Thursday, January 07, 2010

Jesus IS Tiger Woods only Hope. He's Your Only Hope Too.

Praise God for Brit Hume bringing the gospel into the public dialogue. May his tribe increase. Here's a good question from Francis Chan: "What would your church look like if everyone was as committed, prayed, served, gave, and shared like you? Would your church be healthy and empowered, or passionless and lifeless?"

I think Brit Hume's example is a wakeup call to all Chrisitans to be bolder and vocal with their faith. Not everybody will applaud you. But Jesus will welcome you and that is what we are supposed to be living for anyway.

How Dare He? : Brit Hume’s Advice for Tiger
January 7, 2010

On Fox News this week, Brit Hume, respected journalist and one-time Fox anchor, was asked whether Tiger Woods would recover from the scandal that has cost him several lucrative endorsements.

Brit Hume replied, “Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer.” But he didn’t stop there -- and in the process ignited a controversy that says more about his critics than it does about Hume or what he had to say.

Hume said the “open question” is “whether [Woods] can recover as a person.” Hume pointed out that Woods had “lost his family” and that his future relationship with his children is unclear. At this point, as golfers might put it, Hume was already in the rough. Americans don’t like to be reminded that sex outside of marriage has consequences.

But what set the commentariat’s teeth on edge was Hume’s suggestion that Woods’ best chance for recovery lies with faith -- and specifically, the Christian faith. Noting Woods’ Buddhist background, Hume said that Buddhism doesn’t offer “the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith,” and he urged Woods to consider Christianity.

Hume’s words were followed by “a moment of awkward silence.” But that didn’t last long. As Rabbi Brad Hirschfield put it, response to Hume’s comments ranged from “outrage to disgust.”

One example was television critic Tom Shales of the Washington Post. Shales, who once called convicted rapist Roman Polanski a “celebrity hounded by the state,” was less-charitably inclined toward Brit Hume. He wrote that “darts of derision” should be aimed at him.

Mind you, this was kind compared to most of the other things written about Hume. The obvious question is, “Why the outrage?” Was Hume wrong about the differences between Christianity and Buddhism? Not really.

Barbara Hoetsu O'Brien, a Buddhist journalist, told USA Today that “Buddhism doesn’t offer redemption and forgiveness in the same way Christianity does” since “Buddhism has no concept of sin.” Was Hume’s offense presuming to offer Woods unsolicited advice in public?

If so, the outrage is selective. At ESPN, writer Malcolm Gladwell “advised” Woods to make it clear that “he is not someone who is ready, as yet, to settle down” and then take lessons on how to “live a tasteful bachelor lifestyle” from Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter.

I don’t recall any outrage over Gladwell’s “presumption” to advise Tiger Woods. The outrage, as Rabbi Hirschfield writes, stems from the fact that “many people fear faith and even more genuinely resent it being discussed in public.” I would add they especially resent Christianity being discussed.

If Hume had advised Woods to spend time in a Buddhist monastery, there wouldn’t be a controversy. If he had urged Woods to enter rehab, Hume would have been applauded. But what Hirschfield calls the “shrill objections” to Hume’s comments are, as he tell us, rooted in the “contempt which many others have for Christians and their willingness to speak their faith.”

Here’s a prediction for 2010. I know Brit Hume; he will be fine. He is a strong, good man who can take the heat. But let’s hope his conviction to speak the truth plainly and winsomely will spur other Christians to do the same -- even in the face of the “shrill objections” that are sure to follow.

Copyright (c) 2009 Prison Fellowship


Anonymous said...

If Hume is sincere, he:
1. Ought have called Mr. Woods to discuss this private matter privately and earnestly; and
2. Ought not have dismissed the power and influence of Woods personally selected and, we assume, preferred belief in Buddhism.
He did neither. The line between private chosen worship and worship endorsed by those in power, is very fine. Many of us are reminded of the many problems that extreme religious beliefs played/play in the nations of, among others, Iraq, Israel, Iran, and, until recently, Ireland. Many of us frown upon believers who determine theirs is the "one", "true" or "correct" set of beliefs. Such doctrinaire thinking is intrinsic to fascism--where only certain beliefs are allowed. This worries free thinkers, rational humanists, and those favoring freedom of speech as well as religion.

ChosenRebel said...

Anonymous is wrong on both points.
1. Brit Hume's insincerity can't be assumed based on a public verses private comment. Any of us can make a mistake and still be sincere.
2. If Mr. Hume believes that Tiger's ultimate destiny experience of forgiveness is tied to his coming to faith in Christ, it would be the ultimate in hatred to not seek to win Tiger or point Tiger to Christ. Frown all you like, the truth of Christianity can bear it.

If anonymous comes back, I hope you will pick up a copy of TESTING CHRISTIANITY'S TRUTH CLAIMS by Gordon. Unfortunately, most "Free thinkers" and "rational humanist" are more interested in throwing verbal firebombs than real intellectual argument and debate.

gracenotfear said...

Anonymous, maybe you have been hurt by churches and/or Christians and if you have I'm truly sorry. However, I don't think it's "extreme" to simply say and think that your religion is the RIGHT one. What makes countries such Iran,Israel,and Pakistan extreme as you say it is not their beliefs but what they DO with them.For instance, people can use their beliefs for bad when they bomb other people of different beliefs. But people can use their beliefs for good too. For instance, many of us Christians (who by the way believe in the exclusivity of the faith), are the same ones that are helping Haiti in the midst of her disaster. I have friends that are not simply preaching the faith, but also DOING the faith in loving and caring ways! And I think that is what Brit Hume did/was trying to do.

Chosen Rebel, I think you are right on both points, but we have to be careful in making judgments about free thinkers and atheists (see your last sentence). I admit that I used to hate when people treated my faith in Christ condenscendingly and to a point I still do, but after realizing that these are the people that once sat in the pews of churches, I began to have more compassion on them aside from their comments. I myself have been hurt by churches, but am still amazed that I still kept my faith in Christ even after all that. I agree that we have to tell people about Christ, but the key is to make it personal! One of my favorite authors is quoted in his book as saying," I can tell non-Christians what I have experienced and learned about the gospel of Christ. But before I can tell them about Christ, I have to CARE about them." (Emphasis mine). May we care enough to not only verbalize our beliefs, but also live our beliefs! And I know you live your faith out very well, but maybe anon doesn't.

ChosenRebel said...

Good comment gracenotfear. I look back now on my post and realize that it ended abruptly and might be interpreted as judgement. I should have made my last sentence something like this: " Anonymous, I don't know if you are like many in the "free thinking and rathional humanist" camps that I have met, but in the interest of real friendship and dialogue, I want to encourage you to read the book and come back again and we can talk. In the mean time, I hope you won't get so hung up on the frailties of Jesus' followers that you don't examine him and his claims with real intellectual rigor and honesty"