Nothing more needs to be added to what has been incessantly reported and opined upon by everyone with an internet connection. But because I'm a self-proclaimed born again Christian, it only feels appropriate that I throw one more opinion on the pile.
As usual, the cover up is just as bad as the sin. And it's sad that mild surprise and disappointment were the strongest emotions I felt at any point in this scandal. I guess it goes to show that the world and everyone in it--and me in particular--knows that nobody is safe from slipping up. I feel really bad for Ted and his family. Sins don't let go very easy, and they can easily ensare any of us. I'm glad that he stepped down and is dedicated to working past this.
The thing is, this didn't catch God by surprise. He didn't wake up one morning last week and go, "oh, SNAP!" (Because God definitely keeps up with his street lingo.) When Ted Haggard started New Life Church in his basement twenty years ago, God saw this coming. God already knows the absolute worst sin any of us will ever commit. Yet he chose to bless Ted's church anyway. For twenty years he saw fit to allow Ted's church to grow by leaps and bounds, knowing the day would come when he would have to resign in disgrace. It should give us hope that God still chooses to bless and guide us, even in light of our worst evil lurking just around the corner.
New Life Church has rallied around their former leader, I've seen countless clips and quotes of congregants going on about foregiveness and redemption, love and compassion. This is all really great. But let's, just for a moment, try to think of the number of people who aren't pastors in a church that have had their own fall from grace even since this story dropped. How many people in your life need just as much support and compassion from you? Foregiveness isn't only for the high-profile. We can all learn something from this.