Posts Tagged ‘Ted Haggard’

NEWS FLASH: His statement cometh.

“Categorically Deny.” Two words in issued while submerged in hot water scream another two words louder in the human vernacular than any other, “I’m guilty.”

Of course, that’s what Bishop Eddie Long‘s lawyers had to say late yesterday as he posted a well-crafted and certainly sincere statement to his website.

All I ask is for your patience as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges.

Eddie Long sans cleric outfit

Maybe it's a P90X before and after shot?

Well, that’s reassuring. Granted, this media feeding frenzy of him boinking armor bearers (my assumption on the armor bearers can be read here) and sending pictures of the Bishop all swolled in spandex (more on that in a moment) has the Christian nation in quite a kerfuffle. One famed and scarred preacher in particular (again, keep reading for that gem).

However, as a pastor, I suppose Bishop Long is only used to showing out on Sundays, so he will wait until then to visibly “categorically deny” these heinous charges:

I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so. However, my lawyers have counseled patience at this time.

Again, that’s nice. I mean, if I was a member of his church, I would certainly feel fine about him waiting almost a full week to tell me he’s not guilty.

Before we throttle that crisis communications strategy, let’s review. Better yet, let’s allow ABC News to do that:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’ve been around the Church for years. Decades even. And nowhere in my experience with consulting pastors do I see a passage of scripture that suggests rocking the UnderArmour to impress your sheep. Does that help them graze more effectively? Do you get more well-shewn Kashmir sweaters if the flock is exposed to the “gun show”?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Back to the statement.

Bishop Eddie Long is hemorrhaging over this alleged incident, and yet, he allows his attorneys to make public statements for him… and that’s supposed to make it all right?!

It’s bad enough he doesn’t care enough to immediately respond to this mess, he is having a gaggle of white folk talk noise to his highly not-so-white congregation. Yeah, that’ll do it. You dolt.

It is completely obvious why he “feels the Lord” telling him to wait until the Sabbath to respond? In all his years of impromptu preaching, even the verbose Eddie Long will need a ghostwriter for this message. It will caked with legalese and PR speak… you know, like any good Congressional representative busted for the same thing. (What? Too soon?)

There will nothing genuine about this retort because it didn’t come from him. The only that clearly did come from the Bishop are those pictures and the aggressive needs delivered by now four men.

However, he pleads for mercy and understanding… and patience… has earned Eddie Long one fan: Meet Ted Haggard.

The man who hand-led his family through a harangue of male prostitution, drugs and oh yeah, “categorically denying” it every step of the way has decided that what Eddie Long needs is his valuable endorsement:

Good times, Bishop Long. Good times. The more things change, the more they stay the same, no? But hey, we still have this:

Finally, as I have done for thousands of others over my decades of preaching, I ask for your prayers for me, my family and our church. On Sunday, at New Birth, I will respond to my congregation.

And the world brother. Because believe me, we will all be listening. You know, just the way your lawyers planned it.

Okay, no more Mr. Nice HiScrivener.

The insolent negligence on behalf of the Catholic Church and even His now-apparent-not-so-Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI is overwhelming. Any one seen the latest from the New York Times? No? Here’s the headline:

Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys

Courtesy: New York Times (He's the tool "praying")

Here’s the summary: Reverend” Lawrence Murphy was a priest in Milwaukee, Wis. who apparently had no business being a priest, much less around kids. This sinful derelict was worked as principal at the St. John’s School for the Deaf from 1950 – 1974.

Get that, DEAF kids. Murphy was ousted from that position when he was found as a crooked malefactor who “admitted to molesting at least thirty, and may have sexually abused more than 100 boys at St. John’s.”

He admitted to denigrating the lives of more than 100 boys to solely cop a feel. Priestly, ain’t it?

What happened to Murphy? Apparently no one asked and thanks to the old gray lady, we now know. NOTHING!

Who’s to blame for this unrighteous reprobate getting by for child molestation? Pope Benedict XVI.

Now before you get off claiming I’m a blasphemer and “touch not mine anointed,” this is reporting the facts. And, before you get all dexterous, think about this – some sleazy assistant principal who claims he’s a Christian at your son’s school gets handsy and your kid tells you about it. What do you do? Pray about it because you want to make sure God approves? Uh, not so much.

