December 14, 2017

Update: Easter Morning…for Ted

By Chaplain Mike

WARNING: As you read this update, the sound you will hear is the voice of cynicism. With a bit of sarcasm thrown in. As well as a healthy dose of antipathy. If I didn’t think the evidence deserves this kind of response, I would stay quiet. But this is bad news, a sorry caricature of what church should be. It deserves pointed ridicule. Sorry if you are offended. I’ll gladly take the flak.

From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

It was only supposed to be a launch party and focus meeting of St. James Church in Colorado Springs. But something changed since Wednesday’s press conference that officially announced the start of St. James.

On Sunday Ted Haggard presided over the first St. James service in his barn next to his home on Old Ranch Road.

So writes Mark Barna, the only reporter among the 160 or so who attended the “launch party,” uh . . . first church service AND launch party at Pastor Ted’s house. Oh yeah, the film crew was there too. Shouldn’t leave them out. Because this is about a movement of the Spirit. And everyone knows his favorite tool is the media and its marketing prowess.

“This is Easter morning for me,” the comeback “pastor” proclaimed. Excuse me, but I thought Easter morning was reserved for Someone Else. After the service, he continued, “”This was a resurrection party for me, I am out of the grave. And we are rolling.” (Cue praise band playing “Up from the Grave He Arose”.)

“I don’t know if you heard about it, but I had a tough time 3 1/2 years ago,” he continued, with a wink and smile. Cue audience laughter. This is how he summarizes what happened? I had a tough time? He can say that to elicit laughs? With his wife in the room? To the faces of former parishioners? Less than a mile from the church where he had resigned in disgrace?

Inviting people to enjoy the pool at the party following the service, Ted quipped, “But no skinny dipping,” he said. “I’ve got a bad enough reputation. Keep your clothes on.” Ah yes, nothing like the old pastoral scandal joke to bring the congregation together! Brother, that’s fellowship.

During the service, a 31 year-old massage therapist (ironically, the profession of Haggard’s gay prostitute friend) gave her testimony—“I believe in Ted,” she proclaimed. Was there an altar call for others to do the same?

Two gay men who gave testimony were there because they had answered a Craigslist ad placed by Long Pond Media, the company filming a documentary about the new church. The company paid their way to get to the service. Nothing like the Spirit gathering God’s people together, huh?

“I like Ted’s church because it’s open to everyone,” one of them said after the service. Ah, there’s the good ol’ evangelical formula—”Ted’s church.”

And that’s the bottom line, folks. It’s Ted’s church.

No thanks.

FOR FUTURE REFERENCE: I don’t plan on following this very closely. It is definitely not good for my digestion, or my sanctification. Nor do I want to inflict this on you, my friends, any longer.

Comments

  1. sola propreitor?

  2. But at least two speakers had answered Craigslist ads placed by Long Pond Media, a Los Angeles-based company making a documentary on the planting of St. James.

    hmmm…..church service or media event ?? Honestly, it’s a little tough to feel bad for anyone volunteering to be a Haggard fan-boy or fan-girl. I think you’d have to enjoy this kind of dog and pony show to jump in.

    Still, in one member suffers , we all suffer, so to the throne of grace we go.

    thanks for the updates, Chap Mike

  3. dumb ox says:

    Very Osteen-like. People looking for belonging, validation, entertainment, and a therapeutic message. A pastor looking for a second shot. No need to follow this. We know where it’s going.

    I’d rather see more posts on liturgy and the church calendar.

    But then I hear about kids who compare church to a military boot camp. Where is the gospel? What is grace, if it does not accept, rather than constantly making us feel like epic failures? Or that offers forgiveness, in spite of the fact that we ARE epic failures. How can a church be accepting but not therapeutic? Just wondering. Guess we covered this about a month ago. Truth really feels like walking a razor’s edge.

  4. It is obvious: He worships…….himself. He is not a brother. We should not be surprised.

    Pray for him as you would for any lost soul.

    • Louis, I’m not going to go there.

      I agree with the Westminster Confession here:

      Nevertheless, they [i.e. the saints] may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.

      • Mike,

        If you’re going to quote from a Reformed confession next time, I respectfully ask you to quote within the proper context.

        That section of the confession has to do with TRUE Christians who fall into temptation and sins and who have their consciences scandalized as a result. As you know, even true Christians fall into sin on a daily basis.

        However, that quote doesn’t apply to unregenerate false professors who are dominated by sin and depravity. It doesn’t apply to so-called Christians who continually live in gross sins and are apathetic to their waywardness.

        Stop misquoting the Reformed confessions. Haggard’s situation does not apply to what the WCF has said.

        • How do you know that Haggard is a “false professor”? And where do you get off telling me not to quote a confession that is part of my Christian heritage and belief system?

          I stand by my quote. You are the one misreading it. It says very plainly that true Christians can look to our eyes every bit like non-Christians (“continue therein”), even to the point of hurting and scandalizing others.

          The Bible says repeatedly that the reality of one’s profession will be revealed at the judgment seat, and that we cannot always trust what we see with our eyes. Neither you nor any other human being can “see” someone’s regeneration. The very idea is preposterous.

          I think I have warned people sufficiently to stay away from folks like Haggard. My criticisms have been direct and pointed. His actions have been abominable. But neither I nor anyone else has the divine insight to make a final determination about his salvation at this point.

          If you think you do, I feel more sorry for you than I can say.

          • Part of your theological heritage? I thought you belonged to a ELCA congregation, as I recall.

            I didn’t say I was God. I don’t have access to his Book of Life. However, Scripture plainly tells us that we can know people’s spiritual position by their fruits (their doctrine and life). I don’t know if Haggard is going to be justified on the last day but we can make a reasonable judgment on someone’s spiritual status NOW based on how their present doctrine and life square with Scripture.

            Why you would slam me for making these Scripturally obvious points is beyond me.

            • I did not “slam you for making Scripturally obvious points.” I slammed you for not grasping the clear teaching of the doctrine of perseverance as outlined in the WCF. It says true believers may fall into grievous sin and continue therein, even to the point of harming and scandalizing others. If Haggard is a true believer, this would be my take on where he is right now.

              I belong to an ELCA congregation, but Mark, if you’ve been reading any of this, you would know that I describe myself as a post-evangelical who appreciates Lutheran theology, but who is still in the post-evangelical wilderness regarding long-term church affiliation. I lean toward paleo-orthodoxy, which is an attempt to appreciate the broad consensus of theological common ground from all Christian traditions. Yes, Westminster is part of my heritage.

  5. ick

  6. Everything we suspected when we read the comeback kid piece. It just makes me want to weep for the state of the church today, that in our idolatrous worship of the personality cult someone like this can get 160 people (well, minus a reporter w/camera crew and a couple special guests flown in for the occasion) for a start-up service.

