Surprise! Ted’s OTHER Lover is Discovered

From the AP:

DENVER — Disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard’s former church disclosed Friday that the gay sex scandal that caused his downfall extends to a young male church volunteer who reported having a sexual relationship with Haggard _ a revelation that comes as Haggard tries to repair his public image.

Brady Boyd, who succeeded Haggard as senior pastor of the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, told The Associated Press that the man came forward to church officials in late 2006 shortly after a Denver male prostitute claimed to have had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Boyd said an “overwhelming pool of evidence” pointed to an “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” that “went on for a long period of time … it wasn’t a one-time act.” Boyd said the man was in his early 20s at the time. He said he was certain the man was of legal age when it began.

Reached Friday night, Haggard declined to comment and said all interviews would have to be arranged through a publicist for HBO, which is airing a documentary about him this month.

Boyd said the church reached a legal settlement to pay the man for counseling and college tuition, with one condition being that none of the parties involved discuss the matter publicly.

I think there is good to be found in this.  I pray there is.  For every person who has tried ex-gay therapy and not only left it, but left God behind, because there wasn’t “instant progress,” here is a fine example that changing one’s sexual orientation does not happen overnight.  Or in three weeks.  Or longer.  A lifetime in creation, it’s going to take quite the time to get further down the road.  (All of which assumes that God does not heal you instantly, which is certainly His perrogative.  I’ve just never seen it myself.)

But as the interviews continue for this documentary which premieres on the 29th, I’ll be curious to see how he handles this new information.  Will he find some way to excuse it or deflect?  Or will he be honest about the relationship?  Were there others?

My prayer is that Ted is going to realize how important his example is in the public square.  That change is possible when we obey God and get down to the truth of our souls.  It is hard to admit that we’re sinful, evil creatures living in grace and mercy.  Every day for me it requires more humility than the day before.  I’m going to pray that this happens with Ted in his interviews this week.  That he will come clean and let us know what he’s going through and what he plans for future treatment.

Man, may Jesus be glorified in this.  If you read this, and feel so inclined, offer up a prayer for Ted and his family.  I have a feeling the next couple of months are going to be exceptionally tough on him.

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~ by WriterRand on January 24, 2009.

3 Responses to “Surprise! Ted’s OTHER Lover is Discovered”

  1. “That change is possible when we obey God and get down to the truth of our souls.” So, those that have spent years in exgay ministries w/ no change aren’t getting down to the truth of their souls or aren’t obeying God? This crap is whack! The exgay blah blah blah is the same thing just repackaged as each “ministry” sees fit. Instead of blaming the “sufferer” why not just admit that there is no more formula for this happening than there is for a human growing wings and flying? The best thing Ted Haggard can do is beg his wife and family not to kick him to the curb for continuing to make such a public idiot of himself and move on. Clearly his church wished he would have.

  2. Ick. Hiring a prostitute is bad enough, but sexually taking advantage of a young church volunteer as a pastor is nearly criminal. Can you imagine what a difficult position Haggard’s abuse of power put this likely confused/vulnerable young person in? Who knows how many other similar relationships Haggard had?

    Haggard is far from the typical conservative-Christian-struggling-with-sexuality. He seemed to prey on those he had some type of control over and only stopped when he was caught.

    I think Haggard has already publically damaged conservative Christian church’s reputation and I doubt any supposed claim of recovery will restore the damage. Haggard’s scandals have shown the extreme difficulty it is to deal with sexuality in supposedly compassionate conservative Christian churches.

    Haggard didn’t find the church he founded or the major national church organization he led to be a safe places to confess his struggle. And far worse, he may have felt so hopeless and trapped that preying on vulnerable subordinate(s) or engaging in illegal activity with a prostitute were easier and more appealing than simply discussing his struggle with another conservative Christian pastor or colleague. If Haggard can’t do it, how can an ‘average’ or vulnerable Christian do it?

  3. I have had experience with the reparative therapy movement, and have come to the conclusion that it does not work. Sexual orientation is something, that in most cases is fixed and cannot be changed. To believe such nonsense only leads to emotional disaster. Instead of offering up a prayer for Haggard, why doesn’t the church get over their archaic sense of moral superiority and realize that human sexuality has various dimensions, and instead of condemning those who are gay or bisexual, and engaging in consenting sexual relationships with others of the same orientation, accept them? Maybe the church should realize that the bronze age goat herders who wrote the Bible did not have all of the answers!

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