>Ted Haggard starts a new Church

Posted: 04/06/2010 in Ted Haggard

>You all remember Ted Haggard? I’m sure most people here will. If you don’t know, you are probably not Evangelical, which believe me is okay.

Only a few days ago, Ted Haggard released a public statement in which he described both his healing process from his moral failing and the beginning of his new church -St. James in Colorado Springs.

Candidly, Ted Haggard talked about feeling marginalized and outcast in his own town. I can imagine that he felt like many of New-testament lepers, who were forced to ring bells and cry “un-clean” wherever they walked. His new purpose at St. James church will target the marginalized, afraid, and outcast. His most revealing statement is here:

After three and a half years of not being accepted, feeling shame and embarrassment going into a store, Starbucks, or McDonalds, ashamed to run into someone who might know me. I’ve gained a new compassion for people who are afraid, who wake up in the middle of the night with cold sweats wondering how they will get through the next few day. I understand the fear of being scrutinized and judged by so many. I understand struggling with life, and have decided that this is the time to use the years I have left to serve others.

I have to admit, this great. I am neither evangelical nor charismatic (except in a very technical sense). If I was, I would want a pastor with some dirt in his life. This is because self-righteousness, impeccable holiness, and judgment are (sadly) staples in many churches. It would appear that this may not be possible in Ted Haggard’s new church.

But I wonder, will the paradigm shift within the new St. James church? It is clear that the members of New Life expected a certain level of holiness from their leaders. This is good thing, but when is the bar too high and the pressure to much? Haggard, to my knowledge, has never complained about the pressures of ministry affecting his behavior. Yet there is not doubt that the charismatic tradition has a strong streak for moral perfectionism. Whether things will be different at St. James will remain to be seen.

  1. Dan says:

    >I have to admit that I hope this works out. I have dirt in my life too, and I agree…a pastor who has some on him is one I wouldn't mind following. I had had hopes for Jim Baker as well, and was fairly pleased with his book. I wish Ted the best.

  2. >I hope this church goes well as well. I wrote Ted off dismissively when the scandal broke (even though I was in the midst of my addiction at this time) but after watching just part of an HBO series that followed his life after his fall from grace I had a lot more compassion for him. Hopefully he will be "wounded healer" who builds a church that is orthodox but filled with grace.

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