Monday, November 06, 2006

Read the September 28 post and comments

Thoughts on Ted Haggard.

1. We are all made of clay.
2. We are all sinners and need a Savior.
3. The church did the right thing in firing him.
4. He and his family need much prayer.
5. I never trusted him. He smiles too much.
6. Forgive me Lord for having thought #5 for years and never once praying for the man.
7. Once again a servant of God has supplied the ammo for those outside the faith to take their legitimate shots at God's people.
8. Father, somehow, would you use this to show your love to the world in some extraordinary new way.
9. The people of God should be praying for their leaders with much greater fervancy and constancy.
10. Lord Jesus, kill me before I could ever bring scandal upon you, my family, or the people of New Song. Take my life rather than let that happen.

15 comments:

Jim said...

If the church accepted homosexuals, this tragedy could have been avoided.

Anonymous said...

When I picked up the newspaper yesterday, I wept. For this man. For his church. For all of us. How easy it is to judge another and condemn a lifestyle, feeling safe with our own secrets. And in the church, it seems only acceptable sins are confessed: pride, gossip, envy, maybe even lust (for the opposite sex, of course). And so we hide in the pews, or the pulpits, and wonder if we are truly alone. The adulterer, the child abuser, the homosexual, the alcoholic. God have mercy on us all.

ChosenRebel said...

Doubtful. Though I agree with you if you mean that the church needs to be far more loving toward people who identify themselves as homosexual. But if you mean that the church should accept homosexuality as a legitimate behavior and lifestyle, then I think that would be the most unloving thing that the church could do.

The lifestyle of homosexuality is condemned by God in Scripture and is destructive tot he homosexually involved person. To not tell the truth as the Scripture declares it would be to fall on the judgment of Ezekiel 3:18-20, 33:1-9.

We must do this with compassion and humility but it must be declared. We must grieve over all sin, our own pet sins as sell as the sin of those involved in homosexuality.

To not do both, grieve over sin and declare the truth is not the way of God.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1 said - "And so we hide in the pews, or the pulpits, and wonder if we are truly alone". Why do you feel alone? Whose fault is that? Don't you think there are others out there that struggle and fail with alcohol or lust or adultery? Maybe you feel so alone in that struggle because you choose not to ask for help from people who might actually be able to help you. Everything can't be blamed on the church. We have our own responsibilities to our spiritual and mental health. It is easy to blame and hard to take responsibility.

Anonymous said...

chosenrebel,

It sure would be nice ot hear your response to the 1st Peter conversation. my e-mail is jsuslivs1@yahoo.com

jsuslivs

Anonymous said...

I'm not blaming the church. I'm just saying it's a place I hide, and I'm probably not alone. I just can't see sitting around at small group during prayer request time and saying, "Damn. I can't stop drinking. I'm on my last chance, and if I get caught I'm afraid I'll lose my family. I know God wants more from me, but it's the only way I know to cope." Let's see, shall I share that before or after we pray for Aunt Mabel's eye surgery?

I'll say it again -- I don't blame the church. I just wish I felt safe enough there to actually tell someone the truth. I wonder if Ted Haggard felt as trapped as I do. Probably even more so.

ChosenRebel said...

thanks again for your post. It is helpful and I hope that many will read it. I don't know what church you go to and I certainly can't speak to the atmosphere there. Here's what I do know.

1. It is precisely when we do "come clean" so to speak, with the struggles of our lives that we find mroe help then we ever imagined.
2. Some churches really do struggle with an atmosphere that is fake, inauthentic, and closed to the real struggles that people are going through.
3. Even in those churches (of which are too many), it will take the boldness of a struggling saint to ask for help and counsel and support and understanding for the church to wake up and start really giving the burden bearing fellowship that it was intended to give to all who are redeemed by the blood of Christ.

I don't know what your struggling with but there are churches that really are trying to cultivate not a vaneer of perfection but an atmosphere of "we are learning to struggle together well" with our eyes fixed on Christ.

Keep praying and keep struggling. God will be glorified not by your perfection but by your continued faith in the midst of the struggle.

Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1, why don't you step out in faith and see what happens. Really trust God and share at your church. If you truly don't feel safe at your church, then maybe you should find one that is working toward real authenticity. There is not a perfect "church", but there are churches where it is safe to share real struggles. It is easy to continue in sin when there is no one holding us accountable. It almost becomes a sense of "what they don't know doesn't really happen or really isn't sin". Commit this to prayer, but then listen when you get the answer. Like Abraham stepped out into the unknown so many times. It takes action on our part to really see what God can do. I truly hope you can find "a church that really is trying to cultivate not a veneer of perfection but an atmosphere of "we are learning to struggle together well" with our eyes fixed on Christ". I am praying for you.

