Monday, November 13, 2006

Ted Haggard's Darkest Hour

The case of Ted Haggard and his recent fall from grace is a truly bizarre story. Haggard initially minimizes the accusations by Mike Jones (I bought meth from him, but didn't take it; I got a massage from him, but didn't have sex with him - sound familiar? "...but I didn't inhale"), but eventually confesses his own deception: "The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring about it for my entire life..." He still says not all of what was claimed was true, but enough of it is. Meanwhile, Mike Jones passes a lie detector test partially--the part about him having sex with Haggard he fails. Perhaps he was stressed at that time, says the test implementer, and says he will do it over. Whatever the outcome is irrelevant now that Haggard has at least admitted deception, sexual immorality, and a "dark side".

Haggard is now mocked by the left and tolerated by the church, as a fallen brother, whose sin now exposed, was part of God's will as "God is a holy God and he chose this incredibly important timing for this sin to be revealed, and I actually think it's a good thing. I believe America needs a shaking, spiritually, " so said a leading board member of Haggard's church.

God is using this to shake America? Isn't he using it to shake the church? Shouldn't people be angry that the church continues to foster deceptive leaders? Or, is there a deeper element that should be faced--the fact that narrow, legalistic teaching bears the bad fruit of deception, hypocrisy, and in some cases deep sexual frustration?

One of the bizarre elements of this is how no one seems to be asking how a anti-gay-rights evangelical influential leader could fall into homosexual sin in the first place! Doesn't it appear like he was a man struggling with homosexual orientation and finally gave in? If so, his story must be reminiscent of Mel White's, although Mel didn't openly preach against homosexuality.

In 2003, Haggard was quoted as the new President of the National Association of Evangelicals: "This is evangelicalism's finest hour. It is the time for evangelicalism to assert itself in the public debate of ideas." If that was their finest hour, today is one of their darkest. And, another piece of evidence that the church is in desperate need of a new reformation.

No comments: