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You’re an idiot

Ted Haggard thinks you’re an idiot and a hypocrite.

At least that’s what he thinks of most of the church.

In fact, Ted feels that while the church says they offer forgiveness, they rarely if ever give it.  But other kinds of businesses do give forgiveness and restoration freely… all the time.

As Ted says, everyone else was restored and forgiven, just not him.

He mentions how Tiger Woods was restored.  Tiger is a golfer.  If Tiger’s sin had been extreme hypocrisy involving golf, say using illegal equipment or betting on or fixing outcomes, Tiger would not be playing today.

He mentions Martha Stewart.  If Martha had been caught doing something related to her core business of making pretty things out of feces and bows, she would also not have a TV show today.

He mentions David Letterman.  David Letterman’s profession is being funny.  That he had an affair is a side issue.

(And most of these examples, Ted, happened AFTER your indiscretions… I think you may have some time-warp issues as well).

All of these individuals were forgiven and restored to their previous careers and glory.  His question?  Why can’t I?  Why can’t the church forgive and restore like CBS or the golf community?

Then he pulls the trump card.  Jimmy Swaggart.  ”The church STILL hates him”.

Maybe so.  But Jimmy and Ted share something that Letterman, Stewart and Tiger woods don’t.  They were PASTORS… men of God… who got caught in an indiscretion that was directly tied to their line of work.

Kind of like the police officer who gets caught selling drugs, or the teacher caught having sex with a student.

Ted ‘s life was about morality, speaking against homosexuals, and leading a national organization of family values.

Jimmy preached against all the things he was caught doing… twice!

And both men thwarted the accountability that they had set up for themselves so that they could be restored quickly and with as little consequence as possible.

Ted is clearly angry. Very angry.  And I’m afraid Ted will die an angry man.

Forgiveness, at least for me, is freely given.  That does not mean that we forget and move on like nothing happened.  Ted knows that there are consequences for sin.  He’s preached that for years.

Might I suggest that one of the consequences to being an influential pastor that is found out to be leading a double life might be a loss of trust and credibility?  And a slow… very slow… restoration process.

You’re forgiven, Ted… you just have a trust and credibility problem.

You’re sin caused you to be a laughing-stock.

You’re sin caused people to look at your church (and our churches) as a joke.

You’re sin ruined your reputation and robbed you of your trust and credibility in the Christian community.

I’ve not heard ONE person say they’re not willing to forgive you.

But please don’t call us idiots and hypocrites.  It might make you feel better.  But it doesn’t make it true.

What do YOU think?

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24 Responses to “ “You’re an idiot”

  1. Tye Male says:

    I’m speechless. (first time in a while)

  2. Jeff says:

    What is the world’s version of restoration? Letting someone play a sport or have a tv show isn’t about restoration. It’s about the dollar. Those companies will make money. The companies don’t necessarily care about moral influence or being blameless, they will drop any one of those people if they stop generating revenue.

    The money makes “restoration” easy.

    The church isn’t perfect, but I love her.

  3. Brian O says:

    If I embezzled money from my day job in the business world, I would get fired and most likely arrested. After doing my time, the company may forgive me… but do you think I would EVER get a job in finance ever again??

    Good points Todd. He destroyed trust… and that is not something that gets rebuilt quickly. I’m all for forgiveness and restoration, if it’s done through proper channels and over the proper length of time.

  4. What challenges me most about this, what breaks my heart actually, is that what he’s calling attention to is a “worthy” and “righteous” indictment. It is simply the wrong context. We aren’t good at restoration, and I don’t think anyone would deny it. I simply don’t think Ted Haggard is the one who should play the prophet in this situation.

    I agree with you Todd – the anger is palpable and for someone who wishes to find their way back into the type of ministry role that I believe Ted wishes to occupy, this is very dangerous.

    We should pray that we’re better restorers. We should pray for Ted’s anger.

    peace

  5. Just further evidence of why he should not be restored in ministry. Sometimes searching your heart and learning when to keep your mouth shut are the best lessons!

  6. Peter says:

    Although he’s right that the church does a better job of marketing the Bible than believing it…

    …even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    Ted, I publicly forgive you. Now, as you no longer possess the biblical qualifications to be a pastor, please go and live a quiet life somewhere.

  7. david says:

    this is sad. particularly because it isn’t just Ted.

    i’ve seen many pastors in the few years who have lost their ministry due to sin, and are more interested in how they can get their ministry back than in making right their wrongs.

    and then, like Ted, they indict the very people they sinned against.

    of course, but for the grace of God there go I…

  8. Scott H. says:

    Angry is an understatement. Funny thing about that kind of anger, is usually displayed by the person who isn’t dealing with the right issues. I’ve not heard one person who hated Jimmy Swaggart. They just doubted him.

    I think Ted expected to be restored completely by now. I think Ted equates forgiveness with restoration, and that is a mistake of expectation. Perhaps he is so angry because he may be the kind of man who would’ve been the first to extend a hand and forgiveness.

    It’s hard to hear him call the church I love and serve a bunch of idiots. He’s hurting and I’m sorry to say that I agree with you Todd, that he may also die an angry man. I hope not.

  9. bishopdave says:

    I thought Ted WAS pastoring again; isn’t he pastoring the church he started? how is he not “restored”? Oh, cause New Life won’t give him his job back.

    The NFL restores not just dog abusers, but wife beaters also.

  10. Shawn says:

    Ted – please show me in the Bible where golfers, comedians and interior designers are to be held to the same standard as Pastors?

