Selling Service

“I do not want you to use my shame for your gain,” I told the missionary who hosted us in his home. I thought he had generously offered his home to my family and me when church overseers required us to move from our home in Colorado Springs in 2007.  After living there a couple of months, I learned that our host was marketing the fact that he was helping us. As a result, he received favor from his donors and denominational leaders. When I learned that I was his project for gaining notoriety, we moved out. I needed a place of safety.

Paul writes in Galatians 6:12 – 13, “Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others . . . They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.” Sometimes I wonder if God is conflicted. He wants to work through people, but the New Testament solution to our sin problem works best through those who are willing to let God get the credit. In verse 14, Paul writes, “As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.” I believe one of the greatest hinderances to effective ministry for those who need to be healed, as I did, is that the healers have to struggle with who gets the credit . . . which is why most restoration attempts fail.

No, that’s not true. Most restoration attempts don’t fail, but very often the restorers say they have failed. It’s because these restorers have their sights more on the process than the end result of restoring. The Word of God doesn’t fail, it does its work, and the Holy Spirit does his work. But if God’s restoration path does not fit the design of the restorers, they typically say the sinner was unrepentant, not adequately submitted, or that he or she did not complete the prescribed process. I have come to believe that in these situations, Jesus insists on being the head of the church, and he is unwilling to forfeit that role to those who want to use it for their own promotion or gain.

It seems as though we have a fundamental misunderstanding. Jesus said “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent” (Luke 5:32). Paul reminds the Christians at Rome that, “No one is righteous -not even one” (Romans 3:10). So when people in the church are dealing with the fallen, it’s not the righteous who are working with the fallen, but the fallen working with the fallen. To presume that the “sinner” designation does not include the restorer is a major misunderstanding of the New Testament. The first of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses says, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.” This acknowledges the pressure of sin in every believer’s life. Was Paul lying when he wrote, “. . . God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone” in Romans 11:32? No doubt, we as believers are free from any obligation to sin. I know that we are righteous and saints by faith, but to lord over others as though we are perfected before we see Jesus face to face, is negligence.

Our Reformation fathers wanted to end the abuse of the Roman Catholic Church and establish authentic New Testament expressions of faith and worship. Interestingly, in just about every Reformation movement, the reformers felt as though rigid church discipline was necessary in order to maintain integrity. Since the New Testament does not say much about the need for or the practice of church discipline, Reformation leaders filled in that gap with historical church practices. As a result, our Protestant churches regularly fail to apply New Testament solutions in our response to Christians overcome by some sin. Today, it appears our attitudes and actions are just as random and ungodly toward sinners as that of many of the reformers who successfully applied New Testament life to much of their theology and practice, but failed to do so in this area.

But this is our generation. Though it is 500 years later, maybe it’s time we build on the revelation of the Reformation and let the Gospel inform the way we respond to those we consider “fallen.” Every application of the Gospel requires courage, because Pharisees always demand punishment instead of grace, typically under the banner of “integrity” or “justice.” They seem to forget that we are not prosecuting attorneys or journalists, but ministers of the Gospel, ministers of healing and restoration. In forsaking the Gospel when its application is most needed, we might actually become the enemies of the Gospel.

Many Christians who claim to embrace the desire to be Christ-like seem to neglect two fundamental questions: 1) How did God initially respond to us as sinners? And, 2) How does God respond to us as Christians when we sin? The answers to those questions demand contemplation of two additional questions for all who want to be Christ-like: 1) Do I respond to sinners the way God did to me? And 2) Do I respond to other Christians who sin the way the Holy Spirit responds to me when I, as a Christian, sin?

No doubt, all Christian leaders can preach the necessary sermons and write articles trying to convince the Christian market that they believe in God’s restoration. But the proof is in their actions with the fallen. Do they respond to them in the same way Christ does? Do they protect their dignity as fellow human beings and brothers and sisters in Christ? Is their aim to restore them so they can continue on in their God-given gifts and callings? Or do they negate the work of God in them, shame them, and embarrass them? Would the person submitted to them say the leaders helped them heal, or added burden to their lives?

I can answer these questions because I have heard from thousands of believers who have stumbled and been subject to ministry restoration. They all point to the Word and how it addresses and strengthens them. They all marvel at the faithfulness of God and how he draws closer to them in their crisis. But only a few of them will say the Christian leaders responsible to help them actually assisted.

