I can hardly believe its been two years since the revelations of Ted Haggard were brought to the public. For those of you who do not remember, Haggard was exposed for having a secret homosexual affair with a male escort when the escort came forward with the tales of their meetings. He also said that he supplied Haggard with Methamphetamine. Haggard, who was the President of the National Association of Evangelicals, lost his ministry and reputation, and dropped off the map for awhile, and rightly so.
Now he is coming forward with his progress with the release of a new documentary, “The Trials of Ted Haggard,” airing on HBO. The Washington Post has a long write up on Haggard, including an interview on what he has been doing and how he has made it back. Let me say, first of all, that I believe in restoration and believe that God can use situations like these. I am not saying that Haggard isn’t qualified to do anything ministry the rest of his life, but after reading this article, I struggle with the point that Haggard has come to. I’ll just list some quotes from the article and you can draw your own conclusions:
“My spiritual life was wonderfully empowering for me in the midst of the struggle. But it wasn’t the solution,” he says “I needed a therapist.”
“I thought, ‘I don’t need to go to a therapist!’ I mean I didn’t even understand therapy. ‘Jesus is the solution to everything!’ ” he says. “And I personally believe now that this process has occurred so that I would get the therapy I needed. I believe my therapy is the answer to 30 years of prayer about this subject. And so I am very grateful for the decision of the overseers and the restorers and I’m so thrilled about the way my life is now. I’m the man now that — no, no, no, that’s not true. I am becoming the man now that everybody thought I was then.”
“Up until the book ‘The Speed of Trust,’ I so deeply wanted to be a man that thoroughly reflected Scripture, I just buried the struggle in my heart,” Haggard says, referring to the self-help book on building relationships. “And it was ‘The Speed of Trust’ that set me free in that.”
“And I call it my sin,” he says. “That’s my sin. I’m not saying everybody is a sinner that does it. I’m just saying with my standards and my values, it was a sin against me and God. For me.”
“Prior to this scandal, I felt as though the definition of marriage was an important issue to be reflected in law,” Haggard said. “I now believe that the Gospel is so wonderful, that the New Testament is so wonderful, the grace of God is so wonderful that that word might not be so significant that it should define publicly evangelicalism.” (not sure why he limits the Word of God being wonderful to the New Testament…)
The following is from an interview with USA Today:
When I started in counseling, I thought I was a spiritual disaster and a complete idiot for what I’d done. And the counselor started out by saying “You’re spiritually OK.” He asked, “Have you repented?” Yes. “Have you memorized scripture?” Yes. “Have you been through inner healing?” Yes. He said, “According to the Bible, you are in fine relationship with the Lord Jesus.” And I said I think I am. I love Him. I’ve never rebelled against him willingly. This has been a wrestling in my life, never an acceptance thing.
And then he said, “You are rationale—have you read books on the subject?” Yes. And he said “Ted, if you could pray about this and be OK, you would have done it. If you could think about this and rationalize your own life, you would have done it. This is not spiritual nor reasonable. It is physiological.” And he started to teach me how the brain works. And in that process, over two years, I’ve grown in eliminating the incongruities in my life. I’ve learned physiologically how the brain works and how that related to sexuality.
(HT: Challies and Justin Taylor)