    And I’m with you, Chaplain Mike, on not following this all that closely in the future – I think I’ve had about as much of this as I can stomach.

  7. The bad thing about the Internet and blogs like this is that they expose me to stories and information that I would otherwise never hear about. Stories and persons and events that have and will have NO EFFECT OR IMPACT on my life, whether personal, spiritual, workwise, educationwise, whatever. There is not a thing that Ted Haggard will do or can do or can even think of doing that will affect or impact me or my family or the church I attend or any church I ever will attend at all in the slightest. Nothing. None. Zilch. Zero. Even if he writes a book, I’ll never read it. I’ll never listen to a sermon of his, I’ll certainly never watch him on Larry King (I don’t watch ANYONE on Larry King), never watch/buy a DVD, etc. Nothing. Never. I have absolutely NO INTEREST in him or his church whatsoever.

    Yet because of blogs like this (and I really like iMonk) and the interesting cast of characters who post here, I find myself spending (wasting?) time reading and responding to things that are about, in the case of Ted Haggard, a person/event/situation/thing that will have NO IMPACT in my life. Did I say that nothing Ted Haggard thinks, does, says, eats, drinks, preaches, writes, films, dances, etc., will ever affect anything I or anyone I associate with or know does? Yes, I did. Twice now.

    So, why am I even writing this? Because of the aforesaid thing: The Internet is EVIL. It causes/allows/permits/makes(?) me get involved in conversations and things that have nothing to do with anything I do or need to do or should be doing. Aaaaagh!

    Fie on Ted Haggard.

    I think a MUCH better use and more relevant use and more practical use and more beneficial use of my time than discussing Ted would be to go read some more pages in Pamela Greenberg’s wonderful translation of the Psalms. It’s a great book – and I would never have found out about it if… it… weren’t… for… the Internet… and… iMonk. 😀

    • Eric, I can see some truth in what you write. Unless you live in Colorado Springs, Ted Haggard will most likely not have a direct impact on your life. But he does have an indirect impact on all followers of Jesus in the Western world.

      He will garner a lot of media attention–Larry King, et al–and many will associate him with the “typical Christian.” Thus when you or I sit down over coffee with a non-believing friend, we will have to contend with the image this friend has of Christians before we can really start dealing with important heart issues. This is not new, but it is tiring. Chaplain Mike has brought this story to light–and only he can tell us all the reasons why he has. But I for one am glad he has. We need to be aware of what is happening in our world, in our Christian culture.

      I suppose if we lived in a less media-intensive world we could try to avoid these kinds of stories. But we don’t, so we don’t.

      Martin Luther said one of the best ways to chase the Devil away was to laugh at him. (He had another method that would involve burritos, but we won’t go there.) Thus we like to shine a light on the absurd here at IM so we can all laugh out loud and chase away the Enemy. But to tell the truth, we are much happier to read that you are enjoying Greenberg’s Psalms. That is the reason we work so hard here at the iMonastery…

      • Another Mary says:

        I love that, the iMonestary! Sign me up.
        And by the way, THANKS for working so hard. There are many many of us out here in the Evangelical wilderness. And we need to hear other voices of reason. It can get very lonely. Especially when it appears in the media that believers are buying into that mindless nonsense that often passes for theology.

        Blessings to you all

        • Yes, yes, to what Another Mary said. Thanks you guys and gals who continue this work because it does get lonely, and some of us have much to learn about how to survive in the “wilderness”.

      • Very well said…..and I’m glad for a brief reportt of the bad and the ugly (which Chap Mike has done) , and longer reports of the “good”, which you guys (gender free 🙂 ) rock at…..

    • David Cornwell says:

      With respect, I disagree to an extent with you. I think Haggard has impacted us all partly just by the way he has disgraced the Church. We are all impacted. The Body of Christ is made to look foolish, not because of the cross, but because of his kind of nonsense. We are made to look as lost as the world.

      However I do agree that there is a limit to how much time we should give him. We have a more positive story to pursue and proclaim.

    • There is another advantage to at least some knowledge of this scandal. We can be ready to explain to our co-workers, etc, how we believe and react to it, giving a decent witness.

      This happened to me, at one of the earliest big preacher scandals. I had been thinking about how to explain it to someone, and my Hindu boss asked me about it. He got a clear witness about forgiveness. What happened to those seeds planted so long ago, I don’t know, but I did try verbally, and I also know that my lifestyle choices made him (and possibly others very uncomfortable.)

    • Eric, as I said in the post, I’ll not be following this in the future, unless there is some compelling reason to do so.

      Haggard is not just an individual in Co Springs leading a few hundred people astray. There are Ted Haggards where you and I live too. He represents a dangerous version of Christianity that is all too common everywhere.

      It is in that light—this blog’s commitment to critique “the evangelical circus”—that I brought this up.

      I wouldn’t do it if I thought it was a waste of time.

      • No, I don’t think it’s necessarily a waste of time to discuss or alert people to Ted Haggard.

        I was speaking about my situation personally. It’s very likely a waste of MY time to get involved in discussions about Ted Haggard, because even though what he does may impact some (many?) people, I am pretty sure that what he says and does will have zilch impact on the people I know and things I do and thoughts I think, and I can pretty much guarandamntee that. In fact, I triple-dog-dare Ted Haggard to be so much as a blip on my radar – EVER!! (But no doubt someone or some event will prove me wrong on this in the next year or two!!)

        I wasn’t criticizing you or iMonk as much as criticizing myself for paying time and attention to these things.

        Hasta la vista!

  8. FOR FUTURE REFERENCE: I don’t plan on following this very closely. It is definitely not good for my digestion, or my sanctification. Nor do I want to inflict this on you, my friends, any longer.

    Thank You!!!

  9. Ummm….just don’t read the ones you know are going to trouble you.

  10. Classic narcissist personality disorder. A psychologist friend of mine had it pegged years ago when he saw the huge photo of Haggard in the narthex of his previous church. These words have proven true.

    I would disagree with Eric’s take on the post. Blogs like this are of great value in helping Christians spot the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  11. Christiane says:

    Whatever Ted’s problems and deficiencies, he has a wife who has stood by him and kept her family together. She said she did it because she loves him.

    I am no judge here, but if she spoke truth, perhaps she should be the one behind the pulpit. If she spoke truth, she has certainly got something to say to people who tend to quickly ‘walk away’ from trouble in our world, and abandon their commitments to family.

  12. Always Lurking says:

    Ack. Another post with info that may turn me into an Orthodox member. Wish my Lutheran church hadn’t left me, ditto the PCUSA.

  13. As I said the other day, he’s no evangelical, and we should stop calling him that.

  14. Sorry that the insurance gig didn’t work out for him.

    • LOL……maybe if enough of us would buy our term insurance form him (head nod to Dave FPU Ramsey), we could get him out of his holy barn…..do you think they’re singing “the cows in the CORN, Martha….” ??

