Friday, February 4, 2011

Redemption, Judgment and Time

I just read an article about the ousted Ted Haggard. He's the guy that was caught with meth while hanging around with a male prostitute. It is a lengthy article, but well worth the read. One of things that is important to me as a Christian is knowing that God doesn't give up on us.  am not saying that Ted is all better - but I think he is a lot farther down the road then he was and he got a new church: St. James.

There is a quote from the article: Do unto others as they didn't do unto you. (More about this on Monday)

Ted explained how the other leaders treated him during that time, and his separation agreement. I wasn't aware of exactly what he admitted to until today, and what he agreed to when he left: leaving the state, getting out of ministry, and not talking to the media. Hmmm... I wonder what all the motivations were for those conditions?

I am wondering what Bible verse running someone out of the state is in? I understand taking someone out of ministry until they repent, and get some help. And how could a church disqualify him from ministry? Isn't it God that qualifies and calls and individual?

It is easy to look at Ted, now or even then, and decide what is good or bad. Just because you don’t care for mega-churches with well paid pastors and PowerPoint presentations, doesn't mean that God didn't, or can’t use a guy like Ted.

The truth is that we don’t have to look any farther than our own heart to find sin.

Ted's new church (St. James) is filled with folks more like him. Is it real church because it has people in the midst of intense life struggles?

Real church is where 2 or 3 come together in His name and do His will.

The reason that America flirts with real church is because they are basically rich. Sure we have homeless folks – but many can go to shelters and get some care. We have money to take care of many elements of society that don’t have it so well. There are a lot of poor countries that have little, if anything. People are dying in droves from all types of maladies from starvation to disease and government sponsored genocide.

Americans tend to get ticked off when the Internet goes down for a few hours, or that power is out for a day of so. In fact in Massachusetts, people sued the power company when it went out for an extended period. In many places there is no electricity or running water yet.

Perspective is everything.

Sure, brokenness like Ted’s brings folks closer to God out of need, and that is the way it should be. People don’t want Jesus, because they don’t need him – yet.

It is good to need God.

Luke 20:18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.

Pick one!

We often forget that King David was left in power, and Moses and Paul was used in spite of being murderers.

I don’t think that Ted’s new church is really important. What matters is that people engage God, and not empty religion. If Ted gets it, it will be awesome.

What do you think, do you think Ted gets it now that he has been broken?


jpguerrero said...

Everywhere I turn this week I see something about Ted Haggard. I don't know what to make of it except to realize that people love stories of redemption. However, I am unsure that Ted's story fits into that category. Sure the man sinned and screwed up his life. And yes he made his way out of it and is trying to be who he should be. But it just seems like he is making it seem trivial. Like "It wasn't as bad as you think it was." I read the article you are referring to and that's the vibe I got. I don't really see repentance. I see "oops I got busted. I better fix my image." Does he get it now? I don't know. He likes to say that he does. I hope its true.

David-FireAndGrace said...

@JP - I agree. As I said, "if he gets it." I suppose only time will tell. Thanks for reading along.

photogr said...

I think this reinforces the fact that temptation to sin is difficult to resist even for men of God in high holy places.

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

I think it's hard to actually know anything real about Ted, truth be told, when we are merely hearing about an image he is portraying. The whole I'm a broken man could simply be a ploy. It's hard to know when it comes to celebrities.

Tracy said...

I appreciate where this post is coming from. When things initially happened with Ted Haggard I was so sad; sad because yet again a famous Christian had hurt our reputation, and sad for Ted Haggard. We are a broken people. Sin is in us, even when we love God. We just can't make it without Him. I totally agree with your questions about that separation agreement. One of my favorite passages is from Galatians 6:1-10; it's about how we are to act when one of us is caught up in sin. I don't see anything about casting them away, I see where we always aim for restoration. It also talks about how we do reap what we sow; there are consequences to our behavior. I just don't think that as Christians we need to set up other people's consequences; of course we need to be wise and obviously is someone is caught up in addictions, they need to seek God and have healing in their life for a time before they can be in full time ministry. But everything is not so cut and dried. I am so grateful that God has forgiven me of much and continues to chose to use me even though I've failed many times.

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