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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio


THE TED HAGGARD STORY or SCANDAL

The lesson we need to learn is:
I hope to provide some lessons we need to learn in this blog.... read on.


What bloggers have done, almost the instant that an event happens, they will post it. They will make comments For example: Posted by fundyreformed.wordpress

  • "I was saddened to hear of the Ted Haggard fall this past week. And I must confess that when it became apparent that he was guilty, for a short while I may have sneered at him. But before long God gave me a prayer that Christ would be exalted in all of this. I believe that prayer is being answered, and Christ’s glory is being seen even in this sad scandal"
    P.S. What I have learned, if you write something, you better be ready to be quoted.
    Then there are responses to the article. So you get several perspectives and viewpoints.
    Now after reading several articles on the blog. For example: Albert Mohler’s blog or his web site, you get another perspective I can trust .


Also what I have found very beneficial are those blogs that link you to other articles that speak to the issues. For example: John Piper had an article: "Ten Potential Pitfalls and Proposed Ten Protections against them:" now that was very helpful.

The Ted Haggard’s exposure has been one that a pastor/ teacher/ and a minister should personally look upon with great observation.

Rather than judge Ted (whom I have never met), I should examine my own life and behavior.
As a minister it is our charge to call sinners to repentance. It is our charge to call believers to holiness and sanctification. Too often there are secret life styles of preachers, that go un- detected for years. I would think that would certainly be disruptive with his call and discredit his ability to lead others. But I am afraid this occurs too often.

  • He quotes these verses:
    Ps 32:1 ¶ <<[A Psalm] of David. Maschil.>>. 3 When I kept silence, my bones wasted away Through my groaning all the day long.4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: My moisture was changed [as] with the drought of summer. [[Selah:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, And mine iniquity did I not hide: I said, I will confess my transgressions unto Jehovah; And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. [[Selah 6 For this let every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: Surely when the great waters overflow they shall not reach unto him"


This behavior, you would think, would not happen to evangelical or fundamental preachers, would you? Sadly this kind of behavior happens every day. We only hear of the big time guys. I always said "I am glad I am a little guy. If I fall, it won’t make the national media. Local media would be bad enough."

And generally this kind of life-style happens to those whom you would least expect. I personally can name a few. I was totally shocked.

What this does for me? A quick check up of my own behavior. Some of the very preachers that I would not suspect are the very preachers that are living a secret life of sinfulness.

As you read the blogs you certainly get different points of view: For example:

  • "It's time for evangelicals to rethink their priorities, re-examine the evil fruits of pragmatic and market-driven "spirituality," and retool their own movement. Better yet, Christians with a concern for the glory of God and the authority of Scripture should renounce the latitudinarian-style movement contemporary "evangelicalism" has morphed into. It is a hopelessly mixed and muddled multitude. The fashionable brand of NAE/Christianity Today-style "evangelicalism" actually abandoned historic evangelical principles long ago, and hasn't taken a firm stand for biblical and evangelical doctrine for some time. The current scandal is only a symptom of that much deeper problem" Phil Johnson http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2006/11/thoughts-on-todays-scandal.html
    And there were 82 Responses to Phil’s post. Here is an example:
  • Assuming he is guilty, I guess we throw out the baby with the bath water and all evangelicals are heretics because of this one man's fault. For that matter all fundamentalists are equally heretics because of the recent downfall of Dr. Bob Gray at Trinity in Jacksonville. When will we all stop this nonsense and understand that this man's sin or the sin of others is not a valid argument for their church or denominational strategy. I expect better arguments from team pyro against market driven strategies.
  • This is a great exchange of views. The Poster will risk what the Postee will say in response.


    Tim Challies remarked on his .com Titled "THE SCANDAL"
  • "And then realize that, as we explored earlier this week in a discussion about total depravity, there is really no difference between you and Haggard or between myself and Haggard. We are all totally depraved with our sin extending to every aspect of our being. There but for the grace of God go I. There but for the grace of God go you."
  • I can only imagine the pain of having to sit in front of my children, my wife, and answer questions about whether or not I have had sex with a man or admitting that I purchased illegal drugs. It's horrible. It's terrifying.

  • And there were 148 comments from his readers.... here is an example:
    "...um, tears are the first reaction to your post. Not for Mr. Haggard, but for me. I can search a dark heart as well my brother. I'm sickened as your are, and over joyed at the reality that my destiny (and Haggards) depends on the Holiness of another! Praise God! . And praise God for this line in your post, "that I would continue to fill my heart with His Words of life". Oh that news like this would only drive us all harder into the word."
  • And who and what are ministers themselves? Frail men, fallible, sinning men, exposed to every snare, to temptation in every form; and, from the very post of observation they occupy, they are an easier target for the fiery darts of the foe. They are not trite victims the great Adversary is seeking, when he would wound and cripple Christ's ministers. One such victim is worth more to the kingdom of darkness than a number of common men; and for this very reason their temptations are probably more subtle and severe than those encountered by ordinary Christians. If this subtle Deceiver fails to destroy them, he cunningly aims at neutralizing their influence by quenching the fervor of their piety, lulling them into negligence, and doing all in his power to render their work burdensome. How perilous is the condition of that minister then, whose heart is not encouraged, whose hands are not strengthened, and who is not upheld by the prayers of his people! It is not in his own closet and on his own knees alone, that he finds security and comfort, and ennobling, humbling, and purifying thoughts and joys; but it is when they also seek them in his behalf, that he becomes a better and happier man, and a more useful minister of the everlasting Gospel! --Gardiner Spring


What should we do about all of this? PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS!!!
SO WHAT ARE SOME LESSONS WE COULD LEARN FROM THIS TRAGEDY?

Drafted Charles Whisnant, Check by Charity