You grab the closest gun, vial of holy water and march straight to the school.

Now, say that same dude did it to 100, 200 or even 300 boys. Deaf boys. And the principal was told about this heinous act MANY TIMES and still did nothing to his assistant. Who are you mad at now? Hmmm… yeah, that’s what I thought. Back to the story.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

Classy. 300 kids who already can’t talk have to deal with nightmares of a so-called “man of the cloth” molesting them and these nefarious nitwits are primarily concerned about a negative PR hit.

Seriously!? By the 70s, priest and child abuse were as much of a tandem in the headlines as Sonny & Cher; yet, no calls to parents, no punishment for the priest and no public apology. Nothing. Instead, then Cardinal B16 sat on his blessed assurance and looked for the closest Persian rug to sweep ol’ Murphy under.

Evidently, that broom was busy for the next 20 years…

In 1996, Cardinal Ratzinger failed to respond to two letters about the case from Rembert G. Weakland, Milwaukee’s archbishop at the time. After eight months, the second in command at the doctrinal office, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, now the Vatican’s secretary of state, instructed the Wisconsin bishops to begin a secret canonical trial that could lead to Father Murphy’s dismissal.

Two years later, God finally intervened and Murphy died… still a priest! Good riddance, but as a certain book Il Papa has read declares, “God is not mocked… a man sows what he reaps.”

News came out following this tool’s death that Murphy has been accused of soliciting sex from children in the confessional and in the middle of the night in their dormitory or his bedroom… for more than 20 years.

You cuss at a referee in sports, you will be suspended. You do drugs on the job, you are fired. You molest and abuse more than 300 kids over a span of two decades, no defrocking (removal of priestly duties and that dirty collar), no nothing. If you’re a crook, I know where you can get a gig.

Father Murphy not only was never tried or disciplined by the church’s own justice system, but also got a pass from the police and prosecutors who ignored reports from his victims, according to the documents and interviews with victims. Three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that Father Murphy was sexually abusing children, the documents show, but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities.

Did Murphy have pictures of other priests? Something on tape? Tell me he was this master spy who could take down the Papacy with the dirt he had, which is why he went away without a spank on the wrist – much less handcuffs.

As to why Father Murphy was never defrocked, he [Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi] said that “the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties.” He said that Father Murphy’s poor health and the lack of more recent accusations against him were factors in the decision.

His health?! Who the hell cares about his health after he damaged the mental health of more than 300 kids who, up until Father Pervert got in touch with them, loved God and wanted to worship him. Now how’s their relationship with Christ? You think they blame God for the nightmares? Just a skosh.

His health. Kushite, please!

Listen, as a child of God and someone who works with the media, I clearly understand the Church is under attack. Name the denomination or religion and I’ll show you a story:

  • Catholics – Child Abuse
  • Episcopalians – Openly gay appointed Bishops
  • Baptists – Pastors who make Glenn Beck look tame
  • Mormons – Holy underwear and multiple marriages
  • Pentecostals – Old fashioned and starving kids
  • Evangelicals – Um, Ted Haggard, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Pat Robertson and so much more…

What do all of these groups have in common? Jesus Christ! All claim to follow him and none are doing a great job. Every time there is a headline that makes the planet scoffs, who gets the blame? Father Murphy? These idiots in pulpits? Nope. God.

The world is still in God's hands. Praise the Lord.

Ultimately, the question always comes from a good-minded Atheist, journalist or Christian, “Why are these bad things happening in the church under God’s nose, and why does he allow them?”

Answer: I have no clue, but I can assure you for each one of these sinister dealings, there are millions of well-intending, spiritual-living, God-adoring people who negate this news on a daily basis. The only problem is these folk don’t have the headlines so people go on blaming God despite the righteous works of many.

There are wolves in wool everywhere and it is up to us – those who love God unashamedly and unabashed – to stand up, speak out and shut down the negativity with God’s work. Pastors, evangelists, teachers and lay people – we need to unite and crush the works of the enemy. Where is it happening? Everywhere. So how can you help? Fervent prayer.

