If you have been in ministry for any length of time, you would have most likely been invited by someone to "minister to the greens." Golf is not only the greatest game ever invented (anyone see Tiger and Rocco in the playoffs at the US Open a few weeks ago? Butter.) but is also the official game of pastors worldwide :-).
In amateur golf, when you hit a poor shot and are not playing strictly according to USGA Rules, your foursome for reasons of profound charity, may grant one of these each nine holes, what is called a mulligan (a "do over"). IOW, you get to hit another shot from the exact same spot you muffed the first shot from without being penalized a stroke or two. Again, it's the dilettante's way of improving your score and hiding the shame of a less than stellar round without the guilt. (If I ever start a band again I think the new name would be: "Steve and The Mulligans" - featuring Phil Johnson, Lance Quinn, James White, Greg Withrow, John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul.)
Well each Weekend I will feature an illustration of someone who mis-spoke biblically or doctrinally (and yes, I will include myself). Anyone who desperately needs a "theological mulligan" given to them - IOW, a chance to hit the "biblical ball" again.
A repeat, but yet favorite here, was our very first mulligan posted on July 11, 2005. It was awarded to Rev. Billy Graham from his interview with Larry King aired on June 16, 2005. The subject in question; DOES GOD LOVE SATAN? Here are Billy's thoughts:
KING: Does God love him?Christian charity believes all things; snd with that in mind, let's extend some charity to Mr. Graham. If Billy were given "a mulligan," I would hope he wouldn't make such a ridiculous statement as this again.
GRAHAM: Does God what?
KING: Satan. Does he love Satan?
GRAHAM: Well, He created him as Lucifer. In the 22nd of Ezekiel, it tells us about it, and He must love him...
I know we live in an age of tolerance and that people are supposed to be nice and accepting of each others views and beliefs, but can't evangelicals at least agree on this: God doesn't love Satan? In fact, God hates him and has a terrible plan for his life. God, in His unrelenting eternal wrath, will punish him forever in an everlasting hell made for him and his demon cohorts. Even our Lord Jesus, when commenting of Satan, never uses such charitable language as Billy did, but gave a stinging rebuke to the Pharisees and describes Satan in these terms, "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
Whom does God love? Not Satan... Paul tells us in these hopeful and comforting words in Romans 5:8 "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God loves those whom He gave to Christ to die for on the cross as a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins.
So if you, your pastor, friend, family member, or well known evangelical leader theologically misspoke this past week, show some grace; give 'em another swing; and encourage them to hit the ball from the fairway of God's Word next time - avoiding the rough, bunkers and out of bounds.
From the tips,
-an encore, updated, and yet new presentation-