J Walking

J Walking


Ted and Jesus

posted by J-Walking

The allegations against Ted Haggard make my heart sick. But there is an irreducible complexity to the Kingdom of God that puts everything into perspective–the last shall be first, the lost shall be found, the mighty will be tumbled, the meek will inherit the earth, everything meant for harm will ultimately be used for good, the tomb is empty.

The allegations against Haggard have our airwaves and newspapers and the Internet atwitter–the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, a staunch advocate of conservative political values, a White House political ally on the religious right in a homosexual affair with a gay prostitute? Is it a “November surprise” and part of a media conspiracy to hurt Republicans? Will it depress evangelical turnout on Tuesday? What will the White House say? How about other religious conservative leaders? Has the hypocrisy of Christians like him finally been exposed?

Who cares? Screw politics. This is about something far more important than an election that history will not remember. This is about the eternal and the spiritual. This is about the Jesus every Christian is to love more than breath.

Jesus’ earthly representatives have a long history of blowing it. First, there is Peter…and then every other disciple follows his lead. From then until now we have all been pretty poor representatives of Jesus. (There are some notable exceptions to the contrary. But that is why they tend to be called saints or heroes of the faith. Gandhi famously said that were it not for the actions of Christians, he might have been one himself.)

Ted Haggard may or may not be an exception, no matter what the news brings in the coming hours. But since he has spent so much time lately focusing on politics, his private sins may further involve Jesus in matters that Jesus might well have wanted to avoid.

Certainly, if this is a made-up attack, Christian political leaders will be decrying how the media aided and abetted a homosexual’s attempt to suppress the evangelical vote, and they’ll be exhorting Christians everywhere to send a message by voting like never before. Then again, if the allegations–or any part of them–are true, then Democratic strategists will be talking about Christian hypocrisy (again) and knowing they won’t have to say too much at all, because Christians will just stay home from the polls.

But so long as the conversation remains a political conversation, Jesus loses.

In the coming days and weeks, every true follower of Jesus should strive to remember one thing: that their primary purpose is the Gospel. No one, I think, would agree to this more than Ted Haggard. It is, after all, his life’s message.



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Glenn

posted November 3, 2006 at 5:19 am


Well-know Christian leaders seem to be famous for two things, decrying immorality and falling into immorality. Of course they are a small, small minority. Christian leaders who are not adulterers, homosexuals, or embezzlers don t make the news. Pastors who love their congregations and who reach out to the disenfranchised with the Good News about Jesus don t usually make the news either. The thing is we are damaged goods. We are tainted by sin and falleness. Christians need to get more honest about this so that we can start down the road of confessing, healing, and restoring. I am not trying to get away from the responsibility involved in following Christ or that of being a pastor. It is just that have tendency to rush to judgment, yet we each equally need God s grace.It would be a surprise if dirty politics didn t figure in to this revelation and we hope and pray that it is false. Yet every twist and turn of life and events on the world stage is another opportunity for God s love and grace to win out by the way his followers respond.



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Kevin

posted November 3, 2006 at 1:25 pm


I don’t know a lot about Ted, but his actions in response to this crisis are not typical of someone trying to hide something. His immediate release of power, the recognition that even the hint of scandal has to be dealt with open and above board, stepping down until it is, the presence of an accountability group–none of these things were present in past scandals. I hope he is innocent of these charges, and that this will be a witness to the right way to respond to them. Even better that it will be a witness to his accusers: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2)



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SkipChurch

posted November 3, 2006 at 2:53 pm


Christian evangelicals woundn’t have these problems if they weren’t in the sexual witch-hunt business in the first place. What is this Christian/Jewish/Muslim obsession with sex all about? It just baffles me. Who cares if Pastor Ted is gay, except that he has made a point to campaign against gay marriage? Paul got this going at the start with his idiotic “better to marry than to burn” nonsense. Just pitiful.



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liz

posted November 3, 2006 at 3:09 pm


Liar – will tell you yes when the answer is no Hypocrite – will tell you yes when the answer is no then continue to berate you and others like you for being so impertinent ask to ask such a thing all the while they are guilty of doing the same themselves This wouldn’t be an issue if these particular evangelicals weren’t so hypocritical.



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Jessica

posted November 3, 2006 at 4:33 pm


Most people, not just Christians, are hypocritical about something. Why? Because every last human on earth is imperfect, no matter how hard we try. It’s just more PC to attack Christians. We’re an easy, popular target.



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Papscott

posted November 3, 2006 at 4:53 pm


It wouldn’t be such a big deal if he wasn’t trying to force his beliefs on others by trying to change our country’s laws to reflect his religious opinion. The fact is, Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on marriage. I could get married in a courthouse and spend my entire married life never entering a church, and my union would be just as valid in the eyes of the law and someone who got married in a church. I’m not against religion in general. It does wonderful things for many people and helps them to overcome insurmountable problems in their lives. But people need to accept the fact that religious beliefs are built on faith, which is by its nature irrational. There’s nothing that says the Bible is a more valid document than any other religious scripture, it all boils down to believing in your heart that these mystical, supernatural events could have happened a couple thousand years ago, and letting that belief change your life for the better. But many people can’t follow the teachings of the Bible without thinking their beliefs are facts that they can righteously impose on others for the good of the world. It’s a thin line between some Christians telling gays they can’t have the same rights as others because they are sinners, and some Muslims telling women they are objects that are to blame for causing sinful temptation in men. Bottom line is, when Ted started mixing his faith with politics, he made himself a target of scrutiny, and if the allegations are true, he deserves to be judged by everyone, since he saw fit to judge them.



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Robb Pearson

posted November 3, 2006 at 5:04 pm


The one whom our hearts should really go out to is Mike Jones, the man who was the male prostitute. Whether the allegations are true or not — and sadly it now appears Haggard has confessed to some level of guilt, which means he therefore somehow knows Jones — Jones is a man who, for whatever reason, got involved in a way of living which resulted in his exploitation. And if Haggard had any part in that exploitation, whether sexual or otherwise, then it’s Jones who should be at the top of our list for the outlaying of mercy. I would change one thing you said, David. You said, “But so long as the conversation remains a political conversation, Jesus loses.” I disagree. From my perspective, so long as the conversation remains a political conversation, then Mike Jones and Ted Haggard and Haggard’s family are the ones who truly lose.



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Terra

posted November 3, 2006 at 5:09 pm


>> It’s just more PC to attack Christians. We’re an easy, popular target. Jessica, it isn’t just that people like picking on Christians. It’s that the politically active Christian right feels both obligated and entitled to legislate Christian morality into our (theoretically) secular government. I would champion to my last breath the right of Christians to believe that gay marriage is an abomination in the eyes of God, and their right to refuse to bless the union of gay couples, even the right to exclude gays from their churches. But it’s a *religious* question, properly the provenance of churches, not government. So when Christian leaders, who are actively trying to get their religious beliefs codified in civil law and thereby imposed on all sorts of people who don’t share those religious values, turn out to themselves be acting in a fashion flagrantly contrary to what they’ve been arrogantly proclaiming to be The One True Way — yes, I cry foul. Am I hypocritical myself in some fashion? I’m sure that I am — you’re right about that. But I have not chosen to make values and righteousness the centerpiece of a highly public life. Those who do so choose should reasonably expect that people have a legitimate interest in whether they are walking their own talk.



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cadejo4

posted November 3, 2006 at 5:09 pm


Maybe it’s time to go back to small churches and close down the mega-churches? Whatever happened to the “little church in the wildwood”? Who needs a “state-of-the-art” prayer center in Colorado Springs? If anyone truly believed the Bible anymore, that would have to be the most idiotic idea ever proposed. Here’s a fundamental truth about Christianity: Because it is inherently unworldly and spiritual, any attempts to make it into a money-making or political enterprise will always, invariably, utterly fail, and those involved will always, invariably be remembered as thieves, cheats, hypocrites and liars. The proof is before us.



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Rick Shanley

posted November 3, 2006 at 5:15 pm


Jessica, People with your views and excuses about this story are the very reason why it’s a story, because you’ve allowed people like Ted Haggard to speak for you. What a wildly humorous, knock-out blow to religious extremism.



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Borincano

posted November 3, 2006 at 5:38 pm


Were it not for the timing, the whole thing would merely be sad and tragic… but have little consequence beyond one pastor’s human failings.Ted Haggard was hardly in the vanguard of the anti-gay haters in the national Christian conservative firmament. Though, as has been noted above, he did support the constitutional amendment.What is sad (as the truth starts to dribble out hour by hour) is thinking of a guy imprisoned by his own carefully built public image. He wanted to have sex with men, but the price of being gay was so high he had to enter into commercial sex under a pseudonym, reportedly anaesthetized by meth. Sure, we can all laugh at finding these guys standing there with their pants down when the closet door swings open. Of course, as is their wont, the Christian conservative movement will take away the exactly WRONG lesson from this whole thing.



