Ted Haggard: My Thoughts on Shame

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When others fall, do you want to pile on the shame or encourage resurrection in them?

I appreciate the way the Blood of Christ and God’s Spirit free us from shame.

No doubt, I, for one, am grateful for the forgiveness of sin and the opportunity to have a clear conscience.

I know a lot about shame. I spent four years dominated by shame.

Then I realized that Christ was not shocked at my sins, that he had forgiven me for them, and that he had positive plans for my future. Key people in my life decided to forgive me.

So for me to allow shame to lord over my life was a denial of my faith and a repudiation of those who had confidence in Christ’s resurrection power in me.

What followed that realization was an interesting process to watch. There were those who had publicly fueled and promoted my demise, actually wanting shame to control me, who did all they could to promote shame in my life. Others, though, promoted resurrection in me and did what they could to encourage healing and restoration in my life.

It seemed to me as though some proved to be enemies of the Gospel’s work in me, and others proved to be friends and true believers of the Gospel’s power to work in me.

This dynamic altered the way I respond to someone else’s sin: I want always to be the guy who encourages resurrection in others.

As I went through this process of deciding who would have a determining voice in my life, I decided that Jesus’ life was more powerful than my shame, and that those who said what Christ says should have influence over me, not those who wanted only to accuse and take advantage of me.

It was a glorious process as the influence of Christ and authentic believers set me free to pursue God’s plan for my life.

The New Testament talks about the dynamic shame plays in all of our lives.

Ted Haggard Ted Haggard is the founding pastor of St. James Church in Colorado Springs, CO, the second church he and his wife, Gayle, have started during their 34-year marriage. Their first church, New Life Church, enjoyed 22 years of consecutive double digit growth, primarily through conversions, and grew from 20 people meeting in the basement of their home to 14,000 people meeting on a $50 million campus. Ted served as president of the 30,000,000 member National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003-2006, where he became a public figure representing evangelicalism in the press and with world leaders. In 2006, Ted resigned from all leadership positions confessing to personal moral failure. He confessed, resigned, repented, and submitted to church authorities for a two-year period of healing and restoration.

More from Ted Haggard or visit Ted at http://tedhaggardblog.com/

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  • Carol Ann

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. We must always remember as preachers that we are the same as the congregation we are addressing. My mentor always taught me to think in terms of we and us not you and I. It is not for us to Judge and we should certainly not give the impression that we are any different and certainly not any better than those with whom we share the Word.

    Kind regards

  • kim

    interesting responses. I would like to hear Ted’s take on starting a church so close to his former church. I think that those of us who have been resurrected must be very careful in taking on the legalists. True worship demands the very highest view of God and His holiness and a most scrutinizing look at our own sinfulness and bad behavior. If my eyes are on these two, I will not be too concerned with the critics. At the same time, I can learn from those who confront my continued bad behavior.

    • Ted Haggard

      Sure. I believe we are a body, a family, a building of The Lord. I believe we are together through good and bad, and I don’t embrace the divorce culture of today, and believe that I have the responsibility to finish the story in front of those who witnessed my failures. Jesus ministered in Jerusalem, was crucified in Jerusalem, but if he would have resurrected in Athens or Rome, it wouldn’t have worked like it did when he resurrected in Jerusalem. I ministered in Colorado Springs, was crucified in Colorado Springs (I deserved it), and I need to resurrect in front if those same people. Also, because I am so well known there, it is the most accountable place I could ever be. So with New Life’s permission based on the contract they gave me and Brady Boyd’s words published in the local paper, and the request of my spiritual authorities, I proceeded with obedience I with a small, unobtrusive fellowship of believers.

      • amos8

        Ted, is that “contract” what others here are referring to? I don’t know these facts, so would like it if you, or others, could provide facts on what people here are saying about anything that was “written” about your restoration expectations, if any. Maybe that might help eliminate a lot of confusion.

  • John

    Ted oversaw New Life’s policies of the restoration process prior to him being found out. When he was caught the church simply followed the process he put in place. Leaders such as Jack Hayford, Tommy Barnett, and Larry Stocksdale are men of great integrity and grace. They are far from legalistic. If Ted would have completed the process he would have been fully restored an honored by New Life and the overseers. Simply put, he did not submit to the established authority.

    • Ted Haggard

      Where in the world do.people get this? Send me a copy of this process and let me see it? This whole idea is fantasy? Point out to me from the process you refer what is not completed.

    • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

      I would also like to say that they didn’t “simply follow the process.” New people in charge can change policies however they see fit. The men you mention are indeed filled with integrity, but not one of them were solely in charge.

  • http://www.RevChristian.com/ Rev. Terry Christian

    I encourage all who comment on this man to simply ask themselves – WHAT WOULD JESUS SAY? Ted, is our fallen brother who comes back to the flock BECAUSE of Christ dying for sinners. He is the “one” lost sheep returning to the other 99 and Heaven rejoices. This should be our approach as Christians. Whether or not he’s genuine, true, repentant and forgiven is up to the Lord, not us. All we can do as Christians is love him and pray for him. Most people who judge harshly have forgotten their own repentance (or they haven’t truly had one yet) How others treat us is not proof of our Christianity, its how we treat others that reveals our Christianity. Its by our example not our advice.

    As far as todays “godly men” are concerned, don’t forget the books about many, once considered, godly men who lied, cheated and killed others ALL while claiming to represent Gods love thru Christ Jesus. Let me be clear- I hate sin! It destroys lives, families and countries however I have sinned and been forgiven so my heart is changed towards others. Some of my sins have been found out while other sins “only the Lord knows”. Its better we as Christians look for opportunities to forgive one another. Christians are called to save the lost and love the brotherhood. Let us not continue, to condemn our repentant brothers and sisters in Christ, by our sarcastic words which only embarrass the Lord and hurt the Body of Christ.

    • Guest

      I am all for forgiveness but this man chose not to complete the “restoration” process he himself had put in place! In my opinion, I don’t think God looks kindly on anyone going back to the pulpit who has fallen from grace as he and others (many others) have. Because their “calling is without repentance” (KJV) they still have the ability to preach but I wonder about the anointing…

      • Ted Haggard

        Fallen from Grace? In the New Testament, this phrase is only used once in Gal. 5:4 and it is in reference to those who think they are ok because of their good behavior. Seven years ago, I fell into grace. I’ve never fallen from grace.

        As for the “facts” you recite above, they are wrong – i never saw the restoration process to which you refer. would you send me a copy, and send it to me. So before you find yourself also guilty of slander, you might want to re-read your New Testament and fact-check.

      • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

        Dear Guest,
        A lot of people at New Life were hurt and have been told and have spoken partial truths about this restoration process to cover their own rear ends- I believe out of their pain and unforgiveness.
        Illegal…do you hear me…illegal things happened against pastor Ted that has broken trust on both sides. There is a river of poison being spoken in these circles that will not allow any truth to be told. So if you are in these circles, you can’t get your opinions from any person. You have to talk to GOD about him and get wisdom from HIM on this, not any person. When the crowd around you are all saying the same thing, it’s easy to believe something as fact or from God. I urge you to withdraw for awhile from other people’s opinions and hear God for yourself. If God tells you you are right, then go with it.

  • Pastor Marco

    “Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 6:15)

    Self righteous people condemn the sin in other, but fail to recognize it in the own lives. They shame others while having skeletons in their own closets that they ought to be ashamed of. The theme of Ted’s article is not new. Although there are self righteous people in churches today that shame others when they should be extending grace I see another problem. I see people that show no shame when they ought to be ashamed. I see immodesty on the church. I see sexual immorality in the church. I see Christian okay with watching movies with content that ought to grieve there hearts but instead they are be entertained by it. We have preachers today that won’t confront sin, that are preaching what the people want to hear rather than what they need to hear. We need to be careful about see “shame” as the problem. The fact is people need some shame today. The question that I ask is “where is the shame.” The problem is Christian are being conformed to this world and desensitized to sin. Sin doesn’t shock us anymore. The church will not see revival until the fear of The Lord grips our hearts, until we are broken over our sin and the sin of our nation and turn to God in genuine repentance. The shame that we need is not the shame that I got caught. It the shame that we’ve sinned against A Holy God who loves us and sent his son to die for our sin. Thank God that the grace of JEsus is greater then are sin, but lets not turn it into a license to sin.

  • Revbrc

    John, so what blueprint should Ted follow? Mans or the bibles? When Jesus died on the cross and covered our sins with his blood he didn’t say, “Now follow this 12 step restoration program written by the church board” – Ted had one step in restoration…it’s called repentance! Once that step was completed his sins were forgiven. Period!

    • Billy Ford

      True, but the issue isn’t only forgiveness here. The reason for a restoration process is to prepare a minister who has fallen into serious immorality to return to ministry leadership one day. Elders in the New Testament were to be picked based on proven godly character, wisdom, etc. If one of them proves to lack such qualities, they should not return to leadership until there is both true repentance AND some time for them build a solid track record again, along with ongoing accountability. You don’t want there to ever be a repeat of the disaster because it is simply so damaging to people’s lives.

      • Revbrc

        Please provide the scriptural reference to your point? I simply can’t find a reference to a “period of time” or “some time” – I understand your view but its seriously flawed in every way. Mans laws of time simply do not apply here. Gods gifts and callings are without repentance. So if God has called us then we are still called in spite of a fall. This is not a license to live reckless because repeated indiscretions are not acceptable either. However, lets leave the decision to the one on the throne to decide ones future.

        • Billy Ford

          Revbrc, I also understand where you’re coming from and appreciate it. I realize that the church errs to much on the side of judgment and unforgiveness. But I do think the New Testament gives us some direction on this. Pastors (which means “Shepherds”) are synonymous with Elders and Overseers in 1 Peter 5:1-2. They were chosen in local churches according to certain guidelines (for example, see 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9) and had to be qualified to serve. If you read these passages, you will see that the prerequisites for being an elder/pastor would require some time spent in building a track record. The potential leader would need time to prove themselves capable of handling such a role well. One of the qualifications is to be “above reproach”. When leaders blow it in a big way, it takes some time for them to build their reputations and trust again. It’s one of the consequences of sin. This is why 1 Tim. 5:22 says to not be in a hurry about appointing a church leader (laying on of hands in this context means to set aside for church leadership). You never want to put someone in charge who, though gifted and called, seriously lacks wisdom and the fruit of the Spirit (character of Christ). It is better to come around them, support them, and wait until there is proven strength of character to match the calling that they have. Maybe Ted Haggard is at that point now. I rejoice if he is.

