O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith


The Strange Journey of Ted Haggard

posted by Jason Boyett

I’ve been intrigued by the journey of disgraced evangelical preacher Ted Haggard, which keeps inching its way into the news cycle but never really gains as much traction as I think it deserves.

tedhaggard.jpgA brief timeline:

1984
Haggard founds New Life Church in Colorado Springs. It grows from 22 people meeting in the basement of his house into a megachurch of 14,000 members.

2003
Haggard is named leader of the National Association of Evangelicals. He advises President George W. Bush and is considered a highly influential voice among conservatives due to his stature in the evangelical community.

2006
A prostitute named Mike Jones alleges that Haggard paid him for sex and used meth. Jones came forward to expose Haggard’s hypocrisy, since the pastor had publicly supported an amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Colorado. Haggard fesses up to some of the allegations, steps down from his pastoral position at New Life, resigns as president of the NAE, and generally puts his family and church through the whole big media scandal machine.

2007
Haggard moves his family to Arizona for “spiritual restoration” but ends it early with the approval of a team of advisors who are walking with him through the process. As part of his severance package with New Life, he agrees not to start a new church in the Colorado Springs area.

2008
The severance deal with New Life ends and Haggard returns to Colorado Springs. He starts a career selling insurance.

2009
Other allegations surface, including one from a young male church member who alleges inappropriate, non-consensual activities back in 2006. New Life reaches a six-figure settlement with him. The HBO documentary The Trials of Ted Haggard is released by Alexandra Pelosi. Haggard and his wife, Gayle, make the media rounds to apologize for the scandal and tell their side of the story. (Ted wanted Gayle to divorce him. She decided to stay.) In November, they hold standing-room-only prayer meetings in their home, and Haggard refers to them as “church gatherings,” but he denies that they’re starting a church.

2010
In January, Gayle Haggard publishes a book, titled Why I Stayed. In April, Haggard files papers in Colorado to incorporate a nonprofit called “St. James Church,” with his and Gayle’s home address in the documentation. In May, when asked if that meant he was starting a church, he says no, revealing that the incorporation is an accounting vehicle for his speaking income and traveling fees. When asked if “St. James Church” might someday become a congregation, he says “there’s no way to know the future.”

Then, on June 2, he announces that he is indeed starting a church: St. James Church, where, he says, “Everyone is welcome: Democrat, Republican, gay, straight, bi, addicts,
tall, short.” At the press conference, he’s backed by his family members and, oddly enough, a documentary team. Oh.

———–

I’m all for grace, mercy, restoration, and love for sinners, because everybody screws up. I’m also a big believer that people who know failure intimately are best equipped to minister to other failures. That makes a lot of sense, and it fits pretty neatly into the message of the Gospel.

But Haggard’s journey raises several red flags for me:

1. Is three years long enough for Haggard to “get better”? Is he returning to the pulpit and church leadership too soon? He was exposed for having some pretty serious moral, spiritual, and psychological problems, and then he ended his “restoration period” early. That gives me pause.

2. It seems to me that one of his big problems is/was dishonesty. Whether or not he identified himself as a homosexual, he definitely fought some same-sex urges at the same time he led a church and an organization that publicly disapproved of homosexuality. Yes, it’s hypocrisy but it’s also dishonest. Like the previously discussed clergy who don’t believe, he was wearing a mask in front of the people he was supposed to be leading. In a religious system built upon a figure who called himself “the way, the truth, and the life,” a lifestyle built upon a lie is a big problem.

3. The dishonesty seems to be continuing, isn’t it? He denied that “St. James Church” was the first step toward starting a church…until announcing it was exactly that three weeks later. Why? Why not be honest about that from the beginning? Maybe I’m being a little too morally straight here, but is it a good idea to start a church with a lie?

Update: My friend Mike Foster, at People of the Second Chance, knows Ted and Gayle Haggard and writes, “I love and support these two people without reservation.” I love what Mike does and am inclined to trust his judgment — especially in situations where he clearly knows more than I do. And of course, as a Christian, I think it’s important to love the Haggards. But I have to stop short of the “without reservation” part. From where I stand, I definitely have a few reservations.

