Sunday, January 10, 2010

Taming the Tiger

Taming the Tiger
Ken Connor
Sunday, January 10, 2010

Unless you've been living under a rock or were recently abducted by aliens, chances are you've heard about Tiger Woods' humiliating exposure as a serial adulterer and the resulting damage to his marriage and career.

The Woods scandal has filled the front pages and dominated the airwaves, inviting commentary from pundits from CNN to ESPN to TMZ. While folks like Dennis Rodman and Hugh Hefner are speaking out in defense of the golfer - justifying his plight by blaming the pressure of fame or mocking the concept of marital fidelity - it's clear to most people that Mr. Woods' marital and professional crises are problems for which he bears sole and direct responsibility. By any standard of measure, his actions have been outrageous and utterly unacceptable. Undoubtedly, in the coming months Tiger will be looking for a way to restore his reputation and, perhaps, save his shattered marriage.

So how does one recover from all this?

Fox News Sunday panelist Brit Hume stunned many when he suggested on air that Tiger, a rumored adherent of Buddhism, should seek redemption and forgiveness through the Christian faith. Well, if history is any measure, that's good advice. The Bible recounts many stories of individuals whose lives were corrupted by evil deeds but who found forgiveness and redemption through the grace and love of God. King David was an adulterer and murderer, yet because he repented and sought the forgiveness of his Maker, he will forever be known as a man after God's own heart. The Apostle Paul was also an evildoer - the chief of sinners in his own estimation - yet he found forgiveness and redemption in the saving work of Jesus Christ. And who can forget the Samaritan woman, a known adulteress and societal outcast, who went to the local well for a bucket of water only to have her transgressions washed away and soul restored by the Savior of mankind.

Love, forgiveness, and redemption - these are the central reasons why Christ died on the cross. His death was, is, and will forever be adequate atonement for our sins.

Brit Hume, a believer in Christ, knows this well, and it is not wrong to suggest that the message of Christianity is one that Tiger Woods could benefit from embracing at this dark hour in his life. Of course, no sooner had the word "Christianity" left his mouth than the media intellegensia pounced. The Washington Post's Tom Shales blasted Hume's remarks as utterly inappropriate for a news show and suggested that his "dissing" of Buddhism calls for a public apology.

While Hume's remarks were certainly unexpected compared to the commentary normally heard on the Sunday morning news show circuit, they were made as part of an editorial segment on a show that solicits the opinion of its panelists. And truth be told, Buddhism does not offer the kind of redemption and forgiveness offered by Christianity. Buddhism is a non-theistic religion that might better be described as a school of philosophy; it does not speculate on the existence of God and certainly does not embrace the idea that man is connected to the Creator of the Universe through the person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, for the purposes that Hume was discussing, he was accurate in his statement that Buddhism does not offer the kind of redemption and forgiveness offered by Christianity.

But of course, this kind of theological certainty makes many uncomfortable. While Shales was quick to acknowledge that Hume's faith has done much to help him through some difficult times, he was clearly uncomfortable with a departure from the post-modern religious relativism that rules the day. That Brit Hume has experienced the power of Christ in his own life and has suggested that a troubled young man facing the loss of his family and career might do the same makes no difference.

Regardless of what Shales or anyone else may think, Hume does not owe anyone an apology for his words. While everyone else is busy speculating as to how Tiger might strategize his way back into the nation's good graces, Brit Hume is one of the few willing to offer the beleaguered athlete an authentic path to restoration. Tiger Woods is not a unique individual; he is no worse than the rest of us sinners. But now that his private sins have been exposed for the whole world to see, it may indeed be the ideal time for him?as so many of us have done?to drop to his knees with humility and gratitude and ask his Heavenly Father for guidance and forgiveness.

The Crucifixion of Brit Hume
Matt Barber
Friday, January 08, 2010

During the Roman Empire’s secularist era those who acknowledged the deity of Christ were frequently fed to the lions to entertain – for lack of a better word – the “progressive” elites of the day. There’s little doubt that if many of today’s secular-“progressives” (more accurately: “moonbat liberals”) had their way, Caesar Obama would call out the lions once again.

Nothing makes the left lose its collective noodle like an open proclamation of Christian faith. You don’t see it when Muslims proselytize in government schools; the ACLU doesn’t sue when Wiccans share their witchy ways; militant “gay” activists don’t picket Buddhist temples with bullhorns while inhabitants grasp at Zen. No, there’s something about Christianity that just drives ‘em nuts. Always has. Always will.

Case in point: Recently, on two separate occasions, Fox News veteran Brit Hume both publicly pronounced his own faith in Jesus Christ and boldly suggested that Tiger Woods might find “forgiveness and redemption” for his serial philandering should he “turn to the Christian faith.”

