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Ted Haggard just won't go away


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#21 mrmando

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:03 PM

I know a couple of former pastors who've done pretty well selling insurance.

Even if he has to start a second career, Ted could still be effective in some kind of lay ministry. But going back to full-time pastoring? I don't think so. We've all seen how Ted copes with the pressures of church leadership, and it ain't purty. At this point, yeah, St. James is only a small house church, but then again, that's exactly how New Life started.

#22 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:39 PM

the sad fact is, what are Haggard's professional options at this point? Most evangelical pastors-- fallen or otherwise-- aren't qualified to do much in today's marketplace. Their "degrees" from independent Bible Colleges are worth next to nothing. I think a couple years ago Ted was working for a mortgage company, passing out flyers door to door. The guy was one of THE shining lights in American evangelicalism, do you really expect him to get a job mowing lawns or parking cars?

I disagree. First of all, at Haggard's age, where at and what you studied is not as important as the fact of the dgree(s) and subsequent career. The things that make for a good leading pastor are those that can be employeed anywhere. Secondly, I don't know where he went to seminary, but it seems to me that organisational management seems to be a secret minor in most modern evangelical seminaries. The most successful seem to have turned their Mdiv's into MBA's. Haggard's heart wasn't in insurance, or real estate, and such. He'll be successful in whatever he tries. I think he has a craving for working on and with the inner man. He and I have different weaknesses and flaws, but I recognize the type.

We've all seen how Ted copes with the pressures of church leadership, and it ain't purty. At this point, yeah, St. James is only a small house church, but then again, that's exactly how New Life started.

Perfectly stated. These are my reservations exactly. I suspect that he'll do fine for a while. My fear is that, like Peter jumping out of the boat to get to Jesus, he'll avert his eyes (assuming his present spirituality is sincere) and get a good look at what he's standing on and where he is. It is at that point that his response will be crucial. He retreats to past coping behaviors and here we go again. That's a good prayer list right there.

#23 Joel C

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 04:55 PM

I don't like the idea of Haggard trying to get back into a pastoral/leadership position, and think Greg P. is right about Haggard and celebrity.

I don't know if this will make sense to anyone, but... he makes me very uneasy and always has done, and I've seen very little of him, with the exception of film and a couple of TV appearances. I think he says all the "right things" (evangelical buzzwords and platitudes) but all the words ring hollow and false to me. If I were to meet someone like him IRL, I think I would find them untrustworthy.

It's almost as if the surface is painted on, concealing - ??? (I'm not sure, exactly.)

Well, you are right in some senses, and in others, of course, entitled to your own perspective on his approach to pastoring. As someone who went to New Life regularly for a couple years while he was there, I can't deny that there were a lot of problems in the approach to leadership as it related to visibility and celebrity; and yet, I think most people from New Life who attended while he was senior pastor (including myself) would say that he did have a strong ministry, that really blessed a lot of people. And not just in a "right things" way; he was thoughtful, thorough, and occasionally deep. I'd go so far as to say that in his prime of teaching, he was an exceptional expositor of the Word. You might not know that, as the way he operated within the bounds of the church was often more grounded and settled than the way he approached the press. Ted will always be for me a quintessential example of the ability for someone to be living a life of deep sin and deception, and still ministering the word of God in a powerful way.

That said, I'm in full agreement that this new pastoring thing is very problematic. There's no way that decades of deception and struggle is turned around in four years.

Even if he has to start a second career, Ted could still be effective in some kind of lay ministry. But going back to full-time pastoring? I don't think so. We've all seen how Ted copes with the pressures of church leadership, and it ain't purty. At this point, yeah, St. James is only a small house church, but then again, that's exactly how New Life started.


[edited to answer particular quote]
Yeah, but it's different this time around. Colorado Springs is very small in some ways (especially north Colorado Springs), and everyone in the area, Christian and non-Christian alike, knew of Ted, before and after the scandal. Everyone had an opinion of him then, and there's no doubt that everyone still has one. It's a little amazing to me that the Haggards felt coming back to the Springs was a good idea in that regard. Not that they aren't welcomed back in grace, but people don't forget easily.

