J Walking

J Walking

…the true importance of Ted Haggard

posted by J-Walking

My colleague and friend Patton Dodd wrote a beautiful article for the Financial Times. It is titled simply, “My pastor disgraced our church.” Please read. My favorite paragraph:

Even when I winced over things Pastor Ted would say as a representative of evangelicals, even when I wished he’d focus on poor people rather than Republican party priorities, even when I wanted his theology to resemble that of Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Karl Barth instead of Oral Roberts, Pastor Ted was a man I was glad to call a friend. He’s still a friend now. Anything less would be a paltry definition of love. Love rejoices with the truth, wrote St. Paul, which means that anyone who loves Pastor Ted has to tell the full story – especially to themselves.

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posted December 21, 2006 at 9:50 pm

I am totally disturbed by the title of the article (very sensationalistic) and and the article didn’t have any “meat” to it. What does this mean: “Love rejoices with the truth, wrote St. Paul, which means that anyone who loves Pastor Ted has to tell the full story – especially to themselves.” What am I not getting?

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posted December 22, 2006 at 2:44 pm

When is it OK for a sinner to say sin is OK? Cannot a burglar testify against another robber?Must we all be liars? When is it OK for a sinner to encourage and promote “to others” that “they” can sin? Grow up David. Get OUT of politics. “ALL of us, like sheep, have gone astray.” RIGHT David? But only “some” of us encourage and tell others it is OK to be a sinner. It is OK to sin, and rejoice in their sins. Just throw a sandwich to a homeless person as you drive by in your $30,000 fully loaded Prius.Mary Cheney ring a bell David? You celebtate what is not celebrated anywhere in scripture. In-vitro adultery is still adultery. Forgiven yes. Promoted no.Is it “in your world” OK to say you were born that way, or that you have some clinically diagnosed disorder to find an excuse for every action and behavior to be OK’d?Consequences are so evil David? Or do we encourgae sin “and” the sinner in hopes of landing on the New York Times Best seller list? Heck, I’ll get busy writing popular heretical books right now. I’ll not repent by gathering around me those that will scratch my itching ears. People who do that are recorded in the Bible. They are called “false” teachers in the Bible, David.(Ever followed the life – from beginning to end – of your namesake?)Today we call them psychologists and legislators, liberals and progressives who champion sinning. Though Darwin forbid, we ever say that in “educated circles.”Yoy can write as many books as you want to David, and not preach at all. You’ll get rich. Something I would adise you to do if I were to not care about the people you would lead astray.My advice for “as a Christian” would be to repent of yoking yourself with unbelievers and their Godless desires, and get rewarded for preaching to the lost. Though as Jesus is quoted as saying, you’ll have to wait to see them “in heaven.” Obviously, God has put you in the place you find yourself.He also did the same for Herod, Pilate . . ., John Dominic Crossan, John Spong, Jim Wallis and Mel White. And the quiet Pastor down at the quiet Church of twenty parisioners. Ever read the letters of James, Jude, John and Peter? Please re-read them after the Christmas season is long over. Yes david, I do realize they talk to the GOP “too.” If I didn’t care about you and what you are doing, I would remain silent in my comfy chair at Barnes and Noble quaffing my newest tasty coffee. Or I would register as a Democrat. I am now registered as an “independent.”

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posted December 22, 2006 at 3:43 pm

David, IF you ever turn off comments (ala other bloggers who attract people with strong opinions), then I won’t blame you. I appreciate the way Sullivan incorporates readers’ emails into his posts. It’s very effective, and it’s clearly HIS blog. I’m sure you’ve thought about this and know there are many examples both ways. Speaking for myself, I find myself showing up to see what you have to say, reading the post, but then getting distracted and even weighed down by the comments which often don’t address or build on what you’ve written. It’s so easy to get sucked into responding, partly because I don’t want you to feel abandoned to the sharks and trolls. But this is not something that feels healthy or wise to do for the long term. I’m sure I don’t need to explain more than that. I just want you to know that you have my full support if you simply turn them off (or moderate them if you can stomach playing that role). Of course, in that case I hope you’ll post an email address and make an effort to stay in touch with your readers that way. By the way, I can relate to what the guy is saying. I met and interviewed Ted Haggard once. He even gave me a free book that I read. I had a very high impression of him and dropped by the church other times when I was in that city. Then one year I attended on a Sunday just before or after the 4th of July and they had a patriotic love fest of God, country, and “the troops” complete with fireworks. It felt like the worship of the “god of america” not the Jesus of the Bible. All the same, Ted Haggard is just a guy who really needs some true friends in his corner right now. I hope he has them. Deb – I don’t think writers choose the titles of their own articles (editors do that). It seems the “full story” means including the human side, not just the “pastor takes fall” story and other one-dimensional narratives that fit a typical news story.

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posted December 22, 2006 at 5:04 pm

Andy, I am sorry, but when I saw that title it just really disturbed me. I don’t even know what it had to do with the article. If you look down further on this site David has two other posts about Ted Haggard’s church (about the fall of another person at their church). Someone posted a very wonderful story from the New York Times that relates to Ted.

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posted December 23, 2006 at 2:30 am

No offense intended, really. The reason I responded to your comment was because I thought it related to the post (a good thing) and was worth conversing with.Without regard for particular people, I just don’t think that the comments have helped the blog work better. I think incorporating quotes from reader emails would be a more effective way for David to make this blog participatory and balanced.

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posted December 24, 2006 at 5:19 pm

Did Haggard ever preach to encourage others to sin? To promote it? Big difference between Ted Haggard and Jim Wallis then.

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curiouser and curiouser...

posted December 27, 2006 at 5:47 pm

Donny, there seems to be a big leson that you have failed to learn from the Scriptures you say you love so much: Let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone. It seems you need reminding, you are NOT in charge of the stones.

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posted December 28, 2006 at 1:02 pm

My perspective, aligns well with scripture. I haven’t judged Haggard or anyone else.Their confession of sinning has though. What many “on the left” look for in a person like Haggard’s “falling” is the hope that they can silence the message of repentance. Peter and Paul, were sinners and still preaached the Gospel of salbvation and the forgiveness of sins. I never read, “in the scriptures,” I do love so much. anywhere, where a sinner promoted and preached to others to sin. I know how desperately some kinds of people want Christianity and their sins to mix so well, but, that is not the message of the Gospels. Ask Haggard’s Church.Or, better yet, read the New Testament. No matter who sins, there is no excuse for it. But there is always repentance and forgiveness in reality. How does it go in science? For every action there is an equal and oppositite reaction. The lesson to be learned from Ted Haggard, is that sin happens. So does admitting it, repenting and trying as hard as possible to go and sin no more. Love means not ignoring truth.

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