Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Epistle of Ted Haggard

I was over at Allelon poking around at what's going on over there and found that Ted Haggard has written a letter to his church family regarding his sin. The letter basically is a confession in general terms of his sin, how he is dealing with his sin, and how he will never again be in any sort of leadership at his church.

In one of the chat rooms at Allelon, the question posed is this: What can we learn from Haggard's downfall? And I pose the same question to you.

It seems to me that in the United States at least, pastors are given a "rock-star" status. In other words pastors become the focus of the church, whether intentional or not. We have Max Lucado, Rick Warren, and Chuck Swindoll among a host of others. There is, to me, something inherently wrong about this cult of personality within the church.

Here is something I think we can learn from Ted Haggard's situation. The church is meant to be a transparent community of faith as opposed to an institution of rules and requirements (not that there's anything wrong with rules or requirements!) What I mean is this, as followers of Christ we all need people in our lives, regardless of our rock-star status, to whom we can be transparent (notice I didn't use the word accountable). In college, EWB in SD, Expat, and Wade were people I could be transparent with. For the most part, we knew each other's dirty little secrets and loved each other in spite of our weaknesses. I could always go to them and say, "I'm tempted to..." and there was no condemnation, no casting from the circle, and no long speeches about what a rotten guy I was.

It seems that possibly Ted Haggard didn't have people in his life to whom he could say, "I'm a married man and sometimes I have sexual desires for men." Why is that?