You know things are getting bad when kids are dying on the inside and the only concern is, “How is this going to affect our reputation?”

Somehow, the Lord is in control and despite the ire of the enemy and the obvious victories he is earning, God will have the final say.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all. (1 Chronicles 29-11 AMP).

Until then, let’s do a better job Church and slam the frock out of any demonic force that tries to get in our way. As for the Pope, enjoy the PR. According to Google, you are getting a lot of it.

Ted Haggard and his shirt

Courtesy: TallSkinnyKiwi.typepad.com

No, no. I mean starting a new church.

What did you think I meant? You Wall-watching gutter minds. Oy!

Anywhoo, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Ted is back with a vengeance and holding a “prayer meeting” on November 12 at… his house.

(Hey, isn’t that how he first got in trouble with his gay-lover-masseuse-meth-dealer-dude in the first place?)

Back to the story:

“We wanted to do something in our house to connect with friends,” said Haggard, whose ties to New Life ended in scandal three years ago with the revelation that he’d been involved with a male prostitute in Denver.

For the record, Haggard began the Colorado megachurch, New Life Church, with 25 people in his basement. The rest is history as he would become a force in ecumenicalism – one of the top pastors in America, voice to the president and leader of the National Association of Evangelicals as his own church surpassed 14,000.

Neither had a comment about Haggard and his new start-up, but suffice to say, I don’t think there is going to be a neighborhood sleep over any time soon.

“For this prayer meeting, I have no goals,” Haggard said. “I have no secret hope that more people will come. I am not driven as I was. Before I focused on the Great Commission. Now I focus on helping other people.”

MEMO to Sweet Teddy: I know you may be a little rusty on the Bible but the “Great Commission” (making disciples and all) is helping other people.

Haggard has been a busy boy since his unceremonious interlude with Mike Jones. He’s been selling insurance, giving “talks” on weekends and, as we posted on the Wall a while back, traipsing his family on national TV to “Divorce Court.”

Still classy after all these months.

And speaking of Mike Jones, the church volunteer Lothario had this to say about Haggard’s interloping with a home church service:

Ted Haggard certainly has the right to do what ever he wants and deserves to be happy in life.  But make no mistake: Ted does nothing by accident. This will be in the press, two months before Gayle’s book is released and then his book to follow.  At this point, publicity is publicity.

 

But to sum it up, if Ted and Gayle were at Disneyland,they would never leave Fantasyland.  But this time they have Oprah as Tinkerbell to spread the fairy dust.

Crazy, not stupid. Of course, this is about public relations. Ted knows how to work the press, just check Google. It hearts Haggard. Dude needs cash, credibility, and above all, cash.

Having a Tupperware party at his house won’t cut it, but get that on national TV and possibly with a TBN cameo, and it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Question to all of us is: Should he be taken seriously?

forgiveness on the wall

Suitable, it being tagged on the Wall

Before we answer with a diatribe laced with vitriol and expletives, remember Capernaum anyone?

Peter decided he could quantify forgiveness because of the acts aginst him by some schlep he knew. He thought seven was a good number, seeing how he took that numerology class in Temple a few weeks back.

Jesus threw Peter a curve ball saying, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22 NKJV).

Did Jesus wants to give Peter a pop quiz on his times tables, or was that a metaphorical way to say, “Dude, if I had a dollar for every time you screwed up…”

“No one can possibly keep count of such a high number of offenses,” writes John MacArthur in reference to 490 (the result of “seventy times seven”). “But that is precisely the point! Keeping count has nothing to do with true forgiveness. If an offense is sincerely forgiven, it cannot be held against the offender.” (John MacArthur. The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness. Crossway Books, 2009)

I don’t know about you , but I passed 490 years ago. [Shoot, who am I kidding, months ago.] My check would so bounce past food stamps and into welfare. However, God is bigger than that.

Do I think Haggard should be back in charge of a church now? Certainly not. There has got to be work God still has to do in his heart and his family’s life.

Do I think Haggard is forgiven? If he marched up to the throne of Grace – not before he marched up to his wife who is still with him –  and begged for it, you bet.

