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Going to Hell with Ted Haggard

Matt Steen and myself tackle an article from Leadership Journal on the Christian community’s lack of forgiveness for the likes of Ted Haggard (or really, anyone that has fallen).

Here’s the main article:  Going To Hell with Ted Haggard

What do YOU think?

Todd



7 Responses to “ “Going to Hell with Ted Haggard”

  1. Stacey says:

    Todd, I appreciate your thoughts, but to wonder if a spiritual leader who falls is disqualified for ministry…wow, where is that mandate in the Bible? Isn’t the opposite more true? Every effective Biblical character that God used in dramatic ways had a major fall in their life, either from their own fault or something that was handed to them. Usually, it was of their own doing. I’m so grateful that God restores people and restores them to ministry, making them even more effective. Could it be that because of people like you that secrets and sins are buried because someone who is struggling knows that “good Christians” will throw him away?

    • Mike says:

      For me, there are two major problems with Haggard. One, he seems to have no awareness of the hurt he has caused. Even Paul, years later, was still broken about the “injury” he had brought upon the church. Second, is the seeming arrogance of the guy. I just don’t get it.

      • Stacey says:

        Have you talked to Haggard? Seems like you’re letting an “image” you seen from the media at a distance to influence your opinion of him.

    • J.P. Timmons says:

      There are two problems with Haggard: 1) He has not been delivered of the homosexual spirit and thus should not be in ministry to others by starting another church, 2) God does forgive and restore but normally not to leadership, David being one of the few exceptions; Saul was not, Samson was not; Judas was not. Character is important to God because His character is the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5); that’s why He takes so long to “build the person” before He can “build the ministry”; it takes time to build a person’s character like it should be in the image of Christ.

      As far as the article, I didn’t read it because I stopped reading Leadership Journal 25 years ago because only about 5% of the articles contained any scriptural foundation for their articles; they are mostly based on psychology and not the Word of God.

      I had never heard of Ted Haggard when the problem first surfaced and some ministry friends called us from South Africa. I went on UTube and could see the homosexual spirit on him immediately during a church service so my question is: “Why couldn’t any of these other ‘leaders’ who worked with him for years not see it?” Maybe they’re really not leaders, eh?

      • Stacey says:

        J.P., let me make sure I understand you. You don’t read Leadership Journal because it’s not Scriptural enough, you didn’t read the article you’re commenting on, and you haven’t ever had a conversation with the man you are judging, let along met him, right (or even heard of him until his story became public)? Yet again, I am certainly glad that “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

        Also, you mention that David is a rare example of someone being restored to leadership but I have to correct you. What about Peter, Saul/Paul, Moses, Abraham, John Mark, Jacob, and many more. Even when Paul gave clear instructions on how to restore someone in the church, he never restricted that restoration to only be for certain positions or to exclude leadership. His instructions infer full restoration. It may take time to rebuild trust but God never places a limit on his grace or forgiveness or usefulness. In fact, most every major character in the Bible had a life-defining period of fallenness, and it was only after that this happened that they had the most impact and influence on others.

        Before you restrict someone’s leadership in God’s Kingdom, make sure you’re able to separate God’s Word from your own bias.

  2. Ken says:

    In the words of one of my pastors, “God will forgive you; the church may never, but God does.” That is so true. I went through a divorce when I was 35 years old. It was a bad dating relationship before it ever became a bad marriage and in spite of counseling all along the way it ended – that and my church ministry career.

    God called me when I was 19 and I have never doubted that calling. But do you know what happens to people who are told they can never be restored? They lose hope. I can’t be redeemed in the eyes of my denomination because neither one of us could be declared the “innocent” party. That means it does not matter HOW I live my life. There’s nothing I can do to ever demonstrate that I could or should be restored to ministry. Boy that makes it hard to want to be holy. But I try.

    I understand having to take time out. Sure, make me sit out for 5 or even 10 years. But give me some sense of hope. But the next 40 years? How does that makes sense and in what way does that demonstrate grace? Clearly it does not.

    I’ve been out of vocational ministry now for 12 years. If I had killed my ex-wife I could have been restored some day. (I even had an official in another denomination make note of that sad reality.) But we divorced instead and now I am out for the rest of my life. How do I live my purpose?

    • J.P. Timmons says:

      If God has called you to ministry then only He can release you from it; not men! If you truly have a call then Romans 11:29 says it all. Trust the Lord and seek Him to open the doors for you to continue on in ministry.

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