Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good Stuff and Bad Stuff

Ted Haggerd, evangelical minister of the New Life Church of Colorado, preached to thirty million followers during his career. He was loved and respected by his followers and his wife and children. He spoke of the necessity to follow the teachings of Jesus and resist the temptation to sin. His sermons were passionate and eloquent appeals to let the power of the Holy Spirit guide your actions and to allow Jesus into your life. He was a poster child of the new wave of Christianity which presently impacts tens of millions of Americans. At the height of his power and influence he was accused of and later admitted to using crystal meth and to having homosexual relations with his massage therapist amongst others.

When Pastor Ted was asked how come he did not tell his flock or his family about his actions he replied, "I didn't think they would respond in a positive way." Good thinking, Ted. After being banned from ever entering his church again and kicked out of the stae of Colorado he went on the road with his family, in exile as he called it. He tried to get numerous jobs but was constantly rejected. When asked about whether some one would hire him or not, his response was that it depends whether they Google him or not.

Finally after a year on the road and a three week counseling session he announced that he was cured of homosexuality. When asked about this experience his take on it was that when one sheep out of a flock of a hundred goes astray, Jesus takes the other ninety-nine to find the one lost one. He was the one lost one, the one that Jesus' teachings were primarily meant for.

It's not hard to see what's wrong with this picture. What is hard is to not judge, but recognize that to one degree or another we are all like Pastor Ted. This is probalby an unpopular view. I'm sure that this level of hypocrisy makes your skin crawl. It is hard to see that what this story is about is an extreme example of a level of being that is rampant in the world.

We all have secrets that we are afraid to reveal. We all have thoughts that we can never admit even to our closest friends. We all act in ways at times that would not stand the scrutiny of a jury of perfect humans. I mean lets be real. We all have weaknesses, flaws, and imperfections. Some of us gain positions of power or influence that magnify the effects of these flaws. Most of us only effect the ones closest to us.

The real story here is that Ted Haggerd is actually not a bad guy. I probably wouldn't want to hang out with him, but after watching a mini-documentary about him and doing a little research I can see that he has some good stuff. We all have good stuff, and some bad stuff. There is a race going on in the world right now between the good stuff and the bad stuff. The more honest we can be with ourselves and the less judgemental we can be about others, the greater the possibility will be that the good stuff will win. Take a moment to consider this. I mean really consider this. It is a good starting point for personal development.

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