Interestingly enough I had a chance to be at New Life Church in Colorado Springs a few years ago. A friend of mine was doing pyrotechnics work for them. Something he really enjoys doing. That was my reason for being there. To watch the show.
Interestingly enough that was my summary back then of what Christianity and The Church in the US has become. It’s a show.
At the time I was largely irked by Ted Haggard’s prayer. In fact for the first time in my life. I opened my eyes and was pissed off. New Life Church is a performance and so was this prayer. He prayed about the blessings of living our country and the poor living in South America in third world countries and that the gospel could be brought to them. I remember it clearly as I was with a good friend of mine. You can check out some decent pictures of the event over here and here.
Yes those are real animals.
It was largely amiss with hypocrisy as he was basically asking for us to support his cause in the prayer. Yuck.
I used to be a Christian. Religion is a struggle for me as much as any other struggle in my life. I believe more in principles and less in solid critical systems of belief. I believe less in organized religion everytime there is another Ted Haggard scenario. I’ve battled with angst, depression and rejection as a result of religious organizations. I’ve been blessed and happy as could be because of spiritual principles that overwhelmingly were better than religious oppression that is often found in organized religion.
Sometimes I ponder the simple truth that Seth Godin is right even when it comes to religion. Small is the new big.
Would this issue be so public had New Life been less politically involved? Was God used to propagate a political message and therefore judgement was cast upon the whole church for its wrongdoing. Interestingly enough I don’t find it so sinful that he was engaged in homosexual behavior if so he was, or that he was doing drugs. The original sin in my belief was in leading his church down a path towards materialistic consumption of the gospel all the while rejecting helping the poor, solving world issues that it easily could.
Strangely enough this was actually the sin of Sodom and Gommorah. It isn’t commonly realized or taught but materialism was its greatest downfall. And ultimately I see Christianity in the US as heading down this same path. With the apparent problems like homosexuality within the leadership and the like being the outward production of that.
It’s really simple. If you have a church of 14,000 and you spend tens of thousands hundreds of thousands of dollars of money on a performance to entertain your audience and yet you forsake the poor living in your city, and your state, and in your nation. You aren’t worth a hill of shit in my opinion.
I hope Ted Haggard gets some help. I hope he goes and works with Tommy Barnett‘s son Matthew Barnett out at The Dream Center. I think it would open his eyes to a new world.
Especially since I think that’s probably what Tommy will have in mind anyhow. No poor homeless person will care what Ted Haggard’s past is. They will be thankful he’s just there to help.