Donny's Ramblings

Conversations with Ted Haggard (Part II)

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THIS SERIES CONSISTS OF:

  1. Conversations with Ted Haggard – A Prelude
  2. Conversations with Ted Haggard – Part 1
  3. Conversations with Ted Haggard – Part 2 (current article)
  4. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts to share at some point in the future.  Bookmark this blog and return or befriend me on twitter, Facebook or Myspace and watch for updates

Also See the Two Articles My Pastor Wrote About this Interview:

  1. Ted Haggard – Born Again Again?
  2. Which Is Worse? [Ted Haggard #2]

I’m sitting in a very cushy chaise lounge chair at one of the local Starbucks coffee shops, listening to the Man in Black serenade me and the one other customer sharing the lobby with me at the moment. The two baristas behind the counter are gossiping together about something I can’t quite make out. This is a peaceful place to sit.

It’s been way too long since I posted part one of my conversations with Ted Haggard. I could make up many reasons for you to explain the time gap, or I can just tell you the truth: I’m not entirely confident that I can do it justice. I’ve seen some fluff articles on Ted encircling the globe of media, and there’s something missing from most of them. Something I can’t entirely lay my finger on. Something that I don’t want to duplicate because I have this desire inside that when I write, I want to SUPER-write, if that makes any sense. Yes, I know… that’s an unattainble goal. I’m just telling you where I’m at.

But now it’s time to lay down ego and fear and just tell the rest of the story about my three hours with Ted Haggard, with whom I’ve maintained contact since our chats. Ted has become a friend, even checking on me once in awhile to see how I’m doing. Just days ago he told me that he was impacted by our conversations. His exact words were, “I’m convinced that discussion with you and your pastor were very healing for me.” I shared with him that I, too, was positively affected: when he shared the amazingly loving way he had been treated by the host church that brought him to my home town I was able to release some negative feelings I’ve harbored for two years toward them.

But back to the interview…

Ted Haggard and His Family

Ted Haggard and His Family

If we think about Ted’s situation and put ourselves into the middle of it, each of us is going to have a different perspective on what the “hardest” thing to deal with would be. For me, the biggest question on my mind was what it was like to be the Ted Haggard who had to face his children after the story broke. Let’s say I was in that spot: the entire country, and much of the world, is hearing about my involvement with a male prostitute. How am I going to feel when I walk into a room with Caden with that hanging over me? Will I be able to look him in the eyes? As his father, am I going to let him see me look down at my feet?

DONNY: So then after all of this happened, what kind of… did you feel different at first around your, your…

TED: Well I felt a huge shame around everybody. Shame was paralyzing. And so, there was huge shame. But my children overcame that for me by, by coming and being with me. They wouldn’t let me fall into shame in front of them. They rescued me. They were a true family, you know.

His children wouldn’t let him fall into shame… wouldn’t let him fall into shame… THEY WOULDN’T LET HIM FALL INTO SHAME. It gave me goosebumps to hear those words the first time. It gives me goosebumps listening to the recording of our conversation now. What a visual. What – an – amazing – visual: “Dad, we are here for you. Don’t you dare feel ashamed around us. We love you!” Imagine what would happen if those of us who call ourselves the “body of Christ” decided we weren’t going to let our spiritual family members fall into shame when they screwed up.

As amazing as that was, what came afterward is something that I think will stick with me for the rest of my parenting life. Ted went on to tell me that his relationship with his children has actually improved because they feel he is more “real” now. Prior to all of this, dad was Mr. Leader-of-Thirty-Million-Evangelicals, Mr. Spiritual, Mr. Super Christian, Mr. Perfect Example. It was actually a relief to learn he was quite a bit more “human” than he was esteemed to be. Dad had formerly been almost unapproachable when it came to dealing with normal, “human” problems.

TED: [My Children] say they’ve got their dad for the first time. They’re honest. They don’t feel ashamed [sharing their own problems]. They thought I was so spiritual and so good and such a perfect dad that they were ashamed of themselves. As soon as they found out I was a sinner they were all relieved and they started to relate to me more warmly than ever.

DONNY: Do you think you talk more now?

TED: Much more. Much more. Very often we’ll spend the whole evening together. Oh yeah, it’s a whole different world. In fact, whereas before the family was off doing their own things now we’re back together and even want to do business together.

I remember back to my own childhood, growing up with a Pastor as my father. He never proclaimed to be perfect. Not once did he pronounce some sort of “higher level of holiness”. But if I think back I realize that I did revere him in a way and hold him up on a pedestal. There were some things in my life I just didn’t want to bring to good ol’ dad because of the way I assumed he’d respond.

Ted Haggard’s fall brought his children closer to him. His mistakes showed him to be no different than them – just another sinner in need of God’s grace. And that, my friends, is how I hope my son always sees ME. I want him to know that there is nothing he could ever experience that would make him more of a sinner than me. I want him to know that he probably has one of the most messed-up daddies in the world, and that I’m never going to be shocked or “too holy” to listen to his life struggles, and that sharing our mutual struggles can only help both of us. I am confident the “ah-ha” moment I had when Ted told me this part of his story is something that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

ON HOMOSEXUALITY AND HYPOCRISY

This topic is something Ted brought up himself. So much has been said, both in the Christian and secular world, about the hypocrisy of Ted Haggard in this regard. How could he stand up on a stage and denounce homosexuality while secretly engaging in it himself? Before I get to the answer to that question I wanted to first start with part of our conversation leading up to it. I want to first quote something Ted said later in our conversation that makes a very good point… missing is the part leading up to this statement, but bear with me.

TED: …take porn for example: You can have a one hundred percent heterosexual man, but put two guys and a girl on screen and they’re going to watch and not be offended by it.

Being that I produced adult content before God rescued me, I can tell you that those words are very true for a large percentage of men. A staunch heterosexual will indeed watch such a scene without feeling “gay”. So what exactly goes on in the human mind that determines our preferences?

TED: I think over the next 50 years, if there’s peace on earth, the number one field of research is going to be preferences. Why you got THIS [he picks up my audio recorder] instead of another recorder . Why I bought a Blackberry. Why you bought those shoes, those pants. What causes a preference? Why do you like a strawberry instead of an orange? Or why you like…

DONNY: … Italian food instead of sushi [looking accusingly at my Pastor, who fits that particular description].

TED: Exactly! Nobody knows fully, yet, how those preferences develop or what they are. And nobody knows if any other human being… like if you eat a banana and I eat a banana, we don’t know yet whether or not we’re tasting the same thing. Because your mom fed you a banana and said, “This is a banana”. So for the guy who doesn’t like it and the guy who does like it, it could be a totally different series of chemical and electrical responses. Nobody knows the brain function that creates preference and desire. In the area of preferences it’s fascinating. It’ll be the number one market, because people want to know why some people choose Cheerios over Chex, or Chex over Lucky Charms. But think how that’s going to impact human behavior. Because the whole issue of what attracts a person to porn, or what attracts a person to this girl or that girl, or girls and boys, or boys, or why does somebody say, “This is a pretty hairstyle” and another one thinks it’s ugly? I think THAT research is going to go on over the next 25-50 years. And I think that research has the potential of embarrassing the church as much as the earth being round did. I think that brain research is going to make the church look bad unless we update our position on how to deal with sexuality.

Ted has seen numerous therapists since his fall, and all of them have reached the conclusion that he was highly influenced by experiences as a second grader with one of his father’s employees. Ted described himself as “a heterosexual with issues” on Oprah Winfrey’s show, and after going through a process called EMDR, he believes all same-sex compulsions have been removed.

DONNY: Explain the EMDR process.

TED: Okay. If a person has a trauma… now I’m not a psychologist so I’m just going to tell you what I’ve been told. Actually they don’t know for sure how it works, but they know WHAT it does. And what it does is that it takes the emotional power out of a memory. So, like if a man or woman comes home from Iraq and when they go to Walmart someone drops a box and it makes a bang and they dive on the floor in fear, they can go through EMDR and then go back to Walmart, hear an unexpected bang, and it no longer has emotional impact. That’s what this does with me. When I was in the second grade one of my father’s employees had oral sex with me. Okay, I didn’t see that as a trauma because to me it was not violent, it was not hurtful. I was sexualized then, but I didn’t know that. But that’s what happened to me. So when I got saved I was taught, “All of your sins are under the blood of Jesus and buried at the bottom of the sea and there is a ‘no fishin’ sign placed in the sea above where your sins are and that sign says ‘no fishing here!'” So it was gone, in my view. But every once in awhile I would get a memory or a thought or a compulsion and I would think, “It’s the old sin nature, so it needs to be crucified. It’s a demon, so it needs to be cast out. It’s a thought that’s exalting itself against the mind of Christ, so it needs to be pulled down.” I would use all those Biblical sayings. So I would pray and fast, I would do spiritual warfare, I would receive prayer for inner healing. I would do all of that. And I’ve learned now every one of those things further isolated that memory and actually empowerd it.

DONNY: Yeah…

TED: So that experience was in one section of my brain, while all the rest of my brain was becoming a Bible-believing right-wing Republican, evangelical, spirit-filled… all these different things. But there was this other part that I thought was either a devil or an attack or a demonic arrow or a scheme or… whatever. But it was me! So in essence, all of my years praying and fasting and all that type of thing actually made it worse. Yes, it gave me spiritual strength for the time, so I lived a wondrously victorious life. I was very successful in ministry and all those types of things. But I had this thing growing in emotional intensity. Then it blew up, I was ashamed of it ’cause of what the rest of my mind thought, so I kept it secret. But then when the scandal happened I was able to explain it.

DONNY: Yeah.

