By Synthia Esther, February 20, 2009 - Update: Sept. 13, 2018.
Former megachurch evangelical leader and pastor of New Life Church, Ted Haggard was caught in a gay sex scandal involving a male prostitute in 2006. His story made national news and headlines. Haggard, 52, father of five and husband to Gayle Alcorn Haggard (author of the book, "Why I Stayed"), is once again in the news, June 3, 2010, as he is starting a new church (St. James) and outreach with his wife Gayle. According to news reports, Ted Haggard states, " While many believe I am not qualified, nor will I ever be because of what we've been through, I may be qualified to help other people in need. I don't expect to have another megachurch. I'll be pleased if a handful of people join with us. Something is better than nothing, and helping one is better than helping none," Haggard said.
Gayle Haggard gave comment stating, "I was not willing to let the scandal be the last chapter in our lives."
The couple also appeared on Oprah Winfrey Show on Thursday, June 3, 2010, giving media attention to Gayle's book, "Why I Stayed." At one point during the interview, Oprah Winfrey gave Ted the comment, "This woman really loves you." Ted Haggard replied, "She does love me. She's infatuated with me...." Gayle gave a quick response confirming that she did love her husband, and her love for him wasn't infatuation. Having studied, reviewed, anailized, and written about both Ted and Gayle Haggard, I contend infatuation is a true definition of the kind of love Gayle Haggard extends towards her husband, in deed, thought reaction, and written word. They both need our prayers, as they struggle to gain their true identity in Christ, not another church leadership position. How can the blind lead the blind?
Ted Haggard gave credit to personal therapy, and the 12 step program during Winfrey's interview, also admitting that he took lie detector tests to help ease his wife's transition from lack of trust, to one of trust. A concept for all church leadership, teachers, educators, anyone who works directly with children, minors, teens, etc... Lie detector tests for those in ministry and/or leadership, teachers, is a concept I have been preaching since the beginning of my addiction ministry in 2007.
As any recovering addict will tell you, helping people, helps the addict in the recovery process. Which is a God ordained, worthy cause to be sure. But for Ted and Gayle Haggard to start a new church, leaves no doubt in my mind, that they are drowning in their sick mental addictions. In need of deep healing of inner wounds, only the Holy Spirit can provide.
MY ORIGINAL POST - FEBRUARY 20, 2009:
Haggard has continued to attract media attention. He appeared in Alexandra Pelosi's HBO documentary (Jan. 29, 2009), "The Trails of Ted Haggard," after his gay sex scandal. Haggard has also made appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King, and the CBS Early Show with co-host Harry Smith. Ted Haggard, in his religious limelight hay-day, had millions of followers as president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003 until November 2006, and was pastor of the the church he founded in the basement of his home, New Life Church, in Colorado Springs, Colo, which now numbers around 14,000. The NAE claims 45,000 churches and 30 million individuals (Beliefnet, Ted Haggard: ( Frequently Asked Questions). A member of the right elite, Haggard had close ties and associations with not only religious leaders such as "Focus On The Family's," Dr. James Dobson, but Washington politicians including former President George W. Bush.
Haggard's entire life changed when he was outed by male, gay prostitute, Mike Jones for living life on the down-low. Haggard was subsequently let go from New Life Church as senior pastor and now struggles to sell insurance and provide for his family. Haggard was also instructed by leaders of New Life Church to leave the state of Colorado, and stay away from the media's attention. Ted Haggard's double life included having sex with Jones, whom Jone's states he knew as "Art", (Haggard's middle name is Author). Jones also confirmed Haggard used methamphetamine prior to some of their sexual liaisons, and that the sex for cash relationship occurred almost monthly, for three years.
Denverpost.com (The Denver Post), Eric Gorski, The Associated Press, Posted: 01/23/2009, stated in early 2007, New Life Church disclosed that an investigation uncovered new evidence that Haggard also engaged in "sordid conversation" and "improper relationships," that extended to a young male church volunteer. News reports the young man's name is Grant Haas, who claims he had a sexual relationship with Haggard. Brady Boyd, who succeeded Haggard as senior pastor of New Life said an "overwhelming pool of evidence" pointed to an "inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship" that "went on for a long period of time...it wasn't a one time act."
