Haggard: His New Facts, My Old Self-Righteousness

Hello.  My name is R.  I’m a self-righteousness-aholic. 

See, that’s the thing that hits me time and time again about this Haggard thing.  I want a particular outcome from this story.  I want to see it happen my way, and it’s not, so it’s only right to be angry and whine and fight and moan about instead of letting God be God and deal with it His way.  There’s not a one of us that’s immune to that response, but it’s still so frustrating to see it happen with alarming frequency.

So by now, we all know about the three-week “all done! better now! Mission Accomplished ™!” recovery, right?

We can speculate on how real his recovery is or isn’t and how God is capable of doing just that sort of miracle for one of His own.  We can speculate on the wound that drove Haggard into a double life where on one hand he was admonishing the world about homosexuality and on the other hand he was engaging in just that sin and wonder how that level of darkness and pain could be so handily resolved.  We can speculate all we want, but it won’t now do us any good.

See, New Life Church and Haggard have signed a confidentiality agreement wherein for Haggard’s silence about the scandal, New Life Church would pay him an “undisclosed sum.”  Haggard has also been advised to move out of Colorado Springs where he and his wife will be studying for their doctorates in psychology via online courses.  He is also forbidden from returning to ministry at New Life Church.

In other words, get out and keep your mouth shut.

Now trying to side for the church here, maybe it’s to keep Haggard or anyone else in the church from writing a book or engaging in an endless litany of talk/news/opinion shows, keeping this scandal alive forever.  That sort of publicity doesn’t do anybody any good.  You don’t heal when you keep re-opening the wound.

I want to side for the church.  I want to understand why they’re pushing this through at record speed and then putting an end to it.

But when (1) Haggard’s cure takes three weeks, (2) New Life and Haggard sign an agreement to keep Haggard quiet and pay him hush money to seal the deal, then (3) they shuffle away another pastor’s resignation for (gender undefined) sexual misconduct, (4) then plan an official Day of Hope to bring “closure” to this situation for the church, whether or not the church has reached the place where they need closure, then accusations of self-righteousness aside, you have to admit it looks bad.  The amount of suspicion and incredulity sexual re-orientation endures by gay, straight, Christian and non-Christian populations is bad enough anyway, now it looks another notch worse.

But again, when I get into this mode of analyzing and criticizing, my self-righteousness comes roaring to the forefront.  I know what’s best, not God.  Maybe it’s too eawrly for Haggard or maybe God saw something worse in his and our future if that leadership position had taken place.  Matters are tough if you decide you’ve had it with the gay life, and it sure would be nice to have someone at the forefront of this, helping to bring some understanding to all of our detractors.  But God has decided this isn’t to be, and considering that desiring that flag-bearer means that we would shift our eyes from Him as our sole source of healing, strength and providence, He’s keeping us from sin.  If at some later day Haggard comes to the forefront to honestly discuss what he’s been through and where he’s going, there’s still no rule that says he has to be the flag-bearer for ex-gay ministry.  That’s for God and God alone to decide.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t stop hoping.


~ by WriterRand on February 15, 2007.

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