Are too many of our leaders only in sales? I suggest we not sell the ministry of restoration, let’s just do it and let the restored tell the story.

It’s time we see the fallen as an opportunity to help, which demonstrates that we are, in fact, Christian.

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41 thoughts on “Selling Service

  1. Pastor Ted, you always hit the nail on the cross…I mean head. Thank you for your fruit-filled wisdom …the Church is starved for it!

  2. Chris Byrd says:

    Anyone looking for gain or fame in the “acts” of helping a fallen warrior survive, regain his integrity, and rise to fight another day simply doesn’t understand the “economy” of the Kingdom. One and only one is to be magnified and glorified. Jesus Christ!

  3. Pastor Ted,
    My leaders are trying. They are praying and I believe they are sincere. However, I know there are still things left undone that I have no control over or want control over. I am left praying and waiting on the Lord. I am trusting the Spirit’s work in them as He is working in me. Sometimes I wish they would ask but I can testify with certainty that THE LORD has taken care of me, of us, of our family and in the end, it will be all that matters.

  4. pilotrite says:

    Ted, people are NOT perfect. But God USES THEM TO RESTORE THE FALLEN… The question is DO YOU AS THE RESTORATION SUBJECT TRUST GOD? A personal question… do YOU have the spirit of JOSEPH or even Jesus who TRUSTED the father in spite of the circumstances? I see a lot of anger in your posts directed at the good christian men who tried to help restore you. You want forgiveness for your sin, but you don’t appear to extend that to the shortcomings of those who’ve even opened their own homes to restore you!

    • Pilotrite, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It’s excellent and it sets the stage for me to address a few subjects you raise. #1. I think it’s good in comment sections like this for people to use their names. I have made it a point, on both good days and bad days, to use my name in any communications because I believe in personal responsibility and accountability. #2. We must never confuse trusting God with being passive, inactive, or thoughtless. I do not have personal anger on these issues, although I have in the past, but I also am responsible to communicate the lessons that are important to the body of Christ. #3. Who are the good Christian men you are in reference to, and how are they “good?”

      • velma says:

        Hi Ted, I applaud your humbleness and meekness which is a sign of strength. It would have been far to easy for you to wallow in self pity and reject the calling on your life, which in my eyes would be the bigger sin. I believe that to many religious people forget that Jesus said “he that is without sin let him cast the first stone”. It is good that you have moved on/forward and have not turned your back on the gift which was bestowed upon you from God, which is to spread the gospel. Forgiveness is good for the soul as it sets about restoration which it seems that you have got. I wish you all the best, God Bless.

      • Darin Sims says:

        Thank you for that well said reply Ted.

    • Walt says:

      Pilotrite do you use all capitals because you have a habit of yelling and that is how you yell when writing?

  5. Mark Alan says:

    Agreed with the premise of the article as long as the condition on repentance is transparency and truth. As a restorer it is impossible to aid in restoration if the “fallen” continues to live in lies. Acts 26:20 and Matthew 3:8 set a standard of true repentance. Thanks for challenging the fractured restoration process brother Ted!

  6. wendy says:

    The Bible doesn’t say to “put people through restoration”. It says to restore them, and there is a big difference because one is a man invented process, and the other is not a process at all. Many people who have been “put through restoration” were only wounded more. The problem goes to the core of evangelicalism which still seeks to place humans on podiums. We need to get a clue…we all sin, and though we can coordinate and have organizers, only one man is fit to lead, and that is Jesus. When we get that, we will stop destroying each other.

  7. Eddie Smith says:

    Well said, Ted. Thank God for your forthrightness!

  8. mark dezuba says:

    The Bible never suggests or commands us to abide by a ridiclus process of restoration. Christ – in his word speaks to our sin and we recieve Jesus’ restoration through our faith and trust in him. We really need to move beyond this and love everyone – for we – I – are all sinners needing grace. This is basic stuff and the church and members of the church have butchered many over the lifetime of the chruch. Is this really new to anyone or a surprise? Love your fallen friend – for often you are looking into your sin as well. Ted, let’s move beyond this conversation and reach out to the lost with the word. Blessings – Mark DeZuba

    • I wish we could move beyond this conversaton but it won’t happen until Jesus comes and brings the fullness of all restoration. Respectfully, I would never tell someone to move beyond something the Lord may very well be using as their assignment to reach the lost and found, both inside and outside “the church.”

