”The fact is,” said Rev. Haggard in an Associated Press interview, ”I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem.â€Â He wrote in his letter to his congregation, Â â€œI am a deceiver and a liar. There’s a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all my adult life.”
I see this as a mile stone. Â Okay, you can lower your eyebrows now and Iâ€™ll explain.Â Let me add a bit to Bill Bray’s commentary.
Unlike his peers caught with hands in the cookie jar, Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, Haggard admitted guilt within a few days of accusation.Â He admitted his sin.Â Does that make it all better?Â Of course not.Â Governor Edwin Edwards, the Democratic darling of Louisiana, admitted he was a crook and he won election after election. Â I cannot tell you how many people joked, â€˜Heâ€™s a crook, but at least he admits it.â€™Â
Howeverâ€¦ the fact that Haggard admits it publicly and that he stepped down from office without having to be asked goes a long way to credibility. Â It was almost like Haggard was relieved to be â€œoutedâ€.Â This is a good sign.Â Now if he just uses the help that is offered him and his familyâ€¦
Remember when the Amish forgave the man who shot their daughters?Â Did anyone think that was just for show?Â Haggardâ€™s wife, God bless her, wrote in a separate letter to “Women of New Life Church,” that she remains committed to her husband “until death ‘ do us part.’ We started this journey together, and with the grace of God we will finish together.” Â USA Today reported the congregation gave that letter a standing ovation.
Larry Stockstill, pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center in Baker, Louisiana read Haggardâ€™s letter to the congregation.Â USA Today reported â€œHe said the week’s events were an opportunity to help the nation. “I believe America needs a shaking spiritually. How about you?” he asked. The congregation broke into applause, cheers and whistles.â€
Hereâ€™s the pudding proof.Â The church was not decimated like Bakkerâ€™s and Swaggartâ€™s were. Â Jimmy Swaggart had a thriving metropolis ministry on Bluebonnet Blvd. in Baton Rouge. Â I drove by it many times.Â Sometimes police had to direct traffic because the parking lots (yes plural, numerous lots) were so full. Â After Swaggartâ€™s stumble and confession, the congregation scattered like disturbed birds. Â He was left with a tenth of his former numbers. Â Okay, Iâ€™ll quit that rant.Â The difference between that congregation and this one is that they have not put their trust in Haggard, but put their trust in the right Man, Jesus. Â Heartbroken, disappointed, embarrassedâ€¦ but not scattering.Â That is the sign of a very healthy church regardless of the hidden sin of its pastoral leader.
Why is that important, you ask.Â It is crucial because no church is healthy when it gets its nutrition from a source other than God. Â
Ted Haggard and politicsâ€¦
What motivated this Sullivan person to explode this bomb? USA Today reported, The dramatic confession came two days before Colorado voters decide two ballot questions, one that would ban gay marriage and one that would guarantee domestic-partner rights. Analysts said they doubt the scandal will have much effect. “Maybe if it had happened a month ago,” GOP political consultant Katy Atkinson said.
Why should this scandal have anything to do with politics or the vote on November 7th? Â Someone please explain this to me.
Mark Foley sent sexually explicit emails.Â Haggard had homosexual relations.Â Does this mean that all Republicans want sex with boys? Â Does this mean that all evangelicals are homosexuals?
Wake up America!Â Use the brains that God gave you. Â Humans get caught up in self -gratification, and lose sight of self-control. Â That is when sin happens.Â David sinned with Bathsheba, but God did not cut Himself off from David.Â Take a lesson from David and from Ted.Â Confess quickly, repent and move on.Â What?Â You donâ€™t need that advice? Â Hmmm, wanna buy the Brooklyn Bridge?
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Gina Burgess is the editor of The Tensas Gazette and a redactor for internet marketing company.Â She is a columnist for Live As If.org and a site admin for Studylight.org.Â Visit her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.