I’ve known about Pastor Ted Haggard for a couple years now so I’ve been closely following the recent revelation of his drug-fueld tryst with a gay man.
For those of you who only read my blog and nothing else, he started his New Life church in the basement of his home with only one church member. He then built it up over many years to a 14,000 follower behemoth that holds services in a stadium. (New Life also has affiliates in other countries.) He led the National Association of Evangelicals which represents 30 million Americans. He had policy discussions with President Bush. He was an extremely powerful man. His decisions not only affected his followers, but Americans not under his leadership. Short of becoming President himself, there are not many ways he could have increased his power here in the United States. This is why his downfall is so amazing. How can a man so close to God have so little self-control?
A lot of people like reading stories of how people succeed. But I like stories of how people fall. And it’s not because I’m a sadist, but because the success that everyone loves to praise and masturbate to is often built on weak character that cannot survive the test of time. The success is a fluke, an aberration. In a couple years Pastor Ted will be that crazy guy on a university campus trying to get the attention of passerby’s. The next hypocrite who replaces him will lead people who memorize thousands year old scripture as fact, but can’t seem to remember how many religious leaders have fooled them in the past twenty years.