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Nan

posted November 3, 2006 at 5:42 pm


“because Christians will just stay home from the polls.” I feel insulted by this line. I am a christian and a liberal. Why do you assume only conservatives are Christians? I feel for Haggard and pray for him. I hope he will have a support group to help him deal with this.Remember what Jesus said about not casting the first stone. Somewhere along the line Haggard forgot this lesson.I wish Haggard well. I hope he will learn the lesson about casting stones and evolves spiritually to a loving human being.



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Senator Girth

posted November 3, 2006 at 5:48 pm


I find it amusing that when it comes to their political opponents, many evangelicals spew venom and invective. But when it’s one of their own pharisees, the language turns to forgiveness and understanding. We’re told that gay marriage supporters are out to destroy our families and country, but hypocritical evangelical gay preachers are simply humble sinners deserving of compassion. The hypocrisy here is not only amongst social conservative leaders, whose private behavior does not comport with their public exhortations. The hypocrisy is also found amongst the followers who have two standards: one for their political friends and a different one for their enemies. In 1927 Sinclair Lewis wrote a book about all of this–its title is Elmer Gantry.



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Timetheos

posted November 3, 2006 at 5:58 pm


I would argue that the primary purpose for a follower of Jesus is not the Gospel, but to emulate Jesus. One can read books, even memorize their words, but all is for naught if one does not examine the underlying message and follows it.



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Will Hinton

posted November 3, 2006 at 6:35 pm


Nice article David. I agree. We really need to step back from the politics of this and recognize what a sad story this is, especially if the allegations are true. I wrote this morning that most of all Ted Haggard needs our prayers no matter what happened.



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Hope

posted November 3, 2006 at 6:35 pm


Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness. Mother Teresa Triggered great thoughts for me today. We have seen too much darkness that claims to deliver light- Christ didn’t seek to judge, harm, hate etc. Truth will set us free, and we are all perfect in our imperfections –that is the love of God I know and hope to carry to all each day.



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liz

posted November 3, 2006 at 6:51 pm


Most people, not just Christians, are hypocritical about something. Why? Because every last human on earth is imperfect, no matter how hard we try. It’s just more PC to attack Christians. We’re an easy, popular target. ———————————- ———————————- Hypocrite 1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings Most people can be liars, but most of us aren’t the hypocrites who are pronouncing less of other who are doing the same thing we do when we think others aren’t watching.



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Jessica

posted November 3, 2006 at 7:28 pm


Rick: “People with your views and excuses about this story are the very reason why it’s a story, because you’ve allowed people like Ted Haggard to speak for you.” Fact is, I’d never heard of Ted Haggard before this story, so you can hardly accuse me of letting him, or people like him, speak for me. You don’t know me, and to presume that you do is prejudicial.I don’t even know the whole story. My point was simply that it’s fashionable to attack Christians, so this story – what I know of it – fit right in. I think it’s sad that both conservatives (whether religious or not) and liberals (whether religious or not) feel the need to applaud when a bigshot from the other side falls.



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Roger Nelson

posted November 3, 2006 at 7:41 pm


David Kuo I just saw your interview on CNN. I don’t know much about you, but I appreciate you speaking out. I can’t recall the last time anyone mention the name of our Lord Jesus Christ so many times on T.V. So many people are afraid for a host of insignificant reasons. I’d also like some advice regarding a few faith based non-profits I’m planning as far as government aid is concerned. Anyhow, God bless.



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liz

posted November 3, 2006 at 7:45 pm


David Kuo seems to be truly interested in carrying on the work of Jesus rather than using the name of our Lord in vain to gain wealth and power over others.



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Ed W.

posted November 3, 2006 at 7:56 pm


I’m just glad we finally have evidence to prove that this guy is going to Hell!JESS: Its PC to criticize Christians because they are always wrong! For starters, any group of people that claim to have a monopoly on truth and attempt to proselytize their BELIEFS deserve all the criticism they get. So if you guys weren’t running for public office on false-pretences, then changing public policy to reflect your personal beleifs, you DESERVE to get a rhetorical ass-kicking. Get a clue.



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Vynette

posted November 3, 2006 at 8:10 pm


Timetheos: “I would argue that the primary purpose for a follower of Jesus is not the Gospel, but to emulate Jesus.” Emulation of Jesus is indeed the prime purpose of the gospel. The entire proposition is that if everyone emulated the principles and values for which Jesus lived and died, the Kingdom of God on earth would become a physical reality.



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Ed W.

posted November 3, 2006 at 8:15 pm


does that include the Jesus’ principles regarding unbelievers on the rapture? im sorry, but any benevolent god would not punish someone for eternity for not beleiving he is god.



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xnlib

posted November 3, 2006 at 8:29 pm


Just finished your Book David AND saw you on TV seconds ago. This is a Jesus issue in the sense that His name has been used in vain to further a political and behavioral agenda that is elitist, ignorant, and arrogant. As an Educator (and Pastor) in the field of HIV/STD’s and human sexuality, I’ve seen this before many times. Those who squeal the loudest about things sexual, usually have their own sexual issues. I’ve come to realize that sexual orientation is a given not a chosen and is no more a sin than being cross-eyed. So, encouraging fidelity in both gay and straight relationships is now my goal–Biblically, having done years of research on this, I can no longer condemn gays and lesbians. I can, though, encourage them to be faithful in their relationships. Not as Ted Haggard has reputedly been. Question David, why is no one asking what Jeff Gannon (the male prostitute who was in the White House so many times)was doing and with whom? Could it be he was paid off NOT to tell? On Dobson, he makes me sick, with his pseudo “Doctor” that wouldn’t be recognized by any professional groups today other than those “kooky” “nuts” you describe in your great book! Thanks David.



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Pacific231Reloaded

posted November 3, 2006 at 8:31 pm


Ted Haggard, Roy Cohn. Roy Cohn, Ted Haggard.



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liz

posted November 3, 2006 at 9:06 pm


Sure the Christians are being picked on. That’s why the President and Vice President are Christians, as are the leaders of both houses of Congress, 7 of the Supreme Court Justices including the Chief Justice, the vast majority of the states’ governors and state level office holders……… Isn’t it hard to claim discrimination if you own and are in charge of just about everything?



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Rick Shanley

posted November 3, 2006 at 9:28 pm


Jessica: Sure, the mud-slinging has gotten bad, but when one of the worst mud-slingers gets caught with his pants down (no pun intended), it’s rather indefensible, even under the blanket complaint that “Christians are an easy target.” They are easy targets because, as this case so colorfully illustrates, they make themselves easy targets. You say you never knew who Ted Haggard was. Fine. Then don’t defend him, unless you, too, support the hatred and discrimination of homosexuals.



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Leanne

posted November 3, 2006 at 10:16 pm


Dear David, I was reading your commentary on your blog and a quote you gave that I read in the AP… I take comfort in this alone: NO MAN… NO SIN… CAN BRING JESUS CHRIST OFF HIS THRONE… NO ONE CAN BRING HIS NAME SHAME… ” Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess the Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (phil 2:5-11)



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M. Kennedy

posted November 3, 2006 at 10:29 pm


As I have been following the story today about Ted H., two sayings have popped into my head unbidden.”If we do not bring forth what is in us, it will destroy us.” “There but for the grace of God, go I.” Not that I have the same areas of struggle that Ted seems to, but I do think all of us have wounds, and inner conflicts, and failings. And if we try to deny them and hide them, they will find another way to be heard. It’s so sad that in the church so many people are unable to be transparent, honest, with others and themselves; to bring into the light the things they hide in the darkness. I have been blessed richly to be able to have friends I can be transparent with, and that has probably saved me from myself in many ways. Maybe as I analyzed my emotional reactions and thoughts about Ted, the Holy Spirit brought those sayings to mind to keep me from being too judgemental. To remember the fallible person behind the behaviors, and to find the balance of judging the sin without condemning the sinner. But boy, it’s hard to do. Which is why I think the bible makes is quite clear we can’t really emulate Jesus without the Spirit’s help. Thanks for the blog David.



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Sandra

posted November 3, 2006 at 11:33 pm


Christians have it coming because they follow blindly their leaders not wanting to know the truth. As far as I can tell Democrates have always been a easy target for the self righteous. Trouble is Jesus prefered to be with the sinners in his day than the self righteous hypocrites who saw the speck in their brothers eye and not the log in their own eye. Jesus said that many will come in my name but do not follow. Just because a person says they are a follower of Jesus does not make it so. When the first thing I hear from a person I meet is he/she is a christian I want to run the other way. Most people will know the real followers of Jesus because of how they treat others and live their life with compassion and caring not hate that comes from the right wing fundamentalists.



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Bill

posted November 3, 2006 at 11:54 pm


Let’s step out of the fog here. The issues are not complex. Aas a leader for the Christian Right and the NEA, he has chosen to demonize a minority and to doggedly pursue gay and lesbian Americans state-by-state. He is a wonderful example of the “real threat of marriage.” It is living a life of hypocrisy and deceit. For the life of my, I don’t understand how my 19-year relationship with my gay partner is a threat to any of you. I highly doubt that any of my straight neighbors are in bed at night lusting for one of us! The real threat to marriage is inside of your relationship, not mine. Gay and lesbians are not compelling 50% of marriage individuals to divorce. Start using your heads.



