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. Â 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. Â Tiger is a golfer. Â 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. Â 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. Â David Letterman’s profession is being funny. Â 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. Â His question? Â Why can’t I? Â Why can’t the church forgive and restore like CBS or the golf community?
Then he pulls the trump card. Â Jimmy Swaggart. Â “The church STILL hates him”.
Maybe so. Â But Jimmy and Ted share something that Letterman, Stewart and Tiger woods don’t. Â 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. Â And I’m afraid Ted will die an angry man.
Forgiveness, at least for me, is freely given. Â That does not mean that we forget and move on like nothing happened. Â Ted knows that there are consequences for sin. Â 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? Â 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. Â It might make you feel better. Â But it doesn’t make it true.
What do YOU think?