought into the hype—the illusion. After all he was Tiger Woods and he could have anything that he wanted. Isn’t that the way that it works? With money and power you’re supposed to be able to live like Hugh Heffner or at least like Bill Maher or Brittney Spears.

Shouldn’t the world just accept Tiger’s personal hedonism just like it accepts homosexuality or alcoholism? After all he is just being who he is. And after all narcissism is a disease.

Woods’ marital woes are well chronicled on Supermarket Tabloids and Tabloid TV alike but only for the exploitive sense of cutting Tiger down to size. The World giveth fame and fortune and the World can taketh it away. After creating a monstrous Tiger with all of the appetites that the allurements and privileges of great wealth will produce it seems to me that the world was all too happy to destroy the image that it created. Revealing that behind the image of golfing perfection lurked a narcissist hedonic orgyist who wore a wedding ring for no apparent reason.
I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves.—Tiger Woods
In the biblical account of the son who spent his life’s inheritance on pleasuring himself the young man reached a point in this life that a bowl of cold cereal would have been better than what he had. At the lowest point of this young man’s life the bible indicates that the young man reasoned to himself that the decadent lifestyle that he had spent his resources on was not worth his life so he simply when home.

The bible speaks to the perils of seeking the pleasures of the world over and above righteousness it says:
And let not your behaviour be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God.—Roms 12:2 BBE
The example of Tiger Woods is a lesson of attaining the riches of the world at the expense of forsaking one’s values thus causing one to even lose one’s soul. What we learn is that even a billion dollar superstar athlete who has everything that we all are attempting to achieve; wealth, security and acceptance can choose to live by the false standards of the world and by doing so he can lose all that is important.
O you who are false to God, do you not see that the friends of this world are not God's friends? Every man desiring to be a friend of this world makes himself a hater of God.—James 4:4 BBE

Fox News’ Brit Hume I think was correct saying that Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods will recover as a golfer but no other religious faith besides Christianity offers reconciliation for the whole person. Tiger would do well by heeding Mr. Hume’s advice and to turn to the Christian faith. (see 31sec. video)

Like the son who decided to go home after spending all of his inheritance on hedonistic living, God is willing to forgive Tiger too and accept him as his own son. That is true for any of us who are living with misguided priorities and decide that God’s ways are better than living to our own destruction.

As the bible says:

What profit has a man if he gets all the world with the loss of his life?—Mark 8:36 BBE

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