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Sunday, July 25, 2010
Ted Haggard has started a new church just down the road from his old one, four years after being caught going to homosexual prostitutes for drugs and sex. Based on this Wall Street Journal article about his rapidly growing church, it doesn't sound like he has really understood the gravity of his sin or the freedom offered from the Gospel. In fact, this article combined with some prior comments I've heard from him suggest that he listened to all the wrong counseling in the years since his fall.
Mr. Haggard plays up his new regular-guy image. At the picnic, he asked a friend whether anyone noticed he had said "hell" in the sermon—and not in a Biblical context.

"I cuss now," he said proudly.

Mr. Haggard said he believes people trust him more as a pastor since his spectacularly public fall. Strangers, he said, keep pulling him aside, asking advice about their personal struggles.

"It's amazing. People tell me everything," Mr. Haggard said. "That never happened when we were respectable."
Now, it is certainly true that churches can fall into the trap of viewing the pastor as saint. But this seems more along the lines of the pop cultural idea that authenticity is the most important value in life. As long as you're sincere and genuine, it doesn't matter what you do or say. Of course, such thinking usually ends just short of giving Hitler a pat on the back.

Throughout his "recovery," I've seen and heard little from Haggard that put the focus on anyone but himself... certainly Christ wasn't given much of a nod. May he yet realize where his righteousness truly comes from.


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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »