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Tiger Woods’ Apology is Good Enough for Me

February 22, 2010

… and it should be good enough for you too.

I listened to the conservatives on talk radio talking about Tiger Woods and his apology.  They didn’t like it.  They didn’t like the fact that he read it, they didn’t believe him and they weren’t ready to forgive him.

As Christians, bystanders and role models, they did a disservice to themselves and to him this way.

There is NO good reason not to accept his apology.  Since they were not a party to his indiscretions, they can’t be seeking justice.  There are plenty of libertarian reasons to live and let live, but, as christians, there are two REALLY important arguments to consider before they pass judgement on him:

Christians Forgive

That should be obvious. Jesus commanded us to forgive* – he says it in Luke Chapter 17 verses 3 and 4:

17:3 Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. 17:4 Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

And in Matthew, chapter 18 verses 21 and 22:

18:21 Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? As many as seven times?” 18:22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times!**

Tiger is NOT Christian

As Christians, they would normally be directed to forgive those who repented, but here they don’t even have the recourse to say he hasn’t really repented – As a Non Christian, he isn’t bound by Christian values or ethics.

Basically, Tiger’s situation boils down to two possibilities. Either he will accept Christ as his savior or he won’t.

If he DOES accept Christ, his sins are forgiven – ALL of them. Even the ones that infidelity towards his wife. If God forgives his sins, then as Christians, we CERTAINLY must forgive them.

If, however, he does NOT accept Christ, then his infidelity is pretty much a moot point. As a Buddhist, he doesn’t necessarily even BELIEVE in God, so he isn’t saved whatever he does.

In the meantime, he is living in a state of prevenient grace. God is giving him the choice to find redemption. And while He is waiting, He is suspending judgement.

Just as we should.

*The most valid point one can make about the bible and forgiveness here is that Jesus’ commands to forgive strictly applied only to “Brothers” – i.e. fellow Christians. However, in that case, we should not be associating with him anyways – at least not in any way that puts him in need of asking our forgiveness.

** Matthew 18:22 ends a larger passage that involves our overall approach to a fellow christian who sins:

18:15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother. 18:16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you, so that at the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector.

8:18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven. 18:19 Again, I tell you the truth, if two of you on earth agree bout whatever you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 18:20 For where two or three are assembled in my name, I am there among them.”

18:21 Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother 32 who sins against me? As many as seven times?” 18:22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times! 33

Yep, that’s it. The most a fellow Christian gets is ostracism – and if he asks forgiveness, he gets it.

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