  11. John Burton says:

    I do agree that the church does a horrible job at restoration. If pastors who fall into sin (pride, gossip, etc.) can keep their jobs, surely a pastor who falls into sin (porn, etc.)… and loses their job… can be restored again.

    If someone doesn’t trust them, that’s between them and God… it doesn’t mean that others are barred from trusting them.

  12. Fred says:

    He is saying that a pastor who falls into the worst life of sin should be able to walk away from the restoration program (that he set up himself)and still be accepted back to the senior pastor position.

    Is there anything in the Bible that allows that?

  13. Mark says:

    God knows we all need to repent and be forgiven. Most know we need to be forgiven, but it appears that only some know they need to repent.

    It seems we read about a defiant Haggard on MMI who defended homosexual behavior and said if he were younger he would be “bi-sexual.”

    So Ted wants to espouse Scripture’s teaching on forgiveness, but not what it teaches about sexual sin and repentance?

  14. Mark Collier says:

    Wow… While I completely agree with Todd’s comments, buried in Ted’s comments are seeds of truth as well. The Church IS terrible at restoration. While Ted is most certainly accountable for his choices and while there indeed are consequences for them – including the possibility of never leading a church again – we must be able to see the bigger picture clearly as well. We Christians DO far too often treat people as disposable when they sin. It’s a difficult contradiction that we simply MUST struggle with if we are to be everything God’s called us to be.

  15. Steve Miller says:

    Sad. Soundbites can be misleading, but he seems to be very confused. His comparisons to worldly lost people being restored to a proper relationship within secular organizations is just weird. Tiger Woods says he is a Buddhist and doesn’t need Jesus; I think that is setting yourself up for a fall. Martha Stewart believes in materialistic excess to find happiness, I’m not surprised she would discard ethics to make a buck. David Letterman is funny but he also sees nothing wrong with sex outside of marriage, so a sex scandal is not an unexpected outcome. Now a pastor, we actually expect a bit different character and higher standards. They should lead with their words and their life.

  16. Jorge L. says:

    I’m looking for the point in the interview where he is acting angry and pissed off that he hasn’t been forgiven. The Truth of the gospel is that Jesus came to do away with intermediaries – to do away with laws – there is a priesthood of all believers – golfers, interior designers, talk show hosts, pastors, beer delivery guys– it doesn’t matter – we are held up to the same standard by all. are there consequences to our sins? absolutely – speak to all of the guilty people Ted mentions. They’ll each procure a long list of consequences they had to put up with. However, the fact that as many of y’all have spoken against Ted in your comments shows that he is right. If Jesus told you that you were going to f**k up three times in one night, and you adamantly told he & your other accountability partners “No Way.” Then you did it. 3 times, publically, for all the world to see. In today’s world, you’d expect to to have a 9 month counseling program and psychological inventories, written essays, 12 step programs, etc. and then be subject to further ridicule, people talking behind your back, resume after resume being turned down after speaking to the last group you worked with. Your identity would be crushed, your spirit and perhaps your faith along with it. What program did Jesus put Peter through before he put him in charge of the church? If you need a biblical example of a restoration program, i think you’ve got it right there. No wonder people under the age of 35 are avoiding the church like carbs & high fat foods… Seriously, get over yourselves and your Paulinian legalism and get right with Jesus. And to Ted, God speed!

  17. Josh Huffman says:

    I feel bad for Ted. I believe that you’re right. He is an angry man. It seem’s to me that he is blurring the line between forgiveness and trust. Those are two entirely different entities.

  18. Peter says:

    Fred writes

    [He is saying that a pastor who falls into the worst life of sin should be able to walk away from the restoration program (that he set up himself)and still be accepted back to the senior pastor position.

    Is there anything in the Bible that allows that?]

    Nail on the head! Is there anything in common sense that would support that?

  19. Craig says:

    I was at Ted’s church in CO just two weeks before the main story broke. It would have been hard to convince anyone there that he was living a double life. The fact that he was caught is still what he is angry over in my opinion.

    I have never been able to erase the opening words words from his public letter of confession, “i am a deceiver and a liar…”

  20. Mary says:

    I read all the posts, then watched the video. Wow….it made me just shudder to see how one could be so deceived, so blind. Let’s pray that his spiritual eyes will be opened. Even now, he has the opportunity to be a “leader” if he will be open to the Holy Spirit. It seems Ted has a unique definition of the Church. If very few share that definition, no wonder he is angry and disappointed.

  21. Pastor Steven says:

    King Saul sinned by simply dis-obey God’s easy order of destroying everything in the camp, and justified his actions by way of sacrafice. A sacrafice that cost him nothing.

    Saul repented And God still rejected him as one with leading power. Saul continued to reign as King for several years but never achieved his fullest potential he could have. In fact Saul became a very angry, jealous man full of hate trying to assasinate the righteous. I see this same scenario in Ted’s life. Personally I think Mr. Haggard needs to move on and look into a new career in a new city.

  22. Robby says:

    Maybe Ted should join the United Methodist Church. I read here that they are more open to his self proclaimed desires “bi-sexuality”. However for the public record ,to the extent, you have repented of your sexual sins, I forgive you. Please forgive me if I don’t invite you to my pulpit or let you hold my wallet.

  23. Robby says:

    to Jorge L: Maybe Ted should just let Jesus forgive him and restore him. Then Ted woill leave theo rest of us and the vitriolic rhetoric out of it.

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