Friday, November 03, 2006

Et tu, Ted?

Glenn makes a good point about hypocrisy being the sin that liberals seem to love finding in others. He's wrong about Christianity not being about perfection though. See Matthew 5:48. Jesus had some pretty harsh things to say about hypocrites, too, but what he mostly seemed offended by was their judgmental attitude, their condemnation of others, when his mission was to make it possible to be redeemed if we repent. The Pharisees judged people more like John Kerry does, by thinking that their status in society made them more worthy in the next life, as well.

I don't know anything about Ted Haggard or his organization, but I do know that if he were in the LDS church, he'd be excommunicated. Upon a showing that he was fully repentant he could be accepted back. From Haggard's public statements, I don't think he's really repentant, but that's based more on my experiences as a criminal defense attorney. I noticed in a number of cases of sexual offenses a guilty person would acknowledge everything right up to the final act, but would then deny that, making his statement so damning that all I could do was plea bargain. I mean, Haggard says that he paid for methamphetamine from this man who claims he was also paid for gay sex, but denies that he ever used the drug.

I have never made much money, but I've often thought that if I had, I would have felt so guilty I've have been more depressed that I am. Evangelists today resemble salesmen more than people I'd want to take personal advice from, but I'm sure that the vast majority are honest strivers and ministers. I just don't know enough regular evangelical ministers to make a judgment. The really big names in evangelism have never impressed me though. They seem to be living too high off the hog.

I often think that Christianity today has gone so far in the direction of making faith attractive that it has neglected a lot of Jesus' own teachings, such as his statement that there will be many who come before him at the day of judgment claiming to have been his disciples but who never knew him.

I'm glad I don't have to be anybody's judge. Part of Christ's suffering was going through pains and sorrows and accepting punishments for the sins of all mankind, so that he could understand them and be able to judge them justly. That is really impossible for me or any mortal to even imagine what that must have involved.

I pay tithing, but I don't think I'd feel as good about it if it were going to pay for luxuries for any individual.

I've read La Shawn Barber's comments and she's right not to let this shake her faith. The Church of Christ is for the perfecting of the saints, meaning merely those who aspire to be holy. We're all at different places on the path. What counts is whether we're moving in the right direction.


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