Friday, September 23, 2005

Examining the teachings of Ted Haggard...

The Issues, Etc. interview by Pastor Wilken of Ted Haggard, President of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of the 12,000 member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, was repeated on 9/13/05 with added commentary and listener call-ins.

Rebroadcast with commentary - part I and part II

Original broadcast from 9/12/05

My first impression following the interview was: Unbelievable! Right off the bat, he eliminated Lutherans from his definition of evangelical because of their stance on one's ability to ask Jesus into one's heart. This was no surprise to me actually because I had spent much time studying the National Association of Evangelicals website a few months back for another writing project.

The one good thing he said was that in his pastoring of 11,000 souls in Colorado, only about 30 had asked him for a doctrinal statement. He went on to say that this is not good and that it is a strong indicator that people today choose their church by how it makes them feel and not on its teachings. He rightly said that this practice leaves people open to heresy. I don't know how then, he reconciles that critique of the majority of his parishioners with the fact that he doesn't feel the need to teach doctrine to them.

Here is a brief list of the many comments Ted Haggard makes. I am writing word for word. I am not making a judgment; I think his words should stand on their own. Scripture does tell us to examine teachings and so I do.

*Definition of an Evangelical: 1. Believes the Bible is the word of God; 2. Believes that Jesus is the son of God; and 3. Believes that you must be born again.

*Core beliefs of an Evangelical: 1. Who is Jesus; 2. What is the Bible; and 3. Do you have to have a personal encounter with God in order to be in a close relationship with Him.

*The Evangelical church is very broad and covers all varieties from Benny Hinn to R.C. Sproul.

*Strengths of Evangelicalism: It is a core belief that people live and die for. Evangelicals are the salt and light of the earth. Evangelicals are the ones who seriously study scripture. Evangelicals are a strong core for the betterment of mankind and for the kingdom of God to be demonstrated on earth so that people have hope and joy. Evangelicals do many of the good works on earth.

*Weaknesses of Evangelicalism: There aren't many, since Jesus is the head of the Evangelical Church and he is a good administrator. One weakness is that we are more fragmented and disorganized than we need to be because of our diversity, but that is also our strength - diversity.

*Is the "evangel" missing in Evangelicalism? : No! Evangelicalism has lots of clear information on how to become born again.

*Does a Christian need to ask forgiveness each day? No! A mature Christian should not be sinning on a daily basis, so may not need to ask for forgiveness on a daily basis.

Ted Haggard has much to say about how true Christians should be sinning less and less as they mature. He openly ridiculed families who, as part of family prayer or table grace, ask for forgiveness for unknown sins. Please listen to the rebroadcast. Pastor Wilken really does an excellent job with this interview!

For the record:
An Evangelical is one who proclaims the good news that God, through undeserved grace sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in your place so that you can come to heaven.

[Middle English evaungel, from Late Latin vangelium, from Greek euangelion, good news, from euangelos, bringing good news : eu-, eu- + angelos, messenger.]


Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

I just have to say that after putting my swing set together last Friday I've broken the 5th commandment enough for both Mr. Haggard and myself for a while. :)

Bob Waters said...

If we say we have no sin....