Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

11/06/2006

Fall from Grace

The Rev. Ted Haggard, pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado has been much in the news this past week. He first denied allegations of drug use and sex with a gay prostitute, then admitted to some of it and finally yesterday in a letter to his congregation wrote,
Pastor Ted Haggard before his fall"The accusations that have been leveled against me are not all true, but enough of them are true that I have been appropriately and lovingly removed from ministry. I am so embarrassed and ashamed. I caused this and I have no excuse. I am a sinner. I have fallen."
The letter to the congregation also asked the members of the church to forgive that man who had come forward with the charges,
"He is revealing the deception and sensuality that was in my life. Those sins, and others, need to be dealt with harshly. So forgive him, and actually, thank God for him."
Haggard says that he has fallen and he has. But the wonderful thing we find in scripture is that in falling from grace, we find ourselves landing in grace. Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, but God made them clothes and gave them a place to settle and then began the long project of bringing humanity back to the garden.

The pastor's letter to his congregation reminds me of the fairly recent sermon The Hypocrite and the Septic Tank in which I spoke of the masks we wear both good and bad. Haggard wore a mask to cover what he called "repulsive and dark" within himself. He could not have been at peace about his life, with such a war being waged.

Yet, I have no reason to believe that Jesus wants to condemn this man and neither do I. What he needs is healing that will bring his body, mind and spirit into synch. Haggard has been given the painful gift of having what he wanted to keep hidden brough to light. I pray that he and his family and congregation are better for it and that all will find grace even in a fall from grace.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

4 Comments:

  • At 11/06/2006 2:08 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    It's that last comment that resonates with me: that this dis-grace may actually help Ted Haggard to find grace.
    My prayers are with his family. I can only begin to imagine the pain.

     
  • At 11/07/2006 10:40 AM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Anyone who has ever had their dirty laundry aired in public can relate to what this pastor is going through. In the long run he will be happier and a much better person, and probably even better equipped for the ministry.

    As to forgiveness, as Christians we have have no choice but to offer forgiveness and reconciliation. We are to love as Christ loved.

    Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.

     
  • At 11/07/2006 11:52 AM, Blogger CSL said…

    I find this a fascinating story not so much for what Haggard did, but for the utter hypocrisy involved. Do, in fact, these sins need to be dealt with harshly? It could be such a wonderful opportunity for both Haggard and the congregation to do some serious soul-searching about compassion. Ultimately, they could all be the better for it.

     
  • At 11/08/2006 9:25 PM, Anonymous Bob In Wash PA said…

    I have heard some think Haggard got what he deserved but even if that were true what of his family? Certainly they don't deserve what must be a living nightmare.

    I pray for all of them, Haggard included. I wonder if homosexuality wasn't looked on as such a terrible sin, and those who are of a different sexual orientation where treated as God's beloved and encouraged to explore their God given gifts maybe things like this mess might have turned out different, for all.

    I teach special ed so i'm use to different people. Just a known fact. Homosexuality is 2 to 3 times more like in people with Downs Syndrome. Talk about a vunerable population.

    My prayers for healing in this situation.
    Peace, Bob

     

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