Tiger’s apology; my problem with it

Here is piece of Tiger’s apology that I want to focus on.  “Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.”

Realizing that I could catch flak on this, I still want to point out a difference between Christianity and Buddhism, if what Tiger said is true about Buddhism.  Buddhism seems to teach that you will always have the “craving for things outside ourselves.”  This means, and this is what might bother me if I was Tiger’s wife, that he still desires other women.  In other words, his wife is still not enough for him.  In contrast to this belief, the Bible teaches that we can desire what is right.  This is from Romans 12:1-2; “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  This Scripture was written to those who received Jesus Christ as their Savior, which means transformation is possible. 

To continue to desire what is of worldly value instead of God’s will makes us unhappy.  According to Tiger, Buddhism correctly teaches that pursuing our desires will clearly make us “unhappy” while leading on a “pointless search for security.” It seems to me that if I am able to be transformed that I can be happy doing what is right since my heart is now changed by the grace of God.  I think that this type of pursuit would make Tiger’s wife a little happier.  Come to think of it, is it possible that this could make Tiger happier too? 

The difference between Buddhism, as Tiger speaks of it, and Christianity, as I understand it, is that Buddhism starves the wrong desires of this world.  While Christianity teaches that God will help you develop right desires that are not of this world.  I believe that Tiger and his wife would have a better chance to have a happy, and fulfilled, marriage if they lived for Jesus Christ.

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8 Comments

Filed under Apology, Buddhism, Christianity, Tiger Woods

8 responses to “Tiger’s apology; my problem with it

  1. Pingback: Posts to Get Your Brain Going | Chase Your Lion

  2. Scott,

    Great post! I read yours every time you post one, just don’t always take the time to respond.

    One thing I would add, is that when we are sanctified, the inner core, the inner desire to sin, the desire “craving for things outside ourselves” is taken away. Yes it is still there, but we have lost that desire.

    Do you agree?

  3. Scott Uselman

    Yes, Joe I do agree. I actually meant to deal with that and somehow forgot to put that in. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Very well said, Scott. Unfortunately for Tiger and many others, Evil continues to exist in the global spiritual world and is always in search of opportunities to revive our old memories of erroneous pursuits and attitudes we once had. Tiny cracks can so easily grow into huge potholes in our behavior patterns and lives. Thus, living well requires that we each individually must consciously put forth efforts in the Now to keep firmly on track with our beliefs, values, ethics, and awareness of how many and how deeply we can impact when we go off course. Both Christianity and Buddhism enforce awareness of this universal connection among humans to each other. Truly, the manner of every interpersonal contact we make, however brief, and every behavior we display both impacts that other party and reflects our own spiritual and ethical status. We have the option of considering that fact either a horrendous responsibility or a tremendous opportunity. Faith determines it’s the latter, a gift of great value. Tiger, with his elevated social profile, had such a fantastic opportunity for good. He forgot that. Critical error — and valuable lesson for us. CM – SRC Inc.

  5. Matt

    Really interesting and good thoughts, Scott and Joe.

    Here’s my question: have either of you experienced this? I’m really curious about this. I’ve heard about sanctification all my life, yet I think I can count on one hand the people I’ve known that I could say, “they’re sanctified” in the way Wesleyans talk about sanctification. If it is what we’re after, why does it seem to be so rare?

  6. Scott Uselman

    I’ve experienced instantaneous sanctification and later progressive sanctification. If you can only count on one hand those who you believe have been sanctified, then could it be that that is why Jesus said that so few will find the narrow path to life? I think we confuse perfection and sanctification too easily. I am a motives person. This means that I believe that God looks at intent instead of the action. This was supposed to be one of my points in my original post. Either God can, and will transform us, or He won’t and Paul is wrong. I prefer the way Steve DeNeff talks about sanctification; not how most Wesleyans do. In our meetings with Genetta, that was one of my points that I failed to get across to our group. Sanctification and being missional go hand in hand. You really cannot have one without the other. The rarity of sanctification in The Wesleyan Church is the result of us looking around and trying to figure out why we aren’t growing in our local churches. This is my opinion. This then causes us to duplicate other successful churches. We react to their success instead of the Holy Spirit. Total surrender to the Lord in today’s Church is far-fetched at best. This too contributes to the elusiveness of sanctification. This is some of what I think and believe.

  7. Matt

    Perhaps I should’ve been more specific and said “entire sanctification” and not just “sanctification”. I guess I have a hard time separating the will or motive and the action. As I sit here, I can say that I don’t WANT to get angry on my way home from work. Who would say that they would? Yet, sometimes, I will do that exact thing if someone cuts me off. Is that sanctification?

    I guess I have trouble understanding how we can have perfect motives, yet still sin. I don’t do anything that I don’t want to do. I have free will. If I’m eating too much and I know it, it’s not like my hand and mouth just take over against my will. I’m willingly eating too much.

    Perhaps my mind is too black and white to understand the separation of will and action. We act out who we really are. If you sin, it’s because you’re sinful.

  8. Scott Uselman

    I think you have good points Matt. I will be honest, it is tough to say you are wrong. I don’t think anyone could prove you wrong. I also don’t believe that I am not going to be proved wrong. I think we have a sound doctrine, much like the Calvinists do. If they (Calvinists) are right, then we, who have accepted Christ, are fine. Yet, if we(Wesleyans) are right, then there will be those in the end who say, “Lord, Lord . . . and He will say depart from Me.” You know the Scripture. The last sentence of your comment, “If you sin, it’s because you’re sinful,” is good and possibly right. But, is God going to let the sinful into Heaven? Or is Heaven for those who have been transformed? To me it is helpful to remember that although sanctification is possible, temptation is still real which means the possibility to sin is still real even after sanctification. I am thankful that God forgives. I think that this is why Paul said that he dies daily. I think we tend to forget that. By the way, I experience the same things when I drive too. I think this is where spiritual discipline has to make an appearence. Yet, when I get mad while driving it is because I want to. Sanctified that day, or moment? Probably not. Because I didn’t make it point to die to myself. There was only 1 Perfect One, and we Wesleyans forget that often. All this to say I think I am scared that Christians quit striving for perfection although we will never attain it. A question that I often think of is did Christ die to change the way God looks at sin? Or, did He die to change humanity? It is good question that can be debated forever. I do enjoy these conversations man. I still wrestle with these things like you do. And some days, I take your side, but then others I am right back here.

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