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Exposing a big ole flaming hypocrite:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Members of the New Life Church were stunned and brought to tears by the Rev. Ted Haggard’s confessions of “sexual immorality,” then accepted his plea for forgiveness with open arms.More . . .
Haggard, who had been a leading evangelist and vocal opponent of gay marriage, apologized Sunday in a letter read from the pulpit of the 14,000-member church he founded.
“The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem,” Haggard wrote. “I 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 of my adult life.” - Rev. Haggard says: ‘I am a deceiver and a liar’
Update - Feb. 20, 2007: Haggard had other 'improper relationships'
- Confessions of an angry hustler
- Evangelist's gay escort signs for explicit tell-all
- Scripture little help for Haggard's sex addiction
- Ted Haggard's crystal cathedral: Gayest place on earth
- Another pastor resigns over homosexuality
- Dec. 18 update: New Life minister resigns over 'sexual immorality'
- Home values of evangelical leaders of Colorado Springs
Open letter to Rev. Ted Haggard
If you were my friend, this is what I would say to you:
Should you ever choose a time to be honest with yourself, now is that time. Do not minimize the damage you have done both to yourself and to others. Your behavior has brought tragedy into your life and the lives of your loved ones. The greater tragedy, however, did not begin with your outing, and it may or may not end with your penitence.
As you confessed in the letter to your church, you are "a deceiver and a liar." Yes, there has been a hidden part to your life, but the "repulsive and dark" side to which you admitted was not your attraction to men: It was the breaking of your marital vows, the denial of your sexuality, and your ongoing efforts to dash the hopes and dreams of people you will never know.
That is the picture of a tragic life. Your "warring" was not only against your inner being, it was a battle turned on men and women whose lives are more authentic than your own.
Asking God, your family, and your church for forgiveness was the easy first step, since being exposed as a hypocrite left you little choice. But asking forgiveness from those you reviled will be the real test of your sincerity and humility, your humanity and spirituality.
Gays and lesbians and their families have done nothing to hurt you and your family. Until you acknowledge the pain that you personally and willfully inflicted upon them, how can you forgive yourself? How can anyone, including your wife and children, trust and respect you again?
Leaders and members of your church supposedly accepted your plea for forgiveness. That may be, but you and I know they will return you to the fold on their terms only -- that you yield to their demands and live the lie that failed you before. In contrast, many of the group you have targeted for discrimination would, given the opportunity, offer more spontaneous forgiveness than you will find within the walls of the church you have built.
My friend, life is too short for you to continue the destructive, and losing, battle against yourself -- the internal battle that occurs when one attempts to "choose" a sexual orientation forced upon him by religious or social pressures.
As you already must know better than anyone else, you cannot change your innate sexual orientation, and God has not and will not change it because he does not condemn it. What he does condemn is the unnecessary pain you have inflicted upon others, and your hypocrisy in doing so. In the words of Jesus:
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." - Matthew 25:40, KJV
Rather than looking to others for your soul salvation, why not find peace within yourself and with your creator? Heed the words of Paul the Apostle:
“Wherefore, my beloved, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” - Philippians 2:12-13, KJV
No doubt you have led a life of fear and trembling, whether of God or of being caught in your deceptions. My sincere hope is that you are, at your core, a man who wants to do -- and will find the courage to do -- the right thing.
Will you submit to the judgment of those who have no understanding of your inner struggle and spiritual journey, or will you trust your heart and the lessons you have learned? Will you condemn a group that is denied the acceptance and opportunities you take for granted, or will you extend a genuine apology and a loving hand to your brothers and sisters?
"Jesus said ... , Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." - Matthew 22:37-40, KJV
Finally, my friend, I say to you because I love you: Grow up already! Your children need a father who is a real man. If you're gay, act like it. If you're not, stop playing. Either way, end the bashing. You're better than that.