Ted Haggard Postscript

The Ted Haggard scandal is starting to wind down, and I thought I’d post a few final thoughts.

I’ve never been a big fan of Ted Haggard for reasons that I don’t care to elaborate on here. But he is a brother in Christ and it hurts all of us to see his suffering and that of his family. I know that others may disagree, but I appreciate the way he’s handled the situation with submission and humility. Frank Turk opines that it doesn’t appear from Mr. Haggard’s letter that he is truly repentent for his sin against God. Frank might be right, but I hope not. I prefer to give Ted Haggard the benefit of the doubt at this point.

Tim Challies has written an excellent post on the scandal here. Also, Gordon MacDonald has written an good piece in the Out of Ur blog. Interesting quote,

Ever since the beginning of the Bush administration, I have worried over the tendency of certain Evangelical personalities to go public every time they visited the White House or had a phone conference with an administration official. I know it has wonderful fund-raising capabilities. And I know the temptation to ego expansion when one feels that he has the ear of the President. But the result is that we are now part of an evangelical movement that is greatly compromised….identified in the eyes of the public as deep in the hip pockets of the Republican party and administration. My own belief? Our movement has been used. There are hints that the movement—once cobbled together by Billy Graham and Harold Ockenga—is beginning to fragment because it is more identified by a political agenda that seems to be failing and less identified by a commitment to Jesus and his kingdom. Like it or not, we are pictured as those who support war, torture, and a go-it-alone (bullying) posture in international relationships. Any of us who travel internationally have tasted the global hostility toward our government and the suspicion that our President’s policies reflect the real tenants of Evangelical faith. And I might add that there is considerable disillusionment on the part of many of our Christian brothers/sisters in other countries who are mystified as to where American evangelicals are in all of this. Our movement may have its Supreme Court appointments, but it may also have compromised its historic center of Biblical faith. Is it time to let the larger public know that some larger-than-life evangelical personalities with radio and TV shows do not speak for all of us?

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2 Responses

  1. Frank,

    Thanks for the comment. I agree that we gloss over sin, especially for those who are already in the Church, and prefer to throw our stones at the unregenerate.

    My point is that I truly hope that Ted Haggard is repentant and heals his relationship with God and his family. I don’t really care if I never hear about him again, but I wish the best for him.

    (By the way, I’m on away through Thursday so I won’t be posting or commenting over the next few days.)

  2. Kev —

    Let me clarify something for the sake of charity and reducing body count: I have no idea if Ted Haggard is truly repentant. None.

    But, it seems, that is itself problematic — especially since he gave a public statement about his resignation. All the other stuff is fine as a consequence of being guilty before God. But what Ted Haggard ought not do is go through a process only because he got caught — and we, as the church, ought not to simply feel like this case is closed because he stepped down and is now in counselling at Focus on the Family.

    The problem is that we in the church view sin too lightly. That a pastor can stand up and say, “I’m responsible; I’m going into counselling,” and that be all to it — it seems a little, um, careless about what happened here.

    Is he repentant? I have no idea. But I think that somehow, we ought to have some idea.

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