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November - December 2006
 

DANCING AROUND THE GOLDEN CALF - PART 4

John S. Torell

 

 

(continued from previous page)

 

POSTSCRIPT:

As we were finishing this newsletter, the story about Ted Haggard broke wide open. I felt it necessary to include this write-up because it shows the doctrinal corruption of today’s Christian leadership.


Haggard's Apostasy, More Destructive than his Personal Life

Charles E. Carlson, Nov 06, 2006

 

We are saddened for Ted Haggard’s wife and five children and the families of his 14,000 member church who hold him as a role model.  Haggard was President of the National Association of Evangelicals. 

Our primary issue is not Haggard’s personal misdeeds, but his apostasy involves all of us in his nationally known support of America’s serial war policy.  Evangelical mega-church pastors and evangelists have often wallowed in misconduct.  Charismatic evangelical pastors are by definition objects of hero worship, or they would not have thousands of members listening to them.  Affairs at the top are hardly news, and I will not glorify juicy tales about the pulpit by reciting the real and the rumored. But there is a reason that these scandals occur so frequently to evangelical dispensationalists, always with a negative impact on all who seek to follow Christ. 

Evangelical (Christian-Zionist) leaders “slide” into dirty little sins because of the way they view the nature of sin.  Haggard believes his past and future sins are all “covered" by Jesus’ crucifixion.  It is “blank check” forgiveness.  Haggard teaches and vehemently argues that he and “born again” followers are not subject to judgment for their sins, even if the sin becomes a compulsion. 

He also teaches killing in war is not a sin so long as a biblical hook can be found on which to hang war making.  This has allowed his support of the bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, and Lebanon without a twinge of conscience, as we will see. Evangelicals often hold to specific scriptural interpretations which seem to promise rewards for killing those claimed by Israel to be enemies; they say such killing is sanctioned by God.   

If the claims made by male prostitute Mike Jones are true, Haggard has damaged his family and those who have trusted him.  But his perverted sexual activities, though condemned in the Bible, do not kill living men, women and children in Iraq, Philistia, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Gaza.  Haggard’s apostasy—his distortion of scripture—does that; and, while Haggard admits he is a “liar and deceiver” it is unlikely he will admit his blood-guilt since he does not see his anti-Christ apostasy as a sin.

We can see how Ted Haggard thinks by reviewing national interviews he has given in the last year:

On December 19, 2005, Barbara Walters interviewed Haggard on ABC’s 20/20; the subject was Heaven and Hell.  Haggard defined "evangelicalism" in terms of three principle beliefs: “that Jesus Christ is the son of God; that the Bible is literally true throughout; and that to go to Heaven one must be "born again."

Like most evangelicals who have built mega churches, Haggard did not mention repentance and turning from a corrupt life or following Jesus on His narrow path (the strait gate) as prerequisites for achieving the kingdom of heaven.  Nor did he recite the one and only law given to us by Jesus;

 “love your brother as you love yourself.”   Implicitly, don’t kill other people’s wives and children

Jesus meant it when he said love your enemy, and he certainly did not say it was easy, nor did he excuse bombing those who you think might not like you.  Haggard has been a huge supporter of America’s program of weapons for Israel and bombs on Arabs. In an interview in 2005 with Harpers Magazine, Soldiers of Christ, Inside America's most powerful mega-church, Haggard provided his war theory that allowed him to become a fixture at white house briefings:

“‘I teach a strong ideology of the use of power,’ he says, ‘of military might, as a public service.’  He is for preemptive war, because he believes the Bible's exhortations against sin set for us a preemptive paradigm, and he is for ferocious war, because ‘the Bible's bloody. There's a lot about blood.’”

Ted Haggard is pro-war, but he is also pro-life for some life, but not for all life.  If someone suggested sending snipers to Africa to kill lions because they are predators that may kill and eat humans they would find popular support by his church.  You would be told to leave the animals alone because they are not a threat to you personally. 

But Pastor Haggard has supported every mission of destruction that the White House has proposed, ignoring the fact that in following Israel’s immoral and unethical practice of preemptive strikes—“anticipatory retaliation” the Israelis call it—the Americans were turning their backs on an age-old military code of honor, and evangelical Christians were also turning their backs on one of Jesus’ most well-known admonitions.

