Donny's Ramblings

Ted Haggard and Christian Response

44 Comments

Last night I traveled to Yuba City to attend a service where Craig Gross from XXXChurch was speaking on pornography. While there I spoke with a Pastor from a church in Sacramento. Amongst many other things, we discussed Ted Haggard. That discussion is what prompted this blog entry.

Why is it that when a Christian messes up we respond with the love of Christ, yet when sinners mess up we talk about the quick trip to hell they’ll be receiving? Jesus always did the opposite – he held Christians to a higher standard and provided grace to sinners. Wouldn’t it be great if we began to show God’s grace to all sinners, regardless of what they’ve done? Wouldn’t it be great if we could all remember the word “Christian” is supposed to mean “like Christ”, and that to uphold our position as Christians we actually need to love people, rather than judging them so harshly?

Even if it was just “a massage” as Ted claims, you can bet it resulted in a “happy ending”. Does he think he’s kidding anyone by trying to downplay his gay tendencies? While there will be inevitable consequences for his actions, I have to say that I am not overly bothered by his “sin”. I have no problem instantly forgiving that sin. My heart goes out to him and his family. The part of his story that annoys me most is the simple fact that he had the balls to so vocally oppose gay marriage while partaking in gay activities. That level of hypocrisy harms the world’s perception of every Christian.

The response I’ve heard from most church leaders has been one of love for Ted. What a great day it would be if those same people responded with kindness for Democrats who face some moral failure. How nice would it have been if President Clinton had received the same loving understanding from the Christian community that Ted Haggard has received?

If we, as Christians, begin responding to our friends, neighbors and sinful politicians with the same love so many are showing Ted Haggard right now the world will truly be changed, don’t you think?

44 thoughts on “Ted Haggard and Christian Response

  1. In related news, both Ted Haggard and his wife have written letters that you can download in PDF format:Ted’s Letter (right click, save as…)His wife Gayle’s letter (right click, save as…)

  2. In related news, both Ted Haggard and his wife have written letters that you can download in PDF format:

    Ted’s Letter (right click, save as…)

    His wife Gayle’s letter (right click, save as…)

  3. Very good write-up. It’s similar to a post I did about how the right-wingers could learn from the Amish about what the true definition of Christianity is. I, too, am tired of some politicians using their Christianity to their own, selfish ends when the very definition of Christianity is all about helping others.

  4. Very good write-up. It’s similar to a post I did about how the right-wingers could learn from the Amish about what the true definition of Christianity is. I, too, am tired of some politicians using their Christianity to their own, selfish ends when the very definition of Christianity is all about helping others.

  5. Double-standards abound. There is none righteous; not even one.

  6. Double-standards abound. There is none righteous; not even one.

  7. Samurai,Jesus didn’t say we need to forgive “70 times 7 per day” if the person being forgiven is being consistent in their views. He said we need to forgive period.We must treat our “enemies” as we treat our friends.

  8. Samurai,

    Jesus didn’t say we need to forgive “70 times 7 per day” if the person being forgiven is being consistent in their views. He said we need to forgive period.

    We must treat our “enemies” as we treat our friends.

  9. Donny, You said a mouthful brother, and I totally agree with you – except maybe for the Bill Clinton thing ;-). It’s the hypocrisy and dual-standards that seem to be consistently associated with these types situations that rubs me wrong. The bad part is that, via guilt by association, it ends up reflecting very poorly on those Christian ministers out there that actually do practice what they preach.

  10. Hey Donny,I found your blog through Matt’s (Samurai). Right on, man. I agree with you wholeheartedly. That’s all I got, but I’m glad I found this.

  11. Donny,

    You said a mouthful brother, and I totally agree with you – except maybe for the Bill Clinton thing ;-). It’s the hypocrisy and dual-standards that seem to be consistently associated with these types situations that rubs me wrong. The bad part is that, via guilt by association, it ends up reflecting very poorly on those Christian ministers out there that actually do practice what they preach.

  12. Hey Donny,
    I found your blog through Matt’s (Samurai). Right on, man. I agree with you wholeheartedly. That’s all I got, but I’m glad I found this.

  13. I have learned more from this post than I have in a long time.I’ve been challenged to rethink the way I forgive. Its been a long time coming.Thanks brother.

  14. I have learned more from this post than I have in a long time.

    I’ve been challenged to rethink the way I forgive. Its been a long time coming.

