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The fog from the smoke machine is especially thick this Easter morning in Colorado Springs. Green lasers dance across the stage and over the thousands gathered, making no discernible pattern as they slice into the fog. The service this morning is ...

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Charles P Huckaby

February 11, 2014  5:42pm

Having their pastor receive Anglican ordination to be "sent" back to the congregation seems like one of the most ridiculous things I've heard in a long time...

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audrey ruth

January 13, 2014  11:25pm

Frank, note the "if's" in my post. I didn't make any judgments. Again, God has the last word - Him and Him alone.

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Frank Keefe

December 29, 2013  5:43pm

Audrey..of course if Ted Haggard has confessed his sin and repented IN HIS HEART then yes he is forgiven we all are if we fall...But only God knows his heart not me not you and Im thankful its totally left to God.Regarding Dawkins its true if he remains an atheist and rejects Christ then God will judge him for it but remember even atheists sometimes turn to God eg CS Lewis so don't count Dawkins lost yet.

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Mike Leberte

December 24, 2013  11:28am

Education including "Christian" is big business. Jesus did not teach building schools and meeting places, music platforms where people are entertained. He walked the roads speaking to people one on one, and to any crowds that gathered. James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. Let's build people, families, not buildings and stage performers.

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audrey ruth

December 24, 2013  4:28am

Frank, I was not privy to that interview between Dawkins and Haggard, so I can't address that. I can only say this, on the authority of God's Holy Word: If Haggard remains humble before Him and Dawkins continues on his journey always denying God, the real story is that hundreds, thousands, millions, untold years from now, Haggard will still be with the Lord in Glory and Dawkins will still be in the most intense misery one could ever begin to imagine. The end of the story is never seen here on earth. God always has the last word.

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Lori Harris

December 14, 2013  8:39am

God can take all these things to lead us into more with him, can't he? Come on Home! You're almost Catholic and it is the WHOLE gospel. I'll keep following the story!

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Frank Keefe

December 13, 2013  6:02pm

Im a Brit and Ive watched these mega churches from this side of the pond and have to tell you they cried out self importance and celebrity....Ted Haggard might have started off genuinely wanting to bring people to Christ but once pride and self importance along with worldwide celebrity status took hold a fall was bound to happen.God is not mocked.In Revelation Jesus said to those who tried to justify themselves to Him by saying how they had done wonderful works even casting out devils in His name yet Jesus answered saying I NEVER KNEW YOU. We are all sinners and need the Lord in our lives but those who are leaders and pastors in a church when they wilfully sin brings Christ down and Ted Haggard did exactly that.Over here Richard Dawkins the foremost atheist who interviewed Haggard at one time had a field day and who was ridiculed not just Haggard but Jesus. If you have a big church then problems will arise Im pleased to see that a more peaceful and stable structure is ongoing.

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Nancy Ruminski

December 11, 2013  11:18am

Annette, thank you for taking time to read my posts and hear my heart. It means a lot to me that you would. I want you to know I really heart you too. I feel I have already posted to much here but just wanted to share a quick passage (I'm sure you know it) that I try to keep on my heart daily. It is my prayer that people do the same when interacting with me -- and my frailties. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I think, if we lead with God's love, it is impossible to sensationalize things. It is when we lead with our human frailties and brokenness that we open the door for such things. So, lets lead with love and see what God does!

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Annette Johnson

December 11, 2013  10:59am

Nancy, your experience with your Dad has given you a valuable insight and I think it is so wonderful that you are mindful the whole of the Haggards' lives and ministry, not just one chapter from their story. Your support is, no doubt, a blessing to them. And I agree 100% with you about our needing to get past the point of thinking of Ted as one whose name must not be spoken aloud or that his service was somehow negated by this one season. It is tricky to talk about NLC without mentioning Ted, because he is such a central character in our story, but the challenge seems to be in how to do so with honesty and without sensationalizing things. The thoughts you bring to the table and the spirit with which you bring them is so good - thank you. As someone who attends at NLC, I appreciate your insights as I continue to process my own feelings and experiences.