I don't worry about New Life that much. Brady Boyd, the current senior pastor, has already guided New Life through the tail end of Ted's departure, as well as tragic shootings a couple of years ago that took the lives of a couple parishioners; this is small beans from one perspective. And, contrary to popular belief, New Life has always been about the community, not the celebrity. There was certainly a certain amount of refocusing away from that sense of visibility and celebrity after Ted left, but the church stayed relatively strong and lost comparatively few members in the wake of Ted's departure, mostly due to the fact that it was and always has been a strong community. Consequently, I think the Haggards will find it much more difficult to establish themselves (and their church) coming back.

By the way, hi everyone! It's been a while.

Edited by Joel C, 08 June 2010 - 06:41 PM.


#24 Joel C

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 08:10 PM

While that may have been true under Ted, Brady Boyd is a different pastor, with a different staff, and many of the old staff members (and pastors) under Ted are now gone. If I'm not mistaken, Ted (and his staff) were the ones keeping that connection strong. New Life has maintained a strong community since the scandal, but much of the old connections with other ministries and organizations have faded. I think that connection may be outdated.

And as I said earlier, your concerns are valid, I can't deny your experience. But the two years I spent listening to Ted preach from the pulpit from week to week are just as valid, and while I no longer am in that particular section of evangelicalism (I'm currently involved in an AMiA church in Boston), I still look back on that as a time of growth and learning.

EDITED TO ADD:

Ellen, my original point in posting was in response to what I perceived to be a questioning of the validity of any of Ted's teaching or ministry. As perhaps the only person who had any connection to New Life as a parishioner during the time that Ted was senior pastor, and as someone who benefited in some way from his ministry - despite his personal downfall - I simply wanted to dispel that perception.

Edited by Joel C, 08 June 2010 - 08:23 PM.


#25 Joel C

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 08:20 PM

I hope not as well. And as I said above, I think it'll be more difficult than he thinks. It'll have a splashy entrance, but I think long-term survival will be a real challenge for that community.

For reference, splashy entrance.

Edited by Joel C, 08 June 2010 - 08:28 PM.


#26 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:46 PM

Ellen, my original point in posting was in response to what I perceived to be a questioning of the validity of any of Ted's teaching or ministry. As perhaps the only person who had any connection to New Life as a parishioner during the time that Ted was senior pastor, and as someone who benefited in some way from his ministry - despite his personal downfall - I simply wanted to dispel that perception.

This is why I have mixed emotions about Ted. While I'd never choose a ministry of this sort, or of New Life, there should be no denying his effectiveness. And everyone has stuff to hide. Everyone. If seminaries excelled at manufacturing transperancy I'm not sure we'd like the output, nor would many put up with such a program long enough to graduate. It's not the hiding of issues in the long run. It is just what it is that is hidden compared with a ministry's or church's ideals. And the severity of what is hidden and the perception when inevitable light is shed on some of what is hidden that matters. There will be hiding and there will be finding out.

#27 Joel C

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 11:53 PM

No worries, Joel - I can understand your reasons for posting as you did. I guess i have never understood the appeal of megachurches. Equally, I don't understand many aspects of evangelical church culture (and denominations), because that's not in my background.

all the best (and I hope things are going well with you!),
e.

Thanks Ellen. I find it doesn't have the same appeal it used to, though I still feel a strange faithfulness to it, partially as a result of my experiences there. Attending a 50 member Anglican church plant in the present has made that past iteration of church feel rather foreign for me, even when trying to defend it. Odd how past experience manifests itself!

This is why I have mixed emotions about Ted. While I'd never choose a ministry of this sort, or of New Life, there should be no denying his effectiveness. And everyone has stuff to hide. Everyone. If seminaries excelled at manufacturing transperancy I'm not sure we'd like the output, nor would many put up with such a program long enough to graduate. It's not the hiding of issues in the long run. It is just what it is that is hidden compared with a ministry's or church's ideals. And the severity of what is hidden and the perception when inevitable light is shed on some of what is hidden that matters. There will be hiding and there will be finding out.