Update #2: Yes, that’s the real Ted Haggard who commented at 2:09 pm today. We have conversed with each other via email this afternoon. I won’t recap our private conversation, but I did ask him if he’d be willing to clarify or answer to the “presuppositions” he said I’d gotten wrong — I suggested an interview or even a guest post — but he has declined.  

———–

Lots of issues here. What do you think?



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Brian Lucas

posted June 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm


Thanks, Jason. I love the commentary here. As a Youth Pastor, I appreciate the call to a higher moral code. I mean, really, what are we doing as a church if we can’t at least be honest and try to live the way God called us to live. Confession, repentance, openness, prayer, humility. These are all aspects that seem to be missing from Haggard’s life story. Sad.



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Jennifer

posted June 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm


Love love LOVE this post! I feel the same way. I’m ALL about people getting a fresh start…and even being able to minister in a whole new way because of things they’ve been through…but this whole situation has made me cringe from the beginning. It bothers me greatly that he can’t stay out of the media. I’m from Colorado Springs, so maybe we saw it more than most people…but really, you could set your watch to his media appearances. In fact…just 2 wks before the “church announcement” I even said to a friend…”Hmmm, Ted hasn’t been in the news for a while, I bet he’s going to find a way to be back in it at any moment.” And sure enough…
The hypocrisy and dishonesty greatly bothers me. And I don’t think those issues have been addressed or settled in any way. And his whole mantra for the new church…”Everyone is welcome: Democrat, Republican, gay, straight, bi, addicts, tall, short.” Did he not say that while at New Life? It wasn’t true then…is it really true now?
I don’t get it.
I truly hope he finds the peace…healing…and wholeness he needs. But I’m wondering if that can really be done while constantly keeping yourself in the limelight.



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Danny Bixby

posted June 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm


I’ve liked a lot of what I’ve heard from Ted Haggard recently, at least as I’ve seen through Mike Foster’s blog over at http://www.potsc.com/
But as you so succinctly put up, there are lots of reasons that give me pause.
I hope things work out, and that he really is ready for what he’s trying to do. Or waits until he is.



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Jason Boyett

posted June 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm


Thanks for the link, Danny. I didn’t know Mike knew the Haggards, and have updated my post to get that note in there. I like Mike a lot and tend to trust him.
For the record, I’m usually a cheerleader on the side of grace: If I’m going to be wrong, let it be that I show too much grace rather than too much judgment.
But the public dishonesty in this case really gives me pause. If we’re going to show radical grace, can we not also ask for radical integrity and transparency?



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Joshua Skogerboe

posted June 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm


Hi Jason. Thanks so much for this helpful post. It really helps to clarify the timeline. I also heard about the Ted Haggard news from Mike Foster. It raised all kinds of conflicting emotions in me… my grace and justice sides wrestling with each other. I posted about it on my blog as well a few days ago and there is a fairly vigorous (and well informed)debate raging there in the comments. You can find it at http://www.jskogerboe.com/?p=960
I’d like to link to this post as well. You did a beautiful job of condensing the major bullet points into an understandable timeline. Good thoughts to follow up as well. Thank you. I always appreciate you, Jason. God bless.



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Kristian

posted June 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm


If the man is gay, why doesn’t he just get a divorce and live like his god built him to live? Denying your own sexual identity hardly helps anyone.



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Brandon G. Smith

posted June 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm


I have a friend who has talked to Ted personally after he left New Life. He, like Mike, says he doesn’t question Ted’s heart whatsoever. I’m like you though, Jason. While I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and am absolutely rooting for his success, I am a little cautious. Only time will truly tell if he’s genuinely healed and ready for this.