Laura said...

We are quick to judge and wonder why we don't feel safe to be authentic. We don't feel safe in a place we should feel safe. Not enough to be honest and real so we could pray, support, encourage, love and spur each other on. (sounds like something in the Bible, huh?)

Side question to Jim: How would accepting sin (homosexual behavior) stop sin?

The difference between Ted Haggard and any one of us is his sin was publicized. It is heart breaking yet God is great and He can make good what is/was meant for evil. The enemy was having a party but not for long - Ted Haggard is getting counseling, support and the help/accountability he needs to overcome.

If we do not struggle then maybe we are not a target for the enemy and if we are not on the enemy's radar then maybe we are not doing much for the Kingdom....

clc said...

anonymous,
i would LOVE it if you came to our small group. first of all, you made me laugh with your comment...

"Let's see, shall I share that before or after we pray for Aunt Mabel's eye surgery?"

but secondly because i agree that transparency and sincerity are much needed... in every church. my solution has been, as pastor marty said, be the one who goes there. open up you life and you will find people coming out of the woodwork, sharing their brokeness and their need for daily renewal. "fitting in" is a dangerous and unfulfilling focus, so i've given up on that one. growing, healing, being transformed... now that's something i want to be about.

Craver VII said...

I wonder how many people have opened up to the pastors, confiding in them about their toughest struggles. I suppose they keep quite a lot of secrets, because I myself (not a pastor) have been in conversations that can not be made public.

The reason I say this is because although I do not fish for being the secret confidant, I want to be safe in the sense that people know that I will always be more interested in restoration than a smear campaign.

But with sin comes shame. And while some people have been courageous in that they trust me enough to be transparent about their sin, I am reluctant to reciprocate. I tend to think that if people knew this or that, it would blow my ministry.

It's too bad that some people will write you off alltogether if it is discovered that you're not picture-perfect, but it is just as bad when I invest too much in what others think of me, rather than trusting God completely.

We HAVE to be able to say that yes, I know some people can make this difficult, but I trust that God will work through His people to bring me to the place I need to be, restored and triumphant. And I would rather be hurt as I heal, than cover up damaging sin.

ChosenRebel said...

Amen to the wise counsel of the last four posts. You humble your pastor with what you have learned and are applying in your lives.

Anonymous said...

Praise God for the encouragement given to an unknown saint from fellow believers. You see, Anonymous #1, there are fellow believers that will stand by you in your struggles, you need to let them in. We all struggle with something, some struggles are seen and some are not, but they are there. I agree with clc "fitting in" is a dangerous and unfulfilling focus" and I think that is the main reason we are so reluctant to share authentically. Seek God Anonymous #1 and truly seek the counsel that you need to get through your struggle. God is bigger than any problem we have and He is faithful. Let the body of Christ surround you with His love.

Anonymous said...

wow. thank you for your many kind words. I wonder if the people who actually know me would be as kind? A relapsed alcoholic hiding behind a mask of "it's all good." I'm a mom and a sunday school teacher....spent all day today working at a christian event...shaking I wanted a drink so bad. Would my husband, who has extended grace over and over, also respond kindly? He travels for business, trusting me to care for our children. It's on the tip of my tongue to just blurt it out to him, but I'm so scared. I told a friend, and she is trying to help...but I have lost hope that I even CAN change. I have been down this road before, only to fail. Do I even want to change?

ChosenRebel said...

Often the think we fear the most is the path of greatest growth. Often, the fear of rejection is just that--a fear. Help on the other hand is often just a "confession" away.

Years ago I worked with a pastor who had a 20 year attraction to strip clubs. Talk about your dangerous obsessions! Sometimes 2 years would go by and he would be okay and then something would trigger his heart into the oblivion of his passion and he would go to one of those places for a couple of weeks. Finally, he was discovered. He confessed, went public and found to his great surprise that the body of Christ was far more loving and less judgemental than he ever imagined.

I was one of those assigned to hold him accountable and week after month after year he would tell me of the marvelous freedom he now had. I remember telling him that now he had something that he didn't have all those years of his struggle. Now he had the body of Christ praying for him on the positive side and he didn't have the weight of guilt that satan and his conscience would hammer him with on the negative side.

Seek help. The body is flawed. But it is Christ's. It is His instrument in the world. And He will use it to help you with the secret struggle of your heart.