  15. Steve Newell says:

    Whenever a “pastor” starts a new church, I always have several questions:

    What Church body is this new church accountable to?

    What is the theological basis the church follows (Reformation, Reformed, etc)?

    What is the training of the pastor and are they properly trained to be a pastor?

    What is the reason that they are starting a new church?

  16. dkmonroe says:

    I think that knowing what the Ted Haggards of the world are up to can be very helpful as an object lesson and a warning. Are you a pastor or otherwise in ministry? Take a good look at this, and take heed that you don’t end up in a similar place.

    Cave, cave: Deus videt.

    • your latin sign-off led me to some web sites of Hieronymus Bosch…….many thanks, brother Monroe

      • dkmonroe says:

        Someone actually looked it up! Sweet! 🙂

        Bosch’s “The Seven Deadly Sins and The Four Last Things” has been my computer wallpaper since the beginning of Lent. I was going to change it after Easter but it has me transfixed.

  17. Wow! The judgment, the finger-pointing, name-calling. Wrap it all up in a theological blanket and it makes it all good. Would any of you want these things said of you? Why do you feel so righteous in judging this man? How is this Jesus shaped spirituality?

    • Read the letters to the seven churches in Revelation. That’s “Jesus-shaped (Jesus-spoken) spirituality” directed towards erring churches, erring church leaders and erring Christians. And most of what Jesus says to them is far harsher than anything said here about the Right Reverend Theodore Haggard.

      • You and I would never agree on what we think Jesus said in Revelation.
        This isn’t judgment of this blog coming from me, just utter shock and awe. I am very much impressed with the number of those here who feel they have attained the heights in which they can judge as God judges. Impressive to say the very least. I find no love here amongst the Christians.

        • Debra wrote:

          “what we think Jesus said in Revelation”?

          ISTM the author makes it pretty clear when he’s reporting what Jesus and/or the Spirit is saying/speaking.

        • you and I will agree to disagree, but to think that you are NOT judging is baloney ; which doesn’t bother me because judging is inevitable…..we are called to judge righteously, not avoid all kinds of judging; this is probably a wasted post, and I’m OK with that, I don’t think we are headed to agreement on these things any time soon.

          examine everything….hold fast to that which is good
          Greg R

          • He loves us both the same. That blows the mind, right?! I will never get over the grace and love of God! It amazes me daily.

          • I’m likewise amazed…..daily.

            Greg R

    • Although my posts have occaisional humor, believe me, this topic/post makes me sad, and there is little joy in talking about it, but Chap Mikes reply @ 8:47 and Jeff’s @ 11:46 point out, sometimes as a family we talk about what’s unpleasant. Read your NT, and you’ll find the same thing. No one here is celebrating, and sorry if my flippancy is read that way. As to name calling, you might want to be more specific, and please note that very few posters here are calling into question Ted’s salvation, so “heathen” or “non-chriistian”, for most of us, are off the table.

      Jesus wasn’t wasting HIS breath when talking about false teaching and teachers, was HE ??

      • No, I don’t think HE ever wasted a breath at all. I would put the current evangelical and fundamentalists churches far and above Mr. Haggard on the list of false teachers. When reading the description of the anti-Christ I would say that fits them even more perfectly than that of false teacher/prophets. The literalist translators of scripture have blood on their hands, and are leading millions far away from Christ.

        • well , it looks like we DO have an area of agreement: we can agree that there ARE false teachings and teachers, that many are being misled and taken further away from the truth, while not being aware of that……we disagree on the details of that. But let’s put the “NO JUDGING” thing to rest , pleeeeze.

          Greg R

        • dkmonroe says:

          Just curious – would you join Haggard’s new church or support his ministry? Why or why not?

          • I can’t say for sure without meeting him. Geographically, I am in TN so that would never work. I usually know for sure how I feel when I can look someone in the eyes, but my heart guides me until then. To be honest, I had never heard of him before his “fall”. I have never read his book or heard a sermon from him. It’s been MANY years since I have listened to preachers on TV. I mean, I watch Joel Osteen, but it seems this crowd doesn’t consider him to be a preacher.

          • Oh, Joel Osteen is a preacher, all right. I don’t think anyone would argue with that.

            Where they might hesitate or criticize, though, is in not considering what he’s preaching to be consonant with the same Gospel that Jesus and Paul preached, but something more along the lines of Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller or other “positive thinking” speakers.

            YMMV

          • I am usually hesitant when people put Paul and Jesus on the same level. Paul was a tortured soul full of guilt. Jesus was a Way Show-er who was fully at ease with Himself. Jesus was a most positive minded individual who was propelled by Love. I fail to see the reason to criticize one who feels called to remind people that God is Love and we are created in THAT image. I feel the balance of hellfire and brimstone is there among other congregations. There is definitely a place in this world for the message Joel brings, and the proof is in the blessing of his ministry.

          • I am usually hesitant when people put Paul and Jesus on the same level.

            ?????

            I don’t think ANYONE here would put or ever has put Paul and Jesus on the same level.

          • to be consonant with the same Gospel that Jesus and Paul preached,

            They were your words dude, I just read them!

          • Debra:

            Well, I don’t think you read them correctly.

            Saying that Paul and Jesus preached the same Gospel, or congruent Gospels, is not the same as saying that Paul and Jesus are on the same level. One refers to their words/message(s). The other refers to their beings/persons.

          • Brian in BC says:

            Debra, may I ask you to further expand upon your meaning in a couple of your statements?

            You outlined that your foundation for discernment is “looking someone in the eyes and your heart guiding you”. Do you really think it’s a wise idea to use your emotions as a foundation of determining truth or is there perhaps another authoritative source to align your emotions against to see if they are leading you down the wrong path?

            Next statement you make is that you are hesitant to compair Paul to Jesus…describing one as a “tortured soul” and the other as a “positively minded individual propelled by Love”.

            You appear to be picking and choosing which parts of the Bible you take as reliable and authoritative, is the Bible the Word of God? If not how do you determine which parts you follow or take seriously?

            May I ask you these two very simple questions…who was Jesus? what is the Gospel?

            The reason that many of us reject Joel Osteen and those like him is that we don’t consider pragmatic “blessing” of someone’s ministry to be the ultimate arbitar of Truth…if having someone give you money for garbage is indicative of “blessing” then Hollywood and the music industry are our ultimate pulpits…er…strike that…it’s way too true.

          • cpilgrim says:

            If you consider Paul a “tortured soul full of guilt, I suggest an immediate re-read of Galatians. It is Paul’s final word on grace and the best book in the Bible for soothing a tortured soul.

    • dkmonroe says:

      If I’d done what he did as a pastor and then turned up a few years later starting another church and joking about the scandal that brought me down, I’d expect such things, and worse, to be said about me.

