Let me say on the onset of this blog entry that I’m not writing as a “arrived” guru with an opinion.Â It’s so easy for those of us outside of the scandal to get on our soapbox with disconnected insight as to how or why this happened…Â I’m writing this out of a heart that bleeds.Â
Upon finding out about thisÂ on CNN, I was disgusted, heartbroken, angry, embarassed, sad but yet awakened.Â As a young, growing pastor it is a smack to my face that reminds me so distastefully of the devastation of sin.Â Satan is a “man-killer” as John 8:44 proclaims.Â This culture is full of satan’s sexual “carrots” that seek to decieve and lure us when we aren’t vigilant and on alert…1 Peter 5:8.Â Whether it’s a sensual woman wearing a bra and panties looking like she’s about a size 1Â staring at you as you buy a bag of grapes in the checkout line.Â Or a woman who tries to get your attention after you share an innocent “hello.”Â Or 34 out 40 commercials with sexual overtones shouting off the tv as you watch a testosterone-filled football game.Â It’s bigger than “Every Man’s Battle”, it’s a flat out war – a host of demonic angels and a ring leader satan organizing our destruction in a world that we can’t necessarily see.
I don’t know haggard but i’ve only seen him on tv as I was flicking through the channels.Â He was on either Dateline or 20/20 sometime in the past.Â This manÂ seemed to beÂ experiencing more than the normal, everyday battle for men.Â I’m not sure of the extent of his sexual problem but it seems thatÂ this has been a “secret” sin that him and GodÂ have knownÂ about.Â
I’m have been learning so much about secrets lately… Just the other day I was burdened about secrets and wrote a blog entryÂ and now I’m back to addressing them.Â Secrets, especially secret sins are destroying believers… I’m so reminded that there is no room for “secret sins” as a believer.Â How can we have secrets anyway when God knows all about us?Â I’ll tell you how… It’s called satan’s deception.Â Satan deceives us intoÂ convincing us thatÂ right is wrong and wrong is right.Â We all are susceptible to being deceived.Â However, having people in our lives that can hold us accountable and discern the junk in our lives is so critical.Â As a pastor I couldn’t do this without people in my life that loved me enough to possibly see what I couldn’t see.Â Even before the men around me, I can’t imagine my wife allowing me to get away with anything that was tricky.Â
Let me share what I’ve grown to do in my life so that maybe I can help some of the men who may be reading this blog.Â This is not a full-proof “magic formula” for staying away from sexual scandals butÂ is what I’m doing in the natural while relying on the GRACE of God.
- admitting my dependency and demonstrating my needinessÂ of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection by having a regular time with God that includes praying through a prayer journal, reading the Scriptures and waiting quietly in his presence.
- having men in my life who aren’t so impressed with me that I can’t be real with them.Â I can tell them anything without them raising an eyebrow.
- choosing not to “play” or flirt with sin or other women.
- talking candidly and openly with my wife about my sexuality and our sexuality as a couple.Â
- expressing my raw sexuality with my wife avoiding any gratification to come from anyone else but her.
- avoiding emotional communication via email with women.
- maintaining privacy with my cell phone by not giving women open access to me.
- not going to lunch with another woman.
- always openly sharing with my wife any visual, emotional or physical temptation that I’m experiencing… (this has evolved over 17 years of marriage).
- limiting my tv viewing to sports while on business travel.
- using porn blockers, spam blockers and “lust-blockers” on my computer.
- playing out satan’s “proposed” fantasies all the way to my potential shame, destruction of my marriage and family and embarrassment to the name of Christ.
- limiting tv viewing but also not having “brain-dead” time watching late night tv.
- never visiting a woman at home without a man being present.
- not being ashamed to confess, repent and ask for forgiveness of sin.
- not thinking more highly of myself than I ought and respecting God’s grace in my life.
Let’s be prayerful for him and his family.Â As well, let’s earnestly pray God’s healing for the congregation of 14,000.Â That’s 14,000+ souls devastated… Their shepherd has been removed and they are left brokenhearted and crushed.
I commend the leadership at New Life in their swift termination of Haggard.Â Let’s pray that they will lovingly assist him in getting the therapy that he needs in order to be restored back to fellowship with the Lord.
Please continue to keep me and other pastors around the world in prayer as we seek toÂ obey the Lord and shepherd our wives, families and churches.