In the past couple of weeks, two hard-to-watch items have bombarded my television screen. First is the ad-nauseum political commercials that seem to never end. Fortunately, we have a brief reprieve until the next election season. For some reason, it got really old, really fast.
The other more difficult thing to see and learn about was the fall of Ted Haggard. Admittedly, I've never been much of a fan. Not because I thought he was a fraud, crook, or cult leader (as he's since been called by many in the media). But because for some reason he was one of a handful of people that "spoke" on my behalf. Not because I wanted him to, and not because he really did speak for me. But because he was the main mouthpiece for this loosely arranged group in our country known as evangelicals. Some 33 million of us, the majority of which didn't have a say in who would speak on our behalf, and my hunch is don't really want anyone but Jesus speaking for us in the first place. But its a reality, and now those of us who fit into that category of evangelical, whether we like it or not, live with the fall-out.
I certainly don't fault Ted Haggard for being any kind of spokesperson. Often its driven by other forces, like the media who need someone for a sound bite, or other special interest groups who can find someone who lines up with their particular ideology and "anoint" someone as the voice of their movement.
Truth is, I believe in a God of transformation & restoration. I do believe he has worked through people like Haggard, and I believe he can again. Sure, right now its a big target, and any jab or lob will hit just fine. I just hope we'll all look in the mirror before throwing stones. Admittedly, I don't always do that, and have been quick to partake in the jokes and/or criticism. For that I repent and seek forgiveness. Instead, lets pray for Haggard and his church and his family.
Here's a terrific article called The Haggard Truth from Gordon MacDonald, who is no stranger to forgiveness & resoration. It's very well said, and I hope you'll read it and pass it around.