TED: So in EMDR, what one theory is, is that it establishes electro, uh, neuro pathways between that section of your brain where the trauma is, and the rest of you. So it assimilates you into you. It forces the different segments of your brain to communicate. That was an incredibly emotional experience for me. Once that happened, I’ve never… now when I think of that experience in the second grade there’s no emotion attached with it. There’s no compulsion attached with it. There’s no draw attached to it. And I’ve not had one uncontrollable thought or one compulsive behavior since I went through EMDR. And so then, the rest of the counseling was simply adjusting to that. And so… IF a person with a same sex attraction has that attraction because of a trauma as a child, if THAT is the root of it, they can go through EMDR and get it treated. Or if their parents beat them, or if they were raped, or whatever… EMDR might be a solution for the results of the trauma. If, though, they were the types of people who say, “I was born this way”, that’s a whole different discussion. That’s why I describe myself as a heterosexual with issues. Because it would take WAY too much time to explain all of that on Oprah Winfrey.

Ted hopes this generation of Christians will see things change in this way:

TED: Oral Roberts was the one who made it so that Pentecostals could go to a doctor. And I think that we’re probably going to be the ones who make it so that Pentecostals can go to a counselor. That’s what I’d like to contribute.

Ted feels that if he would have confessed his compulsions earlier in life his story would have a far different outcome. Keeping them locked up inside only made them grow.

TED: The predominant therapist that helped me so much said, “Your problem has never been spiritual. Your problem has never been mental. You’re mentally strong, and you’re spiritually strong. Your problem is physiological.” And what he was meaning was it was the way the neuro pathways are in my mind. “You so isolated those memories from the rest of you, because you disciplined your thoughts, that you had a physiological problem and when we fixed the physiology in your brain through EMDR you no longer had a thinking or a behavioral problem.”

DONNY: Would you say that you would recommend pastors to start not only giving their people spiritual counsel, but also maybe having them go to a regular doctor [counselor] as well?

TED: Absolutely! The number one thing we as pastors need to do is know what we don’t know. And it used to be that we Pentecostals would say, “If you’re spirit filled you really shouldn’t go to a doctor because Jesus will be your healer. By his stripes we’re healed. So if you have to go to a doctor you have lack of faith.” Well, 40 years ago American Pentecostalism woke up to the fact that God wants us well whether it comes through hydrogen peroxide, flouride toothpaste, or divine healing. The same is true with mental health now. When a person is struggling with incongruity it MAY be a spiritual problem, it MAY be a physiological problem in their minds, or it MAY be a cognitive problem. The church can deal with spiritual problems and SOME cognitive problems. But there are competent therapists now that can help with some of the other things. And we just need to recognize that. Most pastors don’t do the plumbing in buildings. Most pastors don’t do the electrical work in buildings. Because that’s not our area of expertise. We are experts in areas of what scriptures say. We need to stick to that and let the other areas of study perform their areas of expertise.

Our conversation turned toward hypocrisy. How could Ted denounce homosexuality while engaging in homosexual activity himself?

DONNY: I asked a few people to send in a question to ask you. One guy wanted you to explain why, before your crisis, he’s heard that you were very anti-homosexual and then this crisis happened with same sex attraction. He wants to know what your thoughts are on that.

TED: Number one: I was never EVER an anti-gay preacher. I have never done anything publicly that would even HINT that I was for the limitation of civil liberties for homosexuals. Actually, I worked hard behind the scenes. I must say that work was not out in the open because I had a lot of friends in the religious right, but I worked behind the scenes with those friends to argue the civil liberties issues that many in the homosexual rigths movement argue. I was not arguing that because of my own temptations. I was arguing that because I am a believer in the American Constitution. I am a Constitutionalist and I am an anti-communist and an anti-socialist and I believe civil liberties are a very important protection. In the same way, I believe the Bible is the Word of God and I believe the Bible establishes for us God’s best plan for us. So I believe God’s best plan for human sexuality is that people express their sexuality in monogomous heterosexual relationships. That does not mean everybody is going to live in a monogomous heterosexual marriage, because humanity is messed up. Sin is everywhere. There is an old sin nature and a damning nature that we’re all born with. So we can be born with all kinds of sexual issues. And as we go through our lives we can develop all types of sexual issues. So God has an IDEAL for us. We all need to cooperate with the word of God and the spirit of God to grow in that ideal. But it DOESN’T mean we’re going to reach all of his ideals on this side of heaven. I’ll give you an example: the Bible says that we should pray continually. All pastors teach ideas of praying continually. But nobody does it unless they develop some abstract thought about how it happens when we don’t know it. So prayer is an ideal that God has for us, and how we should pray, but nobody prays as often or as effectively as they would like. Nobody grows in the scriptures as often or as effectively as they want. The Bible has many ideals: live at peace with all men. We know that’s an ideal but we don’t do it. We can’t, all the time. The most “hateful” thing I’ve said about the homosexual community is that they, like all of us, need to read the Bible and pray and determine what God’s will is and pursue it. I believe that for myself and for them. That’s as “hateful” as I get. And I think all people need it. I think all people are in desperate need of a savior. I think all people are desperately in need of the power of the Holy Spirit. And I think all people are desperately in need of the guidance that the Word of God gives us. And everybody is lovesick. Everybody needs more love. Everybody needs more acceptance. And so, everybody needs the grace of God. So I was NOT one of the right wing, anti-gay guys.

DONNY: Where do you think that misconception comes from?

TED: I think it came during the two years where I was required to be silent. I think Mike Jones [the male prostitute Ted is now associated with] and others ASSUMED I was like that. But they don’t have any quotes. They don’t have quotes. And everything I said for all my thirty years of ministry was all recorded, and there are lots of books out there. People have lots to look through. But there are no quotes. I did read one quote in People Magazine two years ago that they SAID was mine, but it was not mine. I never said that. Somebody somewhere made it up. That’s another sad point: there were people who sat there who heard me preach year after year and we all sit and discuss this they say, “No kidding, you NEVER talked like that. You were never like that.” But none of them have spoken up publicly. Maybe they feel like they don’t have the venue to do so. That was not me. It was not my style. It was not my direction. But actually behind the scenes, and there are lots of people that can give evidence to this, I was working for protection of rights for homosexuals. So where I fell on that politically is, I believe that the definition of marriage is a man and a woman. I believe marriage means living as a man and a wife. But I do not believe that should translate into legal priviledges for heterosexual couples that are denied homosexual couples. I think that is a constitutional issue that is going to have to be worked out in the courts. And I think it WILL ultimately be worked out in the courts.

Asked if he ever wants to pastor a church again, Ted told me he wasn’t sure. He said he loved pastoring but just doesn’t know if he will do so again. Of course, since anything is possible I wanted to know how his experiences these last three years would affect his leadership style in the future if he ever WERE to pastor again:

DONNY: How do you think this experience will change the way you pastor?

TED: I’ll be more kind. I used to teach the Bible with a definitive voice. Now I think I’m going to have a more kind tone.

Our conversation turned to the relationship he has with his wife:

DONNY: I’ve seen you and your wife at Elevation Church talking about how your marriage has never been stronger. I can see that as being true, but how ofter would you say that insecurities raise their head? Does she ever voice those things to you?

TED: We talk about those issues. I can say that I am very intentional to give her no reason to mistrust. So if I ever go places alone, which is very seldom, I’ll call her from there. She can, at any time, look in my cell phone, places I go on the Internet. At any time she knows where I am. And also I do things every day… I go to Twitter and I say where I am or what I’m doing. Every day I go to Facebook and I say where I am or what I’m doing. So anybody ANYWHERE that has any question knows. And sometimes on those sites I’ll even put my mood. How I’m feeling or what I’m thinking. Gayle hasn’t asked for those protections. No accountability groups have asked for those protections. But I do them so that people can feel safe.

In speaking with a few friends about Ted Haggard, one of them told me his major problem with Ted was that new allegations have come to light since Ted’s scandal was made public. One of those involved some inappropriate actions with a man who attended Ted’s church. My friend’s thoughts were, “When everything went public, why hold back a story like this new one? Why not come clean with everything?” I wanted to see what Ted had to say about that:

DONNY: Um, one of the… one of the things that, like… you had to be silent instantly. Now, when I got out of the adult business I started telling everybody I was sorry for everything I’d done and more and more things kept coming to light as I remembered more and more. Now, the other things that have come up with you afterward… was that because you had to be silent, or because it was just not something you recalled yet, you know, like…

TED: Well there was nothing else that came up. Don’t confuse what I was doing with what the church leadership did. And don’t confuse church leadership with what the people of the church were feeling. And, no, I have NO idea why they handled him the way they did. And…

DONNY: Why would they make him be quiet, I mean…

TED: I don’t have a clue, they… during my two years of silence they did not communicate with me any of their thoughts. I, to this day, don’t know why they did what they did. That whole thing is a mystery to me. I mean, I met with him back then, with one of the overseers and my wife. Repented to him. Washed his feet. Apologized. He forgave me. And he was angry with the church for treating me the way they treated me at that time, and then the church got involved with him and I have no idea what’s gone on with him emotionally since then. Now I did… he called one time, in the summer time, very angry. And he said he wanted thirty thousand dollars to go to college and I said, “I’ll try to raise that for you. And I’ll try to get that for you.” But nothing has come out new. At all. There may, in a big case like this, there may be some rumblings around type things… but there will be nothing new that my wife and my counselors don’t know.

At the conclusion of our second conversation together, my last question for Ted came from a Pastor friend of mine who had expressed a bit of frustration at the fact that Ted, after a major moral failure, was receiving so much attention while other pastors who had never violated the trust of their position received no recognition whatsoever.

