Monday, February 19, 2007

Haggard of Haggard

More revelation on Ted Haggard came out yesterday. According to the Rocky Mountain News article and information released from the overseers of New Life Church there was, “everything from sordid conversation to overt suggestions to improper activities to improper relationships.” These things were going on with Ted before his exposure.

I’m glad this came out. If there weren’t things like this going on then you would wonder how you would ever figure in the future if something bad is going on with someone.

The question it raises is why the people who heard these things didn’t speak out or something like that.

I think I know the answer. I can think back to a time when I was associated with a nationally known figure in the pro-life movement. On a couple of occasions that I spent extended time with him, there were things that went on that I questioned. Movies that were watched, stuff he drank, certain words that were said, boastful talk of the Mercedes he drove. Not one single thing seemed huge but it left me uneasy. A few years later, he was divorced from his wife and married a much younger woman. It brought my thoughts back to those things that I wondered about.

A reality is that sometimes people in places of power and prestige start to think that the rules don’t apply to them. They excuse things because of the pressure they are under or maybe they feel that they deserve a little bonus for such hard work. Aside from people in ministry, we see this all the time with politicians and business leaders.

Then there are people like us who look up to these people and want to admire them. Sometimes we place them on a pedestal and look at them as otherworldly. We may overlook certain things or try to compartmentalize those things so our image of them is not tarnished. If we did not admire them, we would probably be a lot quicker to point the finger or expose them. Or, maybe the things by themselves don’t seem all that big.

So, I think there are some insights we can gain from Ted’s situation but it still won’t be easy. How do we hold each other accountable? I know there are things I wouldn’t do that others seem to have no problem with. Maybe they would say the same about me. I’m not talking about relativism. I believe in absolute truth and am a very black and white person. Here is an example: I don’t think it is wise to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, go to R rated or many other movies, I don’t watch TV, I don’t like video games where the object is to kill other people, I think cussing and off-color jokes are bad, and the list could go on. Am I holy or legalistic or neither?

How do we define what a red flag is? Some things like sexual would be obvious. But, what about the smaller things that leave us feeling uneasy. What should we do about those things?

Philip

Here is the statement from the overseers.

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