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Ted Haggard 
4th-Nov-2006 07:14 pm
Ted Haggard, the former president of NAE, has been removed from his senior pastor's position at the church which he founded a decade ago. Here is the link to the church press release. It says, "Our investigation and Pastor Haggard’s public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct. The language of our church bylaws state that as Overseers we must decide in cases where the Senior Pastor has demonstrated immoral conduct whether we must remove the pastor from his position or to discipline him in any way they deem necessary."

Pastor Haggard should have learned from UBF leaders regarding how to protect his authority and his position by filling every committee with his loyal devotees. Then he could have survived all the accusations by calling his accusers Satan. He should have adopted Dr. Samuel Lee's ministry style so that everyone in his church blindly follow him as a great servant of God.

For example, Mark Yang who was accused of sexually abusing one of his female members is still actively working in UBF with power and authority. He is a member of the new committee in UBF HQ to develope an education program for missionaries as well as staff worldwide. In UBF it is a crime to accuse any UBF leader of any wrong doing. UBF leaders accumulate their enormous power and authority to do anything they want. Anybody who is against it considered Satan. UBF is immoral organization and nobody is allowed to correct it.

This is generally the case in most churches in Korea. A good example is Rev. Paul Yonggi Cho and his church. He and his family members are accused of numerous charges. Some include even criminal charges. But he is still in power. He promised many times he was going to resign but he never kept his word. Guess why he doesn't resign? He says that he could not find anyone of his spiritual capacity to replace him to run the church he founded!
5th-Nov-2006 04:52 am (UTC)
I think at this point the overseers of the church made a very wise decision to dismiss Pastor Ted Haggard even though he is the founder and has served the church and the congregation to lead many people to Jesus. Pastor Ted Haggard must have been a very good influence to many people. He must have been a spiritual inspiration to many who were wandering in sin with no hope. He must have been a very spiritually powerful man who could establish a mega-church with 14,000 members! I think his spiritual authority must have been far greater than that of Dr. Samuel Lee or Mark Yang or Rev. Yonggi Cho.

There must have been so many people in his church who were personally helped by Pastor Ted Haggard. He must have taught them the Bible one-to-one, prayed for them, visited them etc.. But the overseers were not blinded by all the good things that Pastor did for the church. The overseers of the church made the decision with their bylaws that apply to every member of the church. They did it very quickly. I want to give a lot of credit to the church for this. It seems that Pastor Ted Haggard is a hypocrite but not the church.

I feel very sorry for the church members. They gave their trust to their pastor. But now they are betrayed. We should pray for these brothers and sisters who are in great spiritual need at this point. I hope that they may turn their spiritual eyes and attention to Jesus. May they overcome this difficult time through Jesus. Some church members might have paied more attention to the personal charisma and personal charm of Pastor Ted Haggard for some time. But now we know any human leader, charming and charismatic, cannot replace our Lord Jesus. The Owner of any church is Jesus. Our pastors are servants no matter how much charming and charismatic they are. They help us and serve us. But we cannot depend on them. I hope that this sad event may become a wake-up call to everyone who is intrigued by a human leader's charm and charisma.
5th-Nov-2006 05:21 am (UTC)
Some people might say that Christians are all hypocrites. I think they are right. But they are also wrong. In fact everyone, a Christian and a non-Christian, is a hypocrite. The difference is that we Christinas come to Jesus with our hypocracy. But the UBF leaders legitimize their hypocracy. So they are not Christians at all. They are worse than Pastor Ted Haggard because they cannot be removed even though they sin. Instead these UBF leaders remove those who accuse them of their sin calling them ungrateful rebels.

For exmaple during the reform movement a few years ago, Dr. Samuel Lee and John Jun removed everyone who called for repentence from them and called for reform in UBF. The UBF leaders still glorify Dr. Samuel Lee's false theology and methodoly to protect their power and authority even though they know his teachings and methodology are false. These UBF leaders are the real hypocrites who would remove anyone pointing out their hypocracy.

But the overseers of the New Life Chruch are better(?) than UBF leaders. I think the church members are in good hands. This event will bring a lot of accusations and negative images against all Christians especially in USA. But as the Bible says, "Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him." Please pray for every Christian in USA, especially the members of the New Life Church, not to be afraid but trust in God Almighty who can deliver us from all evil.

5th-Nov-2006 03:11 pm (UTC)
Exactly that's the difference between an church like "New Life" and a cult like UBF. We may criticize New Life for their theology and for the problems common to most "mega-churches." But they handled the case properly.

In UBF, when Samuel Lee (or later his daughter) or Mark Yang or Abraham Lee in Germany commited adultery, they did not have to face any consequences. In the recent case of Abraham Lee, he even was honored and received a certificate of thanks handed over by Sarah Barry etc. (see here and here), though the top leaders knew how he had tried to use his power position to commit adultery with a Korean UBF woman in Cologne. In UBF, image is everything and the end justifies the means. If a UBF leader sins, this is covered up in order to "save face" and to maintain the authority of the UBF leadership.
5th-Nov-2006 06:57 pm (UTC)
Ted Haggard finally confessed that he is guility of "sexual immorality" in a letter that was read to his church congregation. In it he says, "I am guilty of sexual immorality, I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark and I've been warring against it my entire adult life."

Even though his sin is so "repulsive and dark", he admitted that he is guilty. In this regard, he is more righteous than the UBF leaders who defend their sins and glorify Dr. Samuel Lee's sins. Because the UBF leaders never repented their sin in public, God divided UBF into two and Dr. Samuel Lee died in a fire.

The Bible says that there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. I am happy that Ted Haggard confessed his sin in a letter that was read to the whole congregation. I hope that God may heal him completely and make him whole.

