Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tiger Woods and Why Our Church Has $ Problems

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Not that anybody's asking, but I agree with Fred Couples.

Tiger Woods is "the best player in the world forever."

Yeah, I know Jack still has the records; but Tiger's competition has/had been much stiffer and using that kinda reasoning to say Jack is better is like saying Barry was a better bopper than Babe, Hank, Josh, Ken, Lou, Mickey, Reggie, Ted, or Willie.

I don't think so; though Tiger may go down in history as the best bopper that...


Despite missing the cut in the recent PGA Championship, firing his swing coaches and caddie not to mention wife like a man in desperate need of some kinda therapy, ranking only 28th on the list of players who automatically qualify for the team by being in the top 10, and still nursing so many mysterious emotional/intellectual/spiritual/physical injuries, smooth-swinging-now-talking Presidents Cup Captain Freddie picked Tiger with one of his two wild-cards (Hmm) for the "leadership" that he will provide for the team as "the best player in the world forever."

Because of my logs, I ain't gonna speculate on Tiger's specks; but my guess is "leadership" has a lot more to do with character than how to hit a ball in a hole.


Of course, everybody admits today's Tiger is playing pretty poorly compared to the Tiger who was the best player in the world then but not now.

Then isn't now and Tiger ain't even in the top 20 of America's best players by recent performances over the past few years.

If Freddie is gonna be consistent with his, uh, logic, I suggest he use his other "wild" pick for Arnie, Jack, Lee, or Tom - noting Watson at 60 is playing better right now than Tiger - so that the young guns who he's passing over can make some sense of Freddie's insult to them and insistence on not putting the best American team on the course in Australia in November.

When I asked my favorite PGA professional what he thought of Freddie picking Woods for the U.S. Presidents Cup team, he said, "It's about television ratings and money. Real golfers know Tiger isn't the best available for the team right now; but it's not about who's best for the team. It's about television ratings and money. Tiger is the draw. Television knows that. The tour knows that. It's all about money to them."

O.K., I get it.

Tiger being on the team is more about money than what's right and best for...

Simply, television and the tour have somehow convinced Freddie that what's right and best for the team isn't as important as the money generated by Tiger being...

Naturally, Freddie ain't gonna admit that.

Television and the tour ain't gonna admit that.

The truth has nothing to do with Tiger being on the team.

It's all about money.


That got me to thinking about why our church has money problems.

I've read lots of stuff about the culture changing and church being optional and country crumbling and economy going down the toilet quicker than poop through a goose; translating as less "discretionary" $ for the church.

Yeah, I said "discretionary" $ for the church 'cause all of that Biblical stuff about obedience in service/sharing/giving and the like doesn't mean much to most of today's pulpiteers/pewsitters who've discounted the tithe to 2% or less.

Besides, you can always get back to feeding the poor, housing the homeless, keeping the lights on, supporting ministries, and other stuff after you get the new car, MC, dining room set, vaca retreat, and...

Yeah, right.

Our church, like most these days, is strictly cash and carry; meaning folks drop some coins in the coffers when they show up if nothing better's going on and completely forget to make up for those missed Sundays.

Surely, we've got some saints who still take Jesus and the Bible very seriously - the word "remnant" comes to mind - and they keep sacrificing to make up for the infidels.

Surely, we've got some folks who are really being strapped by unemployment, under-employment, increasing taxes, and so on; and we don't expect them to fork over at the expense of taking away what should be on the forks of their families.

Buuuuuuut then you've got people who use attendance/$ as a weapon; as in blackmail or as in I'm staying away and keeping my marbles avec moi if you don't do it my way.

In the midst of major expansion/renovation and other wineskin-expanding opportunities, we've had people drop out before they were asked to give because they didn't want to give and never had to give because we've made ends meet via an endowment for over three decades. Dead people have been paying our bills for years. We've had people leave because they long for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more and they really don't care about reaching the next generations for Jesus if it means adjusting to, uh, attract 'em. "To hell with 'em," they essentially say by their my-way-or-the-highway-attendance-$ blackmailing ways. And, yeah, we've even had some people leave because they're waiting for the next pastor search committee to pick the next pastor who won't meet the...

Well, you know what I mean; and if you don't, you're like Captain Kangaroo, Doris Day, Betty Boop, Tiny Tim and those folks who are deaf, dumb, and blind to the birthpangs so obviously increasing in frequency and intensity.

In short, these are tough times; making for even more $ problems in our church than is, uh, natural.

Uh, naturally, the miscreants won't admit it.

Uh, naturally, the blackmailers will blame something/somebody else for their selfish disobedience - excuses to hide the darkness surrounding their hearts that doesn't fool anybody.

The truth is they've never been on the team.

They've always been free agents waiting for a better deal; as in consuming/getting and exercising some sense of entitlement so absolutely antithetical to Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture.

It's always been about the $.


I'll never forget some guy talking about the real problem behind the problem of Tiger Woods and why our church has $ problems in Princeton's Miller Chapel back in the early 70s.

An elder approach his pastor, "We have $ problems in our church."

Pastor: "As you know, I must concentrate on the spiritual problems in our church; so please bring this up at the next session meeting."

Elder: "It's really serious. Our endowment is half of what it was last year and we're chipping away at it every day and you know we've lived on it for years."

Pastor: "Wow! That's serious. But as you know, I must concentrate on the spiritual problems in our church; so maybe you need to call for a special meeting of our Finance Committee to address this financial problem before it gets any worse."

Elder: "I don't think you're hearing me. It's so bad that we're gonna have to lay off staff, cut back on ministries, and you're not gonna get a raise!"

Pastor: "Why didn't you tell me that it's that serious? But as you know, I must concentrate on spiritual problems in our church; so we better call a special session meeting to address this financial problem right now."

The elder stands up at the start of the special session meeting, "Pastor, we have a spiritual problem in our church."


Our church has $ problems because it has had a spiritual problem for decades.

Naturally, few will admit it.

Spiritually, it's the truth.

$ problems in our church betray a lack of intimacy with Jesus; for people who are tight with Jesus give, give, give, give, give, give, give, and...

Some folks walk/run/hide away from the truth.

BTW, the truth is Jesus.



Blessings and Love!


Ella Jane said...

Amen! When we care less about Money and more about Jesus we'll use the money He blesses us with to advance His purposes and to bless others!!

Don said...

AMEN!!!!! Money does make people do things they really don't want to do.