      I don’t look at Haggard and think, “Wow, don’t I look good in comparison to him!” Rather I think, “Look how destructive and deceitful sin is – and how easy it is for people to fall into it.” I don’t think that’s a bad take-away.

    • Debra, I said I’d be willing to take flak for this one. Bring it on.

      • I’m not going to fight with you, Chaplain Mike. I become more and more disillusioned each time I come back to this thread. When I first read the post I was hoping it was from one of the sometimes guest writers, but no, it was from the Chaplain himself.
        I came back from the store and two replies to some statements I made above, and both are speaking to me as though they were my parent, asking me to explain myself. Who is Jesus, indeed! I could ask the same of you and all those throwing stones at this man from your glass houses. They will know we are Christians by our love.
        So, Chaplain Mike, take off the gloves. You won’t get it from me. I am here, drawing in the sand.

        • Debra, I respect you conscientious objection in this fight. But I have been entrusted with carrying on a legacy, and part of that is unashamedly pointing out silly and dangerous examples of the evangelical circus. I hope I’m proven wrong. I really do.

        • Christopher Lake says:

          Debra,

          Christian love is not opposed to discernment, and even, at times, rebuke. Yes, we don’t know Ted Haggard as a person, but by his own choice, his words and actions are public, and they call for public discussion. Jesus and Paul didn’t have a problem with sometimes using sharp language with those who were harming the Body of Christ…. and I write these words as one who cares intensely about the unity of the Body. However, unity should not be at any and all costs.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Ted Haggard is NOT Edward Cullen, Debra.

      • Bzzzzzzzzzz…….

  18. In my own blog, I decided to be as fair, gracious, and charitible to Ted as possible.

    However, even with all that I am duely skeptical of his church really being substantially different from New Life. More of the same, likely.

  19. Sad and crazy, for sure. What it really makes me wonder is how he ever rose to the position of president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Was the goofiness and sin that well hidden that he fooled so many people, or were real warning signs overlooked back then because he was a charismatic figure. There’s no way to know for sure, but it’s a disturbing question that ought to be answered for the health (perhaps for the survival) of evangelicalism, yet no one seems to be asking it.

    • John: excellent point, and add this to reasons why, in an attitude of “bware yourself”, this mess needs some sorting out: it’s not just about one man and his family, one ministry…… nice post

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Was the goofiness and sin that well hidden that he fooled so many people, or were real warning signs overlooked back then because he was a charismatic figure.

      Probably both. Though as for the second, I credit it to “He’s A CELEBRITY!” and (as Mike Warnke’s fanboys put it when Warnke was exposed as a fraud) “But $oul$ were being $aved! He $aved lot$ of $oul$!”

  20. Good for you, Chaplin Mike. And thank you for your before- and after-thoughts. I agree, it’s not good for either our digestion or our sanctification … but dang me if that guy doesn’t just irritate the heck outta me!

    There, I said it, on to the next subject … 🙂

  21. Rick Ro. says:

    The value of discussing this doesn’t so much come from our judgment of a man like Ted Haggard (which can look like “bashing” to some), but comes from the warning it provides our fellow Christians of potential heresy. It highlights how a charismatic figure (like Ted Haggard) can turn Christ’s church into “Ted’s church” and potentially become a semi-Christian off-shoot (like Latter Day Saints) or worse (like Jim Jones’ cult). The value of this post and discussion is its warning to fellow Christians not to drink the Kool-Aid.

    • which, I believe, is precisely why occaisionally specific people are single out in the NT as oponents to the gospel….GOD is not telling us that they are some super category of sinner as much as warning THE REST to watch out and not follow in their ways, listen to their words, etc.

      IT’s just not that different today, really.

  22. Brian in BC says:

    So within one press conference Ted has gone from some sort of an “advisor/co-pastor/leader kinda guy” not knowing really what his whole role is to becoming the head pastor of the “church of Ted”…how could we not see that coming (insert rolling-eye icon here).

    When are people going to wake-up and realize that this entire corner of “Christianity” is an utter abomination.

    I will never judge a person’s position with God or their salvation etc. Not my place in anyway. But if you keep shoveling complete BS and teaching things that are utterly at odds with over 2000 years of Christian teaching and leadership, I’m more than prepared to call out your teachings as the dreck that it is. Why oh, why are people so easily swayed into the cult of personality?

    • and so when Debra asks “would any of you want these same things said of you ?” we can say NOOOOO !!! in the emphatic, and that is WHY we are having this discussion to begin with, so that we don’t fall for the same “dreck”……love the description. And since Ted was/is such a public figure, a public discussion , done with some introspection we’d hope, is conducted so we don’t repeat history, or those we love fall for the same kind of hue-eeee (sp?).

      • Keep spinning GregR. You are almost there!

        • well surprise surprise, I have NO idea what you mean by “spinning”. disagree if you want, and you will, but I don’t see anything I’ve said that isn’t straightforward. I don’t think there’s been a double meaning or hidden implication in any of my posts.

  23. …The couple said they were returning to pastoral ministry with greater compassion after having been broken as a result of the scandal. Ted Haggard said the church would be open to all—”Democrat, Republican, Independent, gay, straight, tall, short.”

    “I believe Jesus’ arms are open to everybody,” he said. “And I believe in your darkest hour, that is when the Lord draws closest. … We’ve really had a baptism of love, and we think judgment is the opposite of love. We don’t want to hate anybody, but we want to give people an open hand.”

    After the launch party Sunday, a second planning service will be held June 13 to determine where the fledgling congregation will meet. The first official church service will be held June 20, when Haggard said he will preach from the book of Hebrews.

    “I think the emphasis will be family and how to … go through life without divorcing members,” Haggard said of the church. “How to let a part of the body get a little sick and still be able to heal.”

    Haggard, who also resigned as president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals when the scandal broke, said his goal is not to make the church political.

    “We want to be helpful to people wrestling with issues in society, but I don’t want to be a political activist,” he said. “I want to do what it takes to help people. That’s what we’re committed to.”

    Responding to a question about gay marriage, Haggard said the church would support marriage between one man and one woman as God’s ideal for marriage. But he said “as for society wrestling with that question, that is a totally different question.”

    “Inside the church we discuss God’s ideal, but the discussion about public policy is a different issue,” he added.

    Haggard said he didn’t know how large St. James would become but said he and Gayle were “ready to get to work.” During the press conference, he invited couples with marital or other difficulties to contact them for counseling.

    Read more: http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/news/28337-ted-haggard-starts-new-church-in-colorado-#ixzz0qHrz28V7

  24. dkmonroe says:

    Debra,

    I can’t say for sure without meeting him. Geographically, I am in TN so that would never work. I usually know for sure how I feel when I can look someone in the eyes, but my heart guides me until then. To be honest, I had never heard of him before his “fall”. I have never read his book or heard a sermon from him. It’s been MANY years since I have listened to preachers on TV. I mean, I watch Joel Osteen, but it seems this crowd doesn’t consider him to be a preacher.

