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By February 15, 2011 gracenomics, videos 20 Comments

Posted by Mike Foster:

So I’m curious.

Is the NFL, PGA and CBS better at giving second chances than the church?

Here is Ted Haggard(and friend of POTSC) sharing his thoughts on the topic.

Personally, I think there is a lot of validity in what he is saying. And truthfully, that bothers me. So let’s work together to change it.

So what do you think?



  • Anonymous says:

    But we have to honest as to the motives of CBS, the NFL and the PGA. They are grace filled, redemptive people. They are focused on the bottom line. CBS doesn’t own late night TV without David Letterman. No one can market home spun crafts like Martha Stewart. Michael Vick now carries the label of Franchise player which translates “he’s our money maker.” Let’s be careful to not elevate the actions and motives of secular organizations above the church, made up of broken and fallible beings.

  • Matthew Gillogly says:

    I totally get this and agree with his observations.

  • Mike Foster says:

    but i think that is the point that Ted is making…thats the tragedy.

  • but they only make a profit if those folks succeed. their success depends on people forgiving them still

  • Jason Wert says:

    Ted’s right on the mark here.

  • H. Lee says:

    We all carry our own load of secrets, sins, shameful thoughts and acts. Some more significant than others, but none of us are free from those things. But sadly, the church is truly the last place I would want to unload those burdens. Could I do so alone with Jesus? No problem. But in a church context? Very difficult to imagine. The church has a long way to go to model the grace and forgiveness that Jesus himself offers so freely.

  • wow! True, but I find that the high profile people who fall want to keep their high profile, is it the church that isn’t forgiving them or is it that they themselves wont take a step back for that place of power to get and keep restoration? I was there for the Swaggart fall, I worked at the ministry the four years before the first fall. I left the summer after he confessed. He was still condemning us to hell if we listened to rock music yet he expected everyone else to just be ok with him continuing on preaching as if he hadn’t just been getting blow jobs from a prostitute. He wouldn’t take the help offered, the counseling, nothing because he didn’t want to stop being Jimmy Swaggart the TV Evangelist. So a couple years later he was caught again with a prostitute. I think had he been willing to let all the fame and notoriety go, had he been willing to seek help, he would have come back strong.

  • Anonymous says:

    I guess I don’t understand how the church has not been gracious to Tedd?

  • dan perkins says:

    He makes a point but not the whole point. In my humble opinion, CBS, KMart and the NFL are not holders and proponents of virtue. I would argue Tiger Woods is still struggling compared to where his star had risen but since his life was associated with an all around good guy persona his return to public grace is still strained. Forgive me for noting this but Mr. Haggard appears to play the victim card here without declaring it. Receiving forgiveness is not an act of the receiver and can never be demanded. However, it is our obligation to forgive regardless of offense but does that mean “restore?” it would appear the line blurs when expectations go unchallenged.

  • Joanna says:

    There’s a major difference between a football player or tv celebrity publicly screwing up, and a moral/faith leader screwing up. Celebrities never claimed to be leaders of morality or faith. Never adhered to a particular set of beliefs that they were also asking others to follow after. A pastor screwing up is far more damaging to far more people, than if some athlete solicits a prostitute. A pastor who leads two lives is like a wolf hiding among sheep. A secular celebrity is just a regular goat. Not a sheep, not pretending to be a sheep. Just a goat. Goats don’t hurt sheep, wolves do.

  • Billy R. says:

    What he seems not to understand is the difference between forgiveness and trust. I have no doubt he’s been forgiven by God and by the church in general, but if he expects that the church will restore his leadership, that’s a completely different ball game.

  • Freddy says:

    Right on… I must say that the Church indeed instead of redeeming through Christ rejects the sinner and the example brings devastation and sorrow to those left behind. The church became for some a place to retrieve and dictate by underlining passages misunderstood by few affecting the mass. Well said and a frightening fact. May those with Grace change the church to appeal to those who have no hope.