  9. Darren Tyler says:

    Thanks Ted. Very thoughtful and helpful. I’m a rookie pastor. When we launched as a church I didn’t feel like we should do membership. I don’t necessarily have a theological stance on it other than it feels extra biblical and unnecessary. That being said. The only complaints/ push back I’ve ever gotten about it is from other pastors. Their number one push back is “well how do you do church discipline?” I suppose insinuating that having the name on a piece of paper allows me the control to discipline the members? Or to put it more simply, control. Being able to control. Perhaps that’s ultimately part of control is then someone gets the credit?

  10. Travis Waits says:

    I am convinced the only thing that restorers have their sights set on is image management and damage control. They are more concerned with perception and potential impact to cover their backside, and their budget, then their interest in actually APPLYING the Gospel.

    I appreciate your insights here Ted, I do agree that many have made “restoration” a business. Unfortunately too often those that do try to take credit or profit from income received from “the fallen” (as part of their process of counseling, support, etc…), are also the very same to be reluctant to put their name on the line to vouch for whom they have restored.

    The true measure, I believe, is if we are actually willing to be numbered with the sinners: “He was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”—Isaiah 53:12.

    There for sure is no perfect road, but necessary in any model of restoration that has been lacking in the majority of cases is objectivity, grace, and the appropriate knowledge base to be competent. Too often restores define their own self constructed measuring sticks, definitions that absolutely do place not only a burden, but hinder the “fallen.” I am reminded of the “stumbling block” passage in Scripture.

    What is needed, is a model of “restoration” that protects the dignity of the spouse, children, community of the “fallen.” After the headlines, or even during the early stages of a process restorers neglect to think through the systemic consequences of their discipline, “restoration plan,” or retraining period. How will the fallen provide for their family? When have you ever heard of a restoration plan considering the practical needs (food, rent, medical… of the spouse or children of a fallen leader? They aren’t they are invisible, and cast aside in self righteous judgment just like the fallen leader.

    The church should not be known for this repeated “shooting it’s wounded” practice!

    Isn’t the churches job to show up with grace and the Gospel on the worst day, not heap extra burdens on those who are already repentant?

  11. Gary Munson says:

    I think you are confusing personal forgiveness and restoration to ministry. God forgives our sin and restores us to fellowship with other believers. Appointment to ministry must combine the call of God with the amen of the church in the earth (see Acts 13:1-3). While forgiveness will always be God’s response to repentance, restoration to ministry after serious moral failure has no such biblical promise and so far as I know is not directly addressed in the NT.

    In a high profile case like yours the issues your raise are no doubt part of the picture. I doubt if that is true in the many, many cases that are low profile where is it very likely not a good career move to work with a fallen pastor to bring restoration.

    You do not mention the financial issues involved although one of the comments above accuses the “restorers” of having financial concerns for the ministry. Pastors and leaders who have fallen into sin, as you did, also have serious financial concerns both personal and ministry. Brother Swaggart had properties, contracts, and many employees working for his ministry. He did not have time to go through a long restorative process because he had financial responsibilities to meet (that is simply an observation, not any inside information). Even if a pastor does not have that level of financial pressure they have personal financial obligations that must be met and being out of ministry and under a restoration process may have serious financial consequences for them and their family. That causes the one being restored to desire a short process that allows them to get back to work as soon as possible. In your case, I suspect you worked with and helped to create the very restoration process you are complaining about now. Being famous in America has a short shelf life, if a person goes through a 2 or 3 year restoration process they may never get back to the level of notoriety they had before. But then whose fault is that anyway?

    Yes, you are high profile. Your benefited from that before your moral failure and now it complicates the restoration process. You can’t have the one without the other. You sound like you are still angry although you say you are beyond that. The truth is that you, as a very high profile Christian leader, fell into sin, denied and hid your sin, and spoke against those committing the same sin while engaged in it yourself. That is not just moral failure, it is a serious character problem. Character is not changed in an instant. You had “repented” before but still engaged in sin. How long does character change take? How do we know when the process is complete? Why does it matter? Because God’s people are His most precious possession and He is not willing for them to be harmed in order to get you back to “your ministry” faster.

