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?