Do I think this is a great idea? No way… but I do understand. Albeit, a little.

Yeah, what a Lothario.

Yeah, what a Lothario.

Pony trotting. Cigar smoking. Greek writing. Lecherous looking. Money stealing. That was Dr. Gene Scott. (MEMO to Wall Watchers, if you know what’s good for you, do watch that link. Hil. Ar. Ee. Ous!)

Anyone who has experienced a hankering for late-night TV and erstwhile, a quest for things of God, have found this tool back in his heyday puffing on a stogie demanding cash to pay for his horse stables and alcohol bingeser, ministry.

“Get on the telephone,” the foolish dolt could be heard yelling at the top of his tar-filled lungs. It wasn’t about Jesus. It was about cash money, but at least he was honest about it.

You knew that because every time he would break for “the phones to get hot,” this charlatan would go to video clips of rubenesque women in complimentary sweaters while rocking horseback a la Lady Godiva.

And then he died at the age of 75… and that’s when it got really interesting.

His uh, “wife” – nearly 40 years his junior – took over the ministry with armored truck in tow making more than… wait for it… $1 million per month, as hubby did in his corpulent day! No wondered she jumped on the equine gravy train.

Relatively quiet from late night benders, Marie Claire magazine (yeah, that’s what I said… not precisely the bastion of investigative journalism) decided to get involved (with some spry writing) and blow the “Jesus Saves” sign justly off the Universal Cathedral in Los Angeles.

Courtesy: Marie Claire

Courtesy: Marie Claire

Shortly after his funeral, Doc Scott’s comely young wife assumed University’s pulpit. But after her first sermon, someone anonymously mailed churchgoers Easter cards featuring snapshots of a porn star named Barbi Bridges, who looked remarkably similar to Pastor Melissa Scott. One image showed the woman with her legs spread wide, Virgin Mary and baby Jesus postage stamps covering her privates. Another featured a “See you Sunday!” banner plastered across her bare chest; underneath, it read: “The Church Where You Can Do Anything … Anything.”

In lieu of Ted Haggard, Jim Bakker, Robert Tilton, Jim Swaggart and Paul Crouch ubiquitous falls from grace, this seemed just another day at the ecumenical office. She denied it, kept on preaching and no one said, “Boo!”

Until this story came out and now, “Barbie Bridges” and “Melissa Scott” are two of the most-searched terms on Google. Stay classy, world.

Some of the die-hard brainwashed folk don’t understand the ballyhoo or see the resemblance. They just follow the bit in their collective mouths and agree this crusty curmudgeon just met this hot woman who, according to her Web site, is a natural linguist with command of twenty languages, she digs deeply into her vast collection of ancient manuscripts to find and communicate the purest understanding of what the original inspired writers of the Bible had to say.

Oh yeah, and she was a porn queen. Yeah, those two go together like PB & J.

Courtesy: Mothrust

Courtesy: Mothrust

Is there a resemblance? Is “Barbie Bridges” and uh, Pastor Scott indeed the same? You tell me… it must be the eyes.

Now, allow me to preface, God is a god of second chances and regardless of what she did to eh, “earn a living” back in the day, if God was in the mix of repentance, Melissa is forgiven and all is well.

However, based on the greased-pig tactics of the Scott empire, this woman is doing the same thing to get the same thing – tricks for treats. It’s all about the Benjamins, right Pastor?

So, just how did Melissa get her baptism by fire? Apparently, Gene Scott had more mystical powers of pablum than we knew:

“I’m the fruit of his lifelong ministry. He birthed me,” Scott says, choking up.

Well, that’s nice. Back to the show…

If you are proud of a testimony, why hide it? Why not express what God is capable of doing in your life? Why not lead others to the gospel with your message and the power of the Lord to remove sin as far as the east is from the west? Maybe, you’re just full of hot air like your Cuban stick smoking husband?

Asked about the Barbie Bridges matter, Scott smacks her berry-stained lips and scoffs. “It’s definitely a freak show. I’ve seen a good portion of the stuff on the Internet, and honestly, I almost have to laugh at it,” she says, flashing the smile again. Pressed further, Scott sighs deeply, then adds, “Okay, I was never an actress in a pornographic movie. So what does that do? You defend that, what else do you start defending?