    (Sorry, can’t respond to the original thread anymore – I don’t get the option)

    Please take this in the spirit of kindness in which it is offered: I am very troubled that you imply here that you put such complete trust in your feelings in regard to discerning whether someone is a good and trustworthy person. There are people who, when you look them in the eye, can literally fill your heart with joy and the desire to trust, and all the while underneath be liars and frauds, or just have very bad issues that are out of their control. I have had unfortunate contact with such people, and if I had simply trusted my feelings and not done some cold, hard analysis of their words and actions and their affect on others, I would have been completely undone.

    Our hearts are not wise guides, as Jer. 17.9 points out, so we must not be led by them, but rather we should guard our hearts as Prov. 4:23 teaches us. It is not because our hearts are unimportant, but rather because they are so very important, that we must not put them greatly at risk by exercising much trust in them.

    I apologize in advance if this seems very preachy and presumptuous. It is not meant so.

    • There are people who, when you look them in the eye, can literally fill your heart with joy and the desire to trust, and all the while underneath be liars and frauds, or just have very bad issues that are out of their control.

      “I looked the man [Validimir Putin] in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue.

      “I was able to get a sense of his soul.

      “He’s a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that’s the beginning of a very constructive relationship,” Mr Bush said.

      – – –

      Uh, sure, George.

    • I trust the Spirit Who resides there to lead me in the right way. That’s how I roll. He will never leave me or forsake me. They don’t call me the BS detector for nothing. (That, and GrillMaster, I answer to either.)
      So, don’t trouble yourself DK…it’s all good. I appreciate the concern as it is very Christian of you.

      EricW….you quote W as though there is weight there? Ok.

      • No, just citing him re: the idea that judging people by what one sees in their eyes may not necessarily be accurate.

  25. Well, there is value to discussions like this.

    Some topics attract people like bees to honey. Literally.

  26. dumb ox says:

    Talking about the office of the keys, such as from Luther’s catechism, might be a constructive take-away from this for a future thread. I think the church must always acts out of grace, but sometimes the gracious act might seem cruel or unfair, but compared to the alternative, it is very compassionate. Consider Paul’s actions in Corinth; they seemed severe at first, but the result was true repentence and restoration.

  27. Brian in BC says:

    I’m sorry you are feeling picked-on Debra, I tend to find that when people ask me questions and challenge my statements and understandings that I take the time to think through and articulate what I believe. If you want to avoid the conversation by feigning insult and slight at being asked for clarification and pulling the “glass houses” card, Do you want to engage the conversation in a mutually enlightening manner or do you want to make declarations.

    Instead of getting angry and accusatory why not try to understand why Haggard and Osteen are viewed so negatively by the community who in many cases would claim the label “post evangelical”. It isn’t because we don’t love people, it’s because we do love people and are saddened and dismayed when instead of coming face-to-face with Jesus and all who He is, they’re given what can’t even be decribed as a crude facsimilie, they’re being fed poison and being pointed away from the Master.

    If Haggard’s comparison to his return as being an “Easter” experience doesn’t set-off screaming alarm bells in your discernment meter. If having 120+ media showing-up (along with paid guests) to your “church” doesn’t set off alarm bells. If his crude talk recalling his sexual sin in a joking manner doesn’t set off alarm bells…then I really don’t know what to say.

    This man is not qualified to be in the pulpit as demonstrated by his actions…period.

    • we do love people and are saddened and dismayed when instead of coming face-to-face with Jesus and all who He is, they’re given what can’t even be decribed as a crude facsimilie, they’re being fed poison and being pointed away from the Master.

      well said; and in Osteen’s case, his words are clearly not the gospel (food for another thread, but go to the archives here and look it up), while in Haggard’s case, it’s more his methodology and how he operates. One day he is saying “I was willing to do anything that the resoration board wanted me to do, ready to sign anything…..” and two yrs or so later, he’s doing point for point something else; knowing someone by the fruit is a darned good idea. Pardon me to all Vikings fans, but this is like asking Favre about his retirement…..who cares what he SAYS anymore ??

    • I’m not avoiding a conversation with you per se. Just wondering how much more energy I want to expend here today. It’s obvious that i am one of the outsiders here. I wouldn’t put much of how I live and believe in what I view as the “mainstream”, and I consider this to be a mainstream audience here at IMonk. It’s full of those deep in study to become pastors, missionaries, or something to that effect. I just love Jesus and seek out places that like to discuss Him. I don’t expect you and I to agree on much of anything at all, and that is perfectly fine with me.
      I still have no explanation that I can believe that tells how this subject is ok here. What happened to “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” ? This feels rude to me, and it feels hypocritical to hear these insults coming from this group of believers. This was all snarky sarcasm, and then bundled with the cloak of righteousness…..”if we don’t declare him bad, then who will?” It’s a slippery slope. Why not let God be God and allow Him to separate the dross from the gold? Speak to one another privately if you must, but why enter the debate here in such a public forum? It doesn’t look good on you at all to any non-believers who may wander by here. BTW, most of the “you’s” are the collective You’s at IMonk.
      So, Brian in BC, to get to your questions from the above thread….yes, I feel perfectly fine following my heart. I know Who resides there, and I know His voice….I am His sheep. I also know His voice when reading the Bible, and what He is saying to me. I know better than to read it literally and apply that to 21st Century life. God did give us a brain with which to reason and think, so I know better than to stone or kill those children who are disobedient and all that. I don’t go to a church in Corinth, or really even share much of their issues, so I know to read Pauls’ words with open eyes and heart to hear what God may have to say to me today using those same words.
      Again, I don’t expect anything resembling agreement from you. It’s all good. I love you anyway.

      • @ Debra:
        some things I THINK we agree on to end the day

        Love is the priority, and Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is the source and sustainer of that love

        The attitude and stance of the pharisees lead to legalism and death

        The gospel of Jesus brings life and freedom, and we earn none of this.

        I could probably add to this list, but for my benefit, if not yours, it’s good to remember the common ground between us.

  28. Sniff sniff…God bless you…God keep you…far away from us.

  29. Hmm.

    I think that this is the difficult side of Christianity being what it says it wants to be.

    To forgive is to experience an almost indecent amnesia.

    Sometimes it turns out to have been foolish. Sometimes not. But I think it’s a little wrong to gripe about the irony of sinners being restored: it’s central to the whole project, isn’t it?

    • “Restored”?

      Restored to what?

      This is like the founder of Burger Queen getting outed for knowingly serving tainted meat, then getting fired by the board, then doing community service by working at a restaurant inspection company, and now… voila! – deciding he’s going to start a new hamburger franchise because he just can’t help but make and sell hamburgers, ’cause that’s what he knows and does best.

