A question I received this week was:
|I was wondering if our church had any kind of response to the Ted Haggard situation. I know we are not associated with that
church, but as fellow believers we seem to be grouped together whenever trouble arises.
How should we feel about all that happened? Here’s a summary:
For him. For his church. For his wife & kids. For the guy who
brought it to light. And most of all, for the reproach it brought on
Christ’s name, allowing some to justify their sin & their guilt by
maligning him & Him.
1 Cor 10:12 says, "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he
fall." Whether it’s homosexuality, gossip, pornography, lying,
drunkeness or pride, all sin is equally dark, deceptive &
disabling. Be on guard for your soul. As Carl Trueman asks, "to
whom do you make yourselves accountable? Who can tell you when you are
crossing the line? Do you have even one person who can go toe-to-toe
with you and tell you, if necessary, that your behaviour is out of
(3) Loving. Al Mohler has said, "We must be the people who love homosexuals more than homosexuals love homosexuality.
This is a tough challenge. We have to be the people who, because we are
possessed by a passion to see God’s glory in his creation, love
homosexuals more than they love their sin. This means that our love has
to be a tenacious love. This will also require that we come to know and
establish relationships with those struggling with homosexuality. Armed
with an awareness of both the problem and God’s provision, we have no
right to consider that homosexuals are beyond the grace of God or that
any individual is beyond the hope of redemption and transformation.
Compassionate truth-telling is deeply rooted in Christian love, and
this means that we must love homosexuals more than homosexuals love
homosexuality. Every sinner loves his sin, but the church must
love sinners more than sinners love their sinfulness. This is precisely
how Christ has loved us, and we must love other sinners even as Christ
has loved us."
Left to our own desires, we are in no better condition. It is only by
the grace of God that we are what we are. We should not be ashamed,
pitiless, offended or proud. We are just as depraved. Our own sins
are just as heinous before God…they just aren’t televised to the world
and news conferences aren’t called by the ones whom we’ve sinned
with/against. God’s mercy to you & me is incredible. Each day we
experience is SO MUCH BETTER than what we deserve! There is a
temptation to think better of yourself in light of this. Don’t make
We should be in prayer for Ted, his wife and their church as they all
try to walk more faithfully with God through this. We should be in
prayer for our elders, pastors, deacons, ministry leaders and church
family that we would be transparent, humble, loving, gracious people
who boldly claim the need for Jesus’ forgiveness of our lives daily. Pray that we would see sin in our lives
just as vilely as some see this episode. Pray that our church
leadership would live a life worthy of imitation (1 Cor 11:1). As Mark Driscoll rightly asks, "How can we say that the same power that raised Christ from the dead
lives in us if we have no holiness in our life? How can we proclaim
that we are new creations in Christ if we continually return to lap up
the vomit of our old way of life? How can we preach that sin is to be
repented of if we fail to model that ongoing repentance? How can we say
that God is our highest treasure and greatest joy when we trade Him for
sin that defiles our hands and defames His name?"
For further reflections on Haggard, read this article by Tim Challies.
If you want to know more about what the Bible says about homosexuality, there is a helpful Q&A with Robert Gagnon (one of the leading scholars on homosexuality & the Bible).
If you’re looking for help with your own homosexual inclinations, seek out a church leader for help and also check out Exodus International’s website.