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Sandra

posted November 4, 2006 at 12:22 am


You know if Jesus was here today he would be mocked and made fun of by Rush Limbaugh and the right wing. They do not know the real Jesus and everything Jesus taught was about LOVE and TOLERANCE not hate. That is all you hear from so many so- called christians. If Jesus was here today they would called him a liberal. After all in his day the self righteous religious leaders called Jesus a glutton and drunkard. It would be no different today. The one area that Jesus got mad about was the HYPOCRITES who acted righteous but inward were raving wolves. He would definitely call them on that.



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Lonnie

posted November 4, 2006 at 12:58 am


I am glad that the Love of christ is getting attention. Anytime we mix politic with christiany,we are trying to go back under the law. We can not pass laws that will stop people from obeying their sinful nature,whether it’s lying or sexual sins. However we can fulfill the great commission by witinessing ,and loving people. The goverment will never be able to fulfill the great commission. I don’t know how we got on this political road to change the hearts of mankind. Christians has been duped by the by politicians(Satan) not to fulfill the great commission, and trust in the goverment to do fulfill our calling. Let change the world like the early church,whith the gospel of Jesus christ and love.



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Kevin Young

posted November 4, 2006 at 1:03 am


Haggard is a liar, and a child of lies. He is not merely a “bad representation” of Jesus who should be forgiven for his moment of error. He has lived a lie for the past three years. Even less than two days after the allegations have been made, it’s obvious that he is lying. So far he admitted to visiting this gay man “for a massage” and he has also admitted to purchasing crystal meth on several occasions “I never had it on me for long…I always threw it away” but his confession falls short, and his lies pick right back up when it comes to admitting 1.an adulterous encounter (with a man or a woman) and 2.using crystal meth Haggard has admitted to temptation, but not confessed to sin. His story just doesn’t add up.And this has been going on for three years!!! That is what separates Haggard the liar from Peter the human being who lied. Peter denied Christ three times on the eve of the crucifiction, to be sure. But he repented from that sin almost immediately. Haggard has been actively persecuting what he secretly is! (gay as a singing christmas card) Haggard is a false teacher. He is a wolf (among many) in sheeps clothing. I don’t believe the extent of (so-called)christian hypocrasy has been exposed yet. But I believe that the process of exposure has begun. Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, thanks to You, Mr.Kuo, now thanks to Mike Jones, but ultimately thanks to God.



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Sandra

posted November 4, 2006 at 1:29 am


I have to agree with Kevin. I do believe God is behind the revelations going on in this country. That which is done in secret will be exposed. I believe Jesus wants the hypocrites to be exposed. This is actually a wonderful day to be alive to witness this. Jesus warned his followers to be wise as serpents and gentle as lambs. Wisdom comes from investigating what a person says and their actual behavior. When you follow blindly you will always be disappointed.



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HASH(0x93ba2ac)

posted November 4, 2006 at 1:48 am


Evangelical Ted Haggard slobbed mah knob…



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Mr. Schmitty!

posted November 4, 2006 at 4:04 am


The homosexual failed a lie detector test. http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4597552, so I think there is more to this story than he claims. The media are going to make this a cut-n-dry case of hypocrisy. But I think it is probably a lot more complex than it seems. Haggard claims the hotel he was in referred the homosexual man to him as a masseuse. And apparently Haggard is widely known to make arrangements for massages. I think there was no sex, and that the homosexual is lying just as his test indicates. But the homosexual knew that he sold Haggard some meth and wanted to really burn the guy. That s what you get when you deal with homosexuals.



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DeaconScott

posted November 4, 2006 at 4:09 am


I can’t help but think that it’s not about lying, although there was big lying, and it’s not about hypocrisy, but obviously Pr Haggard is a big hypocrite. There’s a third and more basic kind of falsehood: denial. Denial is a defense mechanism, a symptom of psychopathology: an unconscious process whereby the mind protects itself from knowledge which it fears would destroy it. It’s one of the more primitive of the defense mechanisms, and – as in this instance – gives rise to exceptionally pathetic and poignant forms of hubris. Not an excuse, nor even an explanation. Just an insight. The same thing that keeps addicts addicted – even if they, like Shrub and Rush, aren’t using – if indeed, they’re not using. (We don’t know that.)The same thing that keeps Rumsfeld in Iraq and pedophiles in pulpits, put Thomas on the Court and Monica in the Oval Office.Let us all pray for all who would and do hurt and kill others, rather than know themselves.



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Sandra

posted November 4, 2006 at 4:47 am


Haggard lied in his first interview. Said he never used drugs and never knew the guy. Today he said he did know him, and did purchase drugs from him and he purchased them on more than one occassion. But of course he threw the drugs away and never used them. Sounds like Clinton saying he smoked weed but did not inhale. You have a minister who lied the first day and now says he did know him. Get real..the evidence is he lied and he did know him and bought drugs from him and had a massage. That is the story so far. The accuser was right. He knew him. That is not a lie by the accuser but is a lie by Haggard saying he did not know him.



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Kevin

posted November 4, 2006 at 6:00 am


I’ve worked with a Christian Non-profit for over 5 years and have heard of Christians attacking other Christians. Back-stabbing and the like. However this isn’t a revelation to me, because I realize that they’re just people and no less vulnerable to temptation, betrayal, or any other numbers of faults. As my grandpa would say, “you’re voting for the lesser of two evils.”



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Kevin Young

posted November 4, 2006 at 6:59 am


Ah, but to be evil under the diguise of infallibility is a particularly poignant evil…that is called hypocrasy. And is the one thing that never failed to piss off Jesus Christ!



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Geoff

posted November 4, 2006 at 8:27 am


I just like to say that I’m rather impressed with David Kuo. I consider him a rather good example for his fellow Christians.So… aside from the fact that I find religion itself a little silly but am frightened by the fact that many religious people attempt to legislate morality based upon a 1500 year-old book, here are my questions to those of you convinced of the infallability of Pastor Ted: He said that the hotel recommended the ‘masseuse’. Can you imagine a hotel employee recommending a gay prostitute to someone who needs a massage? That doesn’t sound like a lie? In the case the he requested the recommendation, if you are a heterosexual man and suddenly in need of a massage, would you ask the hotel staff to give you a number to call? I would think that they might misintepret my intentions. Does it bother you that he lied when he initially said he didn’t know Jones? Do you think he wouldn’t lie again to cover this up? Does that sound like Pastor Ted’s voice on the message? It does to me. Why would someone who has said he has never done drugs suddenly want to buy methamphetamine? Doesn’t that drug lie slightly outside the bounds of simple curiousity for someone who has never done any drugs?’Christian bashing’ comes at the expense of using a religion as a front for politics (or the other way around:). Keep your superstitions out of politics and engage in the rational dialogue of secular morality and I won’t have a problem with you. Until then, I think it’s perfectly rational to strongly criticize your faith if it restricts any of my freedoms.



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poetographer1967

posted November 4, 2006 at 3:42 pm


“That’s what you get for dealing with homosexuals.”? Please. I’m gay and I wouldn’t have the first idea where to find a male prostitute OR methamphetamines. If Haggard, as he claims, just called Jones for a massage, how did he know to buy drugs from him? Sadly, gay sex and crystal are a very common combination, and there’s a reason polygraphs are not automatically admissible in court. I hope Haggard finds reconciliation with both God and truth, and I would welcome him at my open and affirming church, but my very humanness can’t help feeling a little satisfaction that someone who has helped persecute “my people” has had his come-uppance.



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Rick Shanley

posted November 4, 2006 at 4:58 pm


Actually, it appears he had his “come-uppance” more than once… and I’m not talking about his five kids.



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DONALD JONAK

posted November 4, 2006 at 5:40 pm


I will be praying for Ted,but we are warned in scripture to abstain from any form of evil,he put himself in a position to be caught,the scripture also states be sure your sins we find you out. Don



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Kevin

posted November 4, 2006 at 7:26 pm


Kevin Young: > Ah, but to be evil under the diguise of infallibility is a particularly poignant evil…that is called hypocrasy. And is the one thing that never failed to piss off Jesus Christ! So, when evil doesn’t even bother to hide itself it’s okay? Having a little shame is still better than having none at all. When someone tries to hide something they do it becuase they are ashamed. And thus are concious to the fact that they are wrong. The day someone decides to take a stand for greatness they become a hypocrite, because they will ultimately fall flat on their face. And when they fall, those that stand for nothing will come out of the woodworks and scream “hypocrisy” from the mountain tops.