DONNY: I was talking about you last weekend in a place where I was speaking, and one of the criticisms that came up during lunch was, “All of sudden Ted is appearing everywhere. He’s trying to make a comeback this way. Pastors who have never had a large scandal are never recognized. He’s just doing this for money!” How would you respond to that?

TED: I wish I were doing it for money [we both laugh]. Tell him that part of it I wish was true. Larry King doesn’t pay to have a guest on his show. Oprah doesn’t pay to have a guest on her show. She didn’t pay us. We’ve never been paid. None of these appearances are paid. The reason we’re doing it is because we were isolated for two years and some gross misunderstandings developed. People thought we’d been in a restoration program that we’d dropped out of. That was never the case. There was never a restoration program [see part one of my conversation with Ted]. People thought we’d tried to enter ministry without permission from the overseers by going to the Dream Center. That was NOT true. We were asked by First Assembly of God to go to the Dream Center and participate in that project. We just needed to answer questions. And we didn’t invite ourselves to any of [the interviews]. But I do agree with him in that I’ve gotten more attention from the negativity of this scandal than I could have gotten if I would have walked across the Atlantic Ocean multiplying loaves and fishes the whole way. I wouldn’t have gotten as much coverage as the scandal brought. So, since the scandal coverage was a reality, my obligation as a Christian is to make sure people see redemption. I’m not going to just whine and complain and disappear. I am who I am, and my responsibility in life is to communicate the redeeming value of the Gospel, even in this horrible sinner. So now I’m like the Apostle Paul in that I am the least of the apostles, I am the chiefest of sinners, and I had a thorn in the flesh. So now, that is the basis of my life.

So that others won’t point fingers later when they come out, I’ll tell you that Ted and Gayle are working on book, and yes, he’ll profit from such a book deal. BUT you should know that Ted and Gayle weren’t in ministry for the money. They didn’t have a whole lot of it, and their reserves were almost entirely depleted by living on them these last three years. A book deal will POSSIBLY restore their retirement fund to the place it was before. Ted has, amongst other things, worked as a door to door salesman since his scandal broke. He’s held menial jobs to support his family. I won’t begrudge him making a few dollars to restore his retirement fund. It’s easy to pass judgment when one isn’t wearing the same shoes as another, but I’ll tell you this: I sat and had conversations with a broken man. Believe me, I can recognize one when I see him… I’ve been that person. I AM that person. Ted and I both are following a path to restoration.

And it is a beautiful road.

70 thoughts on “Conversations with Ted Haggard (Part II)

  1. I’m so glad you finished this. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while. I love that you put a lot of emphasis on family healing in part two. I know that it is difficult for people to believe that a wife or children can still have love for someone after this sort of betrayal. But, I have experienced it. I have been a situation similar to Gayle’s. It possible. It happened to us. God truly is in the business or reconciliation and restoration!

    As a counselor I also wanted to say something about EMDR. It sounds sort of kooky no matter how you describe it but it really does work. (I won’t bore anyone with descriptions of of neuro pathways!)While my practice is more traditional I can attest that EMD R is an amazingly effective trauma treatment. I worked with sexual abuse victims. I would often refer clients to a friend who practiced EMDR if the emotional effects f the trauma were preventing the client from engaging in traditional talk therapy. It fast and effective. I can also say that my husband has experienced EMDR as a client and found it very beneficial when reprocessing some childhood experiences.

    Thanks for finishing the interview. I loved reading it. I’m posting the link to my post about Ted. Hopefully my readers will also read this article. http://www.nicolewick.com/2009/07/the-blind-man-and-ted-haggard/

  2. I’m so glad you finished this. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while. I love that you put a lot of emphasis on family healing in part two. I know that it is difficult for people to believe that a wife or children can still have love for someone after this sort of betrayal. But, I have experienced it. I have been a situation similar to Gayle’s. It possible. It happened to us. God truly is in the business or reconciliation and restoration!

    As a counselor I also wanted to say something about EMDR. It sounds sort of kooky no matter how you describe it but it really does work. (I won’t bore anyone with descriptions of of neuro pathways!)While my practice is more traditional I can attest that EMD R is an amazingly effective trauma treatment. I worked with sexual abuse victims. I would often refer clients to a friend who practiced EMDR if the emotional effects f the trauma were preventing the client from engaging in traditional talk therapy. It fast and effective. I can also say that my husband has experienced EMDR as a client and found it very beneficial when reprocessing some childhood experiences.

    Thanks for finishing the interview. I loved reading it. I’m posting the link to my post about Ted. Hopefully my readers will also read this article. http://www.nicolewick.com/2009/07/the-blind-man-and-ted-haggard/

  3. I also went through EMDR and found it helpful at getting an adult perspective on some childhood experiences. I didn’t see a complete removal of all compulsions, though. My therapist at the time (self-described as “brilliant”) warned me that EMDR is most helpful to people who’ve experienced single, severe traumatic events (e.g. rape, natural disaster, etc.) or a short series of them (e.g. armed combat). My issues were comparatively low-grade and spread out over about 8 or 10 years, so I wasn’t an ideal EMDR candidate – but it did help some. I have to address more things from the spiritual angle at this point.

  4. I also went through EMDR and found it helpful at getting an adult perspective on some childhood experiences. I didn’t see a complete removal of all compulsions, though. My therapist at the time (self-described as “brilliant”) warned me that EMDR is most helpful to people who’ve experienced single, severe traumatic events (e.g. rape, natural disaster, etc.) or a short series of them (e.g. armed combat). My issues were comparatively low-grade and spread out over about 8 or 10 years, so I wasn’t an ideal EMDR candidate – but it did help some. I have to address more things from the spiritual angle at this point.

  5. Donny,

    I want to say thank you for these articles. You have done a terrific job telling the story. I also want to thank Ted, Gayle, and their family for sharing the journey they are walking with all of us. It is truly a picture of the Gospel at work! The healing and restoration of their relationships is a great example to us as individuals and the church as a whole!

    Thanks again,
    Pastor Joshua Meyer
    Clinton, IA

  6. Donny,

    I want to say thank you for these articles. You have done a terrific job telling the story. I also want to thank Ted, Gayle, and their family for sharing the journey they are walking with all of us. It is truly a picture of the Gospel at work! The healing and restoration of their relationships is a great example to us as individuals and the church as a whole!

    Thanks again,
    Pastor Joshua Meyer
    Clinton, IA

  7. My favorite part:

    Imagine what would happen if those of us who call ourselves the “body of Christ” decided we weren’t going to let our spiritual family members fall into shame when they screwed up.

    Sin illuminates our need for Jesus. It’s a beautifully profound way for God to display His sovereignty over everything. Even sin.

    There is a reason for everything. Ted is free now. The little boy has been set free. It’s about time.

    Serena
    http://www.graceisforsinners.com

  8. My favorite part:

    Imagine what would happen if those of us who call ourselves the “body of Christ” decided we weren’t going to let our spiritual family members fall into shame when they screwed up.

    Sin illuminates our need for Jesus. It’s a beautifully profound way for God to display His sovereignty over everything. Even sin.

    There is a reason for everything. Ted is free now. The little boy has been set free. It’s about time.

    Serena
    http://www.graceisforsinners.com

  9. Amazing and articulated very well. It was so important that you finished this! Thank you! I have been in a public moral failure as a pastor’s wife of a 10,000 member church. The fallout is devastating. The pain overwhelming. The tragedy of all the hurt people…almost unbearable. However, thru years of Godly counsel and EMDR, God has miraculously brought our family into a beautiful place. I believe the pressure of human people in the ministry is beyond comprehension and that people such as Ted and Gayle, my husband and I, and others who are living proof that GOD IS BIG ENOUGH and that it is incredible how children perceive thru unfiltered “religious” eyes and speak the truth. Our oldest daughter’s only issue was how come the peers (leadership church level) could walk away from our family. Yes, there was pain, but in her mind, you don’t do that if you are truly in Covenant relationships. Wow. Through the eyes of a child, we could learn to love the way God really does. I believe God is raising up limping but healed people who will be real enough and transparent enough to speak the truth in love. Sin always has consequences and is so very sorrowful. Yet God in His unfailing love will lift us up out of the horrible mess and set our feet on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ and help us go back and strengthen others.

  10. Amazing and articulated very well. It was so important that you finished this! Thank you! I have been in a public moral failure as a pastor’s wife of a 10,000 member church. The fallout is devastating. The pain overwhelming. The tragedy of all the hurt people…almost unbearable. However, thru years of Godly counsel and EMDR, God has miraculously brought our family into a beautiful place. I believe the pressure of human people in the ministry is beyond comprehension and that people such as Ted and Gayle, my husband and I, and others who are living proof that GOD IS BIG ENOUGH and that it is incredible how children perceive thru unfiltered “religious” eyes and speak the truth. Our oldest daughter’s only issue was how come the peers (leadership church level) could walk away from our family. Yes, there was pain, but in her mind, you don’t do that if you are truly in Covenant relationships. Wow. Through the eyes of a child, we could learn to love the way God really does. I believe God is raising up limping but healed people who will be real enough and transparent enough to speak the truth in love. Sin always has consequences and is so very sorrowful. Yet God in His unfailing love will lift us up out of the horrible mess and set our feet on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ and help us go back and strengthen others.

