CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Tigergate

Dec 15, 2009

By now everyone in the Western world – and then some – has heard about golf superstar Tiger Woods’ indiscretions. His harem is already past the dirty dozen, and shows no signs of leveling off. Each day brings a new revelation of a new lover. He was one very busy guy it seems.

The media of course has had a field day with all of this. Indeed, the way this scandal has been covered by the media is revealing in itself. For example, it tells us much about the priorities of the mainstream media. If the MSM had covered Climategate like it has been covering Tigergate, the Copenhagen Summit may never have got off the ground.

And then there is the blatant hypocrisy of most in the media. As if these reporters, journalists and editors are living a Puritan existence. Most of them probably engage in as much promiscuity, adultery and fornication as Woods has.

The media of course loves controversy, and seems to thrive on shooting down those in the public spotlight. Mind you, Woods certainly does not deserve to be exonerated or excused in all this. But for the MSM to go on a moral crusade here, when its members are likely to be just as guilty of such immorality, is just a bit rich.

But back to Tiger. I am not aware if he has ever made a profession of Christian faith, but if there was ever a good time to start doing so, it would be now. Indeed, he has used an interesting choice of words here. He has spoken of his “transgressions” and his need of “forgiveness”.

This puts him well beyond many other celebs who get caught out feeding in the pigsty. Most simply throw out lame excuses such as “no one is perfect” or “I’m only human”. Tiger seems more willing to own up to his own guilt and take on some personal responsibility, which is always a first step in recovery in such situations.

In fact, he seems to have put his golf career on hold in order to mend relationships with his wife and kids. Whether it is too late for that now remains to be seen. But he seems to have the right priorities here. He just needs to go all the way, and find peace with God as well as peace with his own family.

So pray for Tiger. He certainly needs it. This situation can make him or break him, depending on how he responds. In the meantime, there are certain clear lessons to be learned from all this. One is obviously the importance of personal integrity, and how it seems to have gone missing big time nowadays.

Integrity is simply being and doing in private what you are and do in public. Integrity is living the same kind of life when people are not watching as when they are watching. It is a life of transparency and singleness of purpose.

Another clear theme that emerges here is this: be sure your sin will find you out. Jesus and others in Scripture often warn about this. Indeed, Jesus talks about our secrets being shouted from the rooftops. Sobering stuff.

This episode should certainly act as a warning to all Christians. How many are living a double life? How many are playing with fire? How many will simply be caught out, resulting in a ruined walk with God, a ruined family, and much worse?

The best plan here is to avoid these sorts of situations to begin with. The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife as found in Genesis 39 is quite relevant here. Joseph knew what to do in this situation: he simply fled. No messing around or toying around with temptation.

It is clear that he had determined what was right in his own mind long ago. He did not need to think about things when being tempted. He had already determined what the right thing to do was. And although his integrity got him into some immediate short-term trouble, in the end it proved to be a great Godsend, not only to him but all of God’s people.

Tiger needs to know that although he is a sinner – like all of us – there is hope and forgiveness to be found in Jesus Christ. And he needs to know that his life can be radically transformed by an encounter with the living Christ. Pray that he will quickly find this, and that he may yet restore his badly damaged relationship with his wife and his children.

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12 Responses to Tigergate

  • Hi Bill
    That is the wonder of the Gospel; there is a way back. Through Jesus Christ there is forgiveness. Tiger like every other sinner needs to come to God in true repentance, confess his sin and claim the finished atoning work of Jesus on the cross as the punishment for his sin. Sometimes God brings us to the very depth of the miry pit to show us our need of him. I too pray that Tiger may call on the name of the Lord and be saved.
    Des Morris

  • Another important point: The MSM has focused purely on Tiger as the sinner. Doesn’t seem to occur to them that the women are just as culpable, even if they are not in the spotlight to the extent he is.
    Damien Spillane

  • Off the topic a little and also having totally nothing to do sexual promiscuity, I found Tony Abbott’s clear grasp of forgiveness and the making a fresh start in his new position as Opposition leader very significant. He was almost bold in admitting his past mistakes and showed a confidence in forgiveness. Understanding that you can start again with “a clean slate” is very much a Jesus thing. It doesnt come naturally to humans as the MSM demonstrates. I pray that Tiger gets that concept.
    Anthony McGregor

