Ted Haggard, a former pastor who resigned after being caught in a sex scandal, appeared for his 1st ever interview a couple weeks ago since his scandal in 2006. Apparently HBO made a documentary of his life now and he's been on Oprah and Larry King to discuss it.
I watched some of his interviews with sadness and pity. I was also angry. Angry for the sin that he covered up and the lies that hurt so many people including his wife, family, and the church. I also was confused by some of the things he said and wondered where he truly is in relationship to God. I wondered had he truly, humbly, experienced God's love? I'll leave that up to God but it seemed obvious that he'd been hurt in the process of his discipline from the church. Ted once led thousands of people as a pastor, but never dealt or admitted his sin, past, tendencies, or ungodly behavior.
Ted admitted to being sexually abused as a child.
Ted admitted to using meth and seeing a prostitute.
Ted admitted to lying.
Ted admitted to still dealing with thoughts and tendencies.
At one point in watching these interviews I had to stop the TV and pray. I cried. I wept. I sat with Wendy saddened by the hurt, the sin, and the whole story. I empathized. I saw all of humanity in him, troubled, shamed, hurt and confused and I saw myself in him.. I was thankful as I cried. I was thankful for God's grace and healing in my life for blessing me with community and healthy relationships. I thanked God that I was able to be healed and experience freedom and I had been prevented from bringing pain and destruction to my life and the ones I love. At one time time years ago I was praying that God would heal me and make me whole "in the secret," so I wouldn't have to tell anyone my issues, my past, or my sin. But that's not how God works. God heals in community, for his glory, and so that others can find hope, too. We often won't let God heal us in His way and so we choose instead to be fake, like Ted, we choose to live a life of dishonesty and it ends up hurting others.. We won't be healed if we aren't willing to confess our sins and risk what people might think. James 5:16 even says that healing comes when we confess our sins and people pray for us. We must believe that God's love is enough and more important than what anyone thinks or says (so we don't hold back) so that we could truly see what responding to God would look like when we authentically experience God! For many reasons, but a couple come to mind. 1-For God's glory, 2-to prevent the pain caused in so many lives of unexposed, hidden sins and 3- so that we can actually experience the love and freedom God intended! I hope and pray that the church continues to be a place of freedom where people can share anything and receive grace, even pastors! I'm still fighting to believe and live this truth!