    There are consequences to sin including loss of reputation and perhaps having to put up with a less than godly restorative process. If you really want full restoration on the spiritual side then I suggest you cool your jets. You put yourself in this situation, pointing the finger at others at this point is not going to help you.

    • Thank you for your thoughts Gary. I appreciate your insight. I must say, though, that during our process the overseers would often tell us how complicated it was. We started considering that a joke, and would often tell the thousands of others who have been in communication in the midst of the own nightmares that if their church leaders start to say it’s complicated, that’s code for “the Bible doesn’t apply. I do agree with the high profile idea, but not with the contrast of high or low profile. In either case, these situations are always THE opportunity to model the Gospel. In many situations, it’s the only time secular people and the community at large is paying attention to what the church decides. Thus, it’s the supreme opportunity to demonstrate the Gospel. To forfeit that and deny the application in the Gospel in these situations it the height of foolishness and blind thinking. But then, for us to use the guys who have proven their lack of spiritual insight by failing at restoring others, and let them speak as experts in the field, means we’re exactly where Isaiah was referencing when he said, “They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” If there ever is a time to model the nature of God, it’s in response to another’s sin. I believe the church’s foolishness on this subject might indicate that our position fits Isaiah’s exhortation, “. . . Then go ahead and be blind. You are stupid, but not from wine! You stagger, but not from liquor! For the Lord has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep. He has closed the eyes of your prophets and visionaries.” If this is indeed where we are, and I see no reason not to believe it, our leaders have duped us with their fine sounding words and we, thus, will all pay.

      • Gary says:

        I do not now your personal experience or what has been said or done during the process you have experienced. It seems like it has left you feeling more abused than restored and that is certainly unfortunate. I pray the Lord will empower us all as Christians to rise above the baseness of sin unto the likeness of God who redeemed us unto honor rather than selfishness, ambition and personal gain.

    • Gary, one more note I might add: many of your facts here are wrong. You are reciting some of the misinformation intentional fed to the press and into the whisper campaign to keep others from being responsible. I know you are sincere and trying to be helpful, but my guess is that you are old enough to know how spin can come our way presented as truth, and only after time, if we are close enough to any given situation, we discover that there was a lot of smoke in the air, sadly by design.

    • Christopher says:

      The issue is not about restoration. Because Christ restored Ted at the Cross when he believed and asked for forgiveness.

      Don’t say anything about “repented” because you probably have some sin in your life that no one knows about and who cares.

      Here is a key for both of you people. Nothing wrong with God. Nothing wrong with God’s word. Nothing wrong with God’s people because of what Christ did. So receive your forgive by the Blood of Jesus Christ and move on.

      Ted, you might want preach more about the grace of God and what Christ did for you. It may help the hurt. Remember (Phil 4:8).

    • Travis Waits says:

      Gary,
      You seem to leave out much of the New Testament teaching on practical grace (“…the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable…”) comes to mind immediately. Your tone is one that demands justice and communicates a “serves you right” attitude for any pastor who has fallen. It’s the same short sighted mindset that says ‘you should have known better’. No kidding.

      You are also incorrect, high profile or not, pastors and leaders who “fall” experience similar negative consequences including, but not limited to financial hardship, loss of dignity of themselves and their family, etc.

      The cost is ALWAYS higher for pastors to confess their sin, because they know they will be judged, condemned, and lose everything.

      Let me ask you, why do you get to choose the consequences imposed on pastors when they sin? Is your aim with those consequences to be redemptive and restorative, or simply to judge and condemn them.

      It sounds as if you feel justified in keeping stones in your hands and somehow have forgotten the point of the Gospel in the first place.

      • Gary says:

        Wow Travis, interesting comments from someone who is doing exactly what he criticizes. You jump to extreme conclusions regarding attitudes you accuse others of having. Like your other comment that all those involved in restoration of pastors are only interested in image management, etc. So what do you propose? When pastors fall into sin, there will necessarily be some attempt at restoration. What is the alternative? I suppose the church could not care if pastors are living sin filled lives or if they are a good example to their flock? or Those who fall could simply drummed out of the church never to return? If either of these are not good alternatives to you then restoration is the only alternative and in my view the only godly alternative precisely because God’s gifts and callings are without repentance. So if someone must attempt a restorative process, but according to you, they “all” enter the process with wrong motives, where are we left? What would your suggestion be?