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Paul Cataldo

December 11, 2013  10:26am

Patton great article and I enjoyed your summary of the maturing of this church and it's leadership. The trap of supporting a budget through waving Jesus' name on a banner has ruined my church. If not for my relationship with one of the pastors I would never get fed. There's a lot to be said from learning the lessons of other older and historic pastors in dealing with the pressures of the world. But if money and the pulpit are intertwined it's not going to turn out well.

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Nancy Ruminski

December 11, 2013  9:50am

In closing I do want to say one final thing. I believe whole heartedly that Ted and Gayle always intended to love well, serve compassionately and bring the gospel of Christ to those who needed it. I believe that is their heart today. That doesn't mean I think they were or are perfect. It does mean however, that we can't erase the beauty of what they did, what they are doing and what they will do through God's incredible grace in the future. We are all fallen...we all need a savior...we are all saved by grace. For this, I am beyond words grateful. Much love and peace to all. I hope I better explained my thinking, prayers and dreams...

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Nancy Ruminski

December 11, 2013  9:42am

How I wish this article has been written without mention of Ted's past leadership & the authors perceptions of it. It could have been incredibly powerful. Even more, I wish there someday would be an article written about how the Lord brought Ted, Gayle & the other leaders of NLC together for times of true healing, hope & restoration. If we cling to our right to be "hurt" or our right to not reconcile aren't we in truth saying God is not big enough to heal our pain? Are we not saying that we have to carry the weight of what happened because he is not about to carry for us? Consider this for a moment, none of us are the same as we were when Ted's scandal erupted...including Ted & Gayle. We have all grown, changed and are in the process of being shaped in the potter's hands. I will finish with this. I deeply love NLC and I deeply love Ted & Gayle. Perhaps it is time for the distancing to stop and reconciliation to finally begin. I know, God is able -- I know he can do it

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Nancy Ruminski

December 11, 2013  9:36am

#3 Like I've said, when we are hurt -- and yes all at NLC were hurt including me -- we desperately want to distance ourselves from the person who has hurt us. But, at some point in time, the living breathing truth of the scriptures has to overcome that trend and lead us back to forgiveness. I'm not talking about forgiveness in words alone. I'm talking about forgiveness that changes lives and turns what the enemy meant for destruction to good. I'm talking about the type that said, too much time has passed between brothers and sisters so we are compelled to reconcile, restore, and heal. So, when I read this article, and so much of it referenced what the writer saw as "negative" I felt incredibly sad. Just like those who look at my dad and say -- "Back in the 90's he did such in such..." or "He did this and I just can't forgive..." I feel that many at NLC hold tight to particular offenses of hurt (like the author saying it was harder to forgive what NLC had become). continued...

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Nancy Ruminski

December 11, 2013  9:29am

#2 Those who felt connected to him would reflect positively. Others, who disagreed with his choices or perhaps were disappointed he chose differently than they would often would reflect negatively. Through my whole life, I've been aware of Camp A (those for my dad) and Camp B (those against him). People would easily shift their alliance based on whether their needs/wants/desires were being met. Even as a young girl I saw the fickleness of our (and I include me in this) humanity. So, when Ted' scandal erupted, I quickly saw the same dynamic. People who were hurt, worked hard to distance themselves from Ted. Pictures of Ted and Gayle were removed from NLC as well as books that were once cherished and loved. Leaders who stood on the churches podium and raved about our Pastor now told the press he just needed to "disappear." He went from being a beloved hero - to a zero that everyone wanted to distance themselves from. Continued...

