Thursday, January 29, 2009


I watched Ted Haggard on Oprah yesterday and I can't get something he said out of my head. For those who may not know, Ted Haggard is the fallen pastor from a mega church here in Colorado who made the national news a while back admitting to being with a male prostitute and involved with drugs.

I've only seen him on Oprah even though he's done a few other interviews lately. I thought he was very candid and humble and although his situation has been detrimental to the message from the christian church, I will not judge him. It's not my place. There are too many specks in my eye.

In the interview, he mentioned that at one point, years before he acted out on his attractions, he went to the spiritual leaders of the church because he was worried and confused by his attraction to men and the urgings he was feeling. He went on to say that the only advice these (or at least some of these) leaders gave him was to work harder in the church, to commit himself more to doing God's work.

Of course, I don't know what was going on in the heads of these spiritual leaders or can't even know for sure this is what their advice was, but if it is true and the only advice these leaders could give, I find it incredibly sad.

It makes me wonder how many people out there that are hurting, to whatever degree, and have gone to the church for help, for guidance, for wisdom, and received such a nice and neat answer such as, "pray more," "believe more," or the worst, "work more on doing God's work."

Or how many people won't go to the church for help because they feel like only perfect people go to church. I can't help but wonder if we, as Christ's church, don't show our failings, our short comings, our struggles and challenges enough for the world to see that we are all broken. And it's because we are so broken that makes us realize that we need God's help and salvation.

I can't help but wonder how different life might have been for Ted Haggard if he had received different advice.


Momma Roar said...

Good points Diana.

I wonder too, how many of those leaders may be hurting and didn't know how or what to offer as well...I think there is a tremendous amount of pressure on those called to pastor. They are just like us. They have families too. We have a "floating ministry" at our church which means 6 ministers take turns throughout the year. They have jobs - bankers, farmers, business owners...all that stress as well.

I think I know what would have happened had he gone to his congregation asking for help/prayers as well - but I have often wondered too if I am not transparent enough to those around me for how much I lean on God - that they don't see my struggles because I am relying on God to get me through and then I don't talk about it enough.

Ok, I've rambled on...just my thoughts - thanks for getting me thinking!!

Susan said...

I didn't see the interview. I know he is making the rounds. He is going to be on Larry King tonight and I plan to watch.

Oh, I think the Church sadly is not there for people when they really need it. I know at one point in our lives, when we were having great difficulty, the church, Pastor, fellow members, were the absolutely LAST people I would ever have gone to at that time. Thank God I am in a different setting and Body now, and I certainly do not feel that way. It is so sad because I think it is common and not the exception. May God help us all.
As Leigh Ann stated...thanks for making us think about this issue.

jeff@sally said...

The Bible tells us that the truth without love is nothing more then a noisy gong. Homosexuality is sin however it is not worse then any other sin. How many of us know people who live together as couples without being married? Who among us has never lied or cheated or thought impure thoughts in our minds. We are all just as guilty before God. Only through the grace and blood of Jesus can any of us be forgiven. Do I think it is ok to be a homosexual? No. But I can love those who are konwing that Jesus died for them. Here is a link to a ministry from focus on the family geared towards those men and women struggling with same sex attraction. :)

I love the song called "If we are the body." It we are Christ's body then why are we not ministering to the people around us with Christ's love?

Heidi Jo said...

i saw part of it too, and was saddened yet hopeful.

one thing that i couldn't get past was when he and his wife talked about personal "inclinations" being present and part of who we are, but we still have personal freedom of choice and responsibility, oprah could not get their point in any way.

she claimed that if it's 'who you are' and you feel those 'inclinations' you are not being true to yourself if you do not ACT on them! that is such baloney!

i may have inclinations to sleep with a different man each night (no, i really do not:0), but it doesn't mean that in order to be true to myself and who God created me to be, i must act on them! i have personal responsiblity and choice. admitting them and not hiding from them is being true to myself. facing the giants, not running from them.

anyway, i can't explain it properly here, because you had to see it to get the confusion. but basically she came right down to saying that anything you are feeling inside, born with that preference, you have a right to act on. aren't most men wired naturally to feel less than monogomous? isn't a choice they make, to be faithful to their wives or partners?

Melissa said...

I understand exactly what Heidi Jo is trying to say :)
Of course we have urges to sin! It's part of our experience here on this earth. The problem I see is that people are trying to blur the lines between "just being myself" and sinning. I could list countless examples, but I won't :)
I don't judge this man. We all have our vices. I hope he is moving forward and making better decisions now. Isn't that all anyone can do?

Mrs4444 said...

Well, it's just a reminder that our spiritual leaders are not super-human, I guess.

P.S. Love your profile "pic"!

Christine said...

It is a very sad thing for me when one of out brothers or a sister stumbles and falls and I agree totally with you that we should not be judging. Sometimes the church falls short. We really need to pray for our leaders. The enemy works hard to take them down. What a happy day for us all when our God restores them.

I agree with Heidi Jo and totally understand what she is saying. She has put her finger on what bothers me about Oprah. I could not have said it better myself.

I am going to watch Larry King tonight.

MightyMom said...

The Church is intended to be a hospital for sinners.....not a country club for saints.