    Thanks brother.

  15. I definitely agree with what you’ve said. Ted Haggard was wrong. There’s no question about that. And while he’s gotten lashed from the media, the Christian community has definitely rallied around him. I do wish that we could be that quick to forgive the “sinners” (sidenote: I hate the way we use that word because we are all sinners) in the world. I also hope that the rest of the world would be able to separate the man from the ministry and not cast blanket judgments based on the actions of a single man.

  16. I definitely agree with what you’ve said. Ted Haggard was wrong. There’s no question about that. And while he’s gotten lashed from the media, the Christian community has definitely rallied around him. I do wish that we could be that quick to forgive the “sinners” (sidenote: I hate the way we use that word because we are all sinners) in the world. I also hope that the rest of the world would be able to separate the man from the ministry and not cast blanket judgments based on the actions of a single man.

  17. Donny, I think I came off incorrectly. Absolutely we Christians as a whole do a terrible job of showing love to people we disagree with.We tend to delight in the failures of those we perceive as our enemies, when in fact, they are not our enemies.

  18. Donny, I think I came off incorrectly.

    Absolutely we Christians as a whole do a terrible job of showing love to people we disagree with.

    We tend to delight in the failures of those we perceive as our enemies, when in fact, they are not our enemies.

  19. the bottom line is that we are ALL capable of doing what Ted Haggard did. i’ll admit, when i first heard about Ted’s dilemma i wasn’t sure if he even did it to begin with, because i know how the world can be in terms of how they’re always trying to find fault with Christians, especially pastors. when i found out that he did actually do some of the things the homosexual escort accused him of doing, it honestly didn’t hurt me too much, because i don’t place Ted Haggard in a position that he shouldn’t be in, that being the position that ONLY God can hold. would it have hurt me if i attended his church? maybe, maybe not. but the truth and fact still remain that Ted Haggard is still just a man, with the same exact flaws and weaknesses that ALL men have. i think what people need to do is stop deifying him just because he’s a pastor. stop trying to make it out like Ted Haggard is incapable of being imperfect. any one of us could have fallen for the same exact things he did, and for all i know, there could be people that have posted to this blog post already that have fallen for sexual sins of varying degrees, and continue to fall for them to this day. who are we to judge what Ted Haggard did? i believe God’s Word states that we are not supposed to be quick to judge, and we are supposed to be slow to wrath, so how come it’s usually our fellow Christians that are so willing to lash out at one of our fellow Christians when they stumble? that’s a little something for you all to think about.

  20. the bottom line is that we are ALL capable of doing what Ted Haggard did. i’ll admit, when i first heard about Ted’s dilemma i wasn’t sure if he even did it to begin with, because i know how the world can be in terms of how they’re always trying to find fault with Christians, especially pastors. when i found out that he did actually do some of the things the homosexual escort accused him of doing, it honestly didn’t hurt me too much, because i don’t place Ted Haggard in a position that he shouldn’t be in, that being the position that ONLY God can hold. would it have hurt me if i attended his church? maybe, maybe not. but the truth and fact still remain that Ted Haggard is still just a man, with the same exact flaws and weaknesses that ALL men have. i think what people need to do is stop deifying him just because he’s a pastor. stop trying to make it out like Ted Haggard is incapable of being imperfect. any one of us could have fallen for the same exact things he did, and for all i know, there could be people that have posted to this blog post already that have fallen for sexual sins of varying degrees, and continue to fall for them to this day. who are we to judge what Ted Haggard did? i believe God’s Word states that we are not supposed to be quick to judge, and we are supposed to be slow to wrath, so how come it’s usually our fellow Christians that are so willing to lash out at one of our fellow Christians when they stumble? that’s a little something for you all to think about.

  21. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” – Luke 12:48

    People who are in positions of power are necessarily to be held to greater accountability.

    – David

  22. donny.well stated. enjoyed the time together. lets connect again.onward.jharpwww.jasonharper.cc

  23. donny.
    well stated. enjoyed the time together. lets connect again.

    onward.

    jharp
    http://www.jasonharper.cc

  24. Amen donny, Amen

  25. Amen donny, Amen

  26. I also made a lengthly post on this topic. My take is that we are all hypocrites, and that Ted’s hypocricy does not erase the truth he espoused.I wonder how many people who are preaching love and mercy for Haggard were merciless to John Kerry in his little flub last week? I wonder how much love and mercy is going out to the male prostitute that outed him?