The principle of never dropping the first bomb is dramatized in Jesus’ story of the temple prostitute in John 8.  A woman is captured by the priests in the act of adultery and submitted to Jesus’ judgment as a kind of snare.  Jesus sits writing in the sand while the priests denounce and condemn the woman to death.  The Scripture does not tell us what Jesus has written, but presumably the priests knew, for they were there and could read it.  This might explain why they all left when Jesus said:

 “Let him among you who is without sin cast the first stone.”

The writings in the sand were probably the names of the priests…no wonder they fled.  It seems Jesus was talking about sin in a very specific way; he was talking about the sins of the prostitute and also the sins of those who used her as she made her living in the temple.  Ted Haggard is a temple priest, hypocritically willing to condemn the sin of perversion by throwing rocks at homosexuality while engaging in it himself, until his name, too, is written in the sand, not by Jesus, but by a homosexual-for-hire accuser.

Haggard’s own sin is trivial, except to those directly affected, it is personal between Haggard and God.  His greater sin of contributing to the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people and leading thousands of followers to do the same by lying to them about what the scriptures say is far from trivial.  Let us take a deeper look into Haggard’s thinking from an October 28, 2005, NBC interview entitled In God They Trust,* which appears to have occurred  right in the middle of his own sex and drug indiscretions. 

Tom Brokaw clearly wanted Haggard to talk about sin and repentance, but he ducked, expertly, as we see from the transcript of the interview:

Brokaw: Most of the churches that I know of, and certainly the ones I attended, at some point, you out loud acknowledge that you were a sinner or that you came face-to-face to guilt that you may feel.

Haggard: Right.

Brokaw: I didn’t see any of that here.

Haggard: Well, we do talk about sin. But, see, the issue is Jesus took care of our sin.  And Jesus removes guilt from our life.  So the emphasis in our church isn’t how to get your sins removed because that’s pretty easy to do.  Jesus did that on the cross.

Brokaw: You’re making it easier for them.

Haggard: Making it easier for them just like Jesus did, just like Moses did. 

Haggard resorted to crafty bible cut and paste scrabble to dodge what Jesus says about sin.  He pulled a Christian-Zionist broad jump by changing the subject from Jesus to Moses.  This thousand year leap left Brokaw behind and unprepared it seems; Haggard threw Brokaw off the scent by shifting scriptures.

In fact, Moses did not “make it easy” for his followers; he demanded obedience to God, just as Jesus did.  Mr. Brokaw should have demanded that Haggard stick to what Jesus said about sin, for Jesus never told anyone they did not have to abandon sin, or that it was going to be easy to do so.  His last words to the temple prostitute were: “go and sin no more.”

Brokaw was on the right track, but he was derailed by the expert debater, Haggard, who has built a 14,000 member church by “making it easy for them.”  To do this he lies about what scripture says about “sin.”  This apostasy is where We Hold These Truths takes issue with Ted Haggard.  It is not his own sin we are worried about, but the sin of shedding innocent blood in serial wars.  Haggard shares this apostasy with thousands of pastors.

Tom Brokaw next broached the subject of Haggard’s politics, who openly boasted of evangelical power and briefings with the White House:

Ted Haggard: … I’m not a power broker. I don’t call presidents. I don’t harangue the White House.

Brokaw: You don’t have to call him. He calls you.

Haggard: (boastingly) I’ll be talking to the White House in another three and a half hours.

Brokaw: About what today?

Haggard: I don’t know the subject today. We have a regularly scheduled conference call.

Brokaw: They reach out to you?

Haggard: Yes.   

NBC:  New Life pastor Ted Haggard sees even more growth for his church— and for his beliefs.

Ted Haggard: In the Christian community, people vote every Sunday morning by where they go to church. All right, so right now, during this particular era in my life—I don’t want to say this boastfully, but I am winning this election right now.