CBN reposted Haas was paid a "six figure settlement" by New Life Church. Boyd said the man was in his early 20's at the time. He said he was certain the man was of legal age when it began. Grant Haas being a young man gives credence to Mike Jone's statement, "Haggard had told me he loved snorting meth before he has sex with his wife" and also revealed a fanasy he had of having an orgy with "about six young college guys ranging from 18 to 22 in age." - Wikipedia. Michelangelo Signorile's interviews with Grant Haas on "You Tube," also substantiate Haggard's "Boy Toy Love," relating New Life's Church all young male mission prep camp, "24/7," where Haggard indulged his obsessive-complusive sexual need's and fantasy, for naked young male eye candy.
Here is a clip of a Larry King Live interview of Ted Haggard concerning Grant Haas:
King: Grant Haas released a recording of what he says was a phone conversation with you at a time when he was considering a lawsuit.
(Begin Video Clip)
T. Haggard: You have to just move on. Drop this thing.
Haas: I know.
T. Haggard: Let it go. Forgive it.
Haas: It just hurts so much, you know?
T. Haggard: I know it hurts. Think how I've hurt. But think about my little boy trying to go to football practive without the other kids calling his dad a (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE). And if you stir it up in the headlines again, then it all happens again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
King: Is that an accurate....
T. Haggard: Yes....
THINK HOW I'VE HURT?
Ted Haggard shows no empathy for Grant Haas, instead telling him, "Think how I've hurt." Haggard's downfall can best be summed up in two words, "unrepentant sin." Sin is defined as estrangement from God (wordnet.princeton.edu). Much like Jimmy Swaggart's sexual saga and doublelife of sin with a female prostitute, Ted Haggard was a charismatic religious leader, not a devoted-Holy Spirit seeking, God fearing, spiritual leader. Head knowledge of God and his word, without heart transformation rooted in love, leads one to have a religious experience that is taught, not a spiritual reliance which is both taught and led by the word of God and caught by the sanctification power of the Holy Spirit. The Greek and Hebrew words translated as sin in the bible has two major, concurrent themes. Transgression (to transgress), meaning to step across or to go against a boundry or limit, and secondly to "miss the mark." Ted Haggard was tempted, as are we all, by sin. None of us being perfect, we may at times trangsress, or miss the mark. By the Holy Spirit's convicting power we realize our sin, repent like David did concerning his sexual sin with Bathsheba (2nd Samuel 11), and strive to sin "no more."
Ted Haggard wrote in a good-bye letter addressed to New Life Church, read on Sunday morning to his former congregation, "For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believed in. Through the years, I've sought assistance in a variety of ways, with none of them proving to be effective in me. Then, because of pride, I began deceiving those I love the most because I didn't want to hurt or disapppoint them."
Instead of fleeing such thoughts and sexual act's as Joseph did in the bible (Gen.39:12), Ted Haggard courted them. Ted Haggard's mind fed on sin, which ultimately led Haggard continually living in sin, acting out his lustful desires. No one can serve two master's, as he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other (Luke 16:13). As I have always said, "What you seed, you feed." - Synthia Esther. You can read and learn of free sex addiction recovery help and resources at our "Christian" outreach sex addiction site: WWW.SEXHISWAY.COM, and WWW.SYNTHIAESTHER.COM .
Ted Haggards arrested spiritual development did not happen over night. It was an on-going process which he claims (as most therapy professional's and I agree), began at the age of 7, when he was sexually abused by one of his father's workers.
YOUNG MEN AND SEXUAL MOLESTATION
"Young men who have been violently raped by another male often become gay as well. The reason given is that it is a way to abandon identity with the male race that he considers abusive and he becomes the passive "female" during sex encounters, sometimes dressing the part. Not all male victims react this way (Unusual Sex Practices, Barricade Books Inc., Brenda Love)." Haggard's sex acts with Jones seem to fit the wounded gay pattern perference, as according to Mike Jones, Haggard was a "bottom,"(wikipedia) which is usually termed the female "submissive" sexual position.
AUTAGONISTOPHILIA - LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION, OR HOMILOPHILIA, SEX AND AROUSAL?
Ted and Gayle Haggard back in the news and media is a big red flag to me, as they are not well spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically. Not due to autagonistophilia (arousal of being on stage or on camera), or homilophilia (homila: sermons, philia : attachment) refers to feeling sexual arousal while listening to or giving sermons and speechs. But due to Ted and Gayle Haggard's role modeled behavior of an addict and his codependent's wife's denial and enabling. Haggard admits he is messed up in the CBS Early Show interview with co-host Harry Smith, while Gayle's words and actions shout co-dependency.
Here is an excerpt of that brief television interview:
Smith: You think God hates homosexuals?
