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.