        The gifts and callings are without repentance, yes, But gifting is not the primary qualification for ministry. Look at 1 Timothy or Titus and the qualification for elders. How many gifts do you find there? “Able to teach” is the only one that could be considered a gifting. All other qualifications are character qualities. Why? Because God loves His people and is willing to trust them only to those who He can trust. God’s calling does not change, the question is will we respond to that calling. God’s grace is not only for forgiveness, it is for us to receive His ability to live in a manner consistent with His character. We are called to Christ likeness and as leaders our job is to bring others into the same. Christian leaders do not become high profile in America because of their character qualities. That does not mean they do not as a group have good character to so not accuse me of saying that. It means that is not what people value in America. We value gifting, charisma, and talent in music or preaching. Honestly, we do not care about character which is what I get from your comment.

        My comment about high profile leaders is simply to acknowledge reality, not to suggest a course of action or even to say that reality is correct. Leaders who have become Christian superstars are under greater scrutiny by the public and by other Christians. That is simply true. The unknown local pastor who falls does not receive national media attention whereas the high profile Christian leader does. That is simply the environment in which we live. When such high profile leaders are benefiting from their status with fame and income there seems to be little complaint but when national attention is focused their direction because they have fallen and it becomes known, suddenly everyone should forget them and leave them to their private restoration process. I don’t think you can have it both ways.

  12. Marcia A says:

    Maybe church leaders should spend more time building the house that God intended – picking the right people to build it with them, and keeping those relationships healthy so that it doesn’t implode when something goes wrong? This is why there’s so many hurt people in the church. A lack of healthy relationships. God doesn’t need to give ANY man a platform. That platform belongs to HIM. And when we all seek to support JESUS as the only one deserving, it becomes much easier to walk in humility and forgiveness with one another. Because no one is perfect…including leadership. My personal opinion is that leadership in the church is overrated and largely misrepresented according to God’s design. He never intended for man to take His role as the Holy Spirit. Instead, leadership is to “make disciples” of Christ by training people HOW to follow God’s voice for themselves. And with HEALTHY relationships, its amazing how we can actually RESPECT The Christ-head living inside of each of us. The Church (Body of Christ) is FULL and OVERFLOWING with hurt people that have been abused by poor leadership that didn’t seek to edify the ones God brought to them. Instead they used them for personal gain all in the name of Christ. But just like church member seeking forgiveness from God needs it, the leadership also needs forgiveness for their wrong choices. Humility is key for both sides. And humility is possible when the same goal is shared: To GLORIFY JESUS, the ONLY ONE WHO IS WORTHY.

  13. Linda Coates says:

    “But the proof is in their actions with the fallen. Do they respond to them in the same way Christ does? Do they protect their dignity as fellow human beings and brothers and sisters in Christ? Is their aim to restore them so they can continue on in their God-given gifts and callings? Or do they negate the work of God in them, shame them, and embarrass them? Would the person submitted to them say the leaders helped them heal, or added burden to their lives?”
    Linda Coates here and my question pertains to your above quote. (We are in Tucson, by the way)
    We have a big problem in our neighborhood. The widowed neighbor next door, (no children), a “good samaritan” invited a homeless man to live with her. Turns out he is a registered sex offender, has been in prison, is currently using meth amph, and will not leave her home because she is enabling him. The neighbors have have all met with him, (Mark), asked him to leave but he became verbally belligerent and refuses. The police as well as county sheriff have been called and said they can do nothing because he is there under her invitation. Joe called Adult Protective Services for intervention because she has dementia and is worth millions of dollars and Mark is a con man who could easily hack into her computer. However, her dementia is “not enough” for the county to intervene.
    I dislike our legal system. The guilty are protected and we, the possible victims have to wait until something horrible happens.”
    Our neighbor, Mary Lou is a Christian and every time I talk to her, she asks, “what would you do if he was your brother?” I keep telling her, I intervened for my brother from a similar situation where con men had duped he and his late wife of of about $100,000. I only got involved when Adult Protective Services called me long distance. A wise teller from their bank got suspicious about large amounts of money withdrawn and notified the police. Anyway, I immediately put my brother in an Assisted Living Facility and did not even attempt to “rescue” him.
    My question is this: What would Christ do? I don’t know the answer because “love your neighbor” does not mean jeopardizing the safety and security of others just to make one feel good about themselves. I think this con man belongs in some type of rehabilitation home and there are some here in Tucson, but evertime he is offered an apartment, he turns it down because it is in a “bad neighborhood.” He’s not dumb; he’s living off a wealthy widow in a nice community. I am sick to my stomach.”
    We are getting iron gates at the front of the house (entry way) and bright lights. Joe bought me a gun for Christmas and I am taking shooting lessons.
    Mary Lou will NOT listen to anyone including her pastor. She thinks the neighbors are conspiring against Mark and she protects this man and continues to bail him out of situations.
    We cannot sell our house because of his status as a registered sex offender and convicted felon so it is effecting us economically as well. Christianity is really complicated. Any ideas Ted? Linda Coates