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Manny Cabrera

posted June 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm


I am from a very liberal town (Miami). I have been a christian for 10 years. Most people who know me know I am very tolerable when it comes to most things. But this situation is not something I have much tolerance for.
Ted Haggard the regular dude (not the pastor) deserves complete grace and love. But Ted Haggard the pastor, I have no respect for and no tolerance for. There is a higher standard for people who want to preach Gods word, it just comes with the position, he knew that going in. When your salary and Godliness are connected, it gets shady. Because if you or me messes up, we repent and we move on. When a big time pastor messes up (Meth and Gay prostitutes is a big mess up!) He loses he’s source of income. It’s bad yes but the consequences none the less. So in my eyes I can’t help but the think the dudes is low on money and the one thing he is really good at he can’t do anymore. Sorry Ted but you need to be an usher or just a church member before you jump back to pastor.



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jrbcolorado

posted June 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm


What bothers me about his latest startup is he is doing it in the backyard of his old church. You can see New Life Church clearly from his front yard. I think its poor judgement to start a new church in the same town. I feel for Brady, New Life’s current pastor. Why doesnt Ted take into account the affect he has on this church and start his new program in another city?
FYI: I am not a member of New Life Church so I’m saying this from the point of view of an outsider.



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Ted Haggard

posted June 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm


I appreciate these thoughts, but too many of the presuppositions are not based in fact. Obviously this is not based in primary sources that have proven to be credible. Before you think you are waxing eloquent, note the materials in the 9 published books of mine, the 30 years of sermons that were rocorded, the impeckable record of financial integrity at New Life Church, Worldprayerteam.org, the Association of Life-Giving Churches, and the National Association of Evangelicals while I was in leadership; Gayle’s book, “Why I Stayed;” and tedhaggard.com that offers facts when you click on the “healing overview” and “Saint James Church.”
I think your comments and blog would be valid if it were based on more facts. But with a wrong set of presuppositions, it’s virtually impossible to have reasonable discussion and certainly difficult to have responsible conclusions.



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mike foster

posted June 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm


love your post jason..and always appreciate your thoughtful comments…
i do stand by ted and gayle and wish them the best with St James….i know they are going to provide value in a lot of peoples lives…i have no doubt of their love for God and people…especially broken people…
i also know they will disappoint many along this journey…mistakes will be made…im sure the christian community will have a bunch of opportunities to say “I told you so Mike. Look how they screwed up again.”…
but im 100% comfortable taking a risk on standing with these 2 people…giving them the benefit of the doubt…cheerleading them on this journey…wanting the best for them and their family…and ultimately showing love as best as i can…
i dont know much about life but i have learned along the way that our failures are messy…but so is grace…and maybe we need to become a little more comfortable with the fact that christian leadership, sexuality, and God’s redemptive plan doesnt fit into our nice little understandable boxes…
in closing i truly believe followers of Christ will not be known for what type of churches or ministries we have started or destroyed…but ultimately how we have loved and treated one another in the midst of it all….that will be Christianity’s greatest moment or our biggest regret…
peace….
mike foster
People of the Second Chance



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Skeet

posted June 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm


Jason,
Thanks for the thoughtful post.
Ted,
Thanks for the courageous response. I read the healing overview on your website, and am moved with compassion for your family.
One thing that Jason points out is an issue of honesty. I wonder did you deny the intention to start a Church in the Colorado Springs area? It appears that you sensed the Spirit moving you in that direction for a while now,yet have been reported to have denied that intent.
I understand that you have been unfairly treated, but wonder if this was another case of misinformation.



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Lauren-Marie

posted June 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm


I think the bottom line is dishonesty. Dishonest people don’t fess up or apologize they cover up the dishonesty with more lies and by changing the subject. I’m just sayin…



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Jason Boyett

posted June 8, 2010 at 4:08 pm


For what it’s worth, I THINK that’s really Ted Haggard who commented. It’s not too difficult to fake an identity on here, though, so I’m trying to confirm it.



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Evan

posted June 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm


If that really is him it yet again signals a dangerous avoidance of the truth and the facts. To simply claim your years of service and the books you’ve written as a testament to your character and ignore certain elements is way too convenient and frankly not much different than that joke of minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright.



