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About Ted Haggard

with 4 comments

Well, it’s been about three days since the story broke about Ted Haggard and his association with a gay male prostitute and his purchasing of methamphetamines. I was glad that I didn’t have Internet access during these days, because I think the time I’ve had to mull over it will help me to write a post that is thoughtfully considered, rather a knee-jerk post.

My initial reaction was one of “delicious karma” coming back to bite ol’ Ted in the butt (which, as it turns out, might be something he enjoys! :), and I felt that way initially because of his railing against homosexuals and gay marriage, and so on and so on. It’s one of the issues that’s made him such a darling of the religious right. Shakespeare hit the nail on the head when he wrote “Methinks he doth protest too much.” The only thing better that could happen to expose the blatant hypocrisy of all those who cover their hatred of/forbidden love of all things homosexual, would be if Fred Phelps was found to be getting his dirty dirty on the down low with a rent boy as well!

So for the purpose of exposing the hypocrisy of one man, I think it was a good thing. Other than that, I’m saddened by the whole thing, but not for the reasons you might think. Here are the reasons that I can think of right now:

1) It saddens me because it becomes abundantly clear that sexual “sin” is definitely elevated over “sins” in the minds of most Christians. And the sexual “sin” that most people do not struggle with (homosexuality) becomes the “sin” that is anathema to most people who need a cause to rally around. Has no one looked at the fact that the justication to use multimillions of dollars on these megachurches might be more offensive to God because of the greedy, materialistic use of resources to make church goers comfortable and entertained?!

I don’t believe for a moment that most Christians believe that all sins are equal. Somehow, because of its minority status, being gay has become the “most abominable sin of all,” and I believe that because of this misdirection of focus, a lot of other more damaging behaviors have been allowed to fester in the body of Christ—as long as your not gay, you’re okay! Homosexuality has become the speck that blinds others to the logs in their own eyes.

2) Honestly, I don’t know much about Haggard’s other teachings. I only know of him because of his strong support of all-things-Bush and the gay issue. But if he did do good for the cause of Christ (not the cause of Christians), then I can only hope and pray that those things will not be undone by all this. I guess if they were good and true, they fell on the good soil, and if they were not, the thorns are choking them out right now.

3) I keep wondering what the response of evangelicals will be to this question…. If all this about Haggard was going on AS he preached the gospel, then was his message valid? Does the condition of the messenger negate/affect the message?

If they say the state of the messenger DOES affect the message, then that pretty much wipes out anyone being able to preach…assuming that all sin is sin (which will expose another hypocrisy, since they clearly don’t believe that!).

If they say that the messenger DOES NOT affect the message, then are they telling me that it is okay for a lying, adulterous, drug-buying pastor is more worthy to preach the gospel than a spiritually upright WOMAN is? Does the penis contain a power that we don’t know about? Does it elevate a man so much higher that, even in his sin, he is more worthy to carry God’s word than a woman??!!

4) And a larger issue still… if Haggard is a closet homosexual (and it would appear he is), then is all the message he conveyed nullified? If so, then the thousands who have been touched by his message have a false faith? I think not. If his message is not compromised, then even homosexuals can effectively preach the gospel? I think so!

I know there are more things I’ve thought about, but I don’t have time to get into them here. Needless to say, this is fascinating to watch and read, to see the actions and reactions of those involved. However, I’m doing my best to abide by this verse in Obadiah 1:12:
You should not look down on your brother
in the day of his misfortune,
nor rejoice over the people of Judah
in the day of their destruction,
nor boast so much
in the day of their trouble.

I do not rejoice even in the fall of a hypocrite whose beliefs and deeds carried him to a position of power that allowed him to effectively work against rights of my own, because if hypocrites start to fall, I’m afraid that I would be among the first!

I do not know the answers to all of this, but it does seem like if grace and forgiveness and non-judgementalism were the order of the day, and not elevating pastors to such positions of power, then things like this might not seem so shattering.

God, have mercy on all of us, and help us to see the behaviors and attitudes in our own lives that work against your kingdom.


Written by blogicalinks

November 5, 2006 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Sharing

4 Responses

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  1. Cheryl:

    In the end Paul would probably say, “Hey, at least the Gospel is being preached, and that’s good news in itself.” However, assuming that Paul considers homosexual behavior (not thinking or position, but that actual acting out of), I think given the language of Romans 1 and 1 Cor. 5-6 he would also have problems with Haggard IF he decided to continue acting on his temptations (being tempted is not committing sin) and did not care (Rom. 6). However, he has repented and is showing the redemptive discipline of the Holy Spirit in his life, or at least that is what I gathered from in his letter.

    I think I’ll write a post about this on my blog. Feel free to interact with that post (forthcoming) and all else that exists there. I know we might and do disagree, but still, the conversation is healthy.

    Thanks for your thoughts,


    James Gregory

    November 6, 2006 at 6:33 pm

  2. Cheryl, Thank you for responding to Scot McKnight’s blog about Ted Haggard. I appreciate your honesty and insight. This is such a difficult area for the church, but I agree that we all tend to ignore the self-absorbed, materialistic, greedy, lives that we live. Thanks for sharing your voice with the church.



    November 7, 2006 at 1:08 pm

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