  11. Thank you, i would like to share two things on this…

    1st, Ted’s misfortunes these past 2 1/2 years were no more of his own doing than were those of any of the staff that has been ‘laid off’ or ‘told their calling is now elsewhere’ after others took control of the church. Most were never given any reason or help or even basic followup …their experience of the aftermath is far, far different than what everyone is lead to believe, and so it is much easier to identify with ted & gayle’s journey and fight as a family to find God’s grace and His purposes. For the record, there are ministry families that have lost everything because of the fallout…yet i can not and DO NOT blame Ted, and your post tells exactly why. If the church had done the same as the Haggard family and NOT let their brother/pastor fall into shame, neither would the magnitude of lateral damage have happened either! what a remarkable chance the church had to be the church…where then is the paradigm of how a church could authentically have handled this as Jesus might have?

    the second thing i want to share is this… less than a week after the news broke, i profoundly realized that Ted’s life-story was only half told, and that for all his amazing accomplishments, the impact he will have in the future will far eclipse his past success as he speaks out on the very topics regarding the homosexual experience that you just wrote about. …and that will be something that neither he nor anyone else could conjure up, but a timely word right from the heart of God.

    again thank you for publishing your interview.

  12. Thank you, i would like to share two things on this…

    1st, Ted’s misfortunes these past 2 1/2 years were no more of his own doing than were those of any of the staff that has been ‘laid off’ or ‘told their calling is now elsewhere’ after others took control of the church. Most were never given any reason or help or even basic followup …their experience of the aftermath is far, far different than what everyone is lead to believe, and so it is much easier to identify with ted & gayle’s journey and fight as a family to find God’s grace and His purposes. For the record, there are ministry families that have lost everything because of the fallout…yet i can not and DO NOT blame Ted, and your post tells exactly why. If the church had done the same as the Haggard family and NOT let their brother/pastor fall into shame, neither would the magnitude of lateral damage have happened either! what a remarkable chance the church had to be the church…where then is the paradigm of how a church could authentically have handled this as Jesus might have?

    the second thing i want to share is this… less than a week after the news broke, i profoundly realized that Ted’s life-story was only half told, and that for all his amazing accomplishments, the impact he will have in the future will far eclipse his past success as he speaks out on the very topics regarding the homosexual experience that you just wrote about. …and that will be something that neither he nor anyone else could conjure up, but a timely word right from the heart of God.

    again thank you for publishing your interview.

  13. Personally I consider my sins far more vile then those of Mr. Haggards, they were and are deeply ingrained in me being human, which is detestable. I asked for help, leaned, and showed grief, but the vilest of my sins is I ticked of the leadership. Ann is correct this type of treatment of staff and volunteers is the rule not the exception, it happens all the time and many loose all they have and the higher ups that are busy trying to save our nation from the “gay agenda” ™ say nothing. People say it was Mr. Haggards sin that got him the heave hoe, nope it was the fact that he upset the apple cart, slowed down the machine, and brought shame on the country club.

    I have been burned by leadership many times, I have burned leadership once, and did what I could to make up for that, it was never enough. Leadership says forgive Jesus forgave you have a bitter heart but they do the same thing. When your disfellowshipped from the corporation you become part of the inviable people who sit outside the church wanting to come back in, but they are not wanted, welcomed, or sought. They are abandoned, often with great passion and conviction. I always find it funny that as long as Mr. Haggard was not caught no one came along side to try to help. I dont fault the people of his congregation, I dont even fault him in some ways, I fault the corporation. I miss the family of my youth as a Christian. I should not as it is irrelevant but I do.

    There is something wrong in the Body, something very wrong. Personally I would like to come back, but like the bible says, there is no room at the inn, and that is a fact.

    • The truth is you should be restored to fellowship based on two things…your repentance of your sin, willing acknowledgment of it and your desire and submission to be accountable/transparent to the local body of Christ.

      Mr. Haggard was not confessing his sin to anyone…he was hiding the truth of it from everyone around him…so since this is true…he coveted his sin instead of “walking in the light” and “confessing [his] sin”. None of his comments point to repentance…instead “EDMR” is the lie to excuse that sin…oh I am sorry…it is not sin but a “physiological problem”…if this is the case then why don’t we all get zapped and behave perfectly? Still doesn’t deal with the sin in the heart of man…Sounds like a really easy solution to a spiritual problem that doesn’t exist…at least that is what the article says…how far from the gospel we have traveled is horrendous…Repentance is the truest mark of the believers in the end times…this article is not about repentance of sin but making excuses for sin…Can you see how many direct contradictions to the word of God are in Ted’s comments?

      • Mic,

        Have you read all the posts I did in this Ted Haggard series? God doesn’t give a time period for confessing sin. Ted has done so, has repented (turned away) and is living his life for God.

  14. Personally I consider my sins far more vile then those of Mr. Haggards, they were and are deeply ingrained in me being human, which is detestable. I asked for help, leaned, and showed grief, but the vilest of my sins is I ticked of the leadership. Ann is correct this type of treatment of staff and volunteers is the rule not the exception, it happens all the time and many loose all they have and the higher ups that are busy trying to save our nation from the “gay agenda” ™ say nothing. People say it was Mr. Haggards sin that got him the heave hoe, nope it was the fact that he upset the apple cart, slowed down the machine, and brought shame on the country club.

    I have been burned by leadership many times, I have burned leadership once, and did what I could to make up for that, it was never enough. Leadership says forgive Jesus forgave you have a bitter heart but they do the same thing. When your disfellowshipped from the corporation you become part of the inviable people who sit outside the church wanting to come back in, but they are not wanted, welcomed, or sought. They are abandoned, often with great passion and conviction. I always find it funny that as long as Mr. Haggard was not caught no one came along side to try to help. I dont fault the people of his congregation, I dont even fault him in some ways, I fault the corporation. I miss the family of my youth as a Christian. I should not as it is irrelevant but I do.

    There is something wrong in the Body, something very wrong. Personally I would like to come back, but like the bible says, there is no room at the inn, and that is a fact.

    • The truth is you should be restored to fellowship based on two things…your repentance of your sin, willing acknowledgment of it and your desire and submission to be accountable/transparent to the local body of Christ.

      Mr. Haggard was not confessing his sin to anyone…he was hiding the truth of it from everyone around him…so since this is true…he coveted his sin instead of “walking in the light” and “confessing [his] sin”. None of his comments point to repentance…instead “EDMR” is the lie to excuse that sin…oh I am sorry…it is not sin but a “physiological problem”…if this is the case then why don’t we all get zapped and behave perfectly? Still doesn’t deal with the sin in the heart of man…Sounds like a really easy solution to a spiritual problem that doesn’t exist…at least that is what the article says…how far from the gospel we have traveled is horrendous…Repentance is the truest mark of the believers in the end times…this article is not about repentance of sin but making excuses for sin…Can you see how many direct contradictions to the word of God are in Ted’s comments?

      • Mic,

        Have you read all the posts I did in this Ted Haggard series? God doesn’t give a time period for confessing sin. Ted has done so, has repented (turned away) and is living his life for God.

  15. These articles about Ted (and indeed your own story) are fascinating – and I am glad to read them. Glad also to see personal restoration happening, even if it is not yet full within the Body of Christ. But as Amy above said, our GOD IS BIG ENOUGH to heal anything and if the Church really wants to make a difference in people’s lives – we will start loving them through these sexual matters. I am preaching to myself here because I have been on the shaming side … but funny how when you see the depth of your OWN sin and pride, suddenly what other people have done seems a little less egregious and offensive. (Isn’t it so ironic that what we hate most in other people is usually an issue in some way in our own life?) I am excited to see Ted, Gayle and others finding “treasures in the darkness” and a redemptive way to reach out to others. We need people who have been there and come out healed to bring hope to our own generation and those who follow … for we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg on sexual brokenness. Prevent it in every way we can, by all means, but let’s not be naive in helping the millions who have already sustained considerable damage.

  16. These articles about Ted (and indeed your own story) are fascinating – and I am glad to read them. Glad also to see personal restoration happening, even if it is not yet full within the Body of Christ. But as Amy above said, our GOD IS BIG ENOUGH to heal anything and if the Church really wants to make a difference in people’s lives – we will start loving them through these sexual matters. I am preaching to myself here because I have been on the shaming side … but funny how when you see the depth of your OWN sin and pride, suddenly what other people have done seems a little less egregious and offensive. (Isn’t it so ironic that what we hate most in other people is usually an issue in some way in our own life?) I am excited to see Ted, Gayle and others finding “treasures in the darkness” and a redemptive way to reach out to others. We need people who have been there and come out healed to bring hope to our own generation and those who follow … for we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg on sexual brokenness. Prevent it in every way we can, by all means, but let’s not be naive in helping the millions who have already sustained considerable damage.

  17. Thanks for posting the interview. Very insightful.

  18. Thanks for posting the interview. Very insightful.

  19. This is a very good interview and I enjoyed reading it, thank you Donny for all the things you are doing. You were one of the broken ones but now you are one of the truly compassionate ones. You understand that when someone in the family is broken, we the body of Christ are supposed to help put them back together, not throw away the pieces!

  20. This is a very good interview and I enjoyed reading it, thank you Donny for all the things you are doing. You were one of the broken ones but now you are one of the truly compassionate ones. You understand that when someone in the family is broken, we the body of Christ are supposed to help put them back together, not throw away the pieces!

  21. Good Morning Brother Donny-

    I happen to be in agreement with Brother Mic….perhaps I have missed something in your posts? If so, forgive me and give me the grace you are awarding Ted:).

    So if you can please point me to the post that tells us of his genuine faith and repentance can you please show me?

    He simply seems to state that 50 years from now the church of Jesus Christ is going to have egg on it’s face? Is he stating that, because the church is going to find that homosexuality is not sin BUT a human response to behavior and sexuality? So the question that I did not see asked or answered is does Ted believe homosexuality is sin? Can you point me to that answer? I know when I watched him answer that question on a news show he stated “for him, it was sin because he is a heterosexual”. So the bible is wrong? Which is it?

