Ted Haggard Is Back!
This time, Ted Haggard, the former pastor, disgraced because of a sex-and-drugs scandal, is a Colorado insurance salesman, selling Christianity along with insurance policies.
He confessed to being a “deceiver and a liar”, resigned from the 30-million member National Association of Evangelicals, and was fired from the New Life Church, after it was alleged he paid a male prostitute for sex and used methamphetamine.
Haggard said in 2006 he bought the drugs but never used them, confessed to “sexual immorality” and described struggling with a “dark and repulsive” side. He had risen from preaching in his basement to taking part in White House conference calls – and fallen so far that he became a late-night punch line.
As part of a severance package with his former church, Haggard agreed to leave Colorado Springs for a period and not speak publicly about the scandal, church officials said at the time. But he never really disappeared, making news when he relocated his family to Arizona and solicited financial support in an e-mail.
Members of his restoration team, however, say he’s not yet restored, and are offended that he’s soliciting funds.
Evangelicals believe God can change hearts, yet Haggard also must be held accountable and should not return to ministry early, if ever, said David Neff, editor of Christianity Today magazine.
“It’s like someone who has announced he’s an alcoholic and they’ve got that under control and are dry now,” said Neff, a National Association of Evangelicals executive committee member. “You don’t want to chance putting them back in the situation where it could happen again.”
But has Haggard truly evolved?
In the sermons, Haggard said a co-worker of his father molested him when he was 7, an experience that “started to produce fruit” when he turned 50. Haggard said something “started to rage in my mind and in my heart.” Haggard said though some allegations were exaggerated, “I really did sin.”
He apologized for making his family suffer, acknowledged suicidal thoughts and chastised church leaders for missing an opportunity to use his scandal to “communicate the gospel worldwide.” Haggard said he emerged with a stronger Christian faith and marriage than he’d ever had.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2008 Liberaland