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Friday, November 03, 2006

Evangelical Leader In Trouble UPDATED

This is sad (sad, sad, sad) news: Evangelical Leader Claims Gay Escort's Charges are Political Payback

Seriously, my heart aches for what this story is reporting. I ache for all involved.

But...does my post the other day make a bit more sense now...it wasn't a rant! What the story about Haggard represents is pretty much everything I was speaking to in my post.

This is not a "see, I told you so" thing either. Although the facts are unclear, Haggard obviously did something terribly wrong, because he is admitting something. And, did you notice the reason the accuser gives for speaking out? Also, why is the media picking this story up and why is it such a draw?

One last thing. Do you taste the irony of Haggard being a leader of...what organization? And, what has he tried to do with the organization...get more involved in politics, among other causes?

I am not retreating from being a Christian in American culture. There are battles to be fought and hills to die on and Christians are called, more than others, to fight. I do believe, however, the strategy of Evangelical culture is wrong.

I am not cowering back in fear. I am rethinking how I will engage with culture instead of participating in the unhealthy growth of a subset that claims the name of Christ as its source of motivation.

(HT: Ron)

UPDATE:

A blog I read daily, Between Two Worlds, has posted about the Haggard story as well. How should Christians respond to this story about Haggard? Pray!

From Between Two Worlds:

The main thing I think we need to do is pray.
  • Pray that the truth--no matter what it is--would be clearly revealed.
  • Pray that if indeed some of these allegations are true (as New Life's senior pastor allegedly told the elders), that Rev. Haggard would be fully honest and submissive.
  • Pray for Rev. Haggard.
  • Pray for his family.
  • Pray for New Life Church--both their elders and their members. Pray that biblical church discipline guidelines will be instituted and that this would not shake the church's confidence in the gospel.
  • Pray for yourself and your pastor. "There but for the grace of God go I." Resolve to mortify all ungodly desires in your heart and to boast only in the cross of Jesus Christ.
Read that last bullet point again.

UPDATE II

I'll let you in a conversation I've been having with myself?

I wonder what others are thinking? What will they think? Will they see my post on Haggard as a judgment attack? Will others see that I am not even writing about Haggard himself? My post has nothing to do with Haggard? Like I said, I am aching over this story? I posted about the irony of the story, in light of a post I made earlier in the week - the irony is a story in and of itself. There is a connection between what I said about the Evangelical culture and how the rest of culture is reading about Haggard - they are seeing it as part of the political game, one side against the other, conservatives against liberals, pro-marriage ban or not, and ultimately intolerant Christians against everyone else. How is this advancing the Kingdom??? How?

3 comments:

sheri said...

Okay, I'm getting sucked in to the blogging world. Helps me to expand my little world beyond my sweet toddlers. Pat, you have given me a lot to think about.What about Focus on the Family and all that they are doing? Don't you think that in general, Christians have their heads in their own stuff and hesitate to get involved in the culture around them? We isolate ourselves too much. I am speaking for myself here. I feel a pull to live for the kingdom in a purposeful way, right now it's with my kids. But, is there more that I can be doing? I hear you. This is a good conversation to have.

PS said...

Sheri, thanks for the comment! Good to have ya. Your comment covers a lot of space too.

I don't have a negative opinion about Focus on the Family (FOTF). I have turned to them many, many times to get practical advice on parenting and other resources. I still like to listen to the radio program.

I am not as fond of the alarmist type activism though when it comes to FOTF's social outreach. There is a level of arrogance that I am not comfortable with. Perhaps it is not arrogance, but something like it. The next time you run into a "hater" of Dobson or FOTF, ask them why they do? Usually its the messenger and not the message they don't like. This, too me, is another example what I am referring to when making the distinction of the Evangelical Culture.

I agree with you that Christians tend to isolate and remove themselves from culture. The solution of Evangelical culture though, in that all the Christians uniting as a whole, creates an immediate polarization. And I don't know the answer yet. I know that in my disillusionment though God is working and I have to rethink my take on what being a Christian in American really means these days.

Finally, ever since I've known you Sheri you have lived a Kingdom life. You and your family have shown my family what the Kingdom is all about - through your Christ driven love.

When you mother your sons and daughters, you live on purpose for the Kingdom's greater good!!

sheri said...

Wow...thanks for the words. For His glory....