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Nancy Ruminski

December 11, 2013  9:24am

After reading Glenn's and Annette's posts I think it is pretty clear my posts did not communicate completely what I wanted them to. Trying to fit my thoughts into just 1000 characters without missing the heart of certain things seems to be beyond me. I'm going to give it another try, but will need a little more space. For those who I offended by not expressing myself well, please forgive me. When I first read this article I was truly heart broken. I must admit though, after hearing Steve W's post I was some what relieved that others may not see some of the bias that I do weaved throughout the article. I have reread it several times and have concluded this. My biggest heartache is that this article could have been written without the negative reflection/perspective/personal view point of his experiences during the time Ted led and NLC. My father is a Christian leader. For my whole life I've watched as people have reflected on his leadership... continued

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Annette Johnson

December 10, 2013  6:36pm

Nancy, I learned so many wonderful things from the Haggards and experienced so much good at New Life during the years that Ted pastored; things I don't regret at all - things I thank God for. And I agree that it is good and appropriate to look at how the whole situation was handled to see if there were things we could've done better or should've done differently. However, I think we also have to be realistic about the fact that the overseers had a bombshell dropped in their lap and, in a moment's notice, they had to juggle the Haggards' needs, the grieving staff's needs, the congregation's needs and be appropriately transparent while protecting the vulnerable. They had to determine whether there was an isolated incident or widespread problems throughout the church leadership and they had to do it with the world watching. I have no criticism for those men and I sure wouldn't have wanted had to walk in their shoes - they did the best they knew how for all of us.

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Annette Johnson

December 10, 2013  6:18pm

It is natural to look at NLC as a before/after story but maybe we should think of the story as a whole, in the light of Scripture's promise that we will all be refined. Perhaps those refinement Scriptures mention dross or chaff because it is certain that there WILL (not might) be impurities that need to be addressed. Ted, New Life Church and New Lifers are being refined. The process is so painful sometimes but those Scriptures give hope by asserting that there is something of value to be brought out of the waste - valuable in Ted, in New Life and in New Lifers. It is wise to look at our story at NLC and ask, "Have we gotten off track?", "Where does New Life Church fit in the whole of Christ's Church?", "Where are we broken?". We also need to ask "Where is God showing Himself strong and faithful in our midst", "What do we know that is true and right?", & "We can't go back so where should we go from here?" This article isn't the whole story - just a look at where we are so far.

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audrey ruth

December 07, 2013  11:03pm

Re Steve W: "Like it or not the culture is changing rapidly, and the days of churches influencing it through political declarations are quickly ending." Not true. "Progressive" churches still have liberals firing away from pulpits as they have for years.

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Steve W

December 07, 2013  10:25pm

It's interesting, I think this is the first article on a church I've read where most of the comments have come from either current or former church members. As an outsider, I have to say I didn't read this article as one about Ted Haggard. What happened was terrible, but it's certainly not the first time a prominent leader has fallen. And while I agree that reconciliation is the proper pursuit, that doesn't negate the consequences of his actions. But that's not really the issue. Instead the encouraging thing about the article for me was exactly what Glenn was talking about, this new "way" of NLC. Like it or not the culture is changing rapidly, and the days of churches influencing it through political declarations are quickly ending. Instead pursuing a faith that is robust and grounded in the cruciform way of Jesus is the only hope for the American church. To see such a large ship like NLC make that turn gives me hope for all congregations that such a change really is possible.

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Glenn Packiam

December 06, 2013  9:38pm

Hi Bill, Just a quick note here: First, Peterson had resigned long before PCUSA made their decision. Secondly, his endorsement for Bell was a qualified one-- Peterson believes in final judgment but is interested in seeing hell not used "as weaponry" (Barth's phrase, i believe, that Peterson borrows in his endorsement.). Thirdly, the Anglican ordination i am pursuing is through PEARUSA (you can Google it to find out more). It is a "missionary district' in the US of the Rwanda Diocese...How did this start? Because a number of American Episcopalean churches were not happy about the liberal direction and wanted to leave but remain Anglican. Most Anglicans in the world are in the Global South, are orthodox in their theology, and embrace the work of the Spirit. So, I don't think there are any strange influences here. OK...no more from me. Peace to all of you. Good night!

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