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Sandra

posted November 4, 2006 at 7:52 pm


I would like to know how Haggard stood for greatness. He lied about knowing Jones until he found out he was taped. No somebody does not hide something because they are ashamed. It is because they know it is wrong and do not want to be found out. Only after they are exposed do they finally confess. If there had been no recording he would still be lying and calling it politics. Jesus called the religious people of his day HYPOCRITES because he knew their sins and he would do it today.



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Kevin Young

posted November 4, 2006 at 8:24 pm


Amen Sandra. Jesus Christ was very vocal when he spoke of the Pharisees, and other hypocrites. Remember, he said that the prostitutes and tax collectors would enter into the kingdom of God before the Pharisees. And it is possible to take a stand for greatness without becoming a hypocrite, by admitting often your own flawwed and human condition. Paul, the apostle was quick to call himself “the cheif of sinners”, but when do you think we’d hear that admission come from Ted Haggard’s mouth, or Pat Robertson’s, or George W Bush’s? Never. These men do not build themselves upon the foundation of Christ. But rather they build their kingdoms on the image of righteousness they credit to themselves. All who build as such will be torn down by the storms of tribulation.



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dale shipley

posted November 4, 2006 at 9:44 pm


Pastor Ted took his faith to a level of political activism that doesn’t merit any politeness from his political enemies. He brought all this on himself. Visit his website ever? That is a man who is as full of himself as I have ever seen. Too bad it was all a lie.



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YetAnotherRick

posted November 4, 2006 at 11:30 pm


Kevin wrote: “I don’t know a lot about Ted, but his actions in response to this crisis are not typical of someone trying to hide something.” His first response was to deny things which he later admitted were true. He stepped aside because that was the procedure set up by the church. He had no other choice. cadejo4 wrote “Maybe it’s time to go back to small churches and close down the mega-churches? Whatever happened to the “little church in the wildwood”?” That little church is still there. The average church has weekly attendance of less than 100. Out of 300,000 churches, synagogues, mosques, etc., only about 2,000 have weekly attendance over 2,000. The number of Evangelicals attending churches over 1,000 is almost exactly the same as Non-Evangelical Protestants – about 14-15%. Only about 3% of Evangelicals attend megachurches. There a vast body of mythology surrounding the megachurch phenomonem, and the intense media coverage of an extremely small sample of them makes it easy for some pundits to use them as a Scary Boogeyman to manipulate the ill-informed. Geoff wrote: “He said that the hotel recommended the ‘masseuse’. Can you imagine a hotel employee recommending a gay prostitute to someone who needs a massage? That doesn’t sound like a lie?” Jones was not simply a “gay prostitute.” He was highly regarded as a personal trainer and masseuse. One article said that when Broadway shows came into town, many of the cast and crew would hire him to do massages. So this part of Ted’s story sounds completely plausible – not that I believe much of his story.



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HASH(0x93c6968)

posted November 5, 2006 at 12:33 am


To YetAnotherRick – I assume you aren’t gay and aren’t familiar with escorts, and that’s why you don’t know this: any references to “broadway” in ads are a code for to indicate to gay people that they are offering sexual services for other gay men.



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HASH(0x93c72cc)

posted November 5, 2006 at 12:42 am


Here is the ad for Jones’s “massage” services. I think the ad speaks for itself: http://pageoneq.com/news/2006/page110207.html



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Bill

posted November 5, 2006 at 2:53 am


To YetAnotherRick: What do you mean that “broadway” is code to gay people that a person is offering sexual services? That is as realistic as the notion that I was taught as a kid that to wear yellow socks on Thursdays meant a person was gay. Please!



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YetAnotherRick

posted November 5, 2006 at 5:15 am


Bill, your comment should be addressed to Anonymous, not me. Anon., no…I’m not gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I can’t find the original article where I read that, but maybe that author also was not gay.



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Kevin

posted November 5, 2006 at 5:23 am


Sandra, Jesus also said, Let them without sin cast the first stone. I don’t know Haggard well enough to judge him, let alone defend him. I was only making a generalization of how someone who decides to follow a path to greatness also (perhaps unknowingly) decides to become a hypocrite. People change, it’s a fact of life. It’s quite possible that at point A someone could have been a genuinely good person, but when they reached point B they would become corrupt by X, Y, or Z. If you’re going to judge someone (cast stones), at least be fair and consider points A and B. “Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it!” -Shak



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Kevin Young

posted November 5, 2006 at 7:12 am


There is a difference, Kevin, between “judgement” and discernment. While judgement is a role reserved for God alone, discernment is a gift of the spirit given to true believers. Discernment is how we can know the difference between men by the evidence of their lives. If Ted Haggard was innocent, yet corrupted, he should have been honest about his fallibility. But he wasn’t. He actively persecuted homosexuals while at the same time participating in homosexual adultry. How can you shrug that off as an “I dunno” situation? The man is obviously a deceiver. Have you been deceived by his high ranking status by worldly standards? Do you not see the rot in his soul? It has been laid bare for the world to see.



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Sandra

posted November 5, 2006 at 6:30 pm


Haggard was caught in his own lies. Has nothing to do with casting stones. When he was confronted by this it was his duty as a follower of Christ to tell the truth no matter how hard it might have been. We are all sinners and I cast no stones but just report what the evidence is to date. He LIED about knowing Jones and he LIED about buying drugs from him. When a person lies on some areas you don’t know if he is telling the truth on anything. I do believe THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE and lying keeps you in bondage to the devil. Jesus also said that what you do in secret will be exposed. Self righteous christians are always casting stones at all those who don’t fall into their way of thinking and have used the so-called Family Values to separate those who don’t follow behind these religious leaders. We now know that those who separate us on these issues are hypocrites behind closed doors. That is all I was saying.



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John

posted November 5, 2006 at 8:28 pm


As a recent guest on a popular talk show, David Kuo spoke eloquently about his beliefs and in critique of the Republican party and George Bush as president. Being neither a Republican nor a social conservative, I was impressed by the clarity of his vision regarding the poor and underserved in our country. I was even more impressed by his willingness to speak out against the lies he found in George Bush’s campaign promises to help the poor. Both sides of the isle and political spectrum are well-served by informed and reasoned discourse and it seemed to me that Mr. Kuo could be a new voice for honesty on the right. So it is with dismay that I find Mr. Kuo an apologist for Ted Haggard. “Who cares? Screw politics…” Who cares? I care, and so should everyone else. Why? Because Mr. Haggard’s personal failings did not occur in a vacuum. They are not without context. They are the personal failings of a man who had a big microphone and who used that microphone to speak out forcefully and repeatedly against gay and lesbian citizens. They are the personal failings of a man who met every Monday with the President of the United States and presumably rendered moral and religious guidance at those meetings. Mr. Haggard, like all of us, is a human being capable of ethical and unethical behaviour. I don’t doubt that he has done good in this world and that he should not be defined by his failings. But it is naive to pretend that it doesn’t matter (“Who cares?”) when an influential public figure who gives weekly guidance to the President and undoubtedly has influence on public policy debate, fails in precisely the thing he ardently speaks against. Based upon his public rhetoric, I have no doubt that Mr. Haggard has repeatedly advised the President and other people of great influence that gay and lesbian citizens are a threat to marriage, family, and morality. In light of this, his ethical failings and blatant hypocrisy do matter. They matter greatly. Hopefully Mr. Kuo will use his blog and his obvious intelligence to better effect in the future.



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Kevin Young

posted November 5, 2006 at 8:54 pm


Amen, John



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Gary

posted November 5, 2006 at 9:31 pm


There is nothing particularly unique about Pastor Haggard or the situation he finds himself. When faced with an opportunity to be who God wants him to be, it would seem he chose to lean on his own understanding and built a life of delicately balanced lies of perception. The response of the Christian community must be: forgiveness without condemnation. We can decry hypocrisy. We can point a shameful finger at his apparent sexual identity. Ultimately, such behaviors serve only to dismiss his pain and darken the threshold every Christian must cross, daily. We are here to lift up the name of Jesus, which cannot be done by trampling on His children when they fall.



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Scroop Moth

posted November 5, 2006 at 9:36 pm


Kuo: “Certainly, if this is a made-up attack, Christian political leaders will be decrying how the media aided and abetted a homosexual s attempt to suppress the evangelical vote.” If fact, Dr. Dobson had already born flase witness against the media, accusing it of reporting “rumors.,” which was untrue. The media really reported a public on-the-record accusation and Haggard’s on-the-record replies. Dr. Dobson owes an apology to the media, and he must stop twisting things.



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Kevin

posted November 5, 2006 at 10:10 pm


@Kevin Young and Sandra Again, I’m not defending Haggard’s actions nor am I claiming that God loves hypocrisy. Personally, I think God already made the distinction and exposed Haggard for his wretchedness. I think we can both agree that exposing him was a good thing. Not just for his sake, but for those that supported him as well. Only a fool would claim that the religious are more hypocritical than the secularists.



