King David understood repentance when he wrote Psalm 51. After committing adultery with Bathsheba and getting her pregnant, David ordered her husband, Uriah the Hittite, home from the battlefield, hoping he would sleep with Bathsheba so David might deny paternity. When Uriah refused for the sake of his troops, David ordered he be placed in the front lines where he was killed. Nathan the Prophet exposed David. King David repents ("against thee and thee only have I sinned" he tells God) and while God forgives him, he still takes the life of David's son born from the adulterous affair.
It is a startling account many learn in Sunday school and the lesson is that God does not regard sin lightly, as modern culture does.
"I have a lot to atone for," said Woods, which is an impossibility. One cannot atone for one's self. But there is One who can and while Woods says he wants to again claim the Buddhist faith of his youth, it isn't Buddha who does the atoning.
What used to be called sin and shamefulness is now on parade. One of Woods' alleged mistresses complained she gave up her porn movie career for him and she wants an apology. Another is "shocked" because she thought she was the only one with whom Woods cheated. She, too, wants an apology. Apparently these women feel no shame about having an affair with a married man. It is Woods' wife who is due the apology.
There once was a time when people who committed adultery and were found out went into hiding. Now they hire lawyers and agents and go on TV. The reason we see such low behavior is because we promote it and some secretly envy it.
For Woods, another song lyric offers hope: "It's not where you start, it's where you finish."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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