I just finished watching The Trials of Ted Haggard on HBO…I am so saddened by watching this…it is so very personal for me…
I think of my family and all I put them through…
I watch as a woman named Gayle Haggard stood by her husband and loved him; I am in awe of her strength…and how she believes in Ted and honors God in her decision. I think of my wife and the second and third and forth chances she gave me, how she stood by me. I think of the wives who have posted on this site with their words of forgiveness and I just want to fall on my knees and praise God for women like this.
I saw the Oprah show and it seemed to me Oprah just wanted to have Ted admit he was born gay because that would fit her agenda. But Ted said he was born with skin color, with hair color, etc. but beyond that he had personal responsibility. Gayle said the same thing and Oprah seemed beside herself. It is awesome to see a man today take ownership of his actions like Ted did on the show; just like many of you do here on the site everyday.
I watched the cuts Oprah picked from the HBO special to air and thought to myself the HBO special (which I had not yet seen) was going to be filled with anger from Ted and his family. One of the clips they aired has Ted saying “The church told me to go to hell”. If by chance you have not seen the HBO special, think of things you have said in your life in moments of frustration…and be glad they don’t air it on the evening news.
The reality was Ted Haggard defended the actions of New Life Church…repeatedly. So much so, at one point in the show the producer, Alexandra Polosi, asks (almost exasperated) “Why do you keep defending them! (the church)” Ted answers “Because I was not above reproach” (from 1 Timothy 3:2).
In the end of the HBO special, as in most documentries, they put words on the screen that kind of wrap up the story. They said the reason this could now be aired is because the church released the Haggards from the contractual obligation not speak to the media. Then the very last thing they put on the screen left me saddened…
- “They are still forbidden from attending the church they founded”
I have asked this question of many people…Why? Why would you forbid them from coming back to their family. Here are a few of the answers:
From a Pastors’ son who still attends New Life Church: “It would split the church. You can’t take that chance.”
From a Pastor in one of my groups who has fallen to sexual sin: “You are dealing with people and in your idealistic vision of how the world should be, you think everything will be just fine. Well it won’t and you cannot have them back in the church because he (Ted) would want to take over.”
In my own struggles in life many said my marriage could not be saved. Within hours of the final divorce order the attorneys said it had to be postponed. I was ready, Ann was ready…but God was not.
GOD STILL PERFORMS MIRACLES EVERYDAY ON THIS EARTH! But we have to have faith.
As I have always said, I do not blame the church for this. The church did what they did because Ted did what he did and not the other way around.
I have heard people say “Well why would the Haggards go on Oprah and HBO!” I ask the same question, but mine is more personal…I ask “Why God? Why do they have to use the worldly stage, why can’t we forgive and invite them in to share this struggle with their church family on God’s stage?”
One day we will embrace this sin from the pulpit. Someday churches will be a safe place to struggle with sexual sin. Someday I believe New Life Church will trust in the power of God and invite the Haggards back to their church home. Someday we will face this battle head on. For a handful of churches that day has come and they are activly fighting the battle…for most they still live in fear.
Look at the statistics from our Pastor’s Stats page here on xxxchurch:
57% of pastors call pornography the most sexually damaging issue for their congregations.
51% of pastors say porn is a temptation.
69% of pastors started looking at porn out of curiosity.
37% of pastors say it’s currently a struggle.
53% of pastors have visited porn sites in the past year.
18% percent of pastors look at porn a couple times a month.
30% of pastors do not talk to anyone about your dirty little secret.
4 in 10 of pastors looked at porn today.
Sources: Christianity Today, Promise Keepers, Barna Research Group, World Magazine
These awesome men of God who pastor our churches are struggling and we have to help them. We cannot face this problem until we give our leaders a safe place to fall. That starts with places like New Life Church…or your church. We have to talk about this and stop running in fear…it is killing us and it is destroying our families.
Thank you so much to all of the great men here on this site who have stepped forward, shared their struggles and reached out to others for help. Many of you great men have started groups in your church and talked with your pastors about this. You are an awesome part of God’s army.
Thank you Pastor Ted and Gayle for sharing your story. I am sorry for how you have been treated, we love you here on this site. You are welcome anytime to share the word of God with us; God was and is using you for the glory of His Kingdom.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Thanks for being here great men and women of God, you are on the front line of a war we will win. Go talk to your church, talk to them about doing a sermon, starting a group or bringing xxxchurch to your church for a porn weekend. Trust in God and do not live in fear
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).