          • Revbrc

            So Ted Haggard writes and article in a publication that you read on a regular basis correct? All sarcasm aside… But someone thinks he has a significant wisdom. And I don’t know how many people attend Teds new church but let’s leave it to those people to decide whether or not he is qualified to shepherd them. That sounds like a good idea to me, what about you? If you choose not to go to his church that’s quite alright but let’s just worry about our own flocks. I assume you have a flock of your own?

          • Billy Ford

            Ummm, yes, I do read this publication. Not sure what your point is there. But here is the larger issue at work. Ted Haggard was not just a local pastor. He was a pastor to pastors and the head of the National Association of Evangelicals. Now he is exerting influence beyond the walls of his own local church again. He is the one inserting himself into a larger arena and that is stirring some discourse about how and when leaders should be restored. That’s a good thing. And for the record, I expect that Ted Haggard is probably fully repentant and more humble than he ever was before.

  • Sharon Hurdell

    I see why they have a group called ‘Church Burned’ and it is sad to say the least. My heart aches in pain to read such negative comments and to know they know this man personally.
    How did David put it? If I have sinned Lord it is against thee only I have sinned and it is with the Lord that I must seek forgiveness. Jesus said that if we find a brother who has stumbled we should lead him back into the fold with love. I find no love in the comments only judgment.
    I read no where in the bible that says that to receive God’s forgiveness we must jump through hoops, kiss the hand of all the saints of the given church, receive 40 lashes, then we are finally good to go. For shame on you all!
    I would spend more personal time with God and before you choose to judge another maybe you should ask God what He has to say on the matter.

    Your ideas of repentance is far different and hence the need for the NT.

    • Billy Ford

      Sharon, you’re right: if anyone claims that we must jump through hoops to be forgiven, they are in great error. But the other issue here is that not every Christian is fit to be a pastor (also called elder or overseer in the New Testament). 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9 give us certain qualities that spiritual leaders over churches should have. When a ministry leader falls into sin, they should be forgiven in Christian love. But that doesn’t mean that they are instantly ready to be a leader again. Ted Haggard very well might be (and I hope and pray so), but it is a valid point of discussion.

      • Revbrc

        So the Apostle Paul was a murderer before he was called by God. I don’t find in the book of Acts where God said Paul (Saul) need to wait a year or two before preaching the gospel? I understand your concerns here Billy but the Bible contradicts your point. I hope you will take the time to reevaluate your position with respect to restoration.

        • Billy Ford

          Revbrc, there is a difference between preaching the gospel (which all Christians should do) and becoming an overseer of a church (which requires proven wisdom, character, gifting, and calling). And in fact, the church did not receive Paul right away. They had serious and valid questions about who he really was and whether they could trust him. Those questions needed to be answered … and they were. Barnabas vouched for Paul (Acts 9:26-27: “When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus”). Leaders who have fallen should have a Barnabas in their life to vouch for them if indeed they have truly been reformed. And you don’t need to say that the Bible contradicts my point when neither you nor I have perfect knowledge about it all. We’re in a discussion and hopefully learning something from one another.

          • Revbrc

            If you want to learn something study the blood. That may help you. God Bless

      • Sharon Hurdell

        I read that we are not to condemn those in authority as they would not be there without God as He is the one who placed them there. He also said that a tree is known by it’s fruits for a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
        If we have a problem with a person in authority we were told to bring it to Him (God) as He is the one who placed Him there and so it is with Him only to judge.
        I realize what the Bible has to say about the callings of a pastor but I also know what God said about who places men in these positions.
        Truthfully I have been through a pretty tough walk with God in regards to this subject lately and I would say it goes back to Abel and Cain where God says I will love who I love or where the rich man hired men throughout the day to work in his field but at the end of the day when they went to collect their pay they all received the same amount from the ones who started first to the last one hired.
        I don’t understand what this pastor did that has everyone so up in arms and seeing as from what I have read it isn’t like he went and hid what he had been through so the new congregation was being fooled by his character since the new church is not far from the one in which he had fallen from the church’s grace. Reminds me of my impatience at times, I get uptight and then immediately tell God I am sorry so given this I wonder at how long it takes Him to forgive me my trespass somewhat as the apostle who does what he would not. Oh what amazing grace!
        I see what you mean about being forgiven in Christian love, to some anyway but how does one decide the leadership since God said He raises up who He will raise up? God says that no man knows His heart but He knows all of ours. Has anyone of integrity asked God but then that begs how we decide who is of integrity?
        We fancy ourselves to be wise but we are yet fools.
        I always tell others if you don’t like a particular church because of their teaching which you know by God’s Word is in error, or the others who attend there do not act in a godly manner then instead of complaining, go find another church you would be happy in. Sometimes certain people just rub you the wrong way even if they have done nothing wrong but then again God says ‘steel sharpens steel’.
        I would think that the pastor of the churches would take this question of what happened and what is happening to the test of God’s Word without a name being attached to it and see where it brings them with an open mind of course. Now that would be interesting and I would love to know where it all ends up. ;)

  • Not_in_Denial

    I agree with all those who emphasize repentance and forgiveness, however, this man was a shepherd, a leader, one who is held to a higher level of responsibility, and he failed. We all are sinners who are undeserving of the great blessing of eternity with our Lord, but this is another subject. His unGodly scandal caused uncountable damage to many. He had been given leadership once, and should have been looking for other ways to serve rather than going right back into the very thing that exposed his weakness and caused such damage. Were I on a pastor search committee I would have rejected him out of hand, not for being a sinner, as we all are, but as a shepherd of another flock who had in essence spit on the great blessing he had the chance to participate in. I expect no less a standard be used for my own weaknesses and failures, so this is certainly not looking down a self-righteous nose at someone. I would hope that he fully experiences God’s forgiveness and love for the remainder of his life, but know that there are many who disagree with elevating someone to this office after they have done such damage once already.

    • Context!

      To Not In Denial and everyone who has taken issue with this post scandal Ted Haggard, unless this man is continuing in bad behavior and not truly repentant, your stance is clearly unscriptural. The overriding point is not God’s ability to forgive and cleanse him from ALL unrighteousness and to present him faultless before the throne. The issue is with your finite human ability to get past his past.
      Ted’s article was NOT about vindicating himself but rather a very powerful commentary on the subject of shame which happened to be written by a man who has experienced it majorly,
      The fact that you, John, Jina and the others who have made this about his PAST, you took the article out of context.

      • Billy Ford

        Actually, they did correctly place this article into the larger context of Ted Haggard’s track record as a leader. There is a difference between being forgiven and being trusted. Ted Haggard should be forgiven, but it takes some time to build trust again.

        • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

          It’s been 7 years….how long must we wait?

          • Billy Ford

            Wendy, I never argued that Ted shouldn’t be a pastor now. I was in various discussions with people who don’t seem to think leaders need to ever be held accountable or go through a restoration process. Ted’s actions destroyed a lot of trust. It takes time to rebuild. I think the process would go faster if he didn’t portray himself as a victim of mean and unforgiving Christians. People would trust him a lot more quickly if he instead made comments like, “I don’t blame people if they have their doubts about me. My selfish and sinful actions did a tremendous amount of damage to the body of Christ and her witness in the world. But I believe that God’s mercy and grace have been extended to me and that He still has a purpose for my life. I also believe that in time people will come to see that God has truly transformed me for His glory.”

          • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

            We all write and observe from where we stand and I see and hear you from where you are. From where I stand, I don’t see him portraying himself as a victim. If you only knew what has transpired behind the scenes from some respected church leaders to Ted, your mouth would fall to the floor. I’m sure some of that comes out in Ted’s writing and he has so respectfully refrained from telling the world the (actually illegal and defaming) actions taken against him. But that is another story for another time. As someone who has sat in his church services for the past 3 years, I truly have heard the comments you have said above. His heart has been that…I’ve heard him say he is sorry. I’ve seen him break down and cry when he didn’t want to, talking about it. I’ve heard him talk about how it will take time for people to see what has transpired… But beyond that, God has used this whole situation in his life to reveal an attitude and typical method of handling sin in the church that I personally believe God is calling church leaders to change. So whether you believe God is speaking to him or not, Ted believes God is speaking to him some truths that he never saw before his fall, that God is giving him some responsibility to call some attention to these attitudes, because God wants change in his Church. I believe that is why he speaks of the way he was treated sometimes. There are other leaders/believers (like Ruth Graham Bell for one) who are coming alongside Ted and saying, “God is speaking to us about this too.” So, I do not believe Ted discusses (he really doesn’t tell very much) what happened to get people to feel sorry for him. He’s addressing a sin problem.

    • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

      As one of those in the large congregation to whom he did “uncountable damage” I have to say that it wouldn’t have been as damaging if the church would have handled the situation better. They swept him under the rug and told him to disappear…and wouldn’t tell anyone in the congregation where he had gone or what was going on with him. People in leadership that I know told him he had to ‘take the hit’ for the sake of the image of the church. I would dare to say that much of that uncountable damage would be repaired if the church had stepped in with love, worked with him to get the help he needed, and then actually restored him if and when he was ready. I think the message to the church goers overall (and the world) would have been, ‘even this man could be restored…so can you.’ The way we treat our leaders is an example to the masses of how we would treat them. Just try to google “Christians are” and see what the common thoughts towards Christians are today. The church needs to be reformed in this area and I’m glad Ted is leading the way.

  • Ted Haggard

    I just read through your comments and found it interesting that you think I didn’t complete a process. Which portion of the process did I not complete?