Ted Haggard: No, I do not. I ..actually, in this process, Jesus proved his faithfulness to me more than ever. You know, he said he came for the unrighteous, not for the righteous. He said he would leave the 99 for the 1 that wandered away.
Smith: That's you.
Ted Haggard: All that's good for me. And so..so I don't fit into the religious righteous crowd anymore. He really came for me. I'm the chiefest of sinners.
Smith: Most important lesson through this whole two-plus-year ordeal for you Gayle?
Gayle Haggard: Most important lesson for me, I think, is that love covers a multitude of sins. And that when I would choose to love in the midst of my heartache, I would heal. But when I judged or when I was scrutinizing toward Ted, I would just spiral down. And I think the eachings of Jesus are forgiveness and love. And what he tells us not to do is judge. And so i think I learned the vaule of that. I mean, at the end of the day, love really does...does win out. And when we have each other at the end of the day rather than separated, alone, and empty, I think that's a lot to be thankful for.
Smith: She says it better than you do, I'm sorry.
Ted Haggard: Much better. Well, Gayle's the hero of this story. I deserved what I got and what I'm getting. But Gayle is the hero of the story. Because of it, our children are fine and they're growing. We're fine.
WE CAN READILY SEE AND AGREE TED HAGGARD IS MESSED UP AND IN NEED OF HELP. BUT WHAT ABOUT HIS WIFE GAYLE? IS GAYLE HAGGARD A HERO? OR IS SHE AS SICK AS HER HUSBAND TED?
Is Gayle the nighingale the real hero of this story? No, God is. For those he loves, he rebukes and disciplines. Gayle Haggard shows a repeated pattern of denial or silence in regard to her husband Ted, giving credence to her co-dependency mindset. Much like many politicians wives, Gayle Haggard had committed her life to cause and support of her children, and her husband's career. Ted Haggard was a prominent religous leader.
She too was in leadership within the church. She too shared the family's fame name. Likewise she too is sharing the scorn. Only now Gayle alone shares in the glory of the family's unity, as her husband Ted shouts in accolades of her honor and glory. Gayle Haggard openly admitts on The Early Morning show interview, being together is better than being separated, alone, and empty. She deceives herself in believing being separated from her " idol" husband Ted, might be the best thing that could ever happen to her, their children and entire family.
Instead of enabling her husband, Gayle would have time and dire need to seek God's will, his face, and his love, growing in self reliance and faith. This would in turn offer Ted needed alone time to do the same. That doesn't mean she would have had to divorce her husband. What I am saying is that she learn to depend in faith on God "alone" to help her stand on her "own" two feet. To show her children that God "alone" is to be the idol of their heart, not a man. There are lesson's to be learned by both Ted and Gayle Haggard. As born again Christians we are never alone and empty, as God is with us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Gayle Haggard states in the HBO documentary, "The Trails of Ted Haggard," why she stayed with her husband after the scandal. "I know to restore the honor to our children is to help restore honor to their father," she says. Gayle Haggard is sadly mistaken. The best thing she could do for her children is to allow God to heal her wounded heart, and restore "her" honor. By doing so, she would become healthy in spirit and truth, passing down spiritual, emotional health and boundaries to her children. Then her children would have one healthy parent to role model, instead of two very sick parents. God alone is who can and does bring restoration, honor, wisdom, knowledge and power, not a man or woman.
The first lesson a healthy, secure person can learn in life is that you can't change anyone but your self. This is also a noted fact promoted in almost all 12 step programs, and by professional therapists. Here are the "public" facts concerning Ted and Gayle Haggard. The good Lord alone knows what went on between Ted and Gayle Haggard in private.
1. According to the Associated Press, and other interviews, including but not limited to the Oprah Winfrey Show, former evangelical pastor Ted Haggard's wife Gayle knew about his struggles with same sex attraction for years and felt he was winning the battle. Did Gayle know her husband Ted struggled with same sex attraction when she helped him start "New Life Church" first meeting in the basement in their home, followed by meeting in strip malls?
Her public statements confirm she did. If so, why would she fleece a flock of people seeking to know God and start a church with her emotionally and spiritually sick husband to begin with?
I know about starting church's, as I have watched my evangelical missionary grandparents, as well as my own parents who were called by God, start and plant church's all for no pay. Ted Haggard watched his father, J.M. Haggard, a practicing veteran in Yorktown, Indiana, start a charismatic ministry, which according to wikipedia, was featured in a PBS Middletown documentary series. Ted and Gayle Haggard's son Marcus also founded and pastored a church called, "Boulder Street Church" in Colorado Springs.