Haggard handled both Barbara Walters and Tom Brokaw adroitly by playing Bible switcharoo with them whenever either tried to pin him down to scripture they understood.  This is the hallmark of Christian Zionists.  Haggard’s bible scrabble is his defense and his offence.  From the pulpit of the respected New Life Church and the National Association of Evangelicals, he has invoked the name of God in vain while calling for war, denying the right to life to those he branded as enemies.

What law did he break?  The third commandment of God, given by none other than Moses, whom Haggard said “made it easy.”  That commandment says:

Thou shall not take the name of the lord thy God in vain; for the lord will not hold him blameless who takes his name in vain.”

God does not give pastors license to bend what they claim to be His word.  It is worth repeating that Tom Brokaw was on the right track in asking about sin and repentance.  Haggard dodged, probably because he has been practicing apostasy--scriptural lying--when he preached that Jesus did not care about slaughters of the helpless (as long as they are Arabs). Remember Haggard has received national renown and access to the White House for doing so.

Haggard’s recent exposure came about when he opposed “gay” marriage, while carrying out homosexual encounters involving meth-amphetamine purchases.  Haggard did not correct the Temple prostitute as Jesus did, he used him!  Haggard’s words representing the National Association of Evangelicals’ reveal his hypocrisy: 

“We, the National Association of Evangelicals, as a representative voice for 70 million evangelical Christians, …affirm the Name’s Declaration of Marriage and proclaim marriage to be a sacred institution between one man and one woman….We applaud the response of President George W. Bush and his articulation of the sacred institution of marriage. We encourage both the state legislature of Massachusetts and the Congress of the United States to uphold the sanctity of marriage and fortify the balance of power fundamental to our constitutional republic.” (Ted Haggard, November 19, 2003)

nae.net/index.cfm?FUSEACTION=editor.page&pageID=24

This statement was apparently too much for admitted male prostitute, Mike Jones, who “ousted” Haggard.  Mr. Jones became a whistle-blower because he found out Haggard was a spokesman for a powerful nationwide anti-homosexual movement.  It seems Mr. Jones felt used.

Jesus’ true words require “We Hold These Truths” to confront pastors and leaders in many churches as Jesus confronted the chief priests and Pharisees of his day.  “Project Strait Gate” is our program to do this.  Ted Haggard’s church in Colorado Springs remains on our list of future pickets.   Anyone near Colorado Springs is invited to contact us.

This story is written for those who follow leaders like Ted Haggard.  Evangelical dispensationalism is Christian-Zionism, which is racism. It requires each follower to acknowledge the lordship of the State of Israel alongside Christ. Their view of salvation is a glittery wide and easy way.  The immense distortion of Jesus Christ's words can be clearly seen in works we have unraveled such as the freed woman in John 8 and the story of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25.  Power corrupts inside the church, as well as outside.  Those who call themselves by Jesus’ name need to try to act like Him, and shun all those who say it is unnecessary to do so. 

Following Christ is not easy. Anyone who has been told otherwise should read Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus’ lecture to the disciples; and for those who think Moses made it easy, try the Ten Commandments and recall that Moses broke the tablets because the Israelites would not follow the narrow path.  It is 50 years past time for some 40 million evangelical Christians (by Haggard’s count) to pull out of every mega church, and stay out until it becomes God’s house. 


Tom Brokaw: In God They Trust
msnbc.msn.com/id/9804232/page/5/

Harpers: Soldiers of the Cross
harpers.org/SoldiersOfChrist-20061103288348488.html

Christian Zionism's Roots, audio/video by Charles E. Carlson
whtt.org/show

God's Terrible Law that Judeo-Christians Break, Charles E. Carlson,  Oct 14, 2006
whtt.org/index.php?news=2&id=998

Follow Christ, reject "Christianity" Follow Christ, reject "Christianity" Charles E. Carlson  Aug 08, 2006  whtt.org/index.php?news=2&id=925

Sheep and Goats Part I, Carlson (Matthew 25)
whtt.org/index.php?news=2&id=636

The Sheep and the Goats, Part II, Carlson (Matthew 25)
whtt.org/index.php?news=2&id=678

 

We Hold These Truths
P.O. Box 14491, Scottsdale, AZ 85267
whtt.org
480.947.3329 FAX 206.984.2192


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