True enough. Some churches realize this very human phenomena better and more fully than do others, and do a better job preparing for it. It's one of the peripheral reasons I'm in an Anglican church right now.

Edited by Joel C, 09 June 2010 - 12:02 AM.


#28 MattPage

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 04:03 AM

FWIW, I think there's a significant difference between Peter's one moment of cowardice (in a very high-pressure situation) and Ted Haggard's years of hypocrisy and deceit. Perhaps someone in Haggard's position should be allowed back into ministry at some point, perhaps not, but I think one can also argue that he's rushing back into the job far too quickly.

Well it's been three and a half years, and as far as I can make out he's not returning to high profile ministry, just a small church full of people who know what he's done and what his weaknesses are.

But if Peter were the only biblical example that would be one thing, but the Bible, not to mention church history, is chock full of them.

Matt, I also have grave reservations about Haggard based on the recent past. However, as I've said before, he seems to have thought the "churchy" things through and come up with a few fresh ideas. He also seems to want to be more inclusive on the issue of sexual sin. If I can speculate based on what I've read from Barna and some few other sources, the intent is for a via media of chastity as a work in progress. My suspicions lie with his discernment in his own life as a leader of St. James. No one questions his obvious pastoring abilities. How will he stand as an up front example in personal life and working on his weaknesses?

I also have some reservations, but I'm encouraged that he is doing this in team, not as a one man/couple show.

I've been around enough career politicans and pastors in my life to know that people quickly become attached to "leading" others. This insatiable drive to "make a difference in the community and the lives of others" is almost always fueled by the desire to be on stage.

I disagree. I think "leading others" is an inherent part of who God has made someone. Sure for some there's a desire to be on stage, but for many it's who God has made them and called them to be.

I know a couple of former pastors who've done pretty well selling insurance.

lol

Even if he has to start a second career, Ted could still be effective in some kind of lay ministry. But going back to full-time pastoring? I don't think so. We've all seen how Ted copes with the pressures of church leadership, and it ain't purty. At this point, yeah, St. James is only a small house church, but then again, that's exactly how New Life started.

But that's all conjecture. His actions in the past may not have been due to the pressures of church leadership, but numerous possible other factors, including the fact that not only was he leading a massive church, but was also a major figurehead for other church groups (I'm a little hazy on the details). I doubt that's what he's aiming for, and even if he was with his past I cannot foresee him ever being given that chance. But leading a small church? In team? Sure I hope and expect it to grow, but I sincerely doubt it will ever become a mega-church, or that he will get national figurehead status.

I disagree. First of all, at Haggard's age, where at and what you studied is not as important as the fact of the degree(s) and subsequent career. The things that make for a good leading pastor are those that can be employed anywhere.

I've heard this argument many times, believed it, and it's been to my detriment. People don't take those achievements seriously, and optimistically suggesting it damages people's lives.


I don't know if this will make sense to anyone, but... he makes me very uneasy and always has done, and I've seen very little of him, with the exception of film and a couple of TV appearances. I think he says all the "right things" (evangelical buzzwords and platitudes) but all the words ring hollow and false to me. If I were to meet someone like him IRL, I think I would find them untrustworthy.

It's almost as if the surface is painted on, concealing - ??? (I'm not sure, exactly.)

FWIW, I fell uneasy about this type of comment. I know you're very good at making it clear that things like this are only your opinion, but here that approach seems somewhat at odds with the harshness of your language, particularly given that, by your own admission, you know very little about him. No matter what he has done in the past, he's still your brother in Christ.



I don't like the idea of Haggard trying to get back into a pastoral/leadership position, and think Greg P. is right about Haggard and celebrity.

I don't know if this will make sense to anyone, but... he makes me very uneasy and always has done, and I've seen very little of him, with the exception of film and a couple of TV appearances. I think he says all the "right things" (evangelical buzzwords and platitudes) but all the words ring hollow and false to me. If I were to meet someone like him IRL, I think I would find them untrustworthy.

It's almost as if the surface is painted on, concealing - ??? (I'm not sure, exactly.)

