For those unfamiliar with Ted Haggard.
Ted Haggard was a Presidential Spiritual Advisor, during the most troubling era of our history; the Bush Administration. He was the head of a 10,000 member church in Colorado.
Ted was also the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), a group who claims they represent millions of Evangelical Christians across over 45,000 churches throughout North America.
So the question is, how did a sexually confused, prostitue befriending, methamphetamine user become the leader of an organization that touts itself as “a united voice for millions of American evangelicals since 1942”?
Let’s be honest, people do lots of things in their personal lives that contradict their public image, but yikes, how come nobody from the NAE saw through him?
Also, Ted was also one of George W. Bush’s spiritual advisors.
Did I mention that before?
People talk about Ted Haggard as though he was the only person that failed. Why was he kicked out of the church? He apologized and walked away from his sins, what type of believers did he raise up as disciples that they would kick him out like that? And why do people go on about how awful his life is as an insurance salesman? Did that suddenly become a bad profession? He has over 50 people working for him and probably makes more money than many of the people who attended his church.
Why are so few people commenting on the fact that he was kicked out of the church he built up in such an unscriptural manner? It’s because they don’t understand God’s forgiveness well enough to cry out for justice when people aren’t shown forgiveness within Christian communities. The writers themselves are either immature or unspiritual people.
Let’s focus on Ted for a minute, he openly said that prayer didn’t remove his homosexual inclinations. I’m not surprised that nothing happened, judging by the quality of the church he raised up, I don’t think he’s very close to God or understands what it means to be a righteous person. In a display of how unrepentant he is, when Ted’s indiscretion was exposed, he denied having any other same sex relationships. Shortly after, another young man from his church came forward stating that he had been given a nice chunk of change to keep his mouth shut about, you guessed it, having a sexual relationship with Ted.
When the scandal first broke, Ted’s career as a pastor was finished almost overnight. I’m not sure what stopped him from admitting to other relationships as it wasn’t going to affect anyone’s view of him. Unless he was afraid that people would frown on paying someone to be quiet so he could live a lie.
I mean come on, this is America. Since when is it wrong to give someone a six figure check in exchange for their silence? After all, Ted’s reputation as a morally upright Christian leader was at stake, what else could he do?
Oh I don’t know, maybe he could have just told the truth and led by example?
I think the worst part of the second incident, is that it wasn’t Ted who wrote the check to keep the young man silent, it was his church. That means innocent church members had donated to keep Ted as their pastor. And just how did the church plan to write such a big ticket item into that year’s expense report? And how did the recipient describe the payment on their tax form that year? Services rendered?
We all know nobody’s perfect, but some indiscretions become more public than others, just ask Eddie Murphy and Hugh Grant.
Jesus promised that what was spoken in private would be shouted from the rooftops, and that he would personally reveal all the dark secrets of man. Personally, I would rather be honest and let Christians around me know about my sin rather than try to conceal it. Unless Ted doesn’t believe in the Bible he hid behind for so long, I don’t know why he chose to be deceitful about something he was already in trouble for.
Ted also treated a young man in a documentary in a shameful manner. Jesus Camp was the name. Ted’s scenes show him to be a man much different than what he wanted to accept.
So, it’s clear to see how much of an impact that sort of thing can have on the members of an organization. I admire the Christian community in that Ted did not remain in power.