Did Ted Haggard seeing his father J. M Haggard's success in the ministry plant a seed within his mind to start a ministry himself? Why would Ted Haggard start a ministry in God's name knowing he had obsessive compulsive sexual strongholds? Did he not read the bible concerning God's leadership?
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT CHURCH LEADERSHIP?
KJV - 1st Timothy 3:2-7, "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a braler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."
NIV - 1st Timothy 3:2-7, "Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."
The Greek word translated "must" emphasizes an absolute necessity.
Paul writes in Philippians 3:18-19, "For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things."
2nd Peter 3:14, "So then, dear freinds, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."
Addictional scripture concerning blamelessness within God's leaders and believers:
Heb. 13:7, 17
Eph 1:4 ; 5:27
Phil. 1:10 ; 2:15
Sanctified to avoid sexual immorality - 1st Thess. 4:3-5
TED AND GAYLE HAGGARD BACK IN THE MINISTRY HELPING PEOPLE WITH THEIR ADDICTION PROBLEMS?
In "The Trails of Ted Haggard" documentary Ted Haggard states a very important fact:
"Churches are not just spiritual bodies. They are corporations. They're businesses. I think if they had been chess players instead of checkers players, they would have realized that I am their business. Somebody struggling with their sin is the purpose of churches on Earth."
Yes, the church should be helping saved and unsaved alike grow to become more like Christ in spirit in and in truth. One major problem within many of the 21st Century Church's is that they have become more like a business and corporation, rather than a spiritual refuge. An entertainment, social networking venue.
There have been many blogs and commentary written concerning Ted and Gayle Haggard's dire financial situation prompting their desire to move back into the ministry, as they have said in numerous interviews their desire to do so. At this point in time, Ted and Gayle Haggard helping people with their addiction problems would be like the blind leading the blind.
* For additional information concerning sexual addiction and strongholds within the body of Christ, please visit our free "Christian Sex Addiction" coverage/help site at: WWW.SEXHISWAY.COM
2. On the Oprah Winfrey Show, Gayle Haggard said her husband told her early in their 30 year marriage that he "struggled with some thoughts," which she stated, "I felt it was the thing that could destroy Ted if he gave in to it. So I prayed for him and I felt as though he was winning the battle." After finding out the truth of the sexual scandal Gayle claims, "The first words out of my mouth were, Who are you?" Giving credit to Ted Haggard, he told Gayle who he was and what he struggled with early in their marriage. She just chose to ignore his voice, and follow a self-deluded path of religious notoriety.
Larry King interviewed Ted Haggard on the Larry King Live show. Here is a small part of that transcript:
T. Haggard: Thank you. King: Februrary 2005, "Time Magazine" lists you as one of the 20 most influential Evangelicals in the United States.
T. Haggard: Well, I made the worst mistake in my life. I embarrassed my wife and violated her and my children and everybody that trusted me and myself. I -- I did some things that were contrary to the things I believe. And -- and I made a mess of my life.
King: Were these feelings about men, were these feelings that you had for a long time?
T. Haggard: Well, the first I remember them is in high school. And -- but I never acted on them. I married Gayle in college. It was a wonderful relationship with Gayle through the years. And -- but I would I'd wrestle with it and I would have to deal with it and struggle with them. And then I reached a points where I ...
King: Gave in?
T. Haggard: Gave in. I did it. And I'm guilty of many of the things that --- but I'm guilty enough. Manyof the charges against me are exaggerated, but it doesn't matter. I'm guilty enough of so many things that I just said, I'm a deceiver, I'm a liar, I'm a hypocrite, I've got to work these things out. And we've spent the last two years int he desert personally and going through counseling and working it out.
3. Gayle Haggard knew of her husband blatantly discussing the private sex life of others long before he was caught in his secret double life of sin. The conversation in point was an interview by Alexandria Pelosi for the the 2007 HBO documentary, "Friends of God." Sex addicts like to move the conversations they participate in to include their favorite subject matter,sex!
The following are actual comments made by Ted Haggard during that interview:
Haggard: "You know all the surveys say that evangelicals have the best sex life of any other group."
Haggard: "How often do you have sex with your wife?"
Haggard: "Lets say out of 100 times when you have sex, what percentage...what percentage...does she climax?"
A man answers, "Everyone!"
Female interviewer comments, "We've got to join this church! There's a lot of love in this place."
Haggard confirms, "There's ALOT of love in this place!"