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Greg C.

posted June 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm


Though dishonesty IS an issue, one IS able to break free from the chains of dishonesty. I would hate for us to put Ted Haggard in a box and not allow him to change by the healing power of God. We ARE new creations. And He is NOT finished with us yet.



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Josh Wood

posted June 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm


Great post. I too have been following the odd journey of Ted Haggard since the scandal broke. I’m curious what “presuppositions not based in fact” Ted Haggard or fake Ted Haggard is referring to. That is pretty much the timeline of the story that I have been following.
I agree that the issue here is honesty in leadership. In my mind, shortcomings don’t necessarily void God-inspired wisdom of the past (there is much to be found in Haggard’s book Dog Training, Fly Fishing, & Sharing Christ by the way).
My questions: was his former church aware of the new church start-up? I think I can argue that, given the extenuating circumstances, they should have been allowed input–not on a legal basis, but on a moral and Spiritual basis.
If the former church was not consulted, is the reason rooted in a tiny bit of dishonesty?
If the former church was consulted, what was their response? This could shed some light on a pretty powerful redemptive story.



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Mike D'Amico, member of New Life @Nov 2006

posted June 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm


Looking over resumes here, I’m not seeing too many with “outreach to homosexuals” as the career objective. And of those that do have it, few would offer as much recent experience in dealing with the political opposition that goes with the job. So, unless you’re willing to open your home as a place for people with sexual identity problems to find the healing of Jesus, then I suggest you drop your stones. The church has more than enough resumes with career objectives that state: “Critic of the Church.” And honestly, I don’t think that the Hiring Manager has posted any new openings. However, if just one homosexual goes to St. James Church and finds the strength to stand against the intolerance of the homosexual community toward his or her CHOICE to become HETEROSEXUAL again, then I don’t care what you can see from that church’s front porch. New Life should be sheltering the movement of this fledgling church until it is strong enough to have an outreach church plant in San Francisco, et al.
And besides that, I think that Gayle is a pretty good barometer regarding Ted’s heterosexuality. When she has had enough is probably when former gays seeking to become heterosexual should find another church.



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Geoff

posted June 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm


Quote from “Ted Haggard”, who I hope is the real one, as this is really interesting:
“I think your comments and blog would be valid if it were based on more facts. But with a wrong set of presuppositions, it’s virtually impossible to have reasonable discussion and certainly difficult to have responsible conclusions.”
Ted – I’m a physicist by training and an atheist by conviction. I’m also a Christian by tradition and upbringing….basically I was brought up with Christianity as my default religion, but encouraged to think outside the box as it were.
I find myself diametrically opposed to your views on this blog. You refer to a “wrong set of presuppositions”, and I agree entirely – Jason and I both start from exactly the opposite ends of a spectrum, he believes in a (Christian) God, and I don’t. Despite that we seem to have come to the same conclusions about life, religion and faith in general; that is, it’s incredibly important to be able to argue about these things in a rational way.
There may well be no “responsible conclusions” as far as my theological disagreements with Jason go, because my philosophy and his are fundamentally and from the first basic axiom incompatible. However, as far as “reasonable discussion” goes this blog is what I’ve been looking for as an atheist who wants to enjoy intelligent discussion over the differences and similarities between modern physics (my field) and modern theology (his).
We disagree, we accept that, and the result is a driving force towards “more facts”. It’s a fantastically useful and open forum for *useful* debate, when all too often these days we simply have extremist religious types (of various denomination) fighting extremist atheist types.
I honestly hope you’re the real Ted Haggard, and I honestly hope you’ll stick around and participate in some discussion.
Best,
Geoff



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mpt

posted June 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm


Dear Ted,
Honesty is sometimes difficult for many of us.
Using spell-check is not.