    I do not deny that he is a nice guy and you saw genuine sincerity. So is that the criteria by which you measure genuine faith? If so, then everyone gets to heaven. For if you sat across for the Dalai Lama or Oprah you would see great, sincere humanitarians who love mankind BUT reject the Jesus of the bible.

  22. Good Morning Brother Donny-

    I happen to be in agreement with Brother Mic….perhaps I have missed something in your posts? If so, forgive me and give me the grace you are awarding Ted:).

    So if you can please point me to the post that tells us of his genuine faith and repentance can you please show me?

    He simply seems to state that 50 years from now the church of Jesus Christ is going to have egg on it’s face? Is he stating that, because the church is going to find that homosexuality is not sin BUT a human response to behavior and sexuality? So the question that I did not see asked or answered is does Ted believe homosexuality is sin? Can you point me to that answer? I know when I watched him answer that question on a news show he stated “for him, it was sin because he is a heterosexual”. So the bible is wrong? Which is it?

    I do not deny that he is a nice guy and you saw genuine sincerity. So is that the criteria by which you measure genuine faith? If so, then everyone gets to heaven. For if you sat across for the Dalai Lama or Oprah you would see great, sincere humanitarians who love mankind BUT reject the Jesus of the bible.

  23. @Frank Irace

    Frank,

    Let me know when God starts requiring that we all demonstrate to each other the measure of our faith and repentance.

  24. @Frank Irace

    Frank,

    Let me know when God starts requiring that we all demonstrate to each other the measure of our faith and repentance.

  25. Brother Donny-

    Sure I will let you know because it is not something coming to a theatre near you but something that has been around since the scriptures were written. You have dismissed my questions and simply have fed me your theodicy. So I will give you some scripture for you to argue with. I choose not to engage you in debate. Instead you should humble yourself under the word of God and realize that God does require us in the church to be accountable to one another:

    Matthew 7: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” . In other words, “Why are you more concerned about the little problem in your brother’s life than the bigger problem you have in your own life?” “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” Matthew uses a hyperbole here; he’s making an exaggerated illustration. But his point is clear: How can you help your brother with his little problem when your own life has a bigger problem?

    The principle in those verses is this: We have a responsibility to each other to take care of those things that are in each other’s eyes. We have a responsibility to deal with sin in each other, but before we can do that, we must deal with our own sin.

    Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye who are spiritual restore such a one. . . . ” It takes a person walking in obedience to help a person that is living in disobedience. Before a person can help someone who is being disobedient, he must have his own life right. Having everyone in a church be accountable to one another has a self-purifying effect on everyone. A church where people are not taught to care about each other will be a church where people are not challenged to cleanse sin from their own lives.

    In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul says that he rebuked Peter publicly for doing something wrong.

    Matthew 18:16 “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. ” If the person you are confronting still doesn’t listen, then verse 17 says to “tell it unto the church. ” Have everyone in the church encourage the sinning brother to repent. That’s the responsibility involved in accountability. Doing that helps keep the church pure.

    So now tell me how can someone “tell” it to the church if they nor the church have not weighed and measured something to test if it is sin or not according to the scriptures? Again, we are not talking about our opinions of sin BUT what scripture outlines as sin.

    To reject what scripture clearly outlines as sin is to reject the Logos himself. I was involved in every sexual sin imaginable my friend…yet when Christ called me I had no where to run and had to repent and not make excuses. Because to do so diminishes his work on the cross. I needed and still need loving brothers to hold me accountable to the word of God. You said it yourself but stopped short: Repentance means turning away from sin and turning towards Christ. Turning is not simply a physical act ( for modern day pop physc can yield good results with behavior modification) but true repentance happens in your heart and with your lips also.
    This is not what Ted does in this interview below (and yours):

    So for the homosexual watching the interview, it is not sin. It is only sin for Ted not for them.

    I was forwarded this blog and thought perhaps you and I could have a reasonable conversation because you encouraged people to forward it and encouraged input. After seeing your response, I can see that you are not interested in dialogue BUT defending your position according to your feelings. I will not respond further and please remove me from any future communication (if you so intended on communicating that is:)

  26. Brother Donny-

    Sure I will let you know because it is not something coming to a theatre near you but something that has been around since the scriptures were written. You have dismissed my questions and simply have fed me your theodicy. So I will give you some scripture for you to argue with. I choose not to engage you in debate. Instead you should humble yourself under the word of God and realize that God does require us in the church to be accountable to one another:

    Matthew 7: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” . In other words, “Why are you more concerned about the little problem in your brother’s life than the bigger problem you have in your own life?” “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” Matthew uses a hyperbole here; he’s making an exaggerated illustration. But his point is clear: How can you help your brother with his little problem when your own life has a bigger problem?

    The principle in those verses is this: We have a responsibility to each other to take care of those things that are in each other’s eyes. We have a responsibility to deal with sin in each other, but before we can do that, we must deal with our own sin.

    Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye who are spiritual restore such a one. . . . ” It takes a person walking in obedience to help a person that is living in disobedience. Before a person can help someone who is being disobedient, he must have his own life right. Having everyone in a church be accountable to one another has a self-purifying effect on everyone. A church where people are not taught to care about each other will be a church where people are not challenged to cleanse sin from their own lives.

    In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul says that he rebuked Peter publicly for doing something wrong.

    Matthew 18:16 “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. ” If the person you are confronting still doesn’t listen, then verse 17 says to “tell it unto the church. ” Have everyone in the church encourage the sinning brother to repent. That’s the responsibility involved in accountability. Doing that helps keep the church pure.

    So now tell me how can someone “tell” it to the church if they nor the church have not weighed and measured something to test if it is sin or not according to the scriptures? Again, we are not talking about our opinions of sin BUT what scripture outlines as sin.

    To reject what scripture clearly outlines as sin is to reject the Logos himself. I was involved in every sexual sin imaginable my friend…yet when Christ called me I had no where to run and had to repent and not make excuses. Because to do so diminishes his work on the cross. I needed and still need loving brothers to hold me accountable to the word of God. You said it yourself but stopped short: Repentance means turning away from sin and turning towards Christ. Turning is not simply a physical act ( for modern day pop physc can yield good results with behavior modification) but true repentance happens in your heart and with your lips also.
    This is not what Ted does in this interview below (and yours):

    So for the homosexual watching the interview, it is not sin. It is only sin for Ted not for them.

    I was forwarded this blog and thought perhaps you and I could have a reasonable conversation because you encouraged people to forward it and encouraged input. After seeing your response, I can see that you are not interested in dialogue BUT defending your position according to your feelings. I will not respond further and please remove me from any future communication (if you so intended on communicating that is:)

  27. @Donny Pauling
    Donny,
    Hey brother, how are you? I wonder if you remember me, when you came to Ontario NY with Craig and J. R. Mann to a church called Living Word Assembly of God you stayed with me and my family (house on the hill). First I’d like to thank you for sending me an invite “linkedin” it gave me a opportunity to catch up with you and see where your at today.
    I can see your still very active….but…I see (hopefully not) a different Donny than I originally met. I saw a new believer eagerly seeking Gods face and searching for truth. Now, I’m not insinuating you do not still but I did read the entire interview with your pastor and Ted and unless there is a part III yet to be written I, as the others well fail to see any repentance. I’m seeing a part of your heart revealed in a couple of responses here from comments left by some discerning Christian men and your rather flippant, lacking response. I mean when you wrote this (for the entire world to see and review) did you expect that everyone would agree and not write anything back or have comments? Certainly not, I see there is a place for comments and I would assume you encourage them. However judging, if I were, by the mere appearance of your comments…or lack of “real” answers to “real questions by aforementioned discerning Christian men I would come to a conclusion that I could only hope is wrong and that is that you don’t care for truth and discernment. Now I know that is not true about you as I had the pleasure of speaking with you personally but again if I did not I may see this as a cowardly reaction to someone asking you some serious questions and I know that you (you meaning God in you) will vindicate yourself by revisiting these comments and actually answering them in a manner which would honor our King. In other words my brother don’t back down now fight the fight “run the race” Acts 20:24, “come let us reason together” Isaiah 1:18, “always be prepared to give an answer” 1 Peter 3:15.
    Now your comment “Let me know when God starts requiring that we all demonstrate to each other the measure of our faith and repentance.” Pretty lame my friend and unbiblical. You should go to the bible (not the message) try a KJ or NIV James 5:16 (New International Version) 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Or Numbers 5:5 Restitution for Wrongs “5 The LORD said to Moses, 6 “Say to the Israelites: ‘When a man or woman wrongs another in any way [b] and so is unfaithful to the LORD, that person is guilty 7 and must confess the sin he has committed. He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it and give it all to the person he has wronged” My question to you is has he done this? Being as I see it, a rhetorical question I will attempt to answer it as best as I can but again only judging from the interview and public shows. I don’t see it in fact I see a bitter angry man willing to throw his former church under the proverbial bus taking the attention of of his sin. I like how Brother Mic states it “…your repentance of your sin, willing acknowledgment of it and your desire and submission to be accountable/transparent to the local body of Christ. If it does not edify you should hold your tongue and Ted has no problem with slandering the leadership that he should be falling under in submission to!
    Let me ask you this, when are you doing the follow up interview with the leadership of Ted’s old congregation and the leadership at New Life? I mean to be fair and get both sides of the story or do you not care enough as shown in your comments to those that bring opposition? Read John 7:24 (New International Version)
    24Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”
    Righteous.
    I know you will prayerfully consider how you will respond to ALL of these comments.