Synthia Esther's note:
This interview could pass for a Howard Stern question and answer sex quiz. I wonder if Gayle Haggard thought this was repulsive and degrading to both herself, the wife of the man in the interview, their children, church congregation, sincere followers of Christ, and God himself?
I certainly do! In all my life I know of no preacher who has talked in such a public, braggadocious, sexual manner. Yet Gayle Haggard's public silence concerning this fact remains deafening. These statements alone made by Ted Haggard show where his heart, soul and mind continually strayed.
4. Ted Haggard's written good-bye statement read on Sunday morning to his former congregation included the following statements:
"I asked that this note be read to you this morning so I could clarify my heart's condition to you. The last four days have been so difficult for me, my family and all of you, and I have further confused the situation with some of the things I've said during interviews with reporters who would catch me coming or going from my home. But I alone am responsible for the confusion caused by my inconsistent statements. The fact is, I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem.
'I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life...'"
"...then, because of pride, I began deceiving those I love the most because I didn't want to hurt or disappoint them."
"The public person I was wasn't a lie: it was just incomplete."
Synthia Esther's note:
A lie of omission, is a lie none the less.
TED HAGGARD CONFIRMS BEING REMOVED FROM MINISTRY:
"The accusations that have been leveled against me are not all true, but enough of them are true that I have been appropriately and lovingly removed from ministry."
Synthia Esther's note:
Ted Haggard latter deflects blame by stating, "The church has said go to hell," and "The church chose not to forgive me." These statements do not affirm a contrite heart, expressing sorrow or offenses.
5. The "Jesus Camp" video clip joke by Ted Haggard where he leans into the camera lens and states from the abundance of his jolly heart, "I think I know what you did last night! Give me $1000 and I won't tell your wife! If you use any of this I'll sue you."
Synthia Esther's note:
Yes, Ted Haggard was joking around. But the joke is really on him now isn't it? There is often a lot of truth in jest. Your sins will find you out. God will not be mocked.
6. Gayle Haggards written letter and statement to, "Dear Woman of New Life Church," included the following statement:
"If I were standing before you today, I would not change one iota of what I have been teaching the women of our church. For those of you have been concerned that my marriage was so perfect I could not possibly relate to the women who are facing great difficulties, know that this will never again be the case. My test has begun; watch me. I will try to prove myself faithful. I love you all so much, especially you young women - you were my delight."
Synthia Esther's note:
Gayle Haggard states, My test has begun; watch me? The facts show Gayle's test began in early marriage to her husband Ted when he told her of his sexual strongholds. She just ignored the test. Gayle Haggard's statement "watch me" comes off egotistical and narcissistic.
Having been where Gayle was at, involved with a sick sex addict, I often said during my situation with my "Ex" Ryan, that I was being tested, please pray for me, certainly not "watch me." You can read my referenced story at: WWW.SYNTHIAESTHER.COM / Addiction Subtab/ Title Text: "Foolish Pleasure, The Love Story of a Sex Addict, His Betrayal and Crime."
As for Gayle Haggard's actions being a role model for young women?
On the contrary, I pray women of the world learn by her example of what not to do! Listen to your God inspired intuition, Holy Spiritual heart's warning. Make life long decisions with your head rooted in God's word, not your heart. Jeremiah 17:9, "For the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"
Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." God did not intend for any of his creations both human or animal, to be used and abused. Adultry is grounds for divorce even in the bible. As for forgiveness? A person can and should forgive showing kindness and love towards those who have hurt or wounded them. Forgiveness does not mean having to stay in a situation or relationship that remains sick, harmful and/or toxic. Ted Haggard is a very troubled man. His life is filled with a Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde split personality. By evidence of Gayle Haggard's life choices, she appears spiritually sick and and emotionally toubled too, placing her needs above the emotional health and welfare of her five children.
For additional insight please read my reference article concerning the addiction process at: WWW.SYNTHIAESTHER.COM / ADDICTION PAGE/ TITLE TEXT: "ADDICTION DEFINITION AND HYPOTHESIS."
7. Ted Haggard's name and blame splitting anger and attitude is self evident. He states in the HBO documentary "The Trials of Ted Haggard"... "The reason I kept my personal struggle a secret is because I feared that my friends would reject me, abandon me and kick me out, and the church would exile and excommunicate me. And that happened and more." He criticizes New Life's handling of his firing stating, "The church has said go to hell." Haggard further states, "The church chose not to forgive me." I agree the New Life Church leaders did not handle Haggard's situation with grace, however, they did pay him a very good severance/settlement package. Which I might add, inadvertently, have been taken from contributions and/or tithe money given to the church.