    • amos8

      There is completing “A process,” there is completing the right process, and then there is the question, “Even if a person completes “a process,” or the right process,” at what point, if at all, does this (re)qualify that person for being back in ministry, let alone in leadership, not to mention a Lead/Senior Pastor?

      I think we would have a tendency to disagree on a lot of these, but it would help refine the discussion and make it more efficient if we knew more of the specifics. But one thing that is makes it easier for us is to see the fruit–the fruit of repentance (Matt 3:8; 2 Cor 7:10-11), or the lack there of (not to mention the fruit of that person’s teaching/behavior; Matt 7:15-23).

    • How I See It

      I appreciate you responding to comments, Ted. I would love to have you respond to some of the comments I have made. If I am wrong I would really like to see it. I was one of your biggest supporters until you decided to start/pastor a church. I think God can use you in many ways and you have a powerful message about grace, restoration, marriage, sexuality, etc. but I believe you should make the choice to step away from the role of senior pastor regardless of who gives you a blessing. You can read my other comments for my reasons behind that opinion. I think ‘he-said-they-said’ discussions about the past and your restoration process distract from bigger issues.

      • Jason

        On what authority do you have an opinion? Do you presume to know the calling and God ordained position of every Christian leader on earth? or just Ted Haggard? If you have this incredible insight as to where God would like all leaders to serve in his church how has God positioned you in such a way where you could even actually control or influence that? Why would God give you such specific insight as to the personal call on the life of an influential Christian leader, and not give you a real platform (not a comment stream on a blog) to wield that message.

        When I think about all those things I start to think maybe God hasn’t given you this insight….and maybe, just maybe…you could be wrong about what Ted should or shouldn’t be doing.

        • How I See It

          Please read my other comment and respond to those. I’m glad to have this discussion with you. My other comments answer your concerns so I don’t want to take up space repeating them. Please tell me where I am wrong. I welcome it.

      • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

        “Paul’s words elsewhere clearly indicate that believers and leaders are
        held to a higher standard and that there’s a place for Church
        discipline.” Yes, this is true. And this is why if Ted had continued in sin and was unrepentant, he would not scripturally be allowed to be a senior pastor. But he did repent, he did go through counseling and finished his process. He does have giftings and callings on his life, and the Lord has spoken to his heart and told him to start St. James Church. Every reason you have for wanting him to step down and not lead a church have to do with keeping him in his shame and considering himself not worthy to hold that position again…I detect that you would like to see him feel that way about himself. You are embarrassed by his past and want to be considered “wise” for recommending that he stay out of the pulpit. You can’t see this yet, it is obvious. Being offended has blinded you. What can Ted do when God speaks to him and tells him that he must resurrect in the city in which he was buried? When God quietly whispers to Ted that total restoration involves restoration of being a pastor too. When God tells him to listen only to His voice and not the voice of the scoffers and insult throwers.
        My friend, I’ve spend many hours in prayer about my pastor, whether to follow or whether to go. The Lord told me that his prodigal son returned home. HE is going to throw a banquet and the people have a choice to be seen as the Father who welcomes the son or as the jealous, spiteful brother. Spend time with the Father and ask Him yourself! Did HE speak to Ted? Is HE wanting restoration? IF He does and is, you had better try to find a way to not oppose the work of restoration HIS son Ted is in. He loves Ted and is not wanting to hide him under a rug. A true Father restores His son and then throws a banquet announcing that he has come home!

  • Chad

    Just a couple of thoughts. First, I agree that we are to forgive. We should constantly try to help people find God’s grace. However, it seems that Mr. Haggard contradicted himself in saying that Jesus didn’t shame people so we shouldn’t either. He then mentions how Jesus shamed the religious leaders of the time (I believe to humble them and lead them to repentance). Wasn’t Ted a religious leader? Perhaps Jesus needed to shame him a little. I’m not saying I want to be the one to bring the shame…I’ll leave that to God. However, I do think a little shame in this case was necessary based on the verses quoted in the article. Ted, this isn’t to say you need to live in shame, just that perhaps that was God’s method of bringing you to repentance.

    Second, I think there is a difference between seeing people restored to Christ and restored to the pulpit. I am all for seeing people come back to Christ and be restored. However, I do think a process is necessary to restore someone to the pulpit. I don’t know what Ted has or hasn’t done, so I’m not necessarily making a statement one way or another on Mr. Haggard. However, I do think, in the best interest of the potential congregation, that certain guidelines should be followed before someone is allowed back into the pulpit. We wouldn’t allow a drunk person behind the wheel of a car just because they were sorry and promised to never do it again. You would need to give it some time and make sure they were willing to abide by certain guidelines first. I think it’s similar here.

  • How I See It

    Ted Haggard is completely forgiven by the blood of Jesus, make no mistake about it! Here’s the deal though… if your church accountant imbezzles church funds, goes to prison and ‘does the time’, confesses and repents and then get’s released, will you let that person become your church secretary, write church checks, count your offerings, etc.? How about a child molester going through a similar process including counseling. Would you let them serve in children’s ministry? There’s grace and forgiveness which is unlimitless, beautiful and powerful but there’s also an issue of trust and common sense. That’s why I believe moral failure excludes people from some types of ministry and leadership (in conjunction with leadership requirements in scripture). Sometimes in the church we think grace means acting like the sin never happened or we are being unloving, unforgiving and judgmental. We think that if scripture doesn’t address something in explicit detail we can’t make a common sense determination. We fall for ‘either/’or thinking.

    • Revbrc

      Before his conversion on tje road to Demascus (Saul) or (The Apostle Paul) was a murderer…his mission was to destroy the church. I don’t find a where his sins exempted him? In fact can you find a greater New Testament minister of the gospel?

      • How I See It

        Do you think an unregerated person is held to the same standard as a believer? If Paul had done what Ted did AFTER conversion I shudder the think of the consequences, God’s sovereignty aside, or course.Paul’s words elswhere clearly indicate that believers and leaders are held to a higher standard and that there’s a place for Church discipline.

        • Catalina Jones

          I totally disagree with your argument here. But even if you work through your logic you would end up with the fact that his sin affected his marriage and that is something that was restored right away. His wife accepted him, forgave him, and embraced him. She would have been the only one with a case to “not trust” pastor Ted. Pastor was honest about his sin in the same way every pastor in America should be honest about their sin. At what point can you make the case that this sin keeps him from being able to lead or preach?

          • How I See It

            If you recall, he was honest after he was caught. Either way he’s still forgiven but it definitely creates a trust issue for most people. You could definitely argue that they are all just being judgmental but I don’t think so. The answer to your question is in my other comments. I don’t want to take up space repeating them.

        • Revbrc

          You answered that exactly as I assumed you would. So murder is the unforgivable sin? Can you show me that scripture in the bible? What does conversion have to do with sin? Are we so naive to think people do not sin after conversion? Come on…really? Such a flimsy argument my friend. Please leave the judging to the one in charge.

          • How I See It

            But I’m not talking about forgiveness at this point. Forgiveness is available before and after conversion. As started in the original comment, Ted is completely forgiven, no question. However, forgiveness doesn’t qualify us for church leadership positions. I don’t believe sins before conversion are a standard for leadership because the person is unregenerate and we wouldn’t have any leaders if it was.

        • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

          What about Peter? He sinned against the Lord by denying him 3 times and yet Jesus built His church on him.

    • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

      But Ted’s sin was against his wife…not against the church. He was fired for “moral failure” but it could have been any moral failure. If he had embezzled church funds, sure I’d see not hiring him as an accountant. If he had sinned against a child, there are laws that will make sure he isn’t hired at a daycare. But he didn’t personally sin against the church, he sinned against his wife. She is the one who had the right to not forgive, but she did. And she saw him restored. He didn’t sin against the church, he let her down. He made her look bad in the public eye – in essence harm her pride (or the pride of the church leaders) and he did shock and hurt a lot of people who had wrongly put him on a pedestal. The higher their individual pedestals, the harder he fell off in their eyes. When the prodigal son returned to the Father, tell me….what did the robe that the Father put on his son represent? It represented the authority of the Father. The Father was restoring the son to his previous authority. The prodigal’s brother was bitter and angry because he felt that the prodigal had squandered his inheritance and didn’t deserve to have his authority restored. I would say that in the story of Ted Haggard, God is restoring him, giving back his authority and getting ready to throw a banquet. My fear is for all the church leaders who think they are right because they feel like the brother…they didn’t squander their authority or inheritance and yet “Ted Haggard get’s treated the same by God? Phffft. God throws a banquet for him? Good grief. I deserve a banquet. I’ve never squandered in sin. Ted should just quietly come home, slip in the back door and serve me (the older brother) and be grateful that the Father had enough grace to let him come home.” I say, beware what role in this story you want to align with because it’s going to play out. This is God’s story and I believe the beginning of a movement God is starting to cleanse the church from prodigal brother syndrome. And, if we find ourselves identifying with the prodigal’s brother, we need to ask God to clarify it for us and show us if we are wrong.

  • Context

    To the point of a higher standard that Not In Denial made, while that is true it does not imply that that standard prevents ANY fallen leader from being restored. David fell into sin with Bathsheba AFTER he was anointed king, murdered her husband, AFTER he was anointed and he was NOT dethroned nor rejected by God because he was truly repentant and genuinely pursued God. The turning away from sin and relentlessly pursuing God, choosing life on a daily basis is the standard. While grace is NOT a permission slip to live lawlessly or recklessly it absolutely does not drag us back under the law. You guys really need renewed minds with respect to this subject because your theology is NOT in line with the New Testament!

    • How I See It

      We’re not in line with the NT yet you use an OT example of David to make your point. I’m also not sure that the position of King of Israel and pastoral leadership can be compared that way although I think those who have fallen are quick to do that. Besides, King David, his subjects and his family all dealt with serious consequences for his sin. All that aside I just don’t think this comparison makes a strong or clear defense of your position or mine anyway. It’s a bit of a stretch.