      Or something like that.

      • Restored to himself, and his dignity, Eric.

        • Okay. I thought you were referring to him being “restored” as a pastor and/or the head pastor of a church, as if it were a position he deserved or expected to be returned/restored to since he had built New Life Church from the bottom up (starting in his basement or something, IIRC).

    • I don’t think the issue is either forgiveness OR restoration; I’m VERY certain Ted is forgiven, and it sure seems he’s on the road to some kind of restoration.

      No, the issues are TRUST and LEADERSHIP. Not saying he can never be either, but his rush back into the pulpit is just wrong, and flies in the face of what he’s said about being willing to do whatever it takes to help people. I’m sure he can find some folks to trust him and throw money at him, but that doesn’t mean that , to use Chap Mike’s phrase, that this is how church is supposed to happen. It’s not about forgiveness or punishment, it’s about a holy GOD, and things done in order, dying to self.

      • Greg, you say that you’re “not saying he can never be either [trusted or in leadership], but his rush back to the pulpit is just wrong…”

        Why?

        How long, in your judgment, before his restoration to trust and leadership are really genuine?

        Please note that I’m not saying I think he should be in that position, but I’m always sort of curious about why Christians, who really do believe in restoration, have so much anger when they see somebody lay claim to it.

        What’s the validating moment?

        • Otter: I don’t think it’s a question of saying “two months, two yrs, ten yrs……” and so on. We are people and our situations and brokeness unique. Having said that, to pretend to counsel other married people in the complexties of THEIR conjugal brokeness after less than three yrs of “sobriety”, for lack of a better term, is weird, dangerous, and self-delusional. Call that presmptuous on my part, fine, I can handle the “J” word, not that I agree. This is not about Ted’s restoration, it’s about him wanting to be a teacher/speaker/personality. Let me be clear, at the end of his life , he won’t answer to Greg R or Otter, HIS Master is mine and yours. SO why not just let the Master sort this out ?? That would be irresponsible, because as Chap Mike pointed out, SOME of what we do is point out the silly and the dangerous in the Kingdom, and I would put Ted in that category, though more dangerous than silly.

          Regarding anger: yes , I’m al little pissed, even though I’m not likely to meet either Ted or any of his sheep….. false teachers/pastors/facilitatiors/media junkie’s tick me off. I don’t like seeing real people misled and given a totally warped picture of grace, church, and the Kingdom. If you want to think that my anger says more about me, than Ted, OK, we’ll agree to disagree on that.

          • Greg, noted.

            I’m not interested in calling you judgmental or anything, just weirdly inconsistent.

            I’m interested in figuring out what, if anything, self-appointed guardians of the Kingdom think is a legitimate point at which a guy who’s shattered his life through his own choices gets the privilege of saying, “Okay, that was dumb. I’m so done with that.”

            I’ve got no opinions on that: i see that as being an internal conversation within the Church, which I’m not a part of.

            But I think it’s worth raising my eyebrows when an institution selling redemption from sin is unable to say precisely why some sins are not “redeemed,” only put on probation. I’m not saying that’s a bad idea: you gotta live in this world. But that strikes me as reducing the credibility of Christian redemption enormously.

        • To Otter: and thanks for your several replies, BTW

          You conflate redemption with his role as pastor/leader; his forgiveness or status as a ‘real’ christian is not on the table, at least not for me; Is his LEADERSHIP on probation ??? Heck, yes, or at least it should be (and if you want to know the grid or timetable for that, I don’t think it’s that easy to map out, similar to the previous discussion about restoration.

          I think it fundamentally bugs you that I’d be willing to offer ANY view of this given the fact that I’m not his friend, counselor, or in his local church (past or present); I’m not the spiritual sheriff of even MY town, let alone his, but that doesn’t mean that I have no voice in this or that my role is just to ‘be supportive and pray”. I don’t see myself in any self-appointed role, but his life and ministry have been, and continue to be very public, and his choices help shape (for good or ill) the thoughts and feelings of lots of people, some of whom I rub shoulders with.

          I consider what he does, in some small way, my business. That doesn’t make me his boss or confessor, or in some moral way superior to him. Maybe this helps: he doesn’t need critics (who does ?) but he needs correction. Is he likely to read Greg R’s posts and thank me later ?? I kinda doubt it, but this situation WILL surface again, and will these conversations be the grist for more wisdom THEN ?? I hope and pray so. And I hope we all find the healing and help we all need.

          • Greg, no, I don’t think you should be supportive. Or pray, if you’re not so inclined. Nor do I mind in the slightest that you have an opinion.

            But I do want to know on what grounds you separate his redemption from his role as a leader.

            Put it this way.

            If a person is found to be unworthy of leadership because of sins, I think it’s worth asking, “Is that for life?”

            If not, what are the criteria for restoration? Obviously there are some, and I have no issue with that. But what are they? Who sets them? If you or Chaplain Mike sound off saying, “The HELL you get to be a pastor again!” I think I’m justified in asking, “Okay, what are the rules here? Obviously you have some. So what exactly are they?”

            Jesus’ restoration of Peter of course was rather rapid, but neither is it a particularly world-wise method: “Oh, that? You’re fine.” We have no record of particular remorse, unless we count Peter’s weeping, and Ted’s wept, we’re told on good authority.

            So what more do you want before he’s given his gold card back?

            Or is the issue that you feel he never should have had it in the first place?

            I’m okay with that, but I just want to understand you, because the way I see it as a bit of an outsider is that a lot of Christians here are fighting for their right NOT to restore a man to the full faith and confidence of his peers.

            • That’s certainly not what I’m fighting for, Otter. I’m fighting for a process of restoration that has integrity. The evidence suggests TH has not followed such a process, but has chosen a self-directed path. And thus the bigger question raised regarding evangelicalism: is this kind of Christianity capable of providing adequate oversight for a legitimate process?

              • Which evidence, Chaplain Mike?

                How is this any different than tabloidization of the man’s redemption process?

                Obviously I don’t know, but I don’t think anybody else here does either.

                I’d agree with you that Protestantism of most varieties cuts its own throat at the level of discipline: no argument from me.

                But given that these people under Hagerty’s leadership feel that they are priests of God and qualified to judge for themselves, and presumably have some contact with the man, and have judged him to be sound, on what grounds are we suggesting that he’s not?

                If there’s good reason, that’s one thing, but “evidence suggests” is not good enough. Is he not being held accountable by somebody in the prescribed scriptural manner? Do we know that?

                If you think that the recidivism rates for such sins is conclusive evidence, or that only a twelve step program of some sort would do the trick, you have evidence on your side. But I can’t but think that’s no way for a Christian to think.