KRDO, News 13 reported the money came from "insurance money." If this is true, the insurance payoff would serve as a marker for "all" church insurance company's to note, which could logically raise church insurance premium's. Where does the money come from to pay for church insurance? Church giving and tithes by the congregation.
Haggard states he feared his friends would reject him, abandoned him and kick him out? The bible states to fear God, not man, women, church, etc...
WHAT DOES GOD'S WORD SAY CONCERNING A SEXUALLY IMMORAL BROTHER? EXPEL HIM - 1ST CORINTHIANS 5:9-13
Verse 11-13, "But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you."
HAGGARD'S FINANCIAL SEVERANCE/SETTLEMENT PACKAGE FROM NEW LIFE CHURCH:
In the good-bye letter written by Haggard and read on Sunday morning to New Life Church, he asked of the church, "I appreciate your loving and forgiving nature, and I humbly ask you to do a few things." Number one on Haggard's list of things he asked them to do? "Please stay faithful to God through service and giving." Yes, we as Christians should "always" stay faithful to God in service and giving. However, Ted Haggard had a financial settlement he was depending on...without the congregations tithe money, giving, the church would be unable to provide Haggard's financial settlement. Only God knows his heart concerning this matter.
8. On "The Early Show" Ted noted that he and Gayle are "very much together," and Gayle agreed, saying, "Absolutely." Haggard confirmed having a "better marriage now than before the scandal. Our Children are all together with us. The family has come together beautifully. Actually, that's what saved my life." Haggard said, "I deserved what I am getting. But Gayle is the hero of the story. Because of it, our children are fine and they're growing. We're fine."
He continues, "I deserved what I received. And so the way my view is, if people hate me, if people resent me, if people call me names, that's justice. I deserve that. If somebody's kind or gives me grace or is gentle, then that's a gift. But that's not true for Gayle. Gayle is not co-dependent. She's not weak, but out of her strength and her devotion, she said, 'I'm going to stay with him' And because of it, she lost the vast majority of her friends and the fellowship of the church."
Gayle striving to keep the family together is not what saved Ted Haggard's life. God did. For if he remained living a life filled with secrets and hypocrisy, he would go to hell. As it is, Haggard has now had the opportunity to get right with God. As for Gayle? I pray she has been shocked out of her "self delusion of denial" and places God in control of her life and family. As she has played the co-dependent savior and enabler to the family far too long.
Larry King interviewed Gayle and asked:
King: Why did you stay?
G. Haggard: Well, actually, for two reasons. The first is that I really do love this man. And I know that he's more than any complications, flaws and sins that he's committed. And the second reason is because of my faith. And it teaches that -- or, actually, the teachings of Jesus are that we forgive and that we love.
King: No matter what?
G. Haggard: Well, 70 times seven is what Jesus says, you keep forgiving. And I think we're the better for it when we do forgive. I'm not saying it was easy. It was a real challenge for me.
LATTER IN THE INTERVIEW LARRY KING ASKED GAYLE HAGGARD:
King: What if he slipped again?
G. Haggard: If he slipped again, I have always said to him, I don't know what I would do. However, it's the same principles that have gotten me through thus far I believe would get me through again.
T. Haggard: I prefer not testing it.
G. Haggard: As would I. As would I.
From the "Co-Dependency" page on this very website, I write about an addict's co-dependent partner. Here is my brief explanation of a co-dependent's obsessive "idol" love of her husband and family.
"Your life is consumed with meeting the needs of those who are close to you. You enable, ignore or refuse to let go of an abusive, addict prone partner. You often feel you are the glue that holds the family or relationship intact. Without you there would not be a family or relationship. You suffer from dysfuctional, obsessive compulsive, maladaptive behaviors, as you seek to habitually save and rescue those you love. You live in a constant cycle of control."
These are the details "we know" Gayle Haggard knew concerning her husband's down low sex life:
* Repeated anal sex with a gay male prostitute
* Drug use
* Repeated sexual acts which included a young male church volunteer
* Repeated lies, manipulation and deception
* Other sexual relationships/behavior Gayle knew about - made reference to in the Larry King/Haggard interview (excerpt below):
King: You reached out to Mike in advance of this interview. He e-mailed us a couple of questions. One thing Mike wanted to know is whether Ted Haggard is prepared to state absolutely that Grant Haas is the only other young man with whom he engaged in inappropriate conduct during his leadership of the New Life Church.