    • Billy Ford

      Context, you didn’t quote the New Testament, only the Old Testament. In the New Testament it says that overseers (synonymous with pastors) must be “above reproach” (see 1 Timothy 3:1-7). In context it refers to a certain lifestyle that qualifies people to be ministry leaders. The real question here is, has Ted Haggard been reformed enough that he is qualified to be a leader again? The answer is probably yes, but most of us aren’t close enough to him to know. Still, these are valid questions that need to be asked (according to the New Testament), so please stop slamming fellow Christians for asking them.

  • Joseph Motong Okello

    Mr Haggard Thanks for a nice article.However i have to agree with our friends in some another area and disagree in some part.we should do the right things to shame sinners and wage of sin is death.

    My ague is about restored to Christ and to the pulpit; coming back to church after repentance and your sin is been forgiven in the church.However back to the pulpit; pulpit is holy temple of God. Any one who is going to restored on pulpit that person already church leaders laid their hand on the head one and forever once he need to be restore to the pulpit be well come with the respect after his repentance,

  • Herb

    Galatians 6:1. We read God’s words and still use however to input our own theology. God makes all things new. Yes many were hurt, but so many more have found life in Christ through His ministry. Sad that we as a church are not known by Love, The one thing we should be known by If we are His disciples.

    • How I See It

      Is Ted doing the most loving thing by refusing to step aside and insisting that he be a Senior Pastor again? Is he thinking of his desire to get back to Pastoring and preaching more than the good of the church at large and his followers? Does love mean giving someone what they want or think they deserve? Love and tolerance have been equated by the world and I fear the church is often tempted to do the same.

      • Herb

        Only Ted and God would know the motive of his heart so I don’t know the answer. The definition of Love according to God. Gods definition of love according to Corinthians 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

        • How I See It

          Yes, we don’t know Ted’s heart. That’s why I worded that as a question but why are we so quick to assume that’s it’s good and important for a fallen leader to be restored to their previous place of leadership? As for love, if you look at ALL of Corinthians Paul clearly states that church discipline is necessary, especially with sexual sin. He also holds leaders to a higher standard elsewhere. Either he’s contradicting himself or 1 Cor 13 is not endorsing a blanket tolerance of sin. 1 Cor 13 is actually given in the context of spritual gifts, not dealing with sin or church leadership so we have to be cautious about a blanket application to any and everything.

          • Thomas Herron

            Whoa buddy. I don’t really have an opinion about all of this but at some point watching you troll this comment stream I have to wonder what your obsession with this guy is. I mean, 1 comment is one thing, but you don’t seem to be able to move on. Come on man. It makes people take you far less seriously; just to give you an unbiased heads up.

          • How I See It

            I just thought of it as a great discussion that the church needs to have. I see your point though. Thanks.

          • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

            Thank you for your honesty because we all have to go through a process to determine “what to do with Ted Haggard.” :) My opinion is that scripture is very clear that we do hold our leaders to a higher standard but that somewhere along the line the Church decided that that higher standard was not present tense, it encompassed past too and that is not scriptural. I’ve never found a scripture that says a church leader can’t be without sin in his past. But that is a common thread among churches today…almost because it is just expected amongst church leadership and it has caused a lot of pain in the church and a lot of people in the world to reject the Church because of how they see us treat each other. I think it is something Satan has done over time within the Church to try to make us more ineffective. I like what Lynn (above comment) had said about the Lord building His church on Peter……that the Lord saw Peter’s cowardice betrayal of him, even spoke encouragement to Him BEFORE he fell–“Satan has demanded to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you. After you return, strengthen the brethren.”

      • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

        Wow. I think it is better for the church at large if he someday IS asked to be a senior pastor…so that people in the world stop judging the church people for being so damning and judgmental. I know non-Christians who don’t want anything to do with the church because they say we “eat our own.” They say, ‘hey, you want me to come into the church as a sinner so Christ can forgive me…but the moment I sin or mess up you slap a scarlet letter on me and kick me out. No thanks!”
        When people start seeing that the church gently restores it’s own, protects it’s own, gets help for it’s own….those kind of people will see true love and might be interested in being a part. I think those who just want him to “drop it” and “step aside” for the “better of the church” are more worried about image management than true restoration and redemption. But that’s just my opinion.

        • How I See It

          What I envision is an environment where Ted is loved and encouraged and shares his testimony, writes and speaks. That’s something the world should see and hear. He has a lot to say that the church needs to hear and he probably understands grace better than a lot of us. I think he’s been treated unfairly in many ways and that the church is often guilty of eating her own. But leadership inside and outside the church generally has a higher standard. In an earlier comment I compared it to an accountant who steals, is forgiven and restored but never is allowed to handle money again or a child abuser who is forgiven and restored but is never permitted to work in the nursery or a school. To me that’s not about grace and forgiveness but wisdom. Unfortunately people tend to condemn and reject the fallen altogether or completely ignore the sin and Biblical standards for leadership. I think there’s a middle ground here. Maybe after an extended time church leadership could be an option but I think what transpired is too soon.

          • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

            I understand your thought process but still think it skewed. A child abuser won’t be allowed to go back to a nursery by law, to protect the child, because his offense was against the child. Ted’s offense, though a moral failure by church standards was against his wife, not against the church. Sure he disappointed the church, but the offense was not against it (like your other examples). If it was embezzling money, then it was against the church’s finances…but it wasn’t. It was broken trust against his wife. His wife is the one who has the right to not forgive. His wife is the one who can see if he is truly repentant or not…and his wife has seen and forgiven and restored. The church fired him for moral failure…but it could have been any moral failure…. It wasn’t a direct offense against the church, it just hurt the image of the church and the church leaders. The failure of the situation is how it was handled. And truthfully, when you say the church often has a higher standard, that sounds like an excuse to be self righteous to me. I think this is a HUGE lesson the church needs to learn! I’m not ignoring the sin or the biblical standards for leadership. I was hurt by the sin…and then the Lord dealt with my heart about forgiving him. I did. I’ve moved on. The Biblical standards for leadership in no way shape or form give a timeline as to when someone can be restored…that is all your opinion. And since you’re not directly involved, your opinion is never going to be that he should be restored to ministry because you haven’t had to forgive him or be concerned with the people who were all left hanging wondering what happened to him. Seven years have passed for us but for you who are outside of the situation, time is flying fast. Seven years. When will it not be too soon? How much will he have to pay back in penance before he is approved by your standards.

  • amos8

    I appreciate your efforts to address what should be more of a concern for the church, however, even though I agree with some of what you wrote, I have even bigger concerns about other things:

    “I think this is exactly where we are in the American church. We have transitioned from being the body of gratefully redeemed believers encouraging honor and life in Christ, into being the self-righteous group that scrutinizes, criticizes, whines and complains about ‘those sinners.’ I am convinced that under the guise of hating sin, some have
    inadvertently switched from being ministers of reconciliation and hope
    in Christ to being advocates of holding people accountable for their

    This is quite a sweeping, over-generalization that condemns so many people. There are so many things with your judgments here of others. Also, you imply or declare that it is wrong to advocate “holding people accountable for their sin.” This is a very general statement. To varying degrees this could be accurate, but one of the biggest and most destructive problems in the church and society is a lack of personal responsibility (e.g. fully, accurately owning up to sin or failure). So, the more we can encourage people in this area the better, all while understanding that it is not our responsibility to change another person.

    We are taught throughout Scripture to address sin–in ourselves and in others. Yet now, in our politically correct, pop-psychologized culture (that trumps Scripture) we cry “Pharisee” whenever someone dares to challenge sin or error … we judge and condemn that person for judging AND we fail to see, or refuse to own up, to this blatant error.

    “Chapters 10-18 of Luke include significant warnings for “religious
    leaders,” “teachers” and “Pharisees” (those who use the Scriptures to
    judge others)”

    This furthers my point, Ted. Notice that here you are also using “the Scriptures to judge others” (i.e. you are implying or declaring that there are some or many in the church today that are doing this) … all while pointing out that this is wrong and/or that Jesus warns “those people” not to do this.

    So, you just used Scripture to judge others for using Scripture for judging others BUT … will you see this or admit it?

    “Probably the strongest identifying marker of an authentic follower of
    Christ is a willingness to be identified with the sinner and invest in
    healing and restoration. This identification is contrary to the false
    Christian leaders of our day who distance themselves from sinners and
    use the Scriptures to impose shame, actually using the appearance of
    their own moral superiority to gain power and influence. In doing so,
    they are denying the Gospel and instead promoting an appearance of
    godliness that woefully lacks the power of God.”

    We might all have our assessment of what the “strongest identifying marker …” is, and yours is a fine one, but I believe it is, while important, far from the “strongest.” Yet, you go on to condemn “false Christian leaders…” and judged them as failing, dying the Gospel, etc … all in the context of not shaming or judging others …. AND you do not see this.

    I am all for correctly understanding and handling “shame.” But, to be clear, the main book you referred to (1 Cor) actually “hurt” the Corinthians! Not only that, it lead to there repentance, SALVATION, “reconciliation,” and brought them to a place with “no regret” (and we might be able to say, no shame). But it started with judgments on the part of a “Christian leader,” it started with confronting them with their sin, it started with enough LOVE to challenge those whom he loved about their harmful behavior.

    This pain essentially became “godly sorrow”–as opposed to a deadly counterfeit of “worldly sorrow.” This, in turn, lead to “metanoia” AND “soteria” and left “no regret.” It “produced” an abundance of obvious fruit. There are many phony cases of repentance (perhaps all of us at times) where we, ourselves, are convinced it is genuine. But if it does not draw us back to the truth, the biblical truth, the biblical truth about Jesus, the truth message(s) of Jesus then was it really godly sorrow? John the Baptist declared or at least implied that true repentance would “produce fruit” that is evident to all. It would not be a psuedo-change, it would not be a minimal change or slight alteration to fit some other model, it would not really hide or minimize or justify or blame-shift. It would result in beautiful, godly fruit–and more so as time goes by–all because of “godly sorry” that came from being “cut to the heart” and grieved over sin.

