Friday, November 03, 2006

A Haggard Haggard

UPDATE: Ted Haggard's letter of confession, read at yesterday's services. ...Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa – "Through my own fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault..."

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.
(Luke 18:9-14 NRSV : In Greek)
I have three questions:

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)]


  1. Good question Chris! I think this story serves as a reminder that we have all fallen short of the glory of God. May none of us hold ourselves up as better than another. Peace.

  2. I know I am the Pharisee at times and the tax collector in other moments. I have followed the story since it broke. I have read his letter to the congregation. I did have a smile on my face as I read the first story. I am amazed by the hurt, works, and inability to hold grace he has towards others in his teachings.
    I pray that he can use this experience to find grace and forgiveness in Christ and love others as he is loved, serve others as he is served, and accept others as he is accepted.