  27. I also made a lengthly post on this topic. My take is that we are all hypocrites, and that Ted’s hypocricy does not erase the truth he espoused.

    I wonder how many people who are preaching love and mercy for Haggard were merciless to John Kerry in his little flub last week? I wonder how much love and mercy is going out to the male prostitute that outed him?

  28. Well, Good topic to say the least. I live here in Colorado Springs, and that has been the talk of the town for some time now. The gazette here gave a great article… Actually dedicated most of the paper to the subject. I won’t bore you with what you already know. But, I think it is safe to say that I’ve been right there in Ted’s shoes. While I was at a christian university, I was addicted to porn. And I always spoke against it. Never mind all that, This instant with Ted has opened up a huge door for me to begin discussion and to “witness” to people here in Colorado Springs. Its actually nice to be able to start up a religious conversation so easily.Ron

  29. Well,

    Good topic to say the least. I live here in Colorado Springs, and that has been the talk of the town for some time now. The gazette here gave a great article… Actually dedicated most of the paper to the subject. I won’t bore you with what you already know. But, I think it is safe to say that I’ve been right there in Ted’s shoes. While I was at a christian university, I was addicted to porn. And I always spoke against it.

    Never mind all that, This instant with Ted has opened up a huge door for me to begin discussion and to “witness” to people here in Colorado Springs. Its actually nice to be able to start up a religious conversation so easily.

    Ron

  30. Donny,Good stuff. Like what you say here. We need to consistently reflect and give the grace we’ve received to others without first thinking about who they are.

  31. Donny,

    Good stuff. Like what you say here. We need to consistently reflect and give the grace we’ve received to others without first thinking about who they are.

  32. Donny you might like reading this about the Christian Right and how they have gone to far.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15566654/site/newsweek/ Donny Christianity has always been filled with total hypocrisy and only getting worse.

  33. Donny you might like reading this about the Christian Right and how they have gone to far.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15566654/site/newsweek/

    Donny Christianity has always been filled with total hypocrisy and only getting worse.

  34. Anonymous,Yes, it is filled with hypocrisy. That fact used to bother me much more than it does today (which is still very very much). My reaction? It makes me want to double my efforts to be the type of Christian Jesus would want me to be.

  35. Anonymous,

    Yes, it is filled with hypocrisy. That fact used to bother me much more than it does today (which is still very very much). My reaction? It makes me want to double my efforts to be the type of Christian Jesus would want me to be.

  36. I agree that there are many christians who are very judgemental, but I also think that people tend to forget that there are also countless christians who are very loving and compassionate. People often focus on what is negative and overlook anything positive. In general, I believe there are many more christians who are loving and compassionate than ones who are judgemental and condemning. It’s those few who are judgemental and condemning that ruin it for the rest of us. If you were running for president and were the nicest and most loving person in the world, but had one pot-smoking incident in your past, then everyone would immediately focus on that one incident. They would totally forget the nice, loving person that you are, and instead, make you out to be a pot-head. I think it is the same for christians. There are so many nice, loving christians out there, but because of those few who aren’t so nice and loving, we are all made out to be judging and condemning. I think that by calling all christians judging and condemning, you are being judgemental yourself.

  37. I agree that there are many christians who are very judgemental, but I also think that people tend to forget that there are also countless christians who are very loving and compassionate. People often focus on what is negative and overlook anything positive. In general, I believe there are many more christians who are loving and compassionate than ones who are judgemental and condemning. It’s those few who are judgemental and condemning that ruin it for the rest of us. If you were running for president and were the nicest and most loving person in the world, but had one pot-smoking incident in your past, then everyone would immediately focus on that one incident. They would totally forget the nice, loving person that you are, and instead, make you out to be a pot-head. I think it is the same for christians. There are so many nice, loving christians out there, but because of those few who aren’t so nice and loving, we are all made out to be judging and condemning. I think that by calling all christians judging and condemning, you are being judgemental yourself.

  38. While I totally agree that Christians need to be more forgiving…I know I do.. I do see a slight difference.In the Bible the “non-Christians” were repentive. This is also the case with many of the Christians who stumble today. Its been my experience that most non-Christians aren’t will to admit they messed up.But yes..more grace and love towards non-Christians would go a long way and is needed in the Church.

