Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You Have Got to Be Kidding Me

That's what I said when I read one of the recent stories on Ted Haggard. I don't need to go into all of the details of his infidelity and the sin that caused him to be removed from being pastor and president of the NAE. My problem is this:

Colorado Springs, Colo. — The Rev. Ted Haggard, who left the megachurch he founded after admitting to "sexual immorality," has asked supporters for financial assistance while he and his wife pursue their studies.
The former New Life Church pastor plans to seek a master's degree in counseling at the University of Phoenix while his wife studies psychology, he said in an e-mail sent this week to KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs.
The couple and two of their sons planned to move Oct. 1 to the Phoenix Dream Center, a faith-based halfway house in Phoenix, where Haggard and his wife would provide counseling, the e-mail said.

"It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years," the e-mail said. "During that time we will continue as full-time students, and then, when I graduate, we won't need outside support any longer." Haggard left the 10,000-member New Life Church late last year and resigned as head of the National Association of Evangelicals after a former male escort accused Haggard of paying him for sex.

Mike Ware, an overseer for New Life Church, told The Gazette of Colorado Springs on Friday that it was premature of Haggard to release the statement without first consulting the overseers.

A New Life spokesman did not immediately return a phone message left late Friday by The Associated Press.
Haggard received a salary of $115,000 for the 10 months he worked in 2006 and an $85,000 anniversary bonus before the scandal broke, The Gazette reported. Haggard's severance package included a year's salary of $138,000, and he collects royalties on his book titles, the newspaper reported.

El Paso County records show Haggard's home, which has been up for sale, has a market value of $715,051.
(From The Denver Post)

I am honestly immensely grieved by this whole situation. I think this is a prime example of what it means to not take responsibility for your actions. It is due to his own sin that he has been removed from ministry and his obscene 6 figure salary will cease at the end of the year. It just seems like Mr.Haggard got used to living high on the hog and doesn't want the gravy train with biscuit wheels to stop rolling.

This situation bothers me particularly as a full time student with a family to support through work. My advice to Mr. Haggard is to be like most poor students, get a job sir. That would be the Christian thing to do, rather than using your remaining celebrity status to get handouts. I wonder just what he means by "adequate earning power"... he's getting checks through 2007, he can sell his $700k house at a knock down price and move into a modest living arrangement, what is "adequate income"?

Well, I don't want to rant about how bad this fellow is but frankly this whole mentality disgusts me. It disgusts me as a Christian. What I see in this news story is wrong for so many reasons. I hope this fellow truly is repentant for his sin, but as far as I can tell this doesn't look like repentance. It just looks like he is switching from a religious pastoral position (because of his removal) to a secular pastoral position and he wants people to sport him to make the transition nice and smooth.

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