  • Thanks Bill, I found this a breath of fresh air to start my morning.
    Michael Wager

  • The message of Jesus is, “Repent and believe the Gospel”. Or as the apostle Paul said, “Put off the old self …”
    Tasman Walker

  • Integrity: Webster defines it as “an unimpaired condition: soundness: adherence to a code of moral, artistic, or other values: quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness”. Bridge building engineers and aircraft engineers speak of when a structure has undergone some trauma, that it has “retained it’s structural integrity”. Integrity is what holds us together – without it we fall apart. May sound simplistic, but true. It’s the glue, that without it, we self-destruct.
    Ian Brearley

  • Your article is on target. The media should spend more time on deceitful climate scientists than the deceitfulness of only one man harming himself and those close to him. As I said previously, my local newspaper was excitedly reporting Mr Woods’ promiscuity but at the same time was advertising the availability of female promiscuity (prostitution). Indeed, the paper makes quite a sum of money from this advertising. Secularist handling of sexual morality is typically inconsistent, and it slithers.

    When I was a youth I took up an interest in psychopathology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis etc. There was the idea then that sexual promiscuity was a personality disorder, with the normative implication that the problem ought to be fixed. With the advent of governments promoting homosexuality, porn and prostitution, this idea seems to have been quietly dropped without any sustained scientific scrutiny.

    John Snowden

  • Just another thought if I may – with the popularity of “moral relativism” these days: isn’t it a funny thing that when something like Tiger’s transgressions surfaces, that no-one comes up with any “it’s just his morals versus yours” nonsense. It’s all strangely black and white, with no sign of a shade of grey when the case is tried in the courts of the popular press. Where are the moral relativists to defend Tiger? As John Snowden points out, the MSM are so hypocritical and full of double standards and inconsistent standards when they try a case. I think courts should try cases, not media organisations.
    Ian Brearley

  • We are asked (Matthew 5:44) to pray even for those who despitefully (epereazo) use us & hound (dioko) us, neither of which has Mr Woods done to me.

    Prayer is, in effect, granting Christ extra permission to intervene in “our” wourld, & this looks like a good time & place for it. From a worldly perspective, when better for Tiger to publicly repent & do other things basically inexplicable for a materialist than now?

    Leon Brooks

  • With Damien I ask what were these women thinking? Do they suffer from double standards too?

    And there seems to be some ‘me-too-ism’ happening. It’s difficult to imagine the extent of his sin – are there some gold-diggers among these women admitting their own sin?

    John Angelico

  • Bill,
    A lot of times we know the negative consequences of our actions but still choose to ignore them to our detriment, hurting ourselves, our loved ones, the victims and others. And when the consequences hit home, we express regret and ask for forgiveness. We sometimes wonder if that regret is just a remorseful feeling or true repentance. I hope in the case of Tiger, it is the later. But whatever it is, the consequences will not go away but continue to haunt him and affect his family and life. The lesson to learn here is, think hard of the consequences before doing anything foolish. Your action will find you out.
    Barry Koh

  • Bill, you have summoned us to pray for the greatest miracle, implantation of the life of Christ in Tiger Woods.
    God can do that. Murderous Saul was confronted by the risen Christ as he approached Damascus. His writng blesses us today.
    England’s Cricket captain, C T Studd, founded the World-wide Evangelisation Crusade. Africa and Indonesia felt the strength of a volatile athletic faith.
    A 17 year old Chinese won the French Open and told of his debt to a praying Mum/Dad and to my beloved Saviour and Friend. Officials gasped at Michael Cheng’s
    courageous stand.
    Madrid paid 40 million pounds for Kaka, renowned as the greatest soccer exponent of the day. His under guernsey is inscribed, I BELONG TO JESUS.
    Persistent prayer will see God do the mightiest of all miracles, make Tiger Woods a child of the King.
    Harrold Steward

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