    • Linda, this is a great question and it raises something I think is important. Most ignore the love Scriptures unless they are flowery types of people because we see love as soft, passive, weak, and sometimes overly tolerant. As a result, I believe God gave me a definition that fits every Bible reference: Love is living for the good of another. So if you love your neighbor lady, you will do everything within your power to protect her from this man. If you love the man, you will get him out of that situation (because he’s headed to jail if he stays there because all addicts lie and steal, and there is someone VERY interested in that woman’s money who will hold that guy accountable). So for his own good, he’s got to go. Jesus was loving the Pharisees when he called them names, and loving the money changers by challenging their role. Love is doing what’s best for the other guy. My advice would be to love those folks living around you. And yes, it is love to protect your property. You are keeping them from being thieves. lol. Good to hear from you.

  14. Walt says:

    Pastor Ted,

    This blog got me thinking and that sometimes can be dangerous for me.

    For the most part I am a critic of modern Christian teachings and beliefs in America, though I consider myself to believe in and have a relationship with God through Jesus the Christ. So my first reaction was to respond from a critic’s point of view. But the blog contained noting to be critical of.

    I am critical of the restoration doctrine that is a fad these days and consider it nonsense. You addressed that. I am a critic of the selling of ministry, grace and God. You addressed that. I am a critic of literal biblical interpretation, but you nailed the theme of Galatians in a few sentences, “faith works because of love” and “don’t do things for show or boasting”.

    Well you should know that Christian critics cannot end a reply like this without saying something. I leave you with one thing. You are a good Christian critic too. I relate to that and I mean that as a compliment.

    Here’s to moments of joy and a life of happiness,
    Walt

  15. Wayne Turner says:

    Ted,
    I appreciate your current outlook on restoration of the sinner! Have your views changed from before your transgressions and didn’t you help design many of the rules of your former church about discipline and restoration? Do your views on church structure and discipline very much from what they were before the fall and transition to St James?
    P.S. I have always admired your organizational skills and speaking abilities.
    Wayne Turner

    • Wayne, good questions. Thank you so much for asking about this. No, I have always had a strong belief in the cross and the application of the Gospel, and have never been much on selling the services of the church, thus needing to protect it’s image or do damage control. So when I was at New Life we had many pastors there being restored into ministry. We always did it with dignity and honor. Because of the work of the cross and our role being the role of the church, and that’s it, I do not believe the cross allows the church to be in the humiliation business. Amazingly, when my deal happened, the Overseers used the number of pastors being restored against me because I hadn’t stood them up in front of the church and exposed them. It had never dawned on me that churches do that to exalt the existing leadership team. It was sad. And no, the system they used was not the one I set up. When my crisis happened, the Overseers got together with the Trustees, secretly changed the bylaws and took over the entire church and, to successfully achieve their ends, needed to get rid of me and my family, which they did. Then they spread the word that this was my system, which was a lie. The change that has occurred in me, though, is a stronger THEOLOGY on the application of the Gospel and the centrality of love and kindness, and the importance of respect. The personality of God and reason of God being revealed in the logos instead of the rules of God have been highlighted in me since that time. And of course, the endless wise sounding but powerless words, that are fundamentally deceptive, coming from our Christian magazines and leaders are profound to me now. Hope this helps. Blessings!

