Evangelicals Shift Through Ashes of Haggard Scandal


#1

November 7, 2006**

Evangelicals Shift Through Ashes of Haggard Scandal**

by Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service

As the Rev. Ted Haggard expresses sorrow for being a “deceiver and a liar,” leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals are distancing their organization from the man who led it for three years.

“Most people – I’m not sure everyone – separate this tragedy from NAE; they consider it a tragedy of a man, a pastor and not an NAE scandal – that’s the good news,” said the Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental relations of the Washington-based NAE.

“The bad news is it surely impacts the evangelical world, and that includes the NAE…”

The NAE’s executive committee has chosen the Rev. Leith Anderson, pastor of a Minnesota megachurch, to serve as interim president while a permanent replacement for Haggard is sought.

“Internally, I think most evangelicals will not tie what happened with Ted Haggard to NAE,” said Anderson, senior pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minn. “They will understand that if there are 45,000 churches (affiliated with NAE), that 44,999 of them have leaders that did not misbehave and that one person misbehaved and that that is an anomaly.”

Externally, he said, people looking from the outside at evangelicals may attempt to paint them all with one brush.


#2

I am hopeful that this incident will shock us out of our lethargy.

The real epidemic in evangelicalism is “I’m Okay-ism” the very worst thing that can happen to you in most churches is to land on the prayer list.

Everybody is okay, nobody has any problems, we preach love and mercy and outreach but inside many of us are seething secretly with sin and pain and suffering.

The medicine is still the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we betray our lack of faith when we refuse to drag our sins into the light of the Son and let the church see it’s own human-ness as well as letting Jesus heal us.

A high profile exposure like this, as devastating as it will be in the short term will, I earnestly pray, bring a season of freedom and grace to the lives not only of Ted Haggard and his family but to all Christians who reflect upon the nature of their own sin and the depth and greatness of the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

Because either Jesus transforms us or He doesn’t. I choose to believe He does and this is, sometimes, the way He chooses to do so.


#3

I see here somethnig sad: instead of offering support–at least, in part, to help a fellow pastor to get back on his feet–it’s the opposite: ostrasize and distance from him, and even from his organization. This is sad; it reflects, I believe, in how much one really internalizes what Jesus Himself taught–to forgive and love one another. I also see another thing: the NAE seems to be washing its hands of the matter, trying as much as it could to extricate itself from it and free itself of any responsibility.


#4

How interesting that the NAE has not made any mention of the matter with Ted Haggard on their website. He was after all, the president of this organization.

It’s like they want to believe it never happened to them.

…said Anderson, senior pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minn. [and new Interim President of NAE] “They will understand that if there are 45,000 churches (affiliated with NAE), that 44,999 of them have leaders that did not misbehave and that one person misbehaved and that that is an anomaly.”

Did he just say that he is absolutely certain that no other evangelical leader doesn’t misbehave?


#5

I completely agree with you. I feel the same way about the recent scandals in the Catholic Church. Our bishops would not adequately address the issue, so the Lord eventually allowed the secular media to do it for them. It should be a lesson to us all.

Paul


#6

Back in the 80’s there was a prophecy circulating in Charismatic circles. It was to the effect that satan had decided to attack our leaders. Many would fail and our test would be how we responded to their loss.

Looks like it was a valid prophecy.


#7

Milcious rumour spread to damage his reputation


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