And yet another reminder of why Christians should fight the cult of personality is in the news today over the accusations against the founder and senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Ted Haggard. Haggard was #11 on Time magazine's list of influential evangelicals last year and is also president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals. While I sincerely hope that some of the accusations aren't true, in a statement reminiscent of Clinton's infamous, "I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it and didn't inhale," Haggard admitted that some of the allegations were true, stating, "I bought it [methamphetamines] for myself but never used it." He also admitted to paying for a massage from his accuser.
It should also be mentioned that Mr. Haggard was a founder of the group Coloradans for Marriage, which fought to put a state constitutional amendment on next week's ballot to ban same-sex marriage in Colorado.
I'm sure there is a lot more to this story that will surface in the days, weeks, and months ahead, but I'm reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 7:1-2,
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.As such, I'm not judging Mr. Haggard. I do feel sorry for his wife, 5 kids, and the 14,000 members of New Life Church. It's also embarrassing as a Christian because right or wrong, Mr. Haggard's actions are a very public and yet poor example of how to live like Jesus.