Creative LeadershipEngaging Culture

AOL Poll on Ted Haggard

If you haven’t read it yet, check out this AOL Poll, which I think proves my point about the importance of understanding how to function in a media driven culture:
What do you think of Ted Haggard’s confession?
It’s insincere 65%
It’s sincere 35%

Total Votes: 185,364

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  1. What do I think of his confession?

    I think it doesn't matter what I think.

    What do I think of the fact that the majority of the secular world thinks he is not sincere?

    Breaks my heart.  Shows what a lousy job the church does in being healing and grace to our falled leaders (and others.)

    If I was not a beleiver, it would cause me to say "who wants that?" 

  2. Confession when your caught is very different than confession when you need help. Ted said himself this was a problem he was dealing with for a long time. The key to grace is fess up before you get caught and folks will rally to help, wait till you get caught and expect resentment and fire – both physical and spiritual. As Phil says – be media savy – but for Ted it's to late.

  3. What would keep Ted from confessing years ago?

     I would guess one of two things:

    1) He was afraid that he would lose everything, be tossed out on his ear.  Endure the painful reaction from people who rate his sin as worse than their's.


    2) He wanted to keep sinning.

     Only God knows which one it was…but if it was #1, shame on us. 

  4. Mary,

    Your #1 is correct and also 2. In either case the Holy Spirit was obviously working on him for a long time and it finally came to the point when his refusal to get help required the sin to be outed for his soul's sake.  The men that are going to counsel him now would have done so if he had gone to them first and then he could have been restored to ministry in some way, perhaps in an even greater way than the farce he is now outed from, only God knows.

  5. Our views got warped a bit when the President of the United States was found to be taking sexual liberties with an intern, and got off (so to speak) with little more than some embarassment and the ignominity of being only the second president ever impeached. Yes, Ted needed to be fired. The church would have likely fired the custodian for frequenting prostitutes and doing crystal, so they had to fire the Senior Pastor. I am totally into restoration. You have no idea how firm a believer I am in restoration. But I also know it comes with a very high price tag. Joe – Director of Media & Marketing –
    Grand Rapids First

  6. Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth (and to us) and said: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (I Corinthians 10:12) Paul has just completed a look at those fleeing Egypt in the Exodus and showed how our Holy God judged many of them in the wilderness. The comparison is clear, if God judged them, He will judge us, therefore take heed. I have have not met anyone who has not fallen. Some do it in a big public way, and some are hardly ever noticed. Without grace we are all without hope.
    Mary and Mack both have suggested that Ted should have come out with this on his own, before being caught. Gather round and listen to this true story. My wife and I were part of a dynamic church on the East Coast years ago. During one particular Elder meeting the pastor was teaching about accountability and praying for each other. He was teaching how we should tell another trusted believer where we were struggling so we could have the strength and encouragement of another’s prayer. He demonstrated this by telling how in the past he had struggled when greeting some of the men in the church (this church was big on hugging) and although it never resulted in a problem, it was something he knew he needed God’s help in overcoming. The elders promptly arranged for his resignation and removed him from ministry and the denomination never reinstated him. This kind of stuff happens, and it does not help those who are in danger of falling to seek help from anyone. I am praying for Ted and for all of my brothers and sisters who are having nightmares about who knows what. Remember, our enemy is a hungry lion, seeking to devour you and me. Take heed.
    Joe – Director of Media & Marketing – Grand Rapids First



    Your example is well taken. Who you ask for help is important and can be more dangerious than the problem. I wonder if you have followed the minister you mentioned at all and know where or what happened to him? I know the men Ted will be counseling with, if he is still willing, and they would not have outed him if he had gone to them first. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Ted's chruch elders had just rallied around him and not fired him – what an example of Christ like behavior that could have been.

  8. Wait a minute… not fired him? So we let someone who's admitted to getting massages from a gay prostitue and buying meth stay in a leadership role as a pastor? I'm not getting something here… Forgiveness and restoration aside, without serious consequences to our behavior, things get messy quick…. Plus, don't forget that the rules change when you become a leader…

  9. In Ted's case firing was the right move. If Ted had gone to the board and confessed he could have been put on leave from his office with intense counseling to see if he could be restored – not to his pastorate but christian fellowship instead of being thrown to the Christian trash heap as is often done. Ted's church was well equipted to fund this so his wife and children would at least be cared for during restoration. Remember his wife was a strong part of the Churches leadership and his children were innocent. His wife probably worked for free for years and years.

  10. Joe, loved your post, but just to be clear, I was not suggesting in my posts any thought of Ted coming out on his own.  My whole focus was that the church does not deal well with failure in our leaders or body.  We hide our own sin while throwing rocks at others who are caught.  We keep a scorecard of which sins we feel are worse than others (ours are not top of the list), and leap on anyone who fails in those other areas.  My heart is broken because the church is not a place of healing, not a place of honesty, because so many fear what would happen to them if they did come out with their sin.  Joe, your example was perfect regarding this.

    That said, what is the church to do with Ted and other leaders that fail.  I agree they need to step down from leadership, and if not willing to, they would have to be removed.  But there needs to be more to the story.  Its one thing for a few big name preachers to say they will minister to him, but what of the Body? 

    Can we forgive?  Can we restore?  Can we trust again?  That is what Christ does.

  11. Forget Ted Haggard,

    That is what the “no love” modern church will do. Big time mega-church ministers will distance themselves from Ted Haggard like they did Jim Baker. The streets has a saying “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”. Sadly the game of creating the next big celebrity driven mega-church has created the situation for Ted Haggard and Earl Paulk and others to fall from the towers of Babel that the church thinks we should be building. I use to be a member of one of the largest churches in the country and seen first hand just about every celebrity preacher in the land. We have created despots in the pulpit and expect not to see scandal. But can you blame these leaders? Who can say no to unlimited power, political influence, autonomy in decision making , and wealth without accountability? We live vicariously through our leaders instead of living in Christ. We must pray for a return to God and not look to fallible man to be the end all or singular ambassador for the Kingdom of God. If the church were to “Keep it real”. We would embrace Ted Haggard because he is us; and truth be told many of us have not been exposed yet. We should pray in fear and trembling and confront the plague of sexual perversion in the church.

  12. I am horrified by the headlines today.

    Here is a man who clearly needs privacy, time, prayer, reflected and suddenly he is back on Page One with the declaration that he is 100% hetrosexual.

    Before I was not drawn in by how we as an "industry" are handling this failure of a leader.

    Now, I am.  UGH!

  13. Mary,

    I'm also very disturbed by the statement and stories that are breaking. There's just no authenticity in it. If you compare the handling of Ted Haggard with how Tara Conner has presented herself since coming out of rehab, it's like night and day.

    I've watched several of Tara's interviews, and whether it's honest or not, she's at least being upfront and direct about her past and her ongoing struggle. Trump and the Miss USA organization have also generated good will by giving her a "second chance"; and forgiveness and redemption are not even part of their core mission.

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