In news greeted with shock and, by not a few persons, unsuppressed glee, Rev. Ted Haggard has resigned as president of the massive National Association of Evangelicals. Now, after completing its own investigation, New Life Church has removed Rev. Haggard as Pastor.
The church should be applauded for taking quick action, given Haggard's admitted behavior.
Now I find myself reflecting on this passage from scripture:
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.I have three questions:
(Luke 18:9-14 NRSV : In Greek)
First, to those who openly admit happiness at today's news: Can Rev. Ted Haggard be said to be the Pharisee, or the tax collector, in this parable?
Second, given your own reaction to the news, would you classify yourself as a Pharisee or tax collector?
Third, are you sure?
[New Life Church press release (PDF)]