    So, godly sorrow is being grieved over hurting God, others, etc AND is evidenced by zealous pursuit to fully get right with God. Worldly sorrow might include truly sorrow, but it is usually motivated to “appear right” to others, to do the least amount, to rely on worldly wisdom/counselors to do just enough to get by. What a dangerous counterfeit. So let’s not merely condemn “shame” but teach/preach/proclaim and model “godly sorrow” that comes from lovingly challenging sin.

  • Brother Ken

    After seeing you minister personally,you have become more critical of the body of Christ than the world for a sin you freely committed realizing that you are held to a higher standard. You are in my prayers but as you stand praying, forgive and let it drop.

    • wselvig

      Who are you addressing? Ted? Did you see him personally minister one time or more than that? I listen to his sermons online regularly and I don’t think he harps on criticizing the body of Christ. He does however stand up for himself, and thank God because he’s constantly under attack. How can you let it drop when people attack you all the time. I think he’s just taking a stand and not being a doormat to all the accusations.

  • michael heath

    I understand both sides of this issue; the need for forgivness and the need to maintain integrity in the pulpit. one thing that concerns me is that when we talk about being above reproach we limit it to visable moral issues. Waht about the out right racist and opressive attitudes many “good” church leaders have and display? I don’t see anyone condeming these leaders, but if you ask me that attitude is just as wrong as what Pastor Ted was involved with. Why do we act as if a man who falls and repents is unable to minister again but those who push an agnda that keeps poor people poor and opresses the minorities in this country are celebrated? This is the conflict the church refuses to deal with. In Ezekiel 16:49 the sin that caused Sodom to be destryed was more than just sexual imorality; it was also opression of the poor.
    I pray for Pastor Ted as well as all of my fellow pastors. Let’s clean up our hearts so that we all can stand before God!

    • Billy Ford

      The issues you mention are important, but not mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 where we’re given the qualifications of church leaders.

      • michael heath

        So a bigot is allowed to pastor but a former adulter isn’t? So above reproach only deals with sexual sins?

        • Billy Ford

          No, you’re right. “Above reproach” deals with all sins. I’d rather have a former adulterer as a pastor (if truly and clearly reformed) than a current outright bigot. But that doesn’t make sexual sin any less serious.

      • Lynn Cerullp

        Kindly see my reply above (ina ageneral post), addressing the qualifications for leadership.

    • How I See It

      I think you are off topic but if we are going to discuss this we need examples and not just some generalization. I don’t know of any pastors who do this other than isolated examples that are generally condemned by society and evangelicals. However, I’m not saying give the examples here because it’s a different topic but maybe start a blog or submit and article to this site and let this discussion stay on point.

  • Jason

    wow. What a telling reality that Ted has the courage to keep speaking up being vulnerable and arguing the case for authenticity only to be quickly and harshly smacked down by the “mighty hand” of the nameless and unacomplished few who sit on their computers and pretend to have influence.
    Keep it up Ted! Many of us look to you as a source of courage to live out our authentic stories.

    • How I See It

      According to Google there are an estimated 20,918 Jasons in the world so thank you for being so up front and transparent with everyone on here by posting your first name. ;-) I would love to have you respond directly to my comments if you have the time because your comment has painted everyone that disagrees with you with the same broad, unloving and judgmental brush.

      -David (one of 3,750,049 in the US)

      By the way, how do you know the nameless people on here are unaccomplished?

      • How I See It

        …and truth is what matters, not accomplishments.

    • amos8

      That is quite an accusation. Please specifically address these “quick” and “harsh” “smack downs” to which you refer.

      It is one thing if you are correct in your statement, or at least partially correct, but what if there are legitimate concerns and challenges? What do you (we) do with those? Do we just play the “Pharisee” card? (or the personal attack card?)

      If you have concerns then please address them rather than blanket accusations and harsh smack downs of others. I would think that Ted would want you (or any defender of his) to speak the truth in love, and to also join any concern about him.

  • http://tammylovephotography.com/ Tammy Love

    these church leaders will have a place in hell waiting, unfortunately.. and sadly
    they have no idea of it.. they can not enter in with hearts of
    darkness.. there is no love in their hearts.. no relationship or the
    knowing of relationship with Jesus in their hearts.. No God.. they are performance religious based.. Dead.. These that judge this man, are
    truly much worse off lost, than those they judge.. Their very souls hang in the balance..

    • amos8

      “these church leaders will have a place in hell waiting, unfortunately.. and sadly
      they have no idea of it.. they can not enter in with hearts of
      darkness.. there is no love in their hearts..”

      Who, specifically (e.g. names), are these “church leaders” that you have so fully condemned (e.g. going to hell)? (for being judgmental)

      Should we not go and warn them? Should we not exhort them and show them their fault?

  • http://CortlandCoffey.com Cortland Coffey

    I don’t know how one is supposed to go about arguing Ted’s case. I think that most of the comments on this feed are off topic from what Ted actually wrote in regards to “shame”. I began to write a rebuttal to the rigid law but It is too easy to get dragged down into fighting with the law. I believe that this whole gospel message is a relational matter of the heart. Unfortunately “no man can judge the heart”. And our relationship with Christ is irrevocably personal calling some of us to opposite paths when following him. 1 small reality I would like to point out however is that all pastors are living in sin. There is some sin in your pastor’s life that you do not know about. Whether big or small in your eyes, the perfect pastor does not exist and begs for the question to be answered; “at what point is your sin to much for Christ to redeem it and how long does it take for him to make us white again?” I was under the impression all of that happened on the cross. Taking sin/eternal forgiveness out of the picture and allowing for our human measures of trust and comfort to be our gauge when talking about reinstating someones position. This means that this too is personal and a matter of interest to those Christians involved as well as the holy spirit. After all, all authority comes from God all promotion is his work. Men do not “call” pastors, God does. Meaning: your opinions are un-informed, out of the loop, un-involved, and un-invested. These opinions that you have formed in your basement in Ohio do not and should not effect how Ted is handled in his local context of the body of Christ.
    Cortland, an invested, involved, spirit filled, spirit lead, relational follower of God who is dedicated to being an advocate for my friend and brother and not an accuser of a Christian stranger.

    • Malcolm Leatherwood

      Amen! the God of grace!

  • http://www.traviswaits.com/ Travis Waits


    Thanks for sharing! Your courage and authenticity are astounding, and inspiring. I love your statement, “Probably the strongest identifying marker of an authentic follower of Christ is a willingness to be identified with the sinner and invest in healing and restoration.”

    That is what Jesus was about, and what I want to be about as well. I understand that ‘hurt people, hurt people’ but it really is disheartening that the church is too well known for crucifying it’s leaders. No grace. ‘Restoration’ redifined so the church can cover it’s backside…
    Thank you for being bold, and allowing God to use you to inspire other leaders in spite of your pain, as your past does not define your present, nor your future. I call it ‘collecting stones’ when others toss rocks my direction, and I pray for them because that’s the only thing I’ve found so far that actually helps me to forgive them for launching rocks in the first place.

    God bless you brother,


  • Melissa Fastrup

    This article is filled with so much truth! I love knowing that Ted Haggard wrote this! It should give ALL of us hope! Yes, that broad paintbrush of ALL, that reminds me I’m not immune to sin, and Satan’s accusations that I deserve to be ashamed. And yet Ted Haggard reminds us in his article that God’s got our back! If we say God’s love was enough then we can’t let shame rule us anymore! Great article!

  • Jim Miranda

    Thank you so much for your honesty, and for trusting The Lord to raise you up. I’ve been guilty of wanting to be the one in charge of deciding when someone is worthy of being restored, so glad that Jesus is in charge and not me. God Bless You and Your Family.

  • Debbie B.

    I’ve known Ted and Gayle for 15 years. I truly believe Ted has repented and still repents. He knows shame and he knows God’s forgiveness, grace and mercy. He knows what he is talking about!!

  • Tim Lewis

    Great article by a great man! You should do a Ted Talks segment on Grace… Thanks for the transparency and honesty. Blessings….BOOM!

  • JEH

    I read the article earlier this morning, was sickened by some of the comments. I will never understand such ugliness. I know how hard it is to accept Grace even for myself but I am So very thankful for it that I can only look for opportunities to give it away. It breaks my heart to think of wanting another soul to live in the shadow of shame and pray that God will have mercy on us for what we have done to each other in His Church.

  • william perkins

    I have made my mistakes that I am not so proud of today. I can not go back and change any of them yet I still see them now and again. God changed me completely in 2008 and I am now a minister for Him, as I wait patiently for the church He wants me to lead I reflect on those mistakes and know how they have molded my life. Through it all it has left me with this peace and knowing what people are going through and have been through. I do not know Ted on any platform but I do know this God forgives, sets us on our feet again and straightens our path, so to Ted you go forward letting God lead your direction and leave behind those who only want to bring you down I have enough of them as well. May God bless your ministry and who knows someday our paths might cross here before we get there. Pastor Bill

  • sspeece

    As a biologist and a Christian I find it amazing that with so much information so many people hold to their prejudices. None of us are without sin and to sit in judgement of others who live life in love is a sad commentary on us as human beings. Ted, Michael has suggested that we should meet at some point, I would welcome that.


    • Nancy Ruminski

      I sat in a local coffee shop with a friend recently. We talked about Ted. She said how compassionate she feels for him and openly wondered why Christians aren’t willing to forgive. I had no good answer, yet today’s comments only serve to prove her point. I believe prejudice begins with an attitude of standing above another person. When people believe they stand over (look down their noses at) someone because of race, cognitive ability, social standing, financial wealth or SIN they reveal the true character and state of their own hearts. As evidenced above – it is a very ugly thing indeed.
      We all sadly know the church is fill with hypocrisy. What we aren’t willing to admit though is it is also overflowing with prejudice too. This should grieve us! This should have us on our knees.
      If you want to agree or disagree with the points Ted made in his article go for it. Ted loves discussion – he loves debate – he loves the scriptures and I have no doubt he would welcome your ideas freely. If however, if your comments are coming from a down your nose attitude I would suggest you step back and not think more highly of yourself than you ought.
      Ted’s sins were confessed over SEVEN YEARS AGO. It’s time for the judges to get over themselves. Christ died for you – and for Ted. Let the man live the grace filled life Christ freely gives him. Nuff said.