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Jason Boyett

posted June 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm


Mike:
I can’t speak for commenters, but I have no problem with Haggard trying to minister to homosexuals or anyone else. I think he’s uniquely equipped to do so — and I hope he is able to do so. I love the proposed inclusiveness of his new church. In fact, I think every church should be that way.
My biggest issue (and the more I think about it, the more it bothers me) is the lack of transparency with announcing the new church. I don’t understand this move, unless it was purely a PR decision designed to intensify the impact of the press conference. And if that’s the case, it gives me the willies.



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Alise

posted June 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm


While Manny’s post is a bit more direct than I would probably be, I tend to agree with his separation between Ted Haggard the man and Ted Haggard the minister. I’ve seen two pastors (with far smaller impact than Rev. Haggard) completely implode after insufficiently dealing with their struggles. Honestly, I don’t believe either of them continued to struggle with the exact some problem, but the ROOT was the same. One drank instead of dealing with his stress. I don’t believe that he drinks any more, but he still doesn’t deal with stress in a healthy manner at all and it’s still damaging to others because he never really learned to deal with the root issue. Another had a serious anger problem. Later it turned into deep, debilitating depression. Not the same problem, but when the root was never dealt with, it had the same kind of result.
God’s grace doesn’t mean that there aren’t still very real consequences. Trying to shortcut the process strikes me as setting up for failure.



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Tom Patterson

posted June 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm


Ministry to homosexuals seems like a really really unfunny punchline from Ted Haggard. And, I say this as one of those homosexuals. The last person I want to hear from about his beliefs is Ted Haggard, and that has nothing to do with who he snorted whatever off of. It has to do with his lack of honesty. And,it is incredibly naive/ignorant to assume that a wife is a barometer of someone’s sexuality. I won’t share with you how I know this, or how many times it’s been proven to me an inaccurate supposition. Also, how ironic is it to note that someone should put down their “stone” when in the next two sentences, you cast your own stones? Jason, you have a better sense of the definitions of irony than I, I’m sure. Jason, thanks for thinking and challenging others to think. This is where ministry happens, when Christians think and listen to others.



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Hikerdude

posted June 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm


Church of the charlatanism. He is nothing more than a snake oil salesman. There should be laws against his kind.



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Joel

posted June 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm


All can say about any of this is that I’m too screwed up myself to throwing any rocks at Ted Haggard or anyone else. If Ted is truly called to lead a church again, then I can’t help but think it will work out. If he isn’t, well, those things have a way of working out, too.



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sun

posted June 8, 2010 at 6:58 pm


Who are we to judge another person? I believe that if he still feels like he has a call in ministry, then let it be. I just hope he doesn’t bend the truth that is the bible to please the ears of his new followers.
I pray for him, his wife, and everyone who was affected by his actions, but I know that as long as he is trying to spread the gospel without falsifying the word, then I am all for it.
Think about who Jesus chose as his disciples. He chose murderers, tax collectors, average everyday fishermen. He didn’t pick someone who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth, or was born into an inheritance. It’s so we can relate and see that his love is not prejudice to only those who haven’t been put under the spotlight as sinners, but it’s unconditional. I truly believe that a sin is a sin is a sin. There is no level of sin. You lying to your parents about where you’re going at night is just as equally wrong of a sin as murdering the neighbor next to you. You are forgiven by the grace of God who sent his only begotten son, and I truly believe that if Pastor Haggard has repented, then his sins have been washed away by the blood of the Lamb.
Trust me when I say this, but I’m sure if not yourself, there are many more in this world who are quick to point fingers, but would probably go insane if any of their deep secrets, and worldly habits were revealed.