  • Reglookjr says:

    This is good, and I believe what he is saying is true to some extent … the church does suck at forgiveness , true forgiveness from the heart … however, I have this overwhelming conviction that what he wants grace and forgiveness to be … it isn’t. Let me explain, first of all, I spent 8 yrs in San Fran and have seen pastor’s that chose the homosexual lifestyle over their congregations without remorse (or, outward remorse I should say), and I have seen truly repentant men get caught up in things they shouldn’t have and paid the consequences of that sin – in many ways. Grace and forgiveness is a spiritual act of the heart and the soul. I can say I look at Ted Haggard with no resentment or ill will, he is totally forgiven in my eyes. If he has true remorse and is repentant from his heart for his actions … and has asked for forgiveness through Christ … he is forgiven. ‘He who the Son sets free is free indeed’. I hold NOTHING towards him. I would fellowship with him (and have with people in his shoes, and loved them no less). But the consequences of his sin are that he is not able to be in leadership … at least, to the extent and in the place that he was.

    However, the undertones of what he is saying is, ‘I am remorseful and repentant; therefore I should get my big congregation back. I should be a big preacher again.’ (my words are crass, I suspect his wouldn’t be) but the idea that he should be welcomed with both arms back into a leadership role is ludicrous. The consequence this side of heaven for the sin that he chose is that he looses the right to leadership … at least at this time and in that place … HE IS FORGIVEN. But, he is no longer trustworthy with the hearts and souls of people, in that role, in that place.

    Now, let me also say this, I have also seen pastors ‘after the fact’, meaning they were in leadership in a big church, had an affair, lost their church and I met them when they were at the point in their life where it was time to begin rebuilding. They still felt called to preach, and started again. I support that After a time of healing and restoration, with full disclosure … and I wouldn’t have had a hesitation sitting underneath them … and actually did in one case.

    There is healing, restoration and even back into leadership roles within the church, but, what most people want when they talk about ‘grace and forgiveness’ is to neglect the consequences of the sins that they chose. Grace and forgiveness is an internal, spiritual act of the heart and spirit. The consequences of our sins are the outward manifestation and the physical reminder on WHY Christ tells us not to do those things in the first place. They cannot be negated.

    Let’s not get confused about celebrities and business executives, those organizations have NOTHING to do with grace and forgiveness… THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT IT, They are ONLY profit driven and the quickest way back to profitability is to put that person back in the role … as soon as possible. They are NOT forgiven and there is no Grace afforded them. Their sins are shoved in the closet and forgotten, NOT FORGIVEN. They are there to drive profits, and that is it. If there were someone else that could do it faster without the drama … companies would choose that direction, I promise. This is a different entity entirely and not even in the same ball park. For Ted to even compare the two, in my mind, reveals his true desire – which is to be restored to his previous roles … and that simply can’t happen … and THAT is not forgiveness.

    Wow, that got kinda long … I apologize if I got windy … I will get off my soap box, now … your turn!

  • Thanks for sharing this video, Mike. I have personal seen the church kick us and so many others who needed grace. Yes, we needed to get honest about our short comings, yet God teaches us to help those who are broken. We ought to be the first to get it right, to model it, to live it out loud. I have met Ted Haggard since his fall, and the time I sat and listened and learned was priceless. Further, I have watched Ted minister to others who have been hurting. It is time for the church to do what God called us to do in the area of Grace.

  • ProvidenceAvenue says:

    The process of restoration does not imply Ted is given the same measure of authority as before. While people come around to oversee and help with the restoration, it is up to Ted himself to work this out with the Lord. Only the Lord can restore his family to him and restore him to any form or ministry. There is no man on earth who can accomplish this for Ted, only God can. People are not in the way of Ted’s “ministry” You better believe if God placed his anointing on this man he would have no problem being established in authority. The problem is God hasn’t yet, and he might not. TV interviews like this ridiculing the church would show to me this process of restoration to public ministry is not complete.

  • Doug Lake says:

    Ted voices what many have felt (me included) about the Church but … what does restoration look like to the Church and why can’t we live it out?

    First step, everyone should read Gracenomics and live like Ephesians 2 matters to us (not in this order of course!)

    Any other thoughts of how … please chime!

    I’d love to hear some thoughts.

  • Ted Haggard is making a great statement here, but if there’s one thing I know about PGA, CBS, and the NFL is that money talks. Martha Stewart, Tiger Woods, and Vick all have money, and sadly I think that is a huge, underlying factor to their ‘restoration’.

    Ted is right about how the church doesn’t do what we preach, though. When our eyes are set on fear, power, reputation, etc., instead of Christ, we tend to forget forgiveness and hold onto what we think is important. This has devastating effects on the people we interact with.

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