  16. David says:

    I used to be a brutal critic of you. Because I felt shamed by you when it came to tithing. But I realize how much of a hypocrite I was. I have attended the underground and it help me with issues in my life. I was a part of an aftercare group and because of a disagreement with a leader I am banished from the said group. It angers me how these so called “Christians” are so quick to cast out. When they themselves are still fallen. What’s even worse is that the person who “leads” the group Was highly disrespectful to myself and my spouse. I can never again speak positive about it while this individual is a so called “leader” So Pastor Ted I pray you are well and hope you continue to heal. I am healing from the additional trauma this so called healthy group has done to me.

    • Walt says:

      David that is is the real problem with the Western (American) fundamental churches. They all think they have the answers and are totally above everyone else. Only love wins. When people do to you like the aftercare group did, they show their true self. You don’t need them. But, I might add that you should look at the disagreement and figure out how you could have handled that better. That statement of yours was a dead give away of something hidden.

  17. upwardbound says:

    Reblogged this on Upwardbound’s Weblog.

  18. Travis Waits says:

    I am convinced the only thing that restorers have their sights set on is image management and damage control. They are more concerned with perception and potential impact to cover their backside, and their budget, then their interest in actually APPLYING the Gospel.

    I appreciate your insights here Ted, I do agree that many have made “restoration” a business. Unfortunately too often those that do try to take credit or profit from income received from “the fallen” (as part of their process of counseling, support, etc…), are also the very same to be reluctant to put their name on the line to vouch for whom they have restored.

    The true measure, I believe, is if we are actually willing to be numbered with the sinners: “He was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”—Isaiah 53:12.

    There for sure is no perfect road, but necessary in any model of restoration that has been lacking in the majority of cases is objectivity, grace, and the appropriate knowledge base to be competent. Too often restores define their own self constructed measuring sticks, definitions that absolutely do place not only a burden, but hinder the “fallen.” I am reminded of the “stumbling block” passage in Scripture.

    What is needed, is a model of “restoration” that protects the dignity of the spouse, children, community of the “fallen.” After the headlines, or even during the early stages of a process restorers neglect to think through the systemic consequences of their discipline, “restoration plan,” or retraining period. How will the fallen provide for their family? When have you ever heard of a restoration plan considering the practical needs (food, rent, medical… of the spouse or children of a fallen leader? They aren’t they are invisible, and cast aside in self righteous judgment just like the fallen leader.

    The church should not be known for this repeated “shooting it’s wounded” practice!

    Isn’t the churches job to show up with grace and the Gospel on the worst day, not heap extra burdens on those who are already repentant?

    • Walt says:

      Travis I agree with you comments about restoration. It is a business that covers the behinds of the church showing that the church can become a business in which it needs to protect its income.

      The “church’s” (all blievers) job is to show up every day with the gospel and love and non-judgment. The “chruch’s” (organized religion) job is to is the same. Unfortunately too many local churches (organized religion) has become big busnisss and their job, as I see it is to tprotect their investment.

  19. NanEmry says:

    I laugh and then say… yeeeha! On your write up on helping the fallen for gain. I understand big time! I just love someone who is not afraid to say they are not for sale, nor is his family. Class act. A man of integrety! Where did they all go! NanE

  20. Jeremy Morisset says:

    dang anyone who is not acting in love is not pleasing JESUS Ted you are very courageous… lots of long winded bickering here show everyone your are HIS follower by the Love you show….

  21. […] [originally posted in reply to comments on my friend Ted Haggard's blog Selling Service] […]

  22. Darin Sims says:

    Ted, I just love reading your blog. As a man that has fallen and been restored you seem to always say what I’m thinking! Thank you. Please keep listening to the HS, and sharing what he gives you!

  23. Bev Gulbrandsen says:

    There is so much emphasis on what leaders in churches do or don’t do when the majority of Christians are lay people working hard at ‘normal’ jobs supporting their family, involved in their communities and loving and helping those around them. Isn’t it wonderful that you Ted and your family have experienced this beautiful group of Jesus followers who cared from the heart?

  24. Louise says:

    This is just one of the stories that tell people to know the intentions of the people that they are dealing with. There are lots of impostors out there who will make it appear like they are helping when in fact their intentions are not pure.

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