  39. While I totally agree that Christians need to be more forgiving…I know I do.. I do see a slight difference.

    In the Bible the “non-Christians” were repentive. This is also the case with many of the Christians who stumble today. Its been my experience that most non-Christians aren’t will to admit they messed up.

    But yes..more grace and love towards non-Christians would go a long way and is needed in the Church.

  40. I liked what Ben-jamin said!

  41. I liked what Ben-jamin said!

  42. I agree to a certain extent, and having just asked you to join my forum perhaps, well you know, after all it’s about Christians like me that are hypocrites.We are human too, ever read Romans chapter 7.If Paul also suffered, HOW dare he teach and preach.We all need encouragement.But am I having a go, certainly not, I actually agree with you, so let’s unite on that point, that we should treat all the same.But again, words are all too easy, how we actually respond, you know, can be hard.We don’t agree with this man’s actions, but equally, we can’t condemn the man, otherwise we condemn ourselves.Because even in what is being said could be called gossip, or slander, or this or that.Let he or she cast the first stone.When I teach and preach it is God through me.Sure as Christians we must set examples, we are to be the light.Otherwise they’ll, non believers will say look they are not better than us.BUT that’s the point, WE ARE NOT.That’s why we need Christ and recognize it.I’m not totally familiar with this case.If it was found out, sure, more shame, than if confessed.Either way, it’s not easy and either way we are, hard as it is to love and show compassion.It’s easy to point fingers.If he is guilty, then so am I and you won’t like joining my forum, as I’m a huge hypocrite at the moment and scum of the earth.But that won’t help me, nor those I set the forum up for. Love in Him, Lee of 4 Hurting Christians.

  43. I agree to a certain extent, and having just asked you to join my forum perhaps, well you know, after all it’s about Christians like me that are hypocrites.

    We are human too, ever read Romans chapter 7.
    If Paul also suffered, HOW dare he teach and preach.
    We all need encouragement.

    But am I having a go, certainly not, I actually agree with you, so let’s unite on that point, that we should treat all the same.

    But again, words are all too easy, how we actually respond, you know, can be hard.
    We don’t agree with this man’s actions, but equally, we can’t condemn the man, otherwise we condemn ourselves.

    Because even in what is being said could be called gossip, or slander, or this or that.

    Let he or she cast the first stone.

    When I teach and preach it is God through me.
    Sure as Christians we must set examples, we are to be the light.

    Otherwise they’ll, non believers will say look they are not better than us.

    BUT that’s the point, WE ARE NOT.
    That’s why we need Christ and recognize it.

    I’m not totally familiar with this case.
    If it was found out, sure, more shame, than if confessed.

    Either way, it’s not easy and either way we are, hard as it is to love and show compassion.

    It’s easy to point fingers.

    If he is guilty, then so am I and you won’t like joining my forum, as I’m a huge hypocrite at the moment and scum of the earth.
    But that won’t help me, nor those I set the forum up for.

    Love in Him, Lee of 4 Hurting Christians.

  44. I agree to a certain extent, and having just asked you to join my forum perhaps, well you know, after all it’s about Christians like me that are hypocrites.

    We are human too, ever read Romans chapter 7.
    If Paul also suffered, HOW dare he teach and preach.
    We all need encouragement.

    But am I having a go, certainly not, I actually agree with you, so let’s unite on that point, that we should treat all the same.

    But again, words are all too easy, how we actually respond, you know, can be hard.
    We don’t agree with this man’s actions, but equally, we can’t condemn the man, otherwise we condemn ourselves.

    Because even in what is being said could be called gossip, or slander, or this or that.

    Let he or she cast the first stone.

    When I teach and preach it is God through me.
    Sure as Christians we must set examples, we are to be the light.

    Otherwise they’ll, non believers will say look they are not better than us.

    BUT that’s the point, WE ARE NOT.
    That’s why we need Christ and recognize it.

    I’m not totally familiar with this case.
    If it was found out, sure, more shame, than if confessed.

    Either way, it’s not easy and either way we are, hard as it is to love and show compassion.

    It’s easy to point fingers.

    If he is guilty, then so am I and you won’t like joining my forum, as I’m a huge hypocrite at the moment and scum of the earth.
    But that won’t help me, nor those I set the forum up for.

    Love in Him, Lee of 4 Hurting Christians.

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