Fox News reports that disgraced pastor Ted Haggard, who was forced to leave his church over sexual immorality (among other things), is now asking people to support him financially on a monthly basis so he and his wife can go back to college.
My advice for him is to get a job, and put himself through school like everybody else has to. Or, just get a job, don’t go to school, and try to rebuild his personal life. Sadly, he put himself and his family in this position when he made the choices he did to sin. No, his wife and kids did not deserve this, and that’s what makes this situation even more heartbreaking.
His statement reads: “It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years,”
I really don’t want to sound heartless here, but it sounds like to me that he’s just wanting people to help him adjust financially after throwing away a fairly lucrative salary (by ministry standards). So what exactly is “adequate earning power” in his mind? At what level does he think he is supposed to live?
I’m sure this is a hard transition for him since he made some $115,000 just for the 10 months he pastored in 2006, not including an $85,000 bonus that same year. When he resigned he got a severance package of $138,000, and still collects royalties on his books, which I can only imagine are not selling well these days. He is also trying to sell his $715,000 home, which is a good move. I hope for his sake that it sells and he can be frugal with his funds and live on it for a while. Just a thought. : )
In my humble opinion, it sounds like that if he tried, he could live a while on what he’s got, and would still probably not have to resort to rice and beans like a lot of people have had to do. I know plenty of people who have to survive on way less than what Haggard has been used to. It ain’t fun, but its do-able.
So, is it just me or does this just seem like he just doesn’t want to bear the difficult consequences of his own choices? Nobody wants to have to go from having everything to nothing, but unfortunately, he did bring this on himself. I feel for his family, and I hope that he can be restored and find a new and productive life that doesn’t involve leadership in pastoral ministry.
He’s going to school to become a counselor. I just wish he would let himself be counseled for a long time before he tries to become a counselor to others. That would take humility and patience, but that’s what it takes to be restored. I hope this post doesn’t invite a pile-on. Pray for Ted Haggard and his family to be restored. And pray for the honor of Christ to be restored to the church.