  • Faith

    Shame helps no one in their Christian walk. Unless one is mentally ill, I think we all innately feel enough shame and guilt as it is in this culture. In fact, I try to only judge people when what they are doing directly affects their walk with Christ.

  • Lynn Cerullo

    While it was Paul, formerly a blasphemer and torturer of Christians, who instructed Timothy to choose leaders who were above reproach (other translations use “blameless”) this was clearly not referring to never having sinned (given Paul’s past) nor could he be inferring that once in ministry, sin would immediately disqualify one for restoration. Jesus had earlier laid precedence for this very scenario, foreseeing Peter’s betrayal of their relationship and speaking encouragement to Him before the fact-“But I have prayed for you. After you return, strengthen the brethren.”

    Jesus in effect, left the future of the church in the hands of a fallen and restored disciple.

    My personal friendship with Ted has convinced me that after his sin, in humility and truth–he now is FAR more worthy of everyone’s trust and respect…than ever.

    • http://napadofoundation.com/ Donald G.

      I had a wise and mature pastor friend who once said referring to Micah 7:19 that God casts our sins into the depths of the sea (when we accept the sacrifice of His Son) and not only does he cast them in the the depths of the deepest seas, he also posts a “No Fishing” sign so that we should not be going and dragging them back up. God also said once our sins are confessed and forgiven He remembers them no more (Jeremiah 31:34). It is not that he forgets, but He chooses not to remember them any more. They are gone…. washed away by the Blood of the Lamb. So why are so many self-righteous, falsely pious so called Christians so quick to keep beating people who have fallen over the head when they have already asked for and been forgiven???? Where is their shame???

  • David A.

    Why is everyone arguing? It would seem Ted has a following and a pulpit. If you wish to go to his church, go. If not, go somewhere else. Am I a bigot because I don’t follow Ted? I didn’t follow him before his fall, and I’m certainly not following him now.
    However, forgiveness and trust are not the same. I must forgive people and wish them no harm. No scripture says that I must trust anyone except God.

    • http://CortlandCoffey.com Cortland Coffey

      It’s kind of silly when people say there’s no scripture that says I have to do that. There’s no scripture that talks about whether or not you should drive a car either…and I would argue that there are themes all through scripture that challenge people to restore people here on earth not just in some hypothetical spiritual realm.

      • http://napadofoundation.com/ Donald G.

        Well said

    • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

      Everyone is arguing because this is a heart issue of the church that the Lord is stirring and wanting to uproot. It’s causing a lot of stress among the church leaders because everyone hasn’t “heard” on their own from God yet. They are listening to their elders and people they get advice from instead of God…and since this is such a deeply rooted issue, it goes all the way through the branches. It will be like this for awhile because everyone deals with issues like this in their own time.

  • kodi c.

    This was a great article! If we all don’t understand how much we all need grace we are in serious trouble. Keep going Pastor Ted! We are praying for you!
    Kodi C.

  • http://iChilly.com iChilly

    Choose LOVE my friends:
    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5 NIV)

  • Heidi Grivna Bode

    One thing I know for certain is that God has told us that we will be judged in the same manner we judge another… Judgement is just not our job! The branches of service bring forth fruit. Gayle and Ted have fruit hanging low off their branches! The biggest question that must be asked… How much time are we spending holding the hand of someone who is hurting? How many hours do we spend trolling discussion boards compared to how many hours we spend loving and serving? How much time do we spend in communion with our Savior asking for forgiveness and compassion. How hard is our own heart? Because really, it is none of our business what any other person is doing in their walk with God, it is our business what we are doing in our walk with God. So perhaps each person should ask God to show them the truth in the words from Ted… If you are not moved, then move along… find some good to do. Ask God to bring information in your life which will cause you to stretch and grow… Never should any of us pretend to know another man’s heart, never! God has that… I am really quite ceretain He can take care of whatever needs to be handled… And… He can also take care of each of us who choose to spend our time not loving and not serving!

    • http://napadofoundation.com/ Donald G.

      Your paragraph contained a pretty big sermon and one which we should take to heart. Thank you.

  • Diamondlady in CO

    Everyday I thank God that I am yoked up with and under the guidance of a couple like Ted and Gayle, who model true repentance, grace, mercy, humility, and unconditional love. As people on here keep attacking them, Ted and Gayle walk in grace, making a difference in the lives and hearts of so many people, including my family. If I could just explain the ways my family has prospered (oh no! I said “prospered’! Let’s see how many judgments are made regarding that one word – bring on the attacks!) in every area of our lives since we met Ted and Gayle three years ago, it would blow people’s minds. But, sadly, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, judgmental people will throw out their “truth” with all the tact and grace of – well – you get my point. I am a fruit inspector, and the Haggards have got the fruit, so they get my love and support. Ted and Gayle, we love you so much and will always be on your side. Thanks for helping us break the habit of bitterly attacking our enemies and showing us how to love them instead. For those who choose to reply to my post and argue or judge me, know that I will be loving you from afar and praying for you. And that, my friends, I learned from Ted and Gayle Haggard:)

  • Amos8

    Why do so many commenters complain about people not forgiving Ted? Who, specifically, has said they do not forgive? If you can’t come up with any people, the can someone tell me why SO MANY here are complaint about this and freely throwing out accusations?

    • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

      Because the complaints and accusations have been everywhere. Though the response to him has been changing, he has gotten thousands of hateful emails and letters from church leaders. He has appeared on national TV which stirs up a pot of responses from around the world. I’m not sure why you think he can’t come up with people who aren’t forgiving. If you’d like, I could give you a few names and numbers of people you could call who haven’t forgiven him…

      • amos8

        The key word here is “here.”

        I have no doubt about the letters, emails, etc that you mentioned, but what I see **here** is several people complaining about others not forgiving, when I have not seen that at all … here. Some are expressing their concerns, etc … and then others come in and judge them to being judging and not forgiving. Yet no one can show me all those supposed people here who said “I do not forgive Ted Haggard.”

        • Jerry

          Amen, it’s like if we do not agree that Ted should be behind the pulpit does not mean that we do not forgive him. It’s like we are judging him. Even Ted himself has commented Even so me of his people are the ones that are saying things that his old church done him wrong, none of this would ever happened if he did not make the mistakes.

  • Jerry

    I read the comments and people are saying people are judging or just mean. I think that in the bible God is love but he also is a God of judgement. Just because people do not feel that Ted should be the preacher does not mean that they are judging they are giving their opinions. I love the fact that he came back to The Lord. I try to live by what the word says that’s my guide line and if it does not line up and I say something does not make me think I am judging anyone. I will not be in a church that has a woman preacher. It does not say that the woman would be over the man. It says the man would be over the woman. Does that make me judging women. No. Now in Timothy it says that a Bishop(pastor) must be blameless it means irreproachable which means impeccable in reputation. Did his reputation change. I think so by the word of God I have no problem to call Ted a brother in The Lord. But I would not allow him to be my preacher. I do not feel I am judging him.

  • http://napadofoundation.com/ Donald G.

    I really appreciated the following two paragraphs from the article:
    “We have transitioned from being the body of gratefully redeemed believers encouraging honor and life in Christ, into being the self-righteous group that scrutinizes, criticizes, whines and complains about ‘those sinners.’”
    “I am convinced that under the guise of hating sin, some have inadvertently switched from being ministers of reconciliation and hope in Christ to being advocates of holding people accountable for their sin.”

    It occurred to me that one of the names given to Satan in the Bible is “the accuser” and it talks about him continuing to accuse believers and trying to make them continue to feel guilty for sins that have been forgiven and are remembered no more by God. Once confessed and forgiven, all sin is cleansed by the atonement of Christ. Only those being used by the Devil continue to accuse and judge. The Bible seems to make that abundantly clear. We (including myself) need to be very careful when it comes to judging and condemning those who the Savior redeemed and God has forgiven and remembers their sin no more. We need to follow suit.

  • amos8

    I realize that the concern over “restoration,” and is he/is he not, restored enough is a worth discussion.

    However, can we talk about the “shame” part of the article?

    • amos8

      Ted, I am so sorry that so few addressed what you actually wrote, but I did … AND I would LOVE it if you addressed what I wrote you. It think it would be very helpful for you and your ministry to be as accurate as you can regarding shame, etc.

  • Jerry

    I hear so many comments about he should be a pastor again or he should not be a pastor again. What does the word of God say about that. We know we can fall so many times and God picks us back up. Charles Stanley is a well know preacher. He went thru a divorce. What does the bible say about him preaching and being over the church. Timothy 3 v 5 says that he should not be the preacher and it does not matter who’s fault it is. ( for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God). Now what does it say what happen with Ted. Timothy 3v2 a bishop then must be blameless I should not have to continue with the scripture. What does blameless mean, it means someone having a impeccable reputation. Did Teds reputation become damage. If NO then he can be a preacher. If YES then he can not be a preacher in Gods house. Sometimes we want to do things are way. If you want complete blessings you do it Gods way and we can always find it in the word of God.

    • Malcolm Leatherwood

      Sorry you don’t know the God of Grace.

    • Lynn Cerullo


      Hermeneutics (“a study of the art and science of interpreting scripture”) demands that above all, we allow scripture to interpret scripture. Also, when there seems to be a contradiction, to allow the clearer passages to take precedence.

      While it was Paul, formerly a blasphemer and torturer of Christians, who instructed Timothy (1Tim. 3:2) to choose leaders who were above reproach (other translations use “blameless”), he was clearly NOT referring to never having sinned (given Paul’s past) nor could he be inferring that once in ministry, sin would immediately disqualify one for restoration to the office of overseer. Jesus had earlier laid precedence for this very scenario, foreseeing Peter’s cowardice betrayal of him, even speaking encouragement to Him BEFORE he fell–“Satan has demanded to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you. After you return, strengthen the brethren.”