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Ralph K

posted June 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm


ALL Christ followers are taught to test things we hear to the word of God. I consider myself a graceful tester.
In Acts 17 the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
If the Bereans were noble in character for testing Paul, why is there an assumption that those who test, or those who are not convinced with Ted’s authenticity are judgmental and not grace-givers.
Many assumptions have been made about Ted based on his words and not his behavior or actions.
From everything I have read in the Scriptures, God is in charge of reputations. If Ted was submissive to authority in this restoration process, I think the authority appointed over him during this time of restoration would be shouting from the rooftops at the miraculous healing of his marriage and family restored. Instead I have heard nothing from them and I hear Ted defending himself, listing his achievements, and placing himself under his own authority once again.
Jesus was 100% graceful and truthful at all times. Jesus was also 100% submissive to God’s authority at all times. As Jesus submitted, God lifted him up. If we fail to submit to God and our delegated authority, we will strive to prove ourselves and lift ourselves up. Documentaries, press conferences and reality shows seem to be doing just that.
…Jason, I would agree with your reservations, trust your discernment, agree with the facts presented and I would hardly call leaving New Life with multi million dollars in debt, financial integrity.



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Matt Nightingale

posted June 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm


Leave it to Turner to turn an important discussion into a punch line.



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Mike D'Amico, member of New Life @Nov 2006

posted June 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm


Jason, I’m not sure if I’m the Mike you’re responding to, but if so, then I would add this:
My comment presupposed that Ted owned a learned wisdom and obedience regarding homosexual temptation having been disciplined severely and publicly by the hand of God. Hebrews 12 shows just how effective the hand of God is toward those he disciplines.
But your point is well taken. The mistake that Pastor Ted made from a platform of success in 2003-2006 was the lack of transparency with those brothers who were supposed to be his closest confidants in Christ. It was Jesus who made us a nation of priests; confidants one to another per James 5:16 and 1 John 1:9, to affect change in our hearts when we put our trust in the blood of Christ; not only for our own sins, but for our brothers when they confess and repent as God commanded. This did not happen for Ted when he fell into temptation those several times prior to November 2006. (So, God allowed Mike Jones and others to confess it for him…publicly.)
I think that Pastor Ted will be proven wise and ready if he has learned from his mistakes and has affected change. If he has, then right now as we speak he also has a group of godly men surrounding him; priests who are confident that the blood of Christ is the only means to remove the root of sin. Such confidence in us prompts transparency in confession between us. And such will be necessary to avoid temptation should he find himself surrounded only by those men whom he intends to help. God help us if His Word was not followed and struggling former homosexuals find themselves in private settings, holding hands in prayer. The lessons formerly learned should prevent that scenario from occurring.
So, Pastor Ted: We who were subjected to your leadership before don’t care about your thirty years of sermons and all the books you have written. You proved already that those accomplishments were not enough to prevent your fall. What we care about now is what God wrote in your heart when you were disciplined by Him publicly for your secret sins of homosexuality, lying, and drug abuse. Did you FULLY receive the discipline that God gave you, or did you rise up out of your sack cloth and ashes before His Spirit told you to rise? And have you become wise enough that you now have a group of heterosexual and truthful men to hold the confidence of your confessions per James 5:16? Or do you intend to go it alone boldly, in the face of all opposition?
I support you wholeheartedly if you have repented wholeheartedly. It takes courage to minister to homosexuals and there will always be a plethora of those who won’t join in the fight but willingly criticize those who do.



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Felicity

posted June 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm


Well, Mr. Boyett, I bet you didn’t expect THIS conversation today! : )
I have to agree with you that my biggest concern now is that seemingly pointless misdirection with the church announcement. And the way his website reads. I could feel a defensive tone, one that wouldn’t emanate from a truly humble apology. Wish him all the best, but as someone who has been duped by charismatic leaders a time or two, I’d take caution here.



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Chad Estes

posted June 9, 2010 at 12:27 am


Hi Jason,
Thanks for the conversation and for asking questions.
Ted, glad you took the time to respond to Jason’s article. I hope you aren’t finished reading and dialogging here.
I am very encouraged to hear about your gathering and your more open approach to people on their journey. It seems genuinely caring.
That being said, the song and dance around whether or not you were or weren’t starting a church came across rather disingenuous. As you correctly stated, we don’t know all the facts, factors, realities, etc. We are hoping you could fill in the gaps for us. It is hard to know whether to rally behind you and cheer or to stand back in concern. I’m not sure if this makes any sense to you, but some of what you seem frustrated about, in terms of people not getting you, isn’t served well with the modes of communication you have chosen- Oprah, Larry King, the press conferences all have their limits.
Some of us really want to support you, but you aren’t making it very easy on us. I’d rather hear you say you didn’t plan to plant a church but you changed your mind when x, y and z happened. I’d rather hear you be real with us, including how this communication has been somewhat of a boggle. Please give us some real dialog, not the prepared statements.
Thanks,
Chad