Well, you are right in some senses, and in others, of course, entitled to your own perspective on his approach to pastoring. As someone who went to New Life regularly for a couple years while he was there, I can't deny that there were a lot of problems in the approach to leadership as it related to visibility and celebrity; and yet, I think most people from New Life who attended while he was senior pastor (including myself) would say that he did have a strong ministry, that really blessed a lot of people. And not just in a "right things" way; he was thoughtful, thorough, and occasionally deep. I'd go so far as to say that in his prime of teaching, he was an exceptional expositor of the Word. You might not know that, as the way he operated within the bounds of the church was often more grounded and settled than the way he approached the press. Ted will always be for me a quintessential example of the ability for someone to be living a life of deep sin and deception, and still ministering the word of God in a powerful way.

That said, I'm in full agreement that this new pastoring thing is very problematic. There's no way that decades of deception and struggle is turned around in four years.

Even if he has to start a second career, Ted could still be effective in some kind of lay ministry. But going back to full-time pastoring? I don't think so. We've all seen how Ted copes with the pressures of church leadership, and it ain't purty. At this point, yeah, St. James is only a small house church, but then again, that's exactly how New Life started.


[edited to answer particular quote]
Yeah, but it's different this time around. Colorado Springs is very small in some ways (especially north Colorado Springs), and everyone in the area, Christian and non-Christian alike, knew of Ted, before and after the scandal. Everyone had an opinion of him then, and there's no doubt that everyone still has one. It's a little amazing to me that the Haggards felt coming back to the Springs was a good idea in that regard. Not that they aren't welcomed back in grace, but people don't forget easily.

I don't worry about New Life that much. Brady Boyd, the current senior pastor, has already guided New Life through the tail end of Ted's departure, as well as tragic shootings a couple of years ago that took the lives of a couple parishioners; this is small beans from one perspective. And, contrary to popular belief, New Life has always been about the community, not the celebrity. There was certainly a certain amount of refocusing away from that sense of visibility and celebrity after Ted left, but the church stayed relatively strong and lost comparatively few members in the wake of Ted's departure, mostly due to the fact that it was and always has been a strong community. Consequently, I think the Haggards will find it much more difficult to establish themselves (and their church) coming back.

By the way, hi everyone! It's been a while.

Thanks for that.

Matt

#29 mrmando

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:30 AM

It's not clear to me that Ted has ever been entirely forthcoming about what he did or didn't do -- he and the male prostitute involved seemed to have two different versions of the story, and it was Ted's version that kept changing.

It's possible that Ted made a clean breast of it all, somewhere, sometime and to someone, and that either it hasn't been reported or I missed it. But my general impression is still that he's hiding something. Whether that's because he's basically untrustworthy or I'm basically suspicious, I can't say for sure.

Given the nature of Ted's past behavior, I don't think the size of the church he's leading much matters. Deceit is deceit, whether it affects 25 people or 25,000. If (and please, folks, this is an inexact analogy at best) Ted were a priest who had molested children, we shouldn't think reassigning him to a smaller parish would solve the problem.

#30 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:33 AM


I disagree. First of all, at Haggard's age, where at and what you studied is not as important as the fact of the degree(s) and subsequent career. The things that make for a good leading pastor are those that can be employed anywhere.

I've heard this argument many times, believed it, and it's been to my detriment. People don't take those achievements seriously, and optimistically suggesting it damages people's lives.

I'm not sure that I understand what you mean here. I was suggestin that there is a certain amount of salesmanship and technique involved in being a successful pastor. That would help towards success in almost any other line of work. What do you mean by your experience? Which lives damaged?

Edited by Rich Kennedy, 09 June 2010 - 08:34 AM.


#31 Greg P

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 08:55 AM

It's not clear to me that Ted has ever been entirely forthcoming about what he did or didn't do -- he and the male prostitute involved seemed to have two different versions of the story, and it was Ted's version that kept changing.

It's possible that Ted made a clean breast of it all, somewhere, sometime and to someone, and that either it hasn't been reported or I missed it. But my general impression is still that he's hiding something. Whether that's because he's basically untrustworthy or I'm basically suspicious, I can't say for sure.

