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November 07, 2006


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Betty Juntune

Thank you for pointing us to Gordon McDonald. His piece was well written and I believe expresses the pain I feel as an evangelical witnessing Haggard's fall. I would hope we are all diligent in praying for him and his family.


Paul Johnson

I was encouraged by MacDonald's piece as well. I found it a good reminder to pray for Haggard.

I have known many men who have come to deal with strongholds of sexual sin later in their lives, some having been "outed," and some on their own terms. I know that right now Ted Haggard may possibly be in a sweeter place with Jesus than he has been in many years. He has an opportunity to spiritually clean house without "upsetting" anyone's further expectations of him.

I think it is a good opportunity for me as a follower of Christ and a follower of people to examine who more often gets the pedestal in my eyes. I do not want to create an attitude in another man that would contribute to the trappings of pride that foster concealing sin.

Our reactions to fallen brothers will speak loudly, both to the world and to other "falling" brothers. I beileve that life-long sanctification is not only the reality for us as believers here on earth, but the ideal. So I choose to pursue its process eagerly in my own life and in the lives of others... even my leaders.



Paul, awesome perspective. Thank you.

Roger A. Bruhn

Doesn't Ted's public failure speak loudly to the subject of how independent and other churches address leadership?

Ted wrote the book (literally) that many independent church leaders point to as the profile for their church governments. His "Board of Overseeing Elders" that we read about in the media was originally conceptualized by Ted after years of study.

I've served with Ted in several Board capacities and consider him a friend. He serves with passion (maybe a bad choice of words under the circumstance, but true none-the-less), intellect and earned authority.

Coincidentally, he and I served together in 2000, to restore a minister friend who, himself, had fallen to adultery.

The broader question that resonates in me now is --- "what of leadership, morality and church government?".

By definition, church leadership deals in morality. And our capacity for moral leadership is so oftentimes diminished a few pegs - and rarely strengthened even one - by the headlines that grab us. I fear that this creates layers of distrust not too far underneath the surface of Christ's church.

Remember that story of Christ and His apostles in John 11 (the Lazarus story)? Read it once again and you see an exceptional example of near absolute and blind trust.

My observation (some would consider me a veteran) is that believers want to follow with that same level of reckless abandon. But so few leaders, it seems, deserve it. It is easy to dismiss this by paying lip service to "we just want them to follow Christ". But a truer reality is that we both represent Him and reflect Him.

These themes seem to kinda crash in on themselves in the wake of public church failures, like Ted's.

My hope is that church leaders, like you, Henry, whether of an independent ilk, EV Free, or others, are having serious discussions behind the scenes about how these media bombshells (and the silent ones we never hear of) affects the average church-goers ability to trust with abandon and to serve with fire.

True joy, happiness and release is discovered in "following leadership as they follow Christ". The Tower of Babel story shines as a reminder that there may never be a greater force known than having energized folks rally around a central goal and leadership worth following.

How do we (the average church goer) know the genuine from the fraud? How do we trust the secret lives we'll never see?

Entrusting ourselves to Christ is a major step. He deserves that entirely. And what of church leadership? Are they taking steps towards their followers, to develop a bond of leadership and trust that allows for exceptional results?

I think you're surrounded by folks, Henry, that are accustomed to producing exceptional results.

I am only one voice on the matter and there is little reason to believe that mine would count for much, but I find that I cannot muster the energy to serve with the most exceptional parts of me if I question leadership. For me the truer statments are that 1) I need to be able to give unbridled trust to that guy; and 2) I want to serve with the level of blind loyalty that John 11 describes.

Complex, sticky, messy issues that require "some splainin'".

Christian literature seems to have an infinite supply of overly simlistic answers to incredibly complex questions. That is not to our credit nor our benefit here.

I do not envy your position as a 2006 leader that needs to garner exceptional trust in order to motivate towards exceptional heights, in a time and culture that screams to the onlooker that faith-filled trust is a casualty of our times.

Praying for answers. Finding very few. Maybe you can elaborate. Godspeed. rb


Roger, you give a lot to think about. Your comments brought to mind the account in the OT about David saying he's thirsty and two of him men risking their lives and going into the enemy camp to get him water. When they give it to him David is overwhelmed by what they do and pours it on the ground as an offering to God. (The other thought that came to mind is the scene in Braveheart where William Wallace discovers that he has been double-crossed by Robert the Bruce.)

Two thoughts: I think there are all kinds of leaders and that different times often call for different kinds of leadership. Same goes for followership. Only two of David's men risked their lives for water. And not all in David's army were counted among his "mighty men."

The other is that no matter what we do, there will always be situations where Christian leaders will fall. It was so in the NT, OT and throughout church history. Each time it happens, people offer solutions like more accountability, greater vulnerability, putting our eyes on Jesus alone, etc., but the reality is that it will happen. David's men would go to their deaths for him, and he ended up killing one of them to protect his reputation. It is what it is until Jesus returns.

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