Article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061106/ap_on_re_us/haggard_sex_allegations
If you guys haven't heard all the news about Ted Haggard you can read the article, or turn on your TV.
Lots of issues to go through here. FIRST we need to remember that this is a man with a family and a congregation. Those folks are hurting deeply i'm sure.
But i've been thinking about the church and modeling the forgiveness of God. Our world certainly doesn't. I mean, this story is a story because of who this man was; President of the National Association of Evangelicals, condemner of homosexuality now admits to "sexual immorality" and although all the specifics are not ALL out in the open, they don't need to be. It's not looking good.
Matthew 18: 21-35. I gotta tell ya, this is probably the hardest chunk of Jesus' teachings for me.
So, what should be the response from God's people when stuff like this goes down? Are WE very forgiving? What does forgiveness look like in a situation like Ted Haggard's?
Certainly our knee-jerk reaction is, that dude's gotta be outta there. Even the allegations themselves might be enough for a lot of people. Often pastor's must lead a lifestyle that is "beyond reproach". This is professionally shrewd, but ultimately impossible.
I guess i'm sitting here thinking, would I want every one of my sins plastered over the news for my congregation to see? It wouldn't be pretty.
So do we knowingly differentiate (sp?) between God's forgiveness and ours because what Jesus talked about is "just not practical"? Or is it appropriate to "usurp" a pastor who has committed one type of sin? Where do we draw the line? What about a pastor who takes 2 dollars out of the plate? Buying a 6-pack at the grocery? Taking kids to an R-rated movie? Would this be as big of a deal if he had an affair with another woman?
I dunno. I think this is all very sad. Formost, the parties involved but I also know that this just helps shapes people's view of Christianity and fuel the antagonistic fires.
I don't know the answers to these questions, just some of the things I've been thinking about. I definately know that Dr. Pepper is the best soda ever, and that our church praise band recorded a CD tonight. That was fun! Those were very irrelevant to the serious subject at hand. We actually play a lot of the songs that the band at New Life Church has written. We'll all float on.