  28. @Donny Pauling
    Donny,
    Hey brother, how are you? I wonder if you remember me, when you came to Ontario NY with Craig and J. R. Mann to a church called Living Word Assembly of God you stayed with me and my family (house on the hill). First I’d like to thank you for sending me an invite “linkedin” it gave me a opportunity to catch up with you and see where your at today.
    I can see your still very active….but…I see (hopefully not) a different Donny than I originally met. I saw a new believer eagerly seeking Gods face and searching for truth. Now, I’m not insinuating you do not still but I did read the entire interview with your pastor and Ted and unless there is a part III yet to be written I, as the others well fail to see any repentance. I’m seeing a part of your heart revealed in a couple of responses here from comments left by some discerning Christian men and your rather flippant, lacking response. I mean when you wrote this (for the entire world to see and review) did you expect that everyone would agree and not write anything back or have comments? Certainly not, I see there is a place for comments and I would assume you encourage them. However judging, if I were, by the mere appearance of your comments…or lack of “real” answers to “real questions by aforementioned discerning Christian men I would come to a conclusion that I could only hope is wrong and that is that you don’t care for truth and discernment. Now I know that is not true about you as I had the pleasure of speaking with you personally but again if I did not I may see this as a cowardly reaction to someone asking you some serious questions and I know that you (you meaning God in you) will vindicate yourself by revisiting these comments and actually answering them in a manner which would honor our King. In other words my brother don’t back down now fight the fight “run the race” Acts 20:24, “come let us reason together” Isaiah 1:18, “always be prepared to give an answer” 1 Peter 3:15.
    Now your comment “Let me know when God starts requiring that we all demonstrate to each other the measure of our faith and repentance.” Pretty lame my friend and unbiblical. You should go to the bible (not the message) try a KJ or NIV James 5:16 (New International Version) 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Or Numbers 5:5 Restitution for Wrongs “5 The LORD said to Moses, 6 “Say to the Israelites: ‘When a man or woman wrongs another in any way [b] and so is unfaithful to the LORD, that person is guilty 7 and must confess the sin he has committed. He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it and give it all to the person he has wronged” My question to you is has he done this? Being as I see it, a rhetorical question I will attempt to answer it as best as I can but again only judging from the interview and public shows. I don’t see it in fact I see a bitter angry man willing to throw his former church under the proverbial bus taking the attention of of his sin. I like how Brother Mic states it “…your repentance of your sin, willing acknowledgment of it and your desire and submission to be accountable/transparent to the local body of Christ. If it does not edify you should hold your tongue and Ted has no problem with slandering the leadership that he should be falling under in submission to!
    Let me ask you this, when are you doing the follow up interview with the leadership of Ted’s old congregation and the leadership at New Life? I mean to be fair and get both sides of the story or do you not care enough as shown in your comments to those that bring opposition? Read John 7:24 (New International Version)
    24Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”
    Righteous.
    I know you will prayerfully consider how you will respond to ALL of these comments.

  29. @Frank Irace

    Frank,

    Do you know Ted Haggard? Do you have a place in his life to speak into it? If the answer to those questions is “no” then you certainly aren’t the one to remove any specks from Ted’s eyes. Nor does he owe YOU evidence of his repentance.

    I spent several hours with Ted, as did my Pastor. Both of us believe he has truly repented.

  30. @Frank Irace

    Frank,

    Do you know Ted Haggard? Do you have a place in his life to speak into it? If the answer to those questions is “no” then you certainly aren’t the one to remove any specks from Ted’s eyes. Nor does he owe YOU evidence of his repentance.

    I spent several hours with Ted, as did my Pastor. Both of us believe he has truly repented.

  31. @Donny Pauling
    That’s it….? That’s all you got….? Still no answers to the questions… what has he repented of…? You’re the one who wrote this interview and I assume it was to help him or help us to see “the real Ted Haggard” but in this interview where is the repentance I ask you? Show us how we should somehow extrapolate from this interview his remorse his repentance. I mean other than to prove that, why else would you have written this or for that matter held an interview????
    Brother Frank, let me attempt to answer your question and Brother Donny please correct me if I am wrong. The answer to your question can be found by Ted’s words best where he states “I believe that the definition of marriage is a man and a woman. I believe marriage means living as a man and a wife. But I do not believe that should translate into legal privileges for heterosexual couples that are denied homosexual couples.” Let see what God thinks of this 1 Corinthians 6:9 (New International Version) 9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. This does not leave room for any right wing liberalism or political correctness.
    Now does this leave room anywhere for personal preference where he (Ted) states “Exactly! Nobody knows fully, yet, how those preferences develop or what they are. And nobody knows if any other human being… like if you eat a banana and I eat a banana, we don’t know yet whether or not we’re tasting the same thing. Because your mom fed you a banana and said, “This is a banana”. So for the guy who doesn’t like it and the guy who does like it, it could be a totally different series of chemical and electrical responses. Nobody knows the brain function that creates preference and desire”. Excuse me …God does and he is not a decieptfull God in other words he would not give someone “the gene” and at the same time give you free will. It is not a preference (another idiotic politically correct term) it is SIN. I used to smoke pot it was my preference at the time is that sin….. YES of course it is and God helped me to see that and forgave me for it but to say (or should I use the word blame) it is a personal preference and the church will see 50 years from now that I had a Gene or some other lame excuse for the real matter SIN is absurd.
    As far as the EMDR (erroneous moronic decision remover) “Would you say that you would recommend pastors to start not only giving their people spiritual counsel, but also maybe having them go to a regular doctor [counselor] as well”? and then Ted gives his psychobabble to affirm this. However, We need not go any further than the bible. John 8:36 (New International Version)36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. As was the case with My lovely bride she was raped by a high school kid that her dad set her up with and was sexually abused by her father along with numerous others (which he has done jail time for) and her mother went through a bad time with depression and Schizophrenia so bad my wife had to take care of her siblings while her dad was in prison (she was only 13). I took her to all kinds of “Doctors (counselors)” and I tell you honestly nothing but the blood of JESUS made her right.
    He (Ted) also states “I think that is a constitutional issue that is going to have to be worked out in the courts. And I think it WILL ultimately be worked out in the courts”. It has already been worked out with our creator in his court which is the only on that truly matters and lets see what he (God)says… Matthew 19:5 (King James Version) 4And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Now God could not have been any plainer than this.
    So to wrap this up and answer the question without avoiding it the answer I see here is best where Ted himself says “it was wrong for me because I am heterosexual. Let me ask you other readers, does this look like a repentant heart again only looking at it from Donny’s interview? UUhhm sounds like he should hit the EMDR again as this insinuates its ok though,… if you’re homosexual. This is WRONG and I suggest you read the bible don’t look inward, man knoweth not his own heart and if Ted is not repentant of this maybe it is his pride which is an abomination as well.. Donny it was your idea to do the interview and ask for comments and reply’s so can I make a suggestion? Don’t shun them “Nor does he owe YOU evidence of his repentance” if you are writing to prove it in the first place.

  32. @Donny Pauling
    That’s it….? That’s all you got….? Still no answers to the questions… what has he repented of…? You’re the one who wrote this interview and I assume it was to help him or help us to see “the real Ted Haggard” but in this interview where is the repentance I ask you? Show us how we should somehow extrapolate from this interview his remorse his repentance. I mean other than to prove that, why else would you have written this or for that matter held an interview????
    Brother Frank, let me attempt to answer your question and Brother Donny please correct me if I am wrong. The answer to your question can be found by Ted’s words best where he states “I believe that the definition of marriage is a man and a woman. I believe marriage means living as a man and a wife. But I do not believe that should translate into legal privileges for heterosexual couples that are denied homosexual couples.” Let see what God thinks of this 1 Corinthians 6:9 (New International Version) 9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. This does not leave room for any right wing liberalism or political correctness.
    Now does this leave room anywhere for personal preference where he (Ted) states “Exactly! Nobody knows fully, yet, how those preferences develop or what they are. And nobody knows if any other human being… like if you eat a banana and I eat a banana, we don’t know yet whether or not we’re tasting the same thing. Because your mom fed you a banana and said, “This is a banana”. So for the guy who doesn’t like it and the guy who does like it, it could be a totally different series of chemical and electrical responses. Nobody knows the brain function that creates preference and desire”. Excuse me …God does and he is not a decieptfull God in other words he would not give someone “the gene” and at the same time give you free will. It is not a preference (another idiotic politically correct term) it is SIN. I used to smoke pot it was my preference at the time is that sin….. YES of course it is and God helped me to see that and forgave me for it but to say (or should I use the word blame) it is a personal preference and the church will see 50 years from now that I had a Gene or some other lame excuse for the real matter SIN is absurd.
    As far as the EMDR (erroneous moronic decision remover) “Would you say that you would recommend pastors to start not only giving their people spiritual counsel, but also maybe having them go to a regular doctor [counselor] as well”? and then Ted gives his psychobabble to affirm this. However, We need not go any further than the bible. John 8:36 (New International Version)36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. As was the case with My lovely bride she was raped by a high school kid that her dad set her up with and was sexually abused by her father along with numerous others (which he has done jail time for) and her mother went through a bad time with depression and Schizophrenia so bad my wife had to take care of her siblings while her dad was in prison (she was only 13). I took her to all kinds of “Doctors (counselors)” and I tell you honestly nothing but the blood of JESUS made her right.
    He (Ted) also states “I think that is a constitutional issue that is going to have to be worked out in the courts. And I think it WILL ultimately be worked out in the courts”. It has already been worked out with our creator in his court which is the only on that truly matters and lets see what he (God)says… Matthew 19:5 (King James Version) 4And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Now God could not have been any plainer than this.
    So to wrap this up and answer the question without avoiding it the answer I see here is best where Ted himself says “it was wrong for me because I am heterosexual. Let me ask you other readers, does this look like a repentant heart again only looking at it from Donny’s interview? UUhhm sounds like he should hit the EMDR again as this insinuates its ok though,… if you’re homosexual. This is WRONG and I suggest you read the bible don’t look inward, man knoweth not his own heart and if Ted is not repentant of this maybe it is his pride which is an abomination as well.. Donny it was your idea to do the interview and ask for comments and reply’s so can I make a suggestion? Don’t shun them “Nor does he owe YOU evidence of his repentance” if you are writing to prove it in the first place.

