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
RecommendedHow 727 Megachurches Spend Their Money
How 727 Megachurches Spend Their Money
Leadership Network and Vanderbloemen find what determines pastor salaries (and who might be most underpaid).
TrendingLecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
Lecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
(UPDATED) Performance with The Roots was the first by a Christian rapper on late-night TV.
Editor's PickStudy: Where Are the Women Leading Evangelical Organizations?
Study: Where Are the Women Leading Evangelical Organizations?
That's the mystery the Gender Parity Project, whose results debut this weekend, sets out to solve.
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.