Put this in the category of ornery, as in there is no pleasing some people, as in paleo-Calvinists are a demanding lot. But the details on Brit Hume, his remarks about Tiger Woods, and Humeâ€™s own Christian convictions are not as encouraging as they seemed at first.
Many have commented on Humeâ€™s remarks and subsequent defense of saying publicly that Tiger Woods should turn to Christianity, the only source of forgiveness and redemption. Some have used negative reactions to Hume to show the true state of the cultural wars in the U.S. Some have simply noted how welcome the positive mention of Christian in the mainstream media. Others have explored the topics of Christianityâ€™s exclusiveness and the dangers of celebrity Christianity.
Few have gone a step farther to see about Humeâ€™s own faith. Christianity Today conducted an interview with Hume in which the following questions and answers appeared:
Do you attend a church in D.C.?
A lot of the worship I do is in home church and Bible study. There’s a regular journalists’ group that meets. There’s also a group we’re meeting this weekend at our place in Virginia, a group of families that meet for home church. There’s a minister and his wife who lead it, and we like it.
Do you have a pastor or mentor?
I do. Jerry Leachman. He leads men’s Bible study groups all over the Washington area.
I understand that when you moved into part-time work last year, you took time off to focus more on your faith.
That’s true. I said I had the three G’s I wanted to devote myself to: God, granddaughters, and golf. I’m trying. I’m trying. I’m able to see my granddaughters more, I’m spending more time focused on my faith, and when I can, I’m playing golf. All three of those things are still part of the scheme here.
It turns out that Jerry Leachman is the chaplain to the Washington Redskins. It also turns out that Leachmanâ€™s wife leads a Bible study for women that Hilary Clinton either attends or used to attend for many years.
Rooting interests and political party loyalty aside, the troubling part of Humeâ€™s faith is its autonomy from the church. If he wanted to devote himself more to God, why not belong to the body of his savior? The answer is likely that such formalities, like not playing football for pay on Sunday, are unimportant to Christianity. What is important is a personal relationship with Jesus and ongoing study of Scripture.
Of course, a personal relationship with Jesus â€“ if that means saving faith â€“ is necessary, and studying the Bible on your own â€“ assuming literacy â€“ is a valuable part of the Christian life. But whatever happened to the church? Is church membership necessary to Christian faith? According to the Westminster Confession of Faith, yes (ordinarily).
The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. (25.2)