At this point, surprise and indignation are no longer in order since the disregard for the Lord’s Day among New Calvinists is so ho-hum. Yet, sometimes the ordinary is brazen in its ordinariness. Consider this paid advertisement for the Professional Golfers Association at the Allies website:
There’s a tight-knit Christian community on the PGA TOUR, including a Tuesday night fellowship that includes Bible study and worship. Tournaments run Thursday to Sunday, so it’s often hard for players to attend church on Sunday. This is their form of Christian community away from church.
No wrestling with the fourth of the Ten Commandments? Just a shrug? It’s hard. Ever heard of Eric Liddell? Sometimes, Christian athletes really do make sacrifices for their religious obligations.
Apparently, a golfer learns enough about grace on the links so he doesn’t need to comply with the demands of God’s law:
Ben Crane, one of the TOUR’s Christian players, summed this up perfectly a few years ago. He was having a tough year on the course. One of his friends asked how he was doing in the midst of his struggles. He replied:
I think he expected me to say I was really struggling because the golf wasn’t all that good. I just said, “You know, I’m doing great, because the rough season of golf has brought me closer to God. Golf was becoming too important to me. . . . These last few weeks I’ve just said, you know what, golf is not everything.”
Two years ago, Crane was injured and thought he may have to retire from the game, even though he was only 38 and keeps himself in good health. He surprisingly won a tournament a few months later.
“I had to finally become okay with golf not being in the picture,” he said, reflecting on how to find an identity apart from golf. But the gospel got him to the place where he could pray, “Lord, if it’s not golf, I will love you. But if it is, that would be really fun.” Golf was no longer his idol; he could enjoy it for what it is—a gift of grace.
I believe the person who conducted this interview attends a Presbyterian church where the Shorter and Larger Catechisms are supposed to be taught and followed. So is the lesson here that New Calvinists really are a different kind of Protestant?