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Sandra

posted November 5, 2006 at 10:39 pm


Kevin I do believe it was a good thing that this was exposed. I do have compassion for his family but I do wonder if they would show the same compassion for others who don’t profess their beliefs. My instinct tells me that they would not but that does not stop me from showing compassion to them. I did read his apology and at least his pride did not get in the way of accepting full responsibility finally for his actions. Truth is of God and even though truth might hurt us it is better in the long run because we will be exposed sooner or later. It is now time for Haggard to fade into the background and heal himself and his family. Jones did the right thing by exposing him.



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penny

posted November 5, 2006 at 10:44 pm


I am a Christian. I think Haggard is guilty as charged. He is just one more Man out there that has taken advantage of people and money. Like all the rest he got too big for his britches, and God has brought him down to his knees (literaly?) to get caught and have to stand up to his lies, deceit,stealing, adultry, blasphmy, using the Word to get material things, idolitry, I guess he just about covered all 10 commandments. Now he has to stand before God and repent and stop the lies and admit and get on with life. This is why I don’t give money to hipocrites. I feel sorry for this poor, poor man who fell from the grace of God . onepenny1



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Daniel

posted November 6, 2006 at 2:00 am


“Christian evangelicals woundn’t have these problems if they weren’t in the sexual witch-hunt business in the first place. What is this Christian/Jewish/Muslim obsession with sex all about? It just baffles me. Who cares if Pastor Ted is gay, except that he has made a point to campaign against gay marriage?” “I find it amusing that when it comes to their political opponents, many evangelicals spew venom and invective. But when it’s one of their own pharisees, the language turns to forgiveness and understanding.We’re told that gay marriage supporters are out to destroy our families and country, but hypocritical evangelical gay preachers are simply humble sinners deserving of compassion. ” Truer words have not been spoken…



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YetAnotherRick

posted November 6, 2006 at 6:36 am


Bill, it was anonymous who said that, not me. Anonymous, even though I’m a huge figure skating fan, love ballet music, *and* have stayed at a Holiday Inn, I’m not gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) After seeing the ad, I think the Broadway reference was redundant.



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alex

posted November 6, 2006 at 7:03 am


HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN, CAST THE FIRST STONE. SIN IS SIN. DON’T LOOK AT THE MAN BUT HOW GOD USED HIM. THE QUESTION NOW IS WHO DO YOU SERVE. IF GOD FORGAVE A SINNER LIKE ME THEN HES ALREADY FORGIVEN. BEFORE I START JUDGING YOU TED I HAVE TO GET THE LOG OUT OF MY OWN EYE. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.



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Kevin Young

posted November 6, 2006 at 7:42 am


If I type in all caps and pray loudly in a humble-sounding fashion, will that mean that God will hear my prayers before others? I sure hope so, because I would then pray for A TRULY CHRISTIAN PRESIDENT NOW!!



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Lauren Barnes

posted November 6, 2006 at 3:37 pm


Yes, we are all sinners. The insult to G-d, and to humanity, are the people that cry at the top of their voices ‘I know ‘. How about a little, ‘I think’ or ‘It seems to me’, or even ‘I don’t know, but I believe that..’? “It seems to me” the first step on the way to a fall is the one that is filled with arrogance. Who would laugh at little person doing their best and falling anyway? Who would laugh at a strutting ego maniac falling on his/her face? Yep! There is the difference.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted November 6, 2006 at 5:38 pm


“My point was simply that it’s fashionable to attack Christians” No, Jessica, it is not “fashionable to attack Christians”. But it IS essential that we expose hypocrisy from those who’s words do not match their actions, who’s words cause harm, who’s lies and deceipt are ignored by fellow “christians”. Big difference.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted November 6, 2006 at 5:54 pm


Mr. Schmitty, you’re so schi… “The homosexual failed a lie detector test.” The, ahem, “heterosexual” didn’t even take one! Unless you consider his inquisition by “Doctor” Dobson et al to be a ‘lie detector test’ in which he confessed to doing almost ALL of the things the “homosexual” accused him of. He most definitely DID fail the lieing test – the one that is his conduct for the past 3 years. “The media are going to make this a cut-n-dry case of hypocrisy.” Nope. Real, live human beings, some of us even Christian, are going to “make this a cut-n-dry case of hypocrisy” – BECAUSE IT IS! “Haggard claims the hotel he was in referred the homosexual man to him as a masseuse.” And the masseur (‘masseuse’ is female) says he is not registered with any concierge. He said, he said… “And apparently Haggard is widely known to make arrangements for massages.” Widely known???!!! By whom, his wife? His congregation? His TV congregation? Shurely you jest! “I think there was no sex, and that the homosexual is lying just as his test indicates.” You think wrong. “But the homosexual knew that he sold Haggard some meth and wanted to really burn the guy.” This is a lie. (Yet another lie of the ‘right’!) The masseur provided the contact – at the ‘good pastor’s repeated request – for him to get the drugs, and the voice mail Haggard foolishly left indicated he wanted to buy MORE! “That s what you get when you deal with homosexuals.” And we can see what it is we get when we deal with lieing, hypocritical, deceiving ‘betterosexual’ preachers who say one thing and do another and get caught!



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Karen

posted November 6, 2006 at 6:21 pm


To thoes of you who have taken the time to express your thoughts here to be veiwed by others. I have been attending New Life Church for 9 years now and I know Ted and his family personally. Ted and his wife are the kindest most loving people I have ever met. I have NEVER heard an unkind word or an attack on gay people or any other people from either of them. In fact the only time I remember Pastor Ted really went into depth about same sex partners, is when we studied the book of Genesis (18-19:29) and the story of Sodom and Gomorra a few years ago. He taught right out of the bible how homosexuallity angered God. He has never been a gay basher, he has a genuine love for all people and knows we are all sinners and we can have freedom in Christ. Pastor Ted always taught directly from the bible, relaying Gods words for us, not his own. What has come to light saddens us but also only shows us that none of us are perfect or without sin. We love Ted, his wife and family deeply and Ted has taught us to love each other, pray for each other and encourage each other as a family. Not only our church family, but all who we come into contact with, so everyone might be able to live a better life while we are here on earth. He never taught us to judge, point the finger, dislike or condem others, but instead to love, accept, show kindness and forgiveness. It’s sad to see a man who loves God so much, be in such bondage, to be forced to lie and deceive so many. It is a good thing that the truth was exposed, although incredible painfull for many, Ted can now get the help he so desperately needs. We Love Ted Haggard, his wife and kids and we will never give up on them. Jesus came to forgive and set the captives free. Can you pray for them too? Lastly, Pator Ted never took money from anyone. We as a family of God freely give out of our blessings and Pastor Ted freely gave most of the money our church takes in to help others all over the world. We only keep what we need to run the church, the rest, which is a lot, is given away to help thoes in need. Living in Gods Grace, Karen



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lowly grunt

posted November 6, 2006 at 6:32 pm


I haven’t read all teh posts yet because I wanted to say to David: Jesus can take care of himself regardless of who pulls him down into the mud with them when they fall. Jesus went into the grave; you really think a disgraced pastor is going to do him in? Yes, I understand that Christians who truly practice the discipline of following Jesus will be wary of living a double life. But if Christians who truly practice the discipline of following Jesus will know how to stand firm in their obedience to him and withstand the temptation; to even find themselves strenghtened and refined for going through it. I am constantly amazed at people’s need to save Jesus! Been there, done that.



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Kevin Young

posted November 6, 2006 at 6:37 pm


Karen, the sin of sodom was not homosexuality, but was the lusting after strange flesh, i.e Mankind lusting after Angels. That sin is also marked in Gensis 6, and is a deeper truth of Scripture which is coming back to fruition in the last days (Daniel 2:42). No matter what pastor Ted might have said in his sermons, his life was one of strong persecution of homosexuals. Remember he was not only a pastor of a 14,000 member church, but also the head of a 30 MILLION member coalition of evangelicals.I pray that pastor Ted did bear good fruit, and that God is only pruning him now so that he can quit hating and lying and politicizing Jesus, and can live a life worthy of a man who was called by God.



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Kevin Young

posted November 6, 2006 at 6:40 pm


“betterosexuals” mwahahahahaa! that’s too rich.



