Ted's Secret Sin
by Motte Brown on 11/06/2006 at 2:24 PM
People do not want to become Christians for one reason and one reason only, and that is because they know it will mean moral change. And they do not want to change. Deep down at the deepest level of our personal honesty we know who he is, and we know that he is telling the truth. We would rather sacrifice our integrity than lose our pride. We would rather stay in the dark, says Jesus, than move into the light and admit what we are really like.
This is an excerpt from Roy Clements's Introducing Jesus about why non-believers stay non-believers. I believe this is true for the Christian life as well.
Mr. Clements was a leading evangelical pastor in the UK before he left his wife and three children for his gay lover in 1999. I was introduced to Roy while he visited Mark Dever's Capitol Hill Baptist Church as a guest preacher two years before his "outing." His sermon that day was powerful. I remember immediately buying two of his books with great anticipation of reading more from the man I had just heard.
I was still a new Christian when the news broke of his longtime sexual relationship with a man and the subsequent events of him leaving his family and faith. New in the faith myself, and having been tremendously affected by his sermons and books, I was confused how a man so gifted to preach God's Word could abandon God's Word. I asked Mark (who was also friends with Roy) how this could happen. He said that when we are struggling with sin and keep it hidden from others, sooner or later, it will come to the surface.
Many in Colorado, our nation and around the world are now asking similar questions about one of America's leading evangelicals, Ted Haggard. And from his letter of confession to New Life Church, it appears that keeping his secret from others was the beginning of his undoing as well. It is tragic for Ted and his family that the culmination of this sin ended with him living out his dark desires. But unlike Roy Clements, who has alligned himself with gay Christian advocacy groups since he was exposed, Ted's words about his accuser seem to reveal a man who wants to change:
"Please forgive my accuser. He is revealing the deception and sensuality that was in my life. Those sins, and others, need to be dealt with harshly. So forgive him and, actually, thank God for him. I am trusting that his action will make me, my wife and family, and ultimately all of you, stronger."