Four years ago, Ted Haggard was pastor of a mega-church in Colorado and head of the National Association of Evangelicals. Suddenly it all came crashing down when a male massage therapist went public with tales of Ted’s sexual activity and drug use. I wrote an article then about similarities between the crash of my life and ministry and that of Haggard. Now Haggard has launched a new church near the one he left. The Wall Street Journal published a revealing article about Haggard and his new church, Humbled Haggard Climbs Back in Pulpit.
I do commend Haggard for his admission and disdain for Pharisaical religion. This religion still hinders so many from a genuine relationship with Jesus. However, much of what he says seems to be the speech of somebody still unprepared for pastoral leadership.
1. Haggard says both that he over-repented and that this new pastoral role is an act of humble repentance. Not sure how these two aspects of repentance fully relate.
2. Haggard seems giddy that he can now use a cuss word. I am not as concerned about the use of a cuss word as I am about the giddiness of his cussing. This sounds like an adolescent who giggles when he says a new cuss word out loud.
3. Haggard used two other disgraced public figures in comparison to his role:
Tiger Woods needs to golf. Michael Vick needs to be playing football. Ted Haggard needs to be leading a church.
Apart from speaking of himself in the third person, is this really a good rationale for resuming a pastoral role? Woods is not the golfer he once was. No longer does he strike fear in his opponents. Vick was a third string quarterback last year. So neither are the leaders they once were.
I pray that Haggard and his new church members will live Christ. However, I do not think this is the wisest choice for either.