As anyone with any exposure to news knows, in 2006 Haggard left New Life Church in Colorado Springs, a congregation that he started a decade earlier, after reports surfaced of him hiring a gay male prostitute and seeking to buy meth. Such activities, somehow, conflicted with his role as president of the National Association of Evangelicals as well.
Since then Haggard has said and done all sorts of things. Mostly, he has denied being gay and making plans to start a new church. Even after incorporating St. James Church a few weeks ago, he was dismissive.
“A corporation does not a church make,” he told Religion News Service. Then he tacked on the spiritually elusive: “(There is) no way to know the future.”
Yet this week Haggard and his stand-by-her-man wife, Gayle,mugged for the cameras once again in announcing the new church start at their home in Colorado Springs.
According to an AP report, Haggard said he is not competing with his former congregation or any other in the area — noting that many people in the city of 375,000 don’t attend any church. Wink, wink.
That is the time-honored, hyper-spiritual justification for creating church splits. For once, just try admitting what you’re doing, Hag.
Of course, he may not build his new church family exclusively from former New Life members still mesmerized by his winsome personality or sheep from other area flocks. Who knows, there may be a number of non-church members looking for a pastor who seems to have trouble admitting his own sexual orientation while condemning the many who do.
Personally, I don’t care what Haggard does or who goes to his church. Yet again, it is just a sad spectacle of another big-time preacher who simply can’t imagine doing something good for God and others without having his own face in the spotlight.
Executive editor / publisher at Good Faith Media.