      Jesus in effect, left the entire future of the Church-in the hands of a fallen and restored disciple.

  • Phillip Ruminski

    I like the comment above.

  • Nancy Ruminski

    I think it is time for all who have been part of this conversation (including me) to read the following parable a few times…
    Luke 18:9-14

    The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

    9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
    Ted, thank you for stepping up and writing such a through provoking article when you knew many would attack you. You have shown great courage and I admire you very much. You understand shame — and the freedom that the Lord brings when he lifts it off of you. Your story should inspire all you are struggling to turn to Jesus so they too can be free.

  • Salvador Bosantog

    Who among us is blameless

    as husband of but one wife?

    as temperate?

    as self-controlled?

    as respectable?
    as hospitable?

    in the ability to teach?

    as manager of our own family?

    in the reputation with outsiders?

    To me I always ask forgiveness from my wife and our God because I always fall short.

    • amos8

      I appreciate you approach and your willingness to be open, but apparently some people do qualify, or else God would not have given us these standards for those in leadership!

      This brings up a few questions for you/us to ponder: Are you saying that we should not, then, have standards for church leaders/elders? Should we not have THESE standards? To what degree should we care or measure those in leadership? Why would God give us these?

      • Lynn Cerullo

        Standards and convictions are imperative. Obedience is paramount. Grace does not nullify the need for holiness. It does, however, provide for the reality that no leader (who is honest) would state they fully remain in the core center of perfection. Therefore, if we are going to “hold” all leaders tight to this list, we had better be prepared…to be without leaders. Else wise, we must become a church that is comfortable with the raw Truth…and God’s grace in its middle.

        In the OT, we sin (and we’re a leader) we get the dirty details of our story told in a book named after us, along with the revelation of God’s merciful (and disciplinary) ways with His Shepherds. In the NT, the standard is if any of us depart from God’s ways (sin), sincerely confess it, forsake it; we’re authentically forgiven and cleansed.

        The Apolstles did stupid, as did EVERY leader of God before them. But those moments were not their identities, nor did their mistakes and failures become the end of the story. For it is GOD who is the Author of this grand tale of His heart to redeem and fully restore…

        • amos8

          For the record, I’m not arguing against (or for) Ted, or any other leader (some here jump to this judgment, and condemnation, and this miss the point, and go on the attack … thinking it is the loyal and loving thing to do). But I do have my concerns.

          The reality is that God gave us standards and requirements for a reason (for several reasons, of course). When we violate them, then there are consequences, and of course forgiveness and grace are always available (at least vertically). Forgiveness does not = trust or restoration–there are other factors that make this very challenging (especially the bigger the failure).

          Many error on the side of too little or no consequences, and others error on the side of little to no grace, etc. The question and struggle for us is–not a “balance”–but what, exactly, qualifies and disqualifies an individual? When is grace–or “love”–enabling and harming? What would it take–if it were possible–for restoration to occur … and then what would that look like.

          Far too many paint a picture of the church, or of individusls, as “legalistic” or “Pharisaical” … even if they merely ask questions similar to mine (see all the nonsensical, immature personal attacks here if there is even a hint of a concern/question). The pendulum tends to swing too far (back and forth). there is a problem in “over correcting” real or perceived errors.

          This is all ironic in that this is a crucial characteristic of a good and godly leader!

          It does seem, however, that there are several in the early church who have their “identities” “identified” in Scripture (e.g. “Demas, because he loved this world;” “Diotrephes … he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.” “Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth.” This was, as far as we can know, their end story. We would think that Scripture would not merely publicly and eternally condemn someone who would later repent. I can’t see God doing that to someone, but I could see others disagreeing.

          We cannot assume that anyone claiming to be a Christian, let alone a pastor or Church leader, is, in fact, sincere or real (Matt 7:15-23; 2 Pet 2:1-2; Acts 20:28-31; etc). What we do know for sure–from Scripture–is that there “will be” “false apostles,” “false brothers,” “false teachers,” and “false ______” So I try not to merely trust those claiming these things. And we are told/commanded to examine closely their teachings, fruit, and even fruit of repentance (even knowing that their will be counterfeits; 2 Thess 2; Matt 7:21-23; etc).

          Also, many assume it is loving and giving grace to: 1) Not hold another person accountable 2) To not ask difficult/challenging questions 3) To defend a person at all costs, no matter what evidence or questions are asked 4) That not discerning, but trusting, is the loving, Christlike, and mercy filled thing to do 5) … I could go on…

          This is a major reason why we are so weak in leadership and in the church.

          I do not know the specifics of this situation-and very few seem to–but by far most here are very confident that Ted should be restored. Perhaps they have knowledge that I don’t. If he is back in ministry, then I hope it is true.

          • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

            I always thought that scripture that gave the qualifications for leadership was referring to present tense…So, if Ted were still living in sin and hadn’t repented, there would be no way to let him be restored back to ministry. The American church attitude seems to be one that once you’ve fallen, you can’t get back up. But I’ve yet to see this example in scripture. It feels more like church leader pride and “image management” than scriptural base. Also, on a private note, the Lord has been speaking to me about the prodigal son in this example. The prodigal son went out and spent his inheritance. If you were to use Ted in this example in the eyes of the church, he spent what he was given. He doesn’t deserve any more inheritance. He can come back to the Father but without the banquet. We’d prefer if he quietly come home, slip in the back door and now serve us (the older brother) because he was stupid to throw it all away. We as the church are placing ourselves as the jealous older brother who is not looked upon favorably in that scripture. The Father does something that counters human nature here and he throws the robe of authority back on the prodigal son and throws a celebration. WHICH ROLE are you (church leader) going to find yourself in? When the Lord plays this out and does what He wants to do in this story, will you fall on human your human nature and be the resentful brother, or will you take on the heart of the Father. If you just aren’t sure, I encourage you to separate yourself from listening to the words of other people and hear from God yourself. What role is He playing in this and how do we treat returning ministers who have fallen for “moral failures”.

          • amos8

            I could be past and present, but either way we are all to look at the fruit (past and, perhaps far more importantly, the present) as I pointed out.

            I am counseling a woman whose husband left here high and dry for another woman. He was the pastor, the adultress was in his church, the church eventually forced him to resign. He has never acknowledge the many sins here, and is still living in sin, is with her, etc. NOW he is teaching at a local well-known church (even though he is openly unrepentant, etc), yet many people would say something along the lines of “That is so wonderful. That is a picture of grace… Isn’t forgiveness amazing?” [Meanwhile she and her family are EVEN MORE devastated!]

            Repentance is a big deal. Discerning repentance can be challenging, but in a lot of ways, true repentance should be easy to spot (e.g. 2 Cor 2:11). So, standards are important and necessary. We all have them, and we use them to God’s glory and the benefit of the church, or to our shame (pun intended).

          • http://www.snatchproof.org Wendy Daves Selvig

            I absolutely agree that repentance is a big deal. This man you refer to is unrepentant and therefore does not qualify according to scripture to be in leadership. But this blog and comments on this blog are discussing Ted Haggard who has repented over…and over…and over…for seven years. He’s a real person who has gone through a real process, is not perfect….but has repented. Everyone in church leadership has to decide “What to do with Ted Haggard.” And everyone has to walk through a process depending on how close to the situation they were. Some were really close and (I think wrongfully) held him in such high esteem, a high pedestal…that their process might take longer than those outside the circles who just heard about it on the news. But the STORY is the same for all church leaders whether they know Ted or not. The STORY is what to do with fallen leaders. Once fallen always fallen? Are the scriptural standards for leadership including the past too or does God restore and renew authority to fallen sons as well. The PRODIGAL STORY is I believe the story here where we see the Father restoring the son and putting the robe of authority back on him. But the son repented and returned to his Father in this story.
            The person you are counselling is in a completely different situation with an unrepentant leader and I’m truly sorry for her and her family.

          • amos8

            My point/concern is that there is a line, there are measures. Many gloss over this or avoid this or minimize this or redirect. When standards are put out there, those who do so are condemned as “not forgiving,” mean, etc.

            You made a judgment (which I agree with) of this man in adultery, but others would also say of this man, “He has repented … over and over and…” and “Why haven’t you forgiven him? You are so mean and judgmental.” This is red herring, it is not about people “not forgiving,” and it is, ironically, about judgment. It is about making a right judgment, based on the right standards, in love, with grace, according to the truth. It is about wise love or foolish “love”

            Some seem to think grace (or forgiveness) does away with standards, accountability, fruit of repentance, etc. They do so, not only to their harm, but mainly the harm of those they portend to love.

      • whatintheworld

        When the bible speaks of being blameless, it’s not talking about sinless perfection, but a heart of obedience and a willingness to repent when you fail. David was not perfect, but he was repentant. The word says,” If you say you have no sin, your a liar. God, gave us a standard to strive for, when we fail, we repent. Get up and keep moving forward.

        • amos8

          Is repentance a requirement? While there are more than one standard, it seems you agree that, at a minimum, repentance is a requirement.

  • Whatintheworld

    This website needs to publish more scripture based articles. Almost every article seems to be a mans opinion. Scriptures taken out of context. When I preach, I read a scripture,define the terms in the verse and give examples of what It means through illustrations. Most of these articles are just opinion pieces and many are unscriptural. If I am living in sin, I fill guilt and shame, that is the purpose of a conscience. When I realized that I was a sinner, I felt guilt, shame and remorse, it drove me to repentance and saving faith. After repentance, my conscience was releaved of guilt and shame. If your sinning and you fill no guilt or shame, biblically, your in a dangerous place. The bible calls that a seer conscience. There is a demonic movement, in the church today, to remove shamefulness of sin by calling anyone who speak against sin as hateful and judgemental. Josh Mcdowell calls it the new tolerance.

    • whatintheworld

      The New Tolerance says, I don’t just have to except you. I have to except and embrace your behavior also or I’m intolerant and hateful. But, true christianity, will not allow me to embrace sin.

