Being Rebuked By Ted Haggard?

This is one of the more thought-provoking blog posts I have read in a while. It comes from Out Of Ur.

What do you guys think?

It has been two years since Ted Haggard resigned as the senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado and the president of the National Association of Evangelicals. The scandal reverberated through the media just before the pivotal 2006 elections, and made Haggard a favorite target for many outside, and inside, the church.

After two years of silence Ted Haggard has stepped back into the pulpit. Last Sunday he spoke at a church in Illinois where a close friend is the senior pastor. Audio of the entire sermon was uploaded at TedHaggard.com, but has since been removed. ABC News reports that Haggard apologized for his sin without ever identifying the nature of his transgression. He also acknowledged the pain he’d caused his family and his church.

[When the story first broke in 2006, Gordon MacDonald wrote a blog post for Out of Ur that became one of the most read articles ever for this website. You can find the post here.]

While acknowledging that “I’m very, very sorry that I sinned,” Haggard also says, “I’m a stronger Christian than I’ve ever been in my life. I have a stronger marriage than I’ve ever had in my life.”

He also criticized church leaders for not using the controversy two years ago as an opportunity to present the gospel to a wider audience. With great emotion, Haggard said:

I believe that he [God] gives us opportunities every couple of years to communicate the gospel worldwide through secular media and we consistently blow it. A congressman in trouble, that’s the time! A family member gets himself in horrible trouble, that’s the time! A preacher gets himself in awful trouble, that’s the time!What do you think? Is Haggard right? Did church leaders miss an opportunity two years ago to present the gospel more widely through the media while the focus was on his scandal?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Being Rebuked By Ted Haggard?

  1. Sam

    I think Haggard has a good point! Obviously sinning to get media attention is NOT right, no matter what situation. Overall, Christians do not take advantage of the mass media like other groups do.

    Think about Islam and the coverage they have gotten! Yes, they terrorized thousands of people, but they got the attention they wanted! Now, Islam is growing at a ridiculous rate. They are infiltrating themselves into our country. What they did was wrong, but they used the media to express their beliefs and their way of life.

    Now Christians can use this principle but in a different way. I hate to bring this up but people like Sarah Palin had a huge platform to share her faith (if indeed she is a believer). Did she do it? Yes and no. Perhaps she was constrained by her party or her campaign. She could have done more. This example is kind of a stretch but it’s the kind of media that Christians are getting! Use it! Yeah it’s secular media but use it for God! He can use anything to bring Himself glory!

  2. Sam

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  3. Sam

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  4. Seeker

    St. Francis of Assisi once said something like, “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words.” I think that’s where we, believers/the church, blew it with Ted Haggard and many others.

    Jesus calls us to hate the sin but love the sinner. I think there is probably no greater example of this than in John 7:53-8:11 but you can find it else where in the Gospels.

    Was what Haggard did wrong/sin? Absolutely. But when his sin was made public did the church, as a whole, show him the love of Jesus? Unfortunately, I really don’t think so.

    Nothing would have spoken the Gospel louder and clearer to a watching world than believers hating his sin but loving him. That was not the image we saw in the media- believers loving him and his family (at least based on what I remember).

    I know sometimes I struggle with loving people, especially those higher up in the church who blow it big time. But when I look inside myself I realize again how desperately I am in need of forgiveness from the blood on the cross. No one is sinless and we cannot cast the first stone.

    Some Muslims may receive a lot of attention for blowing themselves up and destroying other people with their lives. But what would happen if some of us/believers really started loving not only the unbelievers but also the believers with our lives?

    Then, I think we would preach the gospel not with our words per say but with our LOVE because of the HOPE we have within us.

  5. John

    But what is it to show love to Ted Haggard? I am not well-informed of how the situation went at the church he was at, so I don’t know how poorly they handled it, if at all. But I don’t think that what Haggard did is something that any church could stand for, and sometimes ostracizing a pastor or leader from the church is absolutely necessary.

    Someone who is leading a life as a professing Christian as a leader in a church is in much different shoes than someone who has never lived a day pretending they know Jesus.

    “Loving” Haggard still wouldn’t seem loving to most people. Either way, he has to be kicked out of the pulpit and stripped of his authority…. what relativistic nonbeliever is going to view that as a “loving” thing.

    Also, since it was brought up. Francis of Assisi said some great things, but that quote that was brought up in the previous comment is one of the most atrocious thoughts I have ever heard a Christian speak or think. The currently accepted meaning of it seems innocent, but basically, it’s used by most as a means of saying, “Live a good life. There’s not always a need to be SAYING the gospel out loud. Just live it, and others will see.”

    What a load of crap. There are lots of nice and loving people in this world who aren’t Christians. The thing that sets us apart from everyone else is the love of Christ, not just some general, good-will love.

  6. Matt

    John, but there isn’t always a need to be Saying the Gospel out loud…

    What Does God’s Grace do in us?

    It allows us to love others the way God loves us. I dont need to tell someone “I love you.” I can display my love for them.

    It allows us to forgive others the way God has forgiven us. I dont need to tell them “I forgive you” unless of course they ask for my forgiveness, but I can still forgive them in my heart without them asking. I can display my forgiveness towards them.

    When we do these things we are displaying “Christ in us.” And I do think that others will see Jesus through us, and God will draw them toward him if it’s his will.

    But of course, that doesn’t mean that we DON’T have to preach or say the Gospel out loud. It just means that IT ISNT ALWAYS NECESSARY. But, a lot of times, it is necessary and it is what God wants us to do.

    About Ted Haggard, I agree that he should never be considered an elder, a pastor, or involved in any other “overseeing” position in the future. But, personally I dont have a problem with him having a “speaking” role. Who better to speak about the Grace of God than someone who has gone through what he has done. He has probably received more Grace than most of us and probably has a greater understanding as well compared to most of us. That’s just my thought.

    Oh and please dont respond with “Oh so should we sin more so that we receive more Grace so we have a better understanding of Grace?” If you’re thinking that you are being rediculous.

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