T. Haggard: I have thoroughly discussed the relationship with my wife, and my therapist and to some degree, the family. And we think that's an appropriate boundary for that.
King: So you're not going to comment?
T. Haggard: So it wouldn't be right. And so -- but it's certainly not secret. We have discussed that thoroughly with -- the whole sexual history with my counselors, and I have had very good counselors, and with Gayle.
Synthia Esther's note:
Knowing all this, Gayle Haggard willingly supports her troubled husband in seeking future ministry/speaking opportunity?
Did Gayle Haggard drink her husband's Kool-Aid?
LARRY KING LIVE - TED AND GAYLE HAGGARD INTERVIEW:
King: Let's take a call. Sudberry, Ontario, hello.
Caller: Hello, how are you.
Caller: I just have a question for Ted. I would like to know if you have any desire to go back behind a pulpit or do you just want to take life easy now and kind of do his own thing with his family?
T. Haggard: Yes, good question. Certainly, we as a family are appreciating private time. We have never been alone before. And we have never had our weekends before and our holidays before. And so we're loving that. I do want to tell the story. I think Gail and I both want to tell our story to the degree that it's helpful for other people.
And so I don't know that that would mean a pulpit. But certainly I would be interested in public speaking.
DAVE WELCH, WOULDNETDAILY EXCLUSIVE COMMENTARY, "TED HAGGARD SHOULD STAY SILENT," JANUARY 27, 2009 :
Dave Welch writes:
I wish I could feel more benevolent and compassionate toward Haggard and his struggles with his "complex sexuality." As we look at the long list of fallen clergy, both Protestant and Catholic, we are reminded that no man is above the weaknesses of our flesh, the temptations of the world and the schemes of our spiritual enemy.
However, there is a major difference between Haggard and King David, who when confronted with his sins of adultery and murder responded with:
"Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot our my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. ....Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." - Psalm 51:1-3, 10 NASB).
In spite of claimed regret, Haggard seems to be determined to revel in and profit from his immorality, in spite of the extensive and gracious restoration efforts by the church leadership at the fellowship he once pastored. Rather than continuing in the process of personal restoration, rebuilding his marriage and quietly seeking how God could take the broken pieces of his ministry and use them, he has decided to "make a living" by going the write-a-book, tell-your-story and appear-on-talking-heads route.
THE HUFFINGTON POST, ERIC GORSKI, NOVEMBER 23, 2008, REPORTS:
"You could make a career out of your reformed fallen Christian life," said David Edward Harrell, a retired Auburn University history professor who studies charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity. "What you can't do is go back and do the same thing. Once you've lost that clientele, it's lost."
Evangelicals believe God can change hearts, yet Haggard also must be held accountable and should not return to minisitry early, if ever, said David Neff, editor of Christianity Today Magazine.
"It's like someone who has announced he's an alcoholic and they've got that under control and are dry now," said Neff, a National Association of Evangelicals executive committee member. "You don't want to chance putting them back in the situation where it cound happen again."
FROM US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, INTERVIEW WITH TED HAGGARD BY DAN GILGOFF:
Ted Haggard Responds to Critics - Learning The Limits of Faith.
January 26, 2009 05:10 PM ET, Dan Gilgoff Focus on the Family's H.B. London, who was initially involved in overseeing your "restoration" after the scandal, has criticized you for surfacing in the news again. "If you're going to come out and begin a new life," he said, "why would you choose an HBO documentary and then meet with the liberal Hollywood press?"
Ted Haggard replies: Number one, H.B. never counseled us. Number two, there was no restoration process....I was saddened when I saw H.B.'s comment because I felt as though it was a very typical comment, uninformed by the Gospel. To deride HBO and to speak negatively about people in the press, I don't think is reflective of Jesus' attitude toward people. HBO simply wanted to do something to inform, which is what they do in documentaries. At least the Hollywood press is interested in talking to me. I still have not heard from H.B.
AFTER THE LARRY KING LIVE SHOW WITH TED AND GAYLE HAGGARD, ANDERSON COOPER WEIGHS IN ON 360, TALKING WITH PSYCHIATRIST PAUL DOBRANSKY CONCERNING TED HAGGARD AND HOMOSEXUALITY:
On Anderson Cooper's 360 show in reference to Larry Kings Interview with Ted and Gayle Haggard, Dr. Dobransky states, "When we talk about gender identity and sexual identity and sexual orientation, were talking about something that's biological, not something that you choose." What the good Dr. Dobransky failed to mention is that Haggard was molested by one of his father's worker's at the age of 7. Which is also the sad abuse story behind many homosexual's lifestyle choice's in the world today.
