Yesterday, Fox News commentator and analyst Brit Hume became the news with his delightfully provocative comments about and to scandalized über-golfer Tiger Woods, which instantly showed up in places like an entertainment “news” show and in several YouTube videos.
“Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person, I think, is a very open question, and it’s a tragic situation. He’s lost his family; it’s not clear to me whether he’ll be able to have a relationship with his children, but the Tiger Woods that emerges, once the news value dies out of this scandal, the extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. 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. So my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”
I love it that someone spoke the plain, un-PC truth that Buddhism offers no solution to the weight of grief and shame that Tiger is carrying.
But Jesus does.
Our culture has become voracious in its appetite for celebrity and celebrity news, which is why a man’s unfortunate and self-indulgent choices to engage in numerous extramarital affairs gets much more attention that it deserves. This isn’t just about news that sells newspapers and magazines; this is a real life train wreck, with real life trauma and pain to a man and his family. And that’s why what we believe matters, because real life in a fallen world involves pain and suffering—some because of our own sinful choices, some because of others’ sinful choices, and some because pain and suffering is inextricably linked with a world hostile to God and intent on operating independently from Him.
Pain and suffering is not optional, but we have choices in how we interpret our experiences and how we respond. Brit Hume, himself a Christ-follower, knows that God can bring hope and change and redemption out of the most painful parts of life. He knows, because he is a man forgiven by God and others for his own sins, that there is freedom and relief in the forgiveness made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Tiger needs to know.
Would you join me in praying for the man, every time you hear or see him mentioned in the media? Pray for grace to repent and not merely grieve that he got caught. Pray that he turns to Jesus.