Philip, what I found of greatest
interest is what Haggard ‘fessed up to, and his
tone in doing so:
“I am so embarrassed and ashamed,” he wrote in a two-page letter read at each service. “I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach.
“I am a deceiver and a liar,” he
This, to me, is much harsher upon himself than any admission of
specific immoral sexual behavior or drug use could be. And unlike
many others who are caught in hypocrisy or worse, he did not invoke
any mitigating circumstances or blame others. In fact, he asked
others to forgive and “thank God” for his accuser.
I was also impressed with the church’s management of the issue,
and the structure they had in place to address possible sin issues
with New Life’s leadership. It all reminds me of what the Apostle
Paul wrote in Romans 7:13-25, which says in
For I delight in the law of God
according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members,
warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity
to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God — through
Jesus Christ our Lord!
You talked about preachers who don’t “practice what they preach,” making it more difficult to convince the unconverted. You are absolutely correct, but when they do fail, it will have helped if they have preached a strong dose of grace through faith in Jesus Christ for all who sin.