  33. Donny I want you to understand (for what it’s worth) I am not saying that Ted is not repentant. I mean that’s Between him and the Lord. I don’t know the man personally I can only understand him through what you have written here, tv, computer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbvVPzIsJWw. (where he says its a sin to be gay “for me”) etc..
    I wish I could dismiss what he says as I’m not understanding his heart but your (and his) silence (as I can assume he maybe reading this at some point in the not so distant future) leaves me…. confused if you will.
    If anyone else actually reads these comments from Mic, Frank and myself I can imagine some of them may feel enigmatic as well. So if for no other reason than for simple clarification these questions…if you should be so willing could be answered and put to rest if you will. I am not creating factions or trying to be argumentative. I realize it may come off that way, however, I, in my heart want to think that all is right with Brother Ted. Just some of the things that are out there leave more questions than they give answers bro. If you do decide to write back can you be a bit more substantial than a simple brush off as I am giving this myself much thought and prayer.
    God Bless hope to hear from you soon.

  34. Donny I want you to understand (for what it’s worth) I am not saying that Ted is not repentant. I mean that’s Between him and the Lord. I don’t know the man personally I can only understand him through what you have written here, tv, computer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbvVPzIsJWw. (where he says its a sin to be gay “for me”) etc..
    I wish I could dismiss what he says as I’m not understanding his heart but your (and his) silence (as I can assume he maybe reading this at some point in the not so distant future) leaves me…. confused if you will.
    If anyone else actually reads these comments from Mic, Frank and myself I can imagine some of them may feel enigmatic as well. So if for no other reason than for simple clarification these questions…if you should be so willing could be answered and put to rest if you will. I am not creating factions or trying to be argumentative. I realize it may come off that way, however, I, in my heart want to think that all is right with Brother Ted. Just some of the things that are out there leave more questions than they give answers bro. If you do decide to write back can you be a bit more substantial than a simple brush off as I am giving this myself much thought and prayer.
    God Bless hope to hear from you soon.

  35. As Cal Thompson posted over on my Facebook page, “Seems like the conversation is more about homosexuality as a permissive condition. Not really a question of repentance.”

    I agree with Cal. Ted’s repentance is being brought into question because you take issue with his comments relating to homosexuality. I’m sorry, my friends, but those things have nothing to do with each other.

  36. As Cal Thompson posted over on my Facebook page, “Seems like the conversation is more about homosexuality as a permissive condition. Not really a question of repentance.”

    I agree with Cal. Ted’s repentance is being brought into question because you take issue with his comments relating to homosexuality. I’m sorry, my friends, but those things have nothing to do with each other.

  37. So that others can more easily watch the video you link to, I’ll embed it here:

  38. So that others can more easily watch the video you link to, I’ll embed it here:

  39. Wow. I will start out by saying great great article Donny. You love people. I am sorry people are wanting you to stop that. Don’t EVER stop. I know you won’t. 🙂

    Lots of righteous legalism up in here, eh? 😉

    Okay, let’s begin:

    Frank, your first point in reference to pointing out the sins of others was Galatians 6:1. You quoted the part that you agree with most but didn’t write out the whole thing. I think where you stopped is very telling. You wrote, ” Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him.” But that is not all of the verse Frank. The next word is gently. GENTLY. Restore him GENTLY. And it continues…”But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. ”

    I am not sure you have read the word gently before. It’s okay, I believe in grace, so that’s okay with me. However, according to that word, “gently”, beating the sinner with a verbal judgment telephone pole was not recommended. 😉 Gently. With love. Because we all respond better to love. Let’s see…do I want to be told how horrible, awful, despicable, disgusting, unlovable I am? Oh yes, SIGN ME RIGHT UP FOR THAT ONE! I am sure I will understand Jesus’ love completely after that. Honestly.

    LOVE changes people. Real love for others, not that “Love the sinner but hate the sin” crap kind of love. Yes, if we were actually Jesus I am sure we could truly live that statement and not judge. But we are human and there is honestly no way to do that one without judging. How do you hate the essence of a person…a person who thinks he is a homosexual…and yet LOVE him? You won’t. Be nice to them? Maybe. But most Christians don’t even do that well. Even if some do manage to be nice to “sinners” it is usually with the condescending attitude of “I am going to heaven and you are going to Hell.” And it is felt by the sinners.

    Love the sinner. Period. End of sentence.

    Let God do the changing of hearts. He does it best.

    The second part of Galatians 6:1 says to watch out or you who is doing the GENTLE restoring may be tempted. I think that can refer to many types of tempting, but the most obvious one is judging. And there are LOTS of verses that talk about that one in the Bible. 😉 Judging is a very serious and dangerous sin.

    I have a lot more to say but have a migraine and will stop for now.

  40. Wow. I will start out by saying great great article Donny. You love people. I am sorry people are wanting you to stop that. Don’t EVER stop. I know you won’t. 🙂

    Lots of righteous legalism up in here, eh? 😉

    Okay, let’s begin:

    Frank, your first point in reference to pointing out the sins of others was Galatians 6:1. You quoted the part that you agree with most but didn’t write out the whole thing. I think where you stopped is very telling. You wrote, ” Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him.” But that is not all of the verse Frank. The next word is gently. GENTLY. Restore him GENTLY. And it continues…”But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. ”

    I am not sure you have read the word gently before. It’s okay, I believe in grace, so that’s okay with me. However, according to that word, “gently”, beating the sinner with a verbal judgment telephone pole was not recommended. 😉 Gently. With love. Because we all respond better to love. Let’s see…do I want to be told how horrible, awful, despicable, disgusting, unlovable I am? Oh yes, SIGN ME RIGHT UP FOR THAT ONE! I am sure I will understand Jesus’ love completely after that. Honestly.

    LOVE changes people. Real love for others, not that “Love the sinner but hate the sin” crap kind of love. Yes, if we were actually Jesus I am sure we could truly live that statement and not judge. But we are human and there is honestly no way to do that one without judging. How do you hate the essence of a person…a person who thinks he is a homosexual…and yet LOVE him? You won’t. Be nice to them? Maybe. But most Christians don’t even do that well. Even if some do manage to be nice to “sinners” it is usually with the condescending attitude of “I am going to heaven and you are going to Hell.” And it is felt by the sinners.

    Love the sinner. Period. End of sentence.

    Let God do the changing of hearts. He does it best.

    The second part of Galatians 6:1 says to watch out or you who is doing the GENTLE restoring may be tempted. I think that can refer to many types of tempting, but the most obvious one is judging. And there are LOTS of verses that talk about that one in the Bible. 😉 Judging is a very serious and dangerous sin.

    I have a lot more to say but have a migraine and will stop for now.

  41. Mike,

    I just watched that clip. And I’m honestly disappointed. But not in Ted, IN YOU. Why? Because I think it’s apparent to everybody who doesn’t have a pre-conceived agenda what Ted means when he says the “for me” part you seem to have so much issue with. I am trying REALLY hard not to write to you with one of my famous verbal tongue lashings. Because I KNOW you’re a very intelligent man and I KNOW that you are capable of seeing EXACTLY what Ted is saying in that clip.

    Ted Haggard admits he’s a huge hypocrite. He just apologized to the gay community for that hypocrisy. If he answered that question ANY OTHER WAY he would be repeating that hypocrisy. He is not in ANY position to make judgment calls on homosexual attraction after what he did. He can’t be pointing out specks in the eyes of others after that big huge moat that was discovered in his, now can he? The Bible even instructs him on that matter, doesn’t it?

    I find his comments to be very honorable, and very ballsy… specifically because Ted is smart enough to know that people (such as you, in this case) would use those words against him. I applaud him. Bravo, Ted Haggard! Bravo!

    My man, if you hated Ted’s comments you’re REALLY gonna hate this blog post written by JR Mahon. Try not to blow a fuse.

    Again, I’m honestly more than just a little disappointed in ya right now, Mister Bacher.

  42. Mike,

    I just watched that clip. And I’m honestly disappointed. But not in Ted, IN YOU. Why? Because I think it’s apparent to everybody who doesn’t have a pre-conceived agenda what Ted means when he says the “for me” part you seem to have so much issue with. I am trying REALLY hard not to write to you with one of my famous verbal tongue lashings. Because I KNOW you’re a very intelligent man and I KNOW that you are capable of seeing EXACTLY what Ted is saying in that clip.

    Ted Haggard admits he’s a huge hypocrite. He just apologized to the gay community for that hypocrisy. If he answered that question ANY OTHER WAY he would be repeating that hypocrisy. He is not in ANY position to make judgment calls on homosexual attraction after what he did. He can’t be pointing out specks in the eyes of others after that big huge moat that was discovered in his, now can he? The Bible even instructs him on that matter, doesn’t it?

    I find his comments to be very honorable, and very ballsy… specifically because Ted is smart enough to know that people (such as you, in this case) would use those words against him. I applaud him. Bravo, Ted Haggard! Bravo!

    My man, if you hated Ted’s comments you’re REALLY gonna hate this blog post written by JR Mahon. Try not to blow a fuse.

    Again, I’m honestly more than just a little disappointed in ya right now, Mister Bacher.