Eggs-actly. He seemed eager about a month after the scandal initially broke, to declare himself healed and ready to pick up where he left off. This type of denial is standard issue addict behavior and in light of the severity of his deception, totally suspect. The "Oops, i made a bad mistake! Never EVER gonna happen again!" declaration is always a red flag.

#32 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:16 AM

MattPage wrote:
: Well it's been three and a half years, and as far as I can make out he's not returning to high profile ministry, just a small church full of people who know what he's done and what his weaknesses are.

FWIW, I would echo what mrmando and Greg P have said. I don't think it matters much how big his new church is (the fact that it's Haggard himself leading the church makes it kind of "high profile" to begin with, no? I mean, he had a press conference and everything to announce the existence of his brand-new church, however small it might be -- and apparently he's open to the possibility of doing a "reality TV" show about his new church).

: But if Peter were the only biblical example that would be one thing, but the Bible, not to mention church history, is chock full of them.

FWIW, no examples are coming to mind right now. I can't think of any biblical characters who were spiritual leaders, who hid their sins and addictions from their flocks for years if not decades, who were exposed against their will, and who got right back into leading spiritual flocks just a few years later. (Someone like King David might have committed adultery and a form of murder, but he was a political leader, not so much a spiritual one, and in any case he never stepped down from the throne.)

#33 Holy Moly!

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 01:55 AM

Oh man. This guy just keeps digging that hole deeper!

#34 Thom Wade

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 07:28 AM

I plan to keep the phrase "repented too much" in my pocket...who knows when that will come in handy.

#35 Greg P

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:10 AM

"Over-repented". Heh.

Following the scandal, when he was jobless and living in a hotel, I actually kinda liked him. Now that he's back in Mr. Pastor mode I'm back to thinking he's an avoidant liar and ministry whore.

Having worked with drug addicts for many years, I find this classic addictive behavior. Minimize your transgressions, use revisionist tactics on the past, quickly declare yourself completely "better"... His sins were nothing more than a "massage that went awry"? Oh man... the late night talking heads will have a field day with that one!

#36 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 02:38 AM

Exclusive: Controversial pastor Ted Haggard lands TLC reality project
Ted Haggard is coming to TLC.
The controversial Christian evangelical is getting his own reality project on the cable network. Ted Haggard: Scandalous will air as a one-hour special on the network.
Haggard was the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, leading 30 million followers across 45,000 churches, when he was caught having an affair with a male prostitute. He also admitted he had been using crystal meth.
The revelations generated worldwide headlines and forced Haggard to to leave the NAE. Haggard, his wife, and five children have since been trying to rebuild their family. The pastor speaks out about the TLC special after the jump . . .
Entertainment Weekly, January 6

#37 winter shaker

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:20 PM

Maybe Bill Mallonee can re-record "Drunk on the Tears"?

Jim and Tammy and Reverend Swaggart Haggard
They don't look like Jesus and they're a whole lot fatter
Don't miss the truth for a stupid side show
Don't confuse the cup for the contents it holds

#38 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 01:21 PM

Ted Haggard to appear in 'Celebrity Wife Swap'
Ted Haggard's life was already a sort of reality show.
Well, now it's official. Or almost official. According to unconfirmed reports, the former New Life Church pastor and his wife will star in the new ABC reality series, "Celebrity Wife Swap," on which they will swap partners (without sex) with actor Gary Busey and his partner.
Sources have told The Gazette that the show will shoot Thursday at the GLBT Pride Center in Colorado Springs. . . .
Colorado Springs Gazette, September 20(?)

#39 Greg P

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:41 AM

It's kind of a funny show, but given the severity of his moral failure and the traumatic nature of his marital woes, you would think he'd want to stay off the reality show circuit for a few decades.

#40 opus

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:28 AM

It's kind of a funny show, but given the severity of his moral failure and the traumatic nature of his marital woes, you would think he'd want to stay off the reality show circuit for a few decades.

Particularly re. reality shows that involve, and I would argue, challenge marriage.