Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Commentary on Tiger Wood Part II: Christian Bearing On Behalf of the Buddhist

My Commentary on Tiger Woods Part II: Christian Bearing On Behalf of the Buddhist

I dare not believe that everyone that lays eyes on my writings has accepted Christ as LORD and are Christian by faith. Therefore, it is my goal to understand how to witness to all, even those who are not of the household of faith. In my prayers for Tiger, I have considered his faith as a Buddhist and the reality of his life since his confession of adultery. The word of God admonishes that it rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), therefore I keep in perspective the present circumstances of his life and have been trying to see what my part as a Christian is in a situation like this. I began my meditation on Galatians 5&6. It is here Paul details the workings of the flesh and the Spirit.

Let’s begin with the flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5.20-21

Now let’s consider the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5.22-25

For the sake of context, I would like to highlight one working fruit from each section: Adultery and Longsuffering. Neither to exclude any working of flesh or Spirit; nor to preclude one is more important than the other, I do suggest that the augmented dilemma in this case is adultery, and the most adequately corresponding fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering, in that suffering is elongated after revelation of such sin as adultery. My question to us, the Body of Christ, is can we administer fruits of long suffering to a billionaire, Buddhist, golfer? Most of us do not relate to wealth, Buddhism or golf, yet we see in Galatians 6.1-2 Paul reminding the people of God: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit or meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The law of Christ which is above all is loving God first and then your neighbor second as yourself. (Matthew 22.37-40) Longsuffering (due to the nature of the sin) + Meekness (for the approach to the sin) = Restoration (begins the healing from the sin). The means of admonishment, scolding, and wrath are only as good as they justify restoration, which they usually do not.

Finally, I would like to introduce one last thought. Paul declares in Galatians 6.3 “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Let’s step away from the life of Tiger for a moment. Shall we consider the last time we believed something in and of our own selves so much so we were deceived? Deception is horrible trick of the enemy. Imagine (those of us who do know Christ) not knowing the gracious mercy of God. On top of that, imagine being gifted beyond measure in both profession and sport. Consider if you will the cravings of the flesh that we still experience with Christ. Now, rethink the law of Christ as it works in your thoughts, your opinions of others, your understanding of yourself. Imagine that the reason God has allowed for such a season to arise in the Woods family is for us to pray for his salvation and the salvation of his entire family. Let’s believe God that he saves both the least and those with abundance alike. Saved or not. Christian or Buddhist.

Please, do not get my heart for Tiger confused with what I know to be true. For I know well to “Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6.7 My encouragement is to keep working those Spiritual fruits out in daily life. It may make the difference to someone else.

~In Christ,

Caarne White

My Commentary on Tiger Woods: Fair-Weather Fans

My Commentary on Tiger Woods: Fair-Weather Fans

My husband, as many already know, is a diehard golf fan. His favorite is none other than the great Tiger Woods. From Thursday until Sunday, from January to January, there is one thing I warn all to not do; and that is stand in the way of John watching Tiger play. Over the past three years, I have gotten to know the sport of golf and the life of Tiger very well. I have even seen his family grow and watch as he, hole after hole and tournament after tournament never ceases to amaze with skill and precision, beating all odds each time. He appears to be a quiet man, at least publically. He does a head nod or cap wave when completing a hole, and makes a brief statement after winning yet another million dollar cup. His reservation, his poise, his frankness and his discipline remind me of the hope of being great at one thing in this life would be worth all the agony and pain that makes the great-great!

Of course, resent events in Tiger’s life have positioned him on the horrible side of fame that always seems to rear its head at the most inopportune times. During this season in the life of the best golfer who ever lived, I’d like to give a word of accountability. In the words of my pastor Craig Oliver, “If you can’t be with me when I’m down, I don’t need you when I’m up!” These words have changed the way I view every relationship in my life. Every person I revere and every person I admire has now gone under the scrutinized lens of my heart to really test where my loyalty truly lies. If they make a mistake, can I love them? If they turn away from what they know to be right, can I forgive them? You know, the truth is, people should be ashamed to allow the words of judgment to escape their hypocritical lips, knowing that if it were them, they would pray for grace to abound. Condoning a stars indiscretion is far different from condemnation of their life.

The loose-lipness of our culture demonstrates how necessary and relevant the work of the Body of Christ is to the world. Shall Tiger bear his cross alone? Don’t all that love and know him have a duty to share in the healing of his infirmities and exercise benevolent grace and mercy? Oh, I know we think the first billionaire athlete doesn’t really need the support of us mere fans, but money cannot buy peace and hope of forgiveness. CNN, MSNBC, ESPN and Fox will run this man’s life into the ground- his marriage and the future of his children right along with it. He cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that we speak out of our mouths concerning his life. Be a real fan of your hero’s. They may never know you or understand your appreciation of them, but God will. He will judge Tiger Woods, and he will judge us too. How you treat Tiger may be a foresight of your own life to come. All of us without sin, please be my guest and cast the first stone. Take inventory of your loyalty to God and your loyalty to his children. Believe me when I say, the fair-weather won’t last always!

~In Christ,

Caarne White