The revelation of Ted Haggard’s double life and subsequent stepping down from the National Association of Evangelicals and as pastor of his church has left the evangelical movement reeling. There is a whole lot in the blogosphere, but I think that George McDonald and Jim Wallis have responded in a humble and Christlike way. I agree with both of these godly men, so here is what I think about this horrible and very sad situation.
The Haggard Truth by George McDonald.
We Are All Sinners by Jim Wallis.
When will evangelicalism realize that it can’t keep isolating its pastors and not providing any kind of support and accountability for them? There are those who say that it’s because his church is nondenominational, and there is no denominational oversight. But that’s not true. Those of us who belong to evangelical denominations are left on our own too. Isolation and loneliness are epidemics among evangelical pastors, pastoral staff, and their families. If you are evangelical, pray for your pastors. It is a very hard job with very little support. One of the most isolated times in my life was when I was on staff as an associate pastor, and college and seminary do not prepare for you for it. I was in no way prepared for the isolationsim and loneliness I was engulfed in. And pray for evangelical churches and denominations to start giving their pastors the support they need and the safe sanctuaries they need to confess sin and pursue accountability. The Christian life cannot be lived on one’s own: community is needed, and this is even more so for its leaders.