Brit Hume on Tiger Woods

January 18, 2010

Last week Fox News analyst Brit Hume said the following: "Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person I think is a very open question, and it's a tragic situation for him. I think he's lost his family, it's not clear to me if he'll be able to have a relationship with his children, but the Tiger Woods that emerges once the news value dies out of this scandal -- the extent to which he can recover -- seems to me to depend on his faith. He's said to be a Buddhist; I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.'"

The day after making this statement Hume appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and continued to stand by his words, elaborating on the concepts of faith and redemption as found in Jesus Christ and Christianity.

Is it correct for a believer in Jesus to attempt to give that sort of advice or share their faith on a national, secular news television show?

Regarding the right to share one's faith in public--besides the fact of our First Amendment right of freedom of speech--I believe the mere asking of this question indicates a problem due to the false bifurcation established by the liberal left between faith and public life. That is to say, it is a false notion to assert that a person should not integrate their career, public policy, and life with their faith. I say it is false because all lifestyle choices are based on a chosen morality which arises out of some sort of religious belief, whether atheism, agnosticism, humanism, Christianity, etc. To hide this fact is simply attempting to hide the proverbial elephant in the room!

Regarding the wisdom of Hume saying this on national television, I think it would probably be unwise for a brand new, unproven news analyst or newscaster to say what Hume said simply because he or she hasn't yet proven themselves or earned the right to speak in this kind of anti-Christian climate. But in the case of Hume I think it was a great thing for him to do since, for the past two decades, he has proven to be one of the most respected news personas in the media. Thus, it would be very hard to disregard his words or push him into the background for being a witness for Christ.

Furthermore, he was only giving his honest opinion concerning the only thing in the world that could turn Tiger Woods' life around; he wasn't attempting to bring Christ into politics or economics but into the life of an individual who desperately needs divine intervention to turn his life around through forgiveness, acceptance, and love that could only come through the cross of Christ. It is a life-and-death situation for an individual's soul and family, something I am sure Hume hopes would somehow leak back to Woods since he said it on the air in front of millions of people!

Christians in the public square with Hume's acclaim should be more vocal about their faith and use these kind of real-life crises as an opportunity to speak the truth in love, hoping that others in crisis will take heed and give their hearts to Christ! This is in accord with the Lord Jesus' teachings when He called believers the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). While most believers reinterpret Jesus' words in this passage to mean 'the salt of the church and the light of the four walls of the church' Hume stands out as a true believer who wants to let his life shine before the world.

In summary, I applaud Brit Hume for his words this past week. My prayer is that both Tiger Woods and others in similar situations would also applaud and receive Mr. Hume's statements.

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Copyright ©2010 Bishop Joseph Mattera

Joseph Mattera has been in full-time church ministry since 1980 and is currently the Presiding Bishop of Christ Covenant Coalition and Overseeing Bishop of Resurrection Church in New York. He is also serving as the United States Ambassador for the International Coalition of Apostles, and as one of the founding presiding bishops of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches.
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