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Dania K

posted June 9, 2010 at 12:30 am


The comment that somebody wrote in Ted Haggard’s name is most likely just that: a comment written in his name. The reason I believe this is becuase “impeccable” is mispelled . I highly doubt that an author of nine books would make such a mistake, and it is obvious that this is not a typo. I conclude that Ted Haggard did not post that comment and therefore not engaging anybody here in conversation.



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Jason Boyett

posted June 9, 2010 at 12:44 am


@Dania K:
I can confirm that it’s definitely him, both from having emailed Ted Haggard today (I have access to commenters’ email addresses) and from verifying that email address via two different third-party sources who know me and know him. I contacted him directly to make sure, and we’ve been in touch.
Initially I thought it might be a fake, but I’m am convinced.
Also, many pastors of Haggard’s stature employ ghostwriters and editors to produce their books based on sermon transcripts, etc. I don’t know for sure that this is how Haggard did it. But from someone in the industry (me), it doesn’t surprise me at all for a published author to make spelling errors — especially if commenting from a smart phone.



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Dania K

posted June 9, 2010 at 12:49 am


OK. Thanks for that confirmation.



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David

posted June 9, 2010 at 8:45 am


We Christians do love our fellows in this earthly walk. But you are in the right to be skeptical of recovery and motivation, given the facts as we know them.
Pray for them, but one would be wise not to get caught up in a “ministry” with them.
There is a little something for you over at my place, Jason.



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Kelly

posted June 9, 2010 at 10:53 am


When one wants to re-build trust, they must do it by being 100% transparent. Also, there’s a difference between explaining one’s actions & becoming defensive. If I were the person being discussed in this blog post, I would make an effort to explain my reasoning behind the recent decisions in question, not act as though I am being wrongly accused of something and try to pull in my achievements from before my “troubles” became public.
Actions always speak louder than words. If you truly want to help people, Mr. Haggard, my advice is to go about it quietly, without press conferences & documentary crews.
And I have a question – a previous commenter said something about homosexuals being welcomed to this new church so they can repent & make the choice to become heterosexual. Is this the only way homosexuals are welcomed to this new “not-a-church…oh, wait, yes-it-is-a-church?”. And if so, does that truly represent Jesus’ love for us?



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SueW

posted June 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm


If you go to Ted’s website http://tedhaggard.com/overview.htm he tells his side of the story. He says he’s taken 4 lie detector tests where he passed questions like “did you have more than one se/xual encounter with Jones?” answer – “no”
Second point: his wife did stay with him. I’ve encountered cases where this type of thing went on and if it’s repeated, the spouse leaves like right now. But she didn’t leave and even wrote a book about why she stayed with him.
Third point: what you are attracted to isn’t a sin. Only “DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT” is a sin. He’s apparently fighting it in every way he can.
Fourth point: if your sources were the media, I wouldn’t believe ANYTHING they wrote in a New York minute! I have caught them in so many lies and especially about clergy and the church – one of their favorite topics for attack. They are totally unreliable.
With all of the above I think it might be appropriate to believe him and assume him to be telling the truth. He is – still – innocent until proven guilty and seems to want to make amends for whatever hurt he has caused.
Afterall, church is not a haven for the perfect – it’s a MASH for sinners. Jesus told us that perfect people have no need of a church or a Savior.



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Bryan

posted June 10, 2010 at 8:20 am


I’m just commenting on the whole idea of the “period of restoration”. That’s really a faulty concept that’s of modern development. You don’t see that in scripture. In fact, knowing that Peter would deny him, Jesus instructed him that immediately following his failure he should go join the disciples. The argument is that we should get back on the horse as soon as reasonable.



