Many may recognize the name Ted Haggard. He served as the preaching pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, as well as the president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals until, in 2006, an alleged homosexual relationship with a male prostitute and alleged methamphetamine use was made public by the alleged gay lover.
Well, after opening my newspaper today I was forced to remember the scandal by the printing on page 7B of an Associated Press article entitled “Disgraced pastor returns as Christian Businessman”. Assuming that you all are able to read the article yourselves, I will not recap.
How this angers me! Submission is a theme that runs through the entirety of the bible. In fact, Titus 3 calls for believers to be “submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work”. Why are some people, especially pastors (current and formally alike), deacons, etc. so arrogant to think this doesn’t apply to them? Galatians 6 tells those who are “spiritual” (from within the church) should restore him (the one who has fallen) in a spirit of gentleness. His church had a duty to see him (Haggard) restored and he (Haggard) had a duty to be submissive to authorities.
Bravo to those who set guidelines and met with Haggard for his healing (James 5:16).
Woe to Haggard (and to all others) who resist God’s leading, His authority, and His call to repentance. We are made for community and we need each other. We who are spiritual need to seek to restore those caught in transgression and those of us who have been caught in sin need to submit to authorities for our own healing and for the glory of God.