Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ted Haggard's appology.

I have just read Ted Haggards letter of appology to his church about his incident that is firing about in the media at the moment. Mark Driscoll calls it a letter of repentance but I don't think repentance in the biblical sense could and will come around so easily. And I don't think true repentance comes from a public exposure. It is sad to read, and I felt quite moved by it. Not that I feel any pity towards him but rather it puzzles me that these things so often happen, people step into leadership and attempt to hide their darkness, only to have it rear it's ugly head when they least expect it - in saying that according to reports he was involved with this other person at least once a month for 3 years - that does not strike me as a little indiscresion on the side. It saddens me because darkness is so much part of the majority of people's lives and the suppression of it seems to be an unwritten rule of what is expected in the church, when surely the right and biblical call is towards bringing it into the open. How can darkness exist when light is brought into a situation.
While I would not want to satnd in judegement over Haggard - (i have my own darkness that continualy needs the light of Christ), it annoys me that we do not learn from the downfall of people like Haggard. I said to someone this morning that for me i have two priorities when i start in a new role, good supervision and a good doctor, i have learnt the hard way that without these (and many other things) that I cannot minister - nor should I. If the only things I can offer people are words that have not cut me to the core, then I should probably not offer anything.
My prayers are with Haggards former Church and him and his family, I hope he deals with his issues and recognises that this side of eternity he may never be able to deal with the darkness inside of him, but the best he can hope for it to flood it with the light of Christ.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Like your comment, Michael, on two things you require when taking on a new position: supervision and a good doctor:-). Especially good for us to hear in the States. Haggard's situation also exposes our uniquely American "cult of personality" that seems to set apart (and set up) many American evangelical leaders as some kind of super heroes. Not to excuse Haggard's behavior at all but I can't begin to tell you how many similar leaders (in often independent megachurches) have neither authentic supervision nor good doctors. They take on the trappings of "god" and do not take kindly to questions or uncertainties. Several times I've asked questions of key leaders here in the States(including one leader affiliated with Emergent-- ironically in this case advertised as a "conversation") and have been shut down/branded as rebellious for my attempts. Having said this, we do have this weird, disfunctional tendency here in the States to set up our leaders on pedestals, unaccountable celebrity platforms that are not healthy for us nor healthy for them, however much they seek the fame, allure, and power that comes with it. Yet, as you suggest, the darkness lurks within me, too.