CNN LARRY KING LIVE, NOVEMBER 22, 2006, INTERVIEW WITH DR. JAMES DOBSON. LARRY KING ASKED DR. DOBSON, "WE HAVE DISCUSSED THIS BEFORE IN THE PAST, BUT NOT RECENTLY:
"'DO YOU STILL BELIEVE THAT BEING GAY IS A CHOICE RATHER THAN A GIVEN?'"
Dobson: I never did believe that.
King: Oh, you don't believe it.
Dobson: I don't believe that. Neither do I believe it's genetic. I said that...
King: Then what is it?
Dobson: I said that on your program one time and both of us got a lot of mail for it. I don't blame homosexuals for being angry when people say they've made a choice to be gay because they don't.
It usually comes out of very, very early childhood, and this is very controversial, but this is what I believe and many other people believe, that it has to do with an identity crisis that occurs too early to remember it, where a boy is born with an attachment to his mother and she is everything to him for about 18 months, and between 18 months and five years, he needs to detach from her and to reattach to his father.
It's a very important developmental task and if his dad is gone or abusive or disinterested or maybe there's just not a good fit there. What's he going to do? He remains bonded to his mother and...
King: Is that clinically true, or is that theory?
Dobson: No, it's clinically true, but it's controversial. What homosexual activists, especially, would like everybody to believe is that it is genetic, that they don't have any choice. If it were genetic, Larry -- and before we went on this show, you and I were talking about twin studies -- If it were genetic, identical twins would all have it. Identical twins, if you have a homosexuality in one twin, it would be there in the other.
Dobson: So, it can't be simply genetic. I do believe that there are temperaments that individuals are born with that make them more vulnerable and maybe more likely to move in that direction, but it usually is related to a sexual identity crisis.
IN THIS SAME INTERVIEW LARRY KING AND DR. JAMES DOBSON TALK ABOUT TED HAGGARD'S SCANDAL:
King asked Dr. Dobson concerning Ted Haggard's scandal, "Have you spoken to him?"
Dobson: I have talked to him. I was asked to serve on a three person restoration panel and I originally wanted to be of help and said that I would, but I just don't have the time to do that. And I called my board of directors, we talked about it at length and they were unanimous in asking me not to do that, because this could take four or five years and I just have too many other things going on.
According to additional studies, Dr. Dobson is correct in his time line of four or five years concerning Ted Haggard's sexual restoration process. This 4 to 5 year period is only a marker for noted change, not eradicating sexual addiction, which like all addiction, is a life long process.
- RECOVERY FROM SEX ADDICTION TIME LINE -
DR. JAMES DOBSON AND DR. PATRICK CARNES, WHO IS THOUGHT TO BE THE LEADING AUTHORITY ON SEXUAL ADDICTION AGREE ON A RECOVERY TIME LINE:
In his book, "Don't Call It Love, Recovery From Sexual Addiction," Dr. Carnes outlines a recovery time line lasting five years. After an extensive life status inventory and a month by month history of sex addict's in recovery the five year time line is well documented in Dr. Carnes book. Also addressed are unavailable longitudinal studies, however, aspects of sex addiction recovery address core developmental issues, which take time to heal.
Dr. Carnes also notes, even with help, many sex addict's will always remain tempted by their vice - sex. As is such with many who struggle with addiction strongholds. That being the case, Ted Haggard, or any other sex addicted person, should not be in a position of authority speaking, teaching, preaching...concerning his thorn in the flesh. My prayers are with all sex addicts plagued with obsessive compulsions, including Ted Haggard. A broken heart is never too broken for Jesus Christ to heal.
- THE 21ST CENTURY CHURCH AND SPIRITUALITY - SYNTHIA ESTHER WEIGHS IN -
While I personally feel New Life Church handled both Ted Haggard's and young Grant Haas's situation poorly. I know of many churches (leadership), who have had their priests, pastors, bishops and/or leaders, caught in sexual adultery and acts of pedophilia with underage church members, whom have done much the same thing. They paid them off and moved them far, far away. Being shunned, excommunicated and exiled is not showing Christian love. While the bible hasn't changed, our society, its people, and the world we live in has. Sadly, this leaves the 21st Century Church unequipped, uneducated, and grossly missing the mark when it comes to addressing core issues facing the world and humanity. Sex addiction being one of many such problems.
Update: 2015 - Ted Haggard was invited ordination in the Free Methodist Church, which he accepted.