Monday, November 06, 2006

Must Read Book For Those Following Pastor Ted Haggard Scandal

I read the book Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America (Plume Books) by Mel White several years ago and found his story of moving from being a closeted gay evangelical to becoming an open gay Christian fascinating and insightful.

Pastor Ted Haggard is now asking for forgiveness, but I think it's premature and actually unhealthy to jump from confession to forgiveness so quickly since it seeks to turn a complex situation into something simple that can be solved (and not dealt with) merely by repentence and forgiveness.

That's a recipe for trouble.

The dark, ugly side of Pastor Haggard was formed at least in part by many Christians' beliefs about homosexuality and the discord that can create in gay Christians. In closeted gay Christians who buy into the bigotry it creates a gulf between what someone feels and what they must say.

These people can seem to have a stronger faith because they never question or have doubts. But as we've seen with Pastor Haggard, that's a facade. He and others like him only appear to have a superior faith since all of their questions and doubts are secret.

And it's the gulf and what happens to a person who is told that a huge part of themselves is evil which can lead to taking actions like having sex with strangers while promoting abstinence. It can also lead someone like Pastor Haggard to direct his self-disgust and resentment at gays who aren't in the closet and who are living authentic lives with no dirty little secrets.

Don't they know being gay is being miserable?

It's ironic, but not surprising, that Pastor Haggard's position on homosexuality will contibute to other gay Christians taking the same path as he did.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:08 AM   0 comments links to this post


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