                • Just wanted to say I’ve replied to this on my own blog,. I know you’re fearfully busy with this excellent web-space here and your other commitments. But you’d be welcome to reply, and I’d happily make space for a guest blog to counter-blast my take on it.

                • And obviously, when I write “Hagerty,” I mean “Haggard,” except before I’ve slept eight hours a night.

                • So Otter : who IS holding Ted accountable ? His wife, his parishoners, a newly formed planning launch team ? You’re right, there’s a lot I don’t know, and I’m many hundreds of miles away , but there is NOTHING that I’ve read or heard about his situation that suggests real accountability, esp. the kind coming from a secure, intelligent peer, and that lasts. Maybe it’s there , which would be wonderful, and maybe Ted doesn’t flaunt his support system.

                  This isn’t about me, or you, or Ted being proved right. We are all very small , really, and I wish him the best , though I fear he hasn’t learned much from this dark chapter. I’ll give you a pass on the “you guys are just like the devil” post…..maybe you had a lousy pizza, or lost at cards or something.

                  • Greg, no need to give me a pass. I’ll stand by my words there.

                    • and I’ll stand by mine: I choose to not hold it against you that you equate me with the one who desires to steal , kill, and destroy. I don’t think you know what you’re saying.

                      Greg R

                    • Well, that’s why you’re unable to see why this whole exercise is troubling.

                    • And anyway, Greg, why in the world would you condemn a man based on media reports?

                      I thought Christians had higher standards than that, and were anxious to believe the good.

                      On my blog a friend who knows Haggard dropped by and said she’s disillusioned because of him. I think she’s got that right.

                      But if he’s not in your circle, not part of your accountability, you really don’t know anything about it and you should just let it go. It’s not your brief, man, or your god would have put you nearby to wag your finger. I guess that’s what your god does? Whatever you spiritual people do without shame, I just don’t know. Whom would you consume?

                    • Otter, the word “condemn” is too strong. Strongly criticize, yes.

                      Based on media reports? Yes, because that’s the arena in which Haggard himself has chosen to make his case.

                      Because he has made this a public issue, he has opened himself up to public criticism. And I have responded to this story not only in personal terms, but because I think he represents many of the problems I lament in my ongoing “lover’s quarrel” with evangelicalism. It’s not just about him.

                      Also, I’ve said I won’t be saying any more. I don’t have an ongoing issue with TH on a personal level. He made a big media splash about his “resurrection,” and I made a one-time response to that. Period.

                      Furthermore, I’ve said I hope he proves me wrong.

                    • I hear you, Chaplain Mike.

                      I agree that it’s always troubling when people show an addiction to the media. (I say that with the guilty conscience of someone who compulsively takes his opinions before the World Wide Web…)

                      Unclear to me, though, what else he could have done, since he’d been tried and condemned in the media. To make his case before the media might not be so very strange.

                      I suppose he could have patiently endured people talking about him like that. But it’s hard to know, given the nature of electronic media, whether he would ever have had the option of practicing his ministry again. Media ever forgets, and it never forgives.

                    • to Otter

                      dang…….when I said “your post” I meant on YOUR BLOG….not anything said here at IMONK, that I can remember at least….

                • TH himself chose to use the media over the past year to make his case, so the evidence is there for anyone to evaluate. The Colorado Springs Gazette has had the most articles. His opting out of the disciplinary process is a well known fact. It’s TH’s game, ball, and court now, and has been for some time. That’s how I read the reports that he himself has given in various interviews and through eyewitness accounts of his words and actions.

          • I appreciate your posts and questions, which are excellent, really. I think it’s only to the casual glance that it looks like some kind of angry mob here that wants to keep anything good from Ted Haggard. I just don’t see it that way. I’m convinced that Chap Mike wants the best and highest for Ted, as much as anyone in that barn.

            In fact , I’m convinced that Chap Mike, and hope this doesn’t look purely self-congratulatory but myself as well, have a better idea of what ‘s in Ted’s best interest and particularly his restoration. As someone who has never met him personally, maybe that seems pretty ballsy, but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t think it’s any ONE thing, any ONE action, any ONE statement: it’s a pattern that says “There is NO way I’m sitting on the back row (though I know he thinks he did plenty of that in AZ), no way I’m gonna sit still for measly insurance sales, no way I’m NOT going to teach, and preach, and be the guy. That is very unhealthy for anybody, you, me, Joe christian, anybody.

            You’ve mentioned the word ‘redemption’, and I think we both agree that GOD”s plan , in the general sense, has not and will not change for Ted: CHRISTLIKENESS and Christian maturity. I think getting Ted back to his former heights or anything like it is just not that big of a deal. Again, the differences in Ted’s approach and Gordon MacDonald are striking , though I know that any two paths of restroation are never going to look just exactly alike. Gordon thoroughly, and for years, put himself completely under the watchcare of a group of mature men, and WAITED. He was not that bent out of shape to run back to the pulpit, or to do a book, do a TV show.

            Gordon’s big concerns ? Christ’s name and reputation and his wife and family. Gordon’t image was not such a big deal. I know these things are subjective in their assessment, which makes it tough…..maybe we are just grumpy old men in front of a keyboard, pounding out our wrath and judgment… but I don’t think so: I think we’re just calling out someone who tends to drift (we all do….) but has fallen in love with the ev. circus and can’;t get enough of being ring master. I’ve said it before a time or two: I’ll be much more assured that Ted knows something about real restoration when he makes peace with some kind of obscurity for……that’s just it, there is no set time for that….. but this patient NEVER let his ‘bones set’ and now he’s back to playing head doctor…..this just won’t work.

            thanks for letting me ramble, my dog thinks I’ve lost my mind, she needs her walk.

            God bless Ted Haggard, his wife and four kids, his former congregation (that needs healing I’m sure) and MANY others who have a tough time listening to anything Otter or GregR says about Jesus because of our sin and his: God lead all of us to a full repentance

  30. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    And so the new Cult of Ted Haggard begins.
    TOUCH NOT GOD’S ANOINTED!

    “Oh, the more it changes,
    The more it stays the same;
    And the Hand just rearranges
    The players in the game…”
    — Al Stewart, “Nostradamus”, 1973

  31. Donald Todd says:

    Ted is back.

    Jimmy Swaggart is back.

    While we are a people of the second chance, perhaps rewarding failed clergy a much lower profile function would be a good idea. Tolerance can be a good, but not always. I suspect in many cases intolerance would be preferable.

    I am concerned about how badly this will work out.

    I hope his wife can hold up.

  32. Louis Winthrop says:

    The way that you guys see Ted Haggard, is more or less how non-evangelicals see evangelicals. Probably unfair, I know, but ask around–you’ll probably find that the first people outsiders think of will be TV evangelists, plus the occasional book author or politician. Beyond that, though, a lot of things that seem normal to most evangelicals, will often strike outsiders as…well, like this.