The whole event is very sad and disheartening. But at least it is very wonderful to see how the whole problem is dealt with openly and wisely. I hope that something like this may happen in UBF too. The UBF leaders may admit their sin in a letter and it may be read to the whole members in public. They may address their systematic problems of the present and of the past. Without confessing their sins, it would do no good even though they send out 100,000 missionaries who are equipped with Dr. Samuel Lee's theology and metholodgy.

5th-Nov-2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
This whole story is not an individual case. There are many examples of powerful Christian and political leaders and VIPs who commited similar sins. Other "famous" examples are Bill Clinton, Hug Grant, Michael Friedmann or Mel Gibson.

It seems to be connected with their position of power and importancy. Somehow there seems to be a secret desire within them to secretly do something exraordinary sinful and unsavory, something that nobody would expect them to do. And something that seems to be very unnecessary and stupid, too.

What I start asking myself: Do such VIPs have this secret desire because their state as a VIP is mentally so stressful that they secretly want to "break out" of the uber-being image people have of them? Or is this "dark side" of their personality something inherent in every strong, powerful charismatic personality? With other words: Did they become VIPs *because* of their unscrupulousness and ability to live a double life? What is cause and what is effect here?
6th-Nov-2006 04:42 am (UTC)
Did they become VIPs *because* of their unscrupulousness and ability to live a double life? What is cause and what is effect here?

Well, what I am having hard time to understand about this 14,000 member church is that 14,000 members are too many! Did Pastor Ted Haggard remember the faces or names of all his members? How can a pastor effectively serve 14,000 people? Even though he had well qualified staff members, I think 14,000 are too many to handle.

Think about it. Our time and energy is limited. Dr. Samuel Lee used to brag about his sacrificial life style saying that he never took any vacation. I think he was just being stupid. How can a person continue to work without taking any break or vacation? Maybe that is why he started to implement strange UBF practices like mass marriage and forcing everyone to copy his manuscripts. How can anyone brag about working all his life without taking any vacation? That is just being plain stupid. Just think about how productive that person would become after working 2 years straight without taking any vacation!

I personally think that even 50 members in a church are too many. Compare preparing a Sunday message for 50 people writing a message for 14,000 people. I don't think any pastor can effectively preach about any subject if the audience is more than 50. If you have 50 members, that means you have 50 different problems to think about. If you have 14,000 people, you have 14,000 problems to consider. Can 14,000 people be effectively served with their spiritual needs in a church, a mega church? I doubt it. But it is my personal opinion. I prefer small ministry with about 50 members.

UBF leaders always talk about 120 members. I think that is still too many. These leaders are ministry-oriented. They are diven by ambition and human glory and material security. They are not driven by genuine desire to serve sheep. For them serving sheep is just means to achieve their goals, which is to become a GREAT MAN OF GOD and a SPIRITUAL GIANT. Basically they are driven by human success.

There is a big difference between setting out to become a great man of God by serving sheep and setting out to serve sheep and somehow becoming a great man in the course of time. A lot of these crooked leaders, most of them are UBF leaders, seem to experiment between the thin line of the two very different objetives. Trying to send out 100,000 missionaries and getting 120 members for Sunday worship service and having 14,000 members in a church, all these seem to be driven by ministry-oriented mindset rather than genuine desire to serve sheep.

UBF puts a lot of emphasis on one-to-one ministry. But this one-to-one ministry is just means to get 120 members one at a time. UBF ministry is performance oriented. UBF ministry is not driven by genuine desire to serve sheep.
6th-Nov-2006 05:12 am (UTC)
I think the best example of a fallen leader is Jeroboam in Samuel 2 12:25-33. God appointed him as a king of Israel. But right after he became the king, he committed very terrible sin against God. He did it to protect his position as a king. He loved his power and authority more than serving God and serving his people. So he created very strange religious practices to keep his people from running away from his kingdom.

Jeroboam's religious tactic is very similar to Dr. Samuel Lee's tactic and other UBF leaders' tactic. Anyway the goal is to make the people committed to UBF for life time.

I think that almost all leaders, political or religious, have this great fear of losing their power. Just listen to what Jeroboam says: "Jeroboam thought to himself, 'The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.'"

Sympolically speaking, Jeroboam was afraid of losing his members to other churches. So as a means to keep his members committed to him, he set up a new religion with new practices and advertised his system as the best. I think every pastor has this fear, the fear of losing his members. Dr. Samuel Lee was an extreme case of this "Jeroboam complex". In UBF when someone stops coming to UBF, the UBF leaders say "he ran away." This phrase exactly reflects "Jeroboam complex" of the UBF leaders which was inherited from Dr. Samuel Lee of course.

This "Jeroboam complex" must be dealt with before any UBF missionary or Bible teacher begins his ministry. But in UBF the more "Jeroboam complex" you have, the more spiritual you are considered.

Why would someone suffer from "Jeroboam complex"? It is because his mindset is ministry-oriented or performance-oriented. I think a leader with "Jeroboam complex" is harm to everyone.
6th-Nov-2006 05:46 am (UTC)
There are two letters posted on New Life Church website: one by Ted Haggard and the other by his wife, Gayle Haggard.

His letter reveals honestly what has happened to him. The part that caught my attention is: "Then, because of pride, I began deceiving those I love the most because I didn’t want to hurt or disappoint them."

His wife writes: For those of you who have been concerned that my
marriage was so perfect I could not possibly relate to the women who are facing great difficulties, know that this will never again be the case.

A perfect couple now fallen. I think this is a perfect reminder that there is no perfect man, a marriage and a ministry. Well, does anyone think that UBF marriage by faith is perfect? I already hear UBF leaders advertise that UBF ministry is perfect. Well let's just wait and see.
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