Monday, November 06, 2006

sad

Sad story. Looks like legitimate brokenness. We're all capable of secret lives.

'I am Guilty of Sexual Immorality ... a Deceiver and a Liar,' Haggard Confesses

What makes a guy throw his whole ministry away to indulge himself? What makes a guy think he won't get caught? What makes a guy live such split lives?

How does his wife really stick it out? How do his 5 children process this? What will this guy do today, the Monday after? What does his life look like 5 years from now?

How easy it is in the wake of stories like this to get cynical, but think of the thousands of ministry leaders who are laboring faithfully with integrity. Let's not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

4 comments:

Doug Kyle said...

Thanks for your faithfulness

Suzette Lyons said...

Did you get a chance to read Paul and Virginia Friesen's book "Restoring the Fallen"? The six co-author's were a man in a similar situation, his wife and two other couples that came beside them as a "Spiritual Care Team." I was impressed that they were all willing to care so deeply and be so honest. I have finished it and would be willing to pass it on.

The book provided great insights on all the questions you raised. They worte the book to help churches figure out how to deal with this type of thing. My main question in reading the book was "Could anything have helped prevent the problem?" I liked the fact that the Spiritual Care Team members were challenged as they confronted Earl to be completely honest, to be more honest and transparent in their own lives.

I think the best way to "overcome evil with good" in this situation with Haggard is to learn from it. We talk a lot at Grace about being accountalbe and transparent. But doing that at a level that will really provide a safety net is very difficult. The book really raised the bar on my understanding of "care" and "accountability". I realized that there really is no one at Grace who knows me well enough to catch it if I was turning away from God. Not good, as that seems to be what Earl was missing that could have helped prevent him getting so off. It is also what the Spiritual Care Team provided that was esential in Earl's restoration. In reading the book it was hard to feel compassion for Earl, but his willingness to listen, be obedient and put his whole future in the hands of his care team even when they were telling him to do things that were exteremly difficult was most impressive.

I will pray that Haggard and his family are able to get this kind of care and restoration.

Tim Weaver said...

I know nothing about the guy, but this breaks my heart. These are my thoughts, somewhat random.

It is quite a test for those who have not allowed themselves to see him as a sinner.

I wonder (not in an accusing way) how many times he was on his knees crying out to the Lord saying, "Lord, I'll never do this again" or making deals like, "if I ever do this again, I will tell my wife and the elders and resign and get help." Then, the next time happened thinking, "but how could he leave the congregation and the other places of responsibility? The Lord's name would be so smeared. Lord, I know that you have forgiven me and my sins are covered, give me the strength to never do this again..." or "Lord, you have given me gifts to use as I'm using them. If I come clean they will never be able to used, surely that isn't your plan." I'm sure many many tears have been shed over many years as he came to the Lord ashamed of his sin.

God is faithful and saved this man from himself. We have to recognize that we are all capable of like sins if we allow 'smaller' sin to have a foothold. Humility is SO hard with things that we are SO ashamed of. Yes, it's a scandal, but Lord willing it is also true repentance that the Lord has been wanting in his life for years.

Another sad aspect to this is that once the Lord works healing and restoration in this man's life he will be more qualified than he has ever been to talk about the severity of God's mercy and kindness, but many will not listen because he has been exposed publicly as *gasp* 'a sinner'.

Brian Wong said...

Pastor Tim, I'm curious about the direction you're headed with your comments. I suppose it's the lack of non-verbal cues from you, but I detect a lot of judgment and condescension in those questions. I hope I'm wrong. What say you?