Sunday, November 05, 2006

Haggard's Apology to Church

Some of you might like to read it:

The Denver Post has a PDF available here. Lefthand sidebar.

I wrote my UPI column on my thoughts about what this scandal ought to mean to the evangelical church. It will post tomorrow and I'll provide the link then.

Here's an article about how the congregation reacted.

This comment bears quoting:
Several members spoke of Haggard's lesson of faith: People will fail you, no matter how much you love and respect them, but the Holy Spirit never will.

How can they say this? Didn't the Holy Spirit fail Ted, according to this kind of thinking?

Why is it so difficult to be honest about things rather than defending a point of view or the church or some vague theological concept? Why not hear Ted when he says he could not make it work, no matter how much he struggled against his desires? Reality says that loads of people don't change just because they are practicing Christians. Virtual reality says it's their fault, not the fault of the theology or the practices or God.

For now, I'm standing by human beings. When they say they've tried to conquer sin through spiritual practices and fail, I believe them and then ask, "What can be done about it now?"


Dave said...

My first thought is that the people interviewed for this article are still falling back on familiar, comfortable, pious catch-phrases. Kind of like at a funeral. What does one say when words can't easily express the feelings of loss and bewilderment? Typically, we choose to say things that are safe, predictable and ostensibly assuring.

You and I have worked through some of the tougher sledding that a lot of New Lifers have not apparently yet grappled with. It may be a lengthy process before some of them begin to see through the limitations of their conventional thinking.

Bilbo said...

I can't help wondering if the inability to be honest about our struggles with this or that is a contributing factor to our problems...because... each time we slip up, fail, or don't achieve some kind of preconceived expectation of ourselves or others we put more pressure on ourselves and the cycle becomes more vicious with each passing day, week, and year...until...we finally go over the edge and snap...

Kansas Bob said...

I agree with Bill when he speaks of our inability to be honest about our struggles. It is sad that, in this respect, most (dare I say all) religions are performance based and cause us to stuff our stuff until we can't stuff any more.

Wolf N. Paul said...

I guess it depends on what you mean when you say, "The Holy Spirit will never fail". I know you believe that Evangelicals teach that the Holy Spirit will help us overcome our sinful urges, and that when that does not happen, the Holy Spirit has failed. But maybe our expectations are wrong there?

Maybe the Holy Spirit will not fail in teaching the New Life congregation to be more compassionate to those who fall into sin? Maybe the Holy Spirit will not fail in enabling Gayle to stick with her husband in the face of incredible betrayal?

I would not be too quick to condemn the reactions of those folks.

julieunplugged said...

But maybe our expectations are wrong there?

Yep. That's my point entirely. :) My question was based on "that kind of thinking" not an objective definition.