Guest / Limited Access /

In his second-story church office, with its spectacular view of Colorado's Front Range, Ted Haggard spars playfully with a reporter from The Philadelphia Inquirer. Established East Coast newspapers haven't always sent reporters to interview pastors in Colorado, no matter how big their churches got. Times have changed.

In February, Harper's Magazine devoted 14 pages to Pastor Ted and his New Life Church in Colorado Springs, depicting him and his neighbor James Dobson as the two most powerful (and therefore dangerous) evangelicals in America. The piece by Jeff Sharlet was mostly scary atmospherics—he made much of the muscular warrior angels that adorn Haggard's World Prayer Center—but it helped draw reporters. Today, Haggard is talking to the BBC and an XM radio talk-show host, in addition to the Inquirer's Paul Nussbaum.

Since Harper's placed Haggard somewhere on the spectrum between the Grand Inquisitor and William Jennings Bryan, you might expect Haggard to treat the press stiffly. On the contrary, he speaks appreciatively of Sharlet and seems genuinely eager to talk to Nussbaum. Haggard and his staff tell reporters to go anywhere, film anything, and talk to anybody.

Early this year, Haggard did send a memo to his congregation, tutoring them in proper behavior with TV reporters. "If a camera is on you during a worship service, worship; don't dance, jump, etc. … Jumping and dancing in church looks too bizarre for most to relate to. … Don't talk about the Devil, demons, voices speaking to you. … Instead, tell your personal story in common-sense language. … Don't be spooky or weird. Don't switch into a glassy-eyed heavenly mode."

Haggard believes in territorial spirits, demonic oppression, visions, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedTullian Tchividjian Resigns after Admitting 'Inappropriate Relationship'
Tullian Tchividjian Resigns after Admitting 'Inappropriate Relationship'
(UPDATED) Billy Graham's grandson says hiding from public eye would 'undermine the very message that I claim to believe.'
TrendingWhat Having Millions of Followers Taught Me About Christian Dialogue
What Having Millions of Followers Taught Me About Christian Dialogue
Full House actress: Let’s stop attacking each other with Bible verses.
Editor's PickHow to Protect Endangered Religious Groups You Admire
How to Protect Endangered Religious Groups You Admire
When religious liberty and billions of dollars for the poor and oppressed are threatened.
Comments
Christianity Today
Good Morning, Evangelicals!
hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.