Friday, February 5, 2010

The Haggards

In 2006, Ted Haggard, a mega evangelical pastor in Colorado Springs, fell from grace. He was outed by a male prostitute for having gay sex and buying drugs. I was in Colorado at that time and followed the story closely.

I was keenly aware of how his mega-church treated him. For the most part, he was kicked to the curb. I understand the pain his congregation must have felt--the hypocrisy and betrayal must have stung deep. There is no defending his deception. It was evil and dirty and gross.

Call a spade, a spade. Call evil, evil. Call a sin, a sin. What he did was wrong. And he deserves to be kicked to the curb. He deserves to pay for his mistakes.

But God's economy is different. It's not an eye for an eye any more. It's pardon for wrongs, get out of jail for free and get $200. It's that good. Really, that good.

January 29, Larry King, a friend to Ted and his wife Gayle, interviewed the couple. I watched it expecting to cringe but instead found the Haggards in a broken place. Ted was kicked to the curb, and I believe he knows it. He's broken, and in his brokenness, I think he's seen God's face anew.

Here are some excerpts from the interview (found at Larry King/CNN website):

KING: You don't go to a house of worship?

T. HAGGARD: We don't. We're not currently members of a church. That's right. We're sad about that. That's where we are right now, because we're traveling most weekends. And it's thrilling, the churches we go to. Every church we've been to has been incredible.

KING: All denominations?

T. HAGGARD: All different denominations and all different sizes. But there are two things about them. One is they have a practical application of the gospel. They really apply the gospel and are helpful. Two, they have courage to invite a sinner like me.

The Gospel: Jesus is a friend to the broken. A friend to Ted, Gayle, Larry, and me.

CALLER: I've watched you over the past couple years, and I've found that you've become very arrogant and narcissistic in your line of questioning. I think you should show the pastors a little more respect. My question for the Haggards is --

KING: I'm sorry.
...
Ted Haggard: By the way, let me say one more thing about the earlier caller. When I was in my darkest hour, suffering horribly, Larry King called me and encouraged me on my little cell phone. He's not arrogant. He's not high minded. He was loving to he and my family. And we appreciate it.

Larry King: A friend to the broken. A conduit of grace. An example the church should follow.

I want the church to be grace filled. I want to be grace filled and know the depths of grace God has for us all.

Gayle has written a book about her journey. I plan on reading it. I expect to like some but not all of what she has to say. I'll fill you in as I go.

1 comment:

Willa J. Photography said...

I like this post a lot, Emily. I'm anxious to hear what you think of G. Haggard's book.