FIRST-PERSON: A Bible-affirming scandal
ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--There are many today who insist the Bible is irrelevant to modern life. While atheists dismiss the Good Book altogether, many liberals maintain it is nothing more than an error-riddled collection of ancient stories with a few wise sayings and suggestions for living.
Tiger Woods is in the process of discovering that the atheistic and liberal view of the Bible is absolutely wrong. The renowned golfer is fast learning the Bible is truth -- unyielding, eternal and ever-relevant truth.
The day before Thanksgiving, the National Enquirer alleged in a report that Woods was having an affair with a 34-year old party organizer from New York. Tiger has been married to Swedish model Elin Nordegren for five years. The couple has two children.
Two days later, on Friday, Nov. 27, Woods crashed his Cadillac Escalade at approximately 2:25 a.m. Eastern Standard Time while leaving his posh Orlando home. No other vehicles were involved and Woods was not seriously injured.
As news of Tiger's crash began to emerge, so did reports of his infidelity. In a matter of days the number of women Woods has alleged to have been intimate with grew from one to two, then three and now there are reports that 12 women have come forward saying they have been, shall we say, familiar with Tiger.
Initially Woods denied the allegations. However, as the veracity of the reports was confirmed, Tiger admitted on his website: "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all my heart."
I have no way of knowing what was running through Woods' mind when he was being unfaithful to his wife. However, I am sure, like many people who commit adultery, Tiger thought he could get away with it and no one would find out.
A truth Woods is learning is found in Numbers 32:23: "Be sure your sin will find you out." It is amazing how many people try to lie, cheat and steal and then think they can cover it up. Eventually all transgressions -- to use Tiger's word -- are discovered. And in the case of a famous person like Woods, his transgressions are revealed not just to his wife, but to the whole world.
Another truth specific to the sin of adultery is found in Proverbs 6:27-28: "Can a man take fire into his bosom and his clothes not get burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?" Of course the answer is no. The person that is unfaithful to his or her spouse cannot escape being "burned" as some level.
There is a reason for the Bible's prohibition concerning adultery. The truth is a man or a woman cannot engage in an illicit relationship without some negative after-effect. Adultery always results in some type of spiritual, emotional or physical trauma. At the very least, a person has his or her soul "smoke-stained."
"The one who commits adultery with a women is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it," Proverbs 6:32 says. Woods' adulterous behavior is going to cost him dearly. His once sterling reputation is forever tarnished and lucrative endorsement deals are going to disappear. Worst of all, his marriage may not survive.
There is one other truth that I hope Woods encounters in the midst of his adulterous tragedy, and that is the truth of God's grace. The Apostle Paul wrote, "And the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 1:14). Tiger's only hope to see his life, his marriage, his family and his reputation redeemed lies in the grace of the Lord. It is this truth that I hope he discovers and embraces.
Yes, there are many today that insist the Bible is an irrelevant error-riddled collection of stories and quaint sayings, but they are wrong. The Bible is unyielding, eternal, and ever relevant truth. Just ask Tiger Woods.
Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.