Click here for the link to the first video. It is broken down into four videos total and I didn't feel like posting them all here. Follow the links on the right on YouTube.
I really don't have a lot to say about this series of videos because most of the good and the bad of it is obvious. But to recap:
- Haggard is honest about his struggles (not that he has a choice anymore).
- He admits that fasting and praying and reading your Bible aren't enough to win battles against such deep sin issues. We need the community for that, and apparently his community rejected him or just didn't know how to handle it when he needed the help.
- Gayle Haggard shines, as she has through the whole process. She is an amazingly strong, supportive wife while being honest about the difficulties. When Oprah keeps insisting that Haggard just embrace his homosexuality because it is his inclination, Gayle retorts that of course we shouldn't just follow all of our inclinations. Oprah, of course, isn't convinced, but she never actually addresses Gayle's counter-argument.
- Ted Haggard appears to have experienced some legitimate healing. I'm glad to see that, as he is, after all, my brother (he's yours too, of course).
- Most obviously, Haggard obviously thinks his homosexual behavior was sinful, but he just won't come out and say it. He needed to combine his honesty with a clear, "I was sinning because homosexual behavior is sinful." Here is the transcript from two particularly troubling exchanges:
Oprah: "Do you believe that Christ accepts homosexuals?"and later...
Ted: "I believe that Christ accepts everybody."
Oprah: "Are you cured?"
Ted: "I don't think I'm cured because I don't think I was ever sick. I think those things are a part of life."
- Obviously the first of those questions is difficult on t.v.: the correct answer is, "No, but then he doesn't accept anybody else who is a sinner, accept on the basis of Christ's righteousness. So yes, he accepts homosexuals, but only repentant homosexuals, and homosexuality is a sin." There is more explanation there than Oprah would likely give him time for. The second time is even worse. Of course he was sick! Ted Haggard he was blatantly living a double-life, and Jesus has done healing work in his life, no matter the means. He isn't totally healed, because that won't happen for anyone until the Kingdom is consummated. But he is more healed than he was, and he was sicker now than he is.
- Haggard gets up and high fives Oprah because she "gets it" (her words). But she doesn't get it at all from a biblical perspective! Haggard affirms her comments when they are blatantly unbiblical too many times.
- I wish one of them would have pushed Oprah to actually respond to Gayle's objection to the ridiculous "follow your sexual inclinations" slippery (and STD-inducing) slope.
Also, I haven't seen Alexandra Pelosi's HBO documentary yet, but this write-up on it makes it sound impressively fair. Check out this comment:
By the way, it's not just the church who Pelosi views as being unnecessarily harsh towards her unlikely friend. "I hate how the gays want Ted to say, 'I'm gay and I'm out and I'm proud,'" [Pelosi] says. "He's not. He's conflicted. I think there’s more than 'I'm gay,' 'I'm straight.' I'm satisfied with him saying, 'I'm confused, I have a wife and five kids but I struggle with my sexuality, I have these attractions, these urges.' I feel like that's sort of honest. And his wife and his kids are the only things he has left."Surprisingly good listening from the daughter of, yes, that Pelosi!
(HT: Teresa Angier)