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HASH(0x93dc214)

posted November 6, 2006 at 6:52 pm


Karen, Methinks that in addition to “living in God’s grace” you are also living under a lot of delusions and myths… “I have NEVER heard an unkind word or an attack on gay people or any other people from either of them.” Then you obviously haven’t been listening to his sermons and to his poitical stances AGAINST equality for gay people before the law. That IS attacking gays; you just don’t see it as such. “In fact the only time I remember Pastor Ted really went into depth about same sex partners, is when we studied the book of Genesis (18-19:29) and the story of Sodom and Gomorra a few years ago.” The sin of Sodom was NOT homosexuality. It was inhospitality. Ezekiel tells me so. And the fact that the ‘good’ pastor would tell you otherwise is yet another example of bashing gay people. It’s called bearing false witness. “He taught right out of the bible how homosexuallity angered God.” Then he lied. “He has never been a gay basher” And now YOU lie. “he has a genuine love for all people and knows we are all sinners” Except the ones he wanted to kick out of the Constitution – another attack. “We love Ted, his wife and family deeply and Ted has taught us to love each other, pray for each other and encourage each other as a family.” Except, naturally, for GAY PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES! “but instead to love, accept, show kindness and forgiveness” – to everyone EXCEPT GAY PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILEIS. “It’s sad to see a man who loves God so much, be in such bondage, to be forced to lie and deceive so many.” He was only ‘forced’ to lie and deceive about himself because of the lies and deception he perpetrated about GAY PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES. “It is a good thing that the truth was exposed, although incredible painfull for many, Ted can now get the help he so desperately needs.” But he won’t get that kind of ‘help’. Instead, Dobson et al will try to “cure” him. Being gay is NOT a sickness. “Lastly, Pator Ted never took money from anyone.” Which explains the $600,000+ house he has eh? Sorry for the rant, but there are NONE SO BLIND as those who WILL NOT SEE.



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Karen

posted November 6, 2006 at 9:37 pm


Anonymous, I came to say how I feel about Ted and his family and what they mean to me, and the love and grace Jesus has for us all because none of us are without sin. You however decided to take what I said as an opportunity to not only attack me, but also Ted. You seem to be a very angry person. It seems you oppose what is happening politically as we take a stand to protect marriage for what God created it to be Genesis 2:18-25. That is not an attact on gays, it’s perserving what we believe marriage is. And even at that isn’t it our right to defend just as it is your right to defend what you believe in. The people who get out and vote the way they want will determine the outcome. FYI Pastor Ted wrote a lot of books to supliment his income and who cares what kind of home he lives in anyways? I am a renter but I hold no anomosity towards thoes who have more or better that me. Also, Pastor Ted is not responsible for the growth of New Life Church, God is.



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Jennifer

posted November 6, 2006 at 11:56 pm


I would like to make a comment to Anonymous and all the other non-believers. Anonymous: “Methinks that in addition to “living in God’s grace” you are also living under a lot of delusions and myths…”First of all how can you say this when you don’t even know Ted Haggard or his family? Secondly, the church does not just blindly follow their leaders. Yes, in the past christians relied more on the preaching than they read their bibles but in the last few decades more christians have read and researched their Bibles to find evidence to support its validity. If you would like to know where the Bible specifically condemns homosexuality it is listed in both the old testament and new testament.”Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9When the Lord was speaking to Moses he said: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” ~ Leviticus 18:22 So it is clearly stated in the Bible homosexuality is wrong. Hypocrisy is also a sin. And Jesus himself strongly warns against it. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matt. 23: 27-28 But the purpose of the law is to give us a mirror and show us who we really are..sinners desperately in need of a savior. Sinners who need to repent (turn away from their sin). And embrace Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. All of us are sinners. Examples of sin: lying, cheating, anger, complaining, pride, yes hypocrisy, homosexuality, lusting after a woman (or man) who is not your wife…even looking at her lustfully!, selfishness, taking the Lord’s name in vain…even only once!”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” ~Romans 3:23 Guess what.. you have to be perfect and flawless to enter the kingdom of heaven. Because God is the only living creature who is without sin. And for him to stay holy (flawless, perfect) he cannot be anywhere near sin…ever…he hates sin…even if you can’t help it…he hates it. And he set the law. We have no right to go to heaven for it is a pure and holy place. And every inclination in our hearts is for evil. But God still desires to be in companionship with us. He still wants us to be with him. So he provided one way for us to be saved from death (spiritual death). And that of course is Jesus and Jesus alone.”For I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 He is the only way because he was the only perfect man. He is the the only person who can bridge the gap between us (sinners) and God. God carried out his wrath (the wrath of death), which was meant for us, on Jesus’ shoulders.So why should any of us believe the Bible? you ask.. Yes. It does take a step of faith to believe all this. No one can really explain how faith in Christ leads to eternal life. There are so many great mysteries that we cannot understand on this side of heaven. However, our faith is not unfounded and the gap between fact and faith is not as big as one might expect. There is so much evidence to support the validity of the Bible it isn’t even funny. There is all kind of historical, acheological and circumstantial evidence to support the validity of the gospels. And then there is the evidence of Jesus himself.Fact: A man named Jesus existed in the early A.D. and was sentenced to death by cross. Fact: This supposed man also made claims that he was God both in the gospels and in secular documents (A Jewish Historian who was not a follower of Jesus, Josephus.) C.S. Lewis said there are only three possibilities then. He is either a liar, insane, or he was telling the truth. There is enough circumstantial evidence to rule out the possibilities that he was a liar or insane so we have to assume he was telling the truth. But whether or not he was telling the truth his claims must be taken into serious consideration. He told an entire Jewish nation that their eternal souls rested only through him. That was serious. There is also the evidence of the prophecies fortold about him. The Old Testament was written hundreds of years before the new testament and every prophecy about Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection came true. I didn’t necessarily mean for this to become a preaching of the gospel but I wanted to say what we believe and why we believe it. Whether or not the allegations about Ted Haggard are true, it is clear that he has been living in sin and needs to repent. But all of us sin and we are all in need for the grace of God.Non-believers – I strongly suggest you re-examine your beliefs. Really study this stuff with an open mind. Jesus’ claims are serious and should not be taken lightly. There is a reason christians believe the way they do. We’re not idiots and we do not follow blindly. We’ve studied the Bible and outside materials and we’ve seen miracles and we’ve had our lives changed in ways that no one can explain.Believers – He is still our brother in Christ and God commands us to forgive him and show him grace. Stop casting stones. His offence was not against you but against God and it is God who will be the judge. I think this is a reminder to all of us to open our Bibles, learn and study them so we can defend our faith and to not rely on the the teachings of any given man. I am not saying Ted Haggard wasn’t preaching the truth I am just saying that the Church of Christ does not rely on one man for survival. We will not fall because Christ is our head. Pray for each other because Ted Haggard is not the only man who stuggles with this kind. Almost everyone struggles with sexual immorality no matter how small the sin.We are all one step away from disaster. So lets put on our blinders and only focus on Christ.



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Jennifer

posted November 7, 2006 at 12:12 am


To Anonymous, I’d also like to say that you made an excellent point when you stated “but there are NONE SO BLIND as those who WILL NOT SEE.” Jesus said: This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 13:14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 13:15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 13:16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 13:19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. Take a look at yourself.



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Heidi

posted November 7, 2006 at 2:16 am


Karen,”Pastor Ted always taught directly from the bible, relaying Gods words for us, not his own.”I hear this often and I am forever amazed by the naiveness of this statement. Of course it is his own words. It is his interpretation of God s words. Ted Haggart (as well as anyone else) reads the Bible and uses his own beliefs, experiences and prejudices to make sense of what he reads. And this is exactly why it is incredibly sad when people not only use the Bible to judge others, but also use it to justify the discrimination and intolerance of groups of people.And as to whether Ted Haggard has been bashing gays. I guess that would depend on one s definition of bashing. Do you consider making fun of homosexuals in front of thousands of people bashing? Do you consider attempting to sanction the discrimination of millions of people bashing? Do you consider asking people to disapprove and disrespect millions of people bashing?My heart goes out to Ted Haggart and his family. I pray that he will one day have the courage and strength to love and respect himself for who he is, and that his family, community and country will do the same.And to the person who said That s what you get when you deal with homosexuals Your lack of cognitive complexity is striking. I hope that you one day realize that people are not defined by one single characteristic. It truly opens the door to a less narrow-minded and arrogant worldview. Of course opening our minds can sometimes be scary, because then we actually have to think for ourselves.



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Kevin Young

posted November 7, 2006 at 3:45 am


The whole gay marriage fixation is a perfect example of what Jesus said bout the Pharisees. They “strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel” No legalized union between memebers of the same sex would kill any innocent person, and yet the religious right chooses to fixate on gay marriage and forgive, or excuse this unjustified, certainly unchristian war on the Iraqi people. I wonder why? Could it be that “strong delusion” has blinded the mainstream church from the truth? Could it be that the mainstream church has chosen the path of Godlessness that they are on because it’s more fitting to their social standing? Christ told his followers that they would endure persecution, that they would carry a cross, that they would suffer in the world, as Christ himself suffered. But to close your mind to logic in favor of a faith that is reinforced within a particular social bubble, or more importantly, to endorse a greedy and bloodthirsty political agenda simply because it favors your prejudice about gay marriage is not carrying a cross. That behavior, those actions would constitute “conforming to the patterns of this world”. There is no love in homophobia. There is no love in war, or fear-mongering. There is no courage in supporting this rising dictatorship. There is only cowardice under the guise of martyrdom.



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Lonnie

posted November 7, 2006 at 6:32 am


I would like to see the church focus on the great commission,and change the world like the early chuch,with the gospel of Christ. The goverment can not pass laws that will change the heart of mankind. I am for voting,but I believe that only through the gospel,will this world change for the return of jesus Christ. This world will never change through worldy means,and it’s time for church leaders to start leading the people of God into kingdom of God work,and take our feet out of the world.