Hume first offered Tiger the advice on “Fox News Sunday” and then reiterated his sage, though decidedly non-PC council on “The O’Reilly Factor” the following night. When asked by host Bill O’Reilly what kind of response he’d received for his comments, Hume replied, in part: “It’s always been a puzzling thing to me. The Bible even speaks of it. You speak the name Jesus Christ… and all hell breaks loose.”

Yes indeed.

After Hume made his comments, and as if on cue (Lord forgive them for not knowing what they do or why they do it) liberals went apoplectic. Here’s a small sampling:

As reported by “Tom Shales, media critic for the Washington Post , in a Tuesday column, demanded that Hume apologize and called his Christian remarks ‘even only a few days into January, as one of the most ridiculous of the year.’”

MSNBC’s reliably raspy Keith Olbermann accused Hume of attempting “to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity” and demanded that his Fox News ratings superior “keep religious advocacy out of public life” (back in the closet, Brit old boy).

Olblubberman then compared Hume to a terrorist, suggesting that “the worst example” of this kind of “proselytizing” are “jihadists.” Finally, he betrayed the left’s typical anti-Christian bigotry, suggesting that Jesus may have been a homosexual and wondering aloud: “WWJDIHS: What would Jesus do if he’s straight?”

While the mainstream media’s rage was clumsily managed (or masked), unbridled hate boiled over in the left-wing blogosphere. On the sexual anarchist site, “JoeMyGod,” poster “QScribe” suggested that Brit Hume’s deceased son had been “gay” and viciously accused Hume of being responsible for the young man’s suicide: “Brit Hume still hasn't ‘repented’ for trashing his gay son and driving him to suicide. When I want moral guidance from a pig like that, I'll be sure to ask. Until then, he really ought to STFU.” (Hume has publicly shared that his son’s heartbreaking suicide played a large role in his acceptance of Christ.)

The next commenter went so far as to cruelly imply that Hume had sexually molested his own child and further mocked the tragic suicide, writing: “Dead victims don't tell on their molesters.”

Commenting on the Huffington Post, “Kandaher” bypassed Hume altogether and aimed his vitriol directly at his Creator: “anyone (sic) watched ‘The passion of Christ’? I thoruhgly (sic) enjoyed it. Nothing like watching this bloke getting beaten up! He deserved what he got and more!”

You get the idea.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I very much enjoy watching liberals go goofy when the light of truth pierces that shadowy void called moral relativism. When the left’s religion of choice – secular-humanism – is challenged through exposure to the gospel message, they almost universally and instinctively react with such visceral, knee-jerk spasms. You can set your clock to it.

But believe it or not, there’s actually something rather delightful about such hateful lashing about. These poor souls – to be pitied and prayed for – fail to realize that, manifest within their own unwittingly bizarre behavior, is certain affirmation of the very words of Christ on the subject.

Jesus addressed this peculiar and deeply spiritual phenomenon on more than one occasion over two thousand years ago. In John 15:18-20 (NIV), for instance, He reminds His followers: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

Now, I’m real sorry that most “progressives” and other non-believers feel that Christianity is deficiently “tolerant” or “inclusive” of various man-made religions and lifestyle choices. But it’s just not our call. Christ Himself reveals over and again that the pathway to heaven is a very narrow one, requiring membership in a rather “exclusive” club – a club wherein belief in Him and repentance from sin are the only membership requirements.

Christ said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Note that, rather conspicuously, He did not say: “…No one comes to the Father except through me, the Buddha, Muhammad, Ganesh, and – on Tuesdays – L. Ron Hubbard.”

But lest you have any doubt, consider John 3:36, which warns every man, woman and child on earth – past, present and future: “Whoever believes in the Son [Jesus] has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

So, Brit Hume had it right, didn’t he? I mean, it is kind of an all or nothing proposition, isn’t it?

As my favorite author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis famously pointed out in his blockbuster book “Mere Christianity,” Christ could only have been one of three things: A lunatic, a liar, or – as Jesus oft claimed and as billions have believed – the sovereign Lord and Creator of the universe.

Noted Lewis:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. – C.S. Lewis

So, what does this all mean? Well, and please take this in the spirit (little ‘s’) intended: Brit Hume’s woolly, wily, wandering critics really ought to just un-knot their knickers; mudra, mantra or something; and seriously reflect upon the man’s words and heart.

Perhaps they should – being all “tolerant,” “diverse” and whatnot – consider, if only for a moment, the very Spirit (big ‘S’) from which came those words and was formed that heart.

In the meantime, to Mr. Hume: “Well done good and faithful servant.”

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