November 7, 2006
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It’s really early in the morning and I woke up and I’ve been trying to find the right words to express the emotions of my heart. As you can probably tell, I never wanted to put things in my blog that make people’s hearts sad. In fact, I wanted to use this blog to bring joy and laughter into people’s hearts I figure there is a lot of pain in the world and because of that I wanted this to be a place of encouragement. Having absolutely NO IDEA who would be reading through this blog, and being that the particular subject of this title had so many sordid details, I just wasn’t sure I wanted to discuss any of it in my blog spot. However, I wanted to share several things that have been running through my mind.
First, I have never met Ted Haggard and I’ve never heard him preach and I’ve never been to his church. So everything I know about him I learned through the media. My initial thoughts are that I do NOT know what’s true and what’s not true concerning his life. I did log on to his church website and I read his letter of resignation: http://www.newlifechurch.org/TedHaggardStatement.pdf
Having read his letter I know several things–first and foremost that God’s heart breaks when ANY of us commit ANY sin. You see, my heart is crushed over this situation. It is sooooooooo sad to hear of a Leader falling like this, yet it is why God sent his only son JESUS to die on the cross. It was for OUR sin that he died. Surely the heart of God is as devastated as ours when we hear of stories like the story of Ted Haggard or any other church leader (or church member) who falls. Secondly, I have absolutely NO IDEA how Ted Haggard got involved in these kinds of sins. I don’t know how he was raised. I don’t know who his parents were. I don’t know who influenced him as a child. I know NONE of these things. What I do know is that Satan has about a million ways to deceive us and to lure us. Somehow and in some way all of us have given into his lies. The Bible makes it very clear in Romans 3:10-23 that ALL OF US have sinned. All of us have battled with right and wrong and we know of this war within our own members. As I read through his resignation letter, Ted mentions that he has been at war with these particular issues for most of his adult life. I believe him when he states that. I believe that he knew it was wrong and wrestled with these sins for most of his life. James 1 and Romans 3 talks about how sin takes a hold in our lives and how it leads to death.
The more I think through this story it’s difficult for me to even understand how he could get involved in such terrible things, especially because he is a fellow pastor and church leader. How do any of us get involved in the sins of the flesh? (Galatians 5:16-26) It happens when we allow the things of the world to creep into our lives and all it takes is taking our eyes off of Jesus. And when we do that, we are in the cross hairs of the devil himself. He is waiting for all of us to fail and Jesus is LONGING for us to follow in His footsteps, so to speak, and resist the enemy and his temptings.
We all must guard our steps and our hearts lest we too be swept away and lose our witness and our testimony to the world.
I may come back and write some more later, but as I close this lengthy entry, I want to encourage you to pray for Ted Haggard and his family. That might be difficult for some of you, but they need us to lift them up before the Father. The damage done in unimaginable. The hurt and pain in unbearable. We all feel a sense of betrayal. We wish that this had never happened. But we still need to pray for them. We are devastated by this story but think about how devastated the family must feel. Only God can sustain them through this difficult time. You see, I’m not giving up yet. God has rebuilt and restored MILLIONS who have fallen. It is His specialty. Ted Haggard has preached against sin and he has preached about the Love of God and the forgiveness of God most of his life. Although he was swept away by his own choices and his own weaknesses the Love of God is greater than ANY sin and greater than ANY failure. Ted will probably never lead a church again, but I believe that God can restore his life and give him victory over his failures. (Romans 5:8 and 1 John 1:9) You know what it says…and that’s how God restored YOU and that’s how God restored ME.
Lastly, (do we need any other reminders?) as Christians, we are to put our faith and trust in GOD. Never in man. Never in the minister. Only ONE is PERFECT. Only ONE is absolutely PURE. Only ONE can redeem mankind.
Look! THERE is the LAMB of GOD that taketh away the SINS of the WORLD. (John 1:29)