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Frank Volz

posted November 7, 2006 at 7:57 pm


Living in Colorado Springs and being part of the gay community as well as being a Christian I can understand the hurt and pain on both sides of this argument. That said, one of the building blocks of this country was the separation of church and state. The NEA and other conservative fundamentalist Christian groups are working very hard to instill their ideologies into law. The gay community in Colorado has been under attack from these conservative groups for years, starting with Amendment 2 that was finally overturned by the Supreme Court. These same conservative groups would be screaming if they thought for one minute that some other faith i.e. Muslim, pagan, or new age was trying to control the government. Civil marriage is a civil right–religious marriage is a religious right. A committed same-gender couple has no effect on anyone else’s marriage, period. What Pastor Haggard did was wrong. Regardless of the gender, he committed adultery, he purchased drugs, a felony, and then he lied. I am praying for this man because he is still my brother, and he has felt compelled (by societies restrictions?) to live a lie. I am praying for his wife because she is a victim of his deception. Infidelity is the cruelest non-violent offense a person can perpetrate upon the person they are supposed to love, and I am praying for his children, who I am sure are devastated and shaken by fear of what will happen with their parents relationship. I am also keeping New Life in prayer to find healing for itself. It is also my prayer that this church will stop being a part of the hateful rhetoric against the gay community here in Colorado Springs and throughout the nation. Let’s all remember what Jesus told us was the “greatest commandment.”



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dangera

posted November 8, 2006 at 5:54 am


“As witnesses not of our intentions but of our conduct, we can be true or false, and the hypocrite’s crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil, but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.” -The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted November 9, 2006 at 6:23 pm


Karen, “You seem to be a very angry person.” You bet your ass I’m angry. I’m angry at the hypocrites – as Jesus was. I’m angry at the liars – as Jesus was. I’m angry at the so-called Christians who coninually villify loving, committed gay people and compare our relationships to necrophilia, beastiality, rape, incest, child-molestation, cannabalism. These are not charitable things to say or do, quite the opposite of ‘love thy neighbor’. They are HATE. Damn right I’m angry. “It seems you oppose what is happening politically as we take a stand to protect marriage” Protect it from WHAT??? I keep asking that and NO ONE from the radical, rightwing, religious extremist ‘right’ EVER answers. (BTW, the Genesis passage you quote refers to “Adam’s” SECOND “wife”, “Eve”. Have you forgotten Lillith?) “That is not an attact [sic] on gays, it’s perserving what we believe marriage is.” Except you choose to ignore the multitude of Biblical polygamous marriages. You ignore Jonathan’s relatinship to David. What you believe marriage is has changed over the centuries.”And even at that isn’t it our right to defend just as it is your right to defend what you believe in.” But we still don’t know what you want/need to “defend” marriage FROM!



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted November 9, 2006 at 6:36 pm


Jennifer, “I would like to make a comment to Anonymous and all the other non-believers.” I am NOT a “non-believer”; I just believe differently than you believe. “Anonymous: “Methinks that in addition to “living in God’s grace” you are also living under a lot of delusions and myths…”Jennifer: “First of all how can you say this when you don’t even know Ted Haggard or his family?” It wasn’t a reference to either Ted haggard or his family. It is the lies, myths and delusions promulgated on these boards about gay people I referred to.”Secondly, the church does not just blindly follow their leaders.” Pshaw. New Life Church certainly did. As do the ‘churches’ of Jerry Foulwell, Jimmy (2 wh0res) Swaggart, Pat “take him out” Robertson. etc. “in the last few decades more christians have read and researched their Bibles to find evidence to support its validity.” And they wilfully or blindly ignore the contradictions found within it too. “If you would like to know where the Bible specifically condemns homosexuality it is listed in both the old testament and new testament.” I already DO know about the Leviticus passages, but Leviticus also tells us not to eat shrimp or lobster (they’re an ABOMINATION, dontcha know). It also tells us to put disobedient children to death. It also tells us to deny communion to the disabled. It also tells us to put the victims of incest to death. But we don’t do those things in a civilized society. I also already know about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and how the church continues to misidentify the sin of Sodom as homosexuality, when, in fact, Ezekeiel tells us that the true sin of Sodom was inhospitality. I also already know that the New Testament (specifically Paul) condemns certain same-sex behaviours, but he also tells us that women shouldn’t be preachers or teachers, and that it was okay to own slaves. We don’t do THAT either in a civilized society.”Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9Now you’re just talking semantics. My Bible has completely different words – “nor effeminate” [guess that wouldmean Karl Rove ain't getting into Heaven, and thank God for THAT, I say], nor abusers of themselves with mankind”. (In fact, there’s NO usage at all of the word homosexual in my bible, so we’d need to know which ‘version’ o fthe Bible you’re quoting from.) “When the Lord was speaking to Moses he said: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” ~ Leviticus 18:22 So it is clearly stated in the Bible homosexuality is wrong.” See above already covered re different versions – my Bible (the KJV, btw) says “abomination” not “destestable” – and then check out what Leviticus says about eating shrimp and lobster – equally an ABOMINATION.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted November 9, 2006 at 6:52 pm


more to Jennifer, “Hypocrisy is also a sin. And Jesus himself strongly warns against it. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” etc. etc. Yes, I agree. It is the hypocrisy of one Ted Haggard and one New Life Church (and a few other churches) that we despise. Thanx 4 the agreement. “But the purpose of the law is to give us a mirror and show us who we really are..sinners desperately in need of a savior.” But what of people who do not share your faith view, Jennifer? You speak of the “law” (when I think you mean the Bible or your religious tenets), but what of people who follow OTHER religious laws/tenets, or none at all? You sure can preach. Too bad I see no humility nor any sense3 of Christian compassion or charity in your words. “So why should any of us believe the Bible? you ask..” Actually, I ask WHICH Bible one should believe – the one that says Jonathan and David stripped naked and embraced until one ‘exceeded’ [you're not gonna like what 'exceeded' means, jenn], or the version that says (and I’m NOT kidding aobut this) “they sadly shook hands”??? “Yes. It does take a step of faith to believe all this.” And what make you think you have the right ot impose YOUR faith on others? “There is so much evidence to support the validity of the Bible it isn’t even funny.” There is so much evidence that there are many many inconsistencies and self-contradictions found in the bible that it sorta IS funny. “There is all kind of historical, acheological and circumstantial evidence to support the validity of the gospels.” Do you mean only the 4 “Gospels” that we have left to us in the Protestant Bible, or all those other Gospels that were declared ‘Gnostic’? Just askin’.”I didn’t necessarily mean for this to become a preaching”- Aw come on, Jennifer. Sure you did. (You sure did enough of it.) “but I wanted to say what we believe and why we believe it.” Trust me, I understand not only what you believe, but also why you believe it. My question to you is, why do your religious beliefs trump mine? Do we, or do we NOT, have freedom of religion? If we do, why should you get to impose your beliefs into secular law, governing people who are not necessarily members of your particular faith? It’s a serious question, Jennifer, and I truly would like an answer. “Whether or not the allegations about Ted Haggard are true” – Whether or NOT???!!! On what planet do you reside, my dear? “Non-believers – I strongly suggest you re-examine your beliefs.” – There you go again, insisting we believe what you believe. Stuff it, I say. “Really study this stuff with an open mind.” – I really don’t think you know much about ‘open minds’, Jennifer. “Jesus’ claims are serious and should not be taken lightly.” – Should Jews beleive His words? Should Buddhists? Muslims? Such spiritual arrogance! “There is a reason christians believe the way they do. We’re not idiots and we do not follow blindly.” – No? “Stop casting stones.” – You first, Jennifer. You first. “I am not saying Ted Haggard wasn’t preaching the truth” – I am. “Pray for each other because Ted Haggard is not the only man who stuggles with this kind.” – If people were a little less judgemental and less hypocritical, maybe the ‘struggles’ could stop.