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Skeet

posted June 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm


Bryan- that would make sense except for the fact that when a Leader no longer meets the qualifications to be an Elder/Overseer they ought not serve in that capacity. The restoration concept is a gracious practice as it allows for someone to have a 2nd shot at leadership after they have once again demonstrated that they are qualified and trustworthy.
You must note that Peter as an Apostle is a little bit unique compared to being an Elder or Pastor of a local body.



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michael bells

posted June 12, 2010 at 9:17 am


Didn’t he agree, as part of the settlement with New Life Church, to NOT start a new church in the area? And now he is doing exactly that.



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wm

posted June 15, 2010 at 9:04 pm


In my opinion, Christians as a people are the most unforgiving people on earth. When Haggard fell, the church should have rushed to lift him up, and embraced him and cover him with love, understanding, empathy, compassion, grace . . . afterall he did confess. Can you imagine the Prodigal Son returning only for the Father to kick him to the curb? Those of you who has never been forgiven of the sin that destine you to hell will not understand this kind of logic or reasoning. But those of us who understands the price Christ paid on the cross for us will find it an honor to be able to demonstrate the gratefulness we have to God for having been forgiven for sins just as grievious as Ted’s and more.



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wm

posted June 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm


I agree with Bryan (Jun 6) If forgiveness requires “a period of restoration”, that’s has at least two implications:
1. Christ didn’t finished the job on the cross when He said it was.
2. Our redemption requires some “work” on our part and God alone cannot restore us.
The reference to qualifications for Overseers and Elders borders on Pharisee-ism if used to be applied as “law”, even for modern day pastors. This reference is served up by Paul as ideal and reality is no man is perfect enough to man the post. Really, which one of the disciples “fully-qualified” to served God, anyway? Which of us as fathers are really qualified to be a father?



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Shelley

posted July 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm


William..I agree with you:
Christians as a people are the most unforgiving people on earth.
This has been my experience as well. I know this is a very general comment but in essence…it has been what I have witnessed over and over again. I was raised a Catholic and attended 13 yrs of Catholic school so I am qualified to make this statement.



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The Atheist Next Door

posted September 26, 2010 at 6:35 pm


Lies? Hipocrisy? I would expect nothing less from the evangelical crowd.



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Minister of the Gospel

posted January 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm


“Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.” (Proverbs 20:11)
I start with a list of some Bible Scripture references, all clearly stating that homosexual behavior is a sin.
Genesis 19; Revelation 21:8; Leviticus 18:22,20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9,13,18, 7:2; Romans 13:13; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
Sin is forgiveable, but only as long as the sinner confesses the sin, asks forgiveness through the blood and sacrifice of Jesus, and turns from it. There can be NO restoration to right standing in Christ unless and until this is done.
Ted Haggard has admitted that he sinned, but only as far as engaging in sexual behavior with someone other than his wife. He appologizes to gay and lesbian men and women saying he is “deeply sorry for the attitude I had” (his attitude before his activities were made public).
When asked by an ABC interviewer if he thinks “it’s a sin to be gay,” Ted Haggard responds, “for me it is.” The interviewer asks, “for you? I mean, either it’s a sin or it’s not, right?” Haggard answers, “for me it is. I need to be faithful to my wife. I need to be honorable to her.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbvVPzIsJWw)
Ted Haggard refuses repeatedly, in many different venues, via many different shows, broadcasts and interviews, to admit that homosexual behavior is a sin.
“I cuss now,” he also boasts. (http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/ted_haggard_i_over-repented_for_my_meth-gay_prosti.php)
Yet, God declares that He hates perverted and twisted speech (Prov 8:13).
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth …”
“If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.” (1 Peter 4:11)
“Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” (James 3:11)
It is hateful for Christians to have the truth that will set captives free – the Word of God, which Is Jesus, and refuse to offer it by refusing to confront the sin. Most Christians are more afraid of men than of God.



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