A Haggardly Ending


I have been follwing Ted Haggard’s story with much grief and sadness. I am particularly saddened by the coverage in the news media. Like this is a ‘political’ story!? There is a complete disregard for a man who is very broken with a family that is humiliated and devastated–especially his kids (who were on the front page of the newspaper).

I heard that in certain poitical circles people were cheering about Haggard’s downfall. Makes the heart sad.

11 thoughts on “A Haggardly Ending

  1. His church and his board at NAE should be in deep self-examination mode for allowing this situation to happen. The most likely to be isolated man in town is the priest or pastor, whose personal pride and community standing require him to heavily mask his sin and hide his true nature. Sad, but true. That’s why your congregation should watch you and your brother clergy like a hawk, Fr. Neo. You are the prime target of the Enemy. You need to expect attack and we need to protect you from it.

  2. I mostly agree with Morpheus. Pastors do need accountability and someone to “watch” for us as we watch for others.

    But is it possible that we also need a bit more openness within our churches. This is perhaps where some of our more “liberal” brothers and sisters have one up on those of us who are more conservative (I don’t like the word liberal and I mean no offense to those who comment on this sight who are less conservative than I – another term I don’t really like).

    Haggard said he has struggled with these issues for most of his adult life. Why has he never, as a Christian, been able to address this with anyone? Why couldn’t he seek counsel, make confession, and try to work it out – whatever out might look like? Are we so judgmental that we cannot allow Christians to struggle with sin? Could a lack of openness in the evangelical church be to blame?

    I am not dismissing his sin and I do see it as such. I also believe his church has acted rightly. But are we somehow contributing to the lies and deceit and fear and build up to a big scandal because in all his years as an adult he could never discuss his problem with another loving and mature believer?

    May God be merciful to Mr. Haggard, his family, and former congregation.

  3. “You are the prime target of the Enemy.” Does it make life more colorful and entertaining, or just easier to deal with, by reducing it all down to ancient symbols locked in a good-evil struggle?
    The true evil is goat-herd religion that makes homosexuality a “sin.” Hypocrisy and fraudulent misrepresentation are the true sins involved in the Haggard affair. But you know what? We used to suspect people who were left-handed, but we grew out of it. We used to deny women and blacks a right to vote, but we as a society grew out of it. Homophobes, enjoy your reign while it lasts, you too will be discarded on the pile of useless tools no longer required by society.

    Okay, I know my tone is not that civil, but it’s election day, and I am really pissed off when I think what neo-cons and the relgious right have done to MY country and other people in this world. Take aim at me over at the Burning Man topic!

  4. Fearth,
    Could you be more lost? I take it you believe that left-handedness, race and gender are equivalent to yielding to adulterousness and sex outside of marriage? Whew. What a stretch! Beyond distortion all the way to contortion. Secular progressives think Christians are ruining society by arguing for the standards of behavior we grew up with for only the last twenty centuries or so. The “new” morality, which you hawk, is just narcissistic self-gratification. Ted Haggard’s sin, and its results, were registered so vividly on the faces or his poor children trapped in the car by the Denver Post to show their grief to the world. Is he a hypocrite? No, he’s a sinner. Is forgiveness available to him? Yes, it is. In Christ Jesus, not by ignoring sin or its consequences, but by repentance and forgiveness. Our sadness on this site is for the loneliness and alienation that he has undoubtedly experienced in his deception. But, sadly, we’ve all been there. We are none of us perfect. Not even one. Haven’t you sinned Fearth? The wages of sin is death and the consequences on his children and his wife are brutal. Just look at their faces! I will visit the Burning Man site, but am afraid I’m going to see the same shallow understanding there. See you over there, Fearth.

  5. Fearth,

    First, you have taken us off subject to your own agenda. That’s annoying.

    Second, just because someone believes homosexuality is a sin and contrary to God’s design for sexuality does not make anyone a homophobe. I believe homosexuality is a sin. But I will (and do) socialize with and have some friends who are, indeed, gay. I love them and we are friends. I do not like their sin anymore than I like mine. I would love to convince them of the errors of their ways and have certainly tried. But like many people in my life, I will love them and remain friends even if we disagree. How does this make me a homophobe?

    Third, instead of hurling insults, perhaps you could join us in sharing the hurt we feel for a man who has been caught in a scandal. Perhaps you could show some compassion for his family. Maybe a little sympathy could be shown to a shattered church that just lost their beloved pastor.

    I respect your right to disagree, but as you pointed out your tone strikes at incivility. If you want to talk, let’s talk. But cut the self-righteous crap.

  6. Fearth, that did seem harsh, guy. I’m with you on the social progressive thing-alot of times even my own beloved Dems seem too “conservative”. I also hate what neocons have done to my country. Happily checked every D box today, but I still can’t condone publishing pictures of frightened children who have nothing to do with this. Angry with Ted? Absolutely. Makes people not believe the rest of us when we speak of the King. But if I were in his situation, I’d have lied, too. Sorry for him? Absolutely. The pain of possibly losing his family or needing to put aside a part of himself as strong a sexuality-I don’t envy him. Add to that vilification and humiliation? No thanks. I can’t do that to another person in agony. Scott, you make a good point, take an isue like women who have had abortions. These women, if their “secret” got out, well, people wouldn’t sit next to them or commune with them, now would they? But if they had the baby much the same would happen. A quite conservative church I used to attend forbade the women to give a baby shower to a young single mother in poverty because it would “condone premarital sex.” Doesn’t leave women a choice to choose life or termination, does it? So many go through life hating themselves and believing God could never forgive them. If our churches embraced these sinners, or sinners like Haggard, and offered help up along with accountability we’d be alot healthier. We’d be culling the sin through accountability and offering a cold cup of water in the name of our Lord by helping these people heal. I sound naive, I know, but blasting those bad ol conservatives, no matter how wrong they are 😉 isn’t healing anyone and puts progressives on no higher moral ground because of hate. They stress personal purity, we stress love and forgiveness, and between the two of us, God’s work gets done.

  7. Yeah, I blew it with my uncivil tone and topic-drift. Contrition is displayed back at the too-quickly abandoned Burning Man topic.

    Is it me, or is it difficult as heck to make out the word verification characters?

    There, topic-drift in two directions at once! Yee Haw!

  8. Another Fearth thought:
    Try Strobel’s The Case for Christ or C. S. Lewis Mere Christianity, maybe both. Start with C. S. Lewis if you are inclined to read both. Highly recommended.

    Did I mention “highly”?

  9. Cheering about Haggard’s downfall, no – sighing with relief, perhaps.
    I have to agree with Scott – it is a crying shame that in the evangelical church there was no one that this man felt he could go to and share this problem with.
    I love the children’s book ” There’s a Nightmare in my Closet” because if truth be told, there is a nightmare in every last one of our closets. I have not, and refuse to even attempt to master the art of the false church persona – pretending I have it all together while simultaneously looking down my nose at the sins of another. Somewhere out there is the balance between old school Catholic Guilt and Kings kid evangelical self-righteousness and I intend to find it . . .

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

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