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Karen

posted November 10, 2006 at 7:19 am


anonymous & curiouser, How do you sleep at night? I think the real issue is RELIGION!! Have you ever asked Jesus into your heart and life? What I have is a personal relationship, a friendship with Jesus. He is the one who gives us the PEACE that passes All understanding. He came to not only give His life as a sacrifice to God to pay for ALL of OUR sins, but also to bridge the gap that leads us to and gives us access to the Father. When we recieve Jesus and believe He is who He says He is (Gods only Son) and did what He did (gave His life for us) we have freedom. God also gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to live within us. The Holy Spirit helps us (pathetic human beings who seem to be caught up in every thing but God our creater, who created us in His image, with a brain, a mind, a heart, soul, and body that functions miraculously,) to have an awesome life with Christ. Awesome does not mean perfect, with out struggles and difficulties. But I can say this with complete assurance, my life with Christ for 20+ years just keeps getting better and better. Perfect, no way I have a boat load of problems that come with life. Finances, car problems, job, marriage, children, extended family, I have it all. However, I used to handle these problems with drugs, alcohol, sexuall imorallity, stealing, lieing and just not being a nice person. And the guilt and shame and suicidal thoughts that came with that life style I had, are no longer. That’s PEACE ! And it was Jesus who set me free from all of that. One day a long time ago, I asked God if Jesus was real and could He really change my life? I wanted Jesus to come in and change it, but I didn’t know if what I had heard was true and if Jesus could or would do that for me. I thank Him everyday, still, that Jesus did just that. Again, I still have problems, but I handle them with prayers, thanksgiving and worship instead of booze, drugs, sex and the other things I mentioned. You might want to give Jesus a try, not religion. We can not put our trust in man, and Pastor Ted is a perfect example of that. But wait, I said I love Pastor Ted and his family, that’s right I do, because none of us are perfect or blameless we are mere human beings trying to live our lives here on earth the best way we know how. And we are only forgiven for our imperfect lives by the Grace of God. Lastly, about the gay people you defend so well, good for you, Jesus loves them too, we are all His children. You know what else? My brother in law is gay and I love him dearly, so was one of my best friends who died in 1993 from aids, I also have other gay friends who I love and when I was a little girl my mom had gay friends and we went to their house all the time because they were nice people. So before you say all christians hate gays, think about me and try not to be so judgemental. We can only meet others in love, otherwise, we ourselves are no better. P.S. I am not an angry person. I truly have been blessed with the Peace the passes all understanding. My friends are amazed that I don’t get all stressed out over lifes issues. I trust Jesus to help me with thoes, and He always does. May God richley bless you. Karen



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Karen

posted November 10, 2006 at 7:51 am


For all of you who would like to get a glimps of what New Life Church is really like without going there, check out http://www.denverchannel.com click on more videos in the middle of the page, scroll down on the right side of the list until you see New Lfe Church Sunday service Nov.5th. This is the first service after Pastor Ted was removed, (just 2 days later). It’s quite interesting to see so many (who were thought by some to be following their leader, Pastor Ted blindly) if that were the case, the church would have been empty right? However it was just the opposite, it was over flowing (standing room only)and people who wanted to see what was going to happen now that we lost our beloved Pastor Ted were in for a surprize. You see, we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, not in a man on the pulpit. I dare you to check it out and see how we (New Lifers) love God and love All of Gods children. We don’t judge them because we were either there ourselves or know someone who is. Enjoy P.S. I’de be interested in your comments for thoes of you who visit the Sunday service. To be honest, the first time I went to New Life Church it wasn’t what I thought church was “suposed to be like” and I love that about New Life. Please keep us in your prayes. Thanks



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted November 10, 2006 at 8:48 pm


Karen, “How do you sleep at night?” – Just fine, thanx 4 askin’. “I think the real issue is RELIGION!!” You mean the real cause of all this kaffuffle. I agree – it’s religion. “Have you ever asked Jesus into your heart and life?” Yes, at the tender age of 8. Repeated it again at the age of 12. Have a Robert Raikes 17 year perfect attendance in Sunday School diploma from the Pentecostal Church. Went to a Lutheran University. Became a Deacon in my Church. Ran the Sunday Suppers program for 4 years for those who couldn’t afford a meal. Was the first to serve in an AIDS ministry. I tithe my time, treasure and my talents. I give to the poor. I give clothes to the ‘naked’. I visit the sick and the imprisoned. I have an earnest prayer life. I’ve sung in the choir. I’ve got down on my hands and knees to scrub the Church floors. I’ve collected and distributed Toys for Tots and mittens, scarves and coats for the homeless. To use your own words, my life with Christ for 50+ years just keeps getting better and better. Thanks for asking. “What I have is a personal relationship, a friendship with Jesus.” Me too, hon’. Me too. “He is the one who gives us the PEACE that passes All understanding.” I agree. And then along comes some so-called “christian” who tries to take that peace away from me. Go figure. As for the rest of your preaching, sorry, but i get enough of it from mny own Church, and it sure is a lot less judgemental than your preaching. “God also gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to live within us.” Odd, but I see none of that in your ‘witness’, only judgement and a whole lot of holier-than-thou-edness. “You might want to give Jesus a try, not religion.” I have BOTH, but thanx 4 your ‘concern’. “Lastly, about the gay people you defend so well, good for you, Jesus loves them too, we are all His children.” Thanks. I already knew that though. “So before you say all christians hate gays” I have NEVER said that. “think about me and try not to be so judgemental.” You go first, hon’. “P.S. I am not an angry person.” Then why your diatribe to me? May God richly bless you, too, but I hope you’ll do better to explain why you would ask how I sleep at night.



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Karen

posted November 10, 2006 at 10:58 pm


curiouser and curiouser, Please enlighten me, what is it that you see, that I am being so judgemental about? Also, I am not denouncing you, I simply asked a question as to whether you had ever asked Jesus into your heart and shared what he has done for me. Jesus says, we will be known by our fruit. it seems like you have bushells. Praise be to God.



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Clearsound

posted November 13, 2006 at 2:32 am


I find it interesting that of course, the blame is being put at the foot of the Democrats , trying for a last minute attack on the neo-christian right. Are you serious? Yes, everybody falls. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone puts themselves out there, in the spotlight that Mr Haggard seemed to CRAVE telling people what they shouldn’t do, and of course, the whole time they are right out there doing it. Here is man, who puts himself above others, for the sole purpose of “having power” . As a christian, I know I am not perfect, nor do I expect others to be. Jesus said we will never be able to match his perfection. And we won’t. BUT , when will the churches who spend so much time, energy and money to “play ” in the game of politics, understand that politics is not their primary purpose? The purpose of a church is to with other christians in the joy of jesus as our savior. Not to get elected , or elect people of power. Jesus had little tolerance of poltics or people in power. Why should he? He was power. Instead, he spent time with those who needed him and had the faith in him. Not people pushing their agenda, or quest for power. The message of Jesus was to come to him by ones own choice, not by bombs, wars, bullets or people who could force him on others. I am a christian by my faith in Jesus,not by force. When will today’s church understand that? These days, in alot of churches, not all, if a person were to walk into a church, dirty, smelling, hungry, drunk, sick, what would the reaction be? How many people would run up to this person to offer real comfort? Not many, sadly. Yet, these were the people who jesus chose to be with, and comfort. Why have today’s churches forgotten this? Instead, it is now to force a congregations views of their jesus on others by laws. Or who gets appointed a judge, or massive campaings to force their views on others. This is NOT the message of Jesus !!!! I would hope that you that think this was some conspiracy, would now admit the truth. It was his own choice to be in this postion. Be it demons in his head, giving into the temptation of power, or some other factor, the fact remains he made a wrong choice. Jesus called them hypocrits, which in latin means and actor.I find it odd that HE himself didn’t stand on the pulpit, and admit to his flock his mistakes. That is the first step to forgivness, and as a christian, I do indeed have in my heart to forgive. BUT , he didn’t, or they wouldn’t let him, as they were more concerned with how this would affect the church, or their political base, which is EXACTLY the problem that creates this stuff. The CHURCH should appolgize, and allow Mr Haggard to appoligize to all the people he hurt with his retoric. Only then, can true forgiveness happen. I would hope that the churches who are more interested in the worship of God, and his son Jesus Christ, stop their force of faith, and spend more time practicing it. As for me, I will pray for Mr Haggart and his family, and hope that he can return to his love of Christ, with a true heart, no matter if he is gay or not !



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted November 13, 2006 at 9:40 pm


Karen, “Please enlighten me, what is it that you see, that I am being so judgemental about?” Well for starters, there was that little judgmental question of yours, “Have you ever asked Jesus into your heart and life?” You assumed I hadn’t. When you said, “What I have is a personal relationship, a friendship with Jesus.”, you assumed I don’t. When you said, “You might want to give Jesus a try, not religion.”, you assumed I hadn’t. “So before you say all christians hate gays” assumes 2 false things – 1. that I am not a Christian, and 2. that I believe all Christians hate gays. Like Jennifer above, who said, “Non-believers – I strongly suggest you re-examine your beliefs.”, there is this basic, FALSE assumption that I am a non-believer, and that all gay people are automatically non-believers. If it isn’t judgemental, it is certainly arrogant.



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Khartoba

posted July 19, 2007 at 10:15 am


Are David and everyone here who commented really this delusional? The ONLY thing Ted is sorry about is getting caught. There is nothing more evil than a person doing evil things, yet they portray themselves as good and representatives of God. For those of you who think Ted is strong and brave for taking responsibility- again it’s only because he was caught. True character would have been defined as him having come forth long before his accuser did.



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Galileo

posted July 27, 2007 at 8:31 am


Hi all,
Not one to huff and puff over politics or theology is I, but I am curious about what ever happened to Pastor Ted? Anyone know what he has done with his life since he exited Colorado in disgrace?
How is his family coping?
Curious



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