    Just out of curiosity, why the name “St. James”? I thought evangelicals disliked calling people “saints,” And why James in particular?

  33. Well, I was a little concerned the moment I heard his words, “the expressions of Love in a tangible form were especially valuable”.
    His love for the offering plate has certainly overcome his “brokenness”, hasn’t it?

  34. Enoch Chee says:

    I’m not trying to be partisan with Ted here (I’m way up north in Canada), but… having read a couple of articles about him, I actually don’t see much wrong with what he’s doing right now. Granted, his words about Easter and his own personal “resurrection” and skinny dipping didn’t make him more endearing to us… but I personally am giving him the benefit of the doubt–maybe because I am naive and know no better.

    I think it’s fair to say that at the time of the scandal, he disgraced the church. Perhaps it would have been better for him not to have been born… and perhaps his impact for the kingdom will be a net loss when all is said and done–just because of the grievousness of his sin. But, I cannot help but think he is a gifted minister… and I cannot help but hope for the best for him as he ministers to his new “flock.”

    I don’t see him having embraced deviant theology. The thing that got him in trouble in the first place if I remember right was that he was about to preach a sermon *against* homosexuality when his gay partner blew the whistle. I don’t see evidence in my (admittedly few) readings that he has embraced homosexuality as compatible with the faith. I don’t see evidence that his understanding of the gospel is off… and I think if he were significantly flawed on his gospel before the scandal, his old church would have sniffed him out. I personally think it’s most believable that he has a good understanding of the gospel and is now living out his faith. As such, I wish him the best.

    I was told the story of a construction project manager who made a mistake in his work that cost his company something like a million dollars. When his boss called him in, the project manager expected to be fired. Instead, his boss said something to the extent of: “I just spent a million dollars on your education. Am I going to fire you now? Don’t do it again.”

    Side note: The news article I read described the gathering in the barn as a “launch party” and not a church service, so I think it’s not *wrong* to talk more about Ted than about Jesus.

    • I obviously disagree with you, Enoch. In my opinion, the evidence suggests that this man has engaged in a carefully planned, prolonged, and deceptive process of getting back into religious leadership in spite of the counsel of others. Furthermore, he decided to do this in the backyard of his former church, which is supremely unethical. He has used and continues to use the media to seek sympathy and support for his “restoration,” rather than submitting to any kind of ecclesiastical authority. The final point you mention is a good example of what’s going on. The meeting was announced as a “launch party,” but in actuality the day began with a church service, filmed by a media crew, complete with “testimonies,” some of which came from people who had answered ads and whose way was paid to be there, and a sermon by the new “pastor” of St. James church—the one who has been saying over and over again that he doesn’t see himself as a pastor anymore. Only afterwards did they have the aforementioned “launch party.”

      Enoch, open your eyes.

      • Enoch Chee says:

        Thanks, Mike

        Now that you mention it, a power play would seem quite suspect, and a church launch near his former church seems rather sketchy. And the lack of ecclesiastical authority is again suspect.

        Appreciate the reply, and the post.

      • Enoch Chee says:

        Now looks to me like a case of a man who does not enter the sheep pen through the gate, but climbs in some other way.

      • Non-denominationals/evangelicals don’t have any kind of ecclesiastical authority.

  35. Damaris says:

    You know, I wonder what happened to Mr. Haggard’s gay partner. Is he all right? Has anyone reached out to him? In this whole issue he’s just been treated as “SIN,” and “my repented-of past,” but he’s a person, made in the image of God, and deserves to be treated as such. I would hope that Mr. Haggard has asked for his forgiveness at the least.

    • Great observation; also: what about the New Life congregation ?? Ted says they’re doing great and he’s glad……maybe he’s right, I wouldn’t mind hearing their side of this and what they are going thru as they walk forward. I would NOT want , or suggest, that any kind of public statement be askded of TED’s kids , but I’d pay real money to sound them out and ask what all this has been like for them…..again, I’m not saying that should be done as an interview or anything, but they are also “background” figures in all this.

    • Louis Winthrop says:

      He can probably be reached through Craigslist.

    • I wish I had a cite but about a year ago, there was a news report that he visited New Life Church (I think that was the name of Mr. Haggard’s church) & expected to be shunned or vilified. Instead, he said people were very kind to him and some thanked him for exposing what had happened.

  36. Rick Ro. says:

    Maybe coincidentally, maybe not, I was reading Matthew 15 this morning and stumbled upon this, thinking it quite appropriate for this thread.

    Matthew 15…
    12Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

    13He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides.[e] If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

    While we have a responsibility to point out when we feel fellow Christians might be erring, it’s also apparent that we’re told at some point we have to let the blind lead the blind whereever it is they might go.

    • I see the wisdom to this, and maybe I’ve lingered on this thread too long…..at some point , for our “sanctification and digestion”, as Chap Mike so delicately put it, you move on to something a lot more encouraging…..thanks for the Word applied, Rick Ro.

  37. From Joe’s Opinion above, a little long, hope this is OK

    For all we know, Haggard may be truly repentant. And he may be sufficiently transformed as a result of his fall from grace to where he can now pastor a church again. Because that is exactly what he is doing, whether he will admit it or not.

    But how are we to know? Are we supposed to believe it because he says so when he says he is healed of all his homosexual tendencies? Because his wife says so when she says she’s sticking with him? Because a bunch of his peeps and fanboys up in Colorado Springs say so?

    It would help immensely if we knew that Haggard was accountable in some form or fashion to some sort of pastoral oversight, and that the people involved in this oversight believed that he was ready to return to the ministry. It would help if we could see that Haggard felt some sense of connection with the broader Christian church and the historical traditions of the Christian faith. But we don’t see this. Instead we see a guy striking out on his own in an entrepreneurial fashion, as if he is the first one ever to sit down with a Bible and try to figure out how to do this thing called Christianity, and trying to see how far he can get.

    I thought that spelled it out pretty clear, thanks JOE
    Greg R

  38. Allegro says:

    I live in Colorado Springs right now and it’s strange and tiring to read all the coverage that Haggard gets here. From the recent Independent article http://www.csindy.com/colorado/borne-again/Content?oid=1730059

    Ted states about the documentary that was made:

    “Alexandra Pelosi gave me the break that rescued my life,” he says. “If she wouldn’t have done that, we’d be in a little trailer in the Arizona desert somewhere trying to peddle insurance.”

    I thought that quote was pretty telling. “a little trailer in the Arizona desert somewhere trying to peddle insurance.” Instead he’s now back in the Springs with followers and collections money.

    • “If she wouldn’t have done that, we’d be in a little trailer in the Arizona desert somewhere trying to peddle insurance.”

      God knows, not Greg R, but I think it very likely that this is EXACTLY where the LORD would have had him, at least for awhile…… and then came “the break”……