  43. By the way, let me bluntly state this for you: eternal consequences for sin are for God to dish out. Nothing, however, gives us the right to deny civil rights to any person based on their sexuality. At all. Shall we start removing rights from men who have cheated on their wives? Of course not. Don’t fool yourself, heterosexual sin is still sexual sin, and God doesn’t put levels on sin. Should we allow homosexuals to marry? Absolutely not. Marriage is between a man and a woman. But I do firmly assert the FACT that all of God’s children should be given civil rights. Freely and without question or prejudice.

  44. By the way, let me bluntly state this for you: eternal consequences for sin are for God to dish out. Nothing, however, gives us the right to deny civil rights to any person based on their sexuality. At all. Shall we start removing rights from men who have cheated on their wives? Of course not. Don’t fool yourself, heterosexual sin is still sexual sin, and God doesn’t put levels on sin. Should we allow homosexuals to marry? Absolutely not. Marriage is between a man and a woman. But I do firmly assert the FACT that all of God’s children should be given civil rights. Freely and without question or prejudice.

  45. JR, good to hear from you and thanks for taking some time and writing. I read your post on the link you sent and obviously your reply comment. I would like some time to process, but will write back soon “only a fool speaks the first thing that comes to his mind”. I will tell you for now your disappointment is of little consequence to me as I was and am still seeking clarification. But if nothing else you have intellectually stimulated me and will prayerfully consider my thoughts and portray them accurately for you soon. for now God bless you and keep you well.
    P.S. I did not hate your blog. It was a good story….without an ending yet (still gay) much like the one here with Brother Ted (please don’t assume I think Ted is “still gay” that’s not what I meant).

  46. JR, good to hear from you and thanks for taking some time and writing. I read your post on the link you sent and obviously your reply comment. I would like some time to process, but will write back soon “only a fool speaks the first thing that comes to his mind”. I will tell you for now your disappointment is of little consequence to me as I was and am still seeking clarification. But if nothing else you have intellectually stimulated me and will prayerfully consider my thoughts and portray them accurately for you soon. for now God bless you and keep you well.
    P.S. I did not hate your blog. It was a good story….without an ending yet (still gay) much like the one here with Brother Ted (please don’t assume I think Ted is “still gay” that’s not what I meant).

  47. Alright quickly then I really have to go for now. To your comment #24 We are in agreement here.

  48. Alright quickly then I really have to go for now. To your comment #24 We are in agreement here.

  49. @Donny Pauling
    I’m glad you didn’t use the bat you refereed to.

  50. @Donny Pauling
    I’m glad you didn’t use the bat you refereed to.

  51. @Mike Bacher

    Mike, for the record that wasn’t JR commenting. It was me, but I referred to a post he’d written.

  52. @Mike Bacher

    Mike, for the record that wasn’t JR commenting. It was me, but I referred to a post he’d written.

  53. Donny, I doubt Mike knows a gay person let alone would lay life his down for one. Legalism runs rampant in Mike’s world. His comments are typical of a life lived in rule not in grace or love… heart of a Pharisee. Mike lives in a world that would love the “witch-hunt” on gays to more successful. That ain’t our world as Christ has changed our hearts.

    Pray Mike lose his life to find it. Pray Mike strives to be like Christ and not tied to ideology and judgment of those who do not yet know Christ.

    J.R.

  54. Donny, I doubt Mike knows a gay person let alone would lay life his down for one. Legalism runs rampant in Mike’s world. His comments are typical of a life lived in rule not in grace or love… heart of a Pharisee. Mike lives in a world that would love the “witch-hunt” on gays to more successful. That ain’t our world as Christ has changed our hearts.

    Pray Mike lose his life to find it. Pray Mike strives to be like Christ and not tied to ideology and judgment of those who do not yet know Christ.

    J.R.

  55. Mike,

    Comment #29 is JR.

  56. Mike,

    Comment #29 is JR.

  57. Donny…J.R. being a man of my word and after a few days of thinking this through and praying about it, here is my response (after which I will no longer be in contact nor do I wish to be sought out). I can see we are clearly in disagreement and this has taken a turn for the worse. I don’t think going any further would edify either of us, let alone anyone else reading these comments. I will stand resolute in allowing God to reveal our hearts actions and thoughts, he is my defender. I leave you with my prayers for you as I will ask you to do the same for me.
    God Bless

  58. Donny…J.R. being a man of my word and after a few days of thinking this through and praying about it, here is my response (after which I will no longer be in contact nor do I wish to be sought out). I can see we are clearly in disagreement and this has taken a turn for the worse. I don’t think going any further would edify either of us, let alone anyone else reading these comments. I will stand resolute in allowing God to reveal our hearts actions and thoughts, he is my defender. I leave you with my prayers for you as I will ask you to do the same for me.
    God Bless

  59. “God is my defender.” I was waiting for that and you did not dissapoint. As with most legalists after making a jackass of yourself you wrap the word tightly around actions and words which seem to make you somehow clean of all the crap you dish into the world.

    Get off your horse Mike, come out of the glass house and for God sake read the word of God and find God’s heart not simply your point to be proven… cowardliness consumes you and fear spins your rules into the lives of others.

    We will not seek you as you sought us… think about, you sought us… hmmmm and now you want to make rules. Cowardly Pharisee, viper, son of the devil those are things you undersatnd, no?

    Mike soften your heart and hit your knees, shed the heart of man and take on the spirit of God you’ll wear it better and might make a difference in this evil world.

  60. “God is my defender.” I was waiting for that and you did not dissapoint. As with most legalists after making a jackass of yourself you wrap the word tightly around actions and words which seem to make you somehow clean of all the crap you dish into the world.

    Get off your horse Mike, come out of the glass house and for God sake read the word of God and find God’s heart not simply your point to be proven… cowardliness consumes you and fear spins your rules into the lives of others.

    We will not seek you as you sought us… think about, you sought us… hmmmm and now you want to make rules. Cowardly Pharisee, viper, son of the devil those are things you undersatnd, no?

    Mike soften your heart and hit your knees, shed the heart of man and take on the spirit of God you’ll wear it better and might make a difference in this evil world.

  61. Mike,

    I thought about not bothering to reply myself, but since JR has done so I will too.

    I want you to think with your father cap. Let’s say one of your boys was out here in California and he got himself into a lot of trouble, screwing up his life to the point where he was living in a gutter somewhere. Let’s say it was a life and death situation and it wouldn’t wait until you could arrive from New York. Wouldn’t you want someone to go pull him out? Would you want that person to first pre-qualify him to make sure he had given up all his addictions, his sins, before saving his life? Or would you rather that person let YOU handle the issues, and have THEM just save his life?

    THAT is what we’re called to do as Christians, Mike. We’re called to go pull people out of gutters. We’re NOT called to decide if they deserve it. God has a “you catch ’em, I’ll clean ’em” attitude. He is not willing that ANY should perish. Not one of us deserve His grace (which is why it’s called “grace” to begin with). You and I with our imperfect lives are in no place to pass judgment on others with imperfect lives. Just keep reaching into gutters and then TRUST GOD to clean up the lives of those we help pull out.

  62. Mike,

    I thought about not bothering to reply myself, but since JR has done so I will too.

    I want you to think with your father cap. Let’s say one of your boys was out here in California and he got himself into a lot of trouble, screwing up his life to the point where he was living in a gutter somewhere. Let’s say it was a life and death situation and it wouldn’t wait until you could arrive from New York. Wouldn’t you want someone to go pull him out? Would you want that person to first pre-qualify him to make sure he had given up all his addictions, his sins, before saving his life? Or would you rather that person let YOU handle the issues, and have THEM just save his life?

    THAT is what we’re called to do as Christians, Mike. We’re called to go pull people out of gutters. We’re NOT called to decide if they deserve it. God has a “you catch ’em, I’ll clean ’em” attitude. He is not willing that ANY should perish. Not one of us deserve His grace (which is why it’s called “grace” to begin with). You and I with our imperfect lives are in no place to pass judgment on others with imperfect lives. Just keep reaching into gutters and then TRUST GOD to clean up the lives of those we help pull out.

  63. Also, Mike, you might wonder where the strong emotions come from. They’re really not necessarily personal to you. It’s just that legalism keeps people away from God. Think about it from another perspective. Well, even think about how my words and JR’s words make you feel. When you’re chastised does it make you MORE or LESS likely to listen to what we’re saying? Human nature dictates that you’re less likely to listen to someone when that person gets up in your face. But that’s exactly what a legalist does to those who need God most.

    Furthermore, God doesn’t put labels on sin, and since each of us sin on an almost daily basis it becomes obvious that not one of us has the right to point out the sin in others. Not one. Fortunately Jesus paid our ransom, but how arrogant are we do go around acting better than anybody else when we’ve got someone else paying our tab ’cause we can’t afford to pay it ourselves?

  64. Also, Mike, you might wonder where the strong emotions come from. They’re really not necessarily personal to you. It’s just that legalism keeps people away from God. Think about it from another perspective. Well, even think about how my words and JR’s words make you feel. When you’re chastised does it make you MORE or LESS likely to listen to what we’re saying? Human nature dictates that you’re less likely to listen to someone when that person gets up in your face. But that’s exactly what a legalist does to those who need God most.

    Furthermore, God doesn’t put labels on sin, and since each of us sin on an almost daily basis it becomes obvious that not one of us has the right to point out the sin in others. Not one. Fortunately Jesus paid our ransom, but how arrogant are we do go around acting better than anybody else when we’ve got someone else paying our tab ’cause we can’t afford to pay it ourselves?

  65. Donny… You’re the best ex-porn producer I know and I love you! Now, tell you’re mom hi!!!!!!!!!!

  66. Donny… You’re the best ex-porn producer I know and I love you! Now, tell you’re mom hi!!!!!!!!!!

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