“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Jesus said that.
I was not surprised to hear the allegations against Pastor Ted Haggard this past week. I don’t know much about the man, but I’m never particularly surprised when I hear about people in Christian leadership falling hard into sin. I had hoped that the allegations would prove completely unfounded and untrue, but in my heart, I pretty much knew that where there was smoke, there was probably fire. Exactly how much fire remains yet to be seen, but I’m not particularly concerned with what Ted Haggard’s sins are. Ted Haggard is a man and is human. Every person I know is human. Humans are sinful, dark, fallible creatures. These are all reasons why we need saving in the first place. While we all like to think that our pastors and Christian leaders are better than the rest of us, let’s be honest. They aren’t!
My heart breaks for Ted Haggard, his wife Gayle, and their family and friends. There’s something about sexual sin that is particularly painful and embarrassing to deal with when it comes to light.
But man’s ordeal is God’s opportunity. And I’m sure that God is on the move, bringing His very particular will to pass in this. Pastor Haggard is no less loved by God in the middle of his nightmare. Quite the opposite. It is only now, through this exposed sin, that God can bring true healing and restoration to him. Pastor Haggard will be ultimately be a better man for the truth coming to light. I am sure that although this is a terrible ordeal, he must be, finally, after all these years of struggle and internal warring, experiencing sweet relief from having the secret known. The door has been thrown open and the light has come into those dark places in his life.
As Christians, this is our opportunity, too. We need to embrace the truth that we should be ultimately looking to God, and not to man for our direction. We need to not be shaken when our leadership falters…they WILL falter, just as we falter. Our hearts and minds need to be stayed on Him (God) and not on “man”. We need to learn better to show grace to people who fail. As a community of Christ’s followers, not as man followers, we need to show God’s love and acceptance and forgiveness. And not just to Ted Haggard, but to everyone.