I don’t know about you, but if someone accused me of being in porn, I would look into my own style of “laying on of hands” and slap that lying devil in the grill. Barbie… er, Melissa? She just rolls with it. Regretfully, her pulpit is stained with more than memories of being a pony girl. It’s her predecessor and his flagrant abuse of trust, apologetics and love of God. And then there is rumors of Melissa following in her hubby’s cankles demanding people to work for free so she can pay for her condo and surrounded by a dozen bodyguards at all times.

Jesus had that… only the guards were interested in the body of Christ, not one that has been seen across the Web on a daily basis.

Evangelical [ee-van-jel-i-kuhl]

  1. adj. Pertaining to certain movements in the Protestant churches in the 18th and 19th centuries that stressed the importance of personal experience of guilt for sin, and of reconciliation to God through Christ.
  2. n. an adherent of evangelical doctrines marked by ardent or zealous enthusiasm for a cause

Amazing how a very popular word, that can be used in two different ways, can mean totally different things.

As an adjective, calling an action evangelical expresses fervor, passion and a firm commitment. However, as a noun, it denotes lukewarm people, phlegmatic expressions and tepid pablum.

You know, “I respect the person but that ‘Aw shucks’ attitude about Jesus is completely annoying.” And then, anyone in the Church rattles off the names ad nauseum: Rick Warren, Ted Haggard, Bill Hybels and Joel Osteen completing the “Non-Prophet Organization” (Imagine my cheesy grin now).

They sell books. They pack stadiums. They get invited to the big boys table at the White House. And they are living large! So, it’s all good, right?

evangelicalbookAccording to Warren Cole Smith evangelical journalist and editor of the Charlotte World (and this article in the Charlotte Observer): “Wrong!”

In his new book, an insider critique called “A Lover’s Quarrel with the Evangelical Church” (Authentic Books, $16.99), Smith argues that many, if not most, evangelical churches have lost their way. Instead of sticking with core biblical principles, rich traditions and church-as-community, he says, they promote feel-goodism, technological fads and church-as-entertainment.

Look out. Warren Cole Smith getting nice with “feel-goodism.” I know I didn’t study that theorem in Seminary, but I’m feelin’ it.

And, along with that new theological bent comes the technology to promote it: Twitter (I think I just threw up a little on my PC thinking of this trend for churches).

I mean, we should all have an elevator speech to witness – keep it simple, keep it sanctified. But, to ONLY do it in 140 characters or less?! That’s not outreach. That’s just plain lazy and saying you witness just for the sake of saying you do. But, that seems to be the trend these days.

Revelation 3:15-16 (NASB) tells us, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot… So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

While you kids are gallivanting around in your Learjets teaching the common man to “become a better you”, “being a contagious Christian”, “having a purpose-driven life” or just doing blow with a gay prostitute while fronting biblical organizations, there is all pomp… no circumstance.

Matthew 28:19 (NKJV) commands us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”

joel-osteen-smileAre you doing that, or just pitching a tent for a day, promoting a cause, pushing an ATM and leaving town to cut bait?

Now, before you consider me to be some reject ne’er-do-well, consider Smith who is about to punk the guy pushing folk to get “their best life now”:

Joel Osteen has a view of the world that you can have your best life now,” Smith said. “If I were going to rewrite Genesis and put (modern) words into the mouth of Satan … I’d put Joel Osteen’s words there: ‘You’re not so bad. You’re so close to being God now. Just a little tweak, a little tune-up, a little bit better. Just follow these 7 rules.’

Since I found this article, I have read this book… twice!

If you believe there is no issues with today’s Church and how they have become the Freudian couch of tomorrow, think again. If you consider how we are supposed to reach the lost, and aren’t, this book makes you think twice and reinvent the way you live a Jesus life out loud. If you think nothing is wrong, then … uh, I don’t know… read the Bible:

“Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:5 ESV).

NOW… go read the book. This is unsolicited but it got my goat. What can I say? Oh wait, scroll up… no “feel-goodism” there. Let’s hope it sticks.