      • Jerry

        Thanks, it’s what I read on these articles. I do not read anybody talking about the spirit of God. The spirit will convict you when you sin unless you keep sinning and quit paying attention to the conviction power. We are called by God to quit the sin business. But if we do we have a advocate with the Father. Christians tell me that we all sin everyday and I tell them were do you find that in the bible.

  • Whatintheworld

    If I say something mean to someone out of anger, I instintly fill guilty about and I go to the person and apologize and make it right. The guilt is instintly removed. If I think about the thing I did wrong, I might still fill remorse for ever speaking out of anger and that’s a good thing. It keeps me from doing the sinful thing again. The devil wants people to fill good about sinning, thus causing them to sin more and increasing his path of destruction in the world, by daming more people to hell.

  • Mase

    I actually do want to pile shame on you since you are unwillingly to have any of your own. The right kind of shame would lead you into true humility and submission to those who would lead you to complete a recovery period. If you had biblical shame, you would get out of Colorado Springs and quit trying to poach former members who are not biblically sound enough to hold you accountable and responsible. You are a blight on the church. You are an embarrassment to all who serve in faithfully anonymity. REPENT.

    • Steven Leapley

      Interesting…..so are you saying that he is a sinner that cannot be afforded grace because he was placed by others onto a pedestal of sinlessness simply because he is a pastor? Just askin…because the last time I checked NONE of us are worthy to stand behind a pulpit…ALL of us carry around sin and private sin…shall I expose yours to the public without it changing EVERYTHING about you…..and Jesus came to hold us ALL accountable…..

      Now for the record, I do not live in CO and I do not know Haggard personally, however I do have experience in pastors sins that have tore churches apart

      Jesus said let him without sin cast the first stone…and although I firmly believe that pastor who commit sins that force them out of the pulpit for a season, who is to say that they cannot be restored…. coming back from a ‘big time mistake’ means you are gonna make smaller mistakes as you get back..

      • Jerry

        Steven the problem is how is Ted going to preach against sin. He will have a water down gospel. The thing is I know at least 75 pastors and there walk is there talk and that’s why we have standards. It seems like people do not know the spirit of God, people’s comments make me think that everybody is in the sin business. When I got saved I strive to walk in the spirit and if I do that I will not sin. I am not perfect but we do not have to sin. Ted has hurt his reputation so not me but the bible says that is one of Gods requirements to be a pastor.

  • Xrucianus

    I haven’t read re: from Ted in years. Connected with his ministry via conferences and books and World Prayer Center more than a decade ago as a pastor hungry to impact my city through prayer and mission. Curious to read what his spirit was now “broadcasting”. From what I read of his self-promoting bio, an endorsement of his wife’s “new book” and ESPECIALLY his stated maxim: “I want always to be the guy who encourages resurrection in others.” In 30 years of ministry my experience is that resurrection only happens as we submit to crucified life on the cross. One topic Ted tragically neglects in his article. Bring him to his Matthew 16:24 cross, Holy Spirit. Until he embraces that lifestyle, my strong recommendation is to run from this man’s ministry like the plague.

  • Patrick

    I think if God used King David after the sin he committed, I’m sure Pastor Ted will be just fine. God bless you sir!

    • Lillian

      I believe that David’s response in Psalm 51 has very little to do with shame and more to do with brokenness and stark realization of what his sin has done. It’s interesting that as we read this (over 2000 years later) we can still sense how contrite David was. I believe that this (state of his heart,) was the basis on which he was restored and used by God as opposed to . I think the verses Ps 51: 7, 9-11, 17 still speak to all of us today.
      ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God Thou wilt not despise’

  • Gayle Haggard

    Tony, I also was there that day and remember well what Ted was feeling. You aptly point out that it was several years ago. On that day, Ted was feeling the despair over the cruel scrutiny, lies, and slander he was experiencing from his so called brothers and sisters in Christ. After many years of faithfully serving the body of Christ, he had been thrown under the bus in his weakest moment and his history was rewritten. Is it any wonder he was questioning all that he had invested his life in? An important part of our healing process is honesty. Ted made those statements privately out of the despair he was feeling at that time. In going out on that platform, he knew he would once again be scrutinized by those who did not know or understand his story. That day he was not asked to “speak” as a Christian leader, but simply to participate along with me in an interview about our story.

    Since that time, Ted has continued to heal under the gentle guidance of our Lord Jesus and the wise encouragement of a few faithful friends. I am witness to this process. He has now regained his strength and resolve in serving God who called him and continues to call him.

    The fact that you would record Ted’s private statements in his time of suffering and despair, and publicly use them against him now, reveals a lack of understanding in how to love, heal, and restore your brother, something many in the body of Christ also do not understand or have the courage to do (see Galatians 6: 1-3). I would encourage you to grow in understanding how God works with a son he loves. And remember, the Bible not only records the monumental successes of our biblical heroes, but also their catastrophic failures; not only their successes in faith, but also their failures in sin. The point is that God is glorified and shown to be strong in our human weakness, especially when he calls us to get back up.

    And for those who would like to limit what Ted does in his service to God and the body of Christ because he was found out to be a repentant sinner, remember, none of us are in a position to lord over one another. Ted must answer to God for his life just like the rest of us.

    Restoration enables us to get back up and get back on the
    path of fulfilling our gifts and callings in God. Anything less is not
    restoration. The righteous may fall seven times, but they get back up. This is
    the hope we all share.

    I have much more to say—that is why I wrote it in a book, Courageous Grace.

  • Phillip Ruminski

    Tony, why would you write down, and hold onto, something another would say in private, in despair and in the process of working through their heartache? To one day use it for the glory of God, or to wait for an opportunity to judge, tear down, lord over, or make some kind of name for yourself? Ted’s message on shame appears to be written to you who would allow—no promote–shame to lord over another’s life. What gives you the authority that you may publicly proclaim who is ready for ministry and who is not, who is broken and who is restored?

    Would you broadcast the words of your wife, children, family, friends or parishioners spoken in anger, lust, despair, hopelessness, etc. in a public forum? Of course not! We Christian’s don’t do that—do we.

    The bottom line is you don’t really know Ted or his heart for God, his family, friends and church. He is not the same man he was 4-5 years ago. You live in the past, read and take in disinformation—yes it’s true; information gained from the Internet, news and friends is not always accurate. Ted is loved and encouraged by those who wish to be a part of the solution (redemption). Tony, I’m not sure why you feel obliged to throw out roadblocks in front of Ted’s journey of being whole. What do your comments have to do with his message?

    Oh and you’re passive-aggressive disingenuous closing “Praying for continued restoration in all of our lives, yours and mine included.” sends the
    message that it’s ok to trash another as long as you close with some flowery
    Christian buzz words. Well, it’s not ok.

  • https://twitter.com/irishcajuntiger Brandi

    You rock! I was gonna respond to Tony the tiger but after reading this, I don’t think I will for now. He’s the likes of LS if you know what I mean… Some “Christians” have no clue what being one really means. Love y’all :)

  • http://tonymyles.blogspot.com/ Tony Myles

    Gayle – I asked the webmaster to delete my earlier comments. I believe in the content of what I shared, but this wasn’t the forum for it nor the biblical approach. My apologies to you and your family. Please forgive me. Hope one day our paths cross again for all the right reasons.

  • carl

    I think it is great that you got to write an book and make some money and your husband went around the system he set up and started a new church after what HE did should have disqualified him from ministry. Aw the American Church at its best. No wonder people people don’t believe in the Church anymore.

  • Jerry

    Phillip I believe from you and others that Ted is restored to Christ. I have no problem that he is whole and he is my brother in Christ. I fell 4 years ago myself it is a hard road getting back to Christ so I believe I have great compassion for Ted if any one does. But God’s word does not change. When things happen and a person comes back to Christ and if that person is someone we know we want the word to change to fit that person because God is love. But if the bible is the whole truth and God can not lie and we should if we want God’s blessings try are best to live like the word tells us. Timothy 3 verse 2 tells how God wants his pastors and leaders to be to hold such a high position. Ted does not fit what he wants his pastors to be. I did not say it the word says it. I am not fit to hold that position to be a pastor. The word is our standard not what you or I think.

  • Phillip Ruminski

    Hi Jerry. My comment to Tony addresses “shame” as it relates to Ted’s article–not Ted’s qualification to be in ministry. I was referencing that some people will not dirty their hands, or sully their reputations, to love and encourage those working through shame. In fact they often do the opposite by distancing themselves or even try to expose/harm people in the name of Christ (just like Tony did by bringing up an overheard conversations that was out of context) instead of encouraging the redemptive blood of Christ to flow into their lives.

    Addressing the issue you brought up on whether Ted is able to be a minister consider this. When Ted fell, he resigned his positions of leadership and sought forgiveness and healing. I believe he himself would agree at that time he was not able to lead. However, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

    The truth is, none of us could fully meet the Timothy 3:2 standards. One leader does not struggle in his marriage but his children are lost. Another leader has never fallen into sexual sin but is a tyrant. Still another struggles with greed. I believe Timothy 3:2 is the goal. The ideal — but because of our human condition we have to acknowledge, again, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

    Perhaps the body as a whole needs to consider how things would be if reconciliation and restoration were the goal for Ted from the very beginning. If that were the case I firmly believe Ted’s article would have been welcomed and many of the debates held in the forum would have been about the points he made instead of whether he is worthy to even have an opinion of his own these days.

  • Gayle Haggard

    Thank you Tony. I appreciate your sentiment. Yet I believe the content of what you shared was taken out of the context of the moment in which Ted made those statements, especially in light of Ted’s lifetime of love and service to God and the body of Christ. I do believe it is time we in the body of Christ give each other the benefit of the doubt and show that we possess some depth of understanding when it comes to rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep. That said, all is forgiven.

  • amos8

    If what you say is accurate (and I hope it is, and I hope that it is not), can you please provide some info? I think what you wrote is what many of us